Published on July 26, 2007
With her lack of high-calibre films since "Monster's Ball", Halle Berry's future Oscar hopes are fading fast. Does she really deserve another award after being starved of quality star vehicles?
"Perfect Stranger" should have helped, but the avalanche of nasty reviews brought down on its head has simply buried the film as one of the year's big disappointments.
Berry plays a reporter who goes under cover on the trail of Bruce Willis' high-powered exec, who she suspects has murdered her friend. But the plot does thicken and no one is who they seem to be. Still, the end result fails to drum up applause.
Granted that director James Foley is no film flake - his portfolio includes movies like "Who's That Girl?" and "Confidence" - the problem is the plot.
Even with a solid cast, Berry doing her best, with the usually excellent Willis and Giovanni Ribisi as co-stars, "Perfect Stranger" suffers from a relatively plodding pace. The dullness really seeps in from modern-day romance gadgets: computer chats and text messages.
The other big complaint is that there's too little sexiness, a big letdown for patrons expecting something more like "Basic Instinct" from their steamy thrillers.
Moving on, for movie buffs who haven't caught "Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix" yet, see it before it's whisked off the big screen. Among the better Harry Potter films, this fifth instalment is an interesting development because it deals with the heroic pupils as teens now asserting their own independence.
They rebel against the narrow-minded, control freaks from the Ministry of Magic, determined to set things right through courage and truthfulness, even if it means attracting the ire of those who claim they know better.
The seed of this message should be planted in all young students as a cure for shallow by-rote learning that keeps young minds backward and easy to manipulate.
The other film not to miss at the moment is "Die Hard 4.0", where Willis gets to play a role he's more suited to, with plenty of action and a great villain - Timothy Olyphant from "Deadwood".