Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey

By Sati. Wednesday, February 18, 2015 , , , , , , ,

I love bad movies. Whenever Nic Cage has a movie out, chances are sooner or later - I'll see it. So when something as atrocious as Fifty Shades of Grey shows up I naturally need to watch it. I did not read the 'book' this 'movie' is based on but I heard the comments that it's even worse than a film. I'm not surprised. What occurred to me during watching this film is that truly there are still some things that can surprise me.

For example - Charlie Hunnam, who was originally cast as Grey. I'd never think that comparing to anyone I'd find him attractive but Jaime Dornan managed to accomplish that. Because had Hunnam played Grey this character would at least be...what's the word? ALIVE.  What did I learn from Fifty Shades of Grey? Is that I most definitely do not have any symptoms of being into necrophilia. I was not turned on once during this film nor did at any point I considered Dornan to be remotely attractive. If me and him were the only people left on Earth I'd sooner kill him for food than fucked him. What am I on about? What this movie primarily is, ladies and gentlemen, is observing though 100 minutes of runtime the efforts of Dakota Johnson trying to revive her co-star. To no avail.

I have never thought that it is possible to look both bored and at the same time as if one were in excruciating pain. But man, did Dornan managed that. His performance in this film is so spectacularly awful you almost wonder if it's perhaps some higher form of method acting and he stuck a gigantic stick up his ass in order to embrace the persona of S&M loving businessman. But I don't think it was the case. I think he was simply this bad.

Had they cast someone with pulse or a shred of charisma this movie could have had a shot of being something other than just hilarious unintentional comedy. But Dornan depicts the most unprofessional behavior I witnessed in film in along time - he gives the impression of someone who is just there for fame and money and in all of his scenes he is simply not there. He went to his happy place. He listened to his inner goddess. He gives absolutely no fuck.

Dakota Johnson truly owes him. Next to him her performance comes off as incredible - she is one of the very few people in this movie who actually plays someone resembling a human being. Her character starts off as kinda cute but then Dornan, Mr. No Pulse, enters and essentially what happens is that we have this girl who falls for this petulant asshole because he is - apparently - good looking and rich.

I had a blessed childhood. When I was growing up all the girls were into Leo DiCaprio in Titanic. A romantic, smart, kind, artistic hero who gave up his life for a woman he loves. Nowadays girls have baby faced asshole who grimaces when he has to give up vaginal fisting.

I weep for humanity.
The story is basically the stock story of every romance ever told - a shy girl, a good looking guy, an obstacle. But here they added the twist of all the kinky sex. But the sex isn't that kinky, shocking or even engaging. I enjoy being submissive in bed. I have nothing against playful spanking. So you'd think at least I'd relate on some level to the protagonist, right? No such luck. There is absolutely nothing arousing here. The only scene that is remotely erotic is Anastasia and Christian negotiating the contract which involves Christian talking about what he wants to do to her. But when the sex is actually shown it's really just some footage of tits, moaning and Dornan appearing in the frame assuring no one climaxes upon seeing his dull, lifeless expression.

The only thing more ridiculous than this story is the trivia for this film. "Jamie Dornan had to learn how to walk differently to play his character since he tends to walk on his toes than his heels." Oh yeah. Because with this guy his WALKING was the problem?!

Say what you want about Twilight but these two had chemistry. When they kissed for the first time, it was electrifying. There is no such thing in Fifty Shades of Grey. The sex scenes are not only tame but also boring. But here's what's really sad - when it comes to American movies these days those scenes where actually graphic even with all the ridiculous maneuvers of the cameraman to God forbid not show any full frontal by accident. We are living in a world where filmmakers have no problem having two leads with absolutely no chemistry in a romance film but they are horrified of showing someone's privates in erotic film. This is madness.

