Fifty Shades Darker: I Prefer it Lighter

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Written (unfortunatly) by Nelson Cumming

I avoided the Fifty Shades series because people have said the books were a joke and the movie was a joke. The only reason I have started now is because I write regularly as a hobby. This is a movie I regret seeing and I urge people to avoid it.

Fifty Shades Darker is not bad, it’s evil.

What makes a Good Movie from a Bad Movie

Before you call me a man who cannot take romantic movies I think you need to see my reviews of The Lobster, Moonlight and La La Land. I would also recommend seeing Southside With You even though I didn’t write a review on it. These movies have three dimensional characters and took risks in their work. I left those movies in awe on how much a I cared for the people and how those movies were pushing the art of cinema to a different level.

Some of the worst movies ever made pile on a movement that exploits the worst of humanity. Dirty Grandpa was overly hedonistic, London Has Fallen is exploited dumb, senseless revenge and Mothers Day was sugery vanity in disguise of meaningful family moments.

Fifty Shades Darker is a movie which aims to manipulate the audience into believing emotionally abusive relationships and love are the same thing. That is a conept that I don’t want to see exacerbated into the world we live in.

The sadism (or stupidity) of Fifty Shades

Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) is psychotic and there is no way you can argue that. Early on, When Grey approaches Anastasia’s boss and introduces himself as “THE boyfriend” I knew he had an inferiority complex. What surprised me was how much that manifested into a deeply disturbing level.

No, there is no rape nor domestic violence but Fifty Shades Darker was not far off. There was so much verbal and emotional manipulation from Christian Grey to Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) and he is so controlling, possessive, demeaning and insulting that it was disturbing when Anastasia opens her arms (and legs) to him. I think the movie was called Fifty Shades Darker because it brought gender equality back fifty years.

There is no proper setup to even give a reason why any scene have any sense. Nor did the movie explore why Anasthetia would take a man like Christan Grey back. Therefore a lot of these scenes feel like they were done for no reason which makes Dakota Johnson’s character look like an easy manipulative target. She felt like a deer in the headlights that didn’t even know it. Near the end, the explaniation as to why Grey is such a dick (and a 2-inch one at that) is so terrible that I hated the movie even more.

The Worst Four Scenes in Fifty Shades Darker

I am going to spoil the movie here because this movie is so terrible that I recommend you don’t see it.

Number 4: The Repression Revealed

I know there will be women who will defend the Christian Grey character is emotionally complex. The height of his complexity is that he is compelled to do high levels of domination because his mother died from a drug overdose when he was a kid and had the sexual desire of dominating women that look like his mother for all his life as a form of vengeance. Anastasia love him even more now for being so open and honest!

Number 3: The Damaged Dominatrix

There is also a subplot where a girl called Lelia (One of Christian Grey’s former submissives) is obsessed with Grey despite the fact Grey helped make her an emotional wreck. She carries and gun and points it to Anastasia and all Grey does is say “Lelia!” and points at her. Seeminglingly, in a trance, Lelia points the gun to Christian, hand the gun to him and kneels in front of his feet in complete submission to this Almighty Christian Grey. I smacked my palm upon my hand very loudly. The person next to me looked at me as if I was weird.

Number 2: The Sadistic Sociopath

Lelia was unstable but Grey clearly exacerbated the problem, broke her mentally and dumped her (After the gun scene he said he “put her to a psyche ward where she belongs” the most ironic line ever) He is so sadistic that he admits he is a sadist and says he will stop being an asshole but the movie shows no change in him. He starts and finishes as a one-dimensional asshole.

Number 1: The Petrifying Proposal

Christian proposes to Anasthesia saying “I want to be with you every day, every minute and every second of my life…” I blurted out “Literally” and a couple of people laughed. I just couldn’t help myself at that point. She says yes to the proposal and everyone is happy. End of movie.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

I felt so unclean watching this. If you want to look at the movie as laughably bad, it was. But it was so morally repugnant that I never enjoyed it as an artistically inept film that I thought it was going to be. This movie reminded me of the domestic violence between Rihanna and Chris Brown. That is a bad sign.

This is the first time in a long time where I felt completely screwed over. At the end, I saw this girl who looked like the dumbest bogan ever and she applauded like a walrus and looked at the people behind her. They did not respond. At that point, I learned more than ever that there are fucked up people in this world and I am glad I am not one of them -**

Monster Trucks:As Insightful as the Title

Written by Nelson Cumming

It’s January and there is a film called Monster Trucks What more do you need to know? My expectations were low and they were met. I predicted how bad it was by giving Monster Trucks a star rating in my head before watching it and that star rating stayed after watching it.

