Saturday, February 14, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015): Review

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Last night I went and saw the movie of the weekend Fifty Shades of Grey, which is based off the best selling E.L. James book of the same name. The fact that I didn't need to look up her names shows how much of a cultural phenomenon this books is. Going in I was trying not to get my hopes up too much as I didn't want to be disappointed but I am pleased to saw it wasn't that bad.  I can tell that a lot of effort was put into making this movie and they took an artsy approach to the graphic sex scenes and yes this movie pushes the boundaries of an R rated movie with the sexual content, but it really has to with how the book that it is based on popularized erotic literature into the main stream and because its the poster book for  "mommy porn."
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Anyway for those of you who don't know, Fifty Shades of Grey follows Anastasia (Ana) Steele, played by Dakota Johnson, is a young woman graduating from college who is roped into meeting and interviewing the young, mysterious, billionaire Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan. They have an instant attraction which draws Ana to him but he has dark side that she doesn't understand but wants to know about. He is a dominant and is interested in having Ana as his submissive. I could go into detail about the dynamics of their relationship but I know many people are just paying enough attention to it to get drawn in and see the sex scenes which come about as Christian is trying to convince and show Ana about his world of BDSM and get her to agree to agree to his sexual terms. 
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I think that overall the movie did a pretty good job of bring the book to screen but there are a lot of auxiliary things that people who haven't read the book wont get but that do not really mean much to the central storyline. It is backstory and secondary characters but as this movie is about Ana and Christian its not a big deal. The plot is pretty simple and basically just there to move the story ahead and get to the sex.  The story is more relevant in the second and third Fifty Shades books as book one is mainly set up of their relationship. I know for many the end of the movie is unsatisfying as it is setting up for the continuation of the trilogy and there were many disappointed groans from the women in the screening I attended when it ended.
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One of the big things I was worried about going into this movie where Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan cast as Ana and Christian. I was not one who had a specific actors who I wanted to have play these characters and I thought and still think that Johnson fit the character of Ana it was Dornan as Christian. In the books he is described as the most handsomest of beautiful men and although Dornan is hot with my previous experience of him he was always the scruffy hot guy not the OMG he is so handsome guy. I had fun with the #notmychristian twitter campaign because of this. After seeing the movie, I still think that a better actors could have been chosen for Christian but he did an alright job. My main problem with these two in this movie was not them independently, when the focus was just on one of them they did good, it was on their connection as a couple. It didn't really seem like they connected well with each other and I didn't see the emotional interplay between them that I was really hoping for, this disappointment was added to because I did like them as the characters when they were on screen solo (solo shots). This might also be why in the film there was a lot of back and forth camera work instead of looking at both of them together. If you aren't really paying attention I don't think this is that noticeable but as for me I like to see how they could emotionally connect I was disappointed.
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I am sure that this is a movie that everyone knows whether they want to see it or not but for me it was really weird watch two naked actors on screen essentially having soft core sex on screen in a theatre screening room with a bunch of other people sitting around me. It is just weird, the movie goer in me kept thinking that they could have easily adapted the scenes to hint at sex and not ruined the story or movie. I don't think it is necessary to try and push the envelope with movies and what is shown on screen. If I want to watch porn I will watch porn, and I don't need a long movie with drawn out pauses/storylines to get me there. I watch a movie for the story, being drawn into the story, and entertainment factor. Yes I will see the other Fifty Shades movies when then come out as I have a feeling this will be a huge hit but I really hope other movies don't just go for sex factor to try and get people to watch them.

My Rating: 2-

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Jupiter Ascending (2015): Review

The main thought that I had throughout watching this movie was that it tried really hard to be a great space odyssey but it never really made it there. It wasn't as bad as I feared it but it was just too ambitious to really be able to pull off. That being said it did keep my interest throughout but I just wish it wasn't as full on stupid space since info that means nothing to anyone. There is a lot going on and lots of information being rattled off, and I really wish that these types of movies would stop putting other languages with subtitles that I have to read (distracting) and stop with all the space lingo mumbo jumbo. It felt like I was trying to just figure out what everything meant and part of why I want to see it again it to try and make sense of the stupid terms that don't really fit or add anything to the movie. When a movie is pushing the grandioseness of the scope adding all of these terms that don't mean anything to anyone just gums up the works and makes it bad when things don't follow together.

This movie stars Mila Kunis as Jupiter Jones, a woman without a real purpose in her life, who's genes are an exact match for a deceased space queen.  Due to being this genetic reincarnation she is entitled to take her inheritance which is the earth. This is an issue, because of the three siblings who were the children of her old self and are all battling for power and they all want to use her for their own devices.  Jupiter is found and then protected by Channing Tatum's Caine Wise, a splice ex-soldier who is a cross between a human and wolf. Jupiter is na├»ve and overwhelmed, while Caine is conflicted and set to protect her. She is drawn into an Odyssey of being drawn into different locations and traps when all she wants it to go home.
Like I said this movie has a lot of information and stuff happening, the scope was just so big and the information too much, but if you can just let that go and it is easy enough to follow. She doesn't know what is going on, is being manipulated by those around her for their own purposes (she is extremely gullible and at time I struggle to see how she didn't see some of it coming) and Caine is trying to be able to save her (will he be able to get there time and again in the nick of time?).  They throw in the obligatory romance between the two but there is no real build up to this and falls short for me. Now that I am thinking about it, if Mila Kumis could have been a better presence on screen, I would have easily forgiven more of al the nonsense going on because the movie was somewhat entertaining if overambitious and is the type of blockbuster movie that I forgive for its faults if I care about the main actors, but I did really care at all about her portrayal of Jupiter. 
For the most part, I enjoyed the overall casting and interpreations the characters (I liked a lot of the bit supporting characters). The characters where not that developed and there were way too many weird animal alien creatures, but the actors did well with them. Like I said the big failure of this movie was that it was over ambitious and wasn't able to really pull it together. If they would have stopped trying to make it all make sense, added a bit more fun (a la Guardians of the Galaxy), and just went with the ridiculousness instead of trying to make it all really come together it would have been better.
There wasn't really anything truly horrible about this movie but it does fall way short of the mark which it needed to be in order to be good. It is worth filling time if you like these types of movies but it not anything that must be seen.

My Rating: 1+