Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction (2006)

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Released 24-Oct-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Menu Animation
Web Links
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 109:05 (Case: 114)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (50:25) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Michael Caton-Jones
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Sharon Stone
David Morrissey
Charlotte Rampling
David Thewlis
Hugh Dancy
Stan Collymore
Neil Maskell
Jan Chappell
Terence Harvey
Ellen Thomas
Mark Sangster
Tim Berrington
Indira Varma
Case ?
RPI $32.95 Music Jerry Goldsmith
John Murphy


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

††† Fourteen years after the original blockbuster, Sharon Stone returns to spread her . . . wings as an actress, and wreak more sadistic havoc as the malicious, bi-sexual vixen Catherine Trammell in Basic Instinct 2. While the film boasts a sleek, modern, and even elegant appearance, Basic Instinct 2 is a tacky and tawdry film, peppered with plenty of dirty talk and occasional flashes of sex and violence. Happily rehashing the same basic plot as the original film, Basic Instinct 2 feels much more like an inferior remake than a sequel, suffering seedy dialogue with all the class and imagination of a text message from Shane Warne.

††† Under the expert guidance of Director Paul Verhoeven, the original Basic Instinct remains one of the all-time best, and most controversial, erotic thrillers. Yes, it's formula-written, Hitchcockian soft-core porn that is completely excessive and grotesquely violent. Yes, it's completely voyeuristic, sensational, and peppered with gratuitous nudity and sex-scenes. And yes, it exploits the bodies of some of the hottest women ever to appear on the big screen, but that's what made it one of the most disturbingly enjoyable, talked-about and memorable films of the 1990s. It also was one of the top-grossing movies of 1992, raking in over $US120 million in the US alone. Quite simply, Basic Instinct is a movie phenomenon that cannot be ignored, or easily explained away.

††† In the early 1990s, screenwriter Joe Eszterhas introduced us to the character of Nick Curran (Michael Douglas), the burnt-out San Francisco cop living on the edge. In some ways, this is the character that Douglas' Streets of San Francisco Cop could have evolved into. He also introduced us to Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), who wrote thriller novels whose plots seemed to mirror recent grisly events.

††† While there were plenty of plot twists and turns, anyone familiar with the scriptwriter Eszterhas' work (Jagged Edge, Basic Instinct, Sliver) would know his well-worn formula: First you think they're guilty, then you have doubts, and then at the end, the 'twist'.

††† The acting by all the leads in Basic Instinct is great, and of course after appearing in over 25 films, this was to be the break-through role for 34-year-old Sharon Stone, making her a movie star and a household name.

††† Considering the film's outstanding success, and where Stone's career has ended up, it's not so surprising that she would try to make one more trip to the well before turning 50. Indeed, apart from her Oscar-nominated performance in Martin Scorsese's Casino, she has never managed to match her success in Basic Instinct.

††† In Basic Instinct 2, the venomous, sexy US novelist Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) has relocated from San Francisco to swinging London. We find her again on the hunt for emotionally crippled men, whom she can exploit sexually for her entertainment, and who can also provide her with new material for her sexually charged books.

††† However, probably in a desperate attempt to escape the "gay bashing" tag of the original film, Ms Tramell's interest in women has now been considerably down-played.

††† As with the first film, the story opens with the suspicious death of one of Ms Tramell's high-profile lovers (Stan Collymore). Suspected of being involved, Ms Tramell is on the receiving end of some unwelcome attention from the police. Despite this, soon even more bodies start piling up around the high-vamp (and high-camp) novelist.

††† A criminal psychiatrist, Dr. Michael Glass (David Morrissey), is called in to examine Ms Tramell's psyche, and her apparent "risk addiction". After all, some startling evidence suggests there is good reason for the authorities to be suspicious of Ms Tramell. So Dr. Glass is asked to delve into whether or not this tragic car accident was indeed "accidental" in nature.

††† However poor Dr. Glass doesn't see what's coming. Against the advice of his mentor, Dr. Milena Gardosh (Charlotte Rampling), Dr. Glass is quickly sucked into Ms Tramell's web of lies and seduction. As with the character of Nick Curran from Basic Instinct, Dr. Glass has a few skeletons in the closet himself, and is to become the latest hapless victim of Ms Tramell's mind and sex games. Indeed, soon he's just another plaything, and a complete puppet on a string.

††† However, not every man is so easily charmed by Ms Tramell, and the world weary Scotland Yard detective Roy Washburn (David Thewlis) is on the case to investigate. Of course, rather foolishly, Dr. Glass decides to carry out his own investigation, and soon he, like us, is soon lost in a convoluted plot, filled with red hearings, plot contrivances, and little character motivation.