I will provide a plot summary despite the fact no one cares. After an oil drilling problem due to a new species, the entire rig gets destroyed. That is because the new animals love oil. Meanwhile, a teenager called Trig (Lucas Tiller) builds a truck and finds the motor he needs in the animal called Creech. That is because Creech loves to be in fast trucks.

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Where is the Team America: World Police soundtrack when you need it?

To the soccer mom who will defend this by saying “It’s a kids film!” Yeah, it is. Monster Trucks is for dumb kids (I think). Have a guess who came up with the story. It was a four-year-old kid. The former president of Paramount and his son developed the concept of this film.

A 115 million dollar money pit

If a film that is released in January or February has a nine-figure budget ($100 million of more) it is just not going to financially succeed. What I want to know is where the money went.

The release of this film is purely for Paramount to lamely did themselves out of this money pit. However, they are trapped deeper than the miners at Beaconsfield.

A lot of the money was probably spent on the CGI to generate the monsters. But Monster Trucks breaks the cardinal rule. The made the monsters ugly when they should have been cute. Kids immediately associate cute animals as good guys and the ugly creatures as bad guys. I don’t know what were the filmmakers thinking?

The first time I saw the monster up close is when Trig, believing the monster is a bad guy, baits the monster by placing oil rigs on a car crusher. The monster lies on the crusher drinking the oil make stupid high-pitched grunting noises. it looked like Jabba the Hut doing the chair pose in Flashdance.

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You know the song: “First when there’s nothing but a slow glowing dream in a world made of steel what a feeling”

I prayed for the monster to be crushed. Trig thought it that piece of slime was cute. It brought a new meaning to “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”

A Broken Vanity Project of Dialogue

Here is how bad Monster Trucks was, the quips in the movie are nearly as bad as London has Fallen. They were so unfunny and sudden that there was an awkward silence that lingered on for one painful second. It was begging for the “buh-dum-tiss” drum soundtrack to fill the one second of silence.

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The face of profound confusion. For a split second I thought I was looking in a mirror.

I also heard from a review that Monster Trucks will teach the kids about the natural environment. Monster Trucks used multisyllabic words like “Biodiversity” “Ecosystem” and “Molepole” to describe the natural environment. How is a five-year-old supposed to understand that? The dialogue just boggled my mind.

It was transparently clear watching it that no one gave a crap filming this picture except for the overblown string musical arrangement that was forced in. Without a doubt in my mind, Monster Trucks is an absolute DUD.

Norm of the North: As Bad As It Looks

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Written by Nelson Cumming

Norm of the North is that movie you find at a Go-Lo or The Reject Shop that only the most desperate parent will buy just to distract the kids for two hours. It will actually sedate them. I honestly believe a nine-year-old will be able to tell the movie is terrible. It is so ineptly made and struggles to tell a single joke properly.

The Pitch

Could you possibly imagine any enthusiasm from a board meeting when the ideas man suggested this:

“We are going to have Rob Schneider play Norm: A twerking polar bear”

That idea was worth 18 million dollars.

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How the hell did Norm of the North bypass the Gruen Transfer?

I may even consider Norm of the North some twisted form of ironic meta humor. The reason being that I am currently studying for a marketing degree and this movie dabbles on about marketing jargon. The movie talks about approval ratings, statistics, re-postings, legalities and investors. Didn’t everyone involved in this realize this is a kids film?

If you account for the marketing budget (which is normally about the same as the production budget), It’s possible that the film didn’t break even. Part of the marketing campaign was advertising a trailer on Youtube. The trailer has a worse likes percentage than Ghostbusters.

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Left: Chris Stuckmann’s reaction to Norm of the North. Right: My reaction to watching Norm of the North

Why is this received so negatively you may ask, well a lot what is wrong with Norm of the North is slapped onto the animation. It is lazily done. The character movements are not naturally smooth and the textures are very basic without much detail to them. It’s like watching a kids TV computer animation. It’s very cheap B-grade looking.

There is also an over reliance of showing popular music and animals and people dancing to it. It served as pure filler that didn’t add anything to the story. It was like the movie was saying “Hey kiddies we know the business-speak can be terribly boring so we are going to entertain you now with more nothing!”

Perhaps another problem is the gags. The gags don’t have much humour in them at all. It goes down to pee and fart jokes that weren’t funny. The filmmakers obviously didn’t think so as they repeated the same unfunny jokes over and over again.

