A Great Film - Highly Underrated (by Bloodfordracula)
The Ninth Gate is a great film and one of Roman Polanski's most underrated films. Twenty years from now people will give this film the respect it deserves and hail it to be the great film that it is. Fist of all The Ninth Gate is not an action film. It's a slow-paced psychological thriller very similar in tone and style to Polanski's earlier films Chinatown and Frantic. Johnny Depp and Frank Langella both give great performances. Darius Khondji's photography is amazing and it has an even more amazing score by Kilar. The majority of the film was shot on location and is like a <more>
guided tour through Europe.Ignore the negative reviews and comments from people who've been brainwashed and blinded by the current Hollywood fast-food style of film making with the intention of only appealing to the lowest common denominator. A review doesn't make a good film better or a bad film worse. A superb film. Rating 10 out of 10.
What I like most about this movie, is that there are new things to be amazed by everytime one sees it. The first time I watch it, I was captivated by the music and Johnny Depp, gotta love him... I also really liked the story and most of the actors' performances. The second time I watched it I started to pick up on the details, like the engravings, the real purpose of the mystery woman and the excellent work on the scenery and lightning. Now, I think I have watched it maybe 7 or 8 times, and it keeps getting better and better. This film is really has a life of it's on, and a life <more>
filled with passion, that is. It really has it's dark moments as well as uplifting ones. Everyone should see this movie. Unfortunately, I don't think everyone can't or won't take the time to just sit down and appreciate it. This isn't an action movie, the latest Hollywood production or one of those romantic comedies "everybody" love. Sometimes it's kinda slow, but that's part of it's charm. Great things doesn't have to be rushed, filled with explosions and have naked women running around with their breast flip-flopping all over the scene. This is, one brilliant film and those who doesn't agree just can't understand it.
I just got finished reading some of the other threads that discuss this movie. They ranged from the angst ridden youth spouting off about how there was no action, to those who truly loved this movie. I know that this movie is practically 5 years old, but this is one of my favorite movies of all time. I am an avid horror fan. I love everything from slasher movies to the silent films from the 1920's. I admit, when I saw this movie in the theater, I was very disappointed. I think I was expecting some whiz-bang battle with the devil at the end, and for those of you who've seen this flick <more>
you know that this is not how it ends. Now, almost 5 years later, I own and watch this film very frequently. Now that I have seen this movie numerous times, I can appreciate the creepy atmosphere and the deep storyline. I have even said to myself "How could they have ended this movie differently in a way that I would be completely satisfied other than the way they did ?" I couldn't answer that question. For those who have only seen this once, take the time to watch it again with different expectations. I know that there are some who will never like this movie, To each his/her own, but I am very glad that I took the time to see this one again because as it stands now, it will have a locked spot in my top 10.
This is not a thriller, and thats a good thing. Instead, this is an intellectual film about the relationship between the viewer and the filmmaker. Anyone who knows Polanski, and for that matter many of our best filmmakers, knows he wonders about what it means to make a real movie, one that works as art. Which is to say it does more than amaze and entertain.This movie is to Polanski as The Name of the Rose was to Umberto Eco. That was a book about what books arent. This is a movie about what movies arent.Caution, spoilers ahead!The story is frail -- thats the point, in fact a <more>
little too obvious for my taste. The book in question has been poured over for over 300 years, with everyone focused on the text. And that text is completely irrelevant, disposable, just as the story of the film is. The whole point of the film is in its images, the story is deliberately degraded to make the point. The images are great: Polanksi working in partnership with LCR? Its all about abstraction. How could viewers not catch the layers of the inferno/hosts of angels references?--at the bottom level, you have the Frenchman who owns the book but isn't interested except for the beauty of the binding--then you have the Baroness who has spent her life writing about the devil and never even considering the pictures, even though she had the best clue--she SAW him.--at a higher level, you have Liana Tefler, who knows theres some power in the artifact but is still focused on the text and incidentally sex --higher still you have Balkan who knows the text is worthless, and the pictures the real value but thinks the magic is in the pictures--then you have the two brothers who have the power to tinker with the power of the pictures--finally Corso who we see moving from the bottom of the list to this layer where he knows the power is not in the pictures themselves, but in the quest. At the beginning, the value of the book to him is neither in its text, nor pictures, but in its binding and rarity. --then we have the girl who IS the pictures--and we have the viewer.This is a cross, four people stacked, the two brothers and then three more people stacked -- A layering actually used in early 17th century tracts on the nature of abstraction, which in retrospect are called occult. In fact it is the same layering of semiotics outlined by Eco, and much earlier used in the apprentice novels of Goethe including Faust, which this story quotes . Thats nine players, eight levels of consciousness created by the filmmaker, each layer tossing aside something. Who is the ninth player, the final abstractionist? You.
