Sunday, July 20, 2014

Movie review -- Under the Skin

I don't usually get to do reviews of movies that are in current release or very recently released, but I caught this on pay-per-view last night and thought I'd give it a go.

The movie opens with what seems to be a overly drawn out obtuse visual and audio sequence. I think it becomes more clear once you get the reveal at the end of the flick, but it gives me a sort of 2001: A Space Odyssey vibe.

Afterwards we see a motorcycle zooming around the highways and streets, the rider wearing that head-to-toe leather and padding outfit that seems more popular in Europe than here in America. He skids to a stop, dismounts and marches determinedly into the brush alongside the road. He quickly returns with the limp body of a girl draped over his shoulder and tosses her into the back of a large white van.

The scene cuts to a vast, feature-less all white space where the girl (dead, we're to assume, I think) is dumped on the floor. An all nude Scarlett Johansson appears and undresses her then puts on the girl's clothing, pausing only to stare at the corpse then pluck a small ant off the body and observe it.

Johansson's character then drives the van (one of those odd, tall & skinny vans we see in Europe) into town and enters a mall and buys some clothes. What she took off the dead girl looked a bit like hooker wear -- ripped stockings, short mini-skirt, etc. Now she's clad in skin-tight jeans, a delicate red top, furry jacket and some killer boots.

Perhaps less not-a-hooker wear than simply not yucky from being on a dead girl lying in the scrub brush.  heh

Suitably attired, Johansson begins driving around trying to pick up guys. Random, but not entirely. I should point out here that we may be 15 minutes into the film and not a word has been spoken yet. Very artsy.

When she does speak, Johansson is affecting a light British accent. The movie is set in Scotland, so the locals . . . well, . . . we here in America get used to a certain accent from Scots, Irish and Brits in movies. Think Sean Connery, Liam Neeson, James McAvoy, Idris Elba, etc. The Scots in this movie, are speaking the real, down home thing. And quite frankly, I couldn't understand a word they said the entire movie. Seriously. When Johansson's character is asking for directions to the M8, the guy's reply was just gibberish to me. And I don't mean that as an insult to Scots, I just couldn't dig through his accent and syntax. At one point he says, "This may be hard to follow." Meaning his directions of course, and I just laughed out loud.

I'm sure the director did this on purpose, but to what end? The movie might as well have been subtitled or dialog-less for me.  weird

Anyway, she finally finds a guy and drives him back to a crappy looking building where they enter. The building is as completely black and empty as it was white and empty in the opening sequence. Johansson backs away from the guy pealing off her clothes while he comes toward her doing the same. She ends up in jeans and a bra while he ends up fully naked. Put off by full frontal male nudity? Yeah, this flick ain't for you, bro.

But the guy keeps walking and slowly sinks into the floor which seems to be some sort of black or deep dark blue, thick viscous liquid. He continues to walk, entranced by Johansson, until he is fully submerged. She then walks back over the same area, now solid, collects her clothes, redresses, and leaves.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

That seems to be Johansson's character's thing -- find random guys, get them back to this place, and sink them in the floor. There is no malice in her character. The "seduction" is little more than her verbally convincing these guys to come with her. In fact, I doubt Johansson speaks more than a page's worth of dialog in the entire movie. The majority of her screen time is spent either staring blankly at whatever's going on around her or donning a fish out of water mildly confused expression.

The beginning two thirds of the movie focuses on her search for guys while driving the van around Scotland. The majority of the van interior scenes are shot from the passenger floorboard angle. And she clicks and unclicks her seatbelt so much, I wondered if there was some hidden meaning there.

At one point we do see one of the guys floating under the floor. He can see upwards, watching Johansson walking out. And he sees another victim floating before him. He watches as the guy seems to lose all his interior organs, bones, etc., eventually becoming simply an empty human skin floating in the emptiness.

Things continue in this fashion until Johansson picks up a dude with what looks to be Neurofibromatosis (the Elephant Man disease). Watching her entice this poor guy into coming back with her, via the promise of being with a woman for the first time was uncomfortable to me. Perhaps part of why it was in the film. But after sinking him in the floor, something goes wrong. Johansson stops on her way out and sees . . . something, about herself in a mirror. We see the guy running naked out the front door and into the scrub brush towards some houses. The motorcycle guys comes racing into the neighborhood and catches the little guy climbing through a fence, stuffs him into the trunk of a stolen car, then races off.

