The girls don’t miss a beat in this desert sequel. They start right where they left off, crying and yelling at the dinner table. Brandi is still drunk and surprisingly we still feel, just a little, bad for Kyle. Kyle excuses herself from the table to have a good cry and Yolanda hears her tears and gives her support in the form of a hug and a few nice words.
The girls take the tram to the top of a mountain and Brandi gets ‘motion sick.’ She doesn’t like heights or motion sickness, that’s why she has to sit on the floor of the tram as it heads upward. Obviously, it’s got nothing to do with the amount of alcohol she drank the night before.
Yolanda and Lisa leave, but not before asking Brandi if she will be okay with the rest of the crew. Almost immediately Brandi’s attitude changes and she becomes the most agreeable person on the show. She cooks dinner for everyone; during the second dinner there is not a single fight. Even Kyle is being extraordinarily nice, in a way we haven’t seen before. But don’t get too excited, Brandi’s phone rings and just like before, she steals the show.
Her assistant tells of a break-in at Brandi’s. The most distressing part- Brandi’s dog Chica has gone missing. Brandi mentions that this is the second time her dog has gone missing while the assistant was in charge; are we the only ones putting two and two together? Bathroom window broken, nothing taken, but the dog is missing. Joyce states that she lost a dog once where Brandi snaps, saying life isn’t always a competition. Congratulations Joyce, you just annoyed Brandi, and EVERYBODY else yet again. Is it wrong that we want to tell her to shup up and tie up her hair?
Brandi goes up and we’re left with fingers crossed that Chica is found-assistant-less.
Joyce falls asleep and Brandi shaves those long dark brown locks, the rest of the world reJOYces.
Yolanda leaves the show, nobody ever fights.
Chica was hiding under the couch the whole time, Brandi’s assistant is fired.
Brandi opens the show welcoming everyone to her vagina. Thus continues this season’s tradition of Brandi being the only reason to tune in. Her lifelong friends gather at her house to help her with some sexy research for her new book.
Kyle and Carlton go shopping together, also a regular occurrence this season. Perfect setting for Carlton to delve deep into her disapproval of Kyle’s recent behavior. You know, there was that one time that Kyle asked Carlton if she was a witch. Then there was that other time that Kyle cut Carlton off mid-witch story ... and of course, who could forget when Kyle talked smack about Lisa’s nipple when Lisa wasn’t around to defend it. Thank God they got that off their size DD chests. Now they can be friends!
Unfold the backdrop of Palm Springs. Anyone who watches any Housewives show knows that nothing good, but almost everything entertaining, comes from the “trip” episode. The only thing hotter than the heat in Palm Springs was Brandi’s body as she slipped out of her clothes and hopped in the pool. Carlton followed and managed to keep some of that bronzed bordering on orange glow on her skin.The girls start to day drink, but the only one who seems to feel the effects of the alcohol is, you guessed it, Brandi. Soaking up the sun in the water, she calls Joyce black which threw everyone for a loop. Brandi continues to poke fun at Joyce repeatedly calling her Jacqueline, “because it sounds more Latina.”
Kyle tries to have a discussion with Yolanda over dinner. Nothing gets cleared up, or accomplished. Except that the girls continue to talk about high school like it was yesterday. To be continued...
Brandi sobers up and wants to do more than just make out with Carlton.
Kyle and her husband appear half-way through the show in a commercial for floss, because the only way to keep cavities away is to floss, twice a day!
Kim is still just as sober as she was five minutes ago.
December 14, 2011 12:53pm EST
Let’s put the cards on the table: I have not read Steig Larsson’s best-selling “Millennium Trilogy” and therefore cannot comment on whether or not Columbia Pictures’ big-budget (American) adaptation of its first novel is a spot-on transfer of the shocking story or if Rooney Mara has lived up to the punk-goth-genius of an anti-heroine he created. This review is about director David Fincher’s craft and the dream cast he has assembled to make The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo one of the most brutal and engrossing films of 2011.
Right from lustrous sexy title sequence evoking torturous S&M imagery to the ultra-cool Karen O/Trent Reznor rendition of Led Zepplin’s “Immigrant Song” the Oscar-nominated filmmaker plunges his audience into a very specific experience. This is not to say that the story itself is notably inventive; Dragon Tattoo is more or less a standard serial killer thriller wherein a pair of investigators attempts to solve a decades-old murder that has ties to other gruesome mysteries and a wealthy Swedish family. It’s the sinister atmosphere and tone he cultivates using color music and lighting that makes this tale so unique and highly watchable in spite of the terrible events that occur throughout.
Perhaps most compelling though is its mixed bag of characters from different walks of life including Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) a recently disgraced financial journalist in need of an assignment Martin Vanger (Stellan Skarsgard) a yuppie-ish corporate tycoon charged with running the family business started by his uncle Henrik (Christopher Plummer) and Lisbeth Salander (Mara) the alpha-outsider and titular character of this eerie epic. All are emotionally scarred and the actors charged with portraying them go the darkest corners of their own souls to make them their own. Mara in particular must be praised for her ghoulish and extreme embodiment of Salander who suffers physical and emotional torment unlike anything we’ve seen in cinema this year. This more than her scene-stealing presence in Fincher’s The Social Network is no doubt her star-making turn; expect to see her name on a marquee soon. Though she and Craig at times struggle with the Swedish diction (the latter’s native British accent slips through more times than I can count) they more than make up for it with their physical personifications facial expressions etc. Yet it’s Skarsgard who is most impressive as the younger Vanger (he’s of Swedish descent) and delivers a stunning and chilling performance that will rival Mara’s in defining this film in years to come.
Still this is a Fincher film through and through and I cannot think of source material better suited for the maker of Se7en and Zodiac than this disturbing chronicle. Visually he’s given the opportunity to create damp decaying interiors familiar to fans of his work but contrasts them with beautifully filmed exteriors including some terrifying whiteout conditions that are sure to lower your body temperature. In terms of form he and editors Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall effectively lay out dual character arcs (that of Salander and Blomkvist) that run parallel but connect in uncanny ways until their eventual convergence resulting in a highly literary feel. Both Baxter and Wall won Oscars for cutting The Social Network and I’m afraid that their penchant for quick transitions between shots has a decreasing effect on the terror; for a film that so closely treads the line between horror-thriller I felt that letting certain shots play out a bit longer could’ve had more dreadful results.
Still in no way I am saying that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo doesn’t come with its share of nail-biting suspense. Fincher takes tense situations to the next level using unconventional camera angles and Reznor’s unnerving score making many sequences in the movie hard to watch. It’s a tiring but entertaining task; one that is a pleasure and pain to endure but the auteur’s masterful methods are quite magical even when being used to tell a story as menacing as this one.
There’s nothing else playing at the multiplex this season that’s quite like it and should you choose to view it you’ll carry its shocks with you for days after.