The one and only positive thing about Norm of the North is that it’s material is inherently harmless. Kids won’t be scarred for life and soccer moms won’t complain to classifications board about the movies PG rating. But a lot of adults will see just how aimless the execution is.

At one point, Norm of the North makes a dated Titanic reference and I wrote in my notes “A Titanic reference? That’s because Norm of the North is a sinking ship”. I have not seen a film where the animation was so poor and ineptly made. Watch the trailer and tell me if you have ever seen animation so poorly done on a feature length film that was releases in theaters. I really want to know.  -**

Fifty Shades of Black: Fewer Laughs Than The Original.

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Written by Nelson Cumming

This movie is Wayan’s World. If only it was as funny as Wayne’s World. That joke I just made up was funner than any gag in in Fifty Shades of Black.

It started off with jokes on chlamydia and ended with Marlon Waynes getting a giant dildo up his asshole. Like the fate of Marlon Wayne’s character Christian Black, I found watching it was painful and hurt insides felt like white hot lead.

Fifty Shades of Black is a “spoof” of Fifty Shades of Grey. The only difference is the woman is called Hannah (Kali Hawk) and the man Christian Black (Marlon Waynes) and the majority of the cast is black. Fifty Shades of Black follows nearly shot-for-shot the movie they are trying to poke fun of. The end result for me was myself poking fun at it.

Painfully Unfunny Characters Abound

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Jenny Zigrino (Kateesha) playing a sassy black girl despite the fact that she is white. It is as bad as that sounds.

There are so many characters that are so annoying and unbelievable even for a spoof movie. Jenny Zigrino plays Kateesha who is a white woman being the most stereotypical black woman imaginable and it’s hard to hear what she is saying with the loud sass in her voice. It got so bad I hated her every time I saw her.

Do you want another bad character? How about a character called Jessie played by an actor called King Back (I am not making this up) He plays a black photographer who unflatteringly tries to hook up with Hanna only to do the “you misheard me” routine to cover himself when Hannah is repulsed. Oh and you realize he knows karate when he’s threatened. He sounds like Chris Tucker on cocaine.

Broke-ass Poor Dialogue.

What could possibly be worse than the actors you say? How about the dialogue. It is as painful as waiting in line for a prostate exam. Five minutes of the dialogue felt like an eternity. The dialogue in Fifty Shades of Black is worse than London has Fallen and that is saying something.

Such lines like “You look like a thumb that was yanked out of an asshole” were one of the better ones; In reference to a woman’s breath: “That’s the smell of (Christian Black’s) balls after two hours of racketball” was another. The worst line also had blatant product placement “A Mac? I licked seven guy’s assholes and only got a Dell!”

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There were two more lines that were hilariously ironic. When Black recites the Fifty Shades of Grey novel he says “This is fifty shades of fucking terrible, Who wrote this a third grader?” The other one had to do with Black not knowing Osama Bin Laden was dead for five years. He says “I don’t keep up with current events” when the movie continuously lampoons on recent movies, product placement and contemporary culture.

The Set Design. A Minor Breath of Relief

Despite the poor acting and the horrible, laughable dialogue, there are two redeeming things about the movie. The first one is the set designers as I could tell they meticulously got all the equipment and locations to near-perfect detail. I saw effort in there that I needed to acknowledge.

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You can tell the set designers actually watched Fifty Shades of Grey and made it look authentic. If I took out all the characters, you wouldn’t be able to tell which is which.

The second moment was when Black is told to give Hannah the worst in the form of domination. The camera pans across the whips with labels like “Glory” “12 Years a Slave” “Django Unchained” before finally going to the “Joseph Jackson” belt. That was the only time I smiled, laughing with the movie and not at it.

Those two things obviously could not redeem the movie. I could not believe I wasted money on it. This is another film to Marlon Waynes inglorious canon of films such as “A Haunted House” and “White Chicks” I’d rather watch Fifty Shades of Grey. I’d rather watch almost anything again. DUD

Amateur Night: No. Just No.

“Based on a true story… mostly” is the subtext of the Amateur Night title card. Once I saw that I knew they were going to use creative license so much that it’s not even funny. I later found out that the story is directed by the people who have involved in the true story themselves.

The key question I asked myself about Amateur Night wasn’t “Is most of this story really based off a true story?” it was “Why did this story need to be told?” because, to tell you the truth, I wish I hadn’t seen it.

So anyway the story is Guy (played by Jason Biggs whose career is in freefall) is an architect who is struggling to find a job and with a baby on the way. He gets a job on Craigslist to drive prostitutes to bachelor parties and acting like a pimp in his pink salmon shirt.

