Fifty Shades Darker (2017): Of The Two Existing Turds, This One Is Certainly The Shiniest (Parody Review)

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[Universal Pictures]
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Fifty Shades Darker is the sequel to the ridiculously popular Fifty Shades franchise which originally stemmed from Twilight fan fiction. Anastasia Steele is mad at Christian Grey because he did what he asked her to do in the previous installment and this sequel focuses on her believing she is not the one for him despite the fact that he constantly… Tells her… That he loves her… Every single timeDarker stars Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Bella Heathcote and Kim Basinger and is directed by James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross, Perfect Stranger).

My Thoughts On Everything

Wow. What a truly spectacularly enjoyable watch. Fifty Shades Darker is fraught with incredibly complex characters and elaborate motivations that do not have any plot or character inconsistencies at all. I never found myself questioning why certain characters were doing what they were doing because of how well-developed their respective traits were. The film kind of just told us why they were like that or they simply didn’t choose to explain it all which was incredibly enjoyable because we all only give a shit about seeing attractive people fuck, right?

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“Stab me… Here” [Credit: Universal Pictures]

The film is also paced perfectly and it didn’t become a slog to watch at all, particularly during the sequences where they attempt to showcase Ana and Christian’s relationship without them having sex. A boat scene that could have felt like it was an hour long only felt about 45 minutes! They played the ZAYN & Taylor Swift song that I actually like which was nice. It was reminiscent of the Love Me Like You Do sequence in the first one where a pop song played while they were doing some wild activity like flying planes or steering a boat… An activity that Anastasia, for some reason, acts as if she is commanding a spaceship ready for take off. They are in the middle of a large body of water and her inability to just hold the steering wheel without Christian’s guidance was a little confusing for me considering she’s managed to work her way up to working for a publishing firm. You’d think being able to do something as simple as not crashing a boat in waters where there is no one around would be a prerequisite but hey… I’m not a publisher.

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[Credit: Universal Studios]

It was such a wild idea to have them have all the sex. During an instance when they do, booming pop music ensues and lubricants, condoms or any form of contraception simply isn’t needed at all! (Yes, she could easily be on the Pill… He did raw dog her in the bum during one instance that made me go ‘waaaaait a minute!) Again, I will commend the film for having better sexual encounters than its predecessor. I only fell asleep maybe one or two times during Darker whereas with the first one, the lights were on but the homeowners were thinking of dinner.

Since the relationship between Ana and Christian was such a vital aspect to the film, there were some other subplots thrown in there to make sure their relationship overcomes all the odds including a crazily haggard lady that refers to herself as “nobody” when Ana asks who she is and a sexual harassing boss. We’re also introduced to the Mrs. Robinson of the Fifty Shadesverse played by the brilliant Kim Basinger. I enjoyed watching her whisper doubts into Ana’s ears throughout the film that actually managed to persuade Ana a couple times even though Christian CANNOT MAKE IT ANYMORE CLEAR THAT HE LOVES HER.

Everybody also loves Ana for some reason, including Christian’s family… Regardless of their family member making insane company acquisitions and just throwing thousands of dollars into his girlfriend’s bank account because HE’S RICH, BITCH! And don’t you forget it.

Favourite Scene (SPOILER ALERT)

Fifty Shades Darker had an abundance of sequences that I could have labeled as my “favourite.” If I had to narrow it down, I’d have to go with the frightening helicopter experience wherein news outlets lovingly neglect to feature Grey’s business partner in the headline because that chick isn’t important.

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‘Star Trek: TNG’ [Credit: CBS]

I also love how he returns with just a bump on the head despite the fact that he CRASHED HIS HELICOPTER INTO A FUCKING FOREST WITH BRANCHES, TREES, GLASS FROM THE HELICOPTER ETC. CLEARLY HAVING NO AFFECT ON HIM OR HIS BUSINESS PARTNER. Unexplained recoveries are definitely my bread and butter.

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Look, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan do the best with what they’re given and you can tell they know just how silly every single scene is. Johnson absolutely rocks this performance, I am giving her all the kudos because Anastasia is fucking insufferable and the chemistry between her and Dornan is fun to watch. It is better in terms of plot progression and overall enjoyability (I’m making up words now) than the first if that sways your judgment in any way, however the soundtrack in the first is miles ahead of this one. The opening scene of Fifty Shades of Grey were shots of Seattle and the mysterious Grey set to a fucking Annie Lennox song! I loved that sequence even though everything following it was terrible.

