Tuesday, 14 July 2015

5 Things Wrong with 'Fifty Shades of Grey' (Aside from the Subject Matter)

Blogosphere, welcome again! I'm officially now back at school which is depressing, but I promise to do my best in providing you all with new posts while I suffer as a student. Although the holidays are over, they were not in vein, because I did indeed get around to binge watching a number of TV shows and movies - one of which being 'Fifty Shades of Grey'. Please, before you judge me, you have to know that I had no intention of watching this, ever. Honestly, this wasn't my fault! I was at my friend's house for a sleepover, and unfortunately when it came to picking a movie, I was outvoted. So in the end, I did see the film, and yes, it was horrible. Obviously the abusive and non-consensual elements of the plot are totally flawed, however what's wrong with the film extends well beyond that. I'm choosing to focus on some of the shortcomings of the film adaptation rather than the actual book, which means that it's subject matter is something I won't be dealing with. Because believe it or not, that's almost the least of its problems. Intro over with, here they all are . . .

1. The Portrayal of Anastasia

Look, I'm not saying that I blame Dakota Johnson entirely, because it would be unfair to say that the poor portrayal of Ana in the movie is all her fault, however I guess she was a contributing factor. Believe it or not, what I'm talking about here is not the acting (although that wasn't exactly top notch either). No, the real problem was the fact that Anastasia was so damn weak. I get it, even though girls are entitled to be strong, they also have the right to be fragile (basically because we're fricken awesome), but this was seriously just a stereotypical depiction of how misogynistic men perceive women to be. Legit, she can't even form a proper sentence when she's first in Christian Grey's presence because his supposed power over her is apparently super intimidating *cough* sexism *cough*, and pretty much throughout the entire film, she never thinks for herself, but basically lets other people's decisions rule her life. The irony however is that the original book was written by a woman! Was this a deliberate, feminist critique of our patriarchal society? Sadly, I think not. Talk about that awkward moment when women start to believe the 'idealistic' image invented by sexist men and then reaffirm and perpetuate it themselves. On behalf of E.L James, I apologise to the women of the world.

2. The Portrayal of Christian

What often gets over-looked when people are insulting the atrocity that is the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' trilogy is that not only does it set feminism back 40 years, but it is also simultaneously sexist towards men. Some of you may be thinking, 'but how? he's so dominant and powerful', and that is exactly my point. Don't you think society has moved past the whole thing where we believe a man's sole role is to be strong and 'masculine', and totally oppress all women? I mean, what constitutes being masculine anyway? Basically just according with a bunch of random standards we've decided to make up and regulate by pretty much ostracising anyone who dares to break the mould. But come on, it's the 21st century, I think it's time we give it a rest and just go with the flow. You want to be a man and be brave and tough? Go for it. You want to be a man and be emotional and vulnerable? Totally cool also. But this movie basically makes out that to be considered masculine, you have to be rich and powerful, own a lot of aircrafts, and clearly assert your dominance over those feeble, pesky females. I don't know about you, but personally, I'm kind of sick of being oppressed, and I don't think the 'oppressors' are crazy about it either.

3. The Dialogue

Not gonna lie, the dialogue happens to be both one of the best and worst things about this movie. It's the worst because it's horribly written and literally makes you cringe to have to hear it uttered aloud, but is also simultaneously the best because it's so terrible that you just have to laugh. If you've (unfortunately) seen Twilight, it's really not that different. Like seriously, it's the worst. Don't believe me? Christian Grey literally, I kid you not, refers to himself as fifty shades of effed up. And that's just the icing on the cake. Every line is so predictable that as we were watching it, my friends and I were literally yelling the next lines at the TV, and the sad thing is that 90% of the time we were correct. This is something that's so bad it defies description, so if you really want to take a look at the appalling dialogue, you'll have to watch the film for yourself (although I advise against it, because why would you want to put yourself through that?). 

4. The Implausibility

Okay, in addition to the characters and the dialogue being terrible, turns out the plot itself is totally and utterly unrealistic. If you have no idea what happens in it (like me this time last week), basically Anastasia, a college student, is asked by her roommate, who majors in journalism and pops up randomly in the story for no apparent reason, to go and interview Christian Grey, a super powerful businessman who apparently has heaps of time on his hands to stop and chat to university students. She asks him a bunch of questions (making sure to dramatically trip on the way in and nervously bite her pencil just to ram home the fact that she's totally helpless and weak), and somehow, from that 2 minute chat, the guy is hooked (even though she has no personality and literally has nothing to set her apart from any other girl ever).  

Then, naturally, he somehow finds out where she works (because apparently being an important business man is inconsequential to the story, so he can just leave whenever he likes and work around the hours she spends doing her part-time job at the local hardware store), gets her number, makes plans to grab coffee, and then totally rejects her. Why? Who knows. Anyway, he then seems to forget that he told her to back off and starts sending her random gifts, which leads to her drunkenly calling him from some club and whining at him, resulting in a very angry Christian Grey. Turns out the guy's okay with S&M, but alcohol is a no-no. He then gets weirdly possessive and demands to know where she is, and somehow, after only being given the hint 'I'm not in Seattle', he finds the exact club she is at in a matter of minutes. I mean, I know the guy is rich, but having his own telepathic and teleportation technologies is a little excessive even for him, don't you think? To be honest, I can't remember exactly what happens next (because I've probably tried to block it all out), but somehow, they end up flying around in a lot of helicopters and aeroplanes, despite the fact they never actually leave America, and only go places that would be about 15 minutes by car, but whatever, he's rich, so his unnecessary fossil fuel emissions are totally fine. After that, he then goes on to show her his weird BDSM lair (which she is surprisingly okay with), and I think you can fill in the blanks from there. 

