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Movie Reviews with Karl: Fifty Shades, Evolve

Movie Reviews with Karl: Fifty Shades, Evolve

Karl Taro Greenfeld reviews movies without seeing them. He watches trailers, or parts of the trailers. (If the movie is a sequel, he has not seen any earlier films in the series. He basically doesn’t watch any movies. Any plot similarities between his reviews and the actual movies are coincidental.)

Fifty Shades of Gray

Based on the best-selling series of novels, and starring Anne Hathaway

“Sex after menopause?” Asked the preview for this film, “try Osphena, for painful sex due to menopause.” But then that turned out not to be the preview, but an advertisement for a new pharmaceutical drug, because, “it shouldn’t have to hurt.”

The makers of Fifty Shades of Gray want it to tickle. The eponymous Mr. Grey of the title owns a clothing store in which every item for sale is either grey, white or a sort of blue-grey. His great success is due in part to his modeling of the clothes he sells, and therefore he chooses his outfits with great care and discretion, spending the better part of each day, until a little after noon, going through racks of clothing until he finds exactly the right combination of grey, white and blue-grey. His success, however, comes with a terrible human price. He has no friends and once he has selected his outfit for the day, he doesn’t have anything more to do than ride around in his Audi supercar or fly in his helicopter, but even that leaves many hours of loneliness.

Until he meets Anne Hathaway, who is dressed in frumpy clothes—no grey at all!—but Mr. Grey can tell that if she would just ditch the earth tones, and let him dress her in some metallics, then her outer beauty would finally be revealed. But she insists on wearing her muted tones. Somehow, they manage to build an inter-tonal relationship, much to surprise of observers, who believe that Mr. Grey can’t love a woman who loves earth tones, and that Anne Hathaway can’t love a man who is exactly as physically attractive as her. Yet they are soon having a surprising and soul-baring relationship, in which Mr. Grey reveals his dark secrets, like how he is “damaged”, and how he “excercizes control in all things”, and Anne Hathaway admits she used to wonder if she was actually as pretty as she thought she was. Soon, he shows her the secret storeroom of his clothing store, where he keeps his horsehide ticklers. Anne Hathaway is shocked but intrigued by his horsehide ticklers, and allows him to tie her up and tickle her.

Through their mutual tickling, Mr. Grey and Anne Hathaway achieve a breakthrough, as Mr. Grey is able to make light of his awful past, and Anne Hathaway breaks away from earth tones.

This is a film for those who masturbate to thoughts of being tickled in an Emporio Armani boutique.


Starring one of the guys in One Direction, I think his name is Ned

A young, handsome scientist discovers a new formula that will speed up the (still just a) theory of evolution. This potion, if someone were to drop the beaker or flush it down the toilet, would immediately accelerate the evolution of every animal—except man—creating an intense inter-species arms race for dominance of the planet. Natural selection would rapidly bring each species to its most lethal, intelligent and deadly state, so that every animal would be transformed into its most violent and human-threatening version. This potion must not escape the lab, at all costs!

Yet an evil scientist, the rival of Ned from One Direction, sees the opportunity to create bigger, fattier, more delicious pigs and cows, and the billions that could be made form this evolutionary breakthrough, and steals the formula, which he then brings to the zoo, where he mistakenly drops it into the ventilating system, which disseminates it to all the animals in the zoo, and they Evolve. Quickly.

The rhinoceroses become 100 feet tall and can smash apart buildings. The lions can leap 500 feet and have jaws wide enough to swallow a man whole. Rattle snakes are as long as city blocks with rattles the size of mini-vans. It looks like the end of man-kind as we know it, but Ned from One Direction, after fighting every kind of evolutionarily advanced animal, is able to synthesize an antidote, which he drives through the city, spreading with one of those soap-bubble guns, and gradually, the animals return to normal size and evolution goes back to being just a theory.

This is a movie for evangelical Christians in that it shows the very real dangers of the theory of evolution when it gets into the wrong hands.

Editors note: Evolve is a forthcoming computer game, not a film.

Karl Taro Greenfeld
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About The Author

Karl Taro Greenfeld

Karl Taro Greenfeld is the author of eight books, including the novel The Subprimes, to be published in May. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Harper's, The Paris Review, Best American Short Stories (2009, 2013) and O. Henry Prize Stories (2012). Follow him @karltaro.

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