Fifty Shades of Grey
I haven’t read the bestselling novel, so I’ll have to take the word of my 89-year-old mother, who sampled a chapter, which Amazon had packaged as a bonus with her Kindle, and reported, “It’s very badly written.” The plot is silliness incarnate: classic supermarket romance, with a Kraff-Ebing twist. Who are these characters? What does Mr. Grey do, how did he make his billions by age 27, where does he get the time to go shopping for rope at a hardware store, and what does he see in the fetching but shallow virgin, Miss Steele? To raise these questions is to underscore the preposterousness of asking, like appraising the flavor and nutritional value of a phallic corn dog at a Tupperware party.
But I’ve neglected your third question, Dear Reader, the one about the transfer’s sound and vision. Now we’re talking! This is a gorgeous 1080p transfer with a pulsating soundtrack, something like a Tom Ford fashion shoot (with the fashion best discarded) scored by a rock-schlock D.J. of an audiophile bent. If anything, it’s too pretty, as brightly lit as any bookstore I’ve seen, with scarcely a shadow darkening even the sex-toy chamber, except to obscure Ana’s forbidden triangle in the few seconds of full frontal (and that’s in the unrated version).
Finally, the extra features are a bore, starting with a long list of brief actor and character profiles, peaking with an analysis of the BDSM world, and ending with an overly in-depth tour of Christian’s apartment.
Studio: Universal, 2014
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio Format: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Length: 126/129 mins.
MPAA Rating: R/Unrated
Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Jennifer Ehle