Johnny Depp is perfect as an acerbic, bookish, cynical, morally corrupt book dealer. There is a great cast of occultist characters who are way over the top and enjoyable all the way. Frank Langella as a giant, power hungry cult leader and Lena Olin as an evil she-devil woman are superb. The script is perfect, and every line has meaning and resonance. The director does a good job at allowing the viewer to experience the mystery contained in those old books first-hand. I think the filmmaker had a vision, didn't compromise and made the exact film he wanted to make. It is a mature, ugly, <more>
interesting film with a lot of class but it probably won't be enjoyed by a lot of people out there.
Proves You Don't Need A Ton Of Action To Make A Good Thriller (by ccthemovieman-1)
What makes this movie rather unique in this day-and-age is to see a horror- occult movie that has very little action. That may turn off a lot of modern-day viewers and critics but I thought it was refreshing.....as long as the story could still keep one's attention, which it did. It also did it with a pretty long movie: 133 minutes. I have played this movie several times for friends and no one has gotten bored.The attraction is 1 decent acting; 2 some great sets; 3 an involving story; 4 interesting characters and 5 low profanity.What keeps most viewers interested is simply <more>
wondering what is going to happen next in "Dean Corso's" Johnny Depp quest to figure out the hidden message. Without giving anything away, this is a classy, solid thriller.....and more importantly, fun to watch.
Arturo Pérez-Reverte is one of my favorite authors, so it is natural that I want to see movies based on his books. I do not compare them, I just enjoy both forms.This film is an excellent example of the psychological thriller. Don't look for a lot of whiz-bang special effect, although the fire work is excellent. Director Roman Polanski The Pianist, Chinatown certainly know how to make a film that exists on so many layers. The search that happens throughout the movie is a waste of time as the prize is there all the time for those who can see. Now, I don't believe in Lucifer, but the <more>
fact that he/she was there every moment in the movie is a good metaphor for the fact that he is ever present in our lives. Of course, if you look for the he, you will not see the she.Emmanuelle Seigner Frantic was brilliant as Lucifer - there I told you, so now you can watch more closely.Johnny Dep and Frank Langella Dracula, Superman Returns, Dave were also first rate in their performances.
No rare books were harmed in the making of this film. (by BA_Harrison)
Unscrupulous book dealer Dean Corso Johnny Depp is drawn into a dangerous world of witchcraft, magic, and mystery after he is hired by collector Boris Balkan Frank Langella to seek out the only remaining copies of Satanic textbook 'The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows', a work reputed to have the power to summon the Devil.After several viewings, I still don't fully comprehend everything about The Ninth Gate: it's one of those film that is deliberately ambiguous. Despite my frustration at my lack of understanding, I still have a fun time trying to further unravel the <more>
riddle, spot as-yet undiscovered clues and diabolical references, and work out the answers to questions posed by the plot.While the film's inconclusive narrative does little to diminish my enjoyment of this wonderfully complex supernatural thriller, which benefits from excellent direction from Polanski, a great leading performance from Depp, and a suitably ominous score, I do struggle with the way in which the bibliophiles portrayed treat their treasured tomes, smoking fags and slurping alcohol as they study the text, handling the books sans protective gloves, and leaving vital pages to gather dust on top of old bookshelves—I treat second-hand paperbacks better than that!7.5 out of 10, rounded up to 8 for IMDb.
I see a lot of negative reviews, coming mostly from the people who watched the movie once, most likely not following the plot with care and then failed to figure out the last 10 minutes of it. If you watch this movie carefully and turn your brain cells on, instead of waiting for the movie to chew and digest itself for you, you will understand everything. Who is the girl? You can get a pretty good idea. Why did it not work for Boris Balkan and how did he not feel the fire for the first several moments? Even if it was not explained and it was it would be obvious. What happened to Johnny <more>
Depp's character in the end? Again as plain as a day. You cannot expect of every Polanski's occult movie to have everything laid out in front of you. Sometimes, the charm of a movie is in its ability to leave something to speculations. This is one of those movies. Turn on your attention, observe every scene, ask yourself what is the meaning behind it, and you shall enjoy this movie a lot.