Thursday, April 06, 2006

Adam Gets Sleazy With Basic Instinct 2
I love shitty movies.
Not that it's much of a surprise to people who know me. I'm one of the people who goes through the bargain bins at stores looking for DVDs of some weirdo slasher pic or erotic thriller with Michael Pare or Shannon Tweed in it. I'd consider myself a casual fan of Andy Sedaris. I even think fondly of most Skinemax content -- because most of it is just intentionally hilariously bad. But, I haven't partaken of something so gleefully, utterly devoid of value in a while.
Thank the cine-gods that I did.
Basic Instinct 2 is not a good movie. Let's get that out of the way. Do not go to it expecting to see something remotely watchable in the conventual sense.
Now, if you want to giggle at inappropriate moments throughout the movie, this is definitely the movie for you.
Sharon Stone returns in the role that made her a household name fourteen years ago, Catherine Tramell. Stone's fearless enough to get shot without a heavy filter at the age of 48, and doesn't look all that bad when she's not soaking wet and haggard. She shows plenty of skin this time around, so all her pilates and spinning and yoga and whatever the fuck else they're doing in Hollywood this week is paying off. Hell, I wish I looked as good last week.
David Morrissey, her male lead this time around, has all the acting skills of a ventriloquist dummy without the ventriloquist. However, I think the root cause of this problem is that Mr Morrissey is experiencing some intestinal discomfort and needs to take a big dump. If he unclenched for more than 3 seconds in the movie (his final 3 seconds on camera), I'd think he might have some sort of future in the movie industry. Oh, wait. Then I remembered him walking down a flight of stairs like some kind of doof and snapped out of it.
Charlotte Rampling and David Thewlis both deserve better than this mess. But, Rampling was in Zardoz and Thewlis was in the remake of The Island of Dr Moreau. So, they've both been in worse. And Heathcoate Williams' hair deserves some sort of prize of its own.
Plot? It's convoluted and rather stupid. Go figure. It's a sequel to a Joe Eszterehas project. His movies were always laden with sleaze and supposedly arcane but really inane twists. And yet, I was sad to see the son of a bitch die a few years back. He might have been a hack, but at least he was an entertaining hack.
The story goes thusly: Catherine kills (or does she?) a footballer (ignorant Yanqui pigdogs read that as "soccer player") and the police ask psychiatrist David Glass (David Morrissey, who has one less facial expression than Roger Moore) to assess her and determine if she's a threat to herself of society.
Blah blah blah, there's some mindfucking going on (or is there?). And, oddly for a Basic Instinct movie, there's a little bit of onscreen sex. Wasn't the original rated G, fer cryin' out loud? Oh, wait. It was Joe Esztrehas. My bad (or is it my bad?).
Blah blah blah. More people die. Everything points to Tramell. And yet, this supposedly very intelligent psychoanalyst who's being considered for a prestigious university chair just keeps making every stupid mistake he can. At least Michael Douglas' character in the original was a coke fiend and sex maniac so he'd have an excuse for being a moron.
There was a point in the movie, oddly a pivotal transition for Glass as well, where I stopped just being mildly amused by the movie and just started adoring it for its craptitude. Basic Instinct 2 sucks harder than a Tiajuana whore with a Hoover up her butt, and yet it's the most fun I've had in the theater so far this year.
Yeah, that's right. I had loads of fun with this abomination. Why? Because it's so hilariously over-the-top bad that it really deserves a special commentary track on the DVD by the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang.
Michael Caton-Jones, who either deserves credit or blame for directing this atrocity (depending on your point of view) has directed lots of better stuff before, including the wonderfully sleazy Scandal, the charming-but-vanilla Memphis Belle, and the affable Doc Hollywood. Of course, he's also the guy who brought us such drek as Rob Roy, the remake of The Jackal and the utterly mediocre City by the Sea. Considering the downward trend of Caton-Jones' work, I fully expect him to start work on a new Emmauelle TV series for Cinemax immediately.
I don't know that credited screenwriters Leora Barish (Desperately Seeking Susan) and Henry Bean (The Believer) are wholly responsible for this mess, but they deserve being pointed out as the authors of some of the most unintentionally hilarious dialogue I've heard in ages. I truly wish I could remember some of the lines that made me giggle so I could pass one or two along to tease you into the theater.
I know that the economy is tough. I know that money is tight. But, you can always do a matinee, or wait two weeks or so until it ends up at the dollar theater. But, if you like the banal as well as the beautiful, Basic Instinct 2 is one bad movie worth having some fun with.

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