This steamy thriller to end all steamy thrillers stars Michael Douglas as Nick, a boozy San Francisco police detective who finds himself drawn to the prime suspect in a murder case--manipulative, sexually uninhibited novel... more »ist Catherine Trammell (Sharon Stone). Catherine's latest book features a murder uncannily similar to the one Nick is investigating, and as the pair engage in a mating dance of dangerous one-upmanship, more murders occur, all described in her current work, about a boozy cop in love with a killer. Nick's psychiatrist (Jeanne Tripplehorn), and cop partner (George Dzundza) are both worried about him, and Catherines jealous lesbian lover (Leilani Sarelle) may be trying to kill him, but Nick is just too turned on to care. Director Paul Verhoeven shows an admirable lack of restraint in this ludicrously enjoyable thriller, a sort of postmodern noir with Joe Eszterhass script coming off like Mamet by way of Penthouse. Stone and Douglas exhibit fine chemistry (and most of their bodies), and there's some lovely Bay Area scenery courtesy of cinematographer Jan de Bont (who went on to direct films such as SPEED and TWISTER). Wayne Knight (Newman from SEINFELD) and Mitch Pileggi (Skinner from THE X-FILES) are precinct heads who question Catherine in the infamous leg-crossing scene.« less
Boss Fan | Take a Right at the Light, Keep Going Straight Unt | 03/15/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I will dispense with the standard plot synopsis and, for the most part, a review of this movie. 14 years later, most of us looking at a special edition "Basic Instinct" DVD already like it enough to at least show interest in possibly buying this. My question was, is it worth it to replace my old "Basic Instinct" DVD with a new one?
By my count this is the 4th DVD transfer of this film (there was a bare-bones DVD of the theatrical release, then a special edition with extras, then the unrated directors cut special edition with the same extras (that one had the dumb "ice pick box," but was eventually, and is now, available in a standard box whose cover art looks just like all the other releases (including the original VHS release): All white box, torso-and-up shot of Stone and Douglas whith her clawing his back), and now this one that still retains that same image of the stars, but now it is inside the lettering of the title).
I mention this for two reasons.
The first may not matter much to amazon and other on-line shoppers, but here's what happened to me while walking around Best Buy today: I already owned the "bare-bones" version (I picked it up for 5 bucks brand new at least 5 years ago, so this has never been a movie one needed to drop a lot on to own), but I wanted the unrated director's cut I saw advertised in the Best Buy weekend circular. I picked it up off the shelf and saw there was the older '02 special edition release right next to it for $5.99. I was not crazy about spending $15 (not that that is a terrible price, mind you) on a movie I already owned so I decided to go with the '02 version (I'll get to the comparison between the two in a moment - that is reason #2). I got home and found out it was the special edition alright, but it was the original theatrical version. It had extras and such, but the point of replacing the thing in the first place was to get the director's cut. So I went back to Best Buy and, sure enough, because the boxes look the same except for a tiny-worded "director's cut" in the bottom corner, I grabbed the wrong one. The director's cut was there and it to was also only $5.99 (and because of some additional sale I was unaware of it rang up as something like $4.40). So BE CAREFULl WHEN SELECTING A VERSION OF THE FILM. The ice-pick box, dumb as it looked on the DVD shelf, seems to be gone so there is no easy way to tell all these apart. You gotta do a little reading. "Special Edition" doesn't automaticly mean "director's cut." (Especially for a DVD that has had as many similar - and similar looking - releases as this one.)
That's my first point. The second is to inform you that, in comparing this new version "special edition director's cut" with the $5 version I got, the only difference, besides the newly arranged cover art, is that there is an interview and an introduction by Sharon Stone. That's it. Other than that, it has the same bonuses, commentaries, etc. And that is said if that even matters to you in the first place. If you just want the movie, there is no reason to opt for this new, more expensice release; or if you already have the director's cut, replace it with this one - unless you really want to hear from Sharon Stone (that's her now, mind you, not 1992 - I'm just sayin'...)
So why was this made then? "Basic Instinct 2" hits theatres in a few weeks. I'll reserve judgment on that move until I see it, but I can judge this as a cash grab. I'm not angry though. "Basic Instinct" is hardly the first film to pull this stunt and I almost wish that some of the movies I really loved had just one "special edition" or update from its first DVD incarnation, not to mention 4 or more. I would just hope there would be something that sets them apart from the previous version.
That's not the case here.
* One quick observation I could not resisit mentioning: It is ironic that a movie as notorious for its graphic sex and violence as "Basic Instinct" that the Amazon info lists its rating as simply "Unrated for drug use and laguage." :)"
%$ Like Minks,Raise a Few Rugrats,Live Happily Ever After.
