Blindspot 2017: Basic Instinct (1992)

basic instinct

Plot: A violent, suspended police detective investigates a brutal murder, in which a manipulative and seductive woman could be involved. 

 I had a vague, vague idea what this film was about. Turns out it was so vague it was barely an idea. I was expecting some mildly sexy murder drama. MY POOR EYES. It is just wild sex and murder and flashing vaginas everywhere. Did I like it? I’m actually not even sure. Objectively thinking I know it was a good thriller. It is shocking to behold. I can’t help but be of the opinion that the films that are currently being produced is relatively tame compared to some of these classics. My benchmark up to here for risqué old school thrillers had been Cruel Intentions, but after watching Basic Instinct Cruel Intentions is a Disney animation comparatively.

 Excellent writing, acting and directing makes sure neither the watcher nor the investigators know whether Catherine Tramell is guilty of the brutal slaughtering of her lover. She’s cold and brilliant. It is excellent work by Sharon Stone, who is a master of manipulating her emotions on screen – she’s cold and distant, overtly sexual, sweet and charming and devastated at the snap of her fingers, expertly bringing Catherine to life in a way few other actresses would have been able to.

 BASIC INSTINCT

Michael Douglas is the male protagonist who you aren’t ever sure is a protagonist. He’s a cop with questionable ethical values, a heavy drinker and recreational drug user who seems to have a habit of accidentally shooting people. His addictive personality is activated after meeting Catherine and he becomes obsessed with her on multiple levels. Only someone with a damaged psyche would even go close to such a person as Catherine, and that is great insight on his character.

 I enjoyed the tone of the film as well. It is a slow paced thriller with a soundtrack that suits every scene, with great cinematography. Director Paul Verhoeven is a good with creating atmosphere. The perpetual dread and distrust Detective Curren experiences is portrayed well to the audience.

 Basic Instinct is a shocker of a film and was clearly desired to be. Sharon Stone is a standout performer as this film and it is clear to see why it has become such an iconic role. I was really disturbed and shocked. It is not easy watching and will stay with you for quite a while (it is STILL with me and I watched this the beginning of April!). As for the Blindspot selections, it is worthy if only for being thought provoking and I can finally say I’ve seen it. Have you seen Basic Instinct? Let me know what you thought!

 Rating: a traumatized 7/10

Watched, Read, Loved: April 2017

April is the best month for South-Africa. Seriously – we have so many public holidays people are actually nice to each other. I took off a chunk of time as well, and it did me the world of good. I actually got some sleep in, saw my bestie and watched some amazing films. Without further ado, here is my rundown of April 2017.

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Movies:

BEauty poster

Beauty and the Beast (2017): The painful excitement that came when I heard they were doing a live animation of my favorite Disney classic was excruciating. Would it work? Would it fail? The QUESTIONS that plagued me.Additionally, B&B was released in South-Africa later than the rest of the world because of South-Africaitis, and there were conflicting reports to be read. Anyway, grabbing popcorn and sitting down to see this was really wonderful. I liked it, and will watch it again. I had Gaston stuck in my head for a week. I better not hear that tune soon.

One day

One Day (2011): HATED IT.

basic instinct

Basic Instinct(1992): This is part of my Blindspot 2017 series. This year I am doing remarkably well with it, because Zoë and I watched a bunch of them in December because #besties. Basic Instinct is next on the list and quite the shocker. OMFG my poor eyes.I might never recover.

Anywhere but home (2008): I thought this comedy was quite funny the second time around (I know I’ve seen this before but I can barely remember it). It’s also titled “Four Christmases”. I’ve never understood exactly why some movies get two titles. Anyway, if you can believe that someone like Reese Witherspoon would end up with someone like Vince Vaughn, you can get through the movie. It has some funny moments, and sure they are the typical things you’d expect, but they are funny regardless.

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Twilight: New Moon (2009): I’ve been meaning to blog about Twilight as a set for ages now. I did Twilight (2008) easily, but had a couple of months delay by what succeeds it. New Moon is the most insufferable – both book and movie – but I sat through it eventually.

