Something to watch tonight: Monday 5 February
Underwater (Eubank, 2020)
Looking back on the edition of At the Movies that I made at the end of January 2020, I see there are two films starring Kristen Stewart. One of them was Seberg, more of a passion project for her but the less successful of the two films. Then there is a different kettle of fish altogether …
Underwater is an unabashed homage to Alien – I don’t think anyone would complain about that description – set on an undersea drilling rig at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest body of water in the world. If you want a slightly more scientific portrait of the area you could do worse than find the James Cameron documentary, Deepsea Challenge 3D, where he piloted a submersible of his own design down 10,000 metres to the sea floor.
In this new film, we are invited to believe that a mining conglomerate has discovered a rich vein of precious metals and decided to build a gigantic construction across several miles of the least hospitable territory known to man.
And, it’s about to get even less hospitable.
Barely fifteen minutes into this pretty gripping film – which plays like a plucky little B-movie but has probably had about a squillion dollars spent on it – and we are all up to our necks in trouble. No, worse than that – we are in over our head.
Of course, it turns out that the damage wasn’t an earthquake at all but the ugliest monsters you’ve ever seen, unleashed from the depths of hell. Then it becomes even more Alien-like, as our female characters start running around some abandoned living quarters in their underwear as these fi-ends outside get closer and closer.
The third picture in that show was Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood. Not a bad week.
You can listen to the whole thing here.
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Where to watch Underwater
Aotearoa, Australia & UK: Streaming on Disney+ (4K if your gear supports it)
USA: Streaming on Hulu
My week slot on RNZ Nights with Emile Donovan every Friday has been refreshed and is now almost half an hour from 9.30pm. Every week I also specifically highlight something that can be watched for free.
Tuesday 6 February is the Waitangi Day public holiday in New Zealand so this newsletter will be taking a day off.