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.
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.
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.
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.
It seems after much debate and not much success with live action adaptations of video games, the universe has finally seen sense and is broadening their heights and opening their minds to the future of CG-animated adaptations. It’s not like it hasn’t been done before, but now it’s becoming a tiny trend and hopefully more will follow.
The Resident Evil franchise should be very proud of them selves because their CG-animated movies are really good. You get so much more out of them and they follow the game franchise, literally, but not just by turning the game step by step into a film, but by becoming part of the game. For example, the most recent Resident Evil CG-A feature, Resident Evil: Damnation, takes place before the latest game, Resident Evil 6, where Leon S. Kennedy has to investigate the rumours of Bio Organic Weapons (B.O.W.s) and it also ties in with Ada Wong’s story which is a campaign to be unlocked in Resident Evil 6 once you’ve completed the other three. It’s quite like the Final Fantasy franchise. However, the live action films of Resident Evil don’t coincide with the video game at all, purely for the main reason that the main character Alice isn’t even a character in the game franchise and the main characters from the franchise are usually absent in the film. The films however are at an ok standard, but compared to the CG-A ones, they are quite a disappointment. The CG-A versions should definitely get more recognition.
2010 saw an ok attempt at turning Tekken into a live action flick, however there were many flaws with the characters, the absence of crucial characters from the video game and an ok story line. 2011 saw a better attempt at Tekken, however, it was a CG-A version. Tekken: Blood Vengeance had more potential and proves that the franchise could actually really go far in the world of CG-A.
The big news that has been announced in the past couple of weeks has been the release date for an animated Ratchet and Clank movie (2015) and the production of a Heavenly Sword CG-animated film. With this news, it only gives hope that more will follow in the foot steps of Rainmaker Entertainment and dish out some more of these exciting creations.
One film idea that has been in circulation since 2011 was the idea of an Uncharted film. To be honest, an Uncharted film would be “totes amazeballs” however, live action would simply spoil it. Nathan Drake is such an iconic character, quite like Lara Croft (and we all remember how that went down) it would be very hard to accept someone literally standing in for the actual character (and Nolan North). Rumours were floating around that Mark Wahlberg was the one to take on the role of Drake (as he is the action hero type). As much as Wahlberg is a fantastic actor in his own right, this role just isn’t for him. His personality and voice alone would cause problems with the role (and the fans of the franchise would give it a right slating… you know what we’re like). A new candidate has arrived on the scene recently in the name of Bradley Cooper. This makes much more sense in terms of physical appearance, personality etc and could possibly have a better hit with audiences (Angelina Jolie had the characteristics for Lara Croft, yet still the film was so-so). He also has the look of the bad boy-Brit Harry Flynn, so he could possibly just take any role (although he’d need to put on a strong “correct” Brit accent to pull it off). Yet still in this case, CG-animation would be perfect for Uncharted. We would have the original characters and a fun adventure. The video game series feels like a film anyways so why not just make it into a feature length film? It would just tick all the boxes you could think of and it’s the best option. Yes Please!
The future of CG-animated films are beginning to get a bit more recognition and by getting more people to spread the word, there’s more of a chance these flicks will at least get a theatrical release rather than just a straight to DVD and Blu Ray release.