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Kiss the Girls (1997)
Not a bad film, "entertaining" in the sense of sitting back and watching an episode of Bones or CSI. It has more development and higher production values, I guess, than television, but really it is a routine film hardly worth thinking too hard about.
Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman have been together for three movies, and they work together well. I'm not sure I see any special chemistry there, and for my money, it's a Morgan Freeman film. He plays a Forensic Psychologist and is all business, not swayed by stupidity. Judd plays a victim at first, and then in an unlikely twist, joins the investigation. The plot is frankly a little predictable, and you keep thinking there will be this giant twist, but there isn't. You simply don't know exactly who the perp is.
Ah, well, it propels itself all the same, a fun distraction.
GIRLS is a very good adaptation of a James Patterson novel about a collector of women. One of those kidnapped is D.C. sleuth Alex Cross' nieces, and Cross (played wonderfully by Morgan Freeman) is soon on the case. Ashley Judd in her prime plays a doctor kidnapped by and who eventually escapes from the masked bad buy. She and Cross eventually track him down in his lair, but the question is will Cross' niece still be alive? The identity of the bad guy will come as no surprise tomost crime film fans, but it's a fun ride getting there. Veteran character actors Bill Nunn, Tony Goldwyn, Brian Cox and Cary Elwes are all along for the ride. Strong direction and suspenseful pacing help immensely. Too bad the follow-up Alex Cross adventure, with Freeman again playing Cross, ALONG CAME A SPIDER, was a dog. Might have made an interesting franchise.
So there is a psycho who calls himself "Casanova". He doesn't kill his
victims. He keeps them in some kind of a basement and torches all the
girls, he has brought out there. Morgan Freeman's character is the main
character. A smart detective who is ready to kick some ass. His
character is some kind of a Se7en clone which is not good. It's a step
down for Freeman. Ashley Judd plays a girl who has gotten away from the
killer and things get better for all the detective trying to catch
"Casanova". That's basically all about the plot.
The performances could've been better. The character study try fails, but after all, I enjoyed Casanova's way of torture. I enjoyed the music and the modern thriller atmosphere. Also the dialog is often impressive for just "another thriller". It's probably better than Along Came a Spider. That's personal opinion. And as I have already mentioned, Kiss the Girls is kinda predictable. Forget the "twist". I'm talking about the whole story development. It's just too contemporary.
Overall, it's not a skip, it's not strongly recommended, but you could watch it if you're looking for a simple killer-detective-girl story.
In this modest enough psycho-thriller, once more Freeman plays a
policeman on the path of a perverse serial killer, and again the shade
is bottomless and the antagonist is ingenious and the atrocities are
intended to convey some sort of perverted meanings. Though as
commercial and formula-driven as it is, the movie's not a rehash but a
fertile piece, based on a Patterson book about a criminal who, the
Freeman character perceives, is not killing his quarries, but
accumulating them. Often said by moviegoers to be the actor whose
presence has the most authority of any of his generation, Freeman has
an exceptional bearing on the screen, a particular determination that
we believe. He never looks or sound like he's pretending. He never
gives a superficial, obvious or distracted impression, and even in
movies that aren't that good, he's not guilty by association: You feel
he's genuine even as a film may capsize around him.
Freeman plays Patterson's pet character Alex Cross, a forensic psychologist with the Washington, D.C., police, who becomes entrenched in a chain of kidnappings in North Carolina. When his own niece is taken, he flies there and calls on the police department, where he's kept waiting for hours until he ultimately barges into the office of the chief. The victims are being taken by a man who inscribes himself "Casanova," and one of his victims is found dead tied to a tree and "left for the critters to find." Cross questions why there aren't more bodies, and speculates that Casanova is a collector who kills only when he believes he needs to. His niece and her fellow captives must still be alive somewhere. His hypothesis is certified by what comes of extraordinarily sexy local doctor Ashley Judd, who also gives the sometimes humdrum drama a helping of forceful energy.
