Weekend Movies: James Bondage

I love that Valentine’s Day has become a perfect faux holiday where we’re guaranteed to get not only the expected romance-driven drama, but guy-pleasing counterprogramming too. This weekend brings an S&M chick flick and a high-octane spy adventure.

The most-talked-about movie of the weekend is the highly controversial ‘Fifty Shades of Grey‘. Focus Features is pumping out the racy erotic drama on more than 3,600 screens. The nearly-unknown Dakota Johnson and definitely-unknown Jamie Dornan star in this adaptation of a ‘Twilight’ fan-fiction about a plain and innocent girl who falls for a handsome tycoon secretly into some seriously freaky stuff. Like a standard porno, it all leads up to her giving into his painful fantasies. Be prepared for more than 20 minutes of blush-inducing sex in this 125-minute movie.

For the men who don’t give a damn about trash novels, there’s the testosterone-filled action flick from Matthew Vaughn, ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service‘. Vaughn, who’s constantly attaching himself to and dropping out of projects, decided it was time to adapt another Mark Millar comic book… errr, “graphic novel.” Thank heaven he did, because the result is an all-out blast. Imagine ‘X-Men: First Class’ meets ‘Kick-Ass’ by way of a classic James Bond movie. Relatively unknown Taron Egerton stars as a kid who gets recruited to join a secret British organization of classy gentlemen spies – only he’s pretty rough around the edges. If he doesn’t get weeded out during the intense and deadly training process, he might come up useful in foiling a global catastrophe planned by a villainous and lispy Samuel L. Jackson. Get ready for a cinematic shot of adrenaline.

If you’re a fan of Anna Kendrick from her aca-okay performance in the musical comedy ‘Pitch Perfect’ and can’t wait to see her in the upcoming sequel, the limited release ‘The Last Five Years‘ should tide you over. Based on the off-Broadway stage musical, Kendrick stars alongside Some Guy as a couple whose marriage and affairs are dissected over a five-year period. Sounds tedious to me, so I’ll stick with the similar ‘Five-Year Engagement‘.

After a year of winning over audiences on the festival circuit, we’re finally getting ‘What We Do in the Shadows‘, which appears to be the Sundance 2014 version of Sundance 2010’s ‘Tucker and Dale vs. Evil‘. (Both movies took ages to see the light of day.) This horror-comedy mockumentary was co-written and co-directed by half of Flight of the Conchords. Jemaine Clement co-stars as one of three several-hundred-year-old vampires who are burned out on their standard tasks of survival and want something new. Clocking in at 87 minutes, I’ve received first-hand accounts of its hilarity. With the tagline “Some Interviews with Some Vampires,” this may be a title to give a rent the moment it pops up On-Demand.

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