Under the Skin – Radio Film Review

Not even Scarlett Johansson is sure of what she sees in UNDER THE SKIN.
Not even Scarlett Johansson is sure of what she sees in UNDER THE SKIN.

“I reeeeeally want you to review UNDER THE SKIN for HOUR OF THE WOLF,” Jim Freund said to me a couple of weeks ago. That was good, because I reeeeeeally wanted to review UNDER THE SKIN, but constraints — both on time and finances — meant that I needed a good reason to get to it. Since we were committed to reviewing CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER — an okay film, but not really more than that — on the CINEFANTASTIQUE SPOTLIGHT the week UNDER THE SKIN was debuting, Jim’s advocacy was just the motivation I required.
So let it be noted, in case you had any doubt, that this confirms Jim Freund’s status as a fighter on the side of the angels. I’ve had a cautious relationship with UNDER THE SKIN director Jonathan Glazer — I felt SEXY BEAST was good but overrated, and BIRTH was… odd — but there’s no such caution here. In telling the tale of an alien predator who takes the form of Scarlett Johansson and stalks the highways of Scotland, Glazer seems to have found the perfect stage for his restrained approach to storytelling. After having to sit through the dreary slog that was OCULUS, seeing something this daring, this entrancing, was just what I needed to restore my own, personal “Sense of Wonder.” Click on the player to hear my review.

LISTEN TO HOUR OF THE WOLF
EVERY THURSDAY AT 1:30 AM
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CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER: Radio Film Review

The Winter Soldier is well-represented, if not exactly front-and-center, in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. (Sorry, identifying the actor would represent a plot spoiler -- check IMDB if you're really dying to know.)
The Winter Soldier is well-represented, if not exactly front-and-center, in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER.

Well, they can’t all be NOAH, but then again, they all don’t need to be VAMPIRE ACADEMY, either. On the spectrum of the Marvel Comics franchise films, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER doesn’t reach the cinematic heights of the Raimi SPIDER-MANs (oh, okay, the first two SPIDER-MANs) or Whedon’s THE AVENGERS, but doesn’t crater out anywhere near the THOR or (shudder) FANTASTIC FOUR efforts. Filing my review for Jim Freund’s HOUR OF THE WOLF, I was happy (relieved, even) to note the not inconsiderable pleasures of this new chapter in the chronicles of America’s most patriotic superhero, even if I also feel duty-bound point out the ways it could have been better. Click on the player to hear the review.

LISTEN TO HOUR OF THE WOLF
EVERY THURSDAY AT 1:30 AM ON WBAI 99.5FM IN NEW YORK CITY

NOAH: Radio Film Review

Noah (2014)I take a few moments at the beginning of this week’s segment for WBAI 99.5FM’s Hour of the Wolf to address host Jim Freund’s calling me out for my pronunciation of the word “erudite” during last week’s review of DIVERGENT. Nothing contentious, mind, just a clarification.
Then, it’s time to let the flood commence. A literal flood, yes, since we’re talking about Darren Aronofsky’s new epic fantasy film, NOAH . But also a flood of praise, since this mix of visionary filmmaking and insightful drama, courtesy of Aronofsky’s iconoclastic instincts, takes mainstream film to places where most big-budget releases fear to tread. Click on the player to hear the review.

LISTEN TO HOUR OF THE WOLF EVERY
THURSDAY MORNING AT 1:30 AM
ON WBAI 99.5FM IN NEW YORK CITY

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