Mr. | USA | 09/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Basic Instinct is certainly a film that has not only aged well with time, it makes you wish they could still make a sexy erotic thriller this good today. With so much political correctness going on these days, a film like Basic Instinct would never be made quite the same way, had it been made today. Attacked while it was being filmed for it's quote "negative depictions of the Gay community" as well as a so called "date rape" scene, the film became controversial practically the day it became green lit. Sharon Stone became an overnight sensation portraying the rich, seductive & powerful Catherine Tramell, a role that seemed tailor made for the actress. But in fact director Paul Verhoeven (Robocop, Starship Troopers) had to fight hard to prove to both Carolco Pictures and actor Michael Douglas that she was in fact the only person suited for the role. Having worked with Stone on his last picture, Total Recall (1990), Verhoeven knew that Stone had something special to give to the part and he finally got that message through to all those mentioned. I'd go so far to say that with the exception of her Oscar nominated performance in Martin Scorsese's Casino, Catherine Tramell is still Sharon Stone's best performance.So what's the big deal between the R-rated & Unrated versions of Basic Instinct? Basically a little more violence and a little more sex. There's more stabs with the ice pick in the Unrated version (about 3 or 4), more shots of the victim actually being stabbed (courtesy of a man made puppet designed by Rob Bottin) and that's about it for the violence. The added sex has mainly to do with the first encounter between Michael Douglas's Nick Curran, and Sharon Stone's Catherine Tramell. The added scenes are hot & very well done, but overall, the result is still the same. The only other difference is the Unrated version includes an audio commentary with director Paul Verhoeven and director of photography Jan De Bont. This commentary is not available on the R-rated version. But both versions do include the 2nd commentary by Feminist critic, Camille Paglia, who praises the film as one of her all time favorite movies. Her commentary is quite informative and really gave me a lot of insight into the film that I never noticed before. Those of you who own the Special Edition Laserdisc that came out a few years back should be urged not to get rid of it. It's special features are quite different from those on these DVD versions. Even the Paul Verhoevan Commentary is different from the one on the DVD. Plus the DVD doesn't give you the option of viewing the final shot of the film with the alternate scoring conducted by Jerry Goldmith, although it is shown during the making of documentary. Still worth keeping. I personally love how much the movie feels like an Alfred Hitchcock film. The dress Sharon wheres for the interrogation scene is very similar to the one Kim Novak wore in Vertigo. There are many references to Vertigo in the film, as well as The Birds, North By Northwest, Rear Window and a few others. This adds a lot of class to the picture that only enhances its creativeness. It may be a long time before another picture comes close to matching it.Basic Instinct..destined to become a classic!"I hate rugrats". - Sharon Stone as Catherine Tramell"
One of my top favorites of all time
David E. Miller | Las Vegas, USA | 07/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Basic Instinct is a guilty pleasure. I love this film, and have had the Unrated Director's Cut on VHS for many years. I bought the so-called Collector's Edition (included the ice pick pen) a while back and returned it because it missed quite a bit of footage. Recently, I tried again---and this time it was ice pick bingo! (Who needs the pen, anyway?) The Unrated Director's Cut is listed on Amazon as an unrated special edition (Special Edition - Unrated) which "contains scenes the director was forced to cut." There is no image available. You can identify the DVD as Artisan's release, ASIN B00005N919. Make no mistake, THIS IS THE VERSION TO BUY. I also highly recommend the soundtrack on compact disc. Jerry Goldsmith's music is haunting, and one of the best scores ever composed for film."
No edits and Camille Paglia! This is the oNE!
Brett D. Cullum | Houston, TX United States | 08/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Forget the rated version of BASIC INSTINCT. It's white-washed and missing graphic scenes of sex and violence that make the movie what it is. Sharon Stone plays the devil ... yes, Paul Verhoven admits that she is the the devil incarnate as a blonde ice-pick weilding bisexual psychotic who tempts and outsmarts every single person in the cast! Priceless here in DVD land is Camille Paglia's radical feminist take on the movie. She's fast and funny describing BASIC INSTINCT as a movie where women take back their sexual power! Come inside and check out the steamiest erotic thriller ever! Political correctness means it could never be made today. Trashy, yes! But also very well done and stylish. Sharon Stone became a star, and Michael Douglas never quite recovered. See why!"
Enjoyable thriller from Paul Verhoeven!
John Lindsey | Socorro, New Mexico USA. | 02/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
A San Francisco detective named " Nick" ( Michael Douglas) is investigating the murder of a former pop-rock star, he suspects gorgeous bisexual novelist Catherine Tramell ( Sharon Stone) thinking that she murdered him as she seduces him. It's now a game of cat-and-mouse as Nick is caught in a sexual web of violence and trying to find who the killer is.
Intersting, controversial but enjoyable erotic suspenser from the director of "Robocop", " Total Recall" and "Starship Troopers" Paul Verhoeven is quite a puzzling movie that has steamy sex scenes, the famous interrogation scene, decent acting and violent scenes you won't forget such as the icepick murder.
The Unrated Director's Cut Special Edition DVD has very good picture & good sound quality with scenes that never made it into the R Rated cut to avoid an NC-17 rating especially the uncensored version of the interrogation scene. It's extras are good such as two audio commentaries, a featurette, Photo Gallery, Storyboard Gallery, an easy to find easter egg and Trailer with TV Spot. "