Under the Skin (2013)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

I enjoyed this when it first came out. Slow but beautifully shot SF / horror, worth a watch for sure. A few years later I read the book, which is extremely different. The novel is excellent and would have made a much better film. Unfortunately it would have been too graphic to do any justice to. I think that may explain the director’s more minimal / artsy approach. If you liked the movie, DEFINITELY read the book. I would not recommend the reverse situation.

Available on Blu-ray from Lion’s Gate.

Hell or High Water (2016)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

This was written by Taylor Sherridan, who wrote Sicario, so I knew it’d be good. Good? Nope, it’s excellent. While not as action-packed as his previous film, this is a tight, well-made drama with some shocking bursts of violence. It’s a shame I never hear anyone talk about this film. It is not to be missed.

Available on Blu-ray from Lion’s Gate.

Hostiles (2017)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

A contemporary, ethical Western. It leans towards blockbuster cheesiness and runs a bit long, but has enough action and high quality drama to compensate. It’s pretty graphic at times, so if think you’re getting some old timey, bloodless, John Wayne affair you’re dead wrong. Hostiles has a sympathetic and informed take on Native Americans as well, which makes the whole thing work. You won’t hear me mention books too often here, but I truly believe every American should read “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown. We need to know our own history, even the darkest parts.

Available on Blu-ray from Lion’s Gate.

Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski (2018)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

I saw an exhibition of Szukalski’s work at The Visionary Art Museum many years ago and became an instant fan. This documentary was a treat as I knew very little about the man. Yes, he worked for the Nazis, but I feel he redeemed himself. Even if you disagree with me I feel this is an excellent movie worth watching. I give Struggle my highest recommendation.

Not available on Blu-ray.

9 (2009)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

Rag dolls vs. death machines after the fall of man. I don’t normally enjoy movies made with young people in mind but this was damn good. It’s is a very imaginative creation from start to finish. Well, there is one moment of Disney-esque happy fluff but it’s over fast. 9 also features excellent sound design. Try to watch this when connected to a good stereo with a subwoofer or the best headphones you can get your hands on. There are lots of lovingly crafted weird sounds to enjoy.

Available on Blu-ray from Universal.