Cruel intentions (1999)

Cruel intentions (1999)

Original Theatrical Release: March 5, 1999
Director: Roger Kumble

Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe) are step-siblings. Both are extremely attractive and twisted individuals. Sebastian can have any woman he wants. Well, almost…except for Kathryn and it drives him crazy. Kathryn decides to make a wager with Sebastian, betting him that he can’t bed a virgin waiting for true love, named Annette (Reese Witherspoon). If he loses, she gets his jaguar. If he wins, she has to sleep with him. How far is he willing to go?

I watched this back when it first came out (I had a thing for Sarah Michelle Gellar. Yes, I did.) I think I appreciated the film less then, than I do now.

On its surface, it’s just a vehicle for the twenty-something actors to look edgy in their fledgling careers, flaunting skin and excess. However, at its core is an express message of sexuality, temptation and virtue that reveals itself at a slow pace throughout the length of the film. (Albeit through the POV of jaded, rich white kids from New York)

Some of the movie watches like a high-school dramatic play, but other times it shines with devious tittilation and complex character motivations. Overall, it’s better than some films in its genre (Such as Wild Things) but it’s not amazing by any definition of the word.

PS – I have never read the novel, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, that it was based on (Choderlos de Lacios) so I can’t speak as to the differences from the book to the film.

JOE Rating: ★★★

Movie Trailer For Cruel Intentions

 

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The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix (1999)

Original Theatrical Release: March 31, 1999
Director: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski (As the Wachowski Brothers)

Neo (Keanu Reeves), a computer hacker, feels a bit out of place in the world. He’s constantly on the search for something he feels is missing in his life and finds it in the form of Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss) who explains to him that not everything is what he thinks. She leads him to Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), who tells Neo that he may just be the one who can save mankind from their evil machine overlords.

When I first saw this movie in theaters, I don’t remember having any special expectations of it. My uncle and I had just returned from a trip to Boston, where we tried out the Omnitheater; a massive screen that wraps around you and makes you feel like you’re actually there. Still jittery from that experience, we were uncomfortable in the normal theater as The Matrix started, re-living the discomfort we experienced just a day or two before in Boston.

When the movie started, though, and the beautiful images and great story unfolded on the screen, it was all forgotten. From the moment Trinity leaped into the air and froze before kicking the police officer in the chest, I was hooked and my jaw was dropped open in enjoyment and appreciation the entire time.

I hadn’t seen anything like it, up until that time. I don’t really like the sequels as much, but Matrix: Reloaded isn’t bad. (I really disliked Revolutions, but I will get to that in another review)

This movie changed the game in cinema-land and we are still seeing copycats and works inspired by the Matrix even in 2013.

The actors were all great (yeah, even Keanu). The soundtrack was amazing. The cinematography and special effects were astounding. The fight choreography from Yuen Woo Ping was great, and the script by the Wachowski Brothers was tight. The film was just one slick package all around, and I don’t think we’ll have another great spectacle like it for quite a while. (Watch, I bet there will be a re-boot soon).

JOE Rating: ★★★★★

Movie Trailer For The Matrix

Bio-Dome (1996)

Bio Dome (1996)

Original Theatrical Release: January 12, 1996
Director: Jason Bloom

Bud Macintosh (Pauly Shore) and Doyle Johnson (Stephen Baldwin) are two stoner best buds with environmentally conscious girlfriends; Monique (Joey Lauren Adams) and Jen (Teresa Hill). The girls play a prank on the guys after the slackers back out of helping them on Earth Day which sets Bud and Doyle in motion, ending with them mistakenly thinking the Bio Dome is a mall, when in actuality it is an eco-project with doors that seal for an entire year once closed. The hapless duo find themselves inside and they must show their eco-conscious ladies that they have the chops to care for Mother Earth or risk losing them for good.

Okay.

I hadn’t seen this in a very long time and from what I remembered even back then, I didn’t like it (and I was probably 12 at the time).

Pauly Shore actually doesn’t annoy me as much as some other actors *cough*RobertPattinson*cough* but really, if I’m honest with myself, the only films I ever liked that he had any involvement with were Encino Man and probably Son In Law. This one, not so much.

Shore and Baldwin were trying to play up the Bill and Ted aspect, to little effect, and at times I was embarrassed for the two actors (especially Stephen Baldwin). Then, I remembered that neither of them have been in anything terribly good aside from Baldwin (The Usual Suspects…amazing film and performance from him). This movie seems to have killed Shore’s career, so there’s that.

The story itself was harebrained and inconsistent. I was pleasantly surprised to see Tenacious D in the movie (Jack Black and Kyle Gass) along with Phil Lamar and also brief appearances from Kylie Minogue and Rose McGowan. (Hawt!)

Aside from a few chuckles at random intervals, I actually couldn’t wait for the movie to be over with.

JOE Rating: ★★

Movie Trailer For Bio-Dome