A (Partial) Defense of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

50 Shades of Grey defense

Let’s get this out of the way: Fifty Shades of Grey* has some massively problematic aspects. Its pathologization of dominant sexual behavior is deeply hypocritical, considering that the movie delights in that exact same behavior. And it’s especially distasteful to portray Christian Grey’s taste for BDSM sex as unhealthy while glossing over his borderline abusive behavior outside of the bedroom, like his habit of showing up at Anastasia’s house uninvited or selling off her possessions without asking.

But to consequently dismiss Fifty Shades of Grey as “bad for women” (or men for that matter) does it and its fans a disservice. For all Fifty Shades of Grey gets wrong about adult relationships and BDSM, it still offers something rare and valuable: a portrait of female sexuality that’s entirely by, for, and about women.

(* To clarify, were talking exclusively about Fifty Shades of Grey the movie here. Fifty Shades of Grey the book is a whole different beast, and as I haven’t read it I can’t discuss it.) Read More »

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Joe Swanberg Work Wife

Over the past decade, Joe Swanberg has built himself a nice career in the indie realm. He rose to prominence as one of the leading figures of the mumblecore movement, then had two of his most high-profile hits yet in 2013’s Drinking Buddies and 2014’s Happy Christmas. But now he’s ready to mix things up.

Swanberg is set to direct Work Wife, his first-ever studio project, for New Line. Trophy Wife‘s Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins wrote the script. More on the Joe Swanberg Work Wife project after the jump.  Read More »

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Sequels Are Coming

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey soundss like a disaster in some respects, but it’s already looking like a success in a commercial sense. It’s already one of the fastest-selling R-rated advance tickets in history, and is on track to become one of the biggest Valentine’s Day openings in history. It’s even helped boost January movie ticket sales by 37% over last year.

And you know what that means: Sequels are coming. They’ll be based on the two other books from the Fifty Shades trilogy, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. Just be glad we haven’t heard of plans to split the finale into two films. More on the Fifty Shades of Grey sequels after the jump.  Read More »

Jennifer Lawrence in Passengers

It’s been a turbulent week for Sony but the studio is moving forward full-speed ahead on the long-awaited realization of Jon Spaihts‘ sci-fi script Passengers. Director Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game, Headhunters) just came on to direct earlier this week, a couple months after Sony grabbed rights to the script following failed development efforts at other companies. And now Jennifer Lawrence is in early talks to play one of the two lead roles, which instantly turns Passengers into a top-tier project — assuming her schedule allows her to sign on.

Update: Just after we published this, another report revealed Chris Pratt as being in early talks for the second lead role, opposite Lawrence.

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The Bad Batch cast

The Bad Batch is the new project from A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night director Ana Lily Amirpour, backed by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Productions and VICE. That’s a good combo right there. Now Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones, Batman v Superman) has been announced as being in talks for a major role, and with that announcement come some new script details.

We knew that The Bad Batch was being called “a dystopian love story set in Texas.” Now there’s a lot more, including a description of the movie as “a cross between The Road Warrior and Pretty in Pink.” Read More »

Robert Zemeckis Brad Pitt

Robert Zemeckis has just lined up his next project and he’s bringing along one of the biggest movie stars in the world. Brad Pitt will co-star in a currently-untitled “sweeping romantic thriller” directed by Zemeckis and written by Steve Knight. Early reports are that the film is set during World War II. Read a few more details about the Robert Zemeckis Brad Pitt film below. Read More »

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new Passengers director

We’ve talked about the script Passengers for years. The Jon Spaihts-penned script landed on the Black List back in 2007, and has wound through a very long development process ever since. It revolves around a man who is accidentally awakened during a long voyage to colonize a new planet. Faced with the likely possibility of living and dying alone on the ship, he wakes another passenger for companionship.

In the past couple years Passengers had Keanu Reeves attached to star, at one point with Rachel McAdams in the other lead role. But things have continued to change. Now The Imitation Game and Headhunters director Morten Tyldum (above, right, on the set of The Imitation Game) is in talks to be the new Passengers director, and he’ll put together a new cast.  Read More »

Fifty Shades of Grey

The kind of games Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele like to play aren’t really the kind of games you can see on national television. But they can be advertised during a game that is. Focus Features has just released the Fifty Shades of Grey Super Bowl spot, and you can check it out after the jump. Read More »

Amira & Sam

Martin Starr has been all over the place since Freaks & Geeks, but more often than not he’s relegated to a supporting role as a geeky weirdo. It’s a treat, then, to finally see him take center stage in Amira & Sam. And as a straightforward romantic lead, no less.

The charming trailer features Starr as an Army vet trying to re-adjust to civilian life in New York City. He befriends and then falls for a lively Iraqi woman (Dina Shihabi) suffering immigration troubles. Check out the Amira and Sam trailer after the jump.

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