I’ve been to a few movies recently, so I thought that today I’d give you my reviews of them. This is basically just a few comments as to what I liked or disliked, and someone else may have a completely different opinion. At any rate, these are my thoughts on the following films: The Duff, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Black Or White, Project Almanac, and Fifty Shades of Grey.
The Duff – This is a cute little film about a girl who learns that she is in the Designated Ugly Fat Friend group at her high school. Once her eyes have been opened she sees her friends, her enemies, her crush, and even the boy next door in a new and enlightened way. It’s a fun film, and Mae Whitman positively shines in the title role. I’m happy to give this one 5*.
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 – I expected much more from this one than I got. The first one was good, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. This one brought back most of the main characters and gave them a pretty solid plot line, (going into the future to hopefully prevent a murder), but sadly, the plot potential was lost somewhere in an overabundance of inane humor and penis jokes. This one gets 2*.
Black Or White – What a pleasure this was to watch! The plot follows the battle between a white grandfather, (father of a deceased daughter), and a black grandmother, (mother to a drug addict son), who are both seeking custody of their granddaughter. Both parties genuinely want what is best for the little girl, and it’s clear that either grandparent would raise her in an atmosphere of love. The acting was top-notch, especially from young Jillian Estell. Octavia Spencer, who you might remember from The Help, gives another stellar performance here, and if Kevin Costner produces one or two more films as good as this one, he might finally be forgiven for Waterworld. An incredibly easy 5*.
Project Almanac – This is another one that had great potential, and then fell flat. It centered on a boy who found a time machine that had been partially built by his deceased father. With the help of his friends, he finishes the machine and they take a few trips through time before triggering a butterfly effect. I guess it was okay, although I have no desire to ever see it again. I’m giving this one 3* because, even though it lacked excitement, it was a decent enough film and the acting wasn’t too bad.
Fifty Shades Of Grey – I saved the best for last, right? If that’s what you think, you could NOT be more wrong! I bought the book a few years ago but could not get into it. I struggled through the first few chapters, but then gave up as I had much more important things to do with my time, like…shave my legs or clean my house. But because I figured that the movie had to be better than the book, I went to see it. Now, for those who just want a little peek into the world of sexual role-playing, this film will probably seem exotic, daring, and quite titillating. However, it is so far from legitimate dominance and submission play that the distance cannot be measured. Granted, BDSM is open to great individual interpretation BUT there are several “rules” that are followed without fail by serious players who place a high priority on the safety of the scene, as well as on their personal reputation. Many of these rules were ignored by Christian Grey, and if this film was intended to be an accurate depiction of that lifestyle, it failed miserably. Moving on to the actors: In my opinion, there was a distinct lack of chemistry between them, considering how deeply the characters felt for each other. Jamie Dorman is a competent actor, but Christian Grey is supposed to be irresistibly compelling, and Dorman’s performance was nothing that held our eyes to the screen. Dakota Johnson may have inherited her mother’s looks, but I saw none of Melanie Griffith’s acting ability in her. At least, not in this film. Fifty Shades is long, boring, and a complete waste of both time and money. I’m giving this film a -50*, and that’s being overly kind.