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ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

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This film is...

Crap: An actor in van in search of a point
2
6%
Not Crap: Catchy soundtrack
19
61%
Sexy: Finally my very particular tastes have been catered for
7
23%
Eurgh: I went for naked celebs and got harrowing alienation
3
10%
 
Total votes : 31

ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

Postby pldms on Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:30 am

From the director of Sexy Beast. An alien wanders around Glasgow searching for men.

From reviews there are clear warning signs: director had complete control (cue overlong shots channelling the inner Malick, and overall refusal to edit); 'enigmatic' (often a code word for aimless); use of gimmicks (hidden cameras filming real people). Oh, and an A-list actor slumming it for artistic credibility.

But despite all that it doesn't drag too much, and is really arresting with more than a touch of The Man Who Fell to Earth but in the style of Red Road. There are a handful of scenes that are the most creepy and mesmerising I've ever seen, and the soundtrack may be up there with There Will Be Blood.

On reflection the film's plot is too obvious, even clichéd, and its turning point isn't very convincing. And if the first part is attempting social commentary or even satire it doesn't work. However still a thumbs up. Far, far better than I expected.

Those of you that want Species will find plenty of nudity, but this is aversion therapy than sexy alien fun times.

Big laughs for the Tommy Copper routine on TV, which lightened the mood of the cinema.
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Re: ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

Postby aldofarian on Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:42 am

I was given the book a couple of years ago and it was an enjoyable page turner which drifts a bit once the original conceit is lifted. Reminded me a bit of the Wasp Factory in mood.
I cannot imagine Scarlet Johansson as the girl (I had a Jane Horrocks-y picture in my head ) but it sounds like the film differs quite a lot from the book (more urban setting).

Intrigued to see it if it ever gets a European release.
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Re: ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

Postby pldms on Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:05 am

aldofarian wrote:Intrigued to see it if it ever gets a European release.

The UK is in Europe ;-) Hope it does, but I've no idea what criteria are used when deciding whether to distribute films like this. Box office won't be huge, but critical reception is pretty good.

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Re: ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

Postby Big John on Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:26 am

Is this a remake of Invasion of the Bee Girls?
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Re: ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

Postby iembalm on Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:53 pm

Sexy Beast is fantastic, I loved Birth (especially Danny Huston, holy shit), and I can't wait for this one.
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Re: ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

Postby cjh on Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:43 am

I saw this last week, post-curtain comments from the assorted hooligans of my party included an "arthouse Species" and "The Man Who Fell to Earth directed by David Lynch". There is some truth in both of them.

I liked it, I think ultimately it might be judged as a brave failure. Overall, it's slightly unsatisfying but contains a couple of genuinely unnerving scenes that I found myself picking over the next day. I haven't read the book but my better half has. I understand the novel sees the humans fattened and mutilated for consumption, the film is more ambiguous and the frames of the bodies suspended in the glaucous blue liquid are compelling. Mica Levi's score and the sound design is excellent. I thought Scar-Jo was surprisingly convincing.

For a mainstream release it's fairly uncompromising and deserves praise for that. It's flawed and ponderous in parts but striking, well worth watching on the big screen.
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Re: ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

Postby pldms on Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:56 am

Soundtrack is out.

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cjh wrote:I liked it, I think ultimately it might be judged as a brave failure.

For me it might become a classic cult film:* it has obvious issues, but it undoubtedly has an strong idiosyncratic appeal. The good bits have stayed with me.

* As opposed the modern version: any film which lost money on its initial release, and gets quoted endlessly by fans.
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Re: ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

Postby madmanmunt on Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:04 pm

pldms wrote:clear warning signs: director had complete control (cue overlong shots channelling the inner Malick, and overall refusal to edit); 'enigmatic' (often a code word for aimless); use of gimmicks (hidden cameras filming real people). Oh, and an A-list actor slumming it for artistic credibility.


These are all clear warning signs that I will be going to see a film.

Looking forward to this.
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Re: ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

Postby enframed on Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:07 pm

cjh wrote:
I liked it, I think ultimately it might be judged as a brave failure. Overall, it's slightly unsatisfying but contains a couple of genuinely unnerving scenes that I found myself picking over the next day.

For a mainstream release it's fairly uncompromising and deserves praise for that. It's flawed and ponderous in parts but striking, well worth watching on the big screen.

Agreed.