What is also mad is that no one even bothered to clean this story a bit from all the idiocy. A scene for example - Grey is doing his strong and intimidating act while we see Dornan looking like a 15 year old whose biggest rebellion was knocking over some legos and he is about to get all kinky when upon hearing a noise he goes 'It's my mother! Get dressed!'. So Christian Grey who has this apartment with his little red room of pain can't even get the fucking locks correct so that his relatives don''t know his activities and walk into some sort of kinky situation where he braids a girl's hair or something (this is what passes for kinky these days, apparently)? I know we were probably required to leave our brains at the door while we walked in the theatre, but come on.

Christian is super rich. What does he do? It's not important. Anastasia is apparently alluring to him because she is virginal and innocent. So this dude who is this rich businessman has never in his life met anyone like that before until Ana - in one of the dumbest and most contrived plot devices in recent memory - stumbled into his office to interview him? The film is trying to sell this idea that her being his 17th submissive is some sign of great love being found. It would be offensive, had it not been this hilarious.

I had great time watching this. I laughed so hard. The lines in this are just golden - I promise you will at least chuckle while you witness baby face utter the words 'I don't make love.  I FUCK. Hard'. Not only is this a ridiculous line to begin with but try to imagine this guy actually fuck hard. He'd die. The things that are said and done here - including Ana getting spanked for rolling her eyes - are so monumentally stupid and embarrassing it's impossible not to laugh. In fact there are so many funny things here that I don't even have the strength to stop laughing and mourn the fact both Marcia Gay Harden and Jennifer Ehle are in this, no doubt trying to pay off the mortgage on some expensive house they bought.

A credit should go to Sam Taylor-Johnson for actually trying to do something with this story and not making it incredibly dull in spite of the main duo being a dead guy and a giggling virgin. There is a lot of humour in here, yes, most of it unintentional but they are really trying everything to cover the film's many shortcomings - the music for example, both the choices of songs and Danny Elfman's alluring original score, is fantastic and there are few scenes that actually have energy to them mostly whenever Ana gets to depict some sort of joy during their encounters. Dornan expresses no such thing. It really comes off as just some rich dude who likes to humiliate and beat up women. At no point of the movie Grey does look remotely content or aroused. We saw bigger joy this year when Julianne Moore took a crap in Maps to the Stars.

Crap that was probably infinitely more alive, on a molecular level, than Mr. Grey is.

Fifty Shades of Grey (USA, 125 min)
Plot: Literature student Anastasia Steele's life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey.
Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Writers: Kelly Marcel (screenplay), E.L. James (novel)
Stars: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Jennifer Ehle

36 comments:

  1. OMG, this sounds glorious! I was intent on skipping this one, but maybe I will see it after all. MY GOD, I died at Dornan learning how to walk. WTF! That's method!

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    1. He is literally so shit he had to learn how to walk. See it, it's hilarious!

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  2. Thanks for taking one for the team, suffering through this so we don't have to!

    I had one thought from your description of the "character" of Mr. Grey, as portrayed by the "acting skill" of Mr. Dornan: physician, fist *thyself*

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    1. I think it's worth seeing, it's really a very funny movie :)

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    2. I... could only hope to maintain my sense of humor for its running time. Couldn't they just have called this Bad Sex: The Movie?

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    3. That would probably be a bad marketing move :P

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  3. I was laughing a lot in the beginning but the entire theater was dead quiet so I tried to tone down my own laughter, otherwise you're right, this is a great laugh out movie because it is that ridiculous.

    Since I'm a fan of Dornan outside of this movie, I must defend him in a way because I know he is able to do more. I found his Paul Spector in The Fall extremely well acted and he had intensity and power and his best role yet. His Grey was very weak indeed, no argument there, it felt flat but so did Johnson for me.. but I guess it all comes down to writing. They wrote Anastasia into something a lot better than in the books, more smart and less idiotic and yet, they kept Grey as dull as the character was in the books. I blame the source material, I blame Dornan for agreeing to even do this because he seems to have the same attitude towards the movie as the general public - he hates it.

    Oh and Dornan talked about his weird walk in his Norton interview, not the recent one, the one before that. He does have a weird limp when he walks normally. :D

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    1. I really find it hard to believe this guy has talent. It's not like Naomi Watts who occasionally mentally checks out and does the bare minimum - his active lack of interest or even hate for being in this movie and promoting it makes him a joke not an actor. He is completely unprofessional.

