Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

I will see you now, Mr. Grey.

The movie I have been waiting for what seems like forever finally came out today and I could not have been happier to see the first session at my local cinema. Fifty Shades of Grey was finally made into a movie!

Starring Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey himself and Dakota Johnson as the most boring character in the world, Anastasia Steele, the film follows the first novel of the Fifty Shades series, documenting their first meeting along with their interesting business agreement and other exciting ventures. As someone who has the entire series, as well as being a fond admirer of Mr. Grey, I had big expectations to live up to. How did the movie fare?

Surrender yourself to this film. See what I did there?

Surrender yourself to this film. See what I did there?

Well, I’d just like to say that I was not disappointed. The film did the story pretty well and the events in the novel were captured greatly; it took me back to when I was reading the novel and it was pretty much exactly how I pictured it. The problem that most movies face that are based off books are inconsistencies and staying true to the book, however I feel as if this movie captured the book pretty well with no real noticeable mistakes made.

My issue with Jamie Dornan heading into this movie was that he looked too friendly to play Christian Grey. Jamie is a handsome young gentleman who seems very approachable and charming, while Christian Grey is dark and brooding and is meant to intimidate you right down to your core. Dornan wasn’t my first choice for Christian at all. In saying that, he played his role pretty well, and I found him to be a good Christian. Sure, there’s always room for improvement but I think he took the ball and ran with it and I commend him for his performance.

Dakota Johnson, however, was quite underwhelming in her role, and I can’t tell whether it’s because her acting skills leave little to be desired, or Anastasia is that boring of a character that putting in no effort is exactly the way to go. She showed some signs of fire when playing the “cheeky Ana” but other than that, her acting did absolutely nothing for me. And she also needs to invest in some nice underwear. Those saggy whites gotta go. Girl bye.

One of the biggest talking points of this film was “how are they going to make this movie and not turn it into a porno?” Well, I think they did well in that aspect also. The sex scenes were quite steamy and there was some chemistry evident between the two main characters. The way the cameras changed and the different angles used in the sex scenes concealed everything they wanted to conceal and it was done in a tasteful way that made it less porno and more “movie that happens to have sex in it”. Some of the bits were quite surprising and even startled me, someone who admittedly has an open mind to almost everything. There was one bit where I was sitting there watching them getting at it and then suddenly there was a quick shot of Dornan’s wang, and I was like “Oh good golly, where did that come from?”

Wid-o-meter
Storyline: 7/10
Casting and acting: 6.5/10
Experience: 8/10
Overall: 7.5/10

For those who have read the novel, and for those of you who haven’t but have a curiosity about Fifty Shades, I recommend this film to be watched as soon as you have the pennies to do so. It was a good watch and I found myself crying at one point (don’t ask why). There’s always room for improvement but I wasn’t disappointed… well besides the ending, but let’s not get into that.

– by Noah La’ulu

Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service

I’ve paid to see this movie twice already so I should have a pretty clear idea of my reaction to it.

Before I begin this review, I’d just like to point out that last night and last Saturday night, I did the exact same thing: ate two lots of spring rolls and chocolate cake at Sushi Bay, and then watched Kingsman: The Secret Service, in that very order. The only difference is last night I was by myself. It wasn’t even out of choice either. Can you say bizarro?

Enough about my stellar social life… Kingsman: The Secret Service is a new British film starring Colin Firth, Samuel Jackson, Michael Caine and Taron Frotherton… oh I mean Egerton. The film puts Egerton in the role of Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (because we all know someone with the nickname Eggsy), a young charming-yet-aggressive Brit who is thrust into a world of secret missions and high-tech weaponry when he utters the words “Oxfords, not Brogues”. Under the tutelage of Harry Hart (played by Firth), can this juvenile delinquent turn into a proper British gentleman and, in turn, save the world?

Much kill. Many badass.

Much kill. Many badass.

I thought this movie was brilliant. It was funny, wild, explosive, violent and quite confronting in the right dosage. Egerton, who I would go out and say was relatively unknown before his first major film role, played his role spectacularly and I truly thought he was from that part of England, so I was surprised to find out that he’s actually Welsh and is a master of several accents. Colin Firth is Colin Firth, which in laman’s terms, means he was spectacular as per usual. I think all of the main characters were portrayed very well and I didn’t question any of the acting at any point of the film.

If I had to say something bad about the film, I’d have to say that the genre of the film had me confused at several points. It would be an action movie and then comedy elements would be introduced, making it an action-comedy. Not too farfetched. But then it would have very violent elements and the action-comedy turned into a slasher-action-comedy. And then the “happy” ending made it a slasher-action-comedy-porno. After I finished watching it the first time, I wasn’t sure whether this movie was done 100% seriously or it was made to take the piss on other spy-action movies.