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[Credit: Universal Studios]

If you’re interested in watching this, you’ve seen it already. My suggestion would be – if you’ve never seen it – wait until Fifty Shades Freed releases in 2018 then have a fun trilogy watch with all your friends and all the alcohol you can healthily consume. If I drank, I would definitely pass out after the first one so the subsequent two would probably be an enjoyable experience!

For More Kinky Fuckery (sorry), Check Out The Following:


Fifty Shades Darker receives 1/5 Matt Damon heads.

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Prepare Your Wallet: A Highly-Anticipated Movie Will Be Released Every Single Week In March 2017 / 200th Post!

Who needs to wait until the summer season for a major blockbuster anymore?

If you decided seeing Keanu Reeves kick ass in John Wick 2 wasn’t your thing or firmly believe you would rather get your ass kicked than see a snippet of Fifty Shades Darker, I have some encouraging news for you – March is going to be your month. Every single Friday sees a new release that is not only a staple in many highly-anticipated lists, there is something releasing for virtually every moviegoer.

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‘Bean’ [Credit: Gramercy Pictures]
March’s releases include seeing an R-rated version of a fan-favorite X-Man, a live-action Disney adaptation that seems to be a match made in Heaven, astronauts on the cusp of an extraterrestrial revelation and more! Here are 10 of them that will satisfy whatever it is you’re craving.


1. ‘Logan’ – March 3rd, 2017

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‘Logan’ [Credit: 20th Century Fox]
  • Starring: Hugh Jackman, Sir Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Dafne Keen and Stephen Merchant, directed by James Mangold.
  • Plot Synopsis: In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.

Is there anyone who is not incredibly hyped to watch Hugh Jackman’s (possible) final portrayal of Wolverine? This R-rated take on a mutant we have seen on the big screen for 17 years will deliver his final curtain call with Logan, a seemingly fitting end to his character arc as the brilliantly bittersweet trailers have illustrated. No doubt there will be plenty of cheering audience members as well as a bunch of grown adults weeping in their seats when the final moments are executed on screen.

2. ‘The Shack’ – March 3rd

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  • Starring: Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Tim McGraw and Radha Mitchell, directed by Stuart Hazeldine.
  • Plot Synopsis: Based on the novel of the same name, The Shack follows a father’s transformative journey that will show him the ultimate truth about love, loss, and forgiveness.

Don’t be surprised if this film manages to take the #2 spot behind Logan at the weekend box office.

As we have seen with numerous faith-based movies, particularly with the surprise financial successes of 2014’s Heaven Is For Real and 2015’s War Room, there is a huge audience for films that place emphasis on the miracle of faith. The Shack will see Avatar lead Sam Worthington work alongside Academy Award-winner Octavia Spencer in this adaptation of the New York Times Best Seller. For those unfamiliar with the novel, it sold over 10 million copies and remained on the NYT list for 70 weeks. Don’t be surprised if this film manages to take the #2 spot behind Logan at the weekend box office.

3. ‘Kong: Skull Island’ – March 10th

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‘Kong: Skull Island’ [Credit: Warner Bros.]
  • Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Corey Hawkins, Samuel L. Jackson, Jing Tian, John Goodman, Toby Kebbell and John C. Reilly, directed Jordan Vogt-Roberts.
  • Plot Synopsis: A diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific – as beautiful as it is treacherous – unaware that they’re crossing into the domain of the mythic Kong.

Peter Jackson‘s 2005 epic King Kong was the last time we saw the illusive Kong on the big screen. Kong: Skull Island will serve as the second film, behind 2014’s Godzilla, in Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment’s shared universe known as the MonsterVerse. The film has a number of well-known talents involved and looks to be as monstrous as it is visually stunning. With a budget of $190 million, a few million dollars short of Jackson’s budget for his take on Kong, it will be interesting to see how Skull Island stacks up against its MonsterVerse predecessor, Godzilla. The Gareth Edwards-directed Godzilla earned $529 million worldwide on a budget of $160 million and certainly kick started the intrigue into this giant monsters universe.

| Rogue One (2016) Review |

4. ‘Beauty And The Beast’ – March 17th

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  • Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Emma Thompson, Josh Gad, Sir Ian McKellen and Ewan McGregor, directed by Bill Condon.
  • Plot Synopsis: A live-action remake of Disney’s 1991 animated film of the same name, Beauty And The Beast follows the classic fairy tale about a young woman who is taken prisoner by a monstrous prince in exchange for her father’s life… They then fall in love.

