Fifty Shades Darker: Movie Man Jackson

50shadesdarker

She’s just a sucker for pain. When the world last saw Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson), she had had enough of billionaire Christian Grey’s (Jamie Dornan) penchant for pain during intercourse. Ana has left Christian behind, and started to focus on herself, acquiring a job as a secretary for one of Seattle’s biggest publishers, SIP.

Christian isn’t ready to leave Ana behind, though, and reappears in her life offering to change. No contracts, or nothing she isn’t comfortable with. As the two attempt to navigate a more “vanilla” relationship, Christian’s complicated past makes this endeavor difficult.

car-ride

Call me an idiot or just too nice, but I was one of the people who didn’t believe that Fifty Shades of Gray was the worst thing modern cinema ever created. That’ s not certainly not to say it was a good or even passable movie, but it was watchable enough in stretches to go into the sequel, Fifty Shades Darker, with a relatively open mind. That didn’t last long. Working with a bigger budget, Fifty Shades Darker ends up being a much smaller and flaccid movie package.

One thing the first Fifty Shades of Grey possessed was fairly good cinematography and direction from Sam Taylor-Johnson, and a decent score and solid original music tracks. The actual production wasn’t that bad. But this go-around, “FSD,” directed by James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross), doesn’t stand out much from the average ABC Family or Oxygen film, minus the subject matter. It’s a very lifeless looking production that does nothing to titillate or stimulate, and the music chosen to accompany these “sexy” scenes ranges from corny to cringey. It’s bad the first time, by the 6th time, you’ll feel violated.

leila

The two lovebirds in Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan return, with passable chemistry, but not the white hot chemistry this movie needs to be effective. As in the previous movie, Dakota Johnson is by far and away the braver of the two stars once again, putting her entire body out to bare in embarrassing situations. If only her character was as strong as Dakota claims her to be, Fifty Shades Darker may have something.

Dornan bares a little more this go-around, and is a tad better than before with some more character meat. Unfortunately, his American accent slips pretty noticeably here and there, to the point where that’s all I was looking for. With that said (for better or worse), they are the best things about this sequel. Everyone else looks bored to be there (Bella Heathcote, Kim Basinger), or a little over-the-top (Eric Johhson). His role into the story is seen from a mile away; not sure if it is supposed to be.

One can get on the stars and the cast for lackluster acting, but the realization is, these aren’t talentless thespians. Two films deep now, probably not much of a stretch to say that the source material for the Fifty Shades novels is extremely shoddy. Some stories are better left in the book. The dialogue is almost always agonizing to listen to. I simply don’t believe there’s someone out there to make this sound even average, but couldn’t someone else be allowed to take a stab at the screenplay who wasn’t the author’s husband? One thing to exercise artistic control, another to not want to take any suggestions from other, possibly more experienced, people.

getit

As yours truly pressed on through Fifty Shades Darker, there was one thought that went through the mind: The emotional and physical pain that Ana experiences from Christian’s unconventional desires are nowhere near the levels of pain I experienced watching it unfold.

D-

Photo credits go to variety.com, eonline.com, and yahoo.com.

Follow the Movie Man @MovieManJackson

Fifty Shades of Grey (trailer): Movie Man Jackson Analysis

Whether you’re a preteen or well into adulthood, chances are you have heard of Fifty Shades of Gray, the controversial novel that has sparked tons of debate for its graphic descriptions of not-exactly-vanilla sex acts and practices. With its popularity, a film adaptation could be seen from a mile away, and the trailer has finally arrived to the world, seen earlier today on The Today Show.

grey

I’ve never read the book, have no desire to, and this movie doesn’t make me want to change that. But I will say that while this new trailer doesn’t excite me, it does sort of intrigue me, if only for the interest of how the more explicit acts will be shown. With what the book is famous for, there is almost no way this could be PG-13 right? The second half of the reveal hints at what we can be expected. It will be fun seeing this officially rated and described on filmratings.com once more information is known.

From what can be observed, the film looks fairly cool  from a visual standpoint. Blue, greys, and whites really blend in to create an cold and mysterious tone. It establishes a mood quickly, one that will probably be evident for most of the runtime.  This could surprise aesthetic-wise, as it looks like it has a lot of potential to look really good.

I don’t know much about the leads in Dakota Johnson & Jamie Dornan, but they look solid enough as a couple, which ultimately may be what the success of the movie boils down to. Crazy as it sounds,  how the score/soundtrack is something I am highly engrossed with. The perfect balance has to be found; go too far one way during certain scenes and this could come off as unintentionally hilarious.

Fifty Shades of Gray has done what an effective trailer is supposed to do: Get people talking, regardless of the fact if they are versed in the “lore” or not. The months leading to the essentially Valentine’s Day 2015 release should be interesting. Whether the film is good or not, it will certainly bring buzz to a period of the moviegoing year often known as “Dumpuary.”

Photo credits goes to eonline.com.

Follow the MovieMan @MovieManJackson.