My 10 Takeaways From See Fifty Shades of Grey

So I went and saw Fifty Shades of Grey over the weekend. All the hype from the movie was hard to resist taking myself to the theaters and seeing it for myself. I do warn all my readers that I have not read the book, so don’t shoot me for liking or not liking something in the movie that was or wasn’t in the book. But after all that here are my 10 takeaways from seeing Fifty Shades of Grey.

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Synopsis: Literature student Anastasia Steele’s life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey.

This review Contain Spoilers

1 – I really feel they missed the boat on the casting of Christian. While I had never read the books I have heard a lot about them and heard a bunch about this “Christian” guy. He is this hot-shot rich guy that just woman go crazy over, well this guy didn’t do that for me.

2 – I was fond of the Dakota Johnson casting though. While she wasn’t overly drop dead gorgeous, she fit the role of innocent girl Anastasia. I looked at her IMDB page and really didn’t know she was in as many movies as it stated but this was her first “big time” role in a movie. I would also like to applaud her for having the “balls” to be naked for like 75% of the film.

3 – Seattle is a beautiful city.

4 – The rest of the cast really didn’t matter. It was all about Christian and Anastasia. This was a key to me in making this movie enjoyable. I didn’t have to buy into the other characters, they were selling me on the vocal point of the story and I enjoyed that.

5 – You can’t help but laugh at certain parts of the movie. Certain things about the movie were funny to me. I had no problem with the contract of confidentially but the sex contract really made me laugh.

6 – The scene where Anastasia dissects Christians contract in this very low lite room, HOW COULD THEY SEE WHAT WAS ON THE PAPER? It was way too dark in that room to see any lighting at all. (Side note: I do love how Anastasia worked up Christian in this scene, just to walk out on him.

7 – Chemistry between Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan was pretty good. You felt it from there first scene and throughout the movie. They worked well together. This is very vital in a movie based on the two main characters.

8 – Placement of the music/the score was fantastic. They used the songs at the perfect time, I loved the change they brought to Beyoncé’s Crazy in Love mix they had in the film. It was a harder version of the song that really fit perfect in the film.

9 – A lot less sex in the movie than I thought which really shocked me. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I thought for sure there would be more than what happened in the movie.

10 – The movie for me was all about building the background story for Christian and Anastasia. It was a decent build and my first thought walking out of the theater was they set this whole thing up to make the 2nd one. I know there are 3 books and that’s the purpose but as a person never have read the books I knew as soon as it ended, another was to follow.

Overall Review

3 out of 5 Stars 

This will never go down as a great movie but it was very enjoyable. While at times I couldn’t help but chuckle at certain things, I couldn’t help but find myself invested in the main characters. It was a well-directed, well shot and the score was fantastic. I bought into the movie and that to me is a big reason I liked it.

Fifty Shades of Grey is Rated-R for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language.

In theaters now

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Hercules Review

So I went to the movies and saw Hercules starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I had some high expectations because I thought the trailer was rather well done. So here is my review of the film.

Follow me over on Twitter @rickygangster

Life Itself Review

I checked out the Documentary “Life Itself” – The story of one of the biggest fixtures in movies Roger Ebert.

Check out my review and my comments below.

This was Directed by Steve James and he just took us on an amazing venture from the beginning of Ebert’s life to the very last days of his life.

Hearing stories from his wife Chaz Ebert, his battles with Gene Siskel, listening to how Martin Scoresese talk about how Ebert reviewed his films or just watching him as he was so inspirational during his final months and still beating on like nothing was wrong.

This is a must see documentary by not only film junkies like myself but for those who just even heard the name Roger Ebert.

Edge of Tomorrow Review

So I took the time to go see Edge of Tomorrow last night. I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy when I saw the trailer; I just was really intrigued in seeing it and thought it had some real potential. Tom Cruise has been solid in his last few films Oblivion, Jack Reacher (fantastic movie) and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. After seeing it, I will give you the Good and the Bad of the movie.

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An officer finds himself caught in a time loop in a ware with an alien race. His skills increase as he face the same brutal combat scenarios, and his union with a Special Forces warrior gets him closer and closer to defeating the enemy.

Spoilers may follow, so be cautious.