Beauty And The Beast is an example of a film that appeals to legions of fans, young or old.

Is there a more perfect example of ideal casting than Emma Watson as the kind-hearted book nerd Belle? The anticipation for this live-action Disney adaptation veers toward the excitement felt for 2015’s Cinderella moreso than the last live-action adaptation, 2016’s Pete’s Dragon. Pete’s Dragon was barely on anyone’s radar and still managed to gross $143 million worldwide on a $65 million budget, a number that isn’t exceptionally high; however I would argue it grossed as much as it did solely because of the name alone.

Check out Moviepilot for more ‘Beauty And The Beast’: News, Trailer, Release Date & All You Need To Know |

Beauty And The Beast is an example of a film that appeals to legions of fans, young or old. Older audiences that grew up with the classic Academy Award-winning animation will group together and push aside any younglings out of the way. Younger audiences will be able to experience the tale with stunning visuals and Watson as their live-action Belle. Dan Stevens‘ portrayal of Beast looks to be fantastic and Luke Evans‘ hair is beaming with all the Gaston glory. Let me buy my ticket already!

5. ‘The Belko Experiment’ – March 17th

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‘The Belko Experiment’ [Credit: Orion Pictures]
  • Starring: John Gallagher Jr, Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona, John C. McGinley and Sean Gunn, directed by Greg McLean.
  • Plot Synopsis: A group of 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogotá, Colombia and are ordered by an unknown voice on an intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.

If heartwarming tales about love aren’t your fancy, perhaps a few cold-blooded murders that raise the question of one’s ethical and moral obligations suits you. With a screenplay by Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 director James Gunn and released in limited theaters, The Belko Experiment is the perfect counter-programming to Beauty And The Beast that relishes its R-rating.

6. ‘Power Rangers’ – March 24th

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‘Power Rangers’ [Credit: Lionsgate]
  • Starring: Naomi Scott, Dacre Montgomery, Elizabeth Banks, Ludi Lin, Becky G and Bryan Cranston, directed by Dean Israelite.
  • Plot Synopsis: Power Rangers follows five ordinary high school kids who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove – and the world – is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat.

The time has almost arrived where we can proudly declare go, go Power Rangers! The beloved ’90s series is getting the modern age remake treatment come March. It will be interesting to see how the film fares since they have some big name talents attached including Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa, who is essentially the Darth Vader of the Ranger universe, and Cranston as the mentoring Zordon. The trailers have been a pretty great selling point for the film since they showcase the excitement factor and fun the actors seem to be having.

7. ‘Life’

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‘Life’ [Credit: Columbia Pictures]
  • Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds and Hiroyuki Sanada, directed by Daniel Espinosa.
  • Plot Synopsis: Life follows the six-member crew of the International Space Station who are on the cutting edge of one of the most important discoveries in human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars. As the crew begins to conduct research, their methods end up having unintended consequences and the life form proves more intelligent than anyone ever expected.

With the popularity of science-based films growing thanks to the works of 2013’s Gravity and last year’s Arrival, seeing how the above three lead in Life will certainly warrant the film being worth checking out. The trailers haven’t made it seem like it is an incredibly thought provoking story, however it will be a treat to see how these characters deal with the “unintended consequences” discovering extraterrestrial life.

8. ‘Ghost In The Shell’ – March 31st

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‘Ghost In The Shell’ [Credit: Paramount Pictures]
  • Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Takeshi Kitano, Pilou Asbæk and Michael Pitt, directed by Rupert Sanders.
  • Plot Synopsis: The Major is a special ops, one-of-a-kind, human-cyborg hybrid who leads an elite task force known as Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, she faces an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotics’ advancements in cyber technology.

Ex Machina (2015)

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Nathan: Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters. It’s a movie, man. You don’t know that movie? A ghost gives Dan Aykroyd oral sex.

