Thursday, June 21, 2018
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
MegaCon Tampa Bay celebrity guests include ‘Walking Dead,’ ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘Doctor Who’ stars

MegaCon Tampa Bay celebrity guests include ‘Walking Dead,’ ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘Doctor Who’ stars

MegaCon Tampa Bay has announced a lineup of celebrity guests that will likely conjure a mix of excitement and nostalgia among local geeks.They include Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who currently plays Negan on The Walking Dead, Christopher Lloyd, best known f...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Review: Look inside the tent of a Gibsonton-based sideshow in Tessa Fontaine’s memoir ‘The Electric Woman’

Review: Look inside the tent of a Gibsonton-based sideshow in Tessa Fontaine’s memoir ‘The Electric Woman’

Grief can unhinge us, disconnect us from our daily lives, make us do things we’ve never done. Grief made Tessa Fontaine run away and join the circus.To be more exact, the sideshow: World of Wonders, the last traditional traveling sideshow in the coun...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion’s shooting death

Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion’s shooting death

FORT LAUDERDALE — Authorities in Florida have arrested a suspect in the killing of rising rap star XXXTentacion, who was fatally shot in his luxury BMW electric car as he left an upscale motorcycle dealership.Dedrick Devonshay Williams, 22, of Pompan...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Like ‘a beer after a hockey fight,’ how to celebrate Canada Day in Tampa Bay

Like ‘a beer after a hockey fight,’ how to celebrate Canada Day in Tampa Bay

The event hopes to promote friendship between our fighting nations.
Updated: 6 hours ago
Luke Bryan talks love, acceptance and his growing depth before Tampa stop

Luke Bryan talks love, acceptance and his growing depth before Tampa stop

It’s been awhile since Luke Bryan crashed our party. The country music superstar who has racked up awards hasn’t blessed us ’round these parts in awhile. Bryan last played Tampa back in 2015. "We played many multiple nights at the (MidFlorida Credit ...
Published: 06/21/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 22

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 22

Daryl Hall and John Oates with Train : The legendary number-one selling duo and Train perform full sets and a joint set. Kandace Springs opens. 7 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $45.75-$125. (813) 301-2500; amaliearena.com.St. Pete ...
Published: 06/21/18
Column: We can still save wild Florida, but time for panthers, black bears and us is running out

Column: We can still save wild Florida, but time for panthers, black bears and us is running out

When we dipped our paddles into Florida Bay at the mangrove fringe of Everglades National Park and took the first strokes of the 2012 Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition, I’m not sure I fully understood the scope of the challenge we were facing. Six...
Published: 06/21/18
Three movies are in the works about Hulk Hogan and Gawker. Will they remember who’s the victim?

Three movies are in the works about Hulk Hogan and Gawker. Will they remember who’s the victim?

Sonny BunchAccording to Vulture, there are three separate movies in the works about the downfall of the New York-based gossip blog Gawker.One is based on the book Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue; it will be a...
Published: 06/21/18
Plan your weekend: St. Pete Pride, Hall and Oates, Pixies, Logic, comics Jay Pharoah and Bobby Bones

Plan your weekend: St. Pete Pride, Hall and Oates, Pixies, Logic, comics Jay Pharoah and Bobby Bones

Rainbow connection Pride weekend: One of the largest Pride celebration in the Southeast happens this weekend in St. Petersburg, bringing a rainbow of activities. Things set off on Friday with the free SP2 Concert at North Straub Park, hosted by Coco ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Miss Vanjie talks her ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ exit, memes, drag roots

Miss Vanjie talks her ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ exit, memes, drag roots

Tampa might have the worst track record when it comes to contestants on RuPaul's Drag Race.Both queens who hail from the Cigar City were eliminated right away during their seasons. Alisa Summers was the first boot on Season 4 in 2012. Then on Season ...
Updated: 4 hours ago