Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Chat Review: Fifty Shades of Grey Movie

We are back with another chat review and this time around we are talking about FIFTY SHADES OF GREY movie. This film has been one of the most anticipated films of the year and the Black Heart Reviews team watched it together on Friday in Seattle, home of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. So, keep on reading to see what we thought of this highly anticipated film. 

Okay ladies, describe FIFTY SHADES OF GREY movie in three words.

Ali: Oh! Umm... Well.

Debbie: An Irish Christian?

Thessa: Sexy. Anticlimactic. Twilight.

Prior to watching the movie, did you have any expectations, and did the actors and filmmakers meet those expectations?

Thessa: Since Fifty means a lot to me, I did have high expectations. Having seen the trailer multiple times, the anticipation grew and grew. Plus, I was traveling to Seattle to watch it with some of my book friends, so my eagerness was at an all-time high. But after seeing the movie the first time, everything just felt...meh; I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to. After the second viewing, it did get better slightly better. Maybe it was the hype wearing down or maybe it was because my expectations were severely lessened, but the movie was a bit better the second time around.

Ali: I went into the movie with no expectations. I wasn't a huge fan of the books and was attending the movie more as just a girls night out. I tried to keep an open mind about it. That being said, some things I surprising liked a lot (Dakota, for one), while others woefully bummed me out.

Thessa: I agree. Dakota was surprisingly good as Ana. I hated when she got cast, but she did a good job overall. Though towards the end she did start to annoy me.

Debbie: I honestly don’t know what or if I had expectations before I watched this film. I wasn't that enthusiastic about Jamie Dornan playing Christian (he just wasn't the Christian that I had imagined), and I was still on the fence about Dakota Johnson playing Anastasia. But after watching the countless promo pictures and trailers, I did have hope that the actors, producers, and director could pull it off because it would be nice to see all the books come to life. Now that I've seen the film…..I feel like you Thessa….it was just Meh. The film definitely had some very good parts (Hello Red Room scenes!!), and some scenes that just felt weird and awkward. I think all the book blogger hype got me a little more excited to see the film, but after watching it, I really don’t see what all the “OMG! The film was AMAZING!” love came from. The movie wasn't absolutely terrible, but I honestly thought it would have been better after reading all the reviews from the book world. If I wasn't a fan of the series or hadn't read any of the books, I think I would have been really confused and thought WTF is going on with these people. 

One of the highly asked questions about this film was whether Jamie Dornan or Dakota Johnson lived up to the book characters. What did you think of their portrayal of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele?

Ali: I was pretty leery about Jamie Dornan as CG, from the start. When the trailers came out I was even more so. Maybe because I had been watching him in the BBC series, where he speaks in his native tongue. After seeing the movie, he just didn't do it for me. EXCEPT, during the sex scenes. When he didn't have to talk...he was sexy as hell. I believed him as Christian in the Red Room.

I really disliked Ana in the books. She just is not my type of heroine. However, Dakota made her more playful, less naive. Which made her more likeable. I came out of the viewing almost an Ana fan.

Debbie: Totally agree with you Ali. I think Jamie excelled in the place where Christian was most comfortable with, the Red Room of Pain. When Jamie was in that Red Room, he embodied Christian Grey. He totally worked those worn denim jeans and handled all the sexy times really well. When he’s in that element, I totally understood why fans were fan girling over him. When he was outside of that Red Room….dear lawd did he need help. I think my biggest gripe about his performance was his accent. There were times when you could totally tell that he was trying REALLY hard to mark his accent, and other times when that ish totally just came out. Most notably when he was asking Taylor to have the car meet them at the TAHRR-mac. And the "it's cause he's Irish" excuse won't fly with me because there are plenty of British/Irish/Australian actors who can pull off an American accent really well. Parts where his accent was evident should have been reshot or the producers should have asked he work with a speech coach to fix that.

Dakota was a totally pleasant surprise. I know a lot of the fans of the book were really weary of her playing Ana, but I think she carried that movie. Dakota totally nailed Ana’s innocence and naivety, and brought another element to the character that was missing in the books, a personality! Ana on screen didn’t come off as whiny as book Ana, and I loved how Ana on screen was playful and cute. 

I think from here on out, I won’t be worried about Dakota’s portrayal of Ana. Jamie’s is one that I will be most worried about, especially with the second film. He really needs to work on that American accent of his, and try to not come off as uncomfortable when he’s acting with Dakota outside of the Red Room. Fifty Shades Darker is my favorite book in the series and there are some heavy scenes that I will need Jamie to pull off.

Thessa:  OMG!! You two hit the nail right on the head! Jamie didn't need to talk, like at all, as far as I was concerned. And MAN!! Did he work those denim jeans.

And you're right. Dakota did a good job at portraying Ana, and I am more worried about Jamie in the second book. Hiding his accent seemed like a tough task for him and it made him look more robotic.

Now we all know they cut out A LOT of scenes from the book, but what they showed was VERY SEXY. What made them really SEXY for me was Jamie Dornan. Two of my favorite scenes from the movie were sex scenes: The “I’ll show you how nice it is to know me” scene and the Beyoncé scene. People who saw the movie will know exactly what I mean and those who haven’t seen the movie, will know exactly what I mean These two particular scenes, Jamie Dornan was Christian Grey – dominant, controlling and fucking downright sexy. Fuck! He was sexy.

After the movie, several girls mentioned it having a Twilight feel. What were your thoughts on that?