Reading that, the plot probably sounds super ridiculous. Well, that assumption is correct, it truly is. I can assure you, I have not exaggerated anything, that is actually what happens. I honestly don't know how the book ever got published in the first place, and I certainly have no idea why anyone would want to turn it into a movie, and why Melanie Griffith's daughter would want to be in it. But, it happened, and all we can do now is warn others to steer clear of it. So please, don't come close to watching this non-sensical rubbish like I did, save yourselves. 

5. Everything

Literally, there is nothing good about this movie. I don't know why it exists. 

So basically, all in all, what I'm trying to get across to you is that you should definitely avoid 'Fifty Shades of Grey' at all costs if you get the chance. The only thing I find vaguely impressive about it was that it was able to insult every group on Earth in a mere 125 minutes. It's offensive towards all women, all men, anyone with intellect and people who are rational - I mean, that's quite an achievement.

Well, that's all I have in store for you. Hopefully you found this post to be vaguely entertaining or at the very least informative, and do everything in your power to ensure that you never have to sit through this film (if you can even call it one). Til' next time . . .

Annabel xx

Monday, 13 July 2015

2 Year Anniversary: Cory Monteith

Hello again readers! I'm back again and ready to blog, however today, I'm understandably not exactly in the best of spirits. I know it's hard to believe, but 2 years ago today, we found out that the tall, awkward Canadian we'd come to know and love was no longer with us. It was seriously awful for Gleeks everywhere, and 730 days later, not gonna lie, I'm still in denial. Of course I had to post something, however instead of being super depressing and ensuring that your day is horrible, I thought I'd post some happy stuff instead to make everyone a little less miserable. Without further ado, I present to you the top 7 fun facts about to Mr Monteith . . .

1. He's Actually Super Smart

Despite (expertly) playing the dumb jock stereotype to a T on 'Glee', in reality, Cory was actually pretty nerdy. I kid you not, in his youth, he used to pretend to go to asleep when his parents were in the room, but snuck encyclopaedias under the covers to get in a little extra learning. Plus, he just so happened to be at a 4th grade reading level in Kindergarten, leaving us mere mortals behind. As a nerd myself, I totally commend him. 

2. He was nominated for a Grammy

I don't even know how, but for some reason, the fact that 'Glee' was a total smash at the Grammys seems to fly under the radar. Not everyone knows this, but Cory was nominated for a Grammy for lending his voice to 'Don't Stop Believin', which as you well know, pretty much became the show's unofficial anthem. For someone who previously didn't consider himself a singer, that's pretty impressive. 

3. He's Ridiculously Witty

In interviews, Cory was always sure to come out with some awesome, occasionally inappropriate one-liners. Before 'Glee' even came out he was on a roll, describing it as 'if High School Musical got punched in the stomach and had it's lunch money stolen', which there's no denying is actually pretty accurate (considering both are totally on point). Not to mention his eagerness to participate in Ellen's hilarious yoga room sketch. Basically, what I'm trying to say is his sense of humour pretty much puts everyone else's to shame. 

4. He's Dedicated

Literally, to audition for 'Glee', Cory drove for 20 hours from Vancouver to LA. That's crazy right? But it doesn't stop there. He didn't have enough money with him to stay at a hotel, so slept in his car on the side of the road somewhere in Oregon. Also, throughout the journey, he managed to learn all of the songs from 'Rent' and the Billy Joel's biggest hits so he'd have something to audition with. No doubt about it, that's certainly commitment.

5. He's Actually a Drummer

Sure, we all know that Finn has a knack for drumming, but turns out, Cory does too. In fact, prior to 'Glee', he'd never actually sung before, so instead of performing a song for his audition, he submitted a video of him drumming on tupperware he had lying around his kitchen to prove that he had some sort of musical talent. Plus, he just so happened to be the lead drummer in his band 'Bonnie Dune'. 

6. He's a Massive Vancouver Canucks Fan

I mean, seeing as he's Canadian and all this shouldn't come as a surprise, but I do appreciate a good fangirl (or in this case, fanboy). And he wasn't simply just a fan, oh no, he was a major, die hard supporter, and that I can respect. 

7. He's Had So Many Jobs

Seriously, never has anyone ever been employed so many times. Cory has tried his luck at greeting people as they enter Walmart, being a taxi driver, a roofer, a car washer and also driving a school bus for a day care. Finally, he chose acting, and I think we can all agree this was for the best. 

BONUS: Cory's Last Tweet

Brilliant, just brilliant.

This is where I'm going to bring the post to a close. I hope that this has managed to make Gleeks everywhere a little less upset today, and that his awesomeness has entertained you all. As I said cheesily last year, and will continue to remind you all, don't stop believing! Til' next time . . .

Annabel xx