And what Freeman brings to all of his scenes is a really specific thoughtfulness. He doesn't just listen, he appears to cogitate what he is told, to gauge it. That masterful attribute begets a funny outcome, when other actors will tell him something and then stop to see if he trusts it. And Judd shows us such a boldly defined personality, which makes their dialogue scenes, after she's been developed for awhile, engrossing.
Kiss the Girls was directed by Gary Fleder, whose first feature, Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead, boasted skill but too much artifice. Here he's more careful and restrained, with a story where the shades and details are as chilling as anything else. Here as in Seven, we get a steady feeling of not being able to see everything we believe we want to, as in a chase through the woods which Fleder makes effectively tense through its efficient use of space, never revealing the distance between victim and pursuer.
When the film is over and we know all of its enigmas, there's one we'd like to know more about: What precisely are particulars of the histrionics between the two most nefarious characters? But being left with such a wringer is much more fulfilling in a way than being given the explanation in the conventional fast-sketch Freudian description. What we're also left with is the genuine feeling of having met two authentically defined people in the leads. Freeman and Judd are so good, you almost wish they'd chosen not to make a thriller at all, had just discovered a way to create a drama really sinking their teeth into their characterizations. All things considered, I would've preferred that movie.
I didn't really know much about this movie when I saw that it was coming on
HBO. I just decided "what the hell" and watched it. Besides, Morgan Freeman
is one of my favorite actors. After a few minutes of KISS THE GIRLS, I was
instantly glued to the television. It was pretty dark and very suspenseful,
but I truly liked it.
Dr. Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman), a psychologist/detective from Washington DC is sent to investigate a man known as "Casanova", who is kidnapping, imprisoning and occasionally torturing and killing beautiful women. His niece is among one of the kidnapped. Along with the help of Kate Mctiernan, (Ashley Judd) who escaped from the maniac, and Detective Nick Ruskin (Cary Elwes), Cross sets out to find and stop the murderer.
The plot is fascinating and will most likely keep you on the edge of your seat and holding onto the arm of your chair. The acting jobs are very good too. Some parts are very dark and a little disturbing, but it often only helps the story line. Morgan Freeman, as usual, does a great job as the main character. Ashley Judd and Cary Elwes also did impressive performances.
The ending of this movie is pretty good and rather surprising. Go out and rent this whenever you're in the mood for a little suspense, you won't be disappointed.
A killer known as 'Casanova' has kidnapped eight women and police
detective Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) must locate the hidden lair
before these women are cruelly killed. He has to work closely with Kate
McTiernan (Ashley Judd) the only person to escape from Casanova's lair,
and there is more at stake for Cross than he bargained for.
Freeman and Judd are brilliantly paired together, both delivering top performances in this tension filled mystery thriller.
A strong cast throughout, a cunning plot and a solid screenplay make this movie a thriller that is not to be missed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was an OK movie that could have been great. Morgan Freeman was fine as usual, but some of the other characters were poorly cast. I thought Ashley Judd was completely unbelievable as a surgeon/boxer/detective (sheesh!). By the way, how many delicately handed brain surgeons do you know that are also kick boxers? The whole movie had moments of disbelief and improbability. Why in the early scenes did the surgeon/kick boxer have a fish tank at the very foot of her staircase (which she subsequently crashed into after being chased by Casanova?). And how did the busy surgeon suddenly find time to tag along a police investigation? At the end, when Alex fires the shot, how come none of the cops outside the house come rushing in (or even before when all the commotion was going on)?
There were a few things that I really liked about this movie.
1.) Ashley Judd. She did a magnificent job in the role as Dr. Kate McTiernan. She played a smart, strong woman that remained tough and intelligent even when she was afraid and in danger, and at the same time she wasn't a super woman that had no weakness.
2.) The plot. Mystery/crime movies can get redundant, but I think the plot in this one was edgy enough to be a cut above the rest.
