On DVD: 
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Running Time: 
78 min.

Let me state this up front: This film is awesome. Director Tatia Rosenthal has brought some incredible animation along with a group of enchanting characters.

 When bored at what life has given him as of yet, 28 year old Dave Peck decides to spend an easy $9.99 to purchase a book about the meaning of life. Dave begins to share his new outlook on life with his father and whoever he may pass, but no one seems to want to hear it. After all, everyone has their own belief of the meaning of life and they continue their days using those beliefs or lack there of. 

Let me state this up front: This film is awesome. Claymation has the talent of bringing some of the least memorable stories to life with grace and precision. And man, does claymation deliver here. The level of detail in $9.99 is remarkable. It was easy to tell that every person, building and sign had the same amount of work put in to it. Director Tatia Rosenthal has brought some incredible animation along with a group of enchanting characters. 

Dave Peck is only one of the many characters in this film who is searching for their meaning of life. There's Daves' brother, Lenny, who is head over heels for his model girlfriend, Tanita. There's Dave and Lennys' father who has recently witnessed the suicide of a homeless man played by Geoffrey Rush and is at a loss of how to continue life knowing he may have caused the homeless man to claim his own life. Things do get interesting though when the homeless man shows up at the same apartment building as the Pecks with a new set of wings. He soon befriends an old man who just wants someone to talk to. Also, a father tries to teach his son, Zach, the lesson of responsibility by making him earn enough money to buy a sports action figure so he doesn't "grow up spoiled and become a criminal". Things don't turn out how his dad expected when Zach finds his new piggy bank as his best friend. The homeless man and Lenny are easily the most enchanting characters in this movie as they affect a number of the people they encounter. 

The movie does, however, meet it's minor flaws at times.  Director Rosenthal weaves a story of a young man who is too immature for his fiancee', Michelle. She leaves him to give him time to become a better man. The story just never seems to leap off the screen like the others do. The ending is, also, something I wasn't crazy about. Rosenthal seemed to wrap up the stories for the sake of ending them and not letting them breath the life they have been breathing for the previous 70 minutes. The movie, much like the films of legendary-weirdo David Lynch, seemed to make the stories end in a weird fashion for the sake of being weird. I won't give anything away, but things just didn't seem to add up. 

Despite the minor flaws, $9.99 easily delivers one of the better claymation movies to rise out of the scene in a long, long time.

The bonus features of this dvd are pretty minimal: Tatia Rosenthal throws in two short films she directed (which are also claymation) and the trailer for $9.99. 


Ryan Sterritt
Review by Ryan Sterritt
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