Starring: Oscar Isaac as Nathan Bateman, Domhnall Gleeson as Caleb Smith, Sonoya Mizuno as Kyoko and Alicia Vikander as Ava, dir. Alex Garland.

cinemagraph source: technoir
‘Ex Machina’ distribution: A24
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Cinematographer: Rob Hardy (Shadow Dancer, The Testament Of Youth)

Check Out The Following:

Nostalgia’d Review: Drive (2011)

This Week, Ryan Gosling Decides To Race His Way Into My Heart With Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive!

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[Credit: FilmDistrict]
Standard: All right. So I illegally walked over to a seventeen year old girl. And I walk up and I say, “Hello, Miss. What is your name?” And she didn’t say anything.
And then I said, “Well my name is Standard Gabriel.”
Then what did you say?
Irene: I said, “Where’s the deluxe version?”

Based on the 2005 novel by James SallisDrive follows the unnamed Driver (Ryan Gosling), a Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a criminal-for-hire-getaway driver, as he forms a bond with his neighbour, Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her young son while her husband (Oscar Isaac) is in prison. When dangerous circumstances arise, the Driver is tasked with utilizing his talents to stay alive. The film also stars Bryan Cranston as the Driver’s well-meaning employer, Shannon, Albert BrooksRon Perlman as a pair of mobsters who love utilizing profamity to express themselves – I am all too familiar with that idea – and is directing by the stylistically stylish Nicolas Winding Refn (Only God Forgives, The Neon Demon).

The Driver Is A Phenomenal Character

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If you are familiar with director Refn’s work, you know many of his characters are not given elaborate backstories which allows the audience to learn as much as they need to learn as the film progresses, nothing more nothing less. He is a big believer in the concept of showing and not telling. Whenever we see the Driver interact with others, he expresses himself in two or three words, maybe seven if he is feeling frisky. We know he moved to Los Angeles a few years ago and began working for Shannon at the garage, the aforementioned Shannon being one of the few in his life that he feels comfortable enough to say more than a few words to.

Irene’s son, Benicio is another person the Driver feels comfortable enough to hold an entire conversation with, particularly when discussing the moralistic aptitude of a television shark. It is because of the few tidbits we are given about the Driver that makes him such an intriguing character. We know the very basics about him and want to learn more about how he managed to perfect his driving and hammering skills.

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[Credit: FilmDistrict]
He feels like a regular human yet there is something superhuman about him – if that makes sense. Refn illustrates this idea by revealing that the nature of the Driver character is meant to be more than what the surface conveys:

“… The Driver was meant to become a superhero, and he’s denied all these things—relationships, companionship. And why would he be denied that? It was because he was meant for something greater.”

There are certain moments where he manages to pull off the seemingly impossible and I genuinely wondered how the fuck did he do that?? This idea certainly lends credence to the notion that he is a powerful being in a hyper-realistic world… And that is what I love about it! Since Gosling is spectacular in the role, you want to see more of whatever it is he is doing even if that means suspending your disbelief that this man is not your regular human. His eyes speak wonders by staring at whatever he happens to be staring at; whether it be glaring into the eyes of an enemy or gazing at the ridiculously gorgeous nighttime LA roads.

I never thought I would be ecstatic at the prospect of someone being colour blind, however Refn attributes his inability to seeing mid-colours as a reason why all his films are very contrasted:

“… If it were anything else I couldn’t see it.”

The Gorgeous Cinematography of Drive:

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No Surprise Here: The Soundtrack Is A Character Itself

Refn regular, Cliff Martinez composes the synth-heavy score for Drive and the soundtrack features a number of amazing artists including Desire, my favourite track of the film (“A Real Hero”) by College and Electric Youth and, of course, the song most associated with the film: “Nightcall” by Kavinsky. For those that have never seen or heard anything about Drive, the opening title credits for the film – following a beautifully tension-filled opening sequence – will intrigue you at least a tiny bit to check out what the film is about:

Favourite Scene! (SPOILERS)

Alright, do you want to know the exact moment where I felt the most excited to see what would transpire in Drive? The first seven minutes of the movie. Refn does not waste any time in getting straight into the action and by “action,” I am not only referring to zooming car chases and destruction. Why I appreciate Drive as much as I do is because it doesn’t have to resort to the seemingly hour-long car chases to grab my attention. The film is very much a character piece, an aspect to it I’m sure a few were unfamiliar with when they initially went into it (more on that below).