Eclipse

Twilight: Eclipse (2010): Eclipse is a strong successor and definitely superior to the ghastly New Moon. Edward is still an obsessive stalker, Bella is still pathetic, R. Patz and Kristen Stewart still can’t act. But decisively better than the infuriating New Moon.

Safe Haven (2013): The casting for Nicholas Sparks film is never specified for acting abilities. I guess the author/filmmaker knows his audience too well, and knows if he provides enough pretty people the film will be acceptable to his fans. He’s not wrong. I enjoyed Safe Haven and the acting is really better than the acting in The Lucky One. The kids were cute and the story was okay.

Hes-Just-Not-That-Into-You-2009

He’s just not that into you (2009): I always enjoy watching HJNTIY. My brother-in-law did not appreciate us making him watch it though, telling me that it is not also a guy-friendly film as I initially thought.

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Warm Bodies (2013): I just love this film. Nicholas Hoult is a zombie, and when he eats the brains ofTeresa Palmer’s boyfriend, he starts seeing some memories and slowly returns to human form. The cast, led by Hoult, are all quite charming and for a story that shouldn’t work it works really well.

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The DUFF (2015):yes, I watched it again. One of my favorite films at the moment. Such hilarity.lethal weapon

Lethal Weapon 1 (1987) & Lethal Weapon 2 (1989):
It was my first time around watching this buddy-cop series, and I really enjoyed it. The 1980’s were a glorious time to be alive obviously!

Blood wars

Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)

SO SLOPPY.

chef

Chef (2014): Chef is a film about good food and happy endings, and well deserved of its’ praise. I really quite liked this film!

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Arrival (2016): My review will be up next week. I loved this. Handsdown one of the finest films of 2016.

Drive

Drive (2011): I remember enjoying Drive the first time around, but I really couldn’t remember everything about it. I enjoyed it so much this time too, it is a phenomenal film and some of Gosling’s best work.

The guest

The Guest (2014): This film has a lot of science reasons it works well to the appreciative eye, but I can tell you that I would have loved it without the science too. Gorgeous directing, a solid plot and excellent score, this film is a great film to watch again and again.

Prisoners-E invite R2

Prisoners (2013): Prisoners currently ranks as my least favorite Villeneuve film. It is on no level a poor film, it was just not my favorite of his. And it is five hundred hours long. *Scientific fact*

PPZ

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016):

I can watch this movie indefinitely. It is the best!

CSL

Crazy Stupid Love (2011): I definitely need to review this film again – It has been ages since I’ve posted it on my blog. One of the most inoffensive romantic comedies produced in later years, this movie will make you laugh and relate with some character in here.

Nocturnal animals

Nocturnal Animals (2016): This is my new hated film. Gosh, what a spectacular waste of my life. Pretentious bullshit.

 

books

Black-Hills

Black Hills – Nora Roberts

This is a particular favorite book of mine. I enjoy Dr. Lillian Chance – she is passionate about her work in the refuge she built and is smart and cool.

born-in-shame

The Concannon Sisters trilogy – Nora Roberts

While I do enjoy this series of books – Born in Shame, Born in Ice and Born in Fire, they certainly aren’t my favorite of the author. However, her love for Ireland does show when reading this, and I particularly enjoy the description of the scenery.

series

2bg

Two Broke Girls Season 4 and 5

I’m enjoying myself way too much with this comedy. It shouldn’t be as funny as it is, but I end up really laughing at it.

What did you do in April?

Ghosts of Girlfriends past (2009)

gogp

Someone once told me that the power in all relationships lies with whoever cares less, and he was right. But power isn’t happiness, and I think that maybe happiness comes from caring more about people rather than less…

Connor Mead is a successful photographer, and a dog. With a notorious dating resume, he attracts women by the dozen whom he then proceeds to treat horribly and dump in batches when he gets bored. He always tries to push it off to his assistant, Melanie (NoureenDeWulf) but she, as the only female constant in his life, always easily tells him to do it himself. He never knows that she consoles all the broken women afterwards.

