Fifty Shades of Black Blu-ray Review
It’s difficult to be a connoisseur of parody movies when the last memorable one was created over a decade and a half ago. SCARY MOVIE does have a connection to FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK though, and it’s the obvious one. Marlon Wayans, just like Jason Freidberg and Aaron Seltzer, have used SCARY MOVIE as a leaping off point for the rest of their careers, which apparently is half-brained ideas and cheap parody films.
While I could care less about Freidberg and Seltzer’s inevitable decay into obscurity, it’s unfortunate seeing one of the Wayans fail to live up to their potential, especially Marlon who we’ve seen in REQUIEM FOR A DREAM and IN LIVING COLOR. Of course those were years ago and seemingly so far away, especially with a WHITE CHICKS 2 in the works. While I, along with others, am immensely disappointed with his movie choices of late, you can’t fault him for giving it his all.
Wayans plays Christian Black, an obvious spin on Christian Grey. I haven’t seen FIFTY SHADES OF GREY so I’m not sure if this is a beat-by-beat follow of the book and movie, but I can piece together that it probably is. Black is interviewed by Hannah (Hawk), a mousy, virgin girl writing an article for her school newspaper. She becomes enamored by his various kinks and his mysterious nature. It’s a nauseating plot, so it has to be FIFTY SHADES OF GREY.
FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK however, is a mess in its own sense. There are a couple of enlightened moments, such as Black being an overt stalker and premature ejaculator, and a white girl that seems OK with saying every horrible racist, sexist thing that comes to mind. But then the movie seems to turn around and use that same humor in a less flattering, and disgusting fashion. While it may seem like FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK has some underlying social commentary, it seems like Wayans and others simply wanted to open an umbrella of offensiveness and hope to get everyone under it.
That’s not to say I had a guilty laugh or two at the expense of some on-screen characters. Then there were moments I just had to look away, such as Hannah’s oversized belly button. There were also moments, which just weren’t funny in any realm. As for the parodying of the atrocious E.L. James story, it’s overshadowed by the aged parodies, like WHIPLASH and MAGIC MIKE. I only say overshadowed because it took until mid-way or by the end of the parody for me to realize it was a parody, highlighting just how outdated the joke was.
When relying on timeless humor, FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK doesn’t do much better. If clearly fake, prosthetic penises, slurpy sexual gestures and jokes you told in middle school to your classmates don’t tickle your funny bone, you’re going to hate every minute of this movie. Sometimes I laughed, but I’m not above saying I’m mature enough to not laugh at something that I should be shamed for. Also Wayan is a clear believer in his humor and when he sells it as well as he does, you can’t help but admire him for it. And hey, I’d rather watch this again than have to ever watch FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. That’s something. Right?
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2:39:1) If there are any background visual gags, at least you get to see them on this pristine blu-ray.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) The nauseating sound effects and music come through clearly, without any overbearing or ear shattering moments.
Deleted Scenes (9:35): These six deleted scenes don’t add any “plot” or “humor” to the story. As to why they were cherry picked for the cutting room floor, I’m not sure.
Meet Mr. Black (1:31): A very short feature that seems to have given up by the end. Marlon Wayans talks about the story and then it abruptly ends.