It’s already been a big year for box office receipts. The 2014 holdover, American Sniper, has broken several records in the past month. Now, we are about to be unleashed with a huge take from one of this year’s most controversial movies, 50 Shades of Grey. Between early blockbusters and popular Sundance hits, this is shaking up to be a very interesting year in film.
Let’s start with the movie that you need to see.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
When you become a Kingsman, you join a very elite group of British agents that are able to subvert politics and laws to protect Queen and Country at all costs. With a recent death of an agent, the council of agents seek to find a recruit that will be worthy enough to join the fold. Galahad (Colin Firth), through coincidence and circumstance, finds Eggsy (Taron Egerton). Eggsy is a cockney, foul-mouthed British punk that cares little for regulations, but also wants to take care of his family. Eggsy’s training becomes a testing ground where he competes against highly-educated people who are seemingly raised to become a Kingsman.
While Eggsy competes for the title of “Lancelot,” Galahad is investigating a new threat posed by Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson). Valentine is essentially Steve Jobs, if Jobs were an genocidal megalomaniac. While tracking Valentine, Galahad uncovers a plan that threatens the existence of everyone on the planet. Cue secret bases, dangerous microchips and a healthy dose of well-tailored style and you have a 1960s James Bond movie done right.
The movie goes a little “meta” at times. Valentine wants his life to be like the Bond movies of old. However, he would never view himself as the nefarious villain with ambitious plans to blow up the world. He cringes at the sight of blood and abhors committing violence. That said, his assistant/henchwoman Gazelle has prosthetic blades where her legs should be. She has no problem slicing up anyone who disagrees with her boss.
It’s because of Valentine and his outlandish plans that Kingsman works. Spy movies have become incredibly dark and gritty in the past 20 years. While Roger Moore’s Bond movies are outdated, they are also fun. Somewhere along the line, Austin Powers made outlandish world domination plots no longer valid. Honestly, as Kingsman and Austin Powers have shown, it does take a healthy dose of satire to make the audience buy into end of the world countdowns and secret bases hidden in the mountains. Yet, Kingsman delivers the fun and makes it refreshing. Kingsman makes Daniel Craig’s “adventures” look like they’re having a case of the Mondays.
A major reason to see this movie is to see Colin Firth kick some serious butt. This role legitimizes him in a way that Liam Neeson would be jealous of. He is the James Bond we never knew we wanted. Taron Egerton is great as the type of kid that you’d cross the street to avoid, but then realizes the importance of national security and dressing well.
I liked the movie for the first two-thirds. I was smiling the whole time. Yet, something happened in the final third. The movie went bananas and I fell in love. There were scenes that made the crowd cheer and cackle with laughter. That feeling doesn’t quit for about 40 minutes. As silly as it gets, you can’t help but smirk and sit in awe of the style.
I hope Kingsman gets a sequel. I would love to see more from this throwback world. I just hope this movie doesn’t fail at the box office, only to then get a cult following on BluRay. It deserves a crowd, especially with so many poor releases surrounding it. A-
Please see Kingsman: The Secret Service unless you’re a sado-masochist. Then I guess you’ll be seeing…
50 Shades of Grey
In order to provide you an accurate view of what watching 50 Shades of Grey is like, let me share the notes I took during the movie and an explanation of each comment. My original notes are in italics.
Older couple moved one seat closer to me. They’re kissing way too much.
There are plenty of seats in the theater. Why would you have to intentionally move to the seat next to mine especially in this awkward movie. I refuse to be involved in your inspired passion.
Focus Features produced this movie?
For shame. I thought they were only involved with indie features.
The pencil is a subtle touch.
Anastasia keeps chewing on a pencil with Grey emblazoned on the side. It begins.
How convenient, she works in a shop where he buys his bondage goods.
Oh wait, he wasn’t in the neighborhood. He is stalking her. This is shaping up to be very romantic.
