Fifty Shades of Grey


Viewed – 16 July 2017  Netflix

I was never going to actually watch this.  The largely negative media backlash to the books and the movies themselves were enough to put me off.  However I’m also someone who feels every movie should be given a day in court.  So with admittedly low expectations I sat down to watch this hyped, supposedly ‘erotic’ drama.

fifty-shades-of-grey

Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) unwittingly finds herself smitten by the swarve business tycoon Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) after quite literally stumbling into an interview on behalf of her flatmate.  It’s a corny introduction but fun all the same and I got distinct Bridget Jones meets Patrick Bateman vibes, what with this suited mystery man hiding a dark side and Anastasia’s never-been-kissed girl next door persona.  Now there’s a movie I’d love to see.  Anyway back to this one and I’ll admit I found myself enjoying the subtle chemistry and battle of wits between these two characters.  Grey wanting Anastasia to become his submissive, revealing to her fairly quickly his other life, that of a dominant who likes to spank, whip and control the one he is involved with.  He lays it all out and I certainly enjoyed watching Anastasia slowly transform into someone she never knew she could be.  That being said, some dodgy dialogue (“Necrophilia isn’t my thing” – in reference to Grey touching Anastasia whilst she was sleeping?  Does the writer not know what necrophilia is?) and an ending that came off as ‘so what were you expecting?’ this ultimately promised more than it delivers and keeps events fairly light and safe rather than go as dark and intense as it should have.  We do get plenty of nudity, a couple of diverting, stylishly-filmed sex scenes that are probably only really sexy if s&m is your-thang (and if is, you’re probably into stuff more daring than what we see here).  However if like me you find Dakota Johnson appealing, have a thing for Jamie Dornan or ever enjoyed those late night ‘naughty’ movies … this may still press your buttons.

It’s over-long and a takes itself too seriously (in need of that black humour that worked so well in the similarly themed ‘Secretary’) but is certainly not as awful as I’d heard.  However it’s no erotic masterpiece either.  Yet on this evidence, I’d still like to see the follow-up.

Verdict: 3 /5

Scenes that make the movie


I’ve been thinking about this idea for a post.  Ten memorable scenes from some of my favourite movies of all time, or simply great moments that make a particular movie going experience stick in my head.  This may become a continuing series as I recall other great moments…but for now, here are ten stand out moments from great movies:  Minor spoilers.

Akira

Teddy bears & hallucinations.

Akira Gif

As a telepathic Kaneda post-brush with an infected child of the Akira experiment, recovers in hospital, he begins to experience terrifying hallucinations where teddy bears and toys comes to life as his powers start to manifest in horrifying ways.  One of the defining moments of this complex and ground-breaking Anime.

An America Werewolf In London

Stick to the road

AAWIL Moores

Two back packers after stumbling into local watering hole The Slaughtered Lamb are ushered back out into the night, with simply the warning of ‘stay on the road, keep clear of the moores’ – which they subsequently ignore and are soon stalked by a blood thirsty werewolf in John Landis’ still superb 1984 horror classic.

Blue Velvet

In Dreams

Blue Dean

Amateur detective Kyle MacLachlan gets a little too close to nut-job mobster Dennis Hopper who takes him for a visit to his cross-dressing neighbourhood friend Dean Stockwell, who lip-syncs to Roy Orbinson’s timeless classic in possibly one of David Lynch’s most freaky and brilliant scenes.

Boogie Nights

Disco montage

Boogie Nights

As former nobody Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) rises to infamy in the seventies porn movie industry, we are treated to this fabulous disco montage, cut seamlessly with various shots of Dirk ‘in action’ or receiving awards and culminating in a wonderfully choreographed dance number with fellow stars Reed Rothchild (John C Reilly) and Roller-girl (Heather Graham).

