Basic Instinct 2
Say what you want about how terrible this movie is, but at least Sharon Stone still makes an effort to look sexy. The woman must be nearing 50, but clearly finds time during her busy schedule to get to the gym. I know women twenty years younger that can’t be bothered to even wear their hair in anything but the most unflattering ponytail. Women who wear the same raggedy, shapeless, terrycloth robe to bed every night, then have the audacity to complain about a lack of romance in the relationship. Well, I’ve got news for those women: It’s a two-way street, sister! Try wearing a pair of high heels and a dress that doesn’t look like a cross between a potato sack and an art smock for once in your life. Then maybe you’ll get your precious romance. Basic Instinct 2 is rated R for nudity, violence, and language.
Spike Lee turns in his most commercial film to date with this taut, well-executed thriller about an unconventional bank heist. Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, and Clive Owen all turn in solid, if not great, performances. But let me say this, if I were one of the thieves in this movie, I wouldn’t even bother trying to rob a bank. Instead, I’d marry the features editor of my college newspaper and convince him against his will to move to the suburbs, where I would try my hand at a few unsuccessful careers, including, but not limited to, opening a beaded jewelry store (for Christ’s sake). I’d nag him until his hair fell out, then divorce him ten years later just as he’s trying to get his book published, and run off with his agent. Yeah, that’s what I would do. Newcomer Chiwetel Ejiofor does an excellent job as Washington’s partner.
Ice Age: The Meltdown
Ice Age 2 is the rare sequel that outdoes the original, mostly thanks to the surprising chemistry between Ray Romano and Queen Latifah, who voice Manny and Ellie, two wooly mammoths in love, respectively. Luckily for Manny and Ellie, they are the last two wooly mammoths on earth, which means that they don’t have to deal with a lazy brother-in-law who borrows money to start a motorcycle dealership, then proceeds to drive the business directly into the ground because he doesn’t know the first thing about tax codes or building permits. And prehistoric mammoths certainly didn’t have to subject themselves to all manners of invasive, humiliating, not to mention expensive, testing of their sperm, only to have the female mammoth suddenly decide that she doesn’t want children anymore because she needs to focus on another one of her ridiculous careers. Or maybe they did. I wouldn’t know since I’m told I’m “not a good listener.” Ice Age: The Meltdown delivers equal parts humor and heart. Don’t miss it.
“ATL” is the local shorthand for “Atlanta,” the Southern city in which this coming-of-age story takes place. ATL the movie, not the city, is long on style, but short on substance. It revolves loosely around a group of teenage boys that spend the majority of their time down at their local roller rink trying to meet girls. Good Lord, I loved this movie. I couldn’t help but approach the screen and place my hand on it, wishing in vain to somehow enter this world of carefree youthfulness. At the very least, I wanted to whisper to the characters, “Don’t let go of this place. Hold on to it with all that you’ve got. For youth is but a fleeting stop-over on the road of life, to which we can never return.” I don’t know how the movie ended since security asked me to leave because I was weeping so loudly, but I still feel pretty confident recommending it.
New to DVD this week: Brokeback Mountain
Really, who can blame them?