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[Credit: FilmDistrict]
As the beginning sequence unfolded, I expected that bombastic car chase to ensue since I have become accustomed to that occurring in virtually every car-based film I have seen. As a character piece enthusiast, imagine my surprise when the 2:30 mark happened and instead of barreling down the road to an imminent car chase, the Driver pulled off to the side and turned off the car lights.

  • The Subversion Of Expectation. As mentioned, I did not expect at all for the Driver to pull to the side. I fully expected some type of chase to occur since he accelerated out of the spot and headed toward the road. When they were on the bridge with the helicopter looming over them and were seemingly caught, I then said to myself “okay NOW the chase will happen…” He pulled into a garage and Grand Theft Auto-style waited until the heat wore off. Finally he exited and pulled up to a red light, cop car straight ahead waiting for his next move, “alright now that chase will happen…” The Driver pulls off his ingenious plan that made me fall in love.
  • The Incorporation Of The Radio. Throughout the sequence, I wondered why the shit this guy was so fixated on the Clippers game. TURN THAT DOWN AND PAY ATTENTION TO THE ROA– Ohhhhhhhh… Oh. That’s dirty. And great. Dirty and great all over.
  • The Lack Of Bitching From The Guys In The Back. The classic trope of the people who burst into the car when they are in a rush and yell at the driver to “hurry up! Go faster! Get us out of here!” Motherfucker, the person in control of the vehicle is more than aware that they need to drive. You screeching in their ear what is equivalent to saying “the sky is blue!” is not helping anyone. These guys got in the car and allowed the getaway driver to do what the getaway driver should do… Get away.

See My Favourite Scene Below:

The ‘I Have Been Duped!’ Lawsuit

Somebody on the Earth sued the distribution company behind Drive, FilmDistrict, for “[promoting] the film… as very similar to the Fast and Furious, or similar, series of movies.” In 2011, Sarah Deming of Michigan believed the film would be more in vein of Fast and the Furious instead of in the style of a fucking Nicolas Winding Refn movie and stated:

“Drive bore very little similarity to a chase, or race action film… having very little driving in the motion picture…”

She was also offended by the idea that the film features a criminal Jewish mobster who utters derogatory remarks against his people because THAT IS HIS CHARACTER:

“Drive was a motion picture that substantially contained extreme gratuitous defamatory dehumanizing racism directed against members of the Jewish faith, and thereby promoted criminal violence against members of the Jewish faith.”

Deming wanted a refund for her movie ticket, in addition to halting the production of “misleading movie trailers” in the future. “The plaintiff intends to turn her individual case into a class action lawsuit, thereby allowing fellow movie-goers an opportunity to share in the settlement.”

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‘Billy Madison’ [Credit: Universal Studios]
If I haven’t conveyed my opinion on this issue enough, I firmly believe this woman is a moron. Not for feeling like a trailer misled her but because she believed suing was a legitimate option. Certain trailers are misleading as fuck. Welcome to the world of the movie trailer. I was duped into thinking The Phantom Menace was the second coming of Christ and look at that shit pile.

Check Out The Trailer In Question Below, However Be Warned It’s Spoilerific:

Did the trailer of Drive make it seem like a super action-packed movie? Sure. Does that warrant suing for anything? Maybe in Fantasyland where unicorns are the authority and it rains chocolate kisses.

And don’t get me started on her claiming the film portrays Jewish people in a negative light. The film portrays criminals in a negative light… You know, BECAUSE THEY’RE CRIMINALS. I guess she also missed the whole point of Nino (Perlman) using the derogatory term to express just how shitty their family is… You know, BECAUSE OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

Five Years Later Update…

This lawsuit hasn’t let up. Thankfully for the judges with common sense:

“A judge in Oakland, Mich. rejected plaintiff Sarah Deming’s putative class action in March 2012, concluding that there was no misrepresentations of material fact even assuming the trailer contained subliminal anti-Semitism.”