Is this supposed to be taking place in 2004? Why does she have a flip phone? It may be to show how simple she is. I bet each text she gets costs five cents. I wonder if she uses Cricket.
“You should stay away from me!”
They just met for coffee and he’s telling her how dangerous he gets. This relationship is moving very quickly. I guess it has to with everything that’s to follow. This quote by Christian Grey is then followed a scene later when he says…
“I’m here because I’m incapable of leaving you alone.”
Oh, and he’s stalking Anastasia once again. Do women find this sexy?
“Necrophilia’s not my thing.”
That is actually a line spoken by Christian Grey. He says this after Anastasia wakes up in his apartment and she asks if she did anything to her while she was asleep. Apparently, even he has his limits.
“I’m not gonna touch you, not until I have your written consent.”
I guess he needs her to sign a contract before he tortures her. Keep in mind that she has noticed zero red flags at this point. This quote may also be the most popular pick up line of 2015.
Wasn’t this movie supposed to be romantic…or sexy?
There is nothing sexy about this movie besides the fact that it was filmed in the style of a perfume commercial. The narcissism and torture make Christian Grey a creeper, not a romantic lead. I’d venture to say that he’s the villain of the story.
“Any movie that makes sex boring is impressive.”
This quote was spoken by my friend. 50 Shades of Grey is amazingly dull. The sex scenes are bland. There’s no heat or chemistry. Nothing livens up this movie.
She wanted to go home, and you took her to the woods?
After Anastasia refuses to submit to Christian, she asks to be taken home. On the way they make a lovely detour in some random forest. She has every right to think he might be a serial killer, yet she’s okay with taking a stroll through the mountains.
Former abuse victim perpetuating the abuse.
I’ll get back to this. The movie tries to add an extra layer, but actually becomes pathetic in doing so.
He wanted her to sign a “binding contract.”
Danny Elfman is slumming it.
Score by Danny Elfman. I guess he needed a paycheck. Why would anyone claim to be the composer when the movie consists of remixes by Beyonce and Sia?
Someone could edit this and make it a horror movie.
Christian Grey never stops stalking Anastasia. And she is always okay with it. If this movie wasn’t so boring, it would be terrifying.
I stopped taking comments a little over an hour in because I fell asleep for a few minutes.
In order to understand the tawdry “romance” between Christian and Anastasia, let’s look at the subtext history of Mr. Grey. In the movie, he explains that his mother was a prostitute who died when he was four years old. He was then adopted into a wealthy family. (So far he is Don Draper). Then at the age of 15, he was abused by one of his mother’s female friends for six years. In that case, he was the submissive and she was the dominant.
He, being a subject of abuse, apparently needs to turn the tables on women. It’s the only relationship he allows himself to have with them. Enter Anastasia, an ignorant virgin who happens into his life. She is the perfect subject for him. Even when she refuses his aggressive advances, he buys her something or breaks into her house and all caution is thrown to the wind.
I think what makes this movie appeal to women over the (obvious) “sex appeal” of torture <sarcasm>, is that women like a project. Anastasia stays with Christian, in the midst of his wildly unbelievable expectations, because she believes he is changing for her. He keeps telling her, “I don’t know what you’re doing to me!” Yet he doesn’t change at all. Having her in his life doesn’t change any of his twisted or narcissistic behavior.
To everyone who fears that this movie will ruin society as we know it, please stop worrying. Yes, I know that this is a very popular book with a certain crowd. It will also be a successful movie this weekend. Yet, it is a total bomb that will only be taken seriously in a bizarro world. People may be curious about the phenomenon, but they’ll walk out of this flick feeling like they wasted $10.
This should be clear by now, but you don’t need to see 50 Shades of Grey. It attempts to be salacious for controversy-sake, but it’s really just a terribly bland movie. To put it in perspective, I’d rather have a Jupiter Ascending/Boy Next Door marathon than watch this movie again. F my life.