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Saturday, February 14, 2015

50 Shades of "Hey, Let's Go See Something Else"

While millions of horned-up housewives make the filmed adaptation of E. L. James’ pervy non-classic, 50 Shades of Grey, the number one movie at the box office this weekend, I’ll be joining my fellow cinephiles in giving my hard-earned monies to entertainment more deserving.  Did you know that Valentine’s Day weekend is the single biggest release date for movies in any calendar year (i.e. any year that has a Benedict Cumberbatch-themed calendar mass produced for it)?  It’s true.  In fact, I’ve found 11 films alone that are more worth your time and money then 50 Shades of Yuck (My awesome joke.  Don’t steal it.), all of which, oddly enough, seemingly titled to trick less observant viewers into the wrong theater.  Hey, whatever works! 

1. 50 Shades of May (Rated PG): A contemplative meditation on what has historically been the most ignored month.  From Japan, 50 Shades of May follows the day-to-day life of a young monk residing alone on an island in the middle of a lake over the course of a single May.  The story unfolds exclusively through voice-over and is mostly made up of static shots of tree limbs, but the scene where the monk eats rice out of bowl while describing the many varieties of May breezes, is extremely moving.

2. 50 Shades of Day (Rated R): A rare look into the mind of one of the world’s greatest living actors. Daniel Day-Lewis performs 50 original characters in 50 minutes.  Filmed live in front of a small audience at Mr. Day-Lewis’s neighborhood pub.

3. 150 Shades of Gray (Rated PG-13): A revealing documentary that recounts the infamous Crayola Dispute of 1907, in which Edwin Binney was faced with the herculean task of deciding which of the hundreds of shades of the color gray should be included in the popular Crayola 10-Pack of crayons, and then, upon making the choice, having to convince C. Harold Smith, a notorious hater of non-bright colors, that he was right.

4. 50 Shades of Dre (Rated R): The Andre “Doctor Dre” Brown (of Yo! Mtv Raps and Who’s the Man) biopic that made such a splash at the Munich Film Festival last year.

5. Nifty Shapes of Grapes (Rated G): Ever wondered why grapes are round?  This new film from Christ Almighty Pictures, tells the story, but in a comical way that will delight Christian families and the heathen friends they bring along to the theater.  Dean Cain stars as Sammy, an angel sent to Earth and tasked with helping the Big Man Upstairs intelligently design the perfect grape and Kevin Sorbo plays the angry atheistic college professor he meets on his journey.  The whole movie takes place at a Newsboys concert!

6. 50 Shades of Neigh (Rated R)50 Shades of Grey, but with horses.

7. 50 Shades of Shades (Rated R): A documentary about the cutthroat world of lampshade sales. Inspired the return of the UK’s Video Nasties list.

8.  50 Shots with Clay (Rated PG-13): My Dinner with Andre for our time!  Clay Aiken and Clay Matthews III meet for drinks at a local watering hole and discuss their careers with one another.

9. 50 Shades of Tea (Leoni) (Rated NC-17): Tea Leoni plays a fictionalized version of herself in this dark mockumentary about the Hollywood machine.  Surprisingly racist, and not ironically so.  A huge hit at last year’s Munich Film Festival.

10. 50 Shades of Sade (Unrated): Singer-songwriter Sade performs 50 songs in 50 minutes to crowd who gets increasingly more upset as the realize what is going on.

11. Quickly!  Shade the Hay! (Rated R): A thrilling indie drama about a farmer (Gary Sinise) and his wife (Penelope Ann Miller) who must protect their farm from a ruthless land baron (Nicolas Cage) and his mentally challenged brother (Rob Schneider) working for a corrupt politician (Wayne Coyne) who wants to build a superhighway (voiced by Nick Swardson) through America’s (played by Ontario, Canada) Heartland.  Fearing he’ll lose everything, the farmer seeks assistance from a local crime boss (Blythe Danner) and her notorious gang, known locally as the Murderous Duo (Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans), and a bloody conflict ensues, a conflict in which no one is safe, including the town librarian (Christina Hendricks), the milkman (Toby Huss), a retired train conductor who spends his days making dolls out of barbed wire and pocket lint (Werner Herzog), the town florist (Paul Dano) and his wife (Octavia Spencer), and Joseph Hesselbaum (the WWE’s Hornswoggle, in a career-making performance), an attorney who grew up next door to the farmer and loves him like a brother, but is hiding a terrible secret.

So, there you go, eleven reasons not to see 50 Shades of Grey this Valentine’s weekend.  Or maybe just watch a movie at home.  Whatever you decide to do, remember, the popcorn trick is only cool if you make sure the other person is into it first.  OK? 

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