Apparently following the rejection, the plaintiff tried to get the judge removed from the case for allegedly being anti-Semitic himself. That dispute went to a Michigan appeals court which, on October 15th, 2013:

“… [Handed] down a decision that stated in part, ‘Any affirmative representations the trailer made about being a racing movie were not inaccurate; the movie does contain driving scenes… Moreover, plaintiff, contrary to her hyperbole, does not refer us to any actual violence against, or even criticism of, Jews that has resulted from the film being shown.’

Apparently the plaintiff’s lawyer (Martin H. Leaf) has not given up on the idea that the film contains anti-Semitic messages so this saga will continue.

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‘The Happening’ [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

If you’re looking for a Fast And The Furious-esque picture, Drive that is not. If you’re interested in watching a visually pleasing character piece on a man who is so much more than just a talent behind the wheel, I highly recommend checking out Drive.

Drive receives a Matt Damon whooping it up in The Martian.

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‘The Martian’ [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

Click Here For More Nostalgia’d Reviews!

featured image source: James White

Damien Chazelle, Barry Jenkins And More Oscar-Nominated Screenwriters Share The Most Ridiculous Notes Given To Them By Studio Execs

“He’s Good At Drumming, We Get It”

Ah, the good ol’ Hollywood executive. It seems that behind every successful screenwriter in Hollywood comes a story about a crotchety studio exec who wants to give every film a PG-13 in order to collect as many pennies as possible, regardless of what interfering excessively may do to the writing process. This year’s Academy Award-nominated screenwriters including La La Land‘s Damien Chazelle and Moonlight‘s Barry Jenkins shared some of the most ridiculous notes they have received for their works.

These attempts at corrections range from Andrew (Miles Teller) playing the drums too much in Chazelle’s 2014 Oscar-nominated film about a young man attempting to achieve greatness by playing the drums, Whiplash, and there being too much math in Theodore Melfi and Allison Schroeder‘s Hidden Figures.

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‘Mad Men’ [Credit: amc]

Check out some of the most revealing stories from this year’s other writing nominees stated during the annual Writers Guild of America Beyond Words panel.


1. Eric Heisserer (Screenwriter For ‘Arrival’)

The screenwriter for this year’s sci-fi hit Arrival, mentions pitching an idea to an exec who was not a fan of the prospective characters:

“It was the start of a pitch [and] I said ‘There’s a spy and his wife.’ The executive said, ‘There is no wife. Continue.’”

| Click here for my review of ‘Arrival’ |

2. Barry Jenkins (‘Moonlight’)

Jenkins’ revelation is short and sweet, particularly following the OscarsSoWhite controversy of last year:

“So, where are the white people?”

Arrival‘s Heisserer jumped in and replied, “in the audience.” The quick quip received a big laugh from the audience.

3. Damien Chazelle (‘La La Land’)

This year’s BAFTA recipient for Best Director for La La Land is no stranger when it comes to creating films that utilize music to convey its message. Whiplash‘s Chazelle describes the note that could have potentially diminished the tension-filled effect of that entire final sequence:

“[Whiplash] ends with a kind of long drum solo, which was the whole point of making the movie. And the note was to get rid of all that. The note was written out — ‘He’s good at drumming. We get it.’”

| Click here for my review of ‘La La Land’ |

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‘Whiplash’ [Credit: Sony]

4. Allison Schroeder (‘Hidden Figures’)

As one half of the Hidden Figures screenwriting duo, Schroeder mentions pitching an idea for a female-led espionage thriller. An idea the exec loved, however they wanted to make just a few changes:

“I was really excited, I was pitching this thriller with two female leads, about espionage. [The executive] said, ‘Oh! We love it! It’s great. Can you either change it to incest or two men? I said, “If you’ll really hire me? Yes.’”

5. Theodore Melfi (‘Hidden Figures’)

Now comes the director and second half of the screenwriting duo for this year’s surprise hit details two hilarious moments he experienced during the process of writing Hidden Figures. The first one has an exec asking if a film about NASA engineers could cool it with the arithmetic:

“Most of the notes you get are from actors. They’re bad. This one studio [Fox Searchlight] person said, ‘Do we have to have so much math?’ So I pretended to be interested but, no, it’s about math.”

