Everyone I’ve met who has watched any of the Fifty Shades movies knows that they’re the kind of films unlikely to win, let alone be nominated for any seriously prestigiousawards. I’m sure there are others out there who think otherwise; I just haven’t met them.
A friend warned me to stay away from the books because ‘they’re not well written’. I’ve wisely heeded her advice. The reason I’ve gone ahead and watched the second movie, Fifty Shades Darker, even though there was very little in the first instalment that proved particularly memorable is… my mild curiosity about Christian Grey. Particularly how his ‘challenges’ will be explained. I’m a sucker for trying to understand people, you see.
In the movie, some light is indeed shed on Christian’s past, though nothing especially memorable sticks out. We meet a few of the women that have been in Grey’s life before Anastasia Steele (Johnson). There’s more of all the stuff people couldn’t stop talking about in the first movie. A few other things happen. Things that you’d need to watch the movie to find out about because I just remembered how nonsensical I found most of it. I literally uttered the words, ‘What is this nonsense?’
Directed by James Foley; Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan did the best they could with the material they had. I guess this period of their careers can be labeled as the ‘laughing all the way to the bank’ as people criticise their movie’ phase.
At this point I have to wonder if theFifty Shades films have become that thing I love to hate. Maybe. Also, everyone knows that ‘haters’ are often fans, albeit confused or in denial. If I’m a fan, I’m mostly a fan of how the writer E.L. James has succeeded regardless of her apparently questionable writing ability.
Fifty Shades Darker; watch it if you must. But only if you must.
In A Ghost Story, Casey Affleck is a deceased husband who returns as a ghost in a white sheet to re-connect with his grieving wife (Rooney Mara)…
Written and directed by David Lowery, what I like most about this trailer, besides its main star Rooney Mara is the featured music. As for my feelings about the film, I have to confess that it all looks mighty depressing – unlike 1990’s Ghost. Therefore I’ll just make sure I’m in the right mood for it. By which I don’t mean a depressed mood. Merely a mood where I’m open to the ‘exploration of legacy, love, loss, and the enormity of existence’ – for approximately two hours.
My favourite thing about Passengersis what it has to say (however little) about our need for human to human connection. Besides this and the beautiful images of space towards the very end, the experience of Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt’s latest film can be described as ‘a not very good in-space romantic comedy’ with moments of bad dialogue and arguably questionable chemistry.
I don’t think that Passengers is bad because the actors, Lawrence, Pratt, Michael Sheen and Laurence Fishbone did a particularly bad job. It’s disappointing because there’s a certain hollow / under-developed feel about the story. The fact that you can more or less count the number of characters on one hand has very little if anything to do with it. Even with the movie’s most loved star Jennifer Lawrence and Morten Tyldum, director ofone of 2014’s best films – The Imitation Game (2014), Passengers could not be saved from its built-in emptiness nor could it be saved from the thoughts that came to my mind as I watched…
‘This is actually not very good’
‘My, that was a bad line’
Watch Passengers if nothing will stop you. Otherwise you will likely be longing for all that seems to be missing.
It’s generally understood that Hollywood films about Hollywood tend not to do well at the box office. I’d only been aware of this phenomenon anecdotally until I watched Hail, Caesar! (2015), a movie I along with many others did not love.
I’m yet to see the most recent Hollywood movie about Hollywood. Namely Warren Beatty’sRules Don’t Apply (2016), but I know that it also didn’t do particularly well upon release. The most recent Hollywood movie about Hollywood I’ve watched is Woody Allen’sCafe Society (2016). I took my time to watch this one for the reasons stated above. It was my love for Allen’s Blue Jasmine (2013), my favourite of his movies, Blake Lively and a general curiosity about Kristen Stewart’s acting that made me finally tune in. Cafe Society isn’t one of Allen’s most raved about films. Still, if I had to choose between it and Hail, Caesar! (2015), the latter absolutely would not win, except that the costumes in Hail, Caesar! are definitely more fun.
I wasn’t in love with the ending of Cafe Society and I admit to largely losing interest when one or two of the main characters shows up again towards the end; something to do with my general ‘liking’ of Blake Lively and her character, perhaps. Somehow I did manage to make it to the film’s conclusion; rather anticlimactic end I might add. As pleasing as that ending might be to Allen and everyone else, I felt, for want of a better phrase, ‘left in limbo’.
Performance-wise Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart were fine but I loved Steve Carell and Parker Posey more. My favourite thing about Cafe Society is the colour filter and the music. I’m just glad that the film didn’t prove to be a waste of my time to the levels of Hail, Caesar! (2015). I wouldn’t say that ‘You simply must see it! You must!’ because I only found it just OK overall.
The Light Between Oceansis directed by Derek Cianfrance and based on M.L. Stedman’s novel about a couple raising the baby they rescued from a drifting rowing boat. The performances from Rachel Weisz, Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander are all good.
For me, The Light Between Oceans is a beautiful romance. Though definitely heartbreaking and featuring a number of morally questionable acts, the idea of the love between the lead characters as portrayed by Fassbender and Vikander is beautiful.
On account of the repercussions that resulted out of the questionable acts in this movie, by the end I was well and truly reminded of the importance of properly thinking through the options we allow ourselves to be coerced into choosing. Especially when the blindness of love and an all-consuming desperation are thrown into the mix. This, for me is a highlight of this film. I also very much enjoyed Vikander’s character’s forwardness in regards to her love life. Refreshing is one word for it.
On balance, I can’t say that I was able to enjoy The Light Between Oceans as much as I could have and that’s partly because the trailer revealed too much, which in turn contributed to the end result being quite unexciting. I suppose what I may never know is just how much more thrilling I may have found this movie had I never seen the trailer.
Watch it if you absolutely must. Just don’t misremember that I said you absolutely should.
Maudie tells the true story of a fragile arthritic Nova Scotia housekeeper who becomes an artist and beloved community figure. Directed by Aisling Walsh and starring Ethan Hawke Sally Hawkins and Kari Matchett, Maudie is a story of one woman’s independence and an unlikely love story…
I’d like to see Maudie because of Ethan Hawke. I also want to see Hawkins do well, especially since she’s in my favourite Woody Allen movie, Blue Jasmine (2013).
Celebrated filmmaker Terrence Malick has a new movie starring Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender and Ryan Gosling. Song To Song is about two intersecting love triangles set against the music scene in Austin, Texas…
I want this to be great because I’m a fan of everyone involved. I especially want this to be better than Malick’s previous movie Knight Of Cups (2015), which I’m yet to see but I know the reception wasn’t great. On another note, I’m going to guess that both trailers were edited by the very same person, probably.
Movies are, when done well a beautiful amalgamation of all the arts; music, photography, design, dialogue, all of it. Starring Sam Claflin, Rachel Weisz and Holliday Grainger, the trailer for My Cousin Rachel looks like a very promising cocktail of all the above. Featuring great use of Ursine Vulpine‘s cover of Chris Isaac’s ‘Wicked Game’ and imagery so engaging that I was forced to sit up and pay attention, I very badly want this movie to be good. So good that it lives up to the expectations of all those who read and loved the best-selling Daphne du Maurier novel on which it’s based. If you haven’t already seen the trailer, work your way through the following beautiful images and there it shall be at the end…