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I regularly post TV reviews over at my blog, so check them out.
01 BoJack Horseman
05 The Good Wife
06 American Horror Story
07 Silicon Valley
01 Buffy the Vampire Slayer
04 Mad Men
05 Freaks and Geeks
06 Friday Night Lights
07 Six Feet Under
09 The Comeback
10 Dawson's Creek
30 Rock, Alias, Arrested Development, Better Off Ted, Boston
Legal, Charmed, The Comeback, Damages, Dollhouse, Don’t
Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, Eastbound and Down, Felicity,
Frasier, Fringe, Hannibal, How to Make It in America, In
Treatment, The L Word, Medium, Nip/Tuck, The Office, The
Others, Parks and Recreation, Popular, Pushing Daisies, Seinfeld,
The Simpsons (classic), Twin Peaks, Veronica Mars, Will &
Grace, The X-Files
03 Donnie Darko
04 The Station Agent
05 Into the Wild
06 Manhattan Murder Mystery
07 Hannah and Her Sisters
08 Kill Bill
09 Jurassic Park
10 Friends with Money
American Psycho, Best in Show, Boogie Nights, Cruel Intentions,
Dazed and Confused, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Election, The Faculty,
Far from Heaven, Freeway, Half Nelson, Heat, Heathers, Her, In the
Cut, Jackie Brown, The Lake House, The Last Days of Disco, Legally
Blonde, Magnolia, Manhattan, Metropolitan, A Mighty Wind, Mrs.
Doubtfire, Mulholland Drive, The Place Beyond the Pines, Rear
Window, Roger Dodger, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion,
Scream 2, Serendipity, Se7en, The Shining, Speed, Under the Skin,
Wet Hot American Summer, Zodiac
Basic Instinct 2 (2006)
Not the worst movie ever, but still a lazy and generic thriller
Catherine Tramell, Sharon Stone's icy, bisexual murder suspect from the classic '90s thriller Basic Instinct, is now living in London, where she undergoes therapy with a respected criminal psychologist (David Morrissey). Dr Michael Glass diagnoses Catherine as a sufferer of "risk addiction", while at the same time growing obsessed with his mysterious patient, who may be responsible for a series of murders.
Sharon Stone's sex appeal does not translate in this belated sequel. Don't get me wrong, this is not due to her age, but more the fact that she appears to be trying too hard to appear sexy. While the original film wrote Catherine as a manipulative, icy and irresistible temptress, similar characterization is ignored here, leaving Stone to stand around in revealing outfits and recite embarrassingly graphic dialogue. Then there's the constant filter on her face, as well as the volley-ball breast implants positioned so far apart that you can practically drive a car through her cleavage. If the film didn't go so far out of its way to make her appear young, she just might have gotten away with it.
The murder plot treads similar ground as the first film, even down to the positioning of the bodies (naked man in bed, somebody bleeding to death in a closed room). But unlike the original, the writers don't utilize Catherine's possible guilt well enough. Something about the whole character is phony, and she's definitely not the same woman we were introduced to in 1992. Despite her top billing, Stone disappears for long periods of time, leaving David Morrissey (adequate, but no Michael Douglas) to put the clues together and reach some kind of conclusion to the mystery.
Strangely for a movie claiming to be an erotic thriller, scenes of a sexual nature are few and far between. Even a trip to a sleazy London orgy comes off less as an arousing thrill and more pretty depressing, seeing Catherine reduced to underground bars and back-alleys to get her kicks. But, thinking about it, I guess that was what they were trying to do with the whole "risk addiction" thing.
In the end, Basic Instinct 2 is pretty desperate. Sharon Stone appears desperate to prove she is an attractive 40-something, the script features dialogue that doesn't even reach Joe Esterhazs quality, and the amount of phallic imagery (key-chain trinkets, giant penis buildings...) is pretty damn hilarious. When a trashy thriller like this fails in terms of both erotic thrills and genuine mystery, you know there's something seriously wrong.
The Daytrippers (1996)
An engaging detour from writer/director Greg Mottola
An engaging indie reminiscent of both Neil Simon and Woody Allen, The Daytrippers utilizes a strong cast as a family travel down literal avenues to unravel a mystery over fidelity.
