Written by Joe Eszterhas, based on the novel by Ira Levin
Directed by Philip Noyce
Starring Sharon Stone, William Baldwin, Tom Berenger
Released by: Paramount.
My Advice: Rent something better than it. Which should be pretty easy.
After ending her waste of a marriage, Carly (Stone) is ready to make some changes in her life. Part of this is getting a new high rise apartment. Of course, she gets her new place the way a lot of New Yorkers acquire real estate: by someone dying. In Carly’s case, the previous resident jumped off her balcony. In fact, everyone comments how much Carly looks like her. But she doesn’t have time to consider this since she has two new suitors in her life. There’s Jack (Berenger), a self-important macho cop-turned-author, whose attentions she’s not thrilled with and Zeke (Baldwin), a young hot game designer, whose attentions she’s very thrilled with. Thrilled multiple times, if you know what I mean. Zeke pushes Carly’s boundaries and that is exactly what Carly is looking for. Even when he reveals that the apartment building has been turned into Zeke’s private reality TV network, Carly doesn’t look away. But when the competition between Zeke and Jack for Carly starts getting a body count, she needs to take a hard look at these two men. And herself.
[ad#longpost]The tagline for this movie was “You like to watch…don’t you?” I can answer that question with a solid “Um. No.” For one thing, the characters make no sense. Sharon Stone is supposedly playing a woman getting over a bad relationship but hops into bed with a man she barely knows. She even takes off her panties in a restaurant at his prodding. Who does shit like that, really? And Zeke is supposedly the ultimate voyeur, watching the lives of the tenants unfold with them none the wiser. But he has no problem interacting with the opposite sex. First off, I find heavy duty voyeurism and good social skills rarely go together. Second, where does he find the time to fuck all these women and keep up with all the people in a high rise apartment building? I can barely keep up with all the podcasts I want to listen to.
The plot is a complete disaster as well. It starts with the clichÃ© of everyone telling Carly that she’s a dead ringer for the previous tenant. It ends with the old ploy of a gun going off in a struggle off camera and the audience is unable to tell who has been shot in an obvious attempt to generate dramatic tension. And what goes on in between isn’t any better. Honestly, the plot is just an excuse to get Sharon Stone naked and in some sort of sexual activity. I’ve said this before, but if you need to see some people fucking, then get yourself some real porn. People shouldn’t have to suffer from a lack from seeing actual penetration and money shots; instead they’re suffering from bad writing and softcore frustration. And hey, with the Bush administration increasing prosecution of porn studios in a sad attempt to mollify the religious right, porn needs all the support it can get.
The DVD is pretty bare, but please pardon the pun. The only extra is supposed “unrated footage,” but I did some checking and the general opinion is that it is only a couple extra minutes and isn’t all that shocking. Take out the so-called sex scenes and you have a lame thriller that wouldn’t even make it on the Lifetime Channel whether or not it starred Dean Cain. If you want a good thriller, there are plenty out there. And if all you’re after is sex, well…you know what to do.