Posts Tagged Movies

Book to Movie: Fifty Shades of Grey

Some things are embarrassing to admit.


Reading Fifty Shades of Grey was, for me. I bought it at one point because everyone else was reading it. A while after I got it, a friend of mine began raving about the whole trilogy and ‘how awesome’ it was. She couldn’t stop talking. She wasn’t the most literary person I know, but I have to admit it did pique my interest. I picked it up in secret and began reading it. I also wanted to read it before it became a movie. However, the fact that it was a spinoff of Twilight fan fiction didn’t help matters. I’m not 12, and Bella and Edward don’t fascinate it me as much.

It was quite a quick read. It was summer, and the baby used to sleep a lot more during those days (sigh). There’s a picture of me with a glass of frappe in hand, lying on the couch in our garden in my nightdress, reading the book. I enjoyed it that much.

I thought it was a great fairy tale. A modern Beauty and the Beast, maybe. Poor, not especially beautiful college graduate meets a multimillionaire. Even though she doesn’t do anything fascinating, he falls for her. All she does it be herself. She isn’t impressed with his many riches and perks, but just his pretty face, his major hotness and his very mysterious air. However, there’s a catch. He’s into kinky stuff. Very kinky stuff. He’s not looking for a girlfriend. Oh no. He’s looking for someone who will succumb to his every desire and sign a weird contract. He only wants a sex partner (shock).

There are tons of little things you can say about each and every thing Grey does. Lots of criticisms about the believability of this plot line. But that’s not what this reads like. It’s actually quite sweet at times. I especially love all the bits leading up to their first kiss. The photo shoot. The coffee shop. The elevator scene. I know everyone will remember the elevator scene. It might be the best bit in the book. I loved that he kept dazzling her parents and they just couldn’t see he was actually pretty messed up inside.

I have a confession to make. I actually cried once while reading this book. It was the bit after she goes home after they do kinky stuff and feels guilty about enjoying herself. I felt so sorry for her. What are the chances of a girl like that finding a sadist (was the the technically correct word? I don’t even know. I don’t really care)? I actually had tears in my eyes. I also felt really bad about the ending, but knew it wouldn’t be the end of them. I was right. Duh.

Of course, there are things that bugged me, and I’m sure it bugged a lot of people. The mention of how rich Grey is on every freaking page. Okay, we get it. He’s so rich he has a helicopter. He’s so rich he earns, what, 100.000 dollars a minute (I think?). He’s so rich he has this huge apartment. He’s so rich he’ll buy the company you work for just so your boss will have to answer to him. He’s so rich he’ll dazzle you with beautiful clothes that cost your yearly wage (and he’s so smart he’ll know your size just by looking at you). Also, not only he’s so rich but he’s also very handsome. The waitresses actually stammer when they see him. He’s so handsome he actually did it with an old lady when he was a teenager (yuck).

While we’re on that subject, the Mrs. Robinson bit also didn’t sit well with me. It actually made a lot of sense, he explains it, says that she helped him through a rough time. He says she saved him from himself. She hurt him during sex (or whatever they do when they are together) so he wouldn’t hurt himself. But Anastasia just doesn’t get it. She talks about it consistently through the book, and also the second book.  She’s quite thick at times.

The overuse of ‘Laters, babe’? I know I’m not alone in this. The first one was funny alright, but not the subsequent fifty times (funny, I just said fifty). Also the way he keeps ‘You have to eat, Ana.’ Gawd. I cringed every time I read it. He force-feeds her through the whole book. Just let her be, man. Not everyone can read so much and maintain a gorgeous body like you can.

Oh, the sex scenes. People kept saying it was trash because they had unconventional sex. I wasn’t a major fan, but I didn’t think it was worthy of skipping. They were tastefully done for what it is. I don’t even remember them anymore. However, I agree that they are way too much. Way too often. Every 10 pages there’s explicit content. It gets tiring after a while. If you took out the sex scenes, the book would be 150 pages. I can say the same thing about the flirting. They flirt all the time. The energy kids have nowadays.

I gave the book 4 stars. Because I think it deserved it for what it was- a Twilight fan fiction twist off. I wouldn’t read it again, and I wouldn’t buy it and gift it to friends and family, but it was quite enjoyable. So I was ecstatic when the trailer came out. The trailer looked good. Anastasia looked perfect for the role, and Grey looked alright. I do think I’d prefer Ryan Gosling. I read somewhere that Charlie Hunnam was cast and actually started filming, but had to quit due to scheduling conflicts. That’s quite a bummer. I’ve really liked him in Nicholas Nickleby (I just Googled him, and he has to lose the beard, like, today). But Jamie Dornan looked alright. He was in some TV series I wanted a couple of episodes of, Once Upon a Time, and I kind of remember him.


