Notes from the back row 

The return of the sequel, again and again

You know when you accidentally puke in your mouth. Like, it felt like a burp and the suddenly you have all this chunky, warm stomach acid in the back of your throat? And it kinda tastes the same as what you just ate (especially garlic and pasta) except there’s something terribly wrong? Well that pretty much sums up Hollywood’s sequel-of-the-week Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction , which opens Friday at the Village 8.

Released in 1992, starring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone, the original Basic Instinct was a tense, psychological film about control, obsession and ice picks. It was (and still is) considered among the top erotic thrillers of all time. Why anyone, upon deciding the original film warranted a sequel would wait 14 years to do it is beyond me. But in Risk Addiction Stone plays the same role, a novelist, only this time she’s being questioned about an English footballer’s untimely demise. Seems she has a thing for speed, risk, and strangulation collars. There’s more nudity, seduction, nudity, sex, melodrama, and nudity but it all plays like one of those steamy paperback novels they sell at the airport that you toss halfway through your holiday.

For those of you itching to get another glimpse of Sharon and her assets she does look very good considering SHE’S 48 YEARS OLD!

The good news about Basic Instinct 2 is that Michael Douglas is not in it. He needn’t stoop so low and besides he’s already done a decent strangulation-while-orgasming-is-great-until-you-accidentally-die movie. It’s called Black Rain, features Japanese Yakusa and is directed by Ridley Scott ( Alien, Gladiator.)

Speaking of orgasming, back in my old university days it seemed like half the chicks I knew had ridiculously expansive libraries of VHS animated feature films. I’m talking all the Disney cartoons (even the old Little Mermaid ) and more. Maybe these childish throw-backs made them feel comfortable and pure after a slutty night of boozing and breaking hearts. Maybe they all had daddy issues, or maybe I was hanging out with the wrong kinds of women, but it always struck me as odd that someone who rarely went to the theatres would watch Beauty and the Beast three times a month. In any case, I bet those girls are all really excited about the other sequel of the week, Ice Age 2: The Meltdown.

The good thing about Ice Age 2 is that it, unlike George Bush, believes in global warming. Our cuddly prehistoric creatures are facing a biblical-like flood as the world warms up and they decide to hightail it to a huge frozen tree/ark in order to float away and survive. All the original characters are back and there’s some new faces too, including a love interest for Manny the mammoth, who thought he was extinct. The Scrat, scene stealer from part 1, is back and his periodic, chapter-separating slapstick segments are perhaps the highlights in an otherwise decent movie. One might say the character arcs are a bit underdeveloped (true) but also it’s the lack of sophisticated irony that separates the Ice Age pics from the usual animation hits like Shrek. If you’re a kid, a kid at heart, or a sex-fiend college girl who wants to feel clean for a day, Ice Age 2: the Meltdown won’t disappoint.

The DVD of the week is Just Friends , a shout out to all the dudes out there who know that the best way into a girl’s pants is to become her friend early on and then suffer for 10 (or more) years till she realizes what she really wants. It’s painful, but it works.

AT VILLAGE 8 March 31-April 6: Ice Age 2; Basic Instinct 2; Inside Man; V For Vendetta; She’s the Man’ Failure to Launch; Shaggy Dog; Stay Alive .

AT RAINBOW THEATRE March 31-April 6: Pink Panther .

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