Fifty Shades of Grey is an erotic romance film adapted from E.L. James’ novel of the same name. In it, nervous lip-biter Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is subbed in to interview billionaire playboy Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) for a graduate school newspaper. During the interview, sparks fly (I’m using this phrase loosely) and they become romantically involved. But Mr. Grey is oddly distant and afraid of commitment. Ana soon finds out Grey’s secret: a hidden life of playing out a sexual domination fantasy. Virgin innocent Ana doesn’t know how to handle this news at first, but soon becomes wrapped up in the “taboo” world of BDSM, falling for Christian in the process.
From the title sequence, we are immediately flooded with exorbitantly sleek mise-en-scene, namely with shots of Christian’s wardrobe. We are also given beautiful landscape shots of the Seattle skyline. All the while, Annie Lennox singing “I Put a Spell On You” fills the scene with soulful body. This lush opening is enticing and inviting. It is only when characters begin to speak that problems arise.
Continue reading Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) Movie Review
“Get ready to laugh more than three times, but less than 10,” comedian David Cross says in the pay-what-you-want intro to his directorial debut Hits, warning the audience that what they are about to see is a dark comedy and, as such, not a laugh riot. This is a humble opinion of the film. Dark as it is, there are plenty of opportunities for deep belly laughs.
The film, which Cross wrote and directed, follows a hapless dump worker Dave Stuben (Matt Walsh) and his daughter Katelyn (Meredith Hagner), who is determined to Continue reading Hits (2015) Movie Review
CAUTION: Spoilers of the original film’s ending are present in this review.
Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead is the sequel to the 2009 splatter horror film Dead Snow by Norwegian filmmaker Tommy Wirkola. The beginning of this sequel recaps the events of its predecessor: a group of friends travel to a cabin in the Norwegian mountains and are, one-by-one, mutilated by Nazi zombies hell-bent on Continue reading Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead (2014) Movie Review
The black and white cold open to AMC’s Breaking Bad spinoff shows Bob Odenkirk’s seedy lawyer Saul Goodman sadly working the Cinnabon counter in a mall, sporting large glasses and a mean ‘stache. Saul is on edge, paranoid about an intimidating person in the store. At his home, he drinks scotch and anxiously looks out the window. Saul pulls out an old VHS tape and pops it in to the television. The tape is a series of ad spots from his old profession. He watches the tape glumly until it cuts away to the title card. And that’s it. The first scene Breaking Bad fans get after a year of withdrawal from the mythos they fell in love with. It is simple but all too gratifying.
Continue reading Better Call Saul Premiere (2015) Television Review
V/H/S: Viral is the third installment in the popular cult anthology horror franchise. V/H/S was a highly-original breath of fresh air to the done-to-death found footage horror subgenre. It may be one of the best indie horror gems of the 21st century. V/H/S 2 was similarly fun to watch, but was ultimately a digression from the previous film. It was a safe sequel that wasn’t trying to go above and beyond what it accomplished with the previous film.
This new sequel is somewhat similar to the first two installments, where a series of short subjects are shown interspersed with an ongoing second plotline. Only, where the original two films had Continue reading V/H/S: Viral (2014) Movie Review
The Guest is a film by director Adam Wingard. In it, a man named David (Dan Stevens) approaches a family claiming to be a close friend of the family’s eldest son, who died in Afghanistan during the war. The stoic, smooth-talking David says that he has just been discharged from the military, and Continue reading The Guest (2014) Movie Review
The 2015 Academy Award ceremony will take place on Sunday, Feb. 22. Here is my breakdown of all 24 categories.
Continue reading 2015 Academy Award Predictions — All Categories