Random News: Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Trailer

Hi everyone,

The movie trailer for the highly anticipated adaptation of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey has been released. You can see the movie trailer below:


Fifty Shades of Grey became the biggest selling book on Amazon.co.uk of all time, with Fifty Shades Freed and Fifty Shades Darker taking second and third place. Why is Fifty Shades of Grey so popular given the critics have slated the book for poor writing and a lack of plot? Well, sex sells! (see article here at the Huffington Post). It seems that the movie trailer has become the most viewed movie trailer of 2014 within just a matter of days. Within the first week of release, there have been over 36 million YouTube views! (see article here at the Hollywood Reporter).

How have people reacted to the movie trailer?

It’s been a mixed bag. I think that the best analogy to describe people’s reactions to the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer is this: You’ll either love or hate the movie trailer.

Some of the Fans loved the trailer  –>

On the one hand, some fans seem to be enjoying the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer.

Fifty Shades of Grey appears to have gone down well on Buzzfeed (see articles here and here). The first article essentially shows almost all of the “erotic” content in the movie in gifs. I use erotic in inverted commas because if you didn’t know that Fifty Shades of Grey was an erotic novel, you may not guess it from the movie trailer, except for one or two gifs (see below). I guess the first article really shows the romance between Christian and Anna, plus a minor amount of their kinky bedroom antics.



The second article includes 50 thoughts that Virgin Mobile had while watching the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer. Some of the thoughts are pretty random, but most of them gush about Christian or the “erotic” content in the trailer being amazing.

I think the best fan reaction to Fifty Shades of Grey is a YouTube review by NuttyMadam. You can watch her reaction below:


I think that it is safe to say that some fans have reacted positively to the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer. When I say positively though, I don’t just mean they think the trailer fits with the book. Since the release of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer, there has also been a 53% increase in online searchers for sex toys (see article here at Glamour Magazine). Cringe!

The Critics and Fans who hate the trailer  –> 

On the other hand, the critics and some of the fans seem to hate the Fifty Shades of Grey trailerThere does seem to be two reasons for hating the trailer.

First, the sexual content in the movie trailer is LIGHT! According to an article written by Christopher Hooton for the Independent (see here)the movie adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey will be less explicit than the book. Michael De Luca, the producer, is quoted as saying:

“The film can’t be as explicit as the book…A picture is worth 1,000 words. So to be erotic on screen means I think an image is going to have way more power than reading the words on a page.”

I’m not sure that De Luca is right there. The fans of Fifty Shades of Grey are expecting explicit content in the movie. I mean the explicit content in the book – the graphic descriptions of the sex between Chrsitan and Anna – are what the fans like about the book and want in the movie. Indeed, TMZ interviewed members of a BDSM club called The Threshold Society in L.A. and they were left wondering where the BDSM content actually is. The Threshold’s coporate secretary explained that the Grey is pretty “vanilla” and the BDSM content is light. She said that there needs to be more light bondage, caning etc… (see article here at TMZ). There was also an article published in the Mirror that included 8 alternative movie trailers that may actually get the viewers pulses racing unlike the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer (see here). I have to say that I agree with the articles inclusion of Jennifer Aniston’s raunchy dance in We’re the Millers (2013). You can see this scene below:


Second, some fans are concerned with the message that the movie (movie trailer and book series) sends to the younger generations. De Luca suggests that while much of the explicit sexual content is removed from the movie, you are left with an “intense and erotic love story”. I certainly don’t think that’s true. Fifty Shades of Grey certainly doesn’t tell a love story, and I think that it’s wrong for the movie makers to advertise the movie adaptation as a love story. What are we teaching the younger generation about what a love story constitutes? I don’t think that we should teach the younger generations that true love is what happens in fairy tales (i.e., love at first sight, man rescuing a woman etc…), but neither should we teach the younger generations that true love involves abuse, whether that be mental or physical abuse. I am not alone in this sentiment either. If you look at the comments on both of the Buzzfeed articles that I included earlier, the comments show some people’s disgust that Fifty Shades of Grey is being adapted into a movie given the “hyper-controlling,emotionally manipulative sadist[ic]” content (Shaina Higgins, see comment here). There are also blog articles written about the inappropriate message that Fifty Shades of Grey is sending (see here). I appreciate that a small minority of people might desire this type of “love” story, but should we be romanticizing this kind of relationship for young people? Would you want your children to be in a relationship with Christian Grey? I certainly wouldn’t.


What do you think of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer? Will you be going to the cinema to watch the movie on Valentine’s day 2015?

Random News: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Teaser Trailers

Hello everyone, The first and second teaser trailers for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 have been released. The trailers are beautifully in keeping with the Mockingjay book where President Snow airs broadcasts with Peeta by his side, and District 13 hack the network and show their own videos with Katniss as the Mockingjay. I wasn’t sure whether I liked the trailers at first, but they do give the viewer an idea of what is to come in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, and the style of the trailers make the movies seem so much more real. Lynne has already posted the first teaser trailer elsewhere in the blog, but I’ve included both teaser trailers below so that you can watch them back-to-back easily.  According to hypable.com, there is a third trailer will be released shortly. Fingers crossed the third trailer will include Katniss interrupting the Capitol’s broadcast! Watch this space because we will be adding the third teaser trailer (and 