THIS: Fifty Shades of Boring. An old song lyric claims, “Fifty million Frenchmen can’t be wrong!” And few would argue with more than $500 million in worldwide box office – and counting. But I’m no Perrier guzzler, and I’m old enough to know that popularity and quality are typically two different things.
So I’ll just say it: The motion picture version of the international best seller, Fifty Shades of Grey is a major bore – one that accomplishes the seemingly impossible. It gives sado-masochism a bad name by making it downright boring.”
Fifty’s plot is thinner than the endangered polar ice cap; its characters make a wading pool seem deep, and the so-called sex scenes are a snore fest.
The stars, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, are sexy and talented, but the screenplay is crap, the direction is lackluster, and Johnson and Dornan have sub zero on screen chemistry.
Dornan’s highly charged sexual performance was sacrificed by the filmmaker’s obsession with receiving an R-rating.
Most to blame for the somnambulistic film are the compromises made by its filmmakers in order to win an R, rather than getting the dreaded NC-17 rating it should have warranted.
What’s more, Jamie Dornan, the thirty-two-year-old Irish actor/model who plays Christian Grey, was recently rumored to be quitting the Grey franchise. Not surprisingly, two sequels are already in early preproduction.
According to the rumor, published around the world in February, Dornan’s wife had reportedly put the kibosh on Jamie’s encore as Christian Grey. As the rumormongers put it, she did not want her hubby working nude and nasty again – not that any of it ever reached the screen, or ever would.
On the heels of this rumor, Dornan quickly tried damage control. He had a representative release a statement denying that he was quitting. But February’s rumor panicked the filmmakers. Dornan is their cash cow, and they did not want to lose him.
That’s when they offered the actor/model a whopping raise for the sequel. Dornan was paid a scant one hundred thousand dollars for Fifty Shades. For the second movie in the Grey franchise, he will take him a stratospheric twelve million dollars.
Butt filmmakers gave Jamie Dornan twelve million reasons to return.
After the twelve million dollar deal was done, the truth came out. Jamie Dornan had not considered quitting because Mrs. D didn’t want him working nude and aroused. Quite simply, the movie’s Christian Grey was prepared to walk away because he does not care for his co-star, Dakota Johnson. And boys and girls, that explains the total lack of on screen chemistry between the costars. Some people say that life is too short to spend it working with people you don’t like. But for a twelve million dollar payday, other people, Jamie Dornan among them, will nine to five it with the devil himself – or, in this case, the devil herself.
THAT: Neil Patrick Harris Hosts the Oscars
To be sure, reviews were mixed for ABC-TV’s Sunday, February 22, telecast of the 87th Annual Academy Awards. Regrettably the all-important ratings were down, too – a jaw-dropping seventeen percent from the 2014 Oscarcast.
But Oscar’s detractors primarily knocked the overly long show (three and one half hours), its predictability, the lack of racial diversity, and the unforgivable omission of Joan Rivers from the In Memorial segment.
But most critical thumps were way up for Neil Patrick Harris’s hosting.
Whether he was singing and dancing, chiding the lack of diversity, “Today we honor Hollywood’s best and whitest. Sorry, brightest,” or standing before the estimated one billion TV viewers worldwide, stripped to his tighty whities, NPH’s hosting was bright and respectful. He paid homage to both the Oscars, and the motion picture industry, without deifying them.
A second tighty whitey was sewn into NPH’s first, in order to keep his “privates” private from TV viewers worldwide.
As for the host’s near nude nod to Birdman, Neil, the crew and the network learned during dress rehearsal that television lights made his skivvies transparent, revealing NPH’s family jewels, along with his religious affiliation. Although the host had no qualms about letting the whole world gawk at what his husband sees behind closed doors, the network insisted on sewing a second pair of briefs into NPH’s first whiteys.
And how about NPH’s wisecrack that “Benedict Cumberbatch is the sound John Travolta makes when he’s trying to say, Ben Affleck?”
I still think Billy Crystal is one of Oscar’s all-time best host, but NPH was definitely among Oscar’s all-time, Top Five host – with James Franco representing the bottom of the Oscars hosting barrel.
THE OTHER THING: The Young, Gay, and Hirsute
When Teen Wolf returns to MTV for its fifth season in June, two new gay characters will be introduced.
In Episode Four of the twenty-episode fifth season, titled “Condition Terminal,” gay characters Corey and Lucas will make their debut. The two will have recurring roles. However the roles have yet to be cast.
That leaves Teen Wolf’s gay following speculating about who will play the hirsute homosexuals, even as they continue to wonder if Danny, the series first gay character, unexplainably absent from last year’s fourth season, will resurface in Season Five? Inquiring, hirsute teen wolves, everywhere, want to know.