The Good –

Tom Cruise – Cruise plays Bill Cage a PR executive with a witty tongue and kind of arrogant guy. He stays in the spotlight but far away from the front line as possible. I enjoyed how the introduction of Cruise’s character transformed throughout the film. Starting as a scared and clueless guy on the front line, which after time he learned progressed and just started kicking some serious ass.

The movie started off with some classic things with Cage (Cruise) as he was slowly trying to figure out what the hell was going on, he of course would “die” and come back to life. One of my favorites was near the beginning he would roll out of PT and goes under a Jeep, well in his first attempt at said venture he rolled under and got run over by the car. I literally couldn’t stop laughing, it was just hilarious.

Another thing I enjoyed is the repetitive (on purpose of course) banter between Master Sergeant Farell (Bill Paxton) and Cage (Cruise). As each time would go back and have to replay the scene, Cage would increasingly become a little more obnoxious and just pick at Farell (Paxton). It really made for some great humor, which was never over the top like it can be in films these days. It didn’t “try” too hard to shove the comedy down your throat, they just let it play its course and it happened when it did.

Emily Blunt – She plays Special Forces legend Rita Vratski, a just kick ass chick in a robot suit. First I want to throw it out there, I never realized how hot she was until I saw this film. Perfect fit for this role, believable bad ass with some sure-fire good looks. But off that and onto her character, only one thing I didn’t like about her character early on and I’ll hit on that in the Bad section but Blunt was fantastic and the chemistry between her and Cruise was there.

Supporting Cast – Paxton obviously brought some funny scenes to the movie, Brendan Gleeson is still killing on the screen so many years later. The group of people who played the characters that help lead to the final take down were well casted and all provided a good little punch to the film.

Doug Liman – Has an impressive list of movies he has directed, From Swingers to Bourne Identity to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which I enjoyed all 3 movies. So knowing he has done such a great job, I knew we could be in for a real treat here and he did not disappoint. Very well-directed film from start to finish, taking two characters and with this script having to watch them be repetitive and keep the interest of a movie goer was a hard task and I feel he did a great job of pulling it off. While Cage (Cruise) kept going back and repeating after every death, he made sure to keep it interesting every time he went back, whether it was with some great witty humor or when it came down to Cages character getting pissed off and acting like a man on a mission, it worked for me.

The Cinematography in the film was fantastic, some great visuals throughout the film and another thing that really stood out to me was the films Score. That was absolutely fantastic and to me a very important key to an action flick. I have to feel the Score to really dig into a good action flick and they did a great job of incorporating it in this movie.

The Bad –

While I understood when they introduced Rita Vratski they made her look somewhat like a bad ass and then they killed her. Obviously done for perfect reasoning, but you kind of built her character as the bad ass super robot Legend and her first appearance she was only a little impressive and died. I wish she would’ve kicked a little more ass at the beginning before we had to kill her off would’ve made a little more sense to me.

Not nitpicking the film at all but I would say around the 45-50 minute part of the film it was a little slow, while only for about 10 minutes, it was kind of on cruise control.

The Final Verdict

*** ½ out of 5 stars

Look I really don’t care what anyone says about Tom Cruise; dude is a star and shows it in this film. People knock this guy down so many times and he fires back with good film after good film. He and Blunt made the perfect pair in this film and did a great job in both their roles. Doug Liman brought us a fun action packed film that I think is going to get lost in the summer shuffle and that’s quite disappointing as this film is fantastic.

Edge of Tomorrow is in theaters now

Neighbors Movie Review

So I had the opportunity to see a Screener of Neighbors, which is something I was very pleased to get ahold of as I have wanted to see the film ever since I saw the first trailer. I had high hopes going in and was really hoping that we had our first big time funny comedy to kick off the summer season. So after seeing the movie, I will give you the Good, The Bad and the Ugly of the film.

Again thank you to @Cinemit for the passes.

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A couple with a newborn baby face unexpected difficulties after they are forced to live next to a fraternity house.

The Good

Hilarious – The movie was just funny from start to finish. Some classic one-liners that will be spoken about a ton after you see the movie. From what you see in the trailer is exactly what you get in the movie. Just raunchy R rated comedy. The air bag scenes I watched 50 times in the trailer and laughed and when I saw it in the movie I laughed even harder. The whole entire cast was great.