Whatever happened with the little guy knocks Johansson's charcter off kilter. She begins to wander aimlessly, eventually abandoning her van and simply walking down one road after another. Various little events occur to make us wonder what's up with her. She tries to eat a bit of cake and throws it up. Tries to have sex with a kind stranger, doesn't work. And all the while, her motorcycle guardian (partner, whatever) now has two others helping him and they're zooming around the highways searching for her.

The movie ends as Johansson's character is wandering through a 2000 acre managed woods and is attacked by a pervy type and rape is attempted. We get the big reveal here, right before the movie ends.

The film is writen and directed by Jonathan Glazer from a novel by Michael Faber. I don't know if Glazer is supposed to be considered a visionary or auteur or what, but I wasn't bowled over by this flick. There is no drama or mystery here and frankly, I wonder if anyone would bother to watch the movie if it didn't have the novelty of Scarlett Johansson fully nude in it. That's what drove me to it.

And a word about that. I've posted before about Johansson and the crazy fawning over her by magazines, blogs, etc. I've always loved her unconventional beauty -- her face is astounding. But I've not ever found her body to be that jaw dropping. She has a short waisted look (that's what we called it in the old days) that makes her look dumpy, even when she isn't really. She's curvy and has some meat on her bones, and that ain't a bad thing. She's got an impressive booty that allows her to rock the hell out of a tight skirt or jeans and you'll see in the images below, she looks really good. Just not in profile. Something about the way she is shaped, it doesn't flatter her to be photographed from the side.

All in all, I'm not overwhelmed by this movie. There are a lot of questions -- Why only men? Why is the room white for the dead girl but black for men? What is the purpose for her character? What is the motorcycle guy's connection to Johansson's character? I guess it makes good water cooler talk, but is there supposed to be a deeper meaning here? I don't know. My conclusion -- I wouldn't advise someone to spend $5 on a pay-per-view. If it comes on regular cable, I'd say watch it for yourself and puzzle along with me. But basically . . . meh.

Here's some screen caps of Miss Scarlett naked. I did what I could to clean them up, but the quality isn't fabulous:

scarlett johansson nude in under the skin
scarlett johansson nude in under the skin
scarlett johansson nude in under the skin

Did you find this review helpful? Check out my other reviews for my thoughts on the flicks and the occasional gallery of hotness that accompanies them:

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Looking good sweetheart

Lindsay Lohan edition:

lindsay lohan looking sloppy fat on a yacht

I took some crap from a commenter after a post about Lindsay Lohan where I said that maybe she should hit the gym a little more often in lieu of hitting the clubs. These pics surfaced this weekend of Linds on a yacht with her little sister (that's her ass getting the wedgy) and she looks worse than when I did the previous post.

lindsay lohan looking sloppy fat on a yacht

I mean, this gal is only 28 years old. She doesn't have to hold down a day-to-day job. Has enough money to do whatever she wants, and this is how she looks? She's an actress. Part of her hire-ability is how she looks. I remember after watching The Canyons telling a co-worker how horrible she looked in that movie. Sloppy body, no muscle tone . . . like Jennifer Love Hewitt, Lindsay's living off her impressive chest and ignoring how the rest of her is falling into disrepair. She already has a reputation as difficult to work with. If her looks tail off too far, even the novelty of having her in a film isn't going to get her employed. She'll have to live off Photoshopped modeling jobs, if she can get those. Pretty sad state of affairs for someone who was once so highly touted as an up-and-coming star actress.

lindsay lohan looking sloppy fat on a yacht

Friday, July 18, 2014

So Facebook banned this?

university of warwick rowing calendar

So the story goes that the girls of the University of Warwick rowing team put out a saucy calendar to raise some funds. And then Facebook promptly banned the images.

As I eschew the social media, I know little about Facebook, Twitter, etc., and their rules and regulations except what I run across in online stories. So I cannot legitimately call B.S. on this story. But true or not, the girls are getting more publicity now than they would have if they had simply dropped the calendar online quietly. They are college girls after all, so this could be some clever publicity on their part. All I know is that there is barely more nudity here than one sees in a typical episode of Benny Hill, so I don't know what all the hubbub is about.

But since I'm all about supporting amateur athletics . . . what are you laughing about . . . here's some of the pics to help further the gals fundraising efforts:

university of warwick rowing calendar
university of warwick rowing calendar
university of warwick rowing calendar
university of warwick rowing calendar
university of warwick rowing calendar

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hilary Duff in a bikini = unfortunate

It is not unfortunate, of course, that Hilary Duff is in a bikini. We've waited seven long months for the 2014 version of my Duffster to appear in some sexy swimwear. What is unfortunate is that whoever got these pictures must have used a cardboard disposable camera circa 1980!

