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The Skin I Live In (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Bilingual)

Antonio Banderas , Elena Anaya , Pedro Almodóvar    Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 26.99
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Frequently Bought Together

The Skin I Live In (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Bilingual) + Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Sous-titres français)
Price For Both: CDN$ 35.30


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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing for a "good" movie Feb. 27 2013
By OpenMind TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
I understand the love for this movie. It gets a few things right. Unfortunately, I think it also gets a lot of things wrong. No spoilers ahead.

I assure you that I had no bias going into this movie: I haven't seen an Almodóvar film before. I've heard of him and the lavish praise heaped upon him, but that's it.

The film starts out quite promisingly with a physician culturing skin from pig's blood and transplanting said skin upon a seemingly willing, but confined, beautiful young woman. Reference is made to the doctor having lost his wife in a fire and to the ostensible captive-yet-not woman's previous attempts at self-harm...so there is at least an attempt at suggestion and nuance that evokes a not altogether sinister, but intriguing, sentiment about the setting and characters.

It's all downhill from there. Details about the major players' pasts are revealed in a languorously detailed and laboured flashback that makes up half of the two-hour movie. This saps any momentum going into the big "reveal" about 30 minutes from the end, so the film's essential twist comes off without much of a bang. Truth be told, I laughed when it dawned on me what was going on. And it wasn't one of those, "Oh my God! This is incredible and mind-blowing!" reverential kind of laughs. It was one of those, "Really? That's what you're doing?" derisory kind of laughs. A decent editor would have scrapped at least 20 minutes of the extraneous or mind-numbingly dull footage (e.g., an intruder shows up to the doctor's house early in the film: his presence is as inexplicable and useless in the grand scheme of things as his exit).
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5.0 out of 5 stars BIG WOW. Dec 26 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Oh my god this is got to be my favourite movie for the past five years WOW this will take you for a ride & A
spin and you will not know what hit you Antonio Banderas shine in this movie as one
Revengefull dad and Husband. I think why a lot of people have not seen this it's because
it has Subtitles and thats a shame.let me just say you will not beleive what just happen
to you after viewing this movie you have to pick this up.... The Skin I Live in [Blu-ray]
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4.0 out of 5 stars el freaky deaky May 31 2012
By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Holy smokers, this movie's plot will blow your mind and leave you feeling plenty uncomfortable. By now, most moviegoers know director Pedro Almodovar is out there. The Skin I Live In takes it waaaaaaay out there. It also goes to show if you give Antonio Banderas a meaty role in his own language that he has a far greater acting range than he seems to have in English-speaking roles.

Needless to say this is a clever yet creepily inventive movie that not only flips the psycho-sexual thriller on its edge but walks it around the block a few times and spits it out in a horrifying mix of sexual perversity, very dubious medical ethical choices and a weirdness you're not likely to see anywhere else.

Extras on the DVD are a waste. The "Making Of" is a just 12 minutes of raw footage where you see cameras and boom mics in scenes. The "Red Carpet NYC Premiere" is better as you hear from the actors and director but it is extremely short.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  121 reviews
89 of 94 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A no-spoilers review of an absorbing and disturbing near-masterpiece Dec 19 2011
By Whitt Patrick Pond - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
The most important thing I can tell you about Pedro Almodóvar's film, The Skin I Live In (original Spanish title: La piel que habito) is that you should avoid as much as possible knowing anything about it beyond the most basic setup before seeing it. This is one of those cases where spoilers truly can rob you of the full experience of a film. I say this as someone who went into the movie knowing little about it beyond the fact that Pedro Almodóvar directed it and that it had to do with a plastic surgeon obsessed with a mysterious female patient. And that really is the best way to see it.

Adapted from Thierry Jonquet's novel Tarantula (original French title: Mygale) by Pedro Almodóvar and his brother Agustín Almodóvar, The Skin I Live In is a complex and, as the background layers are peeled away through revelation, deeply disturbing and chilling film.

