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Rapid Movie Review: ‘Transcendence’, ‘Dom Hemingway’ & ‘Under the Skin’

Rapid Movie Review: ‘Transcendence’, ‘Dom Hemingway’ & ‘Under the Skin’

Rapid Movie Review: ‘Transcendence’, ‘Dom Hemingway’ & ‘Under the Skin’
April 17
09:51 2014

Preston Barta // Film Critic

Dom Hemingway,” 93 min.
Rated R for sexual content, nudity, pervasive language, some violence and drug use.
Director:
Stars: , , and

Rating: 4.5/5

First out of the gate this weekend is “Dom Hemingway,” the motion picture that the North Texas Daily apointed the best film out of last week’s Dallas International Film Festival.

This near-perfect piece of British cinema provides endless stylistic imagery, high energy performances and a sharp script worth the full admission price. The film establishes Jude Law’s best performance to date, carrying himself very convincingly as a vulgar, poetic thug trying to make up for lost time after a 12-year prison sentence.

Mad props are also in order for writer-director Richard Shepard (“The Matador”), who treats the material with poise, filling the film with a multitude of slow-motion tracking shots, along with a colorful palette of fun musical tracks, including The Alarms’ “The Stand” and Citizen Cope’s “Comin’ Back.”

But before you head to your nearest multiplex to experience “Dom Hemingway,” watch our interview with Shepard below, where we talk about his no holds barred characters, do-overs and college classes.

“Dom Hemingway” opens tomorrow at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas and Plano.

TRANSCENDENCETranscendence,” 119 min.
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence, some bloody images, brief strong language and sensuality.
Director:
Stars: , , , , , and

Rating: 2.5/5

Obviously, there are sky-high expectations for “Transcendence,” even if it’s the directorial debut for Wally Pfister, who is well-known for his Academy Award-winning cinematography work on Christopher Nolan’s blockbusters (“The Dark Knight,” “Inception”). Yet, regrettably, the high-concept film about uploading your consciousness to a computer falls short due to its humdrum script that centers more on its advanced game than its parts.

Stunning visuals and a mind-trip story can only string you along for so long. It’s a struggle to find  characters worth caring about, otherwise, when major plot reveals come there is actual impact. But despite its issues, “Transcendence” offers a profound and scary narrative about evolution and the line between humanity. So the movie is a mild recommendation, but perhaps it’s best to salvage it for home viewing.

Check out our interview with director Wally Pfister here.

“Transcendence” opens everywhere tonight at 8 p.m.

Video_Under_the_Ski_448346aUnder the Skin,” 108 min.
Rated R for graphic nudity, sexual content, some violence and language.
Director:
Stars:

Rating: 2.5/5

“Under the Skin” is sure to be a film that divides its audience. Some will be bored to tears and deem it “Avante-garde, tedious, empty and a failure on many levels,” while the arthouse film lovers will call it “the most visionary film since the work of Stanley Kubrick.” I personally found myself lost somewhere in the middle.

Following an alien seductress (Johansson) as she preys upon strangers in Scotland, this film sustains a keen sense of vision. While “Under the Skin” moves at the speed of molasses and might establish a safer short than feature, it is so jammed full of ideas (including hidden cameras with non-actors), unique special effects and a naked Johansson that it’s tough to say it’s a complete waste of your time. It just may not be your “rush to the theater” kind of flick.

“Under the Skin” opens tomorrow at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas.

Feature Photo: Jude Law and Richard E. Grant turn the crazy up to 11 in “Dom Hemingway.” Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Center Photo: Johnny Depp leads an all-star cast in “Transcendence.” Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.
Bottom Photo: Scarlett Johansson gives a brave performance as an alien seductress in “Under the Skin.” Photo courtesy of A24.

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