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  1. Before I jump into things, I have to mention something real quick. So last year I posted a review of Fifty Shades Darker to /r/movies. It generated some interest, actually reaching the Front Page of Reddit. As you can see from the link, though, it was removed by the mods. Rightfully so, I would say. It did veer pretty far off track. The mods explained that that's something that is not entirely appropriate for the subreddit. I tend to agree. With that it mind, I have taken special care to stay on topic with this post and follow the rules in the sidebar. I hope you find it informative.
  2.  
  3. Anyway, on to the movie. Be aware that I SPOIL just about the whole movie.
  4.  
  5. For anyone who doesn't know, Fifty Shades Freed is the final chapter of E.L. James "Fifty Shades" series of literary erotica. Some will recall the splash these books made when initially published a few years back. At the time, they barely registered in my world. Mere blips on a radar.
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  7. But just last year, after seeing The Fifty Shades Rises while on a date (spoilers for that film in the link), I began to look at the series in a different light. I now recall the movie with great fondness. I appreciate it for providing me with inspiration both in the bedroom as well as in the workplace.
  8.  
  9. So it was that I found myself shelling out actual hard currency for the second time in a year to see a Fifty Shades movie. This time, it was for an opening night showing. Because of that implied prestige, my girlfriend insisted I dress nicely, and not wear any shoes with velcro. Apparently, that time we went to see The Greatest Showman a couple months ago was still very fresh in her mind, because I was under strict orders not smuggle any Fireball whiskey into the theater. I told her that wouldn't be a problem, that I loved her and would never ruin any funeral or Hugh Jackman movie ever again.
  10.  
  11. Since it was opening night, we did have to wait in line for an hour before being let into the theater. Not a big deal for me. My crocs were very comfortable. And I had that box of white zinfandel to help pass the time. Sure, the theater manager tried to confiscate it, but I told him it was medication I use to treat my SIDS, so he backed off. My girlfriend wasn't too pleased, but I was technically doing as told, which left her with no recourse beyond sulking.
  12.  
  13. After nearly an hour long wait, we finally were allowed into the theater itself. Before the movie began, we were treated to yet another "sneak peak" of TNT's The Alienist, as well as the obligatory twenty minutes of trailers. This gave me ample time to study my fellow theater patrons.
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  15. Just like last time, it was a veritable sea of affluent middle-aged women. If the audience were an automobile, it would have been an Infiniti QX80, one with a back window full of decals depicting each immediate family member in stick figure form. And me and the sweatpants-clad dude sitting front row center would be the dents the Infiniti sustained on its last trip to Whole Foods. Actually, it appeared to be the same dude from last time. By the looks of it, he hadn't washed those sweatpants in the last year. We briefly made eye contact during the preview Amy Schumer's soon-to-be classic "I Feel Pretty." Looking into his eyes, I think I might have seen myself staring back, although it is entirely possible that I was merely drunk at the time. Which I was.
  16.  
  17. So what about the actual movie?
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  19. Fifty Shades Freed begins with a gorgeous wedding. These nuptials are the culmination of the love affair between Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.....'s bank account. Seriously, you can almost hear the warranty on her panties get voided the moment she realizes she just became part owner of a Gulfstream.
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  21. The money certainly goes a long way when it comes to dealing with her new husband. Throughout the series, Ana has grown in mind, spirit, and asshole diameter. Yet Christian seems steadfast in his desire to remain a vacuous douche:
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  23. He makes Ana conceal her titties while honeymooning on the Côte d'Azur (from the French, meaning "place to show off titties"), not because the southern European sun, strong as it is pretentious, can potentially damage them, but because they might "end up in some tabloid."
  24.  
  25. He shows up to Ana's job unannounced after discovering she has not changed her email to reflect her marital status ("The Grey's have a long standing relationship with the hotmail people, Ana, they don't even charge us for their service!").
  26.  
  27. Finally, he bemoans the thought of his wife becoming pergnant.
  28.  
  29. "Kids mean no sex," he whines.
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  31. "If that were true, there would be no siblings," Ana gently reminds him, using the same tone my sister has when telling my nephew, Stewart, that he shouldn't eat his own shit. Mrs. Elena Troll Bitch Face Robinson may have taught Christian the in's and out's of humping, but he must have tuned out when they were going over basic reproduction. Some people just want to dance before they can walk.
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  33. Still, there are some hints of growth in Christian's mostly dense character: he buys Ana a shitty house, briefly grows a beard, and plays a piano. Also, he's apparently doing "work in Africa." Whether that means harvesting blood diamonds or building orphanages is unclear. Probably a little of both. That fleet of Audi SUV's don't buy themselves.
  34.  
  35. The focus of the Fifty Shades is still on Anastasia, however. This is a good thing. Dakota Johnson has a better butt than Jaimé Dornan after all, although it's a close race. And she's just plain relateable. Based on their reactions, much of the audience at my showing saw a bit of Ana in themselves. I did as well, except the opposite.
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  37. Garnering one of the biggest reactions was the scene where Ana admonishes the family architect for making eyes at her hubby. The way she verbally deconstructed the poor lady evinced a wave of gleeful tittering throughout the theater. I remember feeling a great swell of pity for the housekeepers and nannies unfortunate enough to be employed by one of these women in the coming days.
