ENDURANCE TEST TUESDAYS #5 – ALL MUSIC VIDEO EDITION

Last week’s “Endurance Test Tuesdays” was… shall we say, rough.  So, this week, I’m doing something COMPLETELY different.  Instead of reviewing one movie, I’m going to watch and review SEVEN awful music videos!  These span different genres, different styles, and cover all kinds of random acts of what-the-fuckery.  So, with that in mind, let’s do this!!!

1. BLACKSTREET/MYA/MA$E/SOME RANDOM NIGGA – TAKE ME THERE

Have you ever thought “WOW, I wanna hear a song about orgasms that also samples the Rugrats theme song”?!  If you have, I hate you.  This is an awful song made more awful by the fact that it’s clearly about things that are way too adult for its intended audience.  But, alas here we are, a song made for the Rugrats Movie soundtrack (in theory).  The music video tries to connect itself to the TV show by having an annoyingly colorful palette, and also having outright weird and creepy visual gags.  For example, you have MYA singing about sex while sucking on a pacifier in an oversized crib…  Um…  Nah, B.

Blackstreet comes in later on after some shitty dancing from Mya and her no-name back-up dancers, and continues singing creepily about things that shouldn’t be associated with Rugrats.  Each and every one of them looks like they’re doing this as some form of court-ordered community service.  Speaking of, Ma$e comes in, and raps an unbelievably shitty verse to go along with all the other unbelievably shitty verses that defined his joke of a career.  This video depicts Ma$e and his other rapper buddy riding around in a Reptar car chasing the Rugrats…  Grown men… in a car that attracts children… chasing after young toddlers as they run screaming….  Erm…..

My greatest hope is that this music video, once and for all, exposes the 90’s as the weird and messed up decade that it was.  If anyone wants to complain about how Millennials don’t know good music, just google this, and shut the hell up.

NEXT!

2. TONJE LANGETEIG – I DON’T WANNA BE A CRAPPY HOUSEWIFE

If there is any song that could count as an acceptable form of torture, it’d be this.  “I Don’t Wanna Be A Crappy Housewife” is a song about a late 20-something woman-child’s attempt to find her youth by going to a lightly attended nightclub in broad daylight.  Tonje (pronounced like TOENAIL) starts out the video lamenting that she’s a “little pretty girl trapped inside a grown-up’s body”.  A relatively generic sounding EDM-lite track starts as Tonje and her butterface friend get out of a car, and are mobbed by about 10 people standing around before going into a mostly empty nightclub, and singing about not wanting to be a “crappy housewife”.

This song seems to indicate that a woman who might want to start a family, and raise children is “crappy”.  On the contrary, women everyday are either relegated to cultural roles like (a) being a housewife, or (b) being one of the idiots in this video.  This video, of the two extremes, seems to prefer the latter.  So much so, that by rejecting being a “housewife” who is also “crappy”, it completely ignores… y’know, the majority of women who don’t fit either roles.

Of course, this has nothing to do with the actual politics of the song, because the song has no politics.  The song has no anything.  It barely has lyrics.  That is, until two wiggers come in to save the day, and rap (horribly) about how our female protagonist’s youth is fading, as if to throw it in her face repeatedly.  Of course, the rapping is shitty…  Because, it’s Norway’s assumption of what rappers are supposed to look like and sound like.  Except, they’re about two decades behind, and end up settling around the vicinity of 1992 rap stereotypes.  I’m sure all of these people, include Tonje (or Toenail) thought they were making something amazing.  But, what they made was shit.  So much for not wanting to be a crappy housewife.

NEXT!  (MORE FROM NORWAY)

3. JILL-HAD/BIG J/LITTEL T – WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HOMIE & A HOMO

This is either the world’s second worst rap video (we’ll get to the 1st in a sec), or the world’s worst attempt at a parody of rap.  The lines blur, and I’m not entirely sure if these guys are actually failing at rapping, or failing at making fun of rap.  Either way, they fail.  “What’s The Difference Between a Homie & a Homo” is, homophobic title aside, almost too-stupid to be offensive.  Almost.  We go through the video, and it’s a bunch of assholes hanging out at a golf course rapping while another guy who is clearly supposed to be the “homo” in this video gets irate and angry at the guys.  This leads to a chase between golf carts that ends with our “homo” hero hitting the guys with golf balls.