In come the sight gags.

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One of the cleaner scenes of the Biggs cleaning dildos. I decided for the view not to show the zip-lock bag all the dildos came in

So Guy does these things for the prostitutes that only a desperate man would do. He cleans all their dildos and there are a lot; he gets squirted in the face (You can imagine the source of the squirting) and collects all the money and the panties from the floor during the bachelor party.

This is one-half the problem with Amateur Night. They just settle for gross. When an R-rated sex comedy decides to go for the easy laughs it is just so tasteless. A note to filmmakers: the more tasteless you are, the smarter you have to be. When you are tasteless and stupid, your movie becomes horrible and it turns into a pissing contest to see how horrible you can be.

When a sex comedy decides to dabble in bodily fluids just for shock value you get no winners but the most morbid of people. There are piss, vaginal fluid, and lube gags in this movie. None of it comes off as funny. Some scenes like when Guy is cleaning all the dildos are elongated, cringeworthy and painful to watch.

Despite all the unfunny and lazy sight gags, it wasn’t the worst part of the movie.

Yes, you heard me.

The most hateful performance of the year: Janet Montgomery.

Montgomery is just lucky this movie is so small and so forgettable that it won’t damage her career irreparably.

Nikki (Janet Montgomery) is the lead prostitute and I absolutely hated her. From the time she is introduced to the very end, I hated her. I hated her so much. There is a scene in which she blackmails Guy into continuing being the host of the bachelor party. From that moment on I had a seething hate to the point of no return. At the end, the film embodies the “hooker with a heart of gold” cliche in a sad and pathetic attempt to care for her. She was completely mean-spirited with no leanings that she was anything but.

It wasn’t that Montgomery was a bad actress but just her character embodied vile manipulation to the point where I not only detested her but the whole movie. She crossed the line from dumb raunchy comedy to dumb and hateful raunchy comedy. With the combination of dumb sex jokes, bodily fluids, and Montgomery’s performance, Amateur night reminded me of Dirty Grandpa and that’s really saying something.

In my eyes, Amateur Night was merely a vanity project created by a couple to tell their own story and the actors are there so desperate for a paycheck. Biggs hasn’t made a movie in four years and the directors Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse are a real life couple retelling their own experiences living in Hollywood in this hot mess.

At the end of Amateur Night, I thought of a song called “Lost in Hollywood” where the main line was “All you maggots smoking fags on Hollywood Boulevard” because sometimes I wonder how some movies in Hollywood get made. This was just the epitome or a bad sex comedy turned horrible -*1/2

Cabin Fever (2016) Review

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Cabin Fever is one of the laziest movies I have ever seen. It feels as cheap as the movie poster that it’s advertised upon. I wrote in my review of Oujia that it was a pleasantly surprising like a four-year-old who colours in a picture inside the lines with shading. Cabin Fever is like a kid who couldn’t be bothered to colour the picture in their colouring in a book so the mother photocopied the image and claimed it was their child’s work.

Yes, that paragraph is more allegorical as it seems. You see Cabin Fever is a remake of Eli Roth’s own movie shot-for-shot from a director called Travis Z. That should ring alarm bells. It’s even worse considering Roth’s original was a terrible movie in the first place.

Because of that, I don’t mind spoiling the whole movie for you. This movie is about a group of teenagers that rent out a cabin by a lake. Throughout the film there a people bleeding all over the place, which is the fever hinted at in the title (the blood looked like paint). Slowly, the teenagers get infected and most of them die until the main protagonist realizes the disease exists solely in the water.

Warning: Basic Film-making Errors Abound

Now aside from the blatant ripoff of Eil Roth ripping off his own movie, you also have to see the DVD menu of this movie (Yes I rented. I do things old school) On the DVD menu it has the same picture of the woman weeping bleed but with the cottage and the colours are washed out (not to build the suspense. It just looks bland). The only option I could select is “Play Feature”. That’s right. No “Set Up” no “Special Features” and not even “Scene Selection”. Just “Play Feature”. If “Play Feature” the only option it begs the question “Why is there a title card in the first place”

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I am not kidding. This is a screenshot of the title card. I have never seen a title card so cheap-looking and tacky.

The way I have described the setup for this movie sounds attractive for the people who are into campy “so-bad-it’s-good” movies. If only it were that interesting. That’s because Cabin Fever is made just competently enough that there are no intentional laughs in its cinematic ineptitude. The acting is atrocious, yet it is so bland that I couldn’t laugh at it, The “scares” in the movie are not scary at all, and the music is always amplified when a “scary scene” comes up. The only reason I could identify there was a scary scene was because of the music.