The pairing of Seth Rogen & Rose Byrne – They play Mac & Kelly Radner a middle age couple with a new-born baby. The instant you saw these two on the screen you knew they had something special going on. You could see the chemistry and instant laughter that will ensue when the movie started. The baby in the picture of course brought another element to the picture that would really bring another funny element to the movie. These two killed it as a pair.

Seth Rogen – Lets just throw it out there that this guy is on another planet of funny during his last two films now. Last year’s This is the End was one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. So following that up was going to be a bit hard to be honest and well he brought his A game to this movie as well. He is just laugh out loud funny in this. You couldn’t help but slide down into your chair in laughter after certain scenes (Including a scene where he and Efron are fighting and he bounces on a trampoline to throw an elbow and he hits a ceiling fan). The chemistry he and Rose Byrne showed in this film was killer. They were the perfect pair for this movie.

Rogen is just so good at what he does, the little things just add up.

Speaking of Rose Byrne (Kelly) she was fantastic. She has previously played in a few movies that I have really enjoyed (The Internship, Get Him to the Greek and Place Beyond the Pines) but I wasn’t sure how she and Rogen would do together in this film. But she was in there with the big boys and she knocked it out of the park and held her own. She was just funny. Nothing else that really can be said about it.

Zac Efron – Let me go ahead and put it out there that this is one of the future mega stars in the movie industry. He is good and after watching That Awkward Moment the other day and now this, he is going to be money for years to come.

He played Teddy Sanders the president of the fraternity that moves in next door to Mac & Kelly. They couldn’t have casted a better person for the role. His exchanges with Rogen were some great stuff. There is one scene that really stuck out for me and that’s based around the scene when Rogen called the cops on Teddy and the fraternity. You’ll understand when you see it.

Dave Franco – Franco played Pete opposite of Teddy Sanders (Efron) as the VP of the fraternity. Look this guy is one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood. He like Efron has a bright future in front of me. Franco wasn’t actually in this as long as I would’ve hoped but when he was in it, he was on. His De Niro impression as Jack Byrnes from Meet the Parents/Fockers was amazing.

Supporting Cast was fantastic as well. Anywhere from Christopher Mintz-Plasse to Lisa Kudrow to Craig Roberts as Assjuice they all brought some good stuff to this movie.

The Bad

One thing about Seth Rogen his go to is “smoking pot” in his comedies. While I don’t hate it at all just the act is going to start wearing thin soon.

Andrew Cohen & Brendan O’Brien – This is definitely not a big complaint as they wrote a really funny film but there were some serious plot questions throughout the film. Again I understand that this is a comedy and sometimes the plot can fly off the handle, which is okay. I just think they could’ve tidy up the film a little better.

The Ugly

Nothing

Overall Thoughts

4 out of 5 stars

This really would’ve been the perfect comedy without the plot holes but that didn’t damage the overall movie for me too much. It had so many funny moments in it that it made up for the holes. It is really nice to see Rogen back to his old ways of being funny, Bryne really was the star of the show and Efron really showed up for this. The supporting cast as well was amazing. Very fun time at the movies and would recommend a theater visit for this.

Neighbors is in theaters Friday

Noah Movie Review/Random Thoughts

So I decided on a Thursday night to take a stroll on out to the movies and check out Noah. While the trailers have shown promise, I thought this could actually be a good little early spring movie. Darren Aronofsky tabbed as director and really enjoyed his last film (Black Swann) and he paired up with Russell Crowe who I’ve enjoyed in various movies over the years. I had a little fun and tried a little something new while reviewing the movie and I hope you enjoy.

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Plot: A man is chosen by God to undertake a momentous mission of rescue before an apocalyptic flood destroys the world.

6:45 There is more people in here already for the early showing then I thought there would be.

6:48 Someone please tell Andrew Garfield to ditch the beard. He looks really weird.

6:51 They are taking me onto the set of the new action packed thriller “Divergent”. I rather you didn’t.

6:58 This guy in front of me is growling while eating his popcorn. I am quite terrified.

7:01 Fargo original show on FX looks interesting.

7:08 Well how about that 4-year-old Drake Sprite commercial

7:09 Oh look a new Johnny Depp movie no one will go see.