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  4. Mwahahaha! I think reading the reviews have been a lot of fun, though I still have no interest whatsoever in seeing this, even just for the laughs. I remember when I heard news Dornan was cast and my thought was, THAT doofus sheriff from Once Upon A Time?? He looks about 12 and clearly has the maturity of someone of that age, no wonder he's absolutely unconvincing! I mean, years ago when a friend of a friend told me about the book, long before the movie was even in production, we talked about who should play Grey. I immediately thought of Christian Bale circa American Psycho, but of course he'd be way too smart to be involved in such drivel.

    Poor Sam Taylor-Johnson, she's probably traumatized by EL James during filming, I heard she was VERY desperate for work coming out of a long career break and it's not like there are a bunch of opportunities waiting for a lesser-known female director. She's a talented filmmaker though, I enjoyed Nowhere Boy which was a good film. Hopefully she'd move on to much better things after this one.

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    1. I'd probably faint if someone like Goode played a part like this but this is truly such a horribly written story I'm glad that they didn't get any good actors because I don't think anyone could salvage this.

      Johnson really seems like a decent director but that James woman is some sort of a wacko, I'm sure working with her was a nightmare

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  5. This must be absolutely bad. Dornan does look like he's got a stick up his ass. Plus, I heard that the director of the film really had a bad time due to fights with the book's writer over what should be cut from the book and such. That's why Sam Taylor-Johnson won't be directing the next 2 films.

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    1. It's a shame, seeing how her direction was one of the best things about it

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  6. I was reading this post at every stoplight on the way home, laughing my ass off the whole time. Pretty sure the people next to me thought I was a psychopath.

    Anyway, I loved this review. I love how much you enjoyed this as a comedy. I think I would have had a much better time if I didn't drag my wife along, even though eventually she too was like 'f this' and joined me in shitting all over it. (horrible visual, I know)

    My favorite line(s) from this post? "We are living in a world where filmmakers have no problem having two leads with absolutely no chemistry in a romance film but they are horrified of showing someone's privates in erotic film. This is madness." I COULDN'T AGREE MORE. The lack of getting the basics right is way more offensive than any dick could be. Well...outside of those Nymphomaniac dicks. *shudder*

    You know, I happened to see Dornan on Fallon doing all these silly impressions and I was blown away. Not only did the guy have charisma....but he had a f--king pulse, too. Who knew?

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    1. So your wife also didn't find Mr. Dornan to be crazy hot and interesting? How dare we :P

      Nymphomaniac dicks will haunt me for eternity. That was the saddest bunch of dicks I've seen in my life and let's not forget that I deal with lawyers every day.

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  7. I'm not even close to watching the movie, but I think I would enjoy the reviews more than the movie itself. With that said, I definitely enjoyed your take on the movie. The movie just proves that you can't just stick a pretty face and expect everyone to swoon, he has to actually act and insert some effort to the role. That sucks for Dornan because he's getting good word for The Fall, but his portrayal here just negates everything else. I'm not a fan of Dakota Johnson, so I don't see myself remotely watching the movie for her performance.

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    1. I don't think Johnson is pretty or interesting even, but she was actually good here which is an accomplishment given how horrible the material she was working with was

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  8. Oh. Dear. God.

    I am not surprised that you found humor in this film, because my son and I only watched the trailer, and we were both laughing our asses off. He's only 16, but he recognizes bad writing when he hears it, and he's way too grown up for that shit.

    By the way, that paragraph that begins "I had a blessed childhood ..." is, hands down, the funniest fucking thing I've read all month.

    And holy shit ... I'm not even close to going there on the fisting thing. And you're talking to a woman who is no longer "virginal and innocent" and has, in fact, given birth to four babies.

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    1. I'm honestly wondering who the demographic that fangirls over this series is - everyone seems to be ridiculing it or hating it, maybe the only fans of 50 shades are some puritan people without the internet who don't tweet or tumblr about it? That would explain why they found some of this arousing, to them blow dryer is arousing.

