UNDER THE SKIN (Jonathan Glazer, 2014): 8.6
A very, very troubling film, and I mean that in the best way possible. It is distancing, perplexing, disorienting. That is to say, it puts the audience exactly in the mindset of an alien first encountering the human race. The score shreds nerves and Scarlett Johansson, certainly one of the most beautiful people alive, is so believably non-human in a way that I didn’t think possible from someone of her star wattage. While it takes a somewhat predictable “what does it mean to be human?” turn, it does it in a very non-standard way that remains as disturbing and provocative as the rest of the film. It’s been a long time since a movie so purposefully took me out of my comfort zone. It turns an entire culture of male gaze and masculine safety right around on me. The abyss stares back, indeed.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (Joe & Anthony Russo, 2014): 6.6
Note to Zack Snyder and everyone else responsible for MAN OF STEEL, which continues to slide down the rungs into worst movie ever made territory: you can make a movie about an unwavering goody two-shoes and have it be relevant, interesting, entertaining, and (mildly, I admit) provocative. Captain America is cool and all, but Superman is Superman, and Marvel just beat him at his own game. Which just makes me despise MAN OF STEEL all the more. This movie was fun, though. Poor Hawkeye. Can’t believe there’s only one movie left before AGE OF ULTRON. Also, fuck MAN OF STEEL.