Reviews written by registered user
|6 reviews in total|
It seems that it is becoming fashionable to rip "Basic Instinct 2," to
the point that a significant part of the audience (including critics)
found it terrible even before it was released. It seems even more
fashionable to trash Sharon Stone wholike all of usis now fourteen
years older, andunlike most of usstill looks wonderful. First
comments on this movie were so vicious that I had to see for myself. In
my opinion, this sequel is not nearly as good as the original film, but
is not as bad as most comments pretend. Michael Caton-Jones is not Paul
Verhoeven, neither Henry Bean and Leora Barish are Joe Eszterhas.
"Basic Instinct 2" is just an entertaining, average thriller, and
besides the addition of Jerry Goldsmith original score, keeps little
resemblance to its predecessor. Even Stone gives her character a
different dimension, creating a lustful, devilish Catherine Trimell,
who can perfectly well rank among other monsters like Hannibal Lecter.
She is an intelligent actress who is not afraid of taking risks and can
play with camp at her leisure. Unfortunately, she seems to be the main
target for those who enjoy trashing this flick. She became too
successful, too much of a main icon, and like all those actors who have
reached that level, her time has arrived and she is now bound to be
destroyed by Hollywood audiences.
The rest of the cast is outstanding, giving performances that are far better than the material deserves. David Morrissey is a much better actor and by far more interesting than Michael Douglas: his acting is flawless, giving a dense, complex dimension to an otherwise one dimensional character. Since he has more screen time and is the axis of the movie, he can keep your attention from beginning to end.
I am not recommending "Basic Instinct 2" as a great movie; I am just expressing my disagreement with most of the comments on this site and my conviction that agendas other than the movie itself are shaping the opinion of most spectators.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A surprisingly good ending and the presence of Aline Küppenheim almost
redeem this pathetic Chilean export, but you need to endure ninety
minutes of uneven fluctuations among pedantic "artsy-fartsy' scenes and
several sequences that sink into plain stupidity. This flick tries hard
to reach a "primer-mundista" cinematic status, using every single
cliché we have already seen too many times in European and American
Independent Cinema, since Lelouch to Tarantino and younger independent
film directors. It is not the process of appropriation of foreign
artistic devices towards the creation of an own, original cinematic
discourse. This is just pure imitation, a desperate "North American/
European art movie wannabe," that gives the "old fashioned," "non
postmodern" concept of underdevelopment another meaning.
All sequences are very well packed: Sebastián Muñoz main concern is to make everything look pretty, designing a Santiago that looks like a sophisticated boutique, a delight for any international travel agency (his shots of Santiago's skyline are quite successful in making them look than any large city in Europe and the United States). Even when his director/scriptwriter descend with him for a few minuteslike the central characterto the ugly/old/poor parts of the city, their elitist, pedantic gaze offers a "disinfected," retouched image of the low classes, so it would not stain this huge strawberry cheesecake they are selling for the exportation. They would do right in Vogue Magazine, Travelocity, or Mega-Vision.
The worst part of this flick is the script. With very few exceptions, it is an unfocused combination of sequences that alternate between the perfunctory and plain stupidity. There are, although, a few interesting moments (like Alejandro Sieveking's short scene), good ideas for TV film clips, but they vanished among the overwhelming rubbish that surrounds them. The "lost briefcase" that serves as an axis to bring different characters together has already been used and abused and this Chilean produce that not offer any new, interesting variation of it. Furthermore, it does not work since the movie is totally unfocused at least for it first 90 minutes. The final scene at the hospital has a smart turn and saves this saga from a total disaster, but cannot bring all this chaos together. A short movie of 20 to 25 minutes around this ending might have worked better. Alice Scherson has in fact some talent, but it is too self-indulgent and downright pedantic. She is too superficial, heavy handed and lacks the intelligence needed to elaborate a project of this scope and complexity. "Play" is just a pretty exercise on emptiness.
Main characters are totally misconceived. Cristina Llancaqueo, supposedly a Southern Chilean of indigenous origins, actually looks like a clone bought at the Parque Arauco. Besides being a total one-dimensional, unsympathetic character, it is performed by Viviana Herrera whose lack of talent and charisma makes her part even more unbelievable. It is a real torture to follow her throughout the movie. Andres Ulloa's character is such a lame, uninteresting jerk and the actor so flat, self-conscious and inept, that here is no reason for anyone to follow him even for five minutes. Aline Küppenheim is totally wasted in a totally contrived, superficial character.
