A big collection of films that might be considered as strange, mindfucking, surreal and weird. Sorted by year. Suggestions are…
The Ninth Gate
Every book has a life of its own.
An all-expenses-paid international search for a rare copy of The Nine Gates of the Shadow Kingdom brings an unscrupulous book dealer deep into a world of murder, double-dealing and satanic worship.
Somewhere in here, there is a good movie. The story is actually rather interesting, but it's ruined as the movie doesn't know whether it wants to be scary or silly, a supernatural noir or a movie about someone hunting down a book. The result is a dull mess where you don't care about the characters but is interested in where the story goes. Sadly, after a while you stop caring about that too, since it's all fairly obvious, aside from the preposterous ending.
Johnny Depp and Frank Langella are awesome though. Together they almost make the movie worth watching, if you're a fan of both and have seen every other movie with them forty times. If not, don't watch this.
At first, you think it's going to be worth your while.
But two hours later...it's not.
The first half hour of The Ninth Gate is strong enough that it had me wondering if the movie was much better than its reviews at the time suggested. I dug the introduction of Johnny Depp's character, a rare book dealer who cheats a buyer out of an original edition of Don Quixote using exactly the kind of misdirection that Polanski is brilliant at as a filmmaker. I began to hope that Polanski would make something personal out of the hoary occult plot, and the movie does have a sly sense of deadpan humor. But the story drags more and more as it goes on, and it has one of the most ridiculous nonendings I've ever seen. Still worth seeing, though - Depp's eccentric screen presence is a perfect fit for Polanski, and the movie has enough quirky touches, like Frank Langella's glasses, to hold one's interest.
Neat little lovecraft horror story. It feels like an interesting companion piece to Polanski's 'The Tenant', which deals with a form of Kafkaesque horror, whereas this film is at the opposite end of the same spectrum, being a lovecraftian story.
Lurid and it gets almost silly towards the end, but I enjoy it anyway.
Roman Polanski should have just molested someone instead of doing this mediocre shit.
It's far from Polanski's best and the action sequences are laughably over-the-top and cheesy, but The Ninth Gate is still an entertaining supernatural thriller. I thought the ending was a little lazy and not nearly as creepy as the rest of the movie, but I wasn't expecting anything too impressive anyways. It's ultimately forgettable but watchable.
Oh man every time Lena Olin went rawr! and jumped on someone and started clawing them I cracked the hell up. This was kind of fun mostly but I have no damn clue what happened at the ending, except maybe now Johnny Depp is wherever the cast of Lost went. Was he the devil? Or the girl? Where the hell was Al Pacino to explain everything?
Apart from the visuals and cast, this film has nothing going for it.
There may be a deeper meaning and more to dive into but it's extremely hard to get there.
Un sueño de colecciones de libros
Half of Frank Langella's dialogue in this movie is "Mumbo Jumbo" and his costume design is taken directly from Dr. Jone's attire in "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
Also the sound design is just pitiful. Stock audio that isn't even sync'd up properly to break the 20 minute spell of silence as Johnny Depp stares at a book. The music too is just a 3 second ring on repeat that is neither as silly nor as scary as the movie's mixed tones would lead you to believe.
This movie gives Satanic rituals a bad name.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The score and tone of the film simply lulls you into a false sense of security. It really has all the makings of being a well-made film, so one expects a slow-burning thriller high on atmosphere.
In the end, this is a pretty montonous film that drones about with very little payoff. The supposed payoffs tend to fall into the ludicrous and absurd category.
The most memorable thing about the film to me is the surprise at how bad it really is.
Gosh, this is sumptuous. The stuff Polanski does offhandedly in a thriller -- the way he shoots an empty room, the little burbles of handheld, the killer deployment of a chamber music score -- is just to die for. I could have accepted any one of this movie's dumb developments with a smile, but instead there are five or six that work together to sap its pleasure.
There's a vague Lovecraft inspiration with this, featuring a book dealing lush, Dean Corso (Johnny Depp, making one long for the days when every role wasn't an alternate take on Jack Sparrow), on the trail of mysterious satanic books, and finding occult opposition on the way. It might be a little too long and the sedate tone at times makes it feel longer, with a lot of talk about books, subject matter that's tough to make exciting no matter who you are. Polanski doesn't even try to delve into what drives obsessive book collectors, figuring a few shots of immaculately tended libraries stuffed with leather-bound tomes will suffice. Many of these scenes have all the appeal of walking into a…
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Full list of films reviewed in the excellent DVD Delirium Volume 1 book. I've tried my best to make the…