I thought it was good, overall. It looked great, editing (or lack thereof) was great, Johansson was convincing (and looked fantastic, damn). What it was about was not clear, or seemed to change during the course of the film, giving it a disjointed feel. For me, for the first half it was about the aliens and what they were doing, and a possible commentary on humanity with all the collages and double-exposures, candid shots of people, etc. Then later it changed and became more about Johansson's character, and her becoming self-aware/self-conscious/human. Of course, with what happens at the end you could say it was more about humanity, but the end left me unsatisfied. It introduced a certain level of trauma/drama that was absent for the majority of the film, and it felt to me a bit forced ("Here's what you have to deal with when you're human, or something). I would have preferred to have it end the same way it began: motorcycle dude finding Johansson's dead body and beginning the cycle (if you can call it that) again. In any event, good film, got me thinking about it.

Also, apparently the digital camera it was shot on was created for the picture, and it was shot 100% digital.

I voted "Sexy" because the soundtrack wasn't the only thing to enjoy about it.

Also, the music during the "love" scene in the bedroom was a straight synthesizer adaptation of the underlying melody of Robert Fripp and the League of Crafty Guitarists' "Guitar Craft Theme." I've heard this piece hundreds of times, but even my wife, who's only heard it twice, recognized it immediately.
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Re: ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

Postby iembalm on Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:03 pm

I loved it and I'm going again this week with the world's biggest Kubrick fan.

The scenes on the beach were genuinely hard to watch.

Score was fantastic. Didn't need the skrieky strings when things were "consummated," but I got over it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH_FX6-W4xI
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Re: ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

Postby seanurban on Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:33 am

judging by the previews, this requires her to act. that is what i call a game changer.
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Re: ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

Postby placeholder on Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:21 am

I saw this last night. A couple walked out of the movie during the beach scene.

It pushed many of my aesthetic buttons. Excellent shot composition, incredible score, relentlessly bleak tone. Sort-of reminded me of a superior, gender-switched, Kubrickian take on Norman Warren's Prey, although I realize the comparison doesn't really hold up to scrutiny.

NOT CRAP. Better than I expected, but not great.
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Re: ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

Postby cjh on Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:57 am

Brief interview with Adam Pearson, the guy with neurofibromatosis who features in some of the film's pivotal scenes.
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Re: ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

Postby iembalm on Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:15 am

cjh wrote:Brief interview with Adam Pearson, the guy with neurofibromatosis who features in some of the film's pivotal scenes.


Pearson is keen to do more acting. He'd like to get a girlfriend ("I'm currently single") and, although there's a 50% chance he could pass his condition on to any children, this doesn't worry him unduly: "My kids will be genetically awesome anyway."


This guy makes me feel like a whining little bitch. He was great in the film, too.
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Re: ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

Postby iembalm on Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:15 am

Doubled
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Re: ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

Postby Zorg on Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:02 pm

iembalm wrote:
cjh wrote:Brief interview with Adam Pearson, the guy with neurofibromatosis who features in some of the film's pivotal scenes.


Pearson is keen to do more acting. He'd like to get a girlfriend ("I'm currently single") and, although there's a 50% chance he could pass his condition on to any children, this doesn't worry him unduly: "My kids will be genetically awesome anyway."


This guy makes me feel like a whining little bitch. He was great in the film, too.


Um, passing this condition on to kids seems to be a little stubbornly selfish to me, but cool that he's upbeat otherwise.
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Re: http://glutenberg.ca/images/ca/moods/home-27: Under the

Postby madmanmunt on Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:19 pm

It's killing me that haven't see this yet.

I had the chance in three separate cities last month, but the thought that a "ScarJo Species Reboot" would not turn up at the local shittiplex, if only for a week, did not occur to my naive brain.
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Re: ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

Postby Boombats on Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:14 am

Looks dope.
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Re: http://glutenberg.ca/images/ca/moods/home-27: Under the

Postby numberthirty on Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:50 am

madmanmunt wrote:It's killing me that haven't see this yet.

I had the chance in three separate cities last month, but the thought that a "ScarJo Species Reboot" would not turn up at the local shittiplex, if only for a week, did not occur to my naive brain.


It is odd. I managed to see The Raid 2 twice, and have not seen this film.
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Re: ScarJo Species Reboot: Under the Skin

Postby Angus Jung on Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:51 pm

Nic Roeg comparisons mean I need to see it, but what with everything sucking now, I'm probably setting myself up to be bummed out.
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