It begins in the present day where we see Robert Legard (Antonio Banderas), a prominent plastic surgeon and medical researcher who, because of the tragic death of his wife in a fiery auto accident several years earlier, is obsessed with creating a new kind of skin superior to the skin we're born with, one that is not only both tougher and more resistant to burning and injury but also heals quicker and with little to no scarring. In his mansion, Dr. Legard has a special patient under his private, personal care, a young woman named Vera (Elena Anaya), on whom he is trying his new skin out. Our first impression is that Vera is a burn victim that Legrand is caring for, but it quickly becomes clear that Vera is more prisoner than patient. But just who is Vera? And how did she come into Legrand's rather questionable 'care'? And why does she so strongly resemble Legrand's dead wife?

As in so many his films, The Skin I Live In has many of Almodóvar's almost trademark themes running all through it: complex familial relationships; the intertwining of family and personal secrets; the nature of desire, brutality and obsession; the lengths to which individuals can and will go; how actions can have the most unexpected and sometimes devastating consequences, and how, ultimately, we can never escape our pasts.

The performances are pitch perfect, most particularly Antonio Banderas' controlled and controlling - and casually chilling - Legard, who has his mansion wired so that he can observe his 'patient' from almost any part of the house, and Elena Anaya's Vera with her perfect face and body and the haunted eyes that peer out from the skin she lives in, always aware that she is being observed. Added into the mix - and subtly working in other elements from classic standards of horror - are Marisa Paredes's Marilia, Legard's old housekeeper who serves as a kind of matronly Igor to Legard's Victor Frankenstein, fiercely loyal but openly disapproving; Roberto Álamo's Zeca, a brutal criminal on the run who serves as a kind of Hyde to Legard's Jekyll - lust, rage and animal cunning to Legard's cool controlled calculation. And last but not least, Jan Cornet's Vicente, a callow young fool whose impulsive self-indulgence triggers a chain of events with consequences more dire than he could imagine. All of whom are bound to each other in ways known and unknown.

The only reason I rate this four stars instead of five and call it a near-masterpiece instead of an all-out masterpiece is in how the final acts play out. After taking the viewer through a series of ever deeper and increasingly disturbing revelations, Almodóvar seems to settle for what I felt was a disappointingly conventional resolution. But that said, the film still stands out for all of the unexpected places it did take you before that slip back into the expected. There may be times when you'll think you've seen this movie before and you know what's going on, but I assure you, you haven't and you won't until the revelations have been made.

Highly recommended for any fan of Almodóvar's and for anyone else who likes well-crafted films that really push the boundaries.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the world of Pedro Almodovar - March 15 2012
By Lincoln S. Dall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
I was telling a friend last night that there is no way you could adequately describe a plot of a Pedro Almodovar film. They are so over the top, so larger than life, so filled with twists and turns. There is always some sort of car chase or people escaping the scene of the crime on a moped. There is always a lot of drama. There are always many quirky characters - in this case a mad scientist and a man running around in a tiger costume and cowboy boots. You have to enter a very surreal, crazy world in order to enjoy a Pedro Almodovar film. All of that said, I love his films and they bring me great joy. I told that same friend that I love Pedro Almodovar films as much as I love the idea of him. He is truly an icon in the world of film. When I read the first review of this film by Roger Ebert, he was also reviewing the film Mission Impossible 4. In a film world where almost everything is a sequel or of a certain genre, the world of Pedro Almodovar is unique and refreshing. He is truly an original - someone who has a very unique identity and a strong sense of self. I don't want to get into any plot specifics because it would ruin the drama for you. However, if you "get" his film, if you are willing to open yourself up to his world, then The Skin I Live In is a treat indeed.

