Under the Skin - A24 Films - Blu-ray and DVD
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Antonia Campbell-Hughes,Michael Moreland. Full cast + crew
Considering it's about an alien (Scarlett Johansson) who visits the remote countryside of Scotland, most people are calling Under the Skin a sci-fi movie. And that's certainly fair game, but that doesn't really sell how utterly terrifying Jonathan Glazer's film is at times. It's not strictly a horror movie, but some of the scenes and imagery here are more bone chilling and unforgettable than anything I've seen in a strict horror movie so far in 2014.
Beautiful and haunting, Under the Skin is a hard film to enjoy, but an easy film to appreciate. Certainly recommended for the art house crowd, though anyone expecting this to be a sexy Scarlett Johansson alien movie will be in for a shock. It also has one of the best scores of the year so far, so keep an ear out for that, audiophiles.
Other Notable New Releases
The first Rio seemed like one of those generic kids movies that comes out every few months that seems to simply exist to have something for parents to mindlessly put on for their children. And it kind of is, but it's at least got more energy and flair in its animation than, say, The Nut Job, and the exact same can be said of Rio 2. There's no complex story here, no unforgettable lessons for kids to learn. It's just a charming, cute (mis)adventure animated movie strictly for kids.
Do you love movies like Cube where a bunch of strangers wake up in one location with no memory of why they are there? Then you may want to check out Open Grave about a handful of strangers in the woods (Sharlto Copley, Thomas Kretschmann, Erin Richards) who have no idea why they are there or why there's a pile of dead bodies nearby. It's a bit obtuse, plenty melodramatic, and not highly original, but it's got a good cast and enough airport-novel-type mystery to keep fans of this niche satisfied.
Horror fans have two very differeny '80s gems to pick up this week. The first is David Cronenberg's Scanners, featuring one of the most memorable head explosions ever put on film, and the second is the far lesser seen Deadly Eyes, which is actually a pretty decent creature feature about mutant rats (dachshunds dressed in rat costumes) that threaten to take over all of Toronto and the unlikely basketball coach and health inspector who try to stop it all.
Lastly we have the first season of the hilarious animated series Black Dynamite based on the awesome 2009 blaxsploitation comedy. If you liked the movie, you will like this stylized, ridiculous, and perfect companion series. It's a smart parody of '70s kung fu cinema, and just another overall great show from Adult Swim.
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