Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day - Happy FSOG Day!!

I have never been a big proponent of Valentine's Day.  It's origins are pretty bloody and while I suppose they could be viewed as romantic, a man being beheaded isn't necessarily a lovely thought.

From my research, there are potentially 3 different St. Valentines, all of whom are from Rome in the 3rd-5th Century (AD).  They all met very ugly deaths due to performing some type of love act....The most well known story (the story I know, at least) is that Emperor Claudius II was having a tough time getting men to join his military, and sited the reason to be because men didn't want to leave their wives and children at home.  He therefore banned all marriages, but little did he know that St. Valentine started performing marriages for young couples in love in secret.  When Claudius found out what Valentine was doing, he ordered Valentine to be killed.  And he wasn't just shot.  Oh no, that would be too easy.  No, Valentine was arrested, dragged through Rome, beaten to death with clubs, and beheaded on or around February 14, 270AD.  How lovely!

There is a legend to go along with this story that says while Valentine was in jail, he left a note for the jailer's daughter that read, "From Your Valentine".....Maybe that's where we get the saying today?  Who knows....

So now that we have the history lesson out of the way, we can thank Valentine for performing all of those marriages in secret and getting his head chopped off.  Without that, we wouldn't have today's annual feast of love notes, chocolates, expensive (and sometimes unnecessary) gifts, and Fifty Shades of Grey.

Ahh yes, Fifty Shades of Grey...

Yes, I read the book...(You can read my review here)

Last night, I saw the movie (my husband must REALLY love me, because he took me to see the movie, and there were only maybe a half a dozen men in the theater.  He sat in that theater full of women, some of whom were too immature to handle sex on the big screen and giggled every time a boob got flashed (which was pretty often, actually), and he said that he agreed that it was a pretty good movie.

So I'm going to tell you my thoughts of the movie....

I thought that Dakota Johnson played a really good Anastasia Steele.  She was the perfect blend of naive and romantic that the book described her to be.  I loved her quirkiness, along with her wit, and her approach to the character.  I also thought that Jamie Dornan did a good job portraying a damaged man.  I be perfectly honest and say that I really wasn't sure about him.  While I accepted him as Christian, in the back of my head I really didn't know how he would turn out.  But I was pleased.  I felt that he was the right mix of seriousness and conflict with the fact that he really wasn't in control.  The chemistry  between the two of the lead actors was good.  I didn't feel like anything was lacking and thought they made a good pair.

The movie was about 2 hours long, and it absolutely flew by.  The story never dragged, and I appreciated that.  While the movie flew by, I felt like there were characters that weren't represented well like Jose, Ray (Ana's father), Christian's family, and Taylor.  Yes, they were all in the movie, but their scenes were so short, that it was almost disappointing.  However, I understand that if their scenes were as long as I wanted them to be, the movie would have been 4 hours long and then it probably would have dragged.  So given how much they had to cut out of the books, I think they did a good job with the auxiliary characters.

Yes, they cut a lot out of the books but I was happy with what was cut.  There was no Inner Goddess and there was no subconscious.  Thank goodness.  They also cut some scenes down, and considering how long the book is, I thought they did a decent job.  On the same token, I felt like the movie jumped a lot.  Almost like one scene didn't flow into the next at times.  However, it followed the flow of the book, and with a few artistic changes (all of which I approved of), it pretty much felt like I was watching the book (so I guess since the book jumped from chapter to chapter at times, the movie pretty much followed suit).

The sex.  Yes, there was a lot of sex.  I felt like Christian's reaction to Ana still being a virgin was much more realistic in the movie than the tantrum he threw in the book.  I also liked that the Playroom scenes weren't turned into porn.  No, we didn't get a sneak peak at the peen, and we saw a lot more of Ana than I was expecting, but it was still, in the end, as tasteful as it could be.  Yes, there was "ramming from behind" (my husband's words, not mine), but given how crazy descriptive the book was, I think everything was done tastefully.  And no - nothing came across as abusive.

The music.  So music played a huge part of the book.  Wasn't there a soundtrack released specifically for the books?  Well, the music in the movie didn't necessarily match the music from the books, but at the same time I thought it was good (I did love that they still danced to Witchcraft, though).  If you had just handed me the soundtrack, I wouldn't be overly impressed.  Yes, all the songs are great, but they're not all my taste (I suppose the movie wouldn't be as good if it was all rock and punk music, though, right?).  I was honestly surprised that the order of the CD was pretty much the order of the music in the movie.  But I still liked it.  I felt that the music matched all of the scenes well and there wasn't anything that really didn't fit.  Oh, and Annie Lennox, you're amazing.  

I will admit that I was surprised as to how some of the women in the theater reacted to the sex scenes - I wasn't expecting to hear so many people giggling....If you can't handle the subject matter (i.e., if you're not mature enough to watch sex on the big screen), then don't go see the movie.  (end rant).

So all in all, I think they did a good job bringing the book to the big screen!!

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