Under the Skin is the Pick of the Week

Random story: my father recently got on my mother’s computer which is set up slightly different than his own device. Mom’s homepage is set to Google, whereas my father prefers Yahoo. Dad actually googled “yahoo” then clicked on the link and searched for whatever it was he was actually looking for. Thing is, my dad is actually relatively computer literate. He’s had a computer since the early ’90s, been online since 1996, was an early adapter to digital photography and can draw house plans on his CAD program like a master. Yet somehow search engines still elude him.

I frackin’ love the Internet. I spent more time online than with any other thing and just about any other person. The fact that the entire history of the world’s knowledge is at my fingertips continues to astound me. Not to mention the biggest film library ever created, more music than a person can ever listen to, resources galore, and enough cat photos to make even the grumpiest of humbugs smile. Yet it’s also the biggest source of annoying, obnoxious, and just plain rudeness one could ever imagine.

This is certainly true when it comes to movies. Go to any film’s page on IMDB and you will easily find some smart guy mouthing off about the film. It wouldn’t be so bad if the haters would actually post why they didn’t like a film other than it being stupid or boring. Defenders of said films are often worse as they berate the haters with filthy names, order them back to watching nothing but Michael Bay films, and state definitively that anyone who doesn’t like the movie must have not gotten it.

Then there are films like Under the Skin, which, by most accounts, is a very intelligent, well-made, and “if not good then at least interesting” science fiction film. Yet all the Internet cares about is Scarlett Johansson’s nude scene. Look, I’m a warm-blooded, straight male. I find Ms. Johansson attractive and I’ll admit I clicked on the links and looked at the pictures. But that’s not why I want to watch this movie. That’s not why I’m making it my Pick of the Week. I hope that it’s as good a film as it should be. I pray that it becomes more than another footnote on the Mr. Skin webpage.

Also out this week that looks interesting (and doesn’t feature major celebrities taking off their clothes)

Rio 2:  The animated sequel to a film I’ve not bothered to watch.

Pickpocket (Criterion Collection): An excellent French crime drama from Robert Bresson gets a Criterion upgrade.

Scanners (Criterion Collection):  I’m late to the game with David Cronenberg, but every film I see by him is equal parts disturbing and excellent.

Orphan Black: Season 2:  With my lack of cable and my Internet troubles, I’ve yet to catch any of Season 2 of this excellent BBC series. In the meantime I’ve been watching Season 1 again, this time bringing my wife along for the ride and getting her just as addicted as I am.

Hell on Wheels: Season 3:  I want to like this show, but I’ve never been able to get past the first half of the first season. There’s good potential in the story of creating the American railroad across the vastness of the country, but from what I’ve seen they squander it completely.

Mat Brewster

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