Dakota Johnson

Fifty Shades Darker: A movie for people who like their boyfriends to be creepy stalkers

Another scene where Christian Grey is creepy as fuck.

I’m not crazy; I think you already know if you want to watch Fifty Shades Darker, and I would be surprised if anything I could say would change your mind. However, I’m sure there are some people who are just curious about exactly how disgusting of a commentary it is on our current sad culture, and I’m happy to satisfy your curiosity on that point. [read the whole post]

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The impossibility of getting away from it all, rendered beautifully

Dinner is never just dinner in Luca Guadagnino's newest film.

Dinner is never just dinner in Luca Guadagnino’s newest film.

Sometimes you want to go to the movies and see four actors doing amazing work in a wonderful film. That’s what you’re going to get when you see Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash.  This is a movie with layers of meaning, with people saying things when they shouldn’t, and not saying things when they should. It’s a bit contrived, but very real. Let’s try to convince you to see it so we can talk about it later. Here’s my best shot.

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A modern romantic comedy with its heart and mind (and humor) in the right place.

50 Shades of Singledom

Fifty Shades of Singledom

It’s rare that I’m this nervous to write a film review! Perhaps it’s the fact that How to Be Single surpassed all my expectations. Or maybe its that I feel that by accidentally omitting any aspect that I loved about the film, I’d be doing the film a disservice. Maybe I’m nervous because I feel that my excitement for the film is a byproduct of being caught off guard by its hilarious yet sensitive handling of serious topics, and therefore maybe I’m overhyping it? The fact of the matter is that How to Be Single is one of the best romantic comedies in a long while, and does more than just continue the recent (wonderful) surge in female-led rated-R comedies. How to Be Single balances awkward conversational humor with crude humor exceptionally well and doesn’t let up even when its time for the story to enter ’emotional climax’ mode, all the while sending strong messages about dating through adulthood.

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‘Fifty Shades’ is caught between a book and a hard place.

Must.  Stare.  To.  Create.  Intense.  Chemistry!

Must. Stare. To. Create. Intense. Chemistry!

I sort of feel sorry for Francine Maisler, the casting director of Fifty Shades of Grey.  Francine was given an impossible task — to cast the role of Christian Grey with an actor whose every physical characteristic would accurately reflect the subjective sexual fantasies of millions of female (and male) readers.  100 million, to be more exact.  Once a Grey was found, the rest should’ve fallen more easily into place.  To the filmmakers credit, and to Maisler’s, the casting job is almost as good as it could’ve been.  Jamie Dornan makes for a sexy steely-eyed (see what I did there?) Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson makes for a very strong pretty-yet-plain Anastasia Steele.  Oh, but there’s one problem…they have to have great chemistry together in order to pull it off.  Oops.  Fifty Shades of Grey is not as bad as you may think or hope, and if you’re brave enough to refrain from poking fun of it to look cool, it’s not hard to notice some strong cinematic merits and a strong yet simply central plot with a lot of interesting potential.  Sadly, the lack of actor chemistry and the screenwriter’s loyalty to the book’s popularity sours the overall impact of the film, which, despite its effectiveness in pushing the boundaries of sex in a rated R film, should’ve had a stronger impact.

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