Oh and speaking of music, Cabin Fever puts loud distorted music with no build up. Sometimes it was during scenes where the sketchy characters were exchanging dialogue. The music was muffling out the sounds and the words the characters were making. I went for the subtitles, but wouldn’t you know there are no subtitles available.

The Causalities

Cabin Fever is the laziest movie of the year. No question. It’s even lazier than comedies where the actors improvise. It’s even lazier than Norm of the North. This movie is not scary, nor entertaining, nor is it written well. It even goes so far to somehow mess up the sound and it’s too lazy to even have “Scene Selection” on its title menu. It is such a terrible cash grab from Eli Roth and he even failed at that. This movie only grossed approximately $40,000. It has a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Cabin Fever is one of the rare films where absolutely no one wins and everyone loses. It is a void-like abyss. There is nothing on the screen to like and it’s not even because it was too gory (The gory scenes looked so fake that I didn’t care). Cabin Fever has gone beyond the realms of terrible and has made itself irredeemable in the lazy film making atrocity that was passed off as a theatrical release -***

Mothers Day Review

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Year: 2016
Rating: PG
Length: 118 Minutes
Main Cast: Jennifer Aniston
Kate Hudson
Julia Roberts
Jason Sudeikis
Main Production Company: Capacity Pictures
Directed By: Garry Marshall

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Written By Nelson Cumming
“Mothers Day” is one of the rare movies where just describing what I had seen is enough to make you cringe. Not a single thing was funny. Not only that but there was some racism in it which was made worse by the stupid stereotypes that were portrayed that try to justify the racism. “Mothers Day” also tries to force you to gain sympathy through overdone sad generic character stories about abandonment issues and the grieving process of a mother’s death. None of this heavy themes work because they are so forced and flippant about it that I rolled my eyes whenever those stories were mentioned. Coupled with ridiculous levels of product placement, cheesy predictable “coming together” moments and jokes that are so dumb and unfunny is what makes “Mothers Day” so terrible to watch.

The “story” like other movies with large casts involves separate little stories that overarch into one main story. It is basically about how people are sad about upcoming mothers day for various reasons and how they solve all their problems by finally meeting in a hospital. Yes, a hospital, perfect for “Mothers Day”. I could go into the specific stories but I am not going to bother because it will take too long and the filmmakers did not care about what they made. If the movie does not care about its audience why should I?

One of the problems with lots of stories is the movie feels fragmented all the time. Director Gary Marshall is not Paul Thomas Anderson. Anderson got 6 or 7 seven little stories and interweaved them seamlessly in a very powerful 180-minute drama called “Magnolia” that dealt not only with the consequences of immoral actions but how those that were hurt took their final moral justice. Marshall made a two-hour romantic comedy and trivialized the subject matter of motherhood in a story so fragmented you’d forget what some of the stories are if you were not reminded of them. Yet there are some stories in “Mother’s Day” that you’d remember for all the wrong reasons.

“Mothers Day” has the annoying tendency to try and attain audience sympathy through cheap cliche tactics that soap operas like to use. An example includes how one of the families can’t get through the grieving process of their mother who died in a war which is conveyed by little girls crying on the mother’s tombstone and the husband lying on the couch nostalgically looking at a pre-recoded tape of his wife on the TV screen. It does not work because she is never really seen in the whole movie. If I can’t see or know the mother, how can I be attached to the mother in any way and how her loss hurts the family? I wrote in my notes “They really shove this mothers day theme down our throats with vapid bullshit sentimentality” That is a perfect summation of the movie.

If you are Indian I will guarantee you will be offended by this movie. There are racist remarks said by redneck racists and homophobes and you see and Indian drinking alcohol while showing the brand of alcohol in a terrible use of product placement. None of this was funny. As I mentioned before, you have to be smarter and smarter to be more and more tasteless. It can be done with great results, however, the worse the subject matter the harder they fall if not executed to comedic effect.

So I believe that “Mother’s Day” was a cynical attempt to appeal only to the lowest common denominator of middle-aged mothers that like sitting through unfunny sequences, racial stereotyping and dramatic soap-opera in one scattershot mess. I was the only man that was sane enough to leave the cinemas as the outtakes were going on before the lights went up. I just couldn’t stay through that. It is up to you whether or not you thought I was the only smart one or the only dumb one. -*