There are other sub-plots that are either lost in the script's holes or remain as totally perfunctory additions. Coca Guazzini is always a pleasure to see, but her affair with an Argentine magician and her relation with her son (Ulloa) would be more adequate for a TV soap-opera. Cristina's (Herrera) romance with a gardener ( who looks like a Falabella or Almacenes Paris model just leaving a beauty salon) is totally embarrassing, getting even worse when he, just out of the blue, decides to leave everything in beautiful Santiago to go live with her in the "poor, humid, depressing, bad smelling" Chilean South.
This is obviously a movie for the exportation, with an eye on an Oscar. It may reach far due to the North-American paternalism towards these kind of "efforts" and because is an attractive, well packed commodity (a triumph for globalization and neo-liberal high middle class in Chile and abroad). It is also the big lie that unfortunately most people want to believe.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
My first feeling was that I had already seen this kind of stuff too
many times already and much better (even in TV). Although the cast was
good (most of them deserve better), characters were so unconvincing and
the dialog so cheesy that it was impossible to feel any sympathy for
them. It is the typical script written with old recipes in the hands of
an inept, extremely heavy handed director. Every scene was irritably
predictable, except when towards the ending, the film goes overboard,
with a total misfired "tour de force." I am sure that this flick will
be very successful among family values audiences and the final bloody
and extremely severe beating that the gay character gets from his
'straight' friend would be a real treat for hate and neo-Nazis
I am not giving a 1/10 rating out of respect for the actors (the only reason that I saw this TV produce until the end): I feel sorry for some of them.
'Hollywoodesque' ending derails this otherwise great movie, that had
the potential of becoming a masterpiece. The first 60 minutes or so are
intelligent, thought-provoking, and extremely well crafted:
cinematography at its very best. Unfortunately, all expectations it had
been rising collapse when TV/American Action Movie gimmicks make their
omnipotent presence, sending all this promising project to hell (expect
to find everything you have already seen so many times on TV or
This is a disappointment of the worst kind. I do not give this fiasco just 1 point in consideration for the quality of its first part. Was the director's fault? The producers? Or it is just that the Hollywood virus is reaching all over the world?
With his first effort "El Mariachi," Rodriguez emerged as an interesting, audacious young director. When Hollywood considered him marketable and gave him lots of money, he made a big disappointment: "Desperado." "From Dust to Dawn" was even worse. It seemed that Rodriguez had nothing to offer except mediocre, derivative recycling of all kinds of Hollywood cliches. Rodriguez was having his own trip, finally been able to reproduce all the trash he saw in commercial mainstream productions. Guitars transforming in machine guns were fun the first time, but like a child, he repeated the same joke over and over again, making everybody upset. We felt like tell him: "Enough, Bobby Rodriguez! It is not fun anymore! Quit!." "The Faculty" recorded a new low on his career. I refused to see the "Spy Kid" trilogy, but I went to see this last one because of the impressive cast and for all the hype built around it. Well, it was a painful and embarrassing experience to realize that Rodriguez has neither talent nor intelligence whatsoever. Even worse, he shows total ignorance about his own culture, western tradition, and cinema in general. He has nothing to offer: deep on his mind there is a total vacuum. Some people defend this flick arguing that he intended a parody. Well I know a lot of parody and intertextuality: this flick was just processing left over food that had been recycled, reheated and your stomach may not be able to process. Rodriguez should go directly to TV commercials (Pepsi, ChiChi's or Taco Bell): he would do right on that area. The only redeemable thing in this flick was Johnny Depp's performance. The rest should go right to the trash can. "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" is one of the biggest bombastic fiascos we have witnessed during the last years. Everything is total clumsiness and stupidity from beginning to end. Much worse than other BOMBS like "Gigli," this moronic product is a serious contender for worst movie ever.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Why Mike Figgis is directing a movie like this? The answer could be the obvious one: after some many interesting cinematographic experiments he needed the money to keep on working on films of his own. "Cold Creek Manor" adds nothing to an old formula for large audiences, but it is very well done and has some original touches. Mike Figgis direction is flawless, keeping always the attention and mantaining his work at a good cinematographic level. The cast is good, although Juliette Lewis is wasted in a character that evaporates troughout the movie. Quaid and Stone did a good job as expected. Stephen Dorff gave the strongest performance (I will not tell more to avoid spoilers). Although this is a movie that will not become a classic as a thriller, it is worth seeing. In fact, much better than most of the crap we had to endure during the Sumer Silly Season. ENRIQUE-3 (also Giordaen, Giordae).