I couldn’t go see it right away. My 16-year-old cousin did. There were tales of groups of middle-aged women going to see it in the afternoons. The whole theater sighing at key moments. Actual clapping when we see Grey for the first time. At the same time, there was all this talk about it being a horrible movie. It actually got 4.1 stars from IMDB, 1.2 stars lower than Are You Here, the worst movie I’ve seen in 2015 (or this millennium). So I saw it with quite low expectations.

I can see why people dislike it. The main reason, in my opinion, is that the trailer is amazing. You go into it thinking they have done an amazing job transferring the greatness (really, that’s the best word I can come up with?) of the book to the movie. But it doesn’t really work. All the things that bugged me about the book, like the way Grey is rich or the girl is way too naive etc, are multiplied in the movie. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, and all the scenes I remember are from the trailer. And that’s saying something with all the sex scenes that are supposed to be ‘shocking’. However, I don’t think it’s as bad as people crack it up to be. I believe the reason people really dislike it is because the perfect Grey and Anastasia they have pictured in their heads are not the ones they see on the screen. That might be said about a lot of book to movie adaptations, like Harry Potter. But in a story that has so much to do with chemistry, the casting becomes very important. I read somewhere that Clark Gable didn’t want to star as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind because he said people loved Rhett Butler and he might not meet expectations. In that case, Clark Gable was amazing as Rhett Butler (I’m cheating, I haven’t read the book, but the movie was great). I think Jamie Dornan can say that same thing. Grey was such an unbelievable character that you just don’t buy it when you see him in the flesh.

I don’t really rate movies, but I guess I’d give it something like 5 stars.

I have a footnote to make here. I have read the second book a while later, Fifty Shades Darker. I know second books in trilogies are supposed to be weak, but this was weaker than weak. Also, I heard it’s being made into a movie. I guess the producers got what they wanted, even if it wasn’t many stars in IMDB.


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Top Movies of 2015

I like watching movies as much as the next guy. I’m not a movie buff, and I’m not one who analyzes movies from various angles. I either enjoy a movie or I don’t. I don’t like independent movies, long movies, European movies or movies where nothing happens. I like a nice, entertaining Hollywood movie starring beautiful people. So my movie lists may not be the most surprising or the most intellectual. Oh well.

I have watched a sum of 95 movies this year (I only include movies I have not watched before). An all time record. I have identified my top movies, which are as follows:


The Judge

Ah, The Judge. I was quite scared going into this, because it looked long, dark and intimidating. It was all these things, but excellent. It’s about a lawyer called Hank Palmer who visits his childhood home. His father, a prominent judge, is soon a murder suspect. Both Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall are wonderful. I don’t really think any movie with Robert Downey Jr. could be bad, anyways. This is the best thing I watched this year, goes right to my favorites.


Kingsman: The Secret Service

This was a blast. Wonderful, action packed movie. It’s about a spy organization set in London, and a totally gruesome global threat. Much like James Bond, but better. Colin Firth and Michael Caine, both who take movies from good to excellent, are amazing. Full of surprises. Also, hilarious.


The Imitation Game

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, who cracks the Germans’ code during World War II. It’s excellent, heartbreaking, and of course, Benedict Cumberbatch is out of this world. A must watch.


Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

This isn’t a movie, but it is still something I watched in 2015. It’s a documentary based on the book of the same name by Lawrance Wright. As the name clearly shows, it’s all about Scientology. It talks about the founder, L. Ron Hubbard, the current leader, David Miscavige, and of course, Tom Cruise. There are lots of eyewitness accounts. It’s haunting. I couldn’t stop thinking or talking about it. You won’t be able to, either. A must watch.

All in all, it was a pretty great year. I haven’t seen Spectre, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Martian, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay – Part 2, The Intern, Macbeth, and a whole lot of other movies which I know I’d love. But it’s quite difficult – I actually haven’t been to a movie theater since April. So there are a whole bunch of new movies I haven’t seen. They’ll probably be on my top movies of 2016, lagging slowly behind.



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The Cheesy RomCom

You know what I’m talking about. It’s the typical Hollywood romantic comedy, the so-called chick flick. There’s the usual woman, unlucky in love, the usual man, charming in his own right, the obvious pairing, the flickers, the chase. They are usually very, very predictable, rarely are quality tearjerkers. gives them 6-7 the most. Nobody admits to liking them. You never buy their dvds, but somehow end up with them, through discount bins or other means. It’s your typical Hollywood movie.

