Sex and Vikings

Succinct Reviews for the Discerning Cinephile


Perfect Stranger

dir. Foley

Opens Fri April 13

Various Theaters

Halle Berry sure is purty. Watch as her purty lips move as she reads—much like how her lips probably moved when she read the script for Perfect Stranger, an astonishingly trite thriller. (For the love of god, the oh-so-hot Halle plays a character who's stalking the increasingly decrepit Bruce Willis—yeah, right, as if.)

Rowena (Berry) is a hotshot journalist—and her curiosity is piqued when her childhood friend drops a steaming scandal into her lap, then is promptly and brutally murdered. Through a series of unlikely events, Rowena's hired at the upscale ad agency of Harrison Hill (Willis)... who's also the likely murderer! Then Halle Berry and Bruce Willis make out a lot. Plus, Rowena decides to anonymously seduce Harrison via instant messages, which makes for thrilling visuals as she hunts and pecks on her keyboard. (For a reporter, she's really a shitty typist.)

But who's the murderer? Is it really Harrison? Or could it be Rowena's coworker, Miles (Giovanni Ribisi)? But just as the audience starts caring about this motley bunch, the filmmakers throw in a craptacular twist ending that invalidates any prior concern you felt about Rowena, Miles, or Harrison. But that's unimportant, compared to the main point of Perfect Stranger: Halle Berry is definitely attractive. COURTNEY FERGUSON


dir. Nispel

Opens Fri April 13

Various Theaters

Six hundred years before Columbus, the Viking hordes land on North America, itching to claim it as their own. During their first excursion, they leave a boy behind—a boy who, after being adopted by a Native American tribe, grows up to be a beefy (as in the head) dreamboat named "Ghost" (Karl Urban). Ghost doesn't really fit in, but he's making a go of it, spending his free time practicing with his sword and making googly eyes at a comely lass named Starfire (Moon Bloodgood). Then, to everyone's apparent amazement, the Viking hordes return, looking for blood.

What follows is 90 minutes of solid, skeezy slaughter. Ghost, whose sword skills looked to be on par with my own backyard broom handling in the third grade, suddenly turns into an almighty killing machine, ambushing the Vikings with the help of Starfire and a flute-toting mute. Limbs are severed, blood gushes, and director Marcus Nispel (who previously remade The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) films all of it in a gloomy blur. By the time all parties wind up dangling from a cliff, hacking and pounding each other with the threat of an avalanche looming overhead, preposterous is too weak a word. There is B-grade and there is D-grade. Pathfinder is definitely the latter. BRADLEY STEINBACHER


dir. Caruso

Opens Fri April 13

Various Theaters

If you're looking to explore new cinematic frontiers... Disturbia isn't going to be your cup of tea. Think Rear Window meets The CW, where all the bored teens have web cameras, walkie-talkies, and video cameras set up to spy on their next-door neighbors. We ain't talking Hitchcock here.

Shia LeBeouf plays Kale (nice name, douche), a likeable kid who's having "issues" that result in a summer-long house arrest. Thank god Kale still has his trusty binoculars! And good thing Kale likes him some peepin', 'cause hottie Ashley (Sarah Roemer) is moving in next door to pump up Disturbia's bikini factor. But the spying gets out of hand when Kale and Ashley notice some strange going-ons at their neighbor Mr. Turner's (an under-used David Morse). Looks like he might be a serial killer—albeit an incredibly stupid one (he should really learn to close his curtains).

Most of Disturbia revolves around a played-out teen romance angle between Kale and Ashley, so don't expect creepies or crawlies until the three-quarter mark, where things get considerably better. But that's a lot of teen horniness to wade through before the blood starts flowing. COURTNEY FERGUSON


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