Cruel Intentions

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * * * · · )    DVD Rating: ( * * * * * )

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Cruel Intentions is the modern day remake of Les Liaisons dangereuses or the more commonly known, Dangerous Liaisons. The idea is a good one and for the most part is totally pulled off. The two main half sibling characters played by Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe do a fine job playing off of one another as they manipulate the world of love around them that they seem to never understand. Where this movie fails is in the acting of these two roles which seem to be played over the top, almost too much like Glenn Close and John Malkovich for the time. Still, Phillippe plays a very sinister role and does credit to the part. There are some very well done scenes, but a couple missed the mark. The scene where our manipulating male star breaks up with his love interest is a perfect example. Malkovich pulled this off perfectly, remaining as calm and cool as a statue as he told the woman he was deeply in love with that he had no interest in her. Our "hero" in this movie shows his deep feelings for her as he tells her he has no feelings. It doesnt match, and it shows how Malkovich really stands far and above as a wonderful actor. Still, this movie was very entertaining to watch and did do justice to the overall story. It is one I would consider to be a solid effort at a more hip (18-24) version of Dangerous Liaisons, but certainly not on the same level. The DVD is quite a job. We get a 16x9 enhanced picture, a 5.1 soundtrack with a wonderful musical score, a directors commentary and a bunch of other extras. Overall, this is a good way to bring this wonderful story to a wider audience, and is certainly worth a watch.