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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Michael Caton-Jones
Cast:
Sharon Stone, David Morrissey, Charlotte Rampling, David Thewlis, Hugh Dancy, Stan Collymore, Neil Maskell, Jan Chappell, Terence Harvey
Writing Credits:
Leora Barish, Henry Bean, Joe Eszterhas (characters)

Tagline:
Everything interesting begins in the mind.

Synopsis:
She captivated moviegoers with her raw sensuality and steel heart. Now Sharon Stone is back as the notorious crime novelist, Catherine Tramell. This time she proves to be respected criminal psychologist Dr. Michael Glass' (David Morrissey) deadliest challenge. With professional boundaries blurred by obsession, Dr. Glass is lured into a murderous web of lies and deceit and begins a torrid affair with Tramell that takes him to the point of no return. As their passions rise, so does the body count - and Dr. Glass faces a choice that will change his life forever.

Box Office:
Budget
$70 million.
Opening Weekend
$3.201 million on -unknown- screens.
Domestic Gross
$5.851 million.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 2.40:1/16x9
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Closed-captioned

Runtime: 116 min.
Price: $26.96
Release Date: 7/11/2006

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Michael Caton-Jones
• 9 Deleted Scenes and Alternate Ending with Optional Commentary
• “Between the Sheets: A Look Inside Basic Instinct 2” Featurette
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Basic Instinct 2: Unrated Extended Cut (2006)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 13, 2006)

From the very start, 2006’s Basic Instinct 2 felt like a vanity project for Sharon Stone. Her career has been pretty dormant for a while – God knows junk like 2004’s Catwoman sure didn’t help – so the time seemed right for Stone to appear in a sequel to her most famous flick, 1992’s Basic Instinct.

Unfortunately for her, audiences didn’t agree. Apparently no one wanted to see the further adventures of probable murderess Catherine Tramell, so Instinct 2 completely bombed. Its pathetic $5 million US gross didn’t exactly make Stone look like a hot property.

And that failure was well deserved, for Instinct 2 is a wholly dreadful movie. Tramell’s still a nut, as the opening scene illustrates when she crashes her car during a reckless sexual encounter. She leaves her partner (Stan Collymore) to drown, which probably isn’t the smartest move given her history. The authorities start an investigation and order a psychiatric evaluation.

For this they recruit Dr. Michael Glass (David Morrissey). He diagnoses her with a “risk addiction”: she can’t help but engage in dangerous behaviors to prove her own existence. This means she doesn’t get bail, but a technicality allows her to leave jail.

Eventually Tramell comes to Glass under the pretense that she seeks treatment. He initially declines due to ethical conflicts, but the sexy seductress lures him into her web and they begin treatment together. The movie follows their relationship via Glass’s growing obsession with Tramell.

Here’s all anybody really wants to know about Instinct 2: does Stone flash her privates again? After all, I doubt many would remember the original movie without that infamous crotch shot, so the few who felt curious about Instinct 2 wanted to find out if she’d reprise her vaginal exhibition.

The answer: nope. Oh, Stone shows some skin, particularly during her occasional sex scene. However, she fails to reprise her most famous flash, although she teases us with the prospect at times.

To some degree, Instinct 2 seems to exist as a monument to Stone’s physical preservation. It couldn’t exist if she hadn’t kept herself in good shape over the last 14 years. I don’t know how much of her appearance is real and how much is surgical, but I can’t deny that she looks pretty amazing for a woman of 48.

Too bad Stone expects her looks to do the acting for her. Stone’s performance exists solely as one-note piece of cattiness. She spits out lines and plays the vamp with nothing else on display. It becomes a plastic performance without anything beyond cartoonish elements.

At least Stone displays a pulse, which is more than I can say for her costar. Morrissey comes across as arguably the most milquetoast film presence ever. He’s kind of like a fourth-generation copy of Liam Neeson; he reminds me of that more famous actor but fails to display any of Neeson’s personality or character. Morrissey actively sucks the life out of any scene in which he appears. I’m surprised the film actually captured his image, as he’s a cinematic black hole.

The film clearly loses something without a strong male presence. The first movie functioned largely because Michael Douglas was a forceful lead, whereas Morrissey is just a nothing. I didn’t like the original, but at least it generated some heat between its leads. That never happens here.

Is there a story buried in here somewhere? It sure doesn’t feel like it. Things come across as an exceedingly thin plot that exists for more “riskiness”. The first film lacked anything more than campy thrills, but at least that made it vaguely watchable. Utterly predictable and terribly boring, Basic Instinct 2 is just a dull dud.


The DVD Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B-/ Bonus B

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.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5555 Stars Number of Votes: 27
85:
24:
1 3:
22:
141:
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main