Besides that, I thought the storyline was quite unique: the evil mastermind wasn’t that hateable and was actually quite adorable. His scheme to take over the world was one that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before and his method was unusual. The plot of the movie was quite easy to follow, although several things I didn’t understand the first time were made clear to me the second time, and the payoff was well worth it.

Wid-o-meter
Storyline: 8/10
Casting and acting: 8.4/10
Experience: 7.8/10
Overall: 8.2/10

I definitely recommend this movie to anyone who is a fan of either a comedy, action, slasher or even porno flick, if that’s your kinda thing. It’s great in all the right places and is definitely not one of those movies you walk out of thinking “OMG I can’t believe I wasted money on that ticket.”

Oh and Taron Egerton, if you by any chance are reading this, please e-mail us at info@widowslure.com. We love you.

– by Noah La’ulu

The Black Widow’s 30 Day Song Challenge

Having to remember to post a link to a song for 30 days is harder than it looks.

If you haven’t seen it around before (because I’m pretty sure these were floating around ages ago as well), there’s been a 30 Day Song Challenge fad surfacing on social media. What you do is you post a link to a song on your Facebook wall or Twitter profile with the day number and the reason why you’ve chosen said song. If it doesn’t make sense to you, it will soon.

30daysong

In honour of my 30 Day Song Challenge, I’ve decided to post it on here in its entirety, with a few comments attached to it so the reader can understand why I’ve chosen that piece of music.

Without further ado, here is my 30 Day Song Challenge:
Day 1 – Your favourite song
Sam Hunt – Cop Car. I have many favourite songs but this was the one that I thought of straight away. This song is so beautiful and knowing that bae (Hunt) originally co-wrote this for Keith Urban makes it that much greater.

Day 2 – Your least favourite song
Taylor Swift – Blank Space. I’ll keep my words short and sweet here, in fear of a defamation lawsuit, but I am not a fan of Taylor Swift.

Day 3 – A song that makes you happy
Sam Hunt – House Party. How could you not be happy when you listen to this song? I hate this music video though. So disappointed, Sam.

Day 4 – A song that makes you sad
Luther Vandross – Dance with My Father. In a similar manner, how can you not be sad when you listen to this song? I think of my father and start crying immediately.

Day 5 – A song that reminds you of someone
Chaka Demus and Pliers – Murder She Wrote. Tl;dr version of this story: for about the past seven years, I’ve called my best friend Rebecca “Maxine”, and it’s because of this song. It’s a nickname that actually sticks; I sometimes forget that her name isn’t Maxine.

Day 6 – A song that reminds you of somewhere
Ne-Yo – Can We Chill. My family had this album in our car for like the entire two years we lived in Goulburn, so now I have forever attached these tracks to my second favourite country town.

Day 7 – A song that reminds you of a certain event
Big and Rich – Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy). My first experience at CMC Rocks the Hunter was in 2013 and one of the headlining acts was Big and Rich, and they absolutely killed it with this song.

Day 8 – A song that you know all the words to
Nicki Minaj – Anaconda. Once rapped this entire song to my friend Cara on the way home from Manly. Was great.

Day 9 – A song that you can dance to
Little Big Town – Pavement Ends. Line dances for days.

Day 10 – A song that makes you fall asleep
Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence. Dat soothing melody.

Day 11 – A song from your favourite artist
Love and Theft – Thinking of You (and Me). This was my first LNT song. Everyone knows that Love and Theft are my boys. Everyone should grab a copy of their new album Whiskey on my Breath, available February 10.

Day 12 – A song from a band you hate
5 Seconds of Summer – Amnesia. I can’t even describe how much I despise this song.

Day 13 – A song that is a guilty pleasure
Ariana Grande ft The Weeknd – Love Me Harder. Not a fan of Ariana, or the lyrics to this song, or even this Weeknd fella. But I love this song.

Day 14 – A song that no one would expect you to love
Megadeth – She Wolf. Being a country fan, no one expects me to like metal. But I do. And I have a special place in my heart for Megadeth.

Day 15 – A song that describes you
Ne-Yo – Beautiful Monster. My best friend said this song as soon as I asked “What’s a song that describes me?” Not sure if shade or compliment.

Day 16 – A song that you used to love but now hate
Iggy Azalea ft Rita Ora – Black Widow. This song is played too often on the radio and now I’m sick of hearing Rita Ora sing my alias name.

Day 17 – A song that you hear often on the radio
AronChupa – I’m an Albatraoz. I don’t even know what an albatraoz is, and I don’t want to know after hearing this ghastly song on the radio every five minutes.

Day 18 – A song that you wish you heard on the radio
Ashley Madison – Other than My Wife. Technically not a song, but I wish this ad was played on the radio. I don’t necessarily condone the message, but it’s so damn catchy.

Day 19 – A song from your favourite album
Love and Theft – Angel Eyes. Easily the best selling song from the album. I love my boys!!

Day 20 – A song that you listen to when you’re angry
Knife Party – Bonfire. It just sounds like an angry song, doesn’t it?

Day 21 – A song that you listen to when you’re happy
Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al. How could you not be happy when listening to this song?!

Day 22 – A song that you listen to when you’re sad
Love and Theft – If You Ever Get Lonely. This song can make me cry almost instantly, as soon as I hear the intro.

Day 23 – A song that you want to play at your wedding
Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud. Should I choose to get married and have a horrid wedding, this song will play. And I will proceed to do the entire dance.

Day 24 – A song that you want to play at your funeral
Love Spit Love – How Soon is Now? As soon as my coffin is being lowered into the ground, I want this song to be playing. And everyone can cry like Piper and Phoebe did at Prue’s funeral.

Day 25 – A song that makes you laugh
Rihanna – We Found Love. Tl;dr my best mate Alexia has a funny story pertaining to this song and I laugh every time I hear it.

Day 26 – Your birthday song*
Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You. 29th January 1993 reprazent.

Day 27 – A song that you wish you could play
Frederic Chopin – Prelude in E Minor. I’ve always wished I could play this song on the piano. But I can’t. So.

Day 28 – A song that makes you feel guilty
Wiz Khalifa – We Dem Boyz. I think this is the same as a guilty pleasure?

Day 29 – A song from your childhood
Billie Piper – Because We Want To. Anyone who denies being a fan of Billie Piper as a child in the 90s is a fat liar.

Day 30 – Your favourite song at this time last year
Steve Grand – All-American Boy. I imagine this was my favourite song at this time last year because I always played it.

* The originaly 30 Day Song Challenge says day 26 should be “a song that you can play on an instrument”. However, the only song I can play is Mary Had a Little Lamb and I wasn’t about to put that up, so I changed it. Deal with it.

– by Noah La’ulu

Review: A Private Affair

Note to the reader: this book isn’t about a holiday on the beach like the cover suggests. At all.

If you’ve picked up this book (like I did) with the guise that it’s about a bunch of girls who meet on a tropical holiday resort and talk about boys and get into all sorts of drunken shenanigans… you would be wrong. In fact, the cover could not be any more misleading.

A Private Affair by Lesley Lokko is actually a story that follows four very different women with one very big similarity: they have been army wives or girlfriends at one point in their life. Samantha Maitland, a no-nonsense business woman who grew from ugly duckling to beautiful swan meets a mysterious army man on her holiday; Meaghan Astor runs away from her abusive home and finds solace in the handsome Australian army man Tom; Abby Barclay who grew up in an army home, is now the perfect army wife; and Dani Kingsley-Safo, the young and stunning Sierra Leonean with a dark past regarding a mysterious army man.

Misleading, right?

Misleading, right?

I’ll start by saying that I’ve heard some pleasant things about Lokko and her writing so I was expecting pretty good things by this book, especially because it is a very thick read. However, I was pretty let down and I was pretty disappointed by this book in general.

Besides the fact the cover is misleading, I just thought some of the scenes in the book very irrelevant to the overall storyline of the novel. The flashbacks for all four characters were to set their story and describe the type of person that they are, and most of it did that, sure. But some of the scenes were just pointless and some stories were told for no ultimate reason.

Regarding the characters, the only character I really connected with was Meaghan and that was because she’s Australian. The closest character I even remotely felt something for was Nick Beasdale. I didn’t feel a single spark with any other main character and thought they were bland. Dani was annoying and I genuinely resented reading her parts of the story; Samantha was a pain in the arse and fell for a guy straight away because he looked at her; and Abby was a selfish mutt. I would like to say why, but it’ll spoil the story. But that’s just my opinion.e

This book was really hard to get into and it took me well over three months to finally put the book down and declare it finished. Granted, there were some saving graces about the book (Meaghan and Tom’s cute relationship anyone?) but I thought the novel overall was rather uninteresting. I will say that it did shed some interesting light on a topic I had no prior knowledge on but wish I did: being an army wife. I never imagined it’d be as difficult or as lonely as this book had described and sympathised with Meaghan and Abby as they would go days or sometimes months without seeing their better half. It also gave a brief insight onto what it’s like in the army, and that to me was pretty great.

Wid-o-meter
Storyline: 5/10
Style of writing: 5.2/10
Overall: 5.1/10

The misleading cover may have put this result to bed but the disappointing storyline put the nail on the coffin. Being my first Lokko book, it is sad to admit that this is my first impression of her. But, alas, like a good reader, I won’t let that stray me away from reading her other stuff.

– by Noah La’ulu