Perfect Stranger Preview

The Cool Girls stroll on up to the table and look disdainfully at Rich and Poe, “Who are these total nerd babies, Steve?” the leader asks before snidely remarking to Rich and Poe, “Where are your nerd diapers and baby glasses, nerd babies?” But Steve steps in and reminds her that for their scheme to work they needed a couple more bodies, “Besides, Adestria, these nerds are cool. Right, nerd baby mates?” he says winking at them. Rich and Poe are starting to get a bad feeling about this. What scheme is he talking about? Just then, Steve steps up on a table and calls for quiet. The cafeteria hushes. “Attention,” he announces, “We already run this school and now it’s time to take it over for real,” and with that he snaps his fingers and all the kids rise up as one. My god, Rich and Poe think, it’s like Turbulence (the 1997 smash hit) up in here and they best make sure this plane don’t crash. Not to mention that things will go from bad to worse if their cover is blown. Suddenly a group of kids bring a teacher to the cool girls and push her to the ground, “We caught one, Adestria. What should we do with her?” But Adestria waves them away, “just get rid of her. I don’t care.” Panicked at the implication, Rich and Poe step in, “Uh, we’ll do it,” Poe says quickly. “Yeah, you can trust us to take care of it,” Rich adds. Adestria looks suspiciously at them but Steve reassures her once again, “They’re cool… They’re just a couple of nerds,” he insists. “But how can you trust these perfect strangers,” she whispers. Steve looks at them and nods, “Because they are my perfect nerd baby strangers.” That’s right! I’m ready to replace my couch cushions because those edges are about to be worn out. We are (finally, IMO) watching the star-studded, thrill-a-minute Perfect Stranger starring Halle Berry and Bruce Willis. It’s probably best known in the bad movie world for having a terrible twist ending. Which can only mean that the hero is in fact the villain. The second worst twist of all time (just after the entire film being a dream). This is my guess before watching the film, but it’s almost certainly correct. It never fails to infuriate. Let’s go!

Perfect Stranger (2007) – BMeTric: 41.2; Notability: 33 

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(The BMeTric is a lot higher than I would have thought, mainly because the number of votes is way higher than you would thought. The more I add these notabilities in here the more I realize having a score above 50 is really a truly rare thing. We should savor those more than we have previously I think.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Muckraking undercover reporter Berry, frustrated by a setback on a major story, takes on a more personal investigation after a girlhood friend a hers is murdered. Her high-tech pal Ribisi helps trace emails that point to high-profile ad exec Willis as a likely suspect, so Berry gets a job working for him, hoping to get close. She does. Slick thriller gets sicker as it goes along, leading up to a revelation you can’t see coming – because it doesn’t make much sense.

(Literally everything about this film is about how bad the last twist is lol. Which is why we chose it in the end. Kind of perfect … stranger.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGH5w7cXGl8/

(It looks very techno-erotic-thriller-y. It is going to be interesting to watch another erotic thriller starring Bruce Willis that was made what? 15 years after The Color of Night? That’s pretty funny.)

Directors – James Foley – (Known For: Fear; Glengarry Glen Ross; At Close Range; Confidence: After Dark; The Corruptor; After Dark, My Sweet; Two Bits; Future BMT: Who’s That Girl; BMT: Fifty Shades Darker; Fifty Shades Freed; Perfect Stranger; The Chamber; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1988 for Who’s That Girl; in 2018 for Fifty Shades Darker; and in 2019 for Fifty Shades Freed; Notes: Originally a music video director, he was tapped for the second and third Fifty Shades films after E. L. James negotiated closer control over the writing and production of the series.)

Writers – Todd Komarnicki (screenplay) – (Known For: The Professor and the Madman; Sully: Miracle on the Hudson; BMT: Perfect Stranger; Notes: Was the voice of the Wheaton athletics during his time there.)

Jon Bokenkamp (story) – (Known For: The Call; Future BMT: Taking Lives; BMT: Perfect Stranger; Notes: Creator of the television series The Blacklist which he’s been executive producer for over 100 episodes.)

Actors – Halle Berry – (Known For: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum; Kingsman: The Golden Circle; X-Men; Cloud Atlas; Die Another Day; X-Men: Days of Future Past; X-Men: The Last Stand; X-Men 2; Robots; Monster’s Ball; Jungle Fever; The Call; The Last Boy Scout; Executive Decision; Boomerang; Losing Isaiah; Bulworth; Why Do Fools Fall in Love; Things We Lost in the Fire; Future BMT: The Flintstones; Dark Tide; B*A*P*S; Gothika; Kidnap; Father Hood; Kings; The Rich Man’s Wife; Race the Sun; Strictly Business; Frankie & Alice; BMT: Catwoman; Movie 43; New Year’s Eve; Perfect Stranger; Swordfish; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress for Catwoman in 2005; Nominee for Worst Actress in 2014 for Movie 43, and The Call; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Catwoman in 2005; Notes: She was the first African-American to win Best Actress for her work in Monster’s Ball. She was first runner up in Miss USA as well.)