7:16 Hercules trailer looks so awesome!

7:26 We are getting a history lesson to start the movie.

7:30 Looks like Noah is left to fend for himself, daddy just got murdered. Wait is this Batman or Noah?

7:34 Wow Jennifer Connelly is still acting?

7:40 Trying to figure out if Russell Crowe is playing Noah or Russell Crowe.

7:43 A Rock (Not to be confused by the Wrestler eitherjust comes out knocks out Noah. The Rocks are now talking….. Sorry they are the “Watchers”, not the “Rocks”.

Crowe didn’t learn much from his time singing in Les Miserable, he just can’t sing.

Methuselah was a straight boss.

7:56 This is really slow to start. Slow pace, the score is great but Crowe is just underwhelming and boring.

7:57 Noah came up with a brilliant idea to create an arc.

The “Creator” just created a forest out of no-where.

8:02 How you doin’ Emma Watson?

Okay so some mysterious voodoo just killed the bird.

I get the story but not sure I can get over the just horrendous acting.

Uh-oh Ham with the almost heel turn.

8:12 Time to fight over whether or not the “creator” is real or not.

8:17 That’s a crap ton of animals to throw on the arc.

Insert crying by Emma Watson as she can’t offer the things for her man.

8:22 I like how Noah just sneaks into the camp and no one notices who he is. Why would he leave his family knowing there are hundreds of people coming for his arc?

Ham is a little upset because he won’t be getting any, anytime soon. I feel bad for the kid

The score of the film has been rather enjoyable. One of the lone bright spots of the film so far.

Methuselah (Hopkins) got jokes. His search for berries got a nice chuckle from the audience.

Now he is passing out blessings to Ila (Watson).

8:39 Tubal-Cain (Winstone) has been a so-so protagonist. Speech was nice leading up to heading for the arc. Powerful and believable.

Time for the Watchers and the people to do battle.

8:45 I wonder where Noah got his awesome fighting ability from?

Awesome scene as the water overtakes the men and the arc.

8:55 We are getting another history lesson.

9:00 Ham is helping Cain, no real plot twist here.

9:05 Growling popcorn man is out cold.

Crowe and Connolly have been downright dreadful in this. Just uninspiring and just forgettable throughout.

So that’s how we found out about babies back in the day, no peeing on a stick. Random things say you are pregnant.

Noah isn’t too thrilled; maybe he wishes the kid was his.

9:09 Noah just stated “This is painful”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Some sort of weird snot like stuff is all over Naameh…. Gross!

“A man is not ruled by his heavens, he is ruled by his will” – Cain – Winstone is stealing the show every time on-screen.

9:13 HOLY MOLY it’s been 9 months or this a miracle baby.

Shem was ready to fight off ol pops so he didn’t kill the kid.

Cain/Noah fight scene!!!!!!

Spoiler Alert: WE’VE GOT TWINS!!!!!!!!!

We are going to name it North and South East right?

Two girls? Noah is going to slay them.

Ham saves the day and Cain pronounces him a man.

9:25 Emma Watson has cried more than she’s actually had to act. And someone please tell me why this isn’t over?

9:32 And we get to see Noah’s ass, woo hoo!

9:35 Growling popcorn man is alive!!!! Maybe the creator got to him too!

9:37 WE HAVE THE CREDITS!

Some quick thoughts about the movie.

In a movie like this you would think it would be a movie easy to direct and translate to the big screen and Aronofsky just doesn’t put the pieces together. He really couldn’t come back after such a rough start. The casting was good but they just didn’t translate into the roles.

The big thing in Hollywood is long movies now and a 2 hour and 18 minute run time is far too long for this.

Overall rating

2 out of 5 stars

The film really suffered by the lack of great performances. Crowe/Connelly were just not that good at all and every time Watson was on-screen she was just crying. Anthony Hopkins played this role well and had a few one liners that were funny. Ray Winstone really stole the show and was a big time breath of fresh air in the movie. The CGI and effects were great, visual the movie was a sight to see for sure. The score (by Clint Mansell) was phenomenal, which is sad because the movie wasn’t on par with it. But it comes down to the pairing of Aronofsky and Crowe, both truly disappoint and really couldn’t take this film to the next level.

This is definitely a movie you can skip and wait for Redbox.