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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.
''To travel in silence / by a long and circuitous route, / To brave the arrows of misfortune / and fear neither noose nor fire, / To play the greatest of all games / and win, foregoing no expense / is to mock the vicissitudes of Fate / and gain at last the key / that will unlock the Ninth Gate.''
Roman Polanski's The Ninth Gate is a film that despite its fair share of silliness, always seduces me to enter back into its sometimes campy, but mostly mysterious universe. Johnny Depp embodies Dean Corso (albeit, in a bit of a flat performance), a rare book dealer/swindler who is immersed in a quest to hunt down the remaining copies of…
The Ninth Gate is a strange one from Roman Polanski, a director who has of course dabbled in the occult landscape he again taps here, arguably to greater success. Adapted from the Spanish novel El Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte, Polanski's film is quite an elegant, cultured malaise of a story that could almost define the term 'slow burn', if it even burns at all. To many undoubtedly it's subject matter--an unscrupulous book dealer is hired to find a tome that may be able to raise the Devil--would be inherently boring and Polanski's careful construction of Johnny Depp's lead character's journey snooze inducing, yet oddly enough there is just something about the way Polanski shoots this, something about the manner…
Dirk's review of Mortdecai highlighted the decline in the fortunes of Johnny Depp's career path all too clearly. Commercial and critical success has been elusive lately for Owensboro, Kentucky's favorite son, so the chance to step back in time and enjoy one of his better but lesser known films (though not a huge hit) was too good to turn down. The Ninth Gate may be hokum, but crafted by Roman Polanski and featuring elements of the occult and an intriguing supernatural concept, it's entertaining hokum.
Depp plays a rare book dealer who gets asked by a wealthy collector to authenticate his copy of a book that can summon the devil himself. Frank Langella is the man who sends Depp to…
There's nothing more reliable than a man whose loyalty can be bought for hard cash. ~ Boris Balkan
Director Roman Polanski was still in a funk when he made this ... 25 years in exile in Europe and two decades since his last big success, "Tess." He would reemerge as a force in 2002 with "The Pianist," but there's something shy of his best effort here, despite some excellent camerawork, one awesome bit of pyrotechnics, and several great actors to work with.
Start with Johnny Depp. He's had some odd roles in his career, but I don't think I have ever seen Depp play a character so sedate and conventional as antiquarian book dealer Dean Corso. He doesn't crack a…
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.
::Jeff Goldblum voice:: ahh, now eventually you do plan to have Satan in your Satanic movie, right? ...hello?
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
This movie omg honestly the ending though when he walks into the castle where the ninth gates
This rewatch was long overdue, still one of my favorite movies.
And why did I get the sudden urge to start smoking?
"Mumbo Jumbo! Mumbo Jumbo!"
I kept putting this one off because I assumed it was going to be a slog, but color me surprised to discover a goofy book based adventure film with normal voiced Johnny Depp bumbling through a Satan based mystery. A little too much is explained in the end, but I enjoyed it none the less
THEORY: This is a prequel to Mortdecai.
Roman Polanski's occult thriller The Ninth Gate is one of my favorite Polanski movies. His stuff from the 90's are actually the ones I prefer. Sure all those classics are classics for a reason and I love them all but his Bitter Moon, Death and the Maiden and The Ninth Gate are movies I've seen so many times during the years and I love them just as much every time, they're definitely on my top 5 movies of his! I've grown tired of Johnny Depp lately with his Tim Burton-ish characters but this is one of his finest roles and Emmanuelle Seigner might not be the finest actress around but there's something about that woman I really love. A lot of love in this review but that's pretty much how I feel about Polanski's movies!
Hoop-tober 2016 #5
"I saw him one day. I was fifteen years old, and I saw him as plain as I see you now. It was love at first sight."
The Baroness Kessler.
What a creepy old lady.
This movie is very rich with twists and turns. Underneath it's goofy tone lies something terrifying. One of my favorite horror movies of all time.
I like this movie, it's weird and has a pretty cool story and great direction, but it is a little too long and wanders quite a bit.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Hmmmmmm. The atmosphere saved the movie from getting a bit of a lower grade.
It gets a four star rating from me because now that I have finished it, I realized it was a handsome man travelling and looking for a book in expensive scenes and fancy buildings the whole time, with some action in the end only, and yet I was not bored for a minute. I don't know is it because I had such high expectations that they influenced my mood during the movie, or my realisation of how Johny Depp was hot at that time (yes, I am one of those who struggle to see that hotness he apparently has), but I was not bored. Music was…
Movies that are slightly off.
The 2016 (2nd) edition of the list. You can see the original and more info here.
With a list of…