MOVIE REVIEW: FIFTY SHADES DARKER (James Foley, 2017)

img_1458

SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on 50 Shades Darker:

1. After two films, my biggest problem with this series remained to be Jamie Dornan in the role of Christian Grey. Not even his six-pack abs (from his pommel horse workouts?) could distract me from the fact that he wasn’t the incredibly sexy and attractive billionaire lothario that was promised in this ultimate female wish fulfillment fantasy.

He just looked incredibly bored, bland (ooh, like vanilla!), and forgettable amidst all the kinky fuckery. No wonder the lady in front of me was trying to Google him way after the movie had started.

2. Did the director really know the target audience of this chick flick? Weirdly, it actually felt like he was trying to draw in the male crowd with the copious breast exposures of Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele (definitely not the nude johnson women were expecting) and endless scenes of having her panties taken off (I couldn’t understand why she wore them in the first place when she was obviously allergic to them).

Also, why did Christian keep his pants on in almost every sex scene? Asking for a friend.

3. I liked this slightly better than the first (in no shape or form a compliment) simply because it fully embraced its seemingly trashy roots. While the first one desperately wanted to be an artful BDSM movie, this one didn’t even bother trying.

Instead it gave us lots of gratuitous nudity and sex (I choked on my Zagu when she asked him to kiss her on the pepe, how romantic!, and let’s not get started on that elevator finger scene) and taught us the proper usage of vaginal beads, spreader bars, and sensual oils (although that coconut oil scene reminded me so much of Jean Garcia in Impaktita that I was grateful Anastasia’s torso didn’t break free from her waist).

4. Relieved to hear that he had moved on from his Beyonce fetish and the soundtrack now included catchy tunes from Sia, Zayn feat. Taylor Swift, and my favorite track Bom Bidi Bom by Nick Jonas feat. Nicki Minaj. Now that was a credible Xerex playlist.

5. That art exhibit by Anastasia’s creepy friend/stalker was, well, creepy. I also felt bad that Christian purchased all of the artwork but we never really saw any of them anywhere in his apartment.

6. Wait, so he wanted to have rough sex with women that reminded him so much of his abusive mother? For the love of Sigmund Freud, eek!

Was there also a psychosexual interpretation of him having the Chronicles of Riddick poster in his bedroom? Would this explain why Vin Diesel chose to sing Katy Perry’s Dark Horse in one of his vlogs?

7. Poor Kim Basinger looked like she overdosed on botox only to get the Lavinia Arguelles treatment (twice!) in one scene. Pinoy soap opera at its finest! (And please tell me that the shower sex scene was a direct nod to the erotic 9 1/2 Weeks!).

8. There was a tacked-on scene towards the end where Christian’s helicopter crashed and he was magically back onscreen after a few minutes. Huwat?! I surely hoped his bed escapades lasted longer than his disappearance.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

MOVIE REVIEW: ME BEFORE YOU (Thea Sharrock, 2016)

image

SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Me Before You:

1. It must have been Girls’ Night Out Tuesday here in Perth because ninety-five percent of the packed theater during the last screening were women of all ages. The remaining four percent were grumbling dates/boyfriends/husbands that were forced to see this chick flick. I think I was the one percent that actually wanted to watch this and even dragged my little sister along with me. I definitely regretted that decision. While the cinema got flooded with tears by the end of the movie, I was laughing from all of the awfulness.

2. The pre-accident Will Traynor (Sam Claflin) reminded me so much of Christian Grey: handsome, incredibly rich, bursting with abs (in high definition during that upward shower shot), but minus the kinkiness (handcuffs, I missed thee). He was the type of guy so oblivious (or was it too self-aware?) of his sexiness that he took a walk in the rain while on the phone, like he was in some kind of Calvin Klein commercial (that later turned into a Public Service Announcement on how to properly cross a street).

3. On the other hand, Louisa Clark (Emilia Clarke) was like a poor man’s Zooey Deschanel: literally poor, always on a sugar high, and dressed like Doris Bigornia with an insect fetish (or a “leprechaun drag queen”, as one character put it). When she initially appeared onscreen with her yellow-orange knee-high stockings, I actually thought she had jaundice and she and Will would really make a tragic couple.

4. Clarke’s eyebrows deserved second billing because they did all of the acting for her. I swear they were moving non-stop from start to finish and wiggled like crazy even if the scene only required her to glue pictures on an album. Shame, shame, shame Daenerys!

5. I got the Dying Young meets P.S. I Love You meets Everything About Her feel while watching this. Speaking of the latter, I was surprised this wasn’t a Star Cinema rom-com given all of the familiar elements: the manic pixie girl and the snotty guy, the meet cute (involving a torn skirt with a flat payoff), the doting family requiring financial assistance, the Dimples Romana BFF dishing words of wisdom, the token disposable boyfriend (Neville Longbottom in really tight tights, staying true to his last name), trips to exotic locales, etc. The only thing different was the sad ending, but Star Cinema did it first in Forever and a Day.