Connor is expected home for the wedding of his brother Paul (Breckin Meyer) to the usually delightful Sandra (Lacey Chabert), who is under some stress as the bride to be. Connor is immediately noticed by three of the bridal attendants, but Jenny Perotti (Jennifer Garner) remains unimpressed by his antics because she’s seen it too often to be amused. They have a history going back to their childhood, but now only animosity remains.

Connor tells his brother, very clearly, in front of everyone what he thinks of marriage and his brother’s plans. That night he is visited by the ghost of the first girl he ever slept with, Alison Vandermeesh (Emma Stone), and his legendary fellow dog of an Uncle Wayne (Michael Douglas). His uncle tells him that he is living life the wrong way and that he himself wished he had been a better person. Connor scoffs at it because his way of treating females comes from everything his uncle taught him.

emma and matt

Emma shows him his first love, Jenny, as children where they first fell for each other. Then, he sees Jenny a few years later and that is where his real change came in – he thought she rejected him for the popular jock at school, but she just danced with the said jock because Connor didn’t have the guts to ask him. Heartbroken, the teenage Connor asks his uncle what to do to never feel so sad again and the obviously incapable uncle teaches him how to get a woman, but fails to mention how to love on and treat her right.

As time progresses Connor grows up and steadily turns into the replica of his douche uncle. When he sees Jenny again, they are older and still in school, and he hurts her when he kisses Emma.

Another few years pass and Jenny is a doctor when she meets Connor again where he is an up and coming photographer. They start a courtship, but Connor gets cold feet after they finally sleep together, crushing Jenny.

Back in the present, Connor has managed to stir up a fair bit of trouble by accidentally destroying the wedding cake and letting it slip that his brother slept with one of the bridesmaids just when he and his future wife started dating. Trouble is brewing and Jenny is getting more annoyed by his destructive ways.

Jenny is meanwhile being chatted up by a perfectly handsome, friendly and intelligent doctor the bride thoughtfully invited mostly to be her maid of honour’s wedding sex. Everything is going well but Connor doesn’t like it a bit because he still gets extremely jealous where Jenny is involved.

The wedding party is in uproar when the bride finally learns that her fiancé and friend slept together, even though it was years ago. The wedding is called off and Connor’s brother is finally also now disappointed in him whereas Connor used to be so wonderful in his eyes. Connor finally knows how wrong he has been in his view of relationships and when it comes to Jenny, because he finally sees how the grief took hold of her. Will he be able to get the bride to reinitiate the wedding and Jenny to give him another chance?

Rating: 4.5/10

I actually had some inclination to watch this and desperately vouched for it in movie night, and it was such a let-down. GoGP manages two fearsome things: it is completely ridiculous and completely unrealistic at the same time.

Matthew McConaughey has a depressing resume of horrible rom coms. It is maddening – he is a good actor with really good roles under his belt, but some of the worst romantic comedies I have ever watched came from him, including:

Fool’s Gold,

Sahara,

How to lose a guy in ten days (this one wasn’t that bad, at least it had some foothold in reality),

Magic Mike

Ghost of Girlfriend’s Past was very bad. The movie wasn’t anywhere near romcom perfection but it was watchable, there was enough sarcasm wit and quirky comment to keep me mildly interested and then Emma Stone rocked up, on a bed, and transported herself and Connor through Connor’s dubious dating past. The problem wasn’t Stone herself – she was as amusing as always, but I have never witnessed a worst attempt at any time travel related activities.

I really like Jennifer Garner plenty and thought she did the best with the material that was given to her. She really has the look that Jenny needed – clever, confident, calm and classy. I enjoyed Jenny’s wit and her hold over Connor.

I did enjoy one thing: to me this movie showed how perception influences every single decision in your life and how even when your information is wrong it can completely have an adverse effect on your emotional maturity.

GoGP is once again a movie with a star studded cast that had absolutely no chance of succeeding because of an unimaginative and ridiculously boring script. I mean, not even Michael Douglas was enough to save this.

Recommendation: just don’t.