Category Archives: Music

Twilight for Adults – Fifty Shades of Grey

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Fifty Shades of Grey has to be one of if not, the most hotly anticipated films of 2015. With a Valentines weekend release date, whether the film was bad or not, their campaign and release date alone would have made enough money to go ahead and redeem themselves with a sequel/trilogy. Without having read the book and going by hearsay on how dirty and explicit the book is but also terribly executed through bad writing, one could only expect the film to be just as bad resulting in just a dirty old porno on the big screen. With this in mind, a lot of those who thought that have come out disappointed, but those looking beyond that point of dirt and explicitly, you’ll actually find a really good film.
Based on a Twilight fan fiction, Fifty Shades of Grey introduces you to Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson), a literature student, who conveniently happens to be a virgin, who’s life is changed when she meets billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) who essentially has a dirty little secret.
Bella and Edward’s Twilight stench is written all over Christian and Ana. It’s very familiar, sometimes a little too familiar but this is mostly at the beginning of the film where they meet and can’t keep their eyes off of each other. But even certain scenarios that happen are too similar to Twilight such as her friend José who seems like the Jacob Black kind of character, Ana being saved by Christian from getting hit by a car, and the plain fact that he can’t help but to be around Ana, quite like how Edward couldn’t stay away from Bella. Given the circumstances, Edward’s reasons seemed a bit more legit than Christian’s but you just have to deal with it. Christian is very straight forward like Edward, he doesn’t really say much and has the same sort of painful facial expression. He’s also adopted. Ana is the vulnerable girl who is in love but is very inquisitive and wants to be with this man of mystery. So essentially this whole story is a more grown up version of Twilight.

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After getting all of that out of the way and really stripping the film down, Johnson’s Ana is a very a strong female lead. Entertainment wise, she has a repertoire of great one liners and comebacks which will make you giggle in agreement. Ana does display some control, even though she becomes his “submissive”. Her projections of vulnerability and solid resistance is very compelling and done so well. She doesn’t give in too easily nor straight away and builds her own compromises with Christians requests. He may be the “Dominant” but it’s to her terms. You really get to see this through one of the best scenes in the film where she has a “meeting” with Mr Grey to discuss the contract to their relationship and to object to certain activities. The on screen chemistry is just simply perfect there. She’s also the character for the audience, seeing Christian and the whole romance/relationship through her eyes, ultimately probing about his past and why he is the way he is. We want to know as much as she does. She also demonstrates how powerful the word “no” can be.

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Dornan’s Christian as mentioned before is very inexpressive, quite cold and very straight forward, but given the circumstances, it’s acceptable. It’s when he begins to open up to Ana in ways he specifically explains in the beginning that he doesn’t engage in, his character starts to break in and this is done in a very subtle way, giving the film a bit of a balance. The awkward attempt of calling Ana “baby” is definitely one of Dornan’s high points and it’s Ana’s inquisitive nature and ability to rebel is what attracts Christian, not just her submission. What really gets to you is his eyes. That’s the main point of contact, communication and wonder, through Dornan’s eyes.

Fifty Shades of Grey
Easing into the film’s main point of focus, the sexual boundaries of pain and pleasure, it’s actually not as bad and explicit as expected. It takes about a good 30 – 40 minutes into the film before anything actually happens and it’s not a lot either. It’s done in a very tasteful and erotic way building the intensity without the need for a bunch of full frontals and weird pornographic angles and moans. Although the shots mostly focus on Johnson, Dornan’s dominance was dominant enough to keep the audience engaged with his actions rather than the camera straying down south. These principles also applied to the infamous Red Room of Pain.
To top it all off, the costume designs worked so well for each character especially Christian Grey and we’re graced with a really seductive yet awesome soundtrack featuring The Rolling Stones, Ellie Goulding, Beyoncé, Awolnation, Annie Lennox, Danny Elfman and much more. It’s such a pleasing soundtrack to listen to and really suits the film.
All in all, it was better than expected, cleaner than expected and more enjoyable than expected. Slick, tasteful, witty and seductive, Twi-hards eat your heart out.

Star Ratings 3

 

 

 

The Oscar 2015 Nominations Are In!

 

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This year’s Oscar nominations were announced earlier today by the Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, actor Chris Pine and directors JJ Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron in a 2 part broadcast for the first time ever, revealing the nominations in all 24 categories. Leading the noms are Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel which both have 9 nods whilst the Brits have been nominated in the major categories.

The Hollywood ceremony will be held on Sunday 22nd February. Here are your nominees…

 

Best Picture:

American Sniper

Birdman

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

 

Best Actor:

Steve Carell,  Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton, Birdman

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

 

Best Actress:

Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon, Wild

 

Best Supporting Actor:

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Edward Norton, Birdman

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

JK Simmons, Whiplash

 

Best Supporting Actress:

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Laura Dern, Wild

Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Emma Stone, Birdman

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

 

Best Cinematography:

Birdman

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Ida

Mr Turner

Unbroken

 

Best Director:

Alejandro G Inarritu, Birdman

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

 

Best Adapted Screenplay:

American Sniper

The Imitation Game

Inherent Vice

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

 

Best Original Screenplay:

Birdman

Boyhood

Foxcatcher

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Nightcrawler

 

Best Animated Feature Film:

Big Hero 6

The Boxtrolls

How To Train Your Dragon 2

Song of the Sea

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

 

For the full lineup of nominations click here

It’s About Time The Oscars Revamped Their Categories

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

 

As we are gearing up for the end of 2013, a lot of talk has been going around about one of the best times for film makers and movie goers, Awards Season.