Thessa: Excellent question! And OMG! YES! Definitely a Twilight feel. I knew from the beginning that this is a Twilight fanfic, but it wasn't apparent in the book. However when I was watching the movie, all I noticed were how so many scenes were similar to Twilight: ~ The relationship with Ana & her mother, especially those phone conversations ~ The walk in the woods (which was NOT in the book)...he revealed how how got into BDSM, like Edward and he being a Vampire...I was seriously waiting for him to sparkle! ~ Christian's piano playing. ~ And Especially the "I can't stay away from you." "You need to stay away from me." "I'm no good for you." He's a bad guy with a big secret...we get it.

Debbie: I noticed the Twilight homage instantaneously, and it was really off putting. I know this series started off as Twilight fan fiction, but adding or mimicking the Twilight films was really a big turn-off for me. From parts of the score, to when they panned the Seattle skyline, it was all a little too Twilight-ish. There’s also that one scene that scene on the woods that felt a little too Edward and Bella for me. I think that’s the part Thessa thought Christian would start sparkling. I honestly cringed during that part. Like, set yourself apart from that franchise, please.

Thessa: YES! Thank you, Debbie!! It was filmed way too much like Twilight. Why did they think this was a good idea?

Debbie: Christian playing the piano didn't bother me, it was the score that sounded too much like that song Edward played. Like, find a different sounding song, please.

Ali: Honestly, while reading the book I didn't get much of any kind of Twilight feels. But I have to agree with everything you've both said here.  It did REALLY pay homage to Twilight and that's just kind of bothersome.  I don't know anyone who thinks the Twilight movies were excellent moments in cinema history, so why make such evident correlation? I really hope they cut that shit out of the next movies.  It takes away from the modern and adult feel of FSOG.

Thessa: Agreed! I hope they go a different direction, stylistically speaking. Especially since book two was my favorite of the three. I will always love the books and Christian will always be my favorite Hero/Dom, but this movie did nothing for me, except seeing Jamie shirtless, denim clad and barefoot...oh! And seeing his thrusting ass didn't hurt either.

I'm sure everyone is dying to know, what did you think of the sex scenes? 

Ali: I, personally, think the sex scenes were pretty amazing. It brought the scenes in the book to life. Added a whole new layer of feeling to them.

Thessa: Two of my favorite scenes in the movie were sex related. I think I mentioned them in question three: The “I’ll show you how nice it is to know me” scene and the Beyoncé scene....YES, Ma'am!!!! *smirks*

Debbie: I think the filmmakers did a really excellent job with the sex scenes. They were all extremely hot and sensual without it being too raunchy.

Jamie and Dakota get an A+ from me.

Ali: Exactly! Except...maybe a little less nipple could have happened.

Debbie: The Red Room scene where Haunted or Crazy in Love was playing was my favorite. And when Christian had Ana tied to her bed and flipped her over and SPANKED her ass.....OMFG I almost lost my shit.

Totally agree, Ali. Less Ana nipples and more Jamie thrusting is needed for the second film. 

Ali: The Red Room was beyond anything I could have imagined. It was my favorite part of the movie.

Thessa: GAH!!! LOVED those scenes!! Although could you imagine being Jamie's wife? Damn! Borderline soft-porn.

Ali: Yeah, I'm in agreement with the idea of her never seeing this movie.

Takes a strong person to see your hubby like that.

Debbie:  Can someone make a compilation with nothing but the red room sex scenes?

Thessa: No kidding!!

Debbie: I'd watch that over and over again.

Thessa: And the "Nice to know me" scene please!! That's where he unbuttons his pants and flips her over!! Can't miss that!!

Yea. I'm replaying that in my head and I want to freeze frame on the unbuttoning of the pants. Fuck. He's hot.

Ali: Jamie can spank me anytime...fuck.

Debbie: That needs to be a GIF. The flipping over and spanking & unbuttoning the pants.

Thessa: *sigh* YES a Gif would do nicely, too.

Ali: Hahaha, perverts...the lot of us.

If you could make any suggestions to the actors, producers, or director for the next film, what would they be?

Debbie: Jamie needs to improve his American accent!

Ali: AGREE! Hard limit!

Debbie: And not be so stiff and robotic during the other scenes.

Thessa: Fuck. That's a tough question. Smart editing! Do not watch Twilight: New Moon and think..."Yea, I'll recreate that!" 

And definitely make Jamie less Robotic.

Ali:  Word.

I think with the next books, the movies will improve because there is more substance in the books themselves.

Book one is a bunch of set up, now we need meat. Jamie's preferably.

Thessa: And if they have to film "submissive Christian" a billion times, they better nail that scene or I will be livid! That was my favorite scene in book two.

Debbie: In the books (and this is solely my opinion and interpretation), Christian is very intense and broody but still exudes emotion. On film, I just felt like Jamie was devoid of emotion and made for some awkward scenes. 

I get that book Christian was closed off but Jamie's interpretation just ended up looking too stiff. 

Ali: Agree Thessa. It's a very important scene to get just right. 

Debbie: I will burn Escala down if they don't nail the Submissive Christian part!

Thessa: And BTW....the emails in the movie were non existing!! NO SHOUTY CAPTIALS??!!! What the fuck. Totally ruined the character and relationship build up, ya know?

Debbie:  Yeah! The emails were one of my favorite parts and they hardly showed any of that.

Thessa: They were my favorite part of the books, too!! And they kiboshed it.

HUGE thanks to our girl Thessa, who flew up from San Francisco to not only watch with us in Seattle but to chat / rant / gush and bitch!

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