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Terminator Salvation Review


Grim
Sound and fury overpower story in Terminator Salvation, which applies big-budget defibrillator paddles to the hulking franchise but can't breathe fresh life into the now 25-year-old concept.

That's how long we've been hearing about humanity's war against the machines, a battle James Cameron first initiated in 1984 when he sent Arnold Schwarzenegger back in time to terminate an unsuspecting Linda Hamilton. Armageddon was averted, then later triggered, in subsequent sequels before arriving at Salvation. But our predestined, apocalyptic future looks a lot like products from Hollywood's past. Specifically, imagine the love child of Mad Max and The Matrix as delivered by Michael Bay, and you're beginning to get this picture.

Continue reading: Terminator Salvation Review

Basic Instinct 2 Review


Terrible

Paul Verhoeven, director of the original Basic Instinct, must be great in bed. The women in his films attest to this assumption. They don't just make love - they soar athletically about bedrooms and swimming pools. They don't simply orgasm - they erupt, cascade and convulse. Who can forget the otherwise forgettable Elizabeth Berkeley's rodeo pool ride atop the bucking and bullish Kyle Maclachlan in Verhoeven's surrealistically brilliant Showgirls? And no man could etch from his memory the opening of the original Basic Instinct - where a woman reaches such a state of thrill in conjugation that with her climax comes the crushing force of an ice pick into her partner's chest. Quite a release! If art imitates life and artists draw from experience, Verhoeven clearly has another skill set somewhat more impressive than his directorial abilities. Verhoeven's energy, his thrust if you will, informs Basic Instinct 2, a sequel he wisely chose to avoid.

In the tradition of hyperbolic orgasms, the opening of Basic Instinct 2 finds us in a car with Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) pleasuring herself with the hand of a drugged passenger while speeding through the streets of central London. Howling to her peak, Tramell drives the car through a roadblock and into the Thames. She survives. Her passenger does not. The accident and its involvement with popular author Tramell becomes a sensation and a mystery to the bottom of which detective Washburn (David Thewlis), a hard-worn London cop, seems unusually desperate to get. Tramell, in the course of the investigation, is sent to visit Dr. Michael Glass (David Morrissey) in order to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. As those viewers of the first film know, an interview with Tramell is no tame affair; an immediate attraction grows between doctor and patient that will end inevitably in blood, tears, and plenty of the good stuff that defined Verhoeven's earlier film.

Continue reading: Basic Instinct 2 Review

Basic Instinct 2 Review


Terrible
Paul Verhoeven, director of the original Basic Instinct, must be great in bed. The women in his films attest to this assumption. They don't just make love - they soar athletically about bedrooms and swimming pools. They don't simply orgasm - they erupt, cascade and convulse. Who can forget the otherwise forgettable Elizabeth Berkeley's rodeo pool ride atop the bucking and bullish Kyle Maclachlan in Verhoeven's surrealistically brilliant Showgirls? And no man could etch from his memory the opening of the original Basic Instinct - where a woman reaches such a state of thrill in conjugation that with her climax comes the crushing force of an ice pick into her partner's chest. Quite a release! If art imitates life and artists draw from experience, Verhoeven clearly has another skill set somewhat more impressive than his directorial abilities. Verhoeven's energy, his thrust if you will, informs Basic Instinct 2, a sequel he wisely chose to avoid.

In the tradition of hyperbolic orgasms, the opening of Basic Instinct 2 finds us in a car with Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) pleasuring herself with the hand of a drugged passenger while speeding through the streets of central London. Howling to her peak, Tramell drives the car through a roadblock and into the Thames. She survives. Her passenger does not. The accident and its involvement with popular author Tramell becomes a sensation and a mystery to the bottom of which detective Washburn (David Thewlis), a hard-worn London cop, seems unusually desperate to get. Tramell, in the course of the investigation, is sent to visit Dr. Michael Glass (David Morrissey) in order to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. As those viewers of the first film know, an interview with Tramell is no tame affair; an immediate attraction grows between doctor and patient that will end inevitably in blood, tears, and plenty of the good stuff that defined Verhoeven's earlier film.

Continue reading: Basic Instinct 2 Review

I Spy Review


Unbearable
I Spy is based on a popular 1960s television show by the same name where two mismatched spies, one white (Robert Culp) and one black (Bill Cosby), engage in wild antics to fight evil around the world. For a series during the middle of the civil rights era, it was considered groundbreaking. Unfortunately, the movie version completely disrespects this inventiveness of the original series. In fact, the movie is thoroughly insulting.

Owen Wilson is Alex Scott, a second-rate super-spy for the BNS (think CIA, I guess), who is always relegated to the department's least desirable assignments. Other BNS spies, like the suave Bond-like Carlos (Gary Cole), are equipped with the most sophisticated spy tools and receive the most attractive jobs. Scott's newest mission though, requires him to travel to Budapest, Hungary with beautiful fellow agent Rachel Wright (Famke Janssen) to prevent the sale of an invisible stealth spy plane. Some of the world's worst criminals have gathered in Budapest for a party sponsored by criminal mastermind Gundars (Malcolm McDowell). He plans to sell this plane during the celebration for an upcoming boxing match, which happens to involve the wildly flamboyant American featherweight boxing champion Kelly Robinson (Eddie Murphy). The BNS officials recruit Robinson to help Scott and Wright get into the party and accomplish their mission.

Continue reading: I Spy Review

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines Review


Good
When Arnold Schwarzenegger first uttered, "I'll be back," nearly 20 years ago, someone should have asked him, "How many times?" Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines marks Arnie's third go-round as the futuristic cyborg, and tweaks the formula just enough to keep us entertained.

Already, T3 has a strike against it. Sequels with "Three" in the title tend to reek, from The Godfather: Part III to Jaws 3-D. Strike two comes in the form of high expectations. Twelve years ago, James Cameron raised the bar with Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a superior sequel and a long-standing leader in the high-tech special effects field. The shoes director Jonathan Mostow (U-571) was asked to fill look mighty big.

Continue reading: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines Review

Lolita (1997) Review


Grim
A kind-of crummy remake of Kubrick's classic, this Lolita has are young heroine as a real slut. Who wouldn't want a piece of that? Avoid and go for the original.

Rambo III Review


Grim
Regardless of how you feel about the First Blood series, you have to hand it to Rambo III for pulling off one of the most inventive title switcheroos in Hollywood history. How's that? The movies go from First Blood to Rambo: First Blood Part II, to Rambo III. Shouldn't this be Rambo II? It's enough to make a Vietnam vet's head spin!

In this final entry into the incredibly profitable, gory, and mumbletastic Rambo series, Sylvester Stallone has traded writing partner James Cameron for Sheldon Lettich (of such films as Bloodsport), and his hair is so long he can barely see through his bangs. Good thing he's got that headband to keep it out of his face.

Continue reading: Rambo III Review

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