I’m bothered by so many aspects of this music video…  Mainly that it’s trying to be funny.  And, almost nothing is worst than watching something try to be funny, but fail so spectacularly at it.  One can tell it’s trying so damn hard.  It’s probably one of the more cringey music videos I’ve seen.  “What’s The Difference Between A Homie & Homo” one guy says at the end of the video.  “I don’t know!  I don’t know shit!” says another guy.  That much is true.

NEXT!

4. CINDY ST. VIL – BOAZ

Little known fact: I love Gospel music.  Growing up in the Pentecostal Church, I have a fondness for the genre.  But, when it sucks, oh boy…  And, “Boaz” is no different.  What makes “Boaz” terrible (other than the fact that the music/singing/production/everything is shitty from top to bottom) is that it acts as some sort of clumsy attempt at a love song while also teaching people to NOT HAVE SEX.  That’s right.  “Boaz” is a song in which a woman sings about waiting for the right man and staying celibate whilst waiting.  Ah…  The ol’ “NO SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE” thing, huh?  Plus, this woman can’t sing.  She just can’t.

She also can’t act!  Which is especially unfortunate since there’s so much damn acting in this video.  There’s this stupid prologue that seems to last forever about our protagonist rejecting men, and lamenting how she’s waiting for her “Boaz” (For non-Bible people, Boaz is a central character in “The Book of Ruth”).  Then, it transitions into a series of awkwardly acted scenes and awkwardly choreographed dancer numbers.  The video just lurches on… and on… and on… and on…  There was a point where I thought it’d never end.

Look, I know there’s good Gospel out there.  Listening to this reminded me of other BETTER Gospel singers like Kierra Sheard or Dottie Peoples.  Those songs just rouse something in you where you feel it even if you don’t believe in God.  Songs like this make people actively become Atheists.  And, I couldn’t blame them either.

NEXT!

5. A BUNCH OF ASSHOLES – THE ANDOVER SONG

Of the videos, this one was the truest Endurance Test of all.  Mostly due to its length.  What you get is nearly 8 minutes of (mostly white) teenagers rapping about how great their boarding school is…  Unfortunately, their teachers rap too.  I feel like I’m seeing a theme in every single one of these videos I’ve watched tonight…  They all seem to take place in some weird alternate dimension where EVERYONE can all of a sudden bust a rhyme at a moment’s notice.  All of these students look like they’re out of their depth, obviously made to do this by their teachers or else they would’ve flunked.

Phillips Academy Andover, being the WASPiest place on the planet, of course would be able to drum up some stupid bullshit like this.  Kids with parents that can afford to put their ungrateful asses in a fancy boarding school sing and rap about how privileged they are to have parents with money!  Oh, I’m sorry, was that not what the song was about?  Because, that’s all I could hear while listening.  This is one of those videos that tries to go for something that could go “viral”…  Teenagers rapping?  Check!  Their teachers rapping too?  CHECK!  All this needed was a cute cat, and this would be viral gold!

“The Andover Song” is like High School Musical for sociopaths.  Unfeeling, nihilistic, floating in an indifferent and apathetic musical universe devoid of substance or sustainable life, “The Andover Song” is like the Mein Kampf of high school pep rally songs.

NEXT!

6. LAFEAR – THE SECRET

If you ever need to convince kids to not do drugs, just show them this video.  It’ll scare em straight with ease.  This is the worst rap video I’ve ever seen.  Ever.  I’ve seen a lot of them.  This is the very worst, and it’s not even close.  First of all, can we talk about the clearly high-as-shit rapper at the center of this?  I mean, clearly he smoked a shit ton of crack before shooting this, that much is known.  But, even the recording matches the energy level of the actual video…  Meaning, THERE IS NO ENERGY.  And then, his video girls dancing around awkwardly.  The one thing I can applaud this video for is actually having video girls who look like actual hood rats.

There is so much that is “hood” about this music video.  Bodegas, backyard pools, strip clubs in someone’s basement where they throw around one dollar bills like ballers on a budget.  This nigga…  his eyes all bloodshot, lookin’ like he just woke up before shooting this, standing around while hood rats apathetically dance around him.  Can’t call this ratchet, it’s too BORING to be ratchet.  Everyone looks BORED as shit in this video.  The actual song is incredible… in its shittiness.  The beat sounds like some Fruity Loops bullshit, and the guy’s actual rapping makes me question whether he was really tired.  He sounds like he’s on the verge of falling asleep the entire time he’s on record.

Originally, I had another video in this one’s place.  But, after stumbling upon it, I knew there was no way I could get away with writing this without watching it.  In the hands of someone good, this could be some messed parody of rap in the way that our Norwegian idiots from a couple of videos ago could only dream of.  But, this dude is serious… Let that sink in.