Bruce Willis – (Known For: Pulp Fiction; Motherless Brooklyn; Sin City; Split; Looper; Die Hard; Twelve Monkeys; The Fifth Element; Moonrise Kingdom; The Sixth Sense; The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part; RED; Die Hard 4.0; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Unbreakable; Ocean’s Twelve; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; The Expendables; Grindhouse; Planet Terror; Future BMT: Look Who’s Talking Too; Vice; The Cold Light of Day; The Prince; Extraction; Lay the Favorite; Precious Cargo; Breakfast of Champions; Reprisal; First Kill; Once Upon a Time in Venice; Cop Out; The Bombing; Acts of Violence; Marauders; Fire with Fire; Striking Distance; Rock the Kasbah; Rugrats Go Wild; The Story of Us; 10 Minutes Gone; Blind Date; Billy Bathgate; Loaded Weapon 1; Surrogates; Sunset; The Jackal; Last Man Standing; Tears of the Sun; Hostage; Glass; Grand Champion; Four Rooms; BMT: North; A Good Day to Die Hard; Color of Night; The Whole Ten Yards; Perfect Stranger; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; The Bonfire of the Vanities; Hudson Hawk; Mercury Rising; Death Wish; Armageddon; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Hudson Hawk in 1992; Winner for Worst Actor in 1999 for Armageddon, Mercury Rising, and The Siege; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1992 for Hudson Hawk; in 1995 for Color of Night, and North; and in 2019 for Death Wish; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Glass in 2020; Notes: Seemed like he was going to maybe have a little comeback with Glass, but that didn’t do too well. Does a ton of straight-to-VOD stuff, like Nic Cage, and is notoriously difficult to work with it is said.)

Giovanni Ribisi – (Known For: Avatar; Saving Private Ryan; Lost in Translation; Ted; The Bad Batch; The Virgin Suicides; That Thing You Do!; Cold Mountain; Public Enemies; Lost Highway; Ted 2; Selma; The Gift; Boiler Room; Contraband; Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow; Results; SubUrbia; Heaven; The Dead Girl; Future BMT: The Mod Squad; A Million Ways to Die in the West; Masked and Anonymous; Flight of the Phoenix; I Love Your Work; Basic; The Big White; All the Rage; 10th & Wolf; The Other Sister; Middle Men; BMT: Perfect Stranger; The Postman; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Gangster Squad; Notes: His entire family, including his twin sister, is involved in show business. He became famous as Phoebe’s half-brother on Friends.)

Budget/Gross – $60 million / Domestic: $23,984,949 (Worldwide: $73,534,117)

(That isn’t so great. I wonder how much of that is just Willis’ paycheck. The domestic take is awful, but it is merely a $20 million or so hit once you add in worldwide.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (14/142): Despite the presence of Halle Berry and Bruce Willis, Perfect Stranger is too convoluted to work, and features a twist ending that’s irritating and superfluous. It’s a techno-thriller without thrills.

(Again, most of the time all of the reviews are just hung up on the ending. This ending better be just the worst thing you’ve ever seen. Reviewer Highlight: That’s right, it’s a techno thriller that treats the already clichéd topic of Web abuse with an idiotic sense of discovery. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.)

Poster – Perfect Stranger 2: Even More Perfect (A-)

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(I have a sneaking suspicion this poster has little to do with the actual plot of the film, but I’ll let this slide because I think it’s actually kind of cool and interesting. Better font and I’d be raving about it.)

Tagline(s) – How Far Would You Go To Keep A Secret? (D)

(Wait a sec… is this a second rhetorical question tagline in a row? Turbulence had one and then this one too. We really have stumbled onto something potentially interesting to look into. They went a little long and cliche for this, though. Like this could be a tagline for like twenty different terrible films. Thus it is terrible.)

Keyword – erotic thriller

PerfectStranger_erotic thriller

Top 10: Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Basic Instinct (1992), Original Sin (2001), Fatal Attraction (1987), Basic Instinct 2 (2006), Wild Things (1998), Unfaithful (2002), Indecent Proposal (1993), Body Double (1984), Sliver (1993)

Future BMT: 60.3 Sliver (1993), 49.4 In the Cut (2003), 39.2 Diabolique (1996), 37.8 Never Talk to Strangers (1995), 35.6 Indecent Proposal (1993), 32.4 The Crush (1993), 28.9 Original Sin (2001), 28.0 Deception (2008), 23.2 Goodbye Lover (1998), 18.1 Whispers in the Dark (1992);

BMT: Basic Instinct 2 (2006), Color of Night (1994), Body of Evidence (1992), Perfect Stranger (2007), Jade (1995), Twisted (2004)

(You can see the early 90s boom, and for real the genre fell off a cliff. I don’t think it’ll ever recover. It is a genre of a time when the US became somewhat accepting of sex in film, but didn’t respect itself enough to care about the kind of sex it was showing in film. I think that makes sense.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Giovanni Ribisi is No. 3 billed in Perfect Stranger and No. 2 billed in Gone in 60 Seconds, which also stars Nicolas Cage (No. 1 billed) who is in The Wicker Man (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 3 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 13. If we were to watch Last Man Standing, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – The filmmakers filmed three different endings to the film, each with a different character as the killer. (ha!)

The film’s original setting was New Orleans. During pre-production, Hurricane Katrina struck; the script was quickly rewritten to take place in New York City.

Miles’ phone number (seen when Hill reads the text message on Ro’s mobile phone in the restaurant) is shown as 917-867-5309–a nod to Tommy Heath’s classic rock hit “867-5309/Jenny”, which repeats the phone number (sans area code) in the refrain.

As Rowena enters World Trade Center building Seven (26:15), where Hill’s agency is located, Larry Silverstein the actual owner of the entire WTC complex make a cameo appearance at the security desk.

Miles says that it will take Ro three minutes and fourteen seconds to download the spyware, “but that’s an approximation.” 3.14 is an approximation of pi. (That’s dumb)

The film includes extensive product placement for Sony Vaio, Reebok, Heineken, and Victoria’s Secret. (Sweet, the Victoria’s Secret one is off the chain).

Heidi Klum: The Victoria’s Secret Angel that introduces Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis) at the Victoria’s Secret party.

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