Update - May 7, 2012
I just got back from my second trip to Spain. Spain has changed a lot in the last few decades. A very conservative Catholic country that never went through the Protestant Reformation, Spain was under the control of the Church for decades, and then endured decades of rigidity and repression under the military regime of General Francisco Franco. To understand Pedro Almodovar and his world, you need to understand a little about the country of Spain from which he comes. Now, only about 20 percent of the people of Spain consider themselves practicing Catholics - this from the country that gave us the Spanish inquisition. Secularism is the reality of Spain right now, and The Skin I live In and the rest of Pedro Almodovar's films come from the creativity and breaking down of barriers and stereotypes that have burst on the scene in Spain in recent years.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing, powerful and thought provoking April 7 2012
By K. Gordon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A fascinating and powerful departure for Almodovar, or perhaps more
accurately more an terrific hybrid of the best of his old and new.
This has the darker, more actively perversely disturbing and violent themes
of some of his early work like 'Matador' but shot and directed with the
far smoother and more mature hand he has developed over the years. It
also uses the more complex and fractured time structure style of
Almodovar's more recent work, to great effect.

In the end it's a gorgeous looking, philosophically complex mystery and
horror film. Although not gory, this is a disturbing work, both on a
literal story level, and also for the questions it raises about sexual and personal
identity, love, sado-masochism, and passion run amok.

These themes are all Almodovar touchstones, but delivered here with a
visually stunning icy touch, and with much more complete logic than in
his early works, which often felt less fully thought through, and had
more frustrating plot holes and character leaps.

Not a 'scary' film, but a creepy, moody and highly effective one. A
dark fairy tale as told by, say Stanley Kubrick.

It's good to see Antonio Banderas reunited with Almodovar, and he
delivers a wonderfully complex and quirky modern day Dr. Frankenstein.

Less emotional than my two very favorite Almodovar films (Talk to Her,
All About My Mother), but its exciting to see this extremely talented
film maker continue to evolve and grow, and I think this represents
work that can stand among his best.
17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Film of 2011 Feb. 16 2012
By M. K. Rhodes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
**NOTE** Beware reviewers here who reveal major spoilers because they didn't like the film. Full appreciation of this film requires knowing next to nothing about it going in.

Don't let the awful trailer dissuade you: Almodovar delivers the best film of 2011, and more than makes up for the disappointing BROKEN EMBRACES. This is absolutely masterful filmmaking, with career best performances from Banderas and Elena Anaya, an incredible score, and the most shocking twist cinema has seen since the early 90s.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling, intense and excellent Nov. 2 2013
By Judy Croome - Published on Amazon.com
As a movie to watch on Halloween I couldn't have chosen a better DVD. Pedro Almodóvar's film, The Skin I Live In (we watched the original Spanish version La piel que habito, with excellent English sub-titles) is a movie that proves the power of the imagination is far more chilling and intense than any graphic or gratuitous violence can ever be.

It's impossible to review the movie without giving away too much of the complex and clever plot and it's that which keeps you breathless throughout the whole 115 minutes. All the cast presented superb performances, from the brutal Zeca (Roberto Álamo) to the foolish Vincente (Jan Cornet), from the blindly loyal Marilia (Marisa Paredes) to the haunted Vera(Elena Anaya).

However, it was the commanding performance of Antonio Banderas as prominent surgeon and researcher Dr Robert Legard who played a pivotal role. In the hands of a lesser actor, the labyrinthine torment that motivated Legard's actions could easily have become parody; Banderas played the role to perfection.

Although Almodóvar kept the tension high right until the penultimate scene, the final scene was less satisfying than the rest of the film demanded, although I'm sure many viewers will be perfectly satisfied with it. If Banderas' performance of Legard had not been so immaculate, I may have been satisfied with the ending but, as it is, the complexities of love and desire which were explored in the final stages of the relationship between Legard and Vera had too-convenient a resolution.

Still, it was a strong enough ending to keep the movie a 5* viewing experience that is both thought-provoking and powerful. And far too scary, even for Halloween!
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