Movies that are slightly off.
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.
''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?
As flawed as "The Ninth Gate" is, it's a film I always come back to every other year. I love books and I'm a sucker for films about demons and demonology so Polanski's film is very much my cup of tea. Johnny Depp adeptly plays a very deadpan book detective hired by a rich collector to travel around Europe in search of the remaining copies of a book that's supposed to summon the Devil.
Fortunately, the film never turns into a grotesque festival of cheap special effects. The occult elements remain mostly hidden from view. Some aspects of the story are less interesting than others and I never warmed up to Seigner's character but "The Ninth Gate" remains a guilty pleasure of mine.
A story about a book-buyer sounds like a yawn-fest, but the way the mystery unfolds and is never fully resolved makes for an intriguing film. Even though the narrative didn't delve as deep as I would have liked, I think it was the atmosphere, more than anything, that held my attention.
sexy streifen von polanski mit johnny depp.
diabolische schnitzeljagd zum ultimativen orgasmus.
angestaubte seiten mit goldschnitt sind grund genug,
über leib und leiche zu gehen.
nackte satanisten bereiten hof und tafel.
of old books and diabolic sex.
there was this one shot and light trick, from a scene in a café on the île Saint-Louis, that was quite incredible. Also E. Seigner was charming and captivating.
One of the greatest (and vastly underrated) gifts Roman Polanski has is the ability to make you laugh. THE NINTH GATE is a delightful romp in atmosphere and gallows humor, suffused with Darius Khondji's exquisite lighting and baroque production design by Dean Tavoularis (GODFATHER). Ten years after NINTH GATE, Polanski would "remake" this film as THE GHOST WRITER with a better script but same Hitchcockian-isms.
I haven't seen every Polanski film, but the one's I have seen all seem to have the ability to draw me into the story so completely that when it's over, you think "That wasn't 2 and a half hours?". The ending was a bit baffling and a bit of a let down, but until then I was entranced. Naked Satanists are one of my favorite things, along with puppies, sunsets and daffodils.
This is the least spooky film involving the devil I've ever seen.
The uniformly brightly lit sets make everything look like a day time soap, and combined with the upbeat soundtrack makes it feel like I'm watching an bigger budget episode of Inspector Poirot.
Plus, at some point I'm pretty sure Depp beats someone to death with his shoe. It's a little unclear and I rewound a few times to check, but I'm sure pretty sure it's his shoe.
People looking for a book to summon the Devil. the movie made sense till the end.
Kind of a paranormal "The Ghost Writer" in the Hammer Horror vein. It's fun enough with some cringe worthy moments.
The 2016 (2nd) edition of the list. You can see the original and more info here.
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