Thursday, February 12, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey - Movie Review

Fifty Shades of Grey, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, is the film version of the best selling novel by author E.L. James. The movie stars Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Jennifer Ehle, Eloise Mumford, Victor Rasuk, Luke Grimes, Marcia Gay Harden, Rita Ora, Max Martini, and Andrew Airlie.

Anastasia Steele (Johnson) is an English literature student at Washington State University who is given an opportunity to interview a wealthy, young businessman named Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). Grey immediately sees something in this seemingly innocent and naive young woman that drives him to pursue her and eventually invite her to start hanging out with him...if that's what you want to call it. As the two get to know each other, and secrets are revealed, they each begin to change although not necessarily in ways either of them initially wanted or ever expected.

So. Yes, I saw this movie. Did I like it? On most levels I would have to say no. The story was not interesting in any way, it was about as predicable as a movie could possibly be, and the acting was dull and lifeless except for Dakota Johnson who, in the lead role of Anastasia, was actually pretty times. She absolutely nails every moment that calls for her to be cute, funny, smart, or everything all at once and yet she is so bland in other scenes, it's hard to say her performance was anything more than uneven at best. That being said, she was definitely the highlight of a cast who otherwise seemed like they were either just collecting a paycheck or didn't want to be there at all. One thing I wasn't expecting while watching the movie was how much laughter, both intended and unintended, this movie brought out of the audience. This could end up being one of those midnight, cult classics that people love to make fun of so at least it has that going for it. If you're hoping to see lots of porn quality sex happening in this movie, you will be very disappointed. To be honest, it was all pretty tame and nothing we haven't seen before.

Under any other title, this would have been a bargain bin, straight to video, 2:00am Cinemax feature presentation, but once you attach the name Fifty Shades of Grey, it quickly becomes event cinema, is sure to be a major hit with its intended audience, will rake in tons of money at the box office, and will allow the studio to adapt the other books in the series. Yes...this is just the beginning of a very Grey time in cinematic history.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention how this movie is actually playing on IMAX screens. Yeah, seriously. No, I'm not joking.

The other thing I almost forgot to mention is that the story is set in Seattle and, even when watching a movie like this, it's still pretty cool seeing the skyline and some of the other local icons we all know and love. One of the biggest audience reactions of the entire movie was actually a wide panning shot of the space needle which just happened to feature the one and only 12th Man flag unfurled and waving gently in the breeze. Go Hawks, indeed.


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