A Date with the Devil
|Mr. Balkan offers a special job.|
But do I have to see this one?
Rosemary's Baby scared me, and – since both stories involve the devil – everyone was comparing The Ninth Gate to Rosemary's Baby. I didn't like The Ninth Gate when I first saw it, and I remember my dad making a stinky face as we left the theater. (He, too, was expecting Rosemary's Baby, which is one of his favorite movies.) Seeing this again for Johnny Kitties, though, it turns out that The Ninth Gate is a great movie! From when I first saw it, I only remembered the crazy ending and the PG-13 creepy bits that freaked me out at the time.
This time, I really enjoyed the mystery and the humor incorporated into it. Unlike Rosemary's Baby, this is a light-hearted story about the devil. It doesn't take itself too seriously and reminds me, in a way, of an old-fashioned Hitchcock film. I loved the atmosphere and pace set from the beginning: Even the 3D-style opening credits start you off sweeping through the nine gates. "I think, within the first 3 minutes of a Polanski film, you feel some kind of uneasiness, some kind of eeriness, a sense of instability in the center of your body," Johnny said.
I still don't like the ending – which must have been my lasting impression – but neither does Roman Polanski: "We had great problems with the ending, and I don't even know that I'm satisfied with the way we decided to go, but that was the best of all alternatives, I think." For me, the last 15 minutes of the movie just get too weird. Starting with a cultish ceremony, everything becomes over the top and some scenes seemed unnecessary. But I never read the book, so I don't know how I'd end it either.
An American in Paris
|Dean Corso, Book Detective!|
I didn't know Lily could fly!
As he searches for these books, Dean Corso has a little help from a mysterious woman (Emmanuel Signer/Lily), who always seems to appear at opportune moments. While fighting off a bad guy (Tony Amoni/Simon) who is trying to steal Mr. Balkan's book (in the bag), Dean doesn't notice the woman literally flying down the stairs to his rescue. Yeah, there's something weird about her....
Johnny caps off the '90s investigating murder most foul in Sleepy Hollow with Tim Burton.
(Except for my drawing, all images © Artisan Entertainment.)