With not much justice, the Oscars will always be the biggest award of the night. Everyone wants to be holding that golden statue giving a speech up on stage and getting rushed off by the sound of music, adding a few tears here and there. But not everyone gets the chance to have this moment, not because they haven’t won, but for the mere fact that the category just doesn’t exist.

The Oscars is a huge event with tonnes of categories, from the biggest on screen, to the smallest behind closed doors, but it’s about time they revamped the categories and not expect the ceremony to just carry itself. Here are 3 categories they are definitely missing that should be added to the line-up…

 

 Best Stunt:

With the light of Jason Statham having a say in a Vanity Fair interview, he’s definitely got it spot on. Stunt men/women and Co-ordinators should be recognised for the hard work they put into making these awesome stunts in film. It is quite unfair how an actor in front of a green screen can win an Oscar for their performance, whilst the stunt men who actually pulled of the stunt lay low on the sideline without a credit. Yes there are some actors who pull of their own stunts so fair enough, they could be nominated too. But those guys out there risking their lives to make the actor look good and give us that breathless feeling when their falling off somewhere really do need more credit for the amazing work they do.

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Best Voice Actor:

We’re living in an age now where CGI is like second nature in a film with non human characters included. Whether it’s an animation of just live action with CGI inserted, voice actors should be getting a bit more attention when it comes to awards. There are already award categories for these special effects etc but to voice over a character does take quite a lot of skill. It’s not as simple as saying a line from a script. It’s just the same as normal acting, if not a bit more difficult because natural body language is absent as we can’t see the person, so why not? Most of the time, it’s the voice of a character that brings it to life rather than the way it looks. With the technology of Motion Capture suits, sometimes it’s the actors actually acting out these characters, quite like video games. So it really is a lot of work and great imagination.

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Best Trailer:

Now for a lot of us, a trailer is the key to whether you go to watch a film or not. It’s the main source of research for a film. Yes there are reviews etc but they all have the reviewer’s opinion, so a trailer is just perfect because it’s neutral. A trailer isn’t just put together by splicing a few bits of a film together; it’s a huge part of the film’s marketing, so it has to engage the audience. There are a lot of trailers out there that deserve an award. Think about the trailers you’ve watched this past year, some even looked better than the film turned out to be, why? Because the editors know what the audiences want to see. But really there are a lot of trailers out there that make you watch it more than once and the people behind these trailers also deserve some credit.

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So what do you think? What categories would you like to see in the Oscars?

 

Born and Raised – John Mayer is Back!

The ladies man with the sensual, soothing tone of voice John Mayer is finally back after nearly a 3 yeah hiatus. Frankly, I’ve missed him like crazy despite all the media attention he had been developing about his relationship ups and downs since Jessica Simpson. I preferred it when I could Google his name and crazy stuff didn’t appear his ex’s and the fact that he’s now walking in Johnny Depp’s footsteps from The Tourist.

Anyways, the cover art for his new album Born and Raised was released today and I must say, it’s very different to his usual approaches. His other albums like Heavier Things, Room for Squares, Continuum and Battle Studies all contained some sort of photo of himself, but I guess he’s now moved on as he is a very established artist who has created a very huge dent in the music industry, so he is in a fantastic position to do so. We all know who he is, it’s time for some real cover art. With the old coins, medals and clock displayed, it’s very vintage, which is a great word to use to describe his genre of music. The colours and font also help the design stand out giving it that classic, vintage finishing touch. I really do love it and is my favourite compared to the rest. As a matter of fact, it may just be my favourite cover art of all time. Take a look for yourself…

*Image from http://jhnmyr.tumblr.com/*

The tracklist was also released with Shadow Days being the first single to be released from the album (See below). You can catch a 60 second clip and the cover art for the track here at http://jhnmyr.tumblr.com/ where Mayer seems to be spending most of his time at since leaving Twitter (please come back). From 60 seconds, it’s fantastic and I can’t wait for it’s full release. The vibe sounds like a track from Room for Squares. Taking a wild guess, from the cover art, the title Born and Raised and the impression of Shadow Days, it seems to me that John Mayer may just be taking a step forward by taking a step back. Going back to his roots basically (not that he left) but there was a more of his personality and emotion back then. Battle Studies was more about emotion.

Born and Raised Tracklist

1. Queen of California

2. The Age of Worry

3. Shadow Days

4. Speak for Me

5. Something Like Olivia

6. Born and Raised

7. If I Ever Get Around To Living

8. Love is a Verb

9.  Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967

10. Whisky, Whisky, Whisky

11. A Face To Call Home

12. Born and Raised (Reprise)

With the release date set for the 22nd May 2012, I’m very much looking forward to it. John Mayer is just one of those artists who in my books, has never made a bad song, let alone bad album so I know we’re in for a real treat. Keep up the great work.

Whitney Houston’s Final Curtain Call

After the shocking news of singing legend, Whitney Houston’s death at the age of 48, some good news has come to the surface of it all. Houston had finished filming the remake to the 1976 musical-drama Sparkle. Also standing as executive producer of the title, Houston plays the mother of 3 musically talented sisters who in a group together must deal with the disruptions and tragedies of fame and drugs.

Sparkle, which was supposed to mark Houston’s comback to the acting career she left, also stars American Idol Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks, Mike Epps and Cee Lo Green. This is not the first time Whitney Houston would have featured on the big screen. Her repertoire includes the 1992 hit The Bodyguard starring alongside Kevin Costner, 1995’s Waiting to Exhale, the 1996 swoon with Denzel Washington in The Preacher’s Wife and a small but remembered role as the Fairy Godmother in the TV movie version of Cinderalla with quite an impressive cast. Quite like The Bodyguard, Houston had recorded several songs for Sparkle.

According to Variety, Sparkle is getting ready for a Aug 17th release.