Eliza (Hope Davis) is happily married to publisher Louis (Stanley Tucci), until she discovers a love letter that may or may not have been sent to him. Determined to find out the truth, she travels into the city to confront him, aided by her domineering mother (Anne Meara), subdued father (Pat McNamara), sister Jo (Parker Posey) and her novelist boyfriend Carl (Liev Schreiber).
The Daytrippers works best during moments with the Malone family together, from Eliza and Jo's sisterly bonding to mom Rita's fawning over Carl. The various derailments and subplots along the way are a mixed bag, the best allowing for some neat interludes from Marc Grapey as a sleazy womanizer, Marcia Gay Harden as a drunken party girl and Stephanie Venditto as a over-excited receptionist.
In terms of acting, Anne Meara steals the show as the fiery matriarch of the Malone family, while a lot of fun is created from Carl's episodic reciting of his novel, a pretentious story about a man with a dog's head. Parker Posey, as always, is also hilarious with her sarcastic gags and deadpan delivery.
Not particularly memorable but a movie that at least entertains throughout its short running time, The Daytrippers is an enjoyable melodrama strengthened by the realistic familial chemistry between the film's leads.
Imaginary Heroes (2004)
Sometimes impressive, but a film not without its faults
Another slice of darkness and denial hiding beneath the surface of American suburbia, Imaginary Heroes chronicles the lives of the Travis family, all recovering following the suicide of their eldest son.
The pair at the center of the film is mother and son Sandy (Sigourney Weaver) and Tim (Emile Hirsch), both acting out in different ways as a result of the death. While Tim experiments with prescription medication and his own sexuality, Sandy regresses to her former self, smoking marijuana and coming to terms with an old act of infidelity.
The relationship between Sandy and Tim is explored well, especially when references are made to both of them being outcast from their own family: Sandy due to her affair and Tim, initially, due to always being in the shadow of his more successful older brother. Considerably less time is allowed for Sandy's husband Ben (Jeff Daniels) who, in a devastating depiction of denial, orders Sandy to make an additional plate of food for his dead son and place it in his old spot at the dinner table. Michelle Williams' older sister Penny is underwritten and could easily be taken out of the film.
Despite its long runtime, Imaginary Heroes doesn't explore its many subplots as much as the individual stories deserve, while some of the movie's black comedy doesn't translate as well as writer/director Dan Harris may have liked. And the depiction of a disturbed family dynamic isn't depicted as strongly as the many other films out there with similar ideas. But despite some issues, the central performances from Weaver and Hirsch are stunning, and easily carry the film to its successfully subdued conclusion.
An unusual film that doesn't successfully work as a horror picture, thriller or family drama
Wendigo sees successful New York couple Kim and George McClaren (Patricia Clarkson and Jake Weber) moving out to the desolate country with their son Miles (Erik Per Sullivan) and crossing paths with the unusual and intimidating locals, in particular a man who menaces the family from the shadows and spies on the couple during sex. At the same time, Miles encounters a mysterious shaman who teaches him about a mythical monster known as a Wendigo.
Despite the gorgeous visuals and sinister score, it's hard to grasp what kind of film Wendigo is trying to be. There's an obvious sense of miscommunication in the family themselves, from George and Miles' fractured relationship to therapist Kim's strange treatment of her patients, while the friction between the family and the redneck locals produces some unease, but a lot of this goes nowhere. Fessenden creates some quiet tension through the ongoing appearance of bullets which appear to have been shot through the walls of the McClaren's new home, but subtle scares (which fit a movie with such a low budget) are foolishly replaced during the last twenty minutes by a monster that looks like it was made in a high school shop class.
While the film is easy to follow at the start, the final moments are a sea of vagueness and unanswered questions. Some viewers may enjoy the opportunity to come up with their own theories about the film, but presumably many will be disappointed. Wendigo looks great and it's unquestionably well acted (in particular by Clarkson, Weber and John Speredakos), but in the end it's an empty, unfocused film.