3.) The ebb and flow of the movie. As Dr. Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) did more uncovering you found out more. The pace was just right. It didn't go to slow so as to bog down and get boring, but it wasn't so fast so as to skip over important details and character development.
4.) Morgan Freeman. Does this guy ever go wrong? I don't think I have yet to see him in a movie of which I said: "Morgan what are you doing?". He is as class as they come with regards to acting.
I genuinely enjoyed this movie. I was captivated from beginning to end. There was plenty of suspense and mystery. The movie kept you guessing without giving anything away. All the lead actors did a wonderful job. Bravo.
Kiss the Girls is an excellent thriller! It has very good acting by cast! Morgan Freeman was great and Ashley Judd was very good! Brian Cox was good as well! I thought Cary Elwes was something else! The other cast members Alex McArthur, Tony Goldwyn, Jay O. Sanders, and Richard T. Jones were good. Is it Me or did he try to act and sound like Denzel Washington? Any way the movie is good and focuses on a great character named Alex Cross! In case you don't know there is another film that Morgan Freeman reprises his role as Alex Cross and its called Along Came A Spider! It is My favorite of the two but I am not saying that there is anything wrong with Kiss the Girls which is an excellent movie! I recommend you see both films!
The niece of a Washington, D. C., police psychologist disappears from
her campus in North Carolina. The psychologist (Freeman) goes down to
help out the local cops. Shortly, another young woman (Judd), an intern
at the local Regional Center is likewise kidnapped. We follow her story
as she is taken to an underground dungeon, drugged and bound and raped.
She escapes. Judd and Freeman join forces. They match the local
kidnappings, which sometimes end in murder, with others that seem to
follow the same pattern in California. They fly to California and
discover that a cosmetic surgeon who lives in Marina Del Ray (all L.A.
doctors live in Marina Del Ray) has ordered a huge supply of the rarely
used drug that was used on Judd during her captivity.
If you find this a little confusing, wait until you see the movie. The plot is not simply complicated, but riddled with lacunae. Unless I blinked at the wrong moment, the movie doesn't explain the relationship between the East Coast killer and the West Coast killer who is duplicating him. I also have no idea how the Eastern killer got hold of the same drug that the West Coast killer is using. And I don't understand why, just before they fly to L.A., Freeman rejects Judd's suggestion that they notify the F.B.I. It's impossible for anyone to know why, after Judd escapes from the killer's hideaway, she stumbles through perhaps 100 yard of forest then jumps into the river, and yet the police and the FBI still can't find the obvious superterranian entrance to the killer's lair. I mean, why couldn't they figure out that it must be located along a two or three miles stretch of the river, less than 100 yeard from the left bank? Why do they refer to benzodiazepines as "benzos" when docs call them "diazepines"? I don't know why the killers off some of the girls and preserve others. The first girl who is offed is Heidi Schanz. The killer deserves to be strung up by his Buster Browns for that. I don't care how many rules she's broken. No additional clarity is provided by the director, who seems to have found out that a camera can be hand held. And the editing introduces further murk. Quick cuts of Ashley Judd practicing her kick boxing in the dungeon, with an occasional brief shot of her doing nothing in particular. Irrelevant tanker trucks that zoom suddenly out of nowhere and almost run Freeman down at a tense moment.
Why go on? Some people will undoubtedly like it because watching it will be comforting. Like all rituals watching a variation on the serial killer theme may provide a fixed point in a changing and disappointing universe. Well, a chaque a son gout. I don't know how many times I've heard Stan Getz's solos with Woody Herman's band, but I could listen to them a hundred more times. Speaking of music, somebody plays a sprightly jig from a suite by Bach and later another piece. The first is really difficult. The violinist deserves a medal for introducing some unexpectedly fresh airs into an otherwise stale production.
A shame, too, because the leads are both imposing performers in their different ways.
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