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?”

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 The Black Widow

Review: Fifty Shades Freed

The time for me has finally come… the end of the Fifty Shades trilogy. As always, when I finish a book or book series, it’s bittersweet – I’ve finally reached the ending and all the loose ends of the novel come together (hopefully, anyway) but that’s it. The story’s finished. I’m glad I finally found the spare time in my day to finish this book since I’ve been on it for a good month and a bit.

Bye bye Christian.

Bye bye Christian.

The final leg of Christian and Anastasia’s story arrives in the form of Fifty Shades Freed. As always, if you haven’t read the first two books and intend to, I implore you to read no further than this. The novel starts off with Christian and Anastasia being happily married – or as happily as one could be married to someone as irritating as Anastasia. The novel follows the dramatic rollercoaster their lives take as they live as man and wife.

My first strong initial thought on this novel’s plot was that it seemed like it wasn’t planned. Most of the novel read slow and then voila! Action just springs out of nowhere. And then it goes back to its slow state. It’s as if the author was like “Hmm… nothing interesting has happened… let me chuck in a dramatic twist in the plot to keep readers entertained!” Those were my thoughts anyway. I would imagine an author like EL James had thoroughly planned out the final book in the trilogy.

Can I just say that the epilogue of the novel is adorable? Well, not the first part of it but the rest is #totesadorbs.

Christian and Ana’s relationship is sweet and unconventional. Yes, we get it. Christian loves Ana. Yes, we get it. Until the end of the book, nothing new had developed in their relationship and we were treated with the usual dialogue of “Ermahgerd, my Fifty Shades, my sweet Fifty Shades, I love you, why don’t you believe me?” The interactions between the two characters were so repetitive that it felt like deja vu. Luckily, in a form of saving grace, the storyline picked up by the end of the book and I saw some spark in Christian and he became… human. But Anastasia is still annoying. Nothing will ever save that. Ana, her subconscious and her inner goddess need to, like, leave.

I also felt as if some issues weren’t totally resolved… like Ethan and Mia? What happened with them? I know that Ana took note of them “holding hands” at one point, but then that was it. No further explanation. They could be in love just as much as they could be in their own S&M agreement.

The style of writing was the same. Not impressive but not bad either, with little tidbits of descriptive gold hiding in certain chapters of the book. One thing I thought was good and bad at the same time was the way. Sentences would. Read. Like this. I get that it adds dramatic effect and it makes you feel that Anastasia is, in fact, human, and humans do not think in grammatically correct sentences; at the same time, it got a bit tedious at times and it hurt my eyes. Only a slight exaggeration.

Storyline: 6.6/10
Style of writing: 6.0/10
Overall:  6.4/10

It was a decent ending but it wasn’t “ERMAHGERD HOW WILL I LIVE WITHOUT FIFTY SHADES IN MY LIFE” amazing. At least it gave me closure on their relationship with the beautiful epilogue and I feel as if I can move on with my own life without having that constant need of Fifty Shades in my life. Thanks for the wild ride, EL James.

– by The Black Widow

The Bachelors of the Books

Since women (and men alike) were introduced to the devilishly handsome vampire Edward Cullen and “shutup you’re not really 18” heartthrob Jacob Black from the Twilight series, there has been a noticeable influx of paperback princes in romance novels with authors trying to create that perfect man for readers to swoon over. Insert GPOY here.

As a romance novel enthusiast, I’ve decided to list my top 6 “Bachelors of the Books”. These men, commonly referred to as “book boyfriends”, not only steal your heart but make you feel that love – because everyone deserves to be loved, even if it’s within the confinement of a novel. Brace yourself and get ready to swooooooooon.

NOTE: The images provided are pictures of men who I believe represent the character exceptionally or actors who have been cast as the character in movie adaptations of this book.

#6 Dean Holder (Hopeless by Colleen Hoover)
“Dean Holder? Messy brown hair? Smoldering blue eyes? A temper straight out of Fight Club?” This quote represents Mr. Dean Holder perfectly. Dean Holder has this captivating aura of confident swag about him – “You probably faked passing out the other day, just so you could be carried in my hot, sweaty, manly arms.” However, like most bad boys, he’s troubled. Women loooooove their troubled men. Here’s to thinking that Sky is one lucky, lucky gal.

#5 Daniel “Monty” Montgomery (Outback Dreams by Rachael Johns)
One of the best things about Outback Dreams was how close to home it was (on the other side of the country, but still). The best thing about it, however – and other readers could attest for this as well – was the character Monty. A true man’s man, this outback handyman knows what he wants and goes for it, regardless of the consequences, whether it be for his dream farm or for Faith Forrester’s heart. A couple of dick moves here and there, but hey, nobody’s perfect. He sure comes close to it though. What confuses me is this: how Faith could overlook Monty for so long is beyond me.

#4 Christian Grey (Fifty Shades Trilogy by EL James)
Everybody’s favourite bajillionaire BDSM dom enthusiast Christian Grey has won over a lot of hearts since Fifty Shades of Grey. The word “damaged” doesn’t even begin to describe how royally fucked Christian is: he’s cold, distant, controlling and unnecessarily possessive. Underneath all of that is a caring, gentle soul that is just in need of some tender lovin’ care. He’s got to be incredible for putting up with Anastasia for so long. He’s also totally baben, but that’s beside the point. I dare you to listen to Prelude in E Minor by Frédéric Chopin (a song he plays on the piano in the first book) and not feel how much pain he’s in. Jamie Dornan might be the new Christian Grey, but I still think Jessie Pavelka is my Christian.

#3 Bennett Ryan (Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren)
The title Beautiful Bastard describes Bennett Ryan to a tee – he’s beautiful, and he’s a deadset asshat bastard. Although, much like Chloe Mills, you couldn’t help but find the young CEO intriguing. Also a gajillionaire so early in his life, Bennett is the type of man that can irritate you one moment and have you wrapped around his little finger the next. His charm is almost outweighed by his arrogance. He’s spontaneous, he’s handsome, and he’s a horny prick. Stock up on underwear and avoid being alone with him in the stairwell… just kidding. Women would jump at the chance of a stairwell encounter with Bennett.

#2 Michael (Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson)
Michael (only referred to as simply Michael) is a dream man – literally. Why? Because he’s imaginary. 9-year-old Jane Margaux (Claremont, if you watch the movie adaptation) needed a friend. Enter Michael, the handsome imaginary friend who knows everything about Jane – her hopes, her fears, her favourite dessert… you name it. Several years later and this imaginary heartthrob is back. Who doesn’t want a big, masculine man to walk you to and from work after giving you flowers? Michael is also willing to punch out his friend for disrespecting women – yeah, that happened. A little spoiler alert: Michael becomes real, so at least you can say you’ve fallen for a real book character, not an imaginary one.

#1 Travis Maddox (Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire)
Travis Maddox is the right balance of sweet charm and rough badass. A panty-droppin’ player turned one-woman man, Travis is the whole package: he’s big, he’s strong, he’s got killer tatts, he rides a motorcycle and can also fight with the best of them. He’s also motivated and cunning and romantic and knows how to make a woman feel as if she’s the only one. Only Travis can make a nickname “Pidgeon” totally adorable. His never-give-up attitude is infectious and his need for cuddling makes him seem the ultimate gentle giant. If you want a man who is that dedicated to you that he gets your name tattooed on his arm, well, Travis is your man!

If you’re still alive after all that epic swoonage, I suggest you purchase all of these books from your nearest bookstore (preferably Dymocks because I love that place) and join the world in falling in love with fictitious men. It’s not as insane as it sounds.

The storylines aren’t bad either.

– by The Black Widow

My Take on the Fifty Shades Movie

If you’ve been living under a rock or your mind has been too smothered by the whole political vote in Straya, then you wouldn’t know that the roles of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey have officially been cast for the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie. As a Fifty Shades enthusiast and overall lover, I have my own opinion on the cast and what I like and don’t like about them.

Anastasia Steele
Who they’ve cast: Dakota Johnson

I would imagine her locks would be dyed brown for the role.

I would imagine her locks would be dyed brown for the role.

Who I think they should’ve castMary Elizabeth Winstead

This was (the closest I could get to) my Anastasia.

This was (the closest I could get to) my Anastasia.

I didn’t have a very high opinion of Anastasia to begin with and because, as a reader, you take her perspective, I couldn’t really get a clear image of what she looked like. What I pictured was a somewhat beautiful brunette who bit her lip way too much. Now, this isn’t a knock on Mary Elizabeth because the woman is stunning, no questions asked, but she is the closest I could get to what I thought Anastasia looked like. Now, when Dakota Johnson eventually dyes her hair brown for the role, I can actually see a bit of Anastasia in her, but I’m going to be perfectly honest – I couldn’t care less about the casting of Anastasia because the character is as dull as white walls.

Could Johnson play a good Anastasia? Maybe. I haven’t seen her in anything that I can remember but she has the look to be a “self-conscious and really annoying” character. You can bet your bottom dollar I will be critiquing everything when the movie comes out, and if she doesn’t step up to the plate as Ana, manure will be hitting the ceiling.

Now onto the more important role of the movie…

Christian Grey
Who they’ve cast: 
Charlie Hunnam

Known from his role as Jax on Sons of Anarchy.

Known from his role as Jax on Sons of Anarchy.

Who I think they should’ve cast: Jessie Pavelka


This is “my Fifty Shades”, as Ana would say.

While Jessie isn’t really known for his acting chops, I quite frankly do not give a damn. Buy the man some acting lessons if you must because when I pictured Christian in my head, he looked exactly like Jessie Pavelka – albeit a little less happy. So needless to say I was almost outraged when I saw Charlie Hunnam cast in the role because he is not what I had in mind. At all. Ask my parents how outraged I was because they got the brunt of my anger.

In Hunnam’s defense, he is an exceptional actor as I have witnessed on Sons of Anarchy and it’d be interesting for him to shift into the role of the calm and mysterious Christian Grey. If he lets me down, however… manure. Ceiling.

Christian is the main thing I like about the series and I will be absolutely devastated if they don’t get it up to my – and a lot of other readers – standards. So, Hunnam, you have got some VERY big shoes to fill. At the end of the day, I am anxiously waiting for the movie to come out because I am ecstatic to see the world of Anastasia and Christian come to life!

– by The Black Widow