Dude, seriously?! Most cell phone cameras have 10 megapixels and come with image stabilization software and some form of Photoshop to enhance the images. And this is the best you can come up with?! We would almost have been better off having a courtroom artist sketch Hilary in her bikini. At least the pics wouldn't be so freakin' blurry.

Anyway, it seems these are from a music video shoot. ?!?!?!   I didn't even know she was putting out music again. But if there are going to be videos of her in a bikini . . . I'm pre-ordering that shit on Amazon right now!

hilary duff bikini 2014

And by the way, as my man Gordon Solie used to say -- how about the definition and confirmation on my girl in these pics. Damn! All that work in the gym is really paying off. She's like MMA hot!

hilary duff bikini 2014
hilary duff bikini 2014
hilary duff bikini 2014
hilary duff bikini 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tennis . . . it does a body good

Alternate title = Here's something we don't see enough of . . . Maria Sharapova in a bikini.

The 2014 French Open winner was spotted enjoying some time off and getting a kick out of the fact she was being pap'ed and looking mighty nice in the process:

maria sharapova bikini
maria sharapova bikini

50% of the Spring Breakers girls are nsfw

spring breakers promo

There've been rumors going around recently that sweet innocent little Selena Gomez may have gotten breast implants, possibly because on again/off again boyfriend Justin Bieber wanted her to. Recent pics of young Selena seem to show her looking as though she's had some work done:

selena gomez see thru nipple

And today she released an Instagram pic seemingly blissfully unaware of the fact that her current wardrobe won't get the job done vis a vis her new cleavage:

selena gomez nipple slip

And then also today, we find her co-star, Ashley Benson, photographed topless whilst hanging out at the beach in Maui:

*click for uncensored*ashley benson topless

Don't know how that movie did money-wise, but these girls ought to take a tip from their other co-star Vanessa Hudgens -- to help promote your movie, you're supposed to "accidentally" release those saucy images just prior to the movie's debut, not a year later.

They're young, they'll get the hang of the process eventually, I suppose.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Today in climate astrology

A recent op-ed in the Tampa Bay Times caught my eye. Written by Brendan Nyhan, an assistant professor of government at Dartmouth, it appears to be yet another attempt by liberals to point out why conservatives won't buy into the AGW hoax.

Nyhan brings up both a recent Pew Research poll and a study by someone at Yale to show that it is people's religious belief that is stopping them from accepting the leftist position on climate change.

Nyhan burnishes his lefty cred by managing to conflate liberal hobby horses like weapons of mass destruction, health care reform and vaccinations with lack of belief in human caused climate change.


And when he calls on "opinion leaders" to stop spreading mis-information, he naturally cites the "birther" meme put forth some years back. I'm guessing that wild, groundless accusations about conservatives aren't as troubling to the prof -- such as the "911 truther" meme.

But amidst his, you know the facts, your'e just letting your primitive religious belief get in the way op-ed, Nyhan accidentally shows exactly why there is intelligent resistance to the AGW hoax.

In the post's opening he says there is "...solid evidence that the temperature on Earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades."

That is provably false. Period. And the data for that is out there for anyone with a computer to see. The fact is that there has been no global warming for over 17 years now. And that is despite an increase of 60ppm of atmospheric CO2. Which is to say that even the endless hullabaloo about CO2 as a "greenhouse gas" doesn't appear to have any merit either:

CO2 doesn't cause global temps to rise

He also drops the lefty fav about "...97% of climate scientists believe human activities are causing global warming." This common falsehood is derived from the fatally flawed Cook et al., 2013. Environ. Res. Lett. 8, 024024 paper.

As I pointed out in a recent post, analysis of the paper shows that in actuality, 95% of the papers used to substantiate that claim are silent on the notion of human caused climate change.

And when you look at everything from Climategate to the desperate attempts by AGW adherents to silence debate on the subject (from the BBC refusing to allow dissent on air to web communities like Reddit banning dissenters) it is only natural to question the validity of supposed scientific truths that cannot be backed up by actual verifiable facts.

Frankly, the only people acting like religious zealots here are lefties like prof. Nyhan. It is he and his colleagues that are conducting witch hunts and attempting to destroy non-believers or bludgeon them into compliance. So in one way, perhaps his own thesis is right -- religious belief is getting in the way of otherwise intelligent people from agreeing with science.

It is just that it is Brendan Nyhan who is blinded by unsupportable doctrine, not us conservatives.