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  9. Haha. This looks amusingly bad, but I'm not sure I'll even bother watching it. :/

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  10. Oh this review is hilarious! I love it. I don't plan on seeing the film. I really thought the casting of Dornan was a mistake. He's very dour, which is good for 'The Fall,' but not so good for a movie like this. Matt Boomer would have brought so much more charisma to the role.

    I may take a peak at it on Netflix eventually, but I've already given my pound of flesh to this awful franchise by reading the first book. THE WORST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ. I felt like I read a teenager's dream journal. Christian is supposedly super rich, a trained pilot, a martial artist, and a trained pianist, all at the tender age of 27 or something. With all of the sex he has, how does he have time to work? I still can't believe anyone finds Anastasia and Christian's relationship to be remotely romantic. If this is what passes for romances these days, then it's time to turn up the temperature ladies.

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    1. Thanks! Ooooh Matt Bomer would have certainly made this one worth seeing :)

      It's really quite depressing that it is indeed what passes for romance.

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  11. "He listened to his inner goddess. He gives absolutely no fuck." wonderful way to put it. But I have to stand for this poor guy: how to do a good job with a character so dull, so paper thin?

    Plus, he does not have this, I don't know how to call it, "pervert quality?" you can find in Michael Fassbender for exemple. When Fasswonder looks at you (well at the camera), you can feel it: sex/danger. Matthew Goode (praise the Lord and thank you for the pictures you put on Twitter) got it too.

    Please give Dornan a chance and try The Fall, he is pretty impressive in it.

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    1. I think an actor with natural charisma and magnetism would do wonders, just being there. These two you mention have that thing going on indeed :)

      I may eventually check out the Fall but it will probably be in spite of Dornan being in it rather than to see if he can act.

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  12. Absolutely love your write-up Sati, this was terrible. Just terrible.

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    1. Thank you! Sorry you didn't have much fun with this trainwreck :D

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  13. Thanks for taking the hit and watching this, Sati. Your review of it was the best I've read even though the other reviews mainly said the same things you were saying. I've only seen Jamie Dornan in Once Upon a Time and I cannot say he was too memorable on the show but his character was killed off half way through the season. It just seems like during the press for this movie, he seems so uncomfortable with the movie and the part. Plus, during promotion he and Johnson seemed like they had anti-chemistry. Charlie Hunnam dodged a bullet with this one (though he would have been much better) and Matt Bomer, while flattered to be the fan's first choice, was smart enough to be like thanks but no thanks. I am hearing the sequel might be held up because the author wants to write screenplay and the studio does not want to do that.
    I really think the behind the scenes of this movie would be more interesting than the actual movie.

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    1. Bomer would certainly make this movie pleasant :P But yes, good for him for avoiding this, these two will never escape the jokes about this movie

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  14. LOL Oh, bless this post. This review is hilarious. I love bad movies too, and maybe, just maybe I'll see this one if it comes on Netflix Instant. Or I'll come back and read this because it's perfect.

    Great review!

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    1. It's really worth seeing, it's so hilariously stupid :)

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  15. Who doesn't love a bit of playful spanking, eh?

    Did you read about those three women in America who glassed some guy for telling them to shut up? This film must be terrible!

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    1. Oh my God. I'd literally be afraid to watch this movie in American theater filled with overexcited - probably middle aged - women

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  16. I second with you on Leo. He was such a nice dream guy to have. Great review, I love when you destroy horrible films. :)

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  17. Oh my God! I laughed. HARD. Forgive me, just a bit of "50 Shades" humor. I've got to say, you're a brave woman ti watch this movie knowing full well that it's total shit. I for one will avoid it like the plague. If someone points a gun at my head and says "watch "50 Shades" or eat lead, I'll reluctantly choose the bullet. Thank you for an informative and hilarious review.

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  18. Hilarious review. Just reading it since I wanted to wait until I had seen. I have. It sucks.

    http://dellonmovies.blogspot.com/2015/12/fifty-shades-of-grey.html

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