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The Nines (3 stars)

(15) 99mins (Optimum DVD retail/rental)

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The Nines

PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER

For his varied pedigree alone, screenwriter John August’s debut feature is a worthy curiosity. Having written Doug Liman’s Go, both Charlie’s Angels instalments and three films by Tim Burton (racking up an Oscar nomination for Big Fish in the process), this low-budget feature mixes sinister intrigue with a gleaming Hollywood sheen.

Over three reverse-chronology segments, the same actors – Ryan Reynolds, Hope Davis and Melissa McCarthy – play a different trio of characters, who may or may not be in the midst of a dream or a sci-fi fantasy. Budgetary constraints mean that most of the film is shot in LA, much of it even in August’s own home, and the constant referencing of Reynolds’ various jobs in the entertainment industry recalls the playfulness of Steven Soderbergh’s more obscure works. The elements of subjective reality that eventually appear, however, are an only semi-successful attempt to recreate the puzzle box effect of a David Lynch film. Extras include interviews, trailer and ‘behind the scenes’ shorts.

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