6. Neville chose a Will Ferrell movie over Pedro Almodovar’s All About My Mother. Bad guy alert! Dislike of subtitled films should be an automatic dealbreaker. (But then again Will loved Armageddon so I couldn’t trust his taste as well.)

7. Horse racing? Watching a Mozart concert? Flying to Mauritius? Why did I feel like she was able to take advantage of his wealth and used a quariplegic to fulfill her own bucket list and enjoy the luxuries of life? Pera pera na lang talaga?

8. It was hard to root for Louisa since she was annoying in the following scenes:

* When she was rude to a maitre d’ for not letting them in a high-end members only restaurant (since when was it funny to mock someone who was just doing her job?)

* When she barely elicited excitement after getting the pendant gift from her boyfriend but screamed with delight (in front of her boyfriend!!) after seeing the bumblebee stockings given by Will (how considerate of her)

9. I felt bad whenever a scene chose the basic disregard of Will’s health just to create something romantic. How could I feel kilig when Louisa sat on Will’s legs knowing how weak those were from non-use or when she removed the oxygen mask so that he could talk to her or when she agreed to leave the villa doors open during the rain after being told that he had weak lungs and just recovered from pneumonia? Also, how was he able to maintain those abs after years of non-movement? Did his therapy include crunches and Ab Roller sessions?

10. In the end, Will chose to terminate his life through assisted suicide. If a man would rather kill himself than reciprocate another person’s love, how was that even romantic? Saklap.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

MOVIE REVIEW: HOW TO BE SINGLE (Christian Ditter, 2016)

12742384_10153897153908544_4230952678445493457_n

SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on How To Be Single:

1. I initially hated Super Fun Night, the now-cancelled ABC series that starred Rebel Wilson as a single woman just wanting to have a great time with her other single girlfriends. The show got much better when it stopped trying to poke fun at the diverse characters’ unconventional lifestyles and just focused on letting them have their much-deserved fun.

2. I felt the exact same way about this movie adapted from a Liz Tuccillo novel (she was also a writer on Sex and the City). It had a good grasp of the joys and oftentimes (frequency depended on your bitterness level) loneliness of singlehood, but it also wanted its women to apologize for acknowledging that they might actually need a man after all. Nothing’s wrong with being single and nothing’s wrong if you’re single wishing to find the perfect partner, right?

3. Taylor Swift’s Welcome to New York should be used in every scene with a person relocating to New York because it’s cheery fun and I’m a certified Swiftie.

4. Dakota Johnson would always be the 50 Shades of Grey girl to me so it was a bit jarring to see her having trouble keeping a relationship and constantly getting dumped by guys that didn’t even come close to the smoldering looks, astonishing wealth, or even kinky fetish of Christian Grey. If Anastasia Steele couldn’t even land a boyfriend in this movie, what more the common tao? (Funny that her name here was Alice Kepley. I know, I have the mind of a twelve year old.)

5. I found it off though that Dakota’s character was the typical helpless woman who needed a boyfriend to reset her router or remove the foreign subtitles on her TV. That wasn’t even a dependency issue. Call customer service. Or read the manual, girl. Magagalit ang Gabriela n’yan.

6. Rebel, as expected, was the movie’s effortless scene-stealer. She was a hoot and generated the loudest laughs whether she was owning the dance floor with an arrow pointing to her crotch, peeing in a Zen garden that she thought was a kitty litter, crawling out of a taxi window, or threatening to tit-punch someone for using an emoji.

The best moment had her describing the deprived privates of Dakota:

“You have a long-term relationship pussy.”
“It looked like you dropped a hairbrush and your vagina caught it.”
“Gandalf is staring at me. No penis shall pass!”

7. “For the record, this is not me leaving. This is you pushing me away.” Did this bring back a lot of heartbreak memories?

8. The Drink Number theory stated that two people should not exceed the total drink limit between themselves (in any combination) meaning if one gets drunk after two glasses and the other after three, then they shouldn’t go over the five drink total or something will happen between them.

This is definitely not true because we all know that “as long as there is alak, there is balak” and no drinking theory can ever stop that.

9. In one scene, a character bumped into her ex’s parents and the mother said “You’re better than her (current girlfriend)”.

If you’re already happy and in a relationship, you’d be brushing this off and just laugh. If you’re still bitter, your heart will be exploding with joy and probably planning another stalking session to get him back.

10. “The thing about being single is that you should cherish it.” Now wouldn’t this be the perfect Valentine’s Day movie even if you’re watching alone (but not lonely)? Cue Hailee Steinfeld’s Love Myself.

Rating: ★★★☆☆