Cinema Roundup March 13th 2014

Cinema roundup March 13th

It’s been over a decade since director Jonathan Glazer’s critically lauded but audience ignored gem, Birth. The failure of that movie resulted in Glazer struggling to get several projects off the ground, but this week you can finally see his third movie, twisted sci-fi drama Under the Skin.

The movie features an alien roaming Glasgow in the guise of Scarlett Johansson, picking up naïve young men and taking them back to a mysterious house where they are consumed by a black goo. Yep, this isn’t your average sci-fi tale. Glazer’s approach mixes grindhouse with arthouse and the results are at times spectacular.

The first half of the film uses a hidden camera to film Johansson interacting with actual unsuspecting members of the public while the second half resembles Kubrick at his most visually meticulous.

It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but if you want a sci-fi flick of a more artistic bent, Under the Skin is a must see.

The Rocket is a charming coming of age fable set in the rural villages of Laos. Local tradition states that when a mother gives birth to twins she must immediately destroy the infants in the belief that one will carry a curse. The film revolves around a boy who was born a twin but whose mother has kept this fact a secret. When he is involved in an accident, the boy’s secret is revealed and he finds himself shunned by his community. Like last year’s ground breaking Saudi drama Wadjda, The Rocket uses a childhood tale to expose the dark side of tradition.

Zero Theorem is the latest from cult film-maker Terry Gilliam but one trip too many to his particular well, resembling a parody of his work. Set in a near future London, the film feels dated, exploring ground that’s been covered multiple times in sci-fi over the last few decades.

Need for Speed is a surprisingly enjoyable, if gormless, high speed auto chase movie that, unlike the CG infested Fast & Furious series, actually features real stunt driving. The results are pretty jaw dropping and recall the good old days of seventies car flicks. Turn your brain off, grab a large popcorn and enjoy the vehicular mayhem.

By Eric Hillis