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Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
The sex scenes are not worth it
So I just saw Fifty Shades of Grey in theaters by myself How has it come to this?
I believe that for this review, a bit of back story is in order. One day, while waiting for my plane at an airport in Dallas, I stumbled upon the much talked about erotic novel. I had some money to spare and bought it out of pure boredom. I sat down and read it for the next few days, and I kinda liked it. Fifty Shades is what I'd called an "easy read." Not a piece of literature to be examined or talked about. Just a nice piece of smut to pass the time while you're forced to read Hamlet in English class. I was actually kind of rooting for this film in a way, as a I felt that people were taking it too seriously as a film. It's simple porn, what's there to criticize?
However, as the reviews came in, the sirens went off in my head. With criticisms directed towards the acting and the characters and the writing, my expectation were hit. So I bought my ticket and just said to myself, "Hey, if I'm not expecting much, then the film won't suck."
So, I sat down in a theater with a bunch of chatty young women and all of the boyfriends wanted to kill themselves, and the movie started.
Well I didn't HATE it.
So the major problem that I have with Fifty Shades of Grey is that it is boring. The scenes between the two main characters where they're just talking and interacting is just not interesting. You sit there waiting for the LEGENDARY sex scenes to come on, and even those aren't enough to carry the film! I know the BDSM scenes are shocking and new to most people, but the truth is, I'm not most people. And apparently, I wasn't alone because the guy sitting right next to me was just as bored as I was. I swear, we both yawned at the exact same time!
The directing doesn't stand out at all. The shots and angles were pretty stationary and standard, nothing exciting or new or interesting. I did like one shot were Christian was sitting at a piano as the Seattle skyline shined in the night.
Along with that, the acting was sub-par AT BEST. Nobody stands out. The whole time, I was just thinking, "this actor is delivering their lines."
The character of Anastasia Steele can only be described as a pushover.And other than that, she's also can be pretty indecisive. I mean, she spends the whole movie complaining about how Christian doesn't treat her like a normal girlfriend (even though he does) and how this BDSM business is too much for her (even though the film shows she clearly likes.)
Christian Grey is NOT an interesting character. He's merely a prop for female readers to grab on to. The purpose of him having a dark and lonely past, coupled by him being changed by Anastasia, is merely a female fantasy of taking a bad boy and trying to help him see "love." It's no brainer to me know how this evolved from Twilight fanfiction.
But yeah, with all of that said, Fifty Shades of Grey is simply a boring romance film with a minuscule glimmer into the world of BDSM. But when you see that speck of a new world in sex and fetishes, it's really not much to write home about.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
What did you expect?
The summer movie season kicks off with one of the most anticipated movies of the year, Avengers: Age of Ultron. Now, I myself am not a big fan of the Marvel movies, as I've always seen them as basically the same movie: Bag guy wants to destroy/rule the world, good guy stops him, good guy is hailed as a hero. No real deviation.
What made the Nolan Batman movies so great is that they put a new, realistic, and almost deconstructing spin onto the superhero genre. They weren't made just to entertain, but to also make the audience think. But all the Marvel cares to do is have you buy the tickets to watch the movies a dozen times and get excited for the next 30 films that they have planned. And really, that's the major problem with Marvel: They do not see film as art. It's all about money. The Joker said it best in The Dark Knight: It's not about money, it's about sending a message. And personally, that's how I think film should used.
So now that I've explained why the Marvel movies don't work for me, it's time to get into why Avengers 2 followed this formula specifically.
In comparison to the first Avengers, which I actually like, the directing in this film is bizarrely bad. All of the action scenes are shot like it's in a Transformers movies, as in, the camera is too close to the action, so it's hard to figure out who's punching who or doing what. In The Avengers, it pretty easy to tell what was going on, and it made the fight scenes more enjoyable to watch. But in this film, it can be downright incoherent. Hell, I've seen better cinematography out of the Star Wars prequels in terms of action. At least I was able to get an idea as to what was going on in those scenes! Another problem is the action is simply too fast. One blink, and a character will be on the other side of the entire city because we're not allowed take in to what's going on! Overall, the directing is a major step down from from the first Avengers. And I've seen both movies in theaters.
The acting is passable, though I can't say any of the actors shine or really pull through in terms of giving a performance. Like they were all there to give their lines and put in their B-game, not their A-grade material. James Spader as Ultron truly delivers a menacing voice, but the script doesn't allow him to be that terrifying of a villain. Like seriously, after his first scene, he sounds like an old Jewish mother complaining about how things aren't going her way. Ultron made a lot of quips and sarcastic remarks, and quite frankly, it didn't suit him. Which leads me to my next point.
I know that humor and light-heartedness are what distinguishes Marvel movies from DC movies, but I swear, every single character in this movie is a comedian. Everybody's the funny guy! It's good to have one character that's comic relief in an ensemble cast, but not every single character! Like I know that everybody has a humorous side to them, but after the first 30 minutes, the joke's just get old. Like, with each action beat in the story, there HAS to be beat of humor every 5 minutes! Even when a horrible accident happens in the film, not a minute later, somebody else is trying to do a wisecrack! Can we PLEASE tone it down with humor and be serious for a MINUTE!?!
So yeah, Avengers: Age of Ultron is littered with your typical superhero plot, barely comprehensible action, a somewhat disappointing villain, unnecessary humor, and standard CGI fights with a standard climax to the story. It's more of the same from Marvel, but hey, that's what their fans seem to like.
More and more and MORE of the same.