Not that I’m into darker horror flicks, but when a romcom goes too Hollywood, even I am repelled. Though I have nothing against Hollywood, I think they do their job really, really well. But that doesn’t mean I’ll enjoy Maid in Manhattan. Even I have standards. There are a couple of cheesy romcoms I like though. And here I present you three of my favorites. I can promise you I won’t go predictable with Julia Roberts flicks like Pretty Woman.

wedding dateFirst, the one I watched yesterday, and which inspired me to write this: The Wedding Date. Of course, predictably enough, a very popular theme: weddings. In this part of the world, we like weddings. We think they are fun to plan, and they are fun to go to. You see lots of people, and possible future matches. You dance, you drink, you have fun. However, in Hollywood, that’s not the case. It’s a reason to get depressed, because you’re not the one getting married. There are too many movies about this, about every aspect of it, and this is one of them. Kat (Debra Messing) is a lady in her late 20s, and is good at her job in NYC (where else), and her sister is getting married in London. Her ex is the best man, so she doesn’t want to go there alone. So she rents Nick (Dermot Mulroney), who is an escort, for 6000 dolars and they go to London together. Nick is so, so charming that in a snap of his fingers, everyone adores him. Heck, even I adore him. He’s really, really good looking and totally charming. The movie lacks substance and stuff, but there’s a charming scene when Kat’s father quotes Nick from his anonymous interview from a magazine: “Every woman has the exact love life she wants” or something. The gist of it is that Kat is miserable because it’s her fault for still sticking to the memory of her ex. Also Nick has some other good quotes going, like “I’d rather fight with you than make love to anyone else”. I still think it’s kind of, well, disgusting to make love with a hooker (yes, he does that too, it’s in his job description), but if he was as cute as Dermot Mulroney, I’d maybe give him a chance.

prince and meThe next flick is The Prince and Me. This consists of younger people, college students, and has something a good romantic comedy doesn’t always have enough of: royalty. Yum. So, Paige (Julia Stiles, of course) is a successful college student, who aspires to be a doctor. Eddie (Luke Mably) is the bored prince of Denmark. Since he’s very bored, he decides to go to USA for college and there he meets Paige. First they hate each other, since Eddie is hiding his real identity and the story continues in its general predictable direction. It’s the dream of every girl to marry a  prince, at least someone that handsome. At least it’s mine. It has some good points, though I don’t really like Paige’s character or most of her decisions. It’s still a good watch, and remember that the Danish Crown Prince Frederik married an Australian marketing consultant he met during the Sydney Olympics. A total commoner. How romantic. And he’s not bad on the eyes either.

just like heavenLast of the movies we’ll be discussing today is Just Like Heaven. This movie has a more supernatural flavor, ghosts. Not ghosts actually, but a lady in a coma that appears in spirit. Elizabeth (Reese Witherspoon) is a workaholic doctor who doesn’t have time for men. She always leaves it to the future, but then she has an accident and she’s put in a coma. Her family rents the room to David (Mark Ruffalo), whose wife died a while ago and he’s in constant depression ever since. He sits on the couch and drinks beer all day, until he meets Elizabeth’s ghost. He’s the only one who can see her, so he decides to help her. And this is the plot of this enchanting movie, which is the one I like most of these three. It’s so cute, and even though there isn’t anything to learn or to understand, it’s still charming. And so is Mark Ruffalo.

None of these movies are a Gone with the Wind or Lord of the Rings, but they can still spice up a boring hour or two. That’s good enough for me.

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Oh No! He’s Just Not Into Me

hesjustnotthatintoyouI couldn’t write for a while because I was in Istanbul, though I didn’t do anything special, I just didn’t have my computer with me. Anyways. I finished Two for the Money by Janet Evanovich, which was again very funny. Other than that, I watched the movie He’s Just Not That Into You. I had purchased the book years ago, because so many people had recommended it, including Teri Hatcher, who said that it helped her get over George Clooney or something. That must have been a challenge.

The whole movie is about this loser of a girl who keeps waiting for the phone to ring, and at one point u want to shake her up and say: just forget about him! All the actors in it are famous, and if not exactly famous, you go, “how do I know that guy??”. There are all kinds of situations, including adultery, first dates, false alarms, internet dating, non-marrying guys etc. It’s impossible not to find something of yourself in it. The whole movie is based on the idea that everybody thinks that they are the exception to the rule. For example, you know how guys on myspace (I can’t believe it still exists by the way) are no good? But there’s this girl who knows my friend’s friend, who met her boyfriend on myspace, and now they are married and very happy. And we all think we’ll be the next exception. But that’s not the case. Exceptions are rare, and that’s probably not going to happen to you. Or can it? That’s the whole point. Also the main guy in the story, Alex, keeps saying that if a guy wants to date you, he’ll make it happen, so it’s no use overthinking his actions and twisting his words etc. He’s actually got very good points. 

It’s really good that people in it are over-famous, because it might have gotten a tad boring if they weren’t. Oh, and the blond guy, he’s E from Entourage.

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