HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Fifty Shades of Black
HTS Overall Score:69
Parodies of popular media is a time honored tradition. Lampooning and roasting something that is intensely popular makes for some of the funniest bits of life that I know of, and the Wayans family has made a killing off of that fact for decades. The entire family is full of talented comedian, and Marlon Wayans has put out some seriously funny stuff over the years (“Don’t be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood” is still one of the funniest dumb movies in existence, in my opnion), however “Fifty Shades of Black” is NOT one of them. I was actually rather interested, despite the fact that his last two parody endeavors have failed miserably, due to the fact that I LOATHED “Fifty Shades of Grey” and wanted to watch them shred the movie into pieces. Sadly it’s just as bad as the movie that it tries to imitate along the way. Even though there are a few funny spots where Marlon and crew get their hooks in dig and really tear away the stupidity of “Grey”.
“Fifty Shades of Black” follows the general premise of “Fifty Shades of Grey” with just a few tweaks here and there among the hilarity (or attempted hilarity). We have Christian Black (Marlon Wayans), a good looking billionaire who likes to steal clothes, cars and handbags from old ladies. Then we have Hannah Steele (Kali Hawk), an “ugly” girl who just so happens to be filling in for her roommate who was supposed to interview Mr. Black. Said interview soon turns to some sparks between the two and Mr. Black ends up stalking Hannah until she goes out with him. Being the girlfriend of a rich billionaire playboy philanthropist (basically a naughty version of Tony Stark, just without the Iron Man suit) isn’t all it’s cracked up to be as she soon finds out that Christian is emotionally distant and has a few secrets of his own.
We all know where this is going. Christian Black is a BDSM enthusiast and messed up to the core. Hannah is the good little girl who just wants to change the bad boy in Christian to be a nice boyfriend. However, that is rarely the case in reality and no matter how many times she visits his racist white mother (played by Jane Seymour), or how many times in his “play room” she spends, Christian just isn’t going to be the good little boy that she wants him to be.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=68474[/img]I honestly wanted to at least have a few laughs at “Fifty Shades of Black”. As much as I disliked “Fifty Shades of Grey” I was hoping for a good time poking fun of the poorly written books, and even more poorly written/directed movie. Sadly I spent the entire time wondering if maybe I was better off actually watching “Fifty Shades of Grey” again instead of this drivel. Wayans last couple enterprises with the “Haunted House” series has not been a bastion of success, but there HAVE been a few gut busting scenes in the two movies. Unfortunately that is not the case here as Wayans and crew have taken every type of stupid gag imaginable and just thrown it against the wall in case something will stick out of desperation.
With that being said, there are SOME funny parts to the movie (which is most likely a side effect of throwing everything against the wall. When you toss that much into the blender usually SOMETHING is going to work properly). There’s a scene in his dungeon where he “tortures” Hannah by tying her down and reading “50 Shades of Grey” to her while she begs him to stop. Another comes in the form of her BFF who just so desperately wants to be more than just friends that his Freudian slips end up being hilarious. Wayans and crew really did TRY, but sadly Marlon has always been the least funny of the 4 Wayans brothers and while the rest of them have pretty much retired, his brand on inane comedy is still trying to do the best it can in a world that has moved on from this type of humor. Some of it CAN work, but sadly so much of it doesn’t that the pain and torture of having to endure the majority of the movie isn’t worth the few laughs you do get out of the movie.
Rated R for strong crude sexual content including some graphic nudity, and for language throughout
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=68482[/img]If anything, “Fifty Shades of Black” DOES look stunning on Blu-ray. Shot 100% digitally it has that glossy shine that looks sleek and svelte across the board. Blacks are deep and inky, with deep teal overtones amongst the slate blues to give a very sterile and foreboding atmosphere whenever Mr. Black is around. Hannah’s aboded is a bit more natural looking with some amber overtones and a few gaudy colors coming from here over the top roommate. Fine detail is usually excellent, with great facial definition, coupled with some very nice looking scenery shots, especially in relation to Mr. Black’s “Red Room”. Sometimes things looked a little bit TOO glossy and sleek, giving the movie a bit less of a filmic texture than I would have liked. Otherwise it’s a great looking encode.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=68490[/img]The singular 5.1 DTS-HD MA track on board the disc is quite nice and actually more than a bit aggressive. The club sequences as well as the “Magic Mike” parody bit has pounding mid bass that crashes into the chest region with some real authority. The rest of the time the track is just a bit front loaded with lots and lots of talking between Hannah and Christian, although there are some moments where the surrounds get to come out and play. Surprisingly enough those are really relegated to the Red Room with the sounds of whips and other such devices coming through from all angles. Vocals are crisps and clean, locked up front in the center channel with very little to say negatively about it. The ambiance is nice with the use of some nice directional queues, and even though the film is definitely front loaded, it has a solid sense of immersion to it.
• Meet Mr. Black
• Unrated Deleted Scenes
I like bad movies, I really do. Especially movies that make FUN of really awful blockbusters, like “Fifty Shades of Grey”. I eagerly wanted to poke fun of everything about the book and the awful film, but the line between cheeky parody and mind numbingly stupid is leapt across with such stunning ferocity that I truly wonder if Marlon Wayans even TRIED to make it funny. Jokes are slapped against the wall like runny spaghetti, in the hopes that SOMETHING will stick, and most of them just end up sliding down the wall onto the floor. Gags are overplayed, crudity is taken to even higher heights than the original and the entire film just wreaks of trying way too hard and just hoping for a quick buck on the back end of a direct to video run. Marlon Wayans has put out some funny stuff over the years as part of the Wayans family legacy, but sadly this is nowhere near to being good, or even passable. Run in terror from this one.
Starring: Marlan Wayans, Kali Hawk, Fred Willard
Directed by: Michael Tiddes
Written by: Marlon Wayans, Rick Alvarez
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Runtime: 92 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: April 19th 2016
Buy Fifty Shades of Black On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Run In Terror
More about Mike