NEXT!

7. R.A.E.D. – I’VE COME A LONG WAY

This song is pretty much the worst thing to happen to rap music since the Crack epidemic.  I think I’ve heard enough shitty rap tonight to never complain about the radio ever again.  If you truly think that Drake or Lil Wayne are ruining hip-hop, I’d refer you to this.  This is the type of shit that qualifies as “rap music”.  Unfortunately, this video doesn’t have quite the same level of what-the-fuckery as our previous video.  But what it does have is a guy rapping to a completely different beat than the one that’s backing him, utilizing a strange auto-tune/transposing effect on his vocals.  It’s like listening to one man’s slow descent into insanity.  From what I can gather, this video is just this guy on vacation, rapping, petting animals, and grabbing young boys and making them (unwillingly) appear in front of the camera.

This dude is like a male Iggy Azalea…  I had to know who the hell this asshole is.  He’s a guy born from Melbourne, Australia.  He apparently used to be an Ecstasy dealer, and used his money from his drug trafficking days to fund a rap career.  It’s the kind of heartwarming story that makes me wish he stayed in the drug trade.  That sounds cruel, I’m sure.  But, then again, I’ve sat through TWO (count em…  TWO) of this asshole’s music videos expecting something not shitty.  Apparently, that’s a tall order.

This isn’t to imply that rap isn’t inclusive.  We ALL know it is.  There’s rap music that spans cultures and countries…  Polish rap, Korean rap, French rap, German rap (my personal favorite kind of international rap)…  This genre opens its arms, and gives most people a chance.  And, then there’s asshole’s like this who seem to have a self-congratulatory attitude about his own rhymes.  I can’t make this funny, I can’t say witty things about this video, or the song it’s based on.  I really just wanna curl up into a ball, and die after listening to this.  Which is what I think I might do after finishing this post.

Ugh….  I thought this would be a fun palette cleanser after “Megan Is Missing”…  But no.  Next week, it’ll be back to our regularly scheduled shit of shitty movies.  So keep in mind…

Every Tuesday, I will watch and review whatever terrible shit you send me.  You can send me stuff to watch via facebook… Post it to my wall, and next Tuesday, you’ll see which video(s) made the cut.  So, send in your submissions (facebook.com/LewisMorrisPoetry) before Friday!

“Kingsman: The Secret Service” Isn’t That Kind of Movie – A Review

Suits for days.

“Kingsman: The Secret Service” is, in a lot of ways, an embodiment of Matthew Vaughn’s entire filmography. There are parts that have the wide-eye optimism of “Stardust”. But, it also takes on the grit of “Layer Cake”, the subversive satire of “Kick-Ass”, and the dramatic style of “X-Men: First Class”. It feels like Vaughn has been building to this film, honing his individual talents for a film like this.

Which is to say, this is Vaughn’s James Bond. But, it’s Bond in a way that the suits at MGM and Sony would never allow that franchise to be… R rated…. Hard R rated. In many ways, that is the film’s biggest statement on the state of the spy genre. It’s not halfway about anything, it goes all the way. Perhaps, one of the best thing about this film is that it commits. It never quits.

Which is to say, I really liked this film a lot. I don’t love it, though. Even though there are things I love about it, it doesn’t necessarily add up to a great movie, it’s a good movie with great parts in it. Let me explain…

First of all, I think the casting is phenomenal. Colin Firth does a Liam Neeson, and takes on his first full-on action movie role. Only, this time, I think Firth does superior work to what Neeson does in any of the “Taken” movies. Firth brings weight and class to the film, creating a character that feels like it belongs in the world of spy films. What sells his character is that Colin Firth, not a stunt double (for the most part), does almost everything in terms of fights. And, you can tell. He’s actually performing in a way we’re not used to seeing him perform.

Seriously, this scene is worth the ticket price alone.

Much has been made about the film’s long-hyped “Church Scene”. But, one cannot oversell this scene. It is INCREDIBLE, almost on a “The Raid 2” level kind of insanity and violence. It’s beautiful choreographed, and amazingly filmed. Which makes sense, seeing that all the fight scenes were designed and choreographed by Brad Allen, a man who trained under Jackie Chan’s stunt team, and graduated to the big leagues with films like this. I’d argue that this scene might become a new classic fight scene in due time.

