Movie: Fifty Shades Darker

Despite the very low ratings on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes for the sequel to “Fifty Shades of Gray” that came out 2 years go, the second movie “Fifty Shades Darker” will still probably make a great deal of money only because people are sexually curious about what the actors do in several scenes in this film. As far as any kind of measurable compelling or interesting story, there really isn’t one in this movie or original one. The story for both of these films is surprisingly run of the mill and uninteresting, so you wonder why those 3 books made so much money for the author E.L. James, other than people are curious about the sexual acts mostly involving domination and submission.

You could also argue that no author of any book series has made more money and fame from less quality in the history of writing. Admittedly, this film is better and less stupid than the original one, but you have to at many times during both of these movies feel bad for the young actors trying to break into a career in Hollywood, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. As they read this script they had to weigh their desire to make movies in Hollywood against the mostly humiliating sex scenes which are at times pretty close to soft-core pornographic. They must have been worried about getting this big one-time score in their careers and then never working again.

The one part of this movie that I thought was only standout moment was when Dakota’s character takes over her bosses job and has a conversation with a co-worker who was now working for her, that was word for word the same as the ending scene in Working Girl, that starred her mother Melanie Griffith. As an avid movie-goer, I recognized the great dialogue in this very good movie from 1988 immediately. Working Girl is one of the best movies about the potential nightmares of working for other people, ever produced. And like any of us who have had their outrageous problems working for anyone, the happy and just ending in this movie was one of the best I have ever seen.

Kim Basinger and Marcia Gay Hardin also make appearances in this mostly bad film and considering that both of them won academy awards, I was thinking that perhaps given their age there are not that many movies offered to them because there is practically nothing worthwhile in terms of an opportunity for quality acting in this entire movie.

While this movie is better and less ridiculous than the first installment, I cannot recommend it.

Movie Review: The Space Between Us

Some years ago I heard an amazing news report that there were plans for future trips to Mars, where all of the people who were going to go to Mars would take years to get there and more years to start a colony and then never return home. For a long time after this news report, I wondered why anyone would want to do something like this because essentially it’s a death sentence and you would never see the planet earth again. You just had to wonder how many of the people who one day would make a dangerous life decision like this and then on the way there, or after experiencing many terrifying hardships, would later greatly regret their decision to leave the planet Earth to eventually die on Mars.

One can only imagine the thousands of mishaps that could occur during a mission to colonize Mars, including traveling for months or years to the planet, then after you arrive and trying to build a permanent colony that can support human life millions of miles from earth. I then thought that this idea is a great story for Hollywood and recently there have already been several movies about traveling to Mars, last year The Martian starring Matt Damon as one example. The Martian addressed several of the many possible mishaps that could happen if we ever send several people to Mars and then attempt to return them back to Earth. Later this year the movie “Life” will be released about a trip to Mars, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds.

Over the years, there have probably been many conference room tables in Hollywood where producers have pitched their stories about traveling to and colonizing Mars. The possible stories about a trip like this are so interesting and compelling so we will definitely see many more movies about Mars in future years. Considering all of this, one has to wonder how a movie as ridiculous as “The Space Between Us” could have been greenlighted by any producer.

The start of this movie and the idea behind it I thought was very promising. A group of scientists and astronauts were about to travel to Mars but one of the astronauts is pregnant prior to leaving, but soon after this you realize that there is no way the medical scientists working at NASA would not notice that a female astronaut was pregnant before leaving the Earth to travel to Mars. Some 18 years later the internet relationship between her son who is now living his life on Mars and some young woman who lives in Colorado is also absurd as is the later explanation that he is able to travel back to earth to meet her and then try and find his father. Colonizing Mars is also an ambition that is probably 15 to 20 years in the future and accepting this fact, this entire film looked like it was taking place in the present day, which was yet another illogical part of this contrived story but was probably done this way to save the budget of the film.

The entire story of The Space Between Us is contrived and ridiculous throughout and made me believe that in order to save on special effects, the producers decided to re-write this film into a love story and even a chase film that all happens on Earth. In the end, there is an attempt to provide a twist that I saw coming a mile away, so even the ending had no real redeeming qualities. I was surprised to see two respected actors in this film, Carla Gugino and Gary Oldman because they must have read this script and still took their parts. It is one thing to remain relevant and active in Hollywood, it is quite another thing to resolve as an actor to only make quality movies.

This is a pretty bad movie that should have been sent to the DVD shelves.