Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Things To Do

Movie Planner: '50 Shades Darker' and the sexy movies that went before it

OPENING THURSDAY: FIFTY SHADES DARKER

There's a reason why Marlon Brando's tango in Paris was his last, why Kim Basinger put up with Mickey Rourke for 9 ½ Weeks, no longer.

Seriously sexy movies don't get sequels. Hit it and quit it, as the kids say.

Sure, we get the occasional same title with a "2" added, differently cast, direct-to-video cash grab. Cruel Intentions, indeed.

Which brings us to Fifty Shades Darker (R), the sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey that its author E.L. James didn't plan but, hey, Vintage Books wrote the check. Here's a sexy-dumb idea coming back for what is expected to be sloppier seconds; no title numeral, same cast, dropping in theaters worldwide.

That could be Fifty Shades Darker's boldest maneuver.

The first movie ended with Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) saying no spanks to her masochism mentor Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). Pressed for a followup, James chose to explore Christian's cultivation of kinky demons, including his own lessons from an older woman (Kim Basinger). Mother (Marcia Gay Harden) doesn't like that.

Anastasia is emboldened in spirit yet still hankering for some nasty. She reconnects with Christian, leading to a stalker (Bella Heathcote), one of Christian's former submissive lovers. If only those Red Room walls could talk since Fifty Shades of Grey was such a tease.

Naughty but nice

In the meantime, consider the smart-sexy cinema that didn't need sequels to get their points across. Add these to your queue for the next request to Netflix and chill:

Bound (1996): Gina Gershon seduces Jennifer Tilly into stealing mob money. "What did she do to you?" a boyfriend asks. "Everything you couldn't."

Y Tu Mamá Tambien (2001): Teenage boys (Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna) road trip with a sexually wise, older woman (Ana López Mercado): "Life is like the surf, so give yourself away."

Out of Sight (1998): Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney share a car trunk sexier than most people share beds. "You wanted to tussle," she says. "We tussled."

Unfaithful (2002): My fantasy is sitting on a train next to Diane Lane's straying wife while she fantasizes about her lover (Olivier Martinez).

Secretary (2002): Another Mr. Grey (James Spader) with a BDSM background hires a willing assistant (Maggie Gyllenhaal). "Look, we can't do this 24 hours a day, seven days a week." "Why not?"

ALSO OPENING JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2

Whoa, can you believe Keanu Reeves is back as a bona fide movie star? He has an action franchise going, a Bill & Ted reunion in the works, even a cat named after him in a Key & Peele comedy. It's good to be Keanu again.

John Wick: Chapter 2 ( R) continues the bloody saga of a hit man who can't stay retired. In 2014's first chapter, John went ballistic after goons killed his dog. Revenge was so expertly carried out that a underworld bounty is now on his head. Time to reload.

Reeves is joined in battle by Laurence Fishburne, his Matrix trilogy co-star, their first teaming since that franchise evaporated into nonsense. Hopefully the same fate isn't in the cards here.

John Wick: Chapter 2 wasn't screened in time for Weekend.

in theaters: our Top 5

Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:

1 The LEGO Batman Movie: Taking apart the Caped Crusader's legacy interlocking piece by piece. (Review, Page 16)

2 Hidden Figures: True story of African-American women making NASA go 'round. Three Oscar nominations.

3 Fences: The role that deservedly won Oscar nominations for Denzel Washington and Viola Davis.

4 Split: M. Night Shyamalan returns from the dead with a wicked thriller.

5 Julieta: Pedro Almodóvar observes another woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

UPCOMING RELEASES

(Dates subject to change)

Feb. 17: The Great Wall; Fist Fight; A Cure for Wellness

Feb. 24: Get Out; Rock Dog

Mar. 3: Logan; The Shack; Before I Fall; Table 19; The Last Word

Mar. 10: Kong: Skull Island

Mar. 17: Beauty and the Beast; T2 Trainspotting; Dean

Mar. 24: Power Rangers; CHiPs; Life

 
Comments

Wednesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBoxingWelterweights: Corcoran vs. Horn6:30 a.m.ESPNCollege basketballWomen: McNeese State at Baylor1 p.m.Fox SunVillanova at Temple7 p.m.ESPN2Women: Oregon at Mississippi State7 p.m.SECWestern Kentucky at Wisconsin8 p.m.FS1Longwood at Illinois8 ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
In the early ’80s, this duet kept Steve Winwood still in the game

In the early ’80s, this duet kept Steve Winwood still in the game

Our Stuck in the '80s historian Kevin Wuench returns with this report on Steve Winwood: Pop music has enjoyed all sorts of duets between husband and wife. Some that come to mind are Sonny and Cher, James Taylor and Carly Simon and lest we forget...
Updated: 4 hours ago

‘I want to see you naked’: When alcohol flowed, Mario Batali turned abusive, workers say

The theme of the party was Magic, Martinis and Mario, and there was an awful lot of the latter two. It was at Mario Batali’s buzzy Los Angeles restaurant Osteria Mozza, the week of the Oscars in March 2010. Vanity Fair publisher Edward Menicheschi wa...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Star Wars: The Last Jedi has everything The Force Awakens was missing

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has everything The Force Awakens was missing

When The Force Awakens landed two years ago, it was everything Star Wars fans wanted yet not entirely what we needed. It was a rousing tribute missing its own vision, introducing new characters and crises hinting at old ones. Star Wars: The Last Jed...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Mary J. Blige coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

Mary J. Blige coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

An icon of modern R&B is coming to town to warm your winter right up.Mary J. Blige, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, is coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa on Feb. 21, part of her ongoing Strength of a Woman Tour. Tickets start at $47.25 and go on sale at 10 a...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Downtown St. Pete’s 24-hour diner 2nd & Second is open

Downtown St. Pete’s 24-hour diner 2nd & Second is open

Downtown St. Petersburg’s only 24/7 restaurant has opened and doesn’t plan to close, ever. The 2nd & Second diner at the corner of Second Street and Second Avenue N will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week offering a spot f...
Published: 12/12/17
13 new movies you have to see over the holiday season

13 new movies you have to see over the holiday season

Hollywood has enough movies left to get everyone through the holidays plus any New Year’s hangover. Many are aiming for awards glory, a few are just here for the party. The really serious contenders won’t open nationwide until early 2018...
Published: 12/12/17
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 13

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 13

The Little Prince: Based on Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s novella, an aviator who crashed in the Sahara Desert meets a little prince who has left his home on Asteroid B-612, leaving behind its only inhabitant, a single rose. Through Dec. 24. 2 and 7 p.m...
Published: 12/12/17
Hotly anticipated Ichicoro Ane is now open in St. Petersburg

Hotly anticipated Ichicoro Ane is now open in St. Petersburg

Noel Cruz seemed remarkably chill. As did his partner Kerem Koca. All around them in the Station House building in St. Petersburg, workers pounded the last nails, bartenders unpacked boxes of glassware and jewel-toned bottles of Amari, and the kitche...
Published: 12/12/17
Video: Jimmy Kimmel holds his baby son, post-heart surgery, in emotional health-care monologue

Video: Jimmy Kimmel holds his baby son, post-heart surgery, in emotional health-care monologue

Jimmy Kimmel was absent from his ABC late-night show last week while his 8-month-old son, Billy, recovered from his second heart surgery. Ever since Billy was born with a heart defect and required immediate surgery, Kimmel has become an outspoken adv...
Published: 12/12/17