The second involves Kevin Costner, who gives a brilliant performance as the leader of the Space Task Group, Al Harrison, and his inquiry about the possibility of a receding hairline:

“And then Kevin Costner calls me one night and says, ‘I’ve been thinking about a receding hairline.’ I said, ‘OK. Why?’ He said, ‘I just think this guy would have a receding hairline.’ And so I call the studio because I love to torture them, and said, ‘Kevin Costner wants a receding hairline,’ and they flip out, saying ‘We want Kevin Coster just the way he is!’ So I went back to Kevin and said everyone at the the studio thinks it will make you look old. He went, ‘Oh. Can I chew gum?’”

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‘Hidden Figures’ [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

6. Kenneth Lonergan (‘Manchester By The Sea’)

Manchester By The Sea‘s Kenneth Lonergan reveals going into a trance when execs give him notes, an idea I am sure many of us can relate to when dealing with our higher-ups:

“I’m trying to think of a really bad note that I’ve gotten, but for the past 20 years when executives give me notes I go into a kind of self-induced hypnotic trance in which I just nod and say… ‘Oh that’s interesting.’ I pitched a comedy once and someone said, ‘Where’s the fun?’ I said I didn’t know.”

7. Taylor Sheridan (‘Hell Or High Water’)

The screenwriting genius behind 2015’s Sicario and this year’s Hell Or High Water gives a hilarious insight into his psyche when notes are given to him:

“I’m with [Manchester’s Lonergan]. When I start getting notes, it just starts to sound like the teacher from the Peanuts cartoon.”

Sheridan goes on to detail an experience he had pitching a pilot for amc. His recollection includes immense confusion from both parties and sheer frustration from the talented screenwriter… Just give him the notes, damn it!:

“I was in a meeting, I wrote this pilot for AMC, and we’re all sitting there and they’re giving me all their notes and I’m listening and at one point I say, ‘What the f— are you people talking about?’ And they said, ‘Taylor, you have to look for the note within the note.’ I said, ‘OK, but why don’t you just give me the note?’ They looked at me dead seriously and said, ‘Well we don’t know what the note is.’”

8. Todd Black (producer of ‘Fences’)

The producer of this year’s Denzel Washington and Viola Davis collaboration, Fences mentions working on this year’s remake of The Magnificent Seven, starring Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke. According to Black, certain execs believe a Western could possibly work better with no cowboy hats and facial hair:

“We made a Western called ‘The Magnificent Seven’ [with Sony Pictures]. And the biggest note in development and shooting it was, ‘Do they have to wear cowboy hats and have facial hair?’ And I said, ‘Do you not want them not to have horses either?’ That was a huge note on a daily basis.”

| Click here for my review of ‘Fences’ |

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‘Parks and Rec’ [Credit: NBC]

9. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (‘Deadpool’)

Although it didn’t receive an Oscar nomination, the writing minds behind last year’s colossal (thank you) hit Deadpool once envisioned a parody of the classic HBO series, The Sopranos… Only replace the mobsters with nutritious food! The execs apparently loved it, however they seemed to have missed out on the entire point of it:

“We wrote a parody of ‘The Sopranos’ called ‘The Tomatoes.’ It was all fruits and vegetables in the leads. it was the Tomatoes vs. The Bananas. The note came back, ‘We love it, but do they have to be fruits and vegetables?’”

| Click here for my review of ‘Deadpool’ |

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‘The Sopranos’ [Credit: HBO]
Source: TheWrap
featured image source: Sony Pictures

Fret not, movie buffs! The 89th Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will be presented on February 26th, 2017.

Which Film Are You Hoping Takes The Best Writing Honors?

Actor David Oyelowo Discusses Dream Directors, Mispronunciations And Star Wars In Reddit AMA: Here Are 6 Great Insights

David Oyelowo is a remarkably talented actor who has appeared in numerous films and starred in a number of TV shows, including a British drama called Spooks and lent his voice talents to Agent Kallus in Star Wars Rebels. He has starred alongside talented peers including Lupita Nyong’o, Emma Stone, Oscar Isaac, Oprah Winfrey, Jessica Chastain and Daniel Day-Lewis, just to name a few. In 2014, he took on the daunting task of portraying Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Ava DuVernay‘s Selma, a role that earned him critical acclaim for his phenomenal performance as the real-life Civil Rights leader.

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‘Selma’ | Paramount Pictures

Looking to promote his new film, A United Kingdom, Oyelowo took to the r/Movies subreddit to do an Ask Me Anything. Here are just a few of his answers that give some brilliant insight into the mind of this talent. Let me preface this by saying that before he finished the AMA, Oyelowo stated that “[the questions] were better than some of the questions [he gets] from most journalists.”

