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July 18, 2014

Movie Review: Under the Skin (2014, Blu-ray / DVD)

Reviewed by: Jimmy D.

In Hollywood, when any actor/actress goes outside of their comfort zone two things usually happen: 1. They create art and win Oscars. 2. They run back to their comfort zone when they flop. I respect Scarlett Johansson as an actress who likes to take chances, but I feel this film she was trying a little too hard. Ghost World was that quirky film that put her on the map, almost by accident. After all it was a Thora Birch vehicle after she got people talking in American Beauty. Scarlett was just that also-ran in Home Alone 3, who somehow got people talking and put her in the A-list. That being said, if this was the film that was supposed to put her on the map, I feel Thora would now be the star.

Johansen plays an extraterrestrial that is driving the streets in Glasgow. She has this dark wig, a fur jacket and this almost animal allure. If this film was based solely on her beauty, there is no doubt this would be a huge film. But, that is the problem with this film is that she tries to let it all be about her beauty. I get it, she gets naked which let’s be honest most women if you see one naked you can guess that every woman will have the same parts and pieces, the only thing that could be different is size and shape, but the majority will have breasts and a vagina. If not, look for the Adam’s apple. I thought her work in Her was really her finest hour, she showed so many dimensions with just using her voice and mannerisms. In her drive she stops men and asks them for directions which they cannot seem to resist when she offers them a ride. She removes her clothes and begs them to follow and then wading up to their chests in some black hole void thing. When I saw the trailer early last year, I was stoked but as I watched this film I realized that the best stuff was in the trailer. This film while it does try very hard to entertain was such a boring ride. The art-house feel for me does not work especially when you know they had a budget that could have given this film any help it needed.

This film suffers from an actress who is too daring to shed an image, and a director not daring enough to give her limits to this metamorphosis. I bet in a midnight show in a crowded art theater with alcohol this film could play a lot better for the experience.

All in all, this film was a little too out there for me to really grasp at what they wanted to entertain me with or just wanted me to lust after. I feel as she grows and grows as an actress, roles like this will never be referred to. These were just moments of uncertainty on a young actress trying to show more layers to who she is.

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