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"$9.99" Review

If you're looking at the title and wondering what the fourth film in 2008 with a "nine" in its title - along with District 9, Nine, and 9 - is about, join the club. Tipped off about it by my girlfriend, $9.99 is an odd Israeli clay-animated movie which starts with an arch cold-opener about the pros and cons of dealing with armed panhandlers and then gets weird.

Done somewhat in the style of Robot Chicken (if they had a budget and some pretensions), the story intercuts between the various residents of an apartment building as they find and lose love, hope, or simply seek a Soccer Jack doll or the Meaning of Life. (Yeah, that tells you a lot.) Only 75 minutes long, it reminded my of the animation short festivals I used to attend at the Detroit Film Theater long ago, and perhaps mercilessly abbreviated to 20 minutes it would've worked better. At this length it tends to drone on and the punchline(s) aren't enough to merit a feature's length.

Score: 4/10. Catch it on cable if you're into weird animation.


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