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.
As the curtain closes on 2014 and we enter a new, exciting year of film, it’s about time I got going with a ‘Top 20 Films of 2014’ list. I honestly wanted to just keep it nice and simple with a top 10, however, after looking back at what my eyes had devoured over the past 365 days, I felt the need to give credit to those that not only impressed me, but what I really enjoyed. Whether it was due to the fact that a franchise had just begun or was coming to a close, or the grand old superhero summer flicks that dominated the box office sales, my top 20 consists of the big blockbusters, a few rom-coms (which definitly deserved a spot seeing as the best rom-coms came from the late 90’s/early 2000’s) and a few flicks which impressed me due to the fact that I had no clue what I was in for. Here’s my top 20…
19. A Walk Among The Tombstones
18. Begin Again
16. The Grand Budapest Hotel
15. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
14. X-Men: Days of Future Past
13. About Last Night
12. That Awkward Moment
11. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Drum roll please for the Top 10!…
7. Jersey Boys
6. The Fault in Our Stars
5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
4. The Guest
3. Guardians of The Galaxy
2. Gone Girl
1. The Imitation Game
Comment below and tell us what’s your Top 10 Films of 2014 and what are your most anticipated films of 2015.
Happy New Year and may the odds be ever in your favour 😛
Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor has been brought down to probably its simplest form. Lacking character development and a huge script, this is actually what makes this film work. Focusing more on the story of what happened to these men is literally what audiences are getting, and it’s brilliant.
Based on the true story/best selling novel, Lone Survivor follows 4 young NAVY seals on a covert mission to assassinate a Taliban leader, but is ambushed in the mountains of Afghanistan. With no communication to their base and lack of knowledge about the area, they face the challenge of being outgunned by what appears to be an army who isn’t afraid to die for their country/leader.
Without being distracted by a huge budget and becoming mainstream, Berg really does capture the heroism of the NAVY seals and puts the audience in a position where you feel what they feel. It’s actually quite the emotional ride. Adding a great cast consisting of Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster and Emile Hirsch, you kind of forget about who these actors are. Hidden behind a mass of facial hair, their performances as the brave seals were fantastic. As mentioned before, there’s not much character development but with this, it wasn’t needed. You still end up caring a hell of a lot for these guys. No one outshines another; it’s more of a team effort. Although Ben Foster does deliver a fantastic line that really was the mood of the film… “You die for your country, I live for mine”.
Berg really gives the characters a bashing. Throwing rocks at them, falling from and through the rocky mountains, getting shot in all different places… It really does get brutal. The injuries are really bloody and one can only imagine that this is what it really was like at the time. In certain instances, it felt like a Call of Duty game, from the first-person shooter angle, to the wave of bullets fired non-stop.
The simplicity of Lone Survivor is really its strong point. It’s just a simple story about surviving without anything overshadowing its purpose. It could almost be a documentary from their point of view. Lone Survivor is a very strong and powerful film with lot of action, frightening in areas and a great pace without the huge Hollywood sign behind it. It’s the one to watch.
4 out of 5 Stars
Before reading any further, it should be noted that reviews of the Twilight Saga are usually the same, a biased view on how “crap” the film is as the reviewers are usually someone who hates the whole saga and never finds one ounce of goodness to say about the films. Not this review. As a huge fan of the Saga, this review is for the fans and how it fits in compared to the last four instalments.
Literally picking up from the moment Bella opens her new vamp-ish eyes in Breaking Dawn part 1, we get thrown into the life of a vampire. Usually with the other films, we see life from Bella’s point of view, so it only made sense to carry on, but it was quite refreshing to watch Bella in a different light. With the strength like Emmett, the speed of light, and more sound sensitive than Daredevil, Bella certainly kicks ass as a vampire. We get to see her in action that straight away, even a little snicker of the “new blood” senses. But after all of the excitement (and finding out what gift Bella has) the film focuses on the main subject of it all, Renesmee.
Being half human, half immortal (and how she literally grows everyday), this poses a threat from the Volturi because in their history, an “immortal child” has a lack of self control and could possibly reveal themselves and vampires to the humans. With this settled, Aro leads the Volturi to the Cullens to ultimately kill the child. The only way this could be solved is for the Volturi to realize that Renesmee is actually half and half so there is no threat. But obviously it’s not that simple.
Breaking Dawn part 2 is hands down the best film in the saga. Whether you’ve read the book or not (especially if you haven’t read the book) your mind will be blown with the twists and turns when it reaches the final showdown between the vampires/wolves and the Volturi in that beautiful snowy setting. “Epic Conclusion” is an understatement on how awesome and emotional it is. Its climax will have you rolling around, fall off your seat, screaming and shouting at the screen. With all of the questions raised through out the saga, they are all practically answered this time around, so no more cliff-hangers!
The humour really makes you chuckle quite a bit with most of it coming from Jacob (Taylor Lautner). From the moment Bella finds out Jacob has imprinted on her daughter, you know exactly who would be providing the laughter, not to mention all the new characters we get introduced to. There’s really a lot of fun and history between them.
Director Bill Condon did a fantastic job in bringing the book to life, onto the screen. He really does pull you in and makes you forget your surroundings when you’re watching it. It can be definitely said that Condon was thinking more about the female fans when it came to the anticipated Vampire sex scene. Usually an intimate scene like this, the shots would be all over the female participant, but this time he definitely gave the girls some Rob time (other directors, take note! Not all of the time we want to be watching a film from the male point of view).
The end credits were a lovely touch too, featuring everyone who has ever been in the Saga, from the smallest roll to the biggest, quite like a montage to yet another great soundtrack (Twilight never fails when it comes to the music whether you like the film or not)
Without revealing too much of the film, it really is an emotional ride, but it’s perfect as it is the last in the saga. There’s no doubt you will laugh, you will cry, but just like a real fairy tail, there is a happy ending. It has all been leading up to this very moment.
Thank you Stephenie Meyer!
Most likely from my previous posts, you might have realised by now that I’m not a huge, die hard fan of remakes, but this is an exception.
Finally a perfect match has been made. At the Cannes Film Festival, BBC films announced they will be making a remake of the Dickens’ classic Great Expectations which will start filming in September. This is only one of their upcoming projects, but this is not the best part of the story. They have cast the talented Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch (you remember the convicted criminal) and… wait for it… his sidekick from the Harry Potter series, the unbelievable Helena Bonham Carter as the crazed Miss Havisham! How exciting is this! A match made in heaven for sure, and I know they’ll do a heck of a job.
From this exciting news, I am looking forward to it. Great Expectations is truley a classic that stands the test of time and will carry on doing so for aslong as the earth is still here (ok with 2012 around the corner who knows?). It’s most likely been the single novel studied in every single school for the past century (or two). Directed by Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Donnie Brasco) we are surely in for a treat. Like many of the other Dickens novels, Great expectations have had several adaptations of the novel, but just from the cast, I have a great feeling this may be the best one since the 1946 versions directed by David Lean.
A release date has not been set yet, but as soon as I know, you’ll know!