Welcome to this week's saucy episode of #AtTheFlix, so without further or do, let's get naughty shall we and stare at the celluloid (gasp!) …
Fifty Shades of Grey (18)
So, here it is, the most anticipated erotic thriller (allegedly!) ever! Adapting, and seemingly tearing into, the original E.L James novel, I can't think of many better directors for doing this.
Most critics have latched onto the fact that the film tones down (a little!) on the sexual shenanigans in the novel and opts to focus in on the characters, in particular Dakota Fanning's portrayal of Anastasia Steele and how her innocence and virginity is taken away by billionaire Christian Grey (played by Jamie Dornan).
The world premiere in Berlin was met with mixed reaction, most saying it is a notable improvement on the book, but how hard (ooh er!) is that in reality, and how much of a convincing and worthwhile film does that make.
First of all, aficionados of erotic films will take issue with a film that arguably doesn't fit into such a category (a separate discussion). This is a mainstream romance with some 'erotic' tendencies.
Second, as one critic has, if this was a Polish or French, then other English-speaking critics might be bowling over about it. Really? Michael Winterbottom, Catherine Breillat and, even Paul Verhoeven might have something to say about that.
As a fan of Sam Taylor-Johnson though, one wonders that if she was directing this independently and not in the mainstream, then it might be more edgy. As reference, take her segment of the 2006 film, Destricted, as proof of this. What a film for Taylor-Johnson to do to launch her to worldwide attention though!
I'd love to see the Paul Verhoeven version of this!
Love is Strange (15)
By contrast to Fifty Shades of Grey, Love is Strange is my want to see film this week, sadly only showing in a couple of places.
This is a far gentler affair, a story of long-standing relationship of two gay men who get married after forty years together - a relationship soon to be tested by financial problems and misunderstanding. The setup of the film is such that it reinforces the need for commitment and true friendship no matter what.
The critics have been lapping this up Stateside, and to see 'real love' and the relationship between two older people
I'm eager to see this, if nothing else to watch Lithgow and Molina in two heartfelt performances, toning down the theatrics that they are often known for.
On Saturday, The Electric has some good stuff on including one off showings of Annie Hall, Brief Encounter and a Shock and Gore showing of the late 80s classic Heathers.
At the mac this week, they are lapping up the Valentines spirit with a showing of Breakfast at Tiffanys (plus food!) but be sure to also check out Leila Sansour’s Open Bethlehem (Tues 17-Wed 18), a highly personal and charged documentary of her hometown shot over four years.
Finally, as it's award season, most of the local cinemas are giving you the chance to catch up on Academy Award nominated films. So, if you missed out first time around, here's your chance to catch up!
If you care to join me in debate on any of this week's releases, in particular a chat about erotic thrillers, then I'm available on twitter @timmy666.
That's it from me. Until next week, can someone call 999 as I appear to have lost the key to these chains! Help!