††† This might be a problem, but Director Michael Caton-Jones seems to have little interest in the plot, or even in providing a genuine mystery to solve. Caton-Jones rather appears far too absorbed in teasing out any sleazy silliness he can find in the story.

††† Husband and wife screenwriting team Leora Barish and Henry Bean have sought to write a modern erotic thriller, but instead created a clumsy, cheesy, over-the-top high-camp melodrama, with gaping plot holes, absurd abandonment of common sense and truly awful dialogue. While the opening scene shows a lot of promise, unfortunately it's all downhill from there.

††† Sadly, in the end, Basic Instinct 2 is fairly lacklustre and doesn't have the sense of sparkling vulgarity and perverse playfulness that the original film delighted in serving up to shocked audiences so confidently.

††† Furthermore, Stone appears to have abandoned any concept of subtlety in her portrayal of the character that made her a household name. To be fair, her hammy performance is only made worse by the ridiculous dialogue that she is given to work with. Tramell is supposed to be coldly calculating and calmly matter-of-fact about her sexual appetites, but Stone's uninspired portrayal makes her seem just bored, disinterested and detached.

††† To make matters worse, Morrissey is pretty flat and totally uncharismatic. His dead-pan characterization never really reveals any inner torment, which is supposed to be driving his actions. Unfortunately, this non-leading-man has most of the screen time, and he's certainly no Michael Douglas. †Fortunately, the supporting actors, Thewlis and Rampling, manage to inject some moments of acting into this anaemic and tedious follow-up.

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Transfer Quality

Video

††† The transfer is excellent, and looked awesome on both my widescreen television and when I viewed it with a DLP (projector).

††† The PAL transfer is presented in a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1. It is 16x9 Enhanced.

††† The sharpness of the picture is excellent. For example, consider the cityscape at 20:09. The black level is perfect, with true deep blacks. The shadow detail is also excellent - consider the scene in the dimly lit interior at 15:39.

††† The film makes extensive use of coloured lenses, and the photography and lighting are both excellent. The colour in the transfer is magnificent, boasting a rich palette of perfectly-saturated colours to suit the film's moods and accurate flesh tones.

††† While there is some film grain noticeable at times, there are no problems with MPEG or Film-To-Video artefacts. A few tiny film artefacts appear throughout, but they were never distracting.

††† Only English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles are present. They are accurate.

††† This is a dual-layer disc, with the layer change placed at 50:25. The feature is divided into 25 chapters.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

††† The audio is excellent.

††† Originally released theatrically in Dolby Digital, dts, and SDDS surround audio, there is only one audio option on this DVD: English Dolby Digital 5.1. Happily the Dolby Digital 5.1 track has been encoded at the superior 448Kb/s, as opposed to 384Kb/s.

††† The dialogue quality and audio sync are excellent throughout.

††† The musical score is credited to John Murphy, but musically it is the re-use of the themes from Jerry Goldsmithís brilliantly moody and atmospheric score from the original film that really stand out.

††† This is a dialogue-heavy movie, but the surround presence and activity is still good. The rear speakers are used effectively to help carry the score and provide a lot of ambience, such as the background sounds of the pub at 72:40. There are also a few rear directional effects, including some panning between speakers.

††† The subwoofer is not heavily utilised, but then again, understandably, this film doesn't have an LFE-heavy sound design.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

††† As with the original Basic Instinct DVD, there are few extras.

Menus

††† A simple menu, it is static and silent.

Trailers

††† Following that forced and very annoying anti-piracy commercial, there are forced trailers (that can be skipped) for:

††† Interestingly, these trailers play following the disc being loaded, and cannot be accessed from the DVD's menu.

Web Link

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

††† Basic Instinct 2 has been released in both R1 and R4. In R1, there are two versions - a bare-bones original R-Rated, theatrical cut, and an extras-laden Unrated Extended Cut. Sadly, I assume that our version matches the R-Rated R1 DVD, but I can find no official information to confirm this.

††† Compared to the Unrated Extended Cut, the Region 4 DVD misses out on:

††† The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

††† Both the R1 and R4 DVDs have a different set of trailers as well.

††† Note there is also a R3 (Korean) Special Edition with the full Unrated Extended Cut, dts 5.1 audio and even more extras.

Summary

††† An anaemic and tedious follow-up which has replaced shocking and brash depictions of sex and violence with talking, talking, and more talking. Sadly, Basic Instinct 2 offers only fleeting moments of trashy fun and sensationalism.

††† The video quality is excellent.

††† The audio quality is also excellent.

††† The extras are very slim.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
title is wrong - chaossphere
Front cover (and OFLC database) says "Uncut Version" ... false advertising or different release? - grug (there is no bio.)