Now that is what I call a compliment.


1. Oyelowo Introduces ‘The Three Ps’ When Deciding Which Roles To Take

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‘A Most Violent Year’ | A24

Oyelowo is no stranger when it comes to portraying roles that require immense knowledge or are incredibly intimidating. When deciding which of these projects to tackle, he has a rule he refers to as “The Three Ps.

  • The Part.
  • The Project.
  • The People.

According to Oyelowo:

“If the part is interesting to me, regardless of it’s size, then that gets my attention. If the project feels meaningful, entertaining, you know, all those things you want a film to be, that, of course, get’s my attention.”

The most important aspect to this rule is the people. Oyelowo mentions that he is “on a quest to become the best actor [he] can be.” He truly believes the way to achieve that “is to surround yourself with people that are better than you.”

2. Kathryn Bigelow Is His Dream Director Collaboration

Oyelowo, like all of us, loves everything Kathryn Bigelow touches. He refers to her 2012 war drama, Zero Dark Thirty as being just as amazing as her Academy Award winning film The Hurt Locker. He mentions loving the scope and scale of her films while also complimenting the intimacy “she manages to breath into those big feeling movies.”

3. Christopher Nolan’s Attention To Detail Is Like No Other

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‘Interstellar’ | Paramount Pictures

Oyelowo starred alongside Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway in Christopher Nolan‘s 2014 hit, Interstellar. When asked how it was to star in a film directed by “one of the best working directors today” (his words), Oyelowo reveals what he witnessed on set that works to solidify that incredible honor. Nolan apparently had a phenomenal grasp of “everything that was going on that set.” Besides knowing the script “back to front” and having an “absolute command of the shots,”

“[You] could just tell that this entire film already existed in his brain and that was an amazing thing to be around.”

| ‘Arrival’ (2016) Review |

4. What’s The Deal With His Love For Historical Figures?

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‘Lincoln’ | Touchstone Pictures

I never realized just how many historically-based films Oyelowo starred in until u/Trinout pointed it out in their question: “I’d like to ask you about your tendency to play true stories on film, from Last King of Scotland, to Lincoln, to Selma and now United Kingdom.” Oyelowo reveals that he does not necessarily “go looking” for those types of roles, but “those have tended to be the most interesting projects and characters that have come my way thus far.” He acknowledges how incredibly challenging they may be because:

“[When] you’re dealing with historical figures, they always have the fact that people have very real expectations, opinions, and they want to see their heroes or people they deem to be villains to be portrayed in a very specific way.”

With all this in mind and having to “still do your interpretation of it,” he reveals that although it is intimidating, “that’s the job.” And we love him for it!

5. So You Mean To Tell Me ‘Oyelowo’ Isn’t Irish?

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‘Jack Reacher’ | Paramount Pictures

He may be a phenomenal actor but at first glance that last name of his is rather difficult to pronounce off the fly. Oyelowo reveals that during a phone conversation, the person he was talking to apparently made the assumption that his last name was of Irish descent:

“The most entertaining and unexpected pronunciation was not actually a pronunciation, it was an assumption. It was the assumption that Oyelowo was an Irish name. It was over the phone and they thought it was O’yelowo. I am definitely not Irish.”

6. Oyelowo’s Kids Love The Fact That He Is Part Of The Star Wars Universe

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‘Star Wars: Rebels’ | Disney

Apparently kids love when their father stars in anything remotely related to the galaxy far, far, away — somehow even more than if they portray Dr. King or Seretse Khama! I have no idea why, but according to Oyelowo, he earned some major brownie points for voicing Agent Kallus, the officer of the Imperial Security Bureau in the hit series Rebels.

Whether or not he will appear in a live-action iteration of his character, “it may be tricky” seeing as how:

“Agent Kallus is a white dude with red hair and giant mutton chops, so I like to think I’m a good actor, but that may be a stretch. But you never know, I could have afro mutton chops.”

You know, with a little CGI and mutton growing, I could see it happening!

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’88th Academy Awards’ | ABC
[Source: r/Movies]

What was your favorite response by David Oyelowo in his AMA?