Michael Caton-jones Reviews

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Basic Instinct 2

Review This complex and intriguing drama chronicles--with some probable narrative liberties--the chain of events that instigated the provocative Profumo affair, the infamous cold war scandal that toppled Britain's conservative government in the early 1960s. John Hurt stars as charming osteopath Stephen Ward, who grooms a malleable and beautiful teen showgirl, Christine Keeler (Joanne Whalley-Kilmer), to party with his swinging high-society friends. Trouble starts brewing when Christine becomes simultaneously entangled with both a Russian diplomat and a British cabinet minister. Once the media learn of her sexual escapades, the reigning Conservative Party comes under fire and begins seeking a scapegoat to distract the public from the dangerous political implications that the affairs represent. Under Michael Caton-Jones's confident direction, the film generates sympathy for its decadent lead characters, and it intelligently explores how private personal matters become vulgar public affairs when political machinations intrude. The most intriguing aspect of Scandal is the platonic love affair between Keeler and Ward amid the trials and tribulations of their stormy relationship--think of it as a twisted variation on My Fair Lady. The fine cast also includes Ian McKellan as John Profumo and Bridget Fonda as Christine's partner-in-fun Mandy Rice-Davies. The uncut DVD version features a little more skin than the R-rated release, although viewers will probably wonder why those few extra shots caused such a stir. --Bryan Reesman
Basic Instinct

Review "“Beverly Hills. The most beautiful women in the world. Plastic surgery. What do these three things have in common?” asks Dr. Ben Stone (Michael J. Fox). “Me, in less than a week!” It turns out to be an eye-opening week. And Doc Hollywood turns out to be a witty charmer. Stone is a newly minted MD whose medical fast-lane cruise takes a small-town detour. Grady, South Carolina, Squash Capital of the South, is home to salt-of-the-earth folks (Julie Warner, Woody Harrelson, Bridget Fonda, David Ogden Stiers, Barnard Hughes) who give the West Coast-bound hotshot the seasoning he lacks. Doc Hollywood is a surefire prescription for comedy cheer!"
Fatal Attraction

Review This complex and intriguing drama chronicles--with some probable narrative liberties--the chain of events that instigated the provocative Profumo affair, the infamous cold war scandal that toppled Britain's conservative government in the early 1960s. John Hurt stars as charming osteopath Stephen Ward, who grooms a malleable and beautiful teen showgirl, Christine Keeler (Joanne Whalley-Kilmer), to party with his swinging high-society friends. Trouble starts brewing when Christine becomes simultaneously entangled with both a Russian diplomat and a British cabinet minister. Once the media learn of her sexual escapades, the reigning Conservative Party comes under fire and begins seeking a scapegoat to distract the public from the dangerous political implications that the affairs represent. Under Michael Caton-Jones's confident direction, the film generates sympathy for its decadent lead characters, and it intelligently explores how private personal matters become vulgar public affairs when political machinations intrude. The most intriguing aspect of Scandal is the platonic love affair between Keeler and Ward amid the trials and tribulations of their stormy relationship--think of it as a twisted variation on My Fair Lady. The fine cast also includes Ian McKellan as John Profumo and Bridget Fonda as Christine's partner-in-fun Mandy Rice-Davies. The uncut DVD version features a little more skin than the R-rated release, although viewers will probably wonder why those few extra shots caused such a stir. --Bryan Reesman
Final Analysis

Review "“Beverly Hills. The most beautiful women in the world. Plastic surgery. What do these three things have in common?” asks Dr. Ben Stone (Michael J. Fox). “Me, in less than a week!” It turns out to be an eye-opening week. And Doc Hollywood turns out to be a witty charmer. Stone is a newly minted MD whose medical fast-lane cruise takes a small-town detour. Grady, South Carolina, Squash Capital of the South, is home to salt-of-the-earth folks (Julie Warner, Woody Harrelson, Bridget Fonda, David Ogden Stiers, Barnard Hughes) who give the West Coast-bound hotshot the seasoning he lacks. Doc Hollywood is a surefire prescription for comedy cheer!"

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