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Original Sin

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Antonio Banderas, Thomas Jane and Jack Thompson
Directed (and adapted) by: Michael Cristofer



It is so sad to watch this torturous unfolding of two gorgeous, usually talented, people ...The cinematography was excellent, the excessive nudity scenes between Banderas and Jolie were, er, great but the director over used the slow-down camera shtick and the, mysterious stranger routine so much you found yourself waiting, nay, longing for another bare-ass shot of Antonio (myself) or Angelina's breasts (my movie escort) to keep you from running for the exit!

OS's story is intriguing. A mail order bride arrives via steamship to meet a husband she knows only from letters and a photo. She admits she lied to him, as she is 100 times as pretty as her matronly picture he received before her arrival. She explains she wants a man who loves her not just for her looks...She's a MAIL ORDER BRIDE. Love? Her name is Julia (Jolie) and her husband- to-be, Luis (Banderas), his already falling for her before they even exit the port.

It seems he too has lied, he is not a mere clerk in a coffee factory as he had told her in his letters, he actually owns the factory. Please. Together they make bunnies blush in awe, and discover bathing in metal made for two below murky water.

Then one sunny Cuban plantation day, happy postal bride Julia disappears...She has left him. Why? Who knows, he's rich good looking and apparently quite the studmuffin in the boudoir. But alas, Julia is not what, or who, she appears.

I actually got confused at this point and thought they were trying to feed us a split personality scenario as we are being escorted through the film by a narrating Julia who now discusses an Emily and Bonnie... But the sordid and long truth eventually turns its ho-hum head.

Original Sin is like an old gothic novel you find at a yard sale, but with sex scenes. As a matter of fact Original Sin is based on a novel by Cornell Woolrich "Waltz into Darkness." The credits advise as the film in case you missed the tell-all previews before hand, there is now no doubt that someone, presumably Julia, is not all they appear to be right from the beginning if frame one. I hate that!

Original Sin's biggest sin is its direction. It moves too slow were quickness was needed and whips through the areas that needed to slow down and teach us why these two strangers had such a connection. Why they went through all they do and, especially why this mighty business owner Luis is a behemoth sized moron when it comes to love. Snore.

Angelina Jolie was pretty good as the bipolar Julia. She's using her inner dialog and lips to convey a bevy of emotions. She won me over with her incredible performance in Girl Interrupted and again in Tomb Raider (which I still insist was better than other critics would lead you to believe...). This was a daring role- what with all the booby shots and such, too bad it didn't work.

It's poor Bandanas, er, Banderas, who is simply cellophane in depth and appears to have had a lobotomy before filming began. Example of post operational evidence for this actor: He is to convey a drunken Luis in one scene, and it comes off as, perhaps, the worst film "drunk" ever! His eyes slowly blinking, his torso in a sway and such nonsense. He looked more like a SNL parody of Keith Richards circa 1975 after a quick -up-the- arm- shot-of-illegal- medicine. And his accent, heavy for his role as Cuban Luis, was almost as indecipherable as anything actress Salma Hayek does. Annoying. Good thing he's handsome, otherwise I'd really give him a Blunt lashing. Luring me in with his dark presence and mankabab body running about all naked...Shame on him! I loved his directorial debut Crazy in Alabama with wife Melanie And he did a great job in 4 Rooms and Mambo Kings...He just needs to pick more deserving scripts or directors with a better eye for subtle...

The film will gross millions no doubt. Why? Jolie's bare bosom and Banderas' perfect bum of course. Couples can enjoy the scenes together without feeling the other is left out watching say a guy as sexy as David Spade or a gal as unerotic as say, Linda Tripp to make them uneasy with their own visual stimulation- a miscasting faux pas which happens so often in films. If the cast wasn't this attractive there would be no review because I would have left when the soundtrack played its fourth note. That Zorro style Cuban Cantina music...aagh, hate it.

Honesty, the star rating is for the butt shots. But, even boobies and butts can't keep you from eating like a Pigasnarauas Rex through the whole damn thing just to stay awake!

Snack recommendation: Dark coffee



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