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Screener Squad: Nine Days

Nine Days Movie Review


This 2020 Sundance darling has finally received a theatrical distribution and is ready to showcase writer/director Edson Oda’s talents with his feature debut. The movie takes place in some form of pre and post-mortal plane of existence (that looks an awful lot like the Utah Salt Flats), where an enigmatic arbiter named Will (Winston Duke) lives in a house with no one around for miles. His job involves not only interviewing ‘candidates’ to be born on Earth, but also monitoring their progress through old school televisions as they grow and learn. Then one day, the candidate he loved the most, tragically dies in a car crash. On top of Will not accepting why her seemingly great life ended so abruptly, new candidates are materializing from the ether to fill her vacancy. Because each person varies so wildly in their personalities and philosophies, Will must spend the next nine days interviewing them at his home to see who he feels is ready to endure the cold, harsh reality of Earth life. However, the more he learns about each candidate, especially an empathic woman named Emma (Zazie Beetz), the more his own views develop as to what truly makes a life worth living. Bradly, Frank, and Justin also vary wildly in their personalities and spiritual philosophies. However, they came to a pretty clear consensus on how they felt about this quiet, intimate, existential drama. And it only took less than half an hour instead of nine days! Did this movie inspire intellectual discussion with some of its harsh yet completely open to interpretation themes? Or was it too clinical and quiet for those themes to take root? Find out here.



STARRING: Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Benedict Wong, Tony Hale, Bill Skarsgård, David Rysdahl, Arianna Ortiz, Geraldine Hughes, Erika Vasquez, Perry Smith




Justin Zarian (Screener Squad, Eye on the Prize, Breakfast Pub, Assistant Site Manager)

Justin’s fate as a movie fanatic was written in the stars when his birth forced his parents to cancel their planned Oscar viewing party. While growing up in California, he was often seen in front of the television watching and re-watching Star WarsJurassic Park, classic Disney movies and a steady stream of animated shows. This eventually led to a B.A. in Film at Brigham Young University and an Outstanding Student Teacher Award for displaying a level of film knowledge so insane that even his fellow film students couldn’t compete. He received his M.A. from Syracuse University and is currently pursuing a teaching certificate, but still volunteers at One of Us every so often for the fun of it. His hobbies include non-stop film conversations, wondering how Mass Effect 3’s ending went so wrong, espousing the joys of shooting guns (but not hunting, as he’s quick to note), writing the next great American television show in his head, and anything else entertainment related. You can find him on Facebook once in a blue moon.


Bradly Martin (Screener Squad, Eye on the Prize, Breakfast Pub)

Bradly Martin was born in the united states and grew up on a healthy diet of sports, films, and books. A rather shy lad who kept to himself, Bradly soon discovered the best way to know a person was to know what people liked. Throughout the years Bradly became a fan of many things and a fanatic of none. From Doctor Dre, to Doctor Strange and the who’s who of Whos. From Playstation to the Dreamcast and Marvel to DC. From LeBron James to James Bond and Lord of the Rings to Lord Palmerston (or Pitt the Elder if you agree with Wade Boggs) and is a huge fan of dad jokes and randomly obscure Simpsons references. Armed with a vast knowledge of comics, films, and pop culture. Bradly traveled the world making friends and sharing takes. As a young man Bradly married the love of his life young and grew older every year with each new child brought into the brood. If trends continue, Scientists predict that .2% of Canada (where Bradly and family reside) will be populated by Bradly’s children by the year 2029. You can hear him leading and listening to his favorite critics on the Screener Squad and Eye on the prize and maybe even provide some comments of his own.



Frank Calvillo (Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad)

Born and raised in South Texas, Frank currently lives in Austin and has been in love with movies ever since his father showed him some Three Stooges shorts when he was five years old. Today he loves all kinds of film, regardless of era, country, budget or genre. He believes every film has an audience and is at least one person’s favorite movie. After writing for Sight & Sound and Slackerwood, he now writes for Cinapse where his increasingly random taste in all flavors of cinema (from Rashomon to Mars Attacks!) continues to thrive. His ultimate goal is to write a script for his boyhood crush, Michelle Pfeiffer.




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