Picks and Pans Review: In a Story Based on Ira Levin's Bestseller, Stone Plays a Manhattan Book Editor Who Moves into An Apartment Building Where Odd, Though Not Necessarily Mysterious, Deaths Seem to Take Place. There She Meets Baldwin, a Computer Nerd W

updated 06/07/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/07/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas (who also wrote Basic Instinct) is meanwhile trying, futilely, to come up with some clever, poignant or profound dialogue to bridge the short gaps between Sharon lakes her shirt off and Sharon simulates orgasm stage directions. Eszterhas works desperately to seem hip by cramming in a mention of the band Pearl Jam (even though other characters use such outdated expressions as "the real skinny").

Baldwin performs like a graduate of the Mickey Rourke Snarl-and-Sulk School of Acting. He's grossly embarrassing in a scene where he wrestles for a gun with Berenger, who seems like he could snap Baldwin in half.

Nobody could make Stone look less than ravishing, but director Phillip Noyce sets a trudging pace and slicks to it. He is also sloppy in his editing. The reportedly much reworked ending is still an emotional unsatisfying jumble, except for the film's only strong line, which has Stone scolding Baldwin, "Get a life!"(R)

From Our Partners