Film Clips 2.9
Fifty Shades Darker R
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan return as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey for this sequel. Since the first film, journalist Anastasia has left billionaire S&M practitioner Grey and joined the publishing world. Grey’s determination to win her back leads him to agree to a more conventional romance, but Grey’s old flames keep appearing to chastise and/or threaten Anastasia. Kim Basinger plays a cougar claiming she taught Grey the finer points of S&M, while yet another woman pops up in the lovers’ bedroom, dangerously desperate to reclaim Grey for herself. Penned by British author E. L. James, the titillation factor fueling these erotic fantasies becomes many shades lighter once the shock value wears off. Even so, the first film grossed an astounding $570 million on a $40 million investment. Those numbers guarantee we’ll be shown the other 49 shades before we’re through.
John Wick: Chapter 2 R
The first John Wick film was a sleeper hit with audience and critics. Little wonder, since the movie returned Keanu Reeves to the role of a stoic, slow-burning action hero. Wick is an assassin finally enjoying a peaceful retirement after being rudely forced to seek revenge in chapter one. But Wick’s fragile peace is shattered when he does a favor for a friend that leads to a sizable bounty being placed on Wick’s head. In order to survive, Wick travels to Rome to take on the world’s top assassins. The original film is lauded for its nonstop action and incredible stunt work. Director Chad Stahelski, himself a trained stuntman, promises that John Wick: Chapter 2 will double-down on the action, stunts and style that earned his first film a big thumbs up.
The Lego Batman Movie PGThe second Lego movie appears to be as clever as the first, sending up Batman and our superhero-obsessed society all in one fell swoop. This animated 3D feature depicts the famous Caped Crusader (voiced by Will Arnett) as an out-of-control, whiny narcissist, struggling to retain his image as a crack crime fighter while also raising an adopted youth (Michael Cera) who will eventually become his side kick, Robin. Batman’s faithful butler, Alfred, is beautifully intoned by Ralph Fiennes, and Rosario Dawson takes on the feisty role of Gotham’s new police commissioner, Barbara Gordon. Chock-full of sarcasm soaring right over kids’ heads, these Lego minifigures sport nearly frozen faces. Yet, they along with their plastic brick Lego universe possess personality to spare.