Eyes Wide Shut

The secret sex party

eyes wide shut

Only in a Stanley Kubrick movie can a high society sex orgy come across as creepy and surreal.  The master film maker in probably his most misunderstood work, presents the viewer with a secret society that Tom Cruise manages to sneak inside of and witness the debauchery of most-likely high profile dignitaries with various high class call girls.  All to a haunting, incredibly eerie score.

Goodfellas

Paranoia, drugs and guns

goodfellas paranoid

In the final act of the movie an increasingly paranoid Ray Liotta, struggles to juggle family responsibilities with fencing guns for Robert DeNiro and avoiding what he thinks is an FBI helicopter during the day from hell.  Expertly edited for maximum tension and intensity by the grand master Martin Scorsese.

Monsters Inc.

A chase through the doors

monsters-inc

After discovering the main villain’s evil scheme, Billy Crystal’s motor-mouthed Mike and John Goodman’s lovable Sully are chased by Steve Buscemi’s dastardly Randall into the inner workings of the Monsters Inc. facility and through a plethora of doors into the human world.  Exciting, inventive and visually stunning.

Pulp Fiction

Jack Rabbit Slims

pulp gif

In a mob movie with pop-culture quoting wise guys and a soundtrack to die for, who’d have thought one of the best scenes would be a night out between John Travolta’s mob hitman and gangsters-mol Uma Thurman?  Culminating in the world famous Twist Contest.  Sharp dialogue, a highly memorable setting, and an after-math that segway’s into probably the other best scene in this movie.

Saving Private Ryan

Omaha Beach Landing

After visiting the final resting place of hundreds of soldiers, an elderly veteran recalls his experience with tears in his eyes – switch to the shocking beach onslaught in Omaha in 1944 as thousands of troops fight against impossible odds.  A stunning opening to one of the greatest WWII movies ever made, with star (Tom Hanks) and director (Steven Spielberg) on blistering form.

Trainspotting

Clubbing to Blondie.

transpotting

Taking a break from ripping people off and doing drugs, Ewan McGregor’s Renton finds himself on a night out with friends, hitting the clubs and listening to Heaven 17 and Blondie (or Sleeper doing a marvellous version of Atomic), where he meets Diane (Kelly MacDonald) and leads to a montage of sex, alcohol and pulse-pounding music in Danny Boyle’s break-out gem.

Do you agree with my list?  Have favourite scenes of your own?  Leave your comments below or link to your own lists…

Lovelace


Viewed – 05 February 2014  Online rental

The biographical story of one of the world’s most infamous porn stars, made famous by starring in the biggest ever adult movie.  Linda Lovelace was the poster girl for a new sexual revolution, but behind the glamour was a woman trapped in an abusive marriage.

lovelace

Starring the always enjoyable Amanda Seyfied (Mama Mia, Les Miserables) as the title star, this 70s set story of one woman’s brush with fame in a seedy, exploitative business was entertaining even if personally I had little knowledge of the real-life person being portrayed other than the legendary status of the movie ‘Deep Throat’.  Much has been documented and spoken about regarding that movie, along with the documentary ‘Inside Deep Throat’ which I never actually saw.  Yeah I’ll admit to seeing a few porn movies, what guy hasn’t and am a big fan of the movie Boogie Nights which explores the same industry and period.  Yet this is more a warts and all movie and shy’s away from much of the sex and titillation (bar some nudity) to focus on a woman clearly in with the wrong crowd, or more accurately the wrong man.  Co-starring an unrecognisable Sharon Stone as Lovelace’s strict mother and even James Franco appearing as Playboy millionaire Hugh Hefner – there’s certainly plenty going on here, and the acting is decent (especially Seyfried).  Yet at the end of the day it’s little more than an abusive relationship tale – playing it safe for the most part.  Sad definitely, but not really anything we haven’t seen on a dozen made-for-TV dramas.

The truth be told Deep Throat and it’s success were probably more fascinating than Linda Lovelace’s story, so perhaps check out the doc, and give this a miss … unless you have a particular interest in the person herself.

Verdict:  2.5 /5