Movies


UPCOMING IN THEATERS

BASIC INSTINCT 2

Directed by Michael Caton-Jones


Novelist Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) is once again in trouble with the law – this time in England. There’s a crime scene and her fingerprints are all over, so Scotland Yard appoints psychiatrist Dr. Andrew Glass (David Morrissey) to evaluate her. Though, like Detective Nick Curran before him, Glass is entranced by Tramell and lured into a seductive game.

Sharon Stone seems to carry this one alone and she’s a good enough actor (and sexy enough woman) to pull it off even if the script is not all it should be (and Joe Ezsterhas, one of Hollywood’s best screen writers, wrote the original Michael Douglas/Sharon Stone tango that spawned this sequel to which Ezsterhas gets source material credit and lot of money but didn’t write a single word).

I personally find English accents weak and the character of Glass even weaker because of the accent. (Sean Connery’s an exception, but he’s not actually English so his inflections are a lot more aggressive, too bad he isn’t in this movie, he might perk things up!)

Doesn’t seem like there’s much new here. Been there, done that, of course every movie with a Roman numeral after it tends to be like this! At least this franchise has Sharon Stone and except for the first movie she was in (a Steven Segal film) where she was horribly miscast as a tearful wife (they should have made her the bad guy), Stone’s sultry style always wins over a loyal audience.

The film opens up in time for Spring Break season on March 31 from M-G-M, Sony Releasing and C-2 Pictures. Click below to see the trailer.

Basic Instinct 2 Trailer

M.I.3

Director J. J. Abrams

Speaking of franchises with Roman Numerals that all look the same, one of my favorites, Mission Impossible, returns to the big screen with Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, Ving Rhames who co-starred with Cruise in M.I. and M.I.2, plus Academy Award winner Seymour Hoffman as the villian, along with Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Monaghan and Keri Russell.

There have been a lot of problems and delays, including the writing and directing. Cruise and his producing partner Paula Wagner picked TV’s J. J. Abrams (“Alias” and “Lost”) to re-write and direct this action flick which will not have as much mindless, blazing action as the first two (darn)!

Set for release this summer as one of the many, many hopeful “blockbusters” that will drive people out of the blazing hot sun (up here into the North) into those A/C multiplexes (or drive the freezing people down in the Southern hemisphere into the cinema for warmth)...

ON DVD AND VHS

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE

Directed by Mike Newell

Number four in the franchise returns the franchise closer to the roots that began when Potter (Daneil Radcliffe) and his chums at wizard school started (everyone I talked to who saw number 3 thought it was way too dark and dreary, glad I missed it).

There’s no “home” in this one (good, I never liked the at home stuff) it starts off with a dream sequence in which Harry is having recurring nightmares. Then we get into the main plot which is about a contest between the three local wizard schools, one is an all girls school, the other is apparently an all boys school run by someone reminiscent of Ivan the Terrible. Harry’s school, although lacking in black people, is stocked with more diverse students who seem to come from around the world and are made up of both sexes.

Of course Harry is not yet aware of gender (as a female friend of mine who likes the series observed, he still things of Hermione as “one of the boys”) but this one’s sub plot of a school dance certainly puts him on the spot. The shaved headed Russianesque hunk (who all the girls like and I can’t quite see why as he’s a tad on the stocky side) has Hermione as his date. The girl that eventually catch’s the eye of Harry gets asked by him far too late as she already has a date. That’s ok, it all works into the main plot of the contest, which is forbidden to anyone younger than 16.

Three students get picked by the “fire” (they all drop in their names, if they dare, to enter the competition) when a fourth one pops out and it’s 14 year old Harry, who denies entering.

Watching out for Harry as he gets ready for each step of the Triwizard Tournament is Hermonie (who makes it quite plain to any dolt she cares about him more than as a chum) and Ron. A new arrival at the school, Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, the eccentric new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor is also asked to watch over Potter.

In this installment Harry also learns more about evil Lord Voldemort, whose followers, the Death Eaters, who haven't dared to appear in public since Voldemort was last seen thirteen years ago--the night he murdered Harry's parents, make a publish showing at a festival. We also get a hint of what is to come in the next installment.

Filled with twists and turns we didn’t expect (although should have, given the glimpses and clues throughout the plot of the movie) this is a good installment, although it still doesn’t come up to the excitement of the first in the series, which everyone rates as the best of the lot.

-- E.R.D.

 


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