William Baldwin

Sliver (1993, Phillip Noyce)

Sliver is a beautiful film. It’s got Vilmos Zsigmond photography, it’s got Phillip Noyce directing, it’s got a great score from Howard Shore–it’s just a bad movie. The story has two things going on. First is Sharon Stone’s recent divorcee moving into a high rise apartment building where she discovers there have been a bunch of suspicious deaths.

Now, if you remember that detail you’ll be doing more than the filmmakers do because when it gets to the point in the story where someone talks about the recent deaths in the building and there are only a couple. Sliver forgets about at least three of them, maybe four.

The second thing the film has going on is Stone discovering she’s a voyeur. I’ve got no idea if it’s in the source novel by Ira Levin, but Joe Eszterhas wrote the screenplay for Sliver so there’s got to be something slightly sleazy otherwise they would have presumably hired someone who can write.

Most of the film is Stone being courted by two losers. Tom Berenger’s a creepy writer, William Baldwin’s a creepy video game designer. She has zero chemistry with either of them. Berenger’s a little better just because Baldwin’s indescribably bad.

Sadly, Stone’s really good in most of the non-absurd scenes. Eszterhas and Noyce don’t give her a real story arc; instead, they hope the big thrills are enough. They aren’t.

With the production values and Stone’s performance, Sliver should be better. But not with Baldwin and Berenger.



Directed by Phillip Noyce; screenplay by Joe Eszterhas, based on the novel by Ira Levin; director of photography, Vilmos Zsigmond; edited by Richard Francis-Bruce and William Hoy; music by Howard Shore; production designer, Paul Sylbert; produced by Robert Evans; released by Paramount Pictures.

Starring Sharon Stone (Carly Norris), William Baldwin (Zeke Hawkins), Tom Berenger (Jack Landsford), Polly Walker (Vida Warren), Colleen Camp (Judy Marks), Amanda Foreman (Samantha Moore), Martin Landau (Alex Parsons), CCH Pounder (Lt. Victoria Hendrix), Nina Foch (Evelyn McEvoy), Keene Curtis (Gus Hale) and Nicholas Pryor (Peter Farrell).

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010, Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery)

The new wave of superhero cartoons for, ostensibly, adults (because they’re rated PG-13) has turned out a handful of decent pictures. The directors of this one, Montgomery and Liu, separately, directed the entirety of that handful. So I thought I’d try it for them. Plus, this one’s written by Dwayne McDuffie, who’s a comic book writer and produced that “Justice League” cartoon everyone says is so good. After Crisis on Two Earths, I’m doubtful.

The film’s not just lame or poorly plotted (the dialogue isn’t incompetent), it’s stupid. There’s no first act, but there’s a story too big not to have one. It feels like an episode of a cartoon, really. A very special episode of a cartoon, which isn’t worth my giving it the attention of something attempting to be a feature.

And Mark Harmon’s awful as Superman. James Woods’s silly as the evil Batman, but Harmon’s just terrible. He might be the ruining factor, actually. Harmon’s casting seems a result of his being a team leader on a TV show and he’s the team leader here. But his voice is old sounding, so it doesn’t match Superman’s appearance, and it’s really just not forceful enough. He doesn’t sound like Superman.

With the exception of these cartoons actually recommended to me, I only watch them because they’re short and occasionally have good voice acting and I always get some crank leaving negative comments to my negative response to the film.

Sorry, I meant cartoon. In the pejorative sense.



Directed by Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery; written by Dwayne McDuffie; edited by Margaret Hou; music by James L. Venable; produced by Bobbie Page; released by Warner Premiere.

Starring Mark Harmon (Superman), James Woods (Owlman), Chris Noth (Lex Luthor), William Baldwin (Batman), Josh Keaton (The Flash), Gina Torres (Super Woman), Nolan North (Green Lantern / Power Ring), James Patrick Stuart (Johnny Quick), Brian Bloom (Ultraman), Jonathan Adams (Martian Manhunter) and Bruce Davison (President Slade Wilson).

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