Basic Instinct 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The DVD offered a rather average transfer.
For the most part, sharpness seemed fine. The image turned somewhat soft in the occasional wide shots, partially due to the presence of edge enhancement. Nonetheless, the majority of the flick displayed reasonably good delineation. No jagged edges or shimmering occurred. The movie lacked source flaws, though it appeared a bit noisier than I expected.
Instinct 2 went with a very subdued palette. It mainly stayed with bland earth tones, so these didn’t exactly tax the abilities of the DVD format. The tones looked rather bland by design, though I thought they were flatter than they needed to be. Blacks tended to be acceptable if somewhat lackluster as well, while shadows were reasonably clear and visible. This was a watchable transfer but not anything special.
Nothing exciting came out via the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Basic Instinct 2 either. The soundfield provided a general sense of atmosphere without much else to make it stand out from the crowd. Street scenes included the most active information as they created a reasonable sense of ambience, and some club sequences opened up matters via booming music. Otherwise, this was a pretty laid-back track that formed a soundscape without much ambition.
At least audio quality remained strong. Speech was always natural and concise, and I noticed no signs of edginess or other problems. Music was clear and bold, while effects appeared accurate and full. This was a nondescript mix but not a problematic one.
A few extras round out the package. We find an audio commentary with director Michael Caton-Jones. He provides a running, screen-specific piece. Caton-Jones digs into expected topics such as how he took on the project, English locations and sets, the challenges connected to making a sequel, the cast and working with them, camerawork and editing, shooting the sex scenes, music, and character/theme issues.
Despite my dislike of the movie, I think Caton-Jones provides a pretty good look at his work. Of course, he seems much more satisfied with the film than I am, but at least that gives us a different vantage point. Caton-Jones offers a nice examination of the production in this generally solid chat.
Nine Deleted Scenes and an Alternate Ending fill a total of 16 minutes, 59 seconds. These include “Catherine Reminisces” (3:05), “Michael Arrives at the Clinic” (0:33), “Michael Meets Milena” (0:54), “Waiting for Dr. Glass” (1:05), “Michael Watches Catherine” (1:09), “Michael Discusses With Milena” (0:42), “Catherine Arrives Drenched” (4:55), “Catherine Entices Milena” (2:06), “Lt. Phil Walker” (1:31) and “Alternate Ending” (0:59).
With these clips, we get some of the silliest deleted scenes ever put on display. “Reminisces” is particularly absurd as Catherine talks about her earliest sexual encounter. As bad as the dialog in the movie becomes, these pieces are much worse. Virtually all of the cut sequences that feature interaction between Catherine and Stone suffer from this idiocy.
The others tend toward plain exposition and don’t give us much we don’t already know. As for the alternate ending, it’s a dud. It doesn’t vary much from the existing conclusion and lacks merit as a different view of things.
We can watch the scenes with or without commentary from Caton-Jones. He gives us some basic notes about the clips and lets us know why he cut them – usually. He omits that information for a few of the snippets. Still, he generally does his job as he gives us decent commentary. I do like his remark at one point that Sharon Stone’s outfit and hairdo makes her look like “the kid from Lord of the Rings”, meaning Orlando Bloom. He’s right!
An 11-minute and seven-second featurette called Between the Sheets: A Look Inside Basic Instinct 2 comes next. It includes movie clips, glimpses behind the scenes, and interviews. We hear from Caton-Jones, producers Mario Kassar and Joel Michaels, location manager Keith Hatcher, production designer Norman Garwood, supervising art director Chris Lowe, assistant location manager Charlie Somers, 1st AD/production manager Terry Bamber, and actors David Morrissey, David Thewlis, Sharon Stone, Charlotte Rampling, and Stan Collymore. The featurette examines the film’s path to production and the sequel’s goals, characters and story, setting the flick in London and shooting there, stunts, the cast and the director, and a few scene specifics.
I hoped “Sheets” might offer something more than the standard promotional affair. It did exceed those simple standards, though not by a ton. We find a reasonably interesting glimpse of the set and various challenges. The show still exists to tout the flick, so don’t expect great depth. That said, it’s better than average for its genre.
At the start of the disc, we get a collection of ads. These include clips for Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Friends With Money and Silent Hill. Those three also appear in the Previews domain along with promos for Marie Antoinette, Art School Confidential, Freedomland, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Hollow Man 2, I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, Cirque Du Soleil: Lovesick, The Boondocks, Showgirls, and Blue Velvet. No trailer for Instinct 2 appears here.
After a 14-year wait, the moronic mush of Basic Instinct 2 was the best they could offer? The film does virtually nothing right and becomes far too boring to keep us even vaguely interested across its running time. The DVD presents mediocre picture and audio along with a decent set of extras. This is an average DVD for a terrible flick.