Under the Skin (2013)

Directed by Jonathan Glazer, staring Scarlett Johansson and following the story of a woman who seduces men by the roadside late at night in Scotland.


Jonathan Glazer is a uniquely powerful director whose skills within films are outstanding and yet for some reason I had never heard of him. His only other piece of well-known work is the critically acclaimed Sexy beast. I was absolutely in awe of this film; both from a narrative point and from its production values.

Some might compare this to a film like Drive in the way little is said yet the film narrative and photography speaks volumes, I feel this is somewhat better performed.  Set in Scotland, Johansson’s character drives around picking on isolated men and easy targets to bring back to her ‘nest’. For me what was so striking about this film is it IS connected to some of the best and oldest stories; the mythology is quite clear with its connection to Sirens.

Sirens are mythological creatures from Greek stories. They existed out in the ocean and would seduce sailors passing by with their irresistible, however once the men dived into the water to swim to their prize the rock and rough seas would kill them. The sirens themselves would be beautiful voluptuous desirable women. Johansson is the perfect fit for such a character, with an hourglass shape and a very alluring English accent.

For a film containing a large amount of nudity, both male and female, it is refreshing that none of them are flaunting huge built bodies, instead they are all more realistic then we have seen in recent Hollywood years.

The filming itself is fantastic because it is so simple; these are not state of the art cameras but simple cameras filming incredibly familiar scenes around Scotland, thus drawing you in.

The narrative of the film relies heavily on the audience being able to interpret correctly what is happening as the script is kept to a minimal with rare moments of speech. This proves effortless because of the mystery surrounding the events at the beginning you want to know more and understands. Though towards the end it begins to tire and comes to a close becoming dull and repetitive.

Johansson is mesmerising in this, showing her true skill as an actress by being able to hold the audience physically with her acting.

I won’t pretend I understand everything that happened, though my comprehension of the film was adequate for my own enjoyment but for such a complex film I feel a lot of it should be left to debate and interpretation.

OVERALL***** An outstanding piece of cinema, that was unexpected

RECOMMENDATION – This is not for everyone.  Some of the scenes people may find too horrific to watch, though not violent it is the implications that horrify you. For a film lover, this is definite must watch as the skills presented here are fascinating.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Directed by Wes Anderson staring Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori. The story follows Gustave H and Zero Moustafa as two working members of the Grand Budapest Hotel and their many adventures during the war.<!–more–>

There are certain directors who have very particular styles, because of this you only need to watch the first 10 minutes of their film before you recognise that style and realise who is directing. Wes Anderson is one such director, whose clear styles and camera work have become his trademark as well as the general odd but lovely feeling you get from watching.

What makes this style so particular is its artistic flair without being over used or pretentious, despite the plot being some what mad.

In particular I find the camera work very clever, while a lot of the scenes are simply people walking through corridors the camera work allows the simplest of scenes to grab your attention. By constantly changing the camera angle this technique makes us keep watching, apose to long scenes with no change in camera work or point of view. It is because of this clever technique that the film never feels slow or boring, but always high in action even in scenes where people are simply being chased.

There is a total silliness to some scenes which instead of looking badly edited are actually incredibly funny because they are absurd, an example of such without spoiling anything is the chase scene.

For such a large cast with so much happening, Anderson manages to balance it all very well, and while it is a nice surprise to see Bill Murray appear, then leave it takes nothing from your enjoyment of the film. Possibly because  Fiennes and Revolori are engaging to watch.

OVERALL ***** There is a good balanced mix of humour and reality of the time this is set, but the artistic value and techniques used make this an excellent film.

RECOMMENDATION- If you have never watched a Wes Anderson film then you are in for a treat, then go and watch Fantastic Mr Fox, and if you have then this is one of his best.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Directed by Bryan Singer, Staring James McAvoy, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Evan Peters, Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian Mckellen. The X-men send Wolverine into the past in order to try and stop Sentinels nearly wiping out both human and mutant race. Read more of this post

Godzilla (2014)

Directed by Gareth Edwards, Staring Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen.

Delving into the history of famous and ancient monsters, this remake takes a very different approach to its predecessors.
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The Amazing Spider-man 2 (2014)

Directed  by Marc Webb, starring Andrew Garfield, Emma stone, Jamie Foxx and Dane Dehaan. Spider-Man struggles with the events of the first film, while dealing with the power hungry Oscorp which in turn leads to investigating more into what his parents did and why they left him.

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The secret life of Walter Mitty


Directed by Ben Stiller, staring Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig and Adam Scott. A day dreamer living a simple life a a negative specialist for Life magazine, goes on a journey both in this imagination and real life. Read more of this post

Don Jon (2013)


Directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, written by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, staring Joseph Gordon-Lewitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore.

Following Don Jon, a man who is all about his family, friends, church, body, car, pad and his porn. Read more of this post


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