Theatrical Releases: Fifty Shades Of Grey & Kingsman: The Secret Service
Normally I would consider giving a film like “Fifty Shades Of Grey” the benefit of the doubt. Sure, it’s based on a poorly written book (from what I’ve heard) and yes, I’m aware I’m not a lusting housewife, but with a big budget and plenty of word of mouth, I could have easily gotten on board with a sultry, edgy romance movie, especially with the marketing favoring these really great songs from Beyonce. But the problem lies in not giving a crap about the actors involved. Dakota Johnson does absolutely nothing for me and I’m not even sure who Jamie Dornan is or how he got this gig (besides Charlie Hunnam dropping out). And for that I simply will not give this the time of day. It ends up looking just as weak as I’ve been told the book is.
Colin Firth takes on the role of a James Bond-like teacher in “Kingsman: The Secret Service”. And from the trailer alone, the action sequences look absolutely amazing, with some stylistic choices made that follow in the vein of what “Sherlock Holmes” did with its action scenes. With an all but unknown young man in the lead role and a less than serious villain in Samuel L. Jackson (he has a lisp and wears baseball caps), the film actually has enough edge to it to feel original, something along the lines of the first “Kick Ass” but even more for adults, especially those needing to get their fix of international spies until the next Bond film.
Musicals are definitely not high on my priority lists to see, but “The Last Five Years” has Anna Kendrick and that is almost enough for me to see it. Based on a Tony award winning play looking over the course of a five year relationship of a couple, the trailer alludes to the fact that there are no spoken words in the entire film and everything is sung in a song. That being said, if Kendrick was not in the film, there would probably be no way I would even consider seeing it.
All this talent and nothing to show for it. James Marsdan, Jessica Biel, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Tracey Morgan star in “Accidental Love,” a kitschy comedy about a young woman that’s engaged to be married when she accidentally gets a nail lodged in her brain which becomes too much for her fiance. As she ventures out to try and bring free health care to freak accidents like hers, she falls for a politician. The film has the feel of a straight-to-DVD comedy along the lines of “Bubble Boy” or “Committed,” not necessarily feeling fresh and not quite hitting its mark.
With very little photography of the inside of Auschwitz, the everyday occurrences for Jews in concentration camps was not very documented. But with the documentary “Because I Was A Painter,” the artwork of prisoners has surfaced and tells the story of many of the horrific events that took place behind the fences of the camps. Done in secret, these artists are actually stepping forward and claiming their art and telling the story of how it came to be.
They’re rich. They’re powerful. They’re sexy. They’re vampires. Spike Lee delivers his latest joint with his own take on the lore of vampires, these being people of all races dealing with the lust for blood like any other addiction. “Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus” looks visually poetic and laced with sex to the point of feeling like something truly special. And with an auteur like Spike Lee behind the venture, you know it will speak volumes while being highly entertaining.
Playing off the success of “Fifty Shades Of Grey,” this comedy “The Dramatics” takes a look at what it might be like behind the scenes if say your actress girlfriend were picked up for the part in a movie like the whips and chains endeavor hitting theaters this weekend as well. With a few familiar faces in supporting roles, this definitely feels like a straight-to-DVD comedy, yet has enough going for it to barely squeak in as something I might actually see.
Having seen the trailer for “Gett: The Trial Of Viviane Amsalem” countless times over the Oscar Challenge, I can easily say their is something delightfully mysterious about this film. On the surface, it is about an Israeli woman looking to get a divorce from her husband over the span of years, with a parade of their friends and companions testifying on both their accounts. But with no real explanation why she wants the divorce and no delving deeper outside the court room, I start to question what’s actually going on and for that, it makes me want to see this film.
Ali Cobrin continues to be highlighted in really under the radar ventures, this time finding herself as a cam girl in the horror movie “Girl House”. Similar to the recent release “Open Windows,” the film follows a group of cam girls living in a house, being recorded 24/7. But when they piss off the wrong guy, a man that enjoyed sniffing mannequins and wearings faces like Leatherface, it’s up to a few nerds watching porn to find a way to save the girls before it’s too late.
An answer to “Fifty Shades Of Grey” for all those Christians out there, “Old Fashioned” is a love story that bases around a spiritual man meeting a free spirited woman and falling in love, but his life of making rules and keeping people out forces them to change themselves slightly just to fit into each others lives. With zero star power and absolutely nothing actually happening in the film, I believe this will be something very religious people will do as opposed to seeing the S&M fest, but this falls below even a Lifetime Original Movie.
Hugh Grant in a romantic comedy? No way! This time he plays a washed up screenplay writer who gives in to teaching a college course on writing. There he meets the love interest in Marisa Tomei. His tendencies fall within that of the cynical drunk who doesn’t care that he pisses everyone off around him, including J.K. Simmons and Allison Janney. Of course, as he teaches, he learns that he can change from the lessons he is teaching his students as well… All of this has been done before and has definitely been done better.
Coming from the creator of “Flight Of The Concords,” Jemaine Clement, who also stars in the film, “What We Do In The Shadows” is a mockumentary following around a group of vampires as they live together in a loft, kind of like “Interview With A Vampire” meets MTV’s “The Real World”. With dry deliveries and plenty of tongue-in-cheek references to vampire lore, there is so much comedy here that the film is able to run off the steam of the jokes from the first half, through the less funny second half.
Stepping inside the mind of a high school student with an undiagnosed mental illness, “White Rabbit” follows Harlon (Nick Krause) as he sees imagines of his favorite comic book characters and the image of a rabbit that his father (Sam Trammell) made him kill when he was a young boy, all of which encourage him to carry out unspeakable violent acts. But when a new girl (Britt Robertson) gets involved in his life, the line between real and fantasy start to blend, obviously leading to some sort of head. Britt Robertson is such a talented young star that it is hard to pass her up in anything.
These days, if it’s not vampires it’s zombies. “Wyrmwood: Road Of The Dead” takes zombie to the Australian Outback with a “Mad Max” meets “Dawn Of The Dead” premise where the people surviving are armoring up and running down every zombie they possibly can. Mix in some off-beat humor like pumping gasoline out of zombies and a woman that can even summon zombies and the film feels original, but lacking a sort of finesse or production quality that sets something like “The Walking Dead” on an entirely new level.