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  39. Not long after, a car chase had everyone on the edge of their seat. Ana was at the wheel (how forward thinking of Christian to allow a lady to drive herself) of a spanking new Audi R8. She needed all 610 of its horsepowers from its V10 engine to escape the twelve year old pre-owned Dodge Durango tailing them. To celebrate evading capture, they pull into a public parking lot and bang it out in the passenger seat, showing off the R8's impressive headroom in the process. Looking around the theater, I could almost see the mice turning the wheels in the heads of the other theater patrons. I remember feeling a great swell of jealousy for the salesmen and finance managers fortunate enough to be employed by the local Audi dealership in the coming days.
  40.  
  41. Before we go any further, I should probably talk about the plot a bit.
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  43. It's basically the Grey's learning to be married while simultaneously dealing with Ana's devious ex-boss, Jack Hyde, and his kidnapping attempts. There is one subplop involving Christian's perpetually gum-chomping brother, Elliot. It seems he might be sleeping with the family architect. It doesn't really matter.
  44.  
  45. What does matter is the sex. It's why we all showed up, after all. You will recall the high point of the previous film:
  46.  
  47. Ana and Christian are getting ready to go out. As she fixes her hair, he whips out a pair of stainless steel Ben Wa balls and waves them in her face.
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  49. "You're not going to put those in my butt..." Ana says while most likely recalling events from the first movie.
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  51. Turns out, they weren't for her butt. Christian had other plans for the orbs. Specifically, he makes her slobber on them, then bends her over and slides the moistened balls in her vag. I myself let out an audible gasp at this development, as did the numerous middle-aged women to my right. I think one of them might have tinkled a bit.
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  53. Christian doesn't stop there, though. He then proceeds to take Ana, balls in (camel) tow, to a charity gala hosted...by his parents. Throughout the event, Ana squirms in ecstacy with each sudden movement. Christian cracks a joke and her laughter is cut short because she has to hold back an orgasm. This part of the movie, to me, ends up being rather thought provoking. As in, it made me wonder how many women go around with Ben Wa balls inside them all day and could that possibly explain why my Nana has been so jumpy lately?
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  55. That one is hard to top. A scene in the famed "Rumpus Room" gets off to an arousing start, but ends prematurely. Another potential shower sequence is cut short, too, most likely because the insurers of Fifty Shades Freed refused to cover a lovemaking scene in that most dangerous of household fixtures.
  56.  
  57. The closest Fifty Shades Freed gets to Fifty Shades Darker's high water mark is the following midnight rendezvous on a table.
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  59. The table in question exists in the kitchen of a house, in Aspen, rented by Christian, for Ana and her closest friends. Ana is eating ice cream alone on that table when Christian stumbles upon her. He wants ice cream. Her ice cream.
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  61. She appears to oblige him. Smiling, she waves a spoonful in front of his face, even makes all the necessary airplane noises. It looks like Christian is about to get ice cream. But then she blue-balls him, swooping the ice cream away from him and eating it herself.
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  63. Christian is not deterred. He is a billionaire, after all. That has to count for something. He gives her the trademark Christian Grey scowl. Ana begins to wave the spoon again, this time while making helicopter noises. Apparently, Christian didn't see Fifty Shades Darker, though, because if he had, he would know helicopters are a bad omen. It holds true in this film, too. Rather than bringing the spoonful of ice cream to his face hole, Ana instead drizzles it on his chest. Fool me once, shame on you. A fooled man can't get fooled again, Christian.
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  65. This is where things get messy. Ice cream ends up in the pubes of both parties, after which they lick it off one another. I'm pretty sure neither Ben nor Jerry intended their product to be used in such a manner. Be on the lookout for a warning label on your pint of Cherry Garcia in the coming months.
  66.  
  67. After cleansing each other of dessert, the Grey's take the opportunity to make sex on the kitchen table, the same one everyone has breakfast on the following morning. Okay, there is no breakfast scene, but there should.
  68.  
  69. What about the rest of the movie?
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  71. Well, I won't do a play-by-play of everything, but I will say there there is a climax involving Jack Hyde and a decidedly unsexy form of bondage (unless you find kidnapping sexy). Chekov's gun is utilized to some effect. Another bit that looked to be the first instance of Chekov's buttplug in cinematic history sadly proved to be a red herring.
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  73. The dwindling moments of Fifty Shades Freed are used to wrap the trilogy up all neat and tidy. We are even a treated to an actual montage near the end. It features some of the high points of the film series and is set to Ellie Goulding's "Love Me Like A Dude." Needless to say, tears were shed by all, though in my case, it was because I had just realized I was out of white zin.
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  75. In the end, I really enjoyed Fifty Shades Freed. Yes, the movie is aimed at a decidedly specific - and, in my opinion, underserved - demographic, one which I am not part of. But like I mentioned in my review of Fifty Shades Darker; go in with the right mindset, and it's really quite entertaining. Especially in a theater, surrounded by the intended audience. I'm obviously not implying that only especially enlightened neckbeards, such as myself, are capable of finding virtue in this genre. I am merely putting forth my opinion that the entire Fifty Shades series has entertainment value that may not be immediately evident.
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  77. Anyway, thanks for reading. Hope a few of you found it helpful. I will be happy to answer any questions.
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