This isn’t, however, Colin Firth’s film. This is the story of Eggsy, played by newcomer Taron Egerton. He does great work here, and fits in well as a leading man. One can tell that this kid is gonna be a big star in the future. I got an almost early Tom Cruise-like vibe from him, he just has that charisma and swagger that creates big movie stars like this. Egerton carries the film for the most part, and he does it well… Although, I have one beef with his character. More on that in a sec.

The rest of the casting works too. The likes of Michael Caine, Mark Strong, and Mark Hamill show up here. But, the one supporting cast member who stands out is Samuel L. Jackson as “Valentine”. He plays a straight-up villain, however he is humanized by certain quirks. He speaks with a lisp, and cannot stand the sight of violence. It’s one of the weirdest bad guy roles I’ve seen in awhile.

A villain with a lisp, and a weak stomach for violence… Got it.

But, this movie gets repeatedly held back from greatness because of its flaws. First off, the visuals (for the most part) are well done. However, towards the end, the visual effects take on a cheapness as if the filmmakers ran out of money by the end. This is a problem I feel like plagues ALOT of Matthew Vaughn’s films. I liken this to the ending of “Kick-Ass”, in which I felt that movie betrayed its (strong) first two acts, and became a totally different movie. “Kingsman” doesn’t necessarily have the same problem, but I feel like the film’s ending is compromised by its weirdly inorganic pace, and its visual limitations. In fact, I’d argue that the film’s ending just doesn’t feel like it belongs in the same world as the film’s beginning. It just doesn’t fit.

The issues with this film also bleed into some of your side characters also. Like Roxy, our female counterpart to Eggsy, is given a half-baked story arc. There’s a promise that doesn’t get fulfilled thanks to the movie under-developing her. The same goes for who is supposed to be Eggsy’s nemesis. He disappears from the movie in the middle, and then comes back again towards its ending in the lamest of ways possible. It doesn’t sell. What also doesn’t sell is Eggsy supposedly coming from what is London’s equivalent to “The Ghetto”. He seems a little too well-spoken, and a little to clean-cut to realistically convince us that he’s from a South London slum. It just doesn’t sell.

The film prides itself on not being very PC.  So, there’s ALOT of shit that will bother people in this film.  In particular, the final gag left a rotten taste in a lot of people’s mouths.  I’m not sure where I stand, I don’t think the movie was undone by what happens, but keep in mind that it’s there.

These individual pieces keep it from being a “great movie”. But, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a lot of fun with this. I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t wanna see it again just to re-experience the scenes that I loved, and the moments that make this something special rather than something average. I have no problem recommending people to go out to the theaters, and check this out. It’s well-worth your time and your money.

ENDURANCE TEST TUESDAYS #4 – MEGAN IS MISSING

TRIGGER WARNING: This film is about sexual violence against teenagers.  Seeing as I’m reviewing this, some of the (nsfw) images here are direct still shots taken from the film.  Still, just a heads up.

Once again, it’s time to discover the worst of the worst.  That’s right, it’s time for “Endurance Test Tuesdays”.  This is a recurring blog in which I willingly watch the very worst shit out there, and review it.  As always, Endurance Tests can come in any length or any style.  The only big rule is that they can’t be gross/gory/too easy to make me quit with.  Aside from that, it’s fair game…  With that said, this week’s Endurance Test is…

MEGAN IS MISSING (suggested by anonymous)

Every so often, there comes a film that demands our attention…  A film that rattles our collective lives, and forces us to reevaluate our world and how we relate to it.  That film is NOT “Megan Is Missing”.  You wouldn’t know that based on the quote from the poster above, or the director’s own self-congratulatory attitude about his own film.

Let’s not get it confused…  “Megan Is Missing” is a vicious little turd of a film…  Both utterly bewildering in its ineptitude, yet incredibly angering in its contradictory storytelling.  The main conceit here is that it’s supposed to be some kind of found footage film, compiled entirely from video chat, cell phone chat, etc.  This film fails majorly on all of those points.  More on that in a bit.  Let’s run down the plot.

The film is about two teenage girls.  They wear make-up, go to parties, and drink, and shit.  One of them (Megan) starts talking to some guy named “Josh” online, goes to meet him, and then goes missing.  Police get involved.  Then, the other girl (Amy) starts talking to the same guy (I’m getting a headache just typing this, it’s so fucking stupid), goes to meet him KNOWING it’s the same guy, and also goes missing.  What follows is about 20-30 minutes of rape/torture scenes involving a minor until the guy sticks the second girl in a barrel where Megan’s corpse has been left to rot, and then buries her alive with said corpse.  And, that’s the end of the movie.

Because, people totally use cell phone video chat for this rather than, y’know… a compact mirror.

Literally writing that rundown makes me wanna chug a gallon of bleach.  This film is bullshit in multiple ways, I don’t even know where to start.

Okay…  First, the film’s most egregious issue… it’s logic… There is none.  NO ONE ACTS THE WAY PEOPLE WOULD IN REAL LIFE.  Which is especially heinous here since this is found footage, and… y’know… IT’S SUPPOSED TO SIMULATE THINGS THAT REALLY HAPPENED.  If you ever decide that you hate yourself enough to watch this piece of shit, here’s a series of logic issues to have fun with:

A). When Megan goes missing, Amy (for some reason) doesn’t feel compelled to report this “Josh” character to the police.
B). After she does tell someone about “Josh”, the police don’t feel the need to monitor Amy’s online activity despite the fact that her best friend is missing, and that her online dealings could have something to do with it. I mean, Megan did go missing AFTER meeting up with this “Josh” character. Is it plausible AT ALL that Amy wouldn’t put two & two together.
C). Even after that, Amy feels compelled to chat with “Josh”… What the fuck?
D). Amy’s parents don’t feel compelled to monitor her online activity, or to tell her “no more chatting”, or “you can’t go outside right now”.

Ugh…. I hate having to post these actual stills from the film.

There’s more, but you get the point.  Also, let’s talk about the filming technique, since it makes no fucking sense at all.  Logically, this film is supposed to take place entirely via online communication.  So, video chat, and things of that nature.  In the film, the camera is always perfectly aimed, with characters sitting in one spot, talking, never multitasking at all.  Because, when I video chat, I don’t have other tabs open, I don’t surf the web, I sit in one spot for the entirety of the conversation not moving, or anything…  Bullshit.  Also, where I live, my reception is perfect 24/7, and NEVER drops out, or freezes, or loses resolution EVER… BULLSHIT.  Also, all of my friends rely ENTIRELY on video chat on their phones to talk to everyone and communicate plot points… er, I mean information to each other!!!  Because, no one fucking texts, or calls anyone EVER.  BULLSHIT!!!!!!

Ugh………  It also doesn’t help that the actual video quality is too good to be on a wireless network.  At multiple points, the movie contradicts its own logic with things like this.  Yet, it wants us to buy into the illusion of “this is all real”.  Another thing that ruins that illusion is that the acting is some of the worst I’ve ever seen.  No one talks the way people talk, and no one acts the way people act.  Our protagonists are supposedly “best friends” because the movie tells us they are.

Once it comes time for the movie to actually get into the abduction, the film goes from confusing and inept to insulting and harmful.  This film, which has been mostly about minors talking about sex or having sex, becomes a snuff film as it fetishistically depicts a young teenager being tortured and molested repeatedly until she is eventually buried alive with the corpse of her best friend.  I mean, what the fuck.

This is that corpse, by the way. I really truly hope something bad happens to this director.

The director is some asshole named Michael Goi, a cinematographer who has worked on shows like “Glee” and “American Horror Story”.  Looking into his filmography as a director, which includes films with titles like “Sexy Urban Legends” and “Voyeur”, I can’t help but view this as torture porn of the most despicable kind.

But, wait…  Do you hear that?  That’s the sound of BULLSHIT RATIONALIZATION!  That’s right, folks!  The defenders of this film (idiots, by the way) might suggest that this film is a call to action for parents everywhere to be more weary of their kids’ internet interactions.  Even the director himself has rationalized his shitty dialogue as “taken from real conversations from real 13/14 year old girls”.  You know what, I don’t know any girls that talk like the ones in this movie.  I don’t know any girls that consistently rely on video chat as their main mode of communication with each other.

The director… If I ever find this man, I’m gonna punch him directly in the face repeatedly.

And, another rationalization is that it’s “based on actual events”…  According to the director, it was culled together from like 8 different cases of child abduction.  Okay asshole, WHICH ONES?

You know, let’s cut the bullshit.  I’m sick of movies that try to hide their true intentions under the pretension of being about “important things”.  This is straight up nothing more than torture porn given more importance than it deserves because it’s about kids and the internet.  But, if it was REALLY all that important, then the director would’ve worked harder making sure that the logic of the film, and the actual visual presentation of it held up to scrutiny.  It’s so fucking lazy, I can’t believe it even exists.

“Megan Is Missing”, for all I know, could have been made with the absolute best intentions.  But, this final product is complete and total garbage not worth the DVD its printed on.  This is an absolutely AWFUL and downright DESPICABLE film, and I truly truly hate whoever suggested that I watch this bullshit.  Whoever that person is, we aren’t friends.

Please, I beg of you, do not give your time to this film.  I now feel like a permanently damaged person for having watched it.  Please don’t put yourself through it.  Seriously, I’m begging you, don’t watch it.  Ever.

I give this the highest cringe-meter rating….

5.0 out of 5.0

Every Tuesday, I will watch and review whatever terrible shit you send me.  You can send me stuff to watch via facebook… Post it to my wall, and next Tuesday, you’ll see which video(s) made the cut.  So, send in your submissions (facebook.com/LewisMorrisPoetry) before Friday!

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is DISHONEST and MANIPULATIVE – A Review

Creeptastic!

“50 Shades of Grey” is an erotic drama that isn’t really erotic, nor is it even dramatic. A relatively plotless movie, it’s handsomely made, well-acted, but mostly boring, and even problematic for its intended audience. This film is a self-contradicting mess from start to finish. Nothing makes sense here emotionally at all. The fact that this is billed as a “romance” makes me question how stupid Hollywood thinks we are.

The answer: VERY. This is based on the best-selling (for some reason) novel by E.L. James. It became a cultural phenomenon, mostly because of its racy sexual content – mainly the BDSM aspect… and its astonishingly shitty writing too. And, it’s gotten a lot of heat from the BDSM community for its portrayal of that culture. It’s a very very trashy book.

The look of a stupid character who’s only stupid because the writers wrote her that way.

However, if we look at this movie fairly, we’ll find that the filmmakers tried to mask the trashiness of the novel. They perched it up with glossy production values, and positioned it as a semi-respectable romantic drama. It fails on multiple counts.

First of all, this movie is dishonest. Clearly, this “Christian Grey” character (played by Jamie Dornan) is disturbed. But, the movie repeatedly wimps out on exploring that, and instead tries to portray him as if he’s Bruce Wayne… A lonely mysterious billionaire. Not to mention, this guy is a stalker… The movie tries to convince us that his actions are romantic. But, try this as an experiment: replace Danny Elfman’s score with Michael Myers’ theme song from Halloween, and see if any of his actions are still “romantic”.

Also, Dakota Johnson plays our protagonist Anastasia Steele, an aggressively average nobody that, for some reason unbeknownst to the audience, Mr. Grey finds himself drawn to. Both of these performers suck. They can’t, at all, convince me that this is “love”, or that their love is in any way applicable to real life. Both of these characters are unlikable. Well, Anastasia Steele is unlikable, Christian Grey is a fucking creep.

No joke here. Just gonna say that this movie is a piece of shit.

So, you can easily see how this started out originally as Twilight fan-fiction, because it shares a lot of the exact same issues as “Twilight” does… Weak female characters, creepy male love interests, clear confusions between “romance” and “creepiness”, shitty writing, etc. I can hear some of the excuses now: Oh, but it’s made for women, you wouldn’t understand…

Well, fuck that. That’s exactly what pushes this from merely being a bad movie to being an actively harmful movie. The BDSM aspect of the film does a sh*tty job of representing that community of people who are into that sh*t. It confuses that with straight-up abusive controlling relationships. There’s no illusion to us that this relationship is abusive. But, this movie is so dishonest and manipulative about this fact, it would like us to believe that this is all fine. A man stalks a woman across state lines, texts her at a random bar saying that she’s had too much to drink, and then shows up at said bar to take that drink from her hand? That’s not creepy?

By the way, ABSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!

All of this could be helped if the movie didn’t try to class itself up. This is all very trashy lurid material… I’ve seen sh*t like this in other movies, but what gave those the edge over this is that they’re clear about their intentions. Take a movie with “Secretary” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader, which is a better version of this film. That film was clear about its tone from the very beginning, so we were able to buy into the kind of relationship our protagonists had. “Fifty Shades of Grey” fumbles the ball on this very early on, trying to position itself as a serious romance when it could use a more tongue-in-cheek tone to offset the CLEARLY problematic nature of the material.

This doesn’t need the kind of gloss this has. What this needs is a more honest approach. But, it’s blatant manipulation of its f*cked up gender politics takes this down MAJOR notches. This is not a good movie at best. At worst, it’s an incredibly boring film that ultimately becomes irritating thanks to its dishonesty. If your girl drags you to see this, maybe it’s time to reevaluate your relationship. Fuck this movie.