Friday, July 25, 2014

Finally! The trailer you've been waiting for!

I watched it, so you don't have to. Watch it if you want to.

Everything looks awfully accurate, which is too bad, but makes sense. The producers took a look at the numbers and saw that a hundred billion people read the book, so they concluded that there was no logical reason to try to make a movie that would speak to anyone besides committed fans. So they made a movie for committed fans.

I do predict that this movie is going to be better than the book, even though the trailer is pretty bland. Why? Well, I'll tell you. The first thing is that we'll be missing one of the book's biggest drawbacks: unbearably dum narration. Not having to be in Ana's head for two hours will make the movie goddamn delightful in comparison to the book. Oh that leads me to the second good thing about the movie: it's probably two hours long, and it took me a lot longer to read the book. So points for the book!

The only thing present in the trailer that's not part of the book is the shot of CG jogging. The book is so, so talky, and so static, so it makes sense to me that the director was desperate to find some moments where people actually move around besides when they're doing sex. The only time anyone ever moves around in the books is during sex, and you can't put all that much sex into an all-audiences trailer. That's also, I expect, the reason the helicopter and the glider are in the trailer. Both suggest people going somewhere and doing a thing, even though careful readers will note that these are both completely pointless elements. I guess they actually go somewhere in the helicopter but the glider? The chapter featuring the glider is the most pointless in the entire book. It's like a rich-people version of playing miniature golf. Twenty pages of CG and Ana playing putt-putt would've made every bit as much sense.

But yeah- the book is made up exclusively of conversations and sex. The trailer is mostly conversations, with some attempt to make things seem dramatic, but I think the trailer makes plain the book's biggest problem: nothing actually happens.

The trailer does have one huge thing going for it, of course, and that's the next-level great new version of Beyonce's "Crazy in Love." Right? I mean, can I buy that single yet? Like, it's legit so good that you can almost enjoy the trailer if you just don't watch it and listen to it instead and try not to listen to any of the voice of people talking. It's so good that if, somehow? The movie just had Beyonce sounding like that playing the whole time? Or whatever. Just that song on loop for two hours? ALL THE OSCARS.

But in real life that's a four-minute song and they probably won't even use all four minutes of it in the actual film. Hence, no matter what you think of this trailer, you must must agree that the actual movie will be garbage in comparison, because it will have lots of non-Beyonce parts, and the non-Beyonce parts are just going to make you angry.

Am I overstating this? Perhaps! I'm probably drunk (Editor's note: he probably is, sure, but not in a legal sense.) and more important, this terrible book just makes me desperate to enjoy things. The book itself makes me miserable, and the trailer itself is just kinda bland, so anything that's actually good is going to look so good in comparison.

I think, though, that the song itself kind of points out some of the problems with the book, which are likely going to translate into problems with the film.

CG says something like "I exercise restraint in all things," which isn't really true. He's not restrained so much as calculating and cold. So I feel like the trailer is kind of trying to suggest a romance where a couple of characters are "crazy in love" OH SHIT LIKE THAT SONG CALLED THAT! but that isn't really what happens. I guess Ana kinda gets swept up in things kinda? But not really. It's more like "sociopath in love" and that's why the only way to make this movie truly accurately would really be to cast Benedict Cumberbatch and for the director to say, "Hey just pretend you're still playing Sherlock and just do whatever he would do if he were rich and liked to spank people."

But really, you know that part in the trailer where they kiss in an elevator or whatever? That's right after CG says the famous line, "Fuck the paperwork." As in, he kisses her without first having her fill out certain bits of paperwork. That's how crazy in love he is: he kisses a lady who wants to kiss him without having her sign any forms first. This is not a story about two people getting swept away in an intense romance. It's the story of a guy who's a real asshole slowly bullying a woman into doing whatever he wants. The director is wise, though, and is trying to play up the parts that suggest "swept away" and downplaying the whole "sociopath" angle just a little bit.


I should start a kickstarter. "Send me to see 50 Shades so I can blog about it!" I could probably raise twelve bucks, right? Some of you would throw in a quarter, right? I'm sure you would! Sure you would!

Maybe I should just buy the Beyonce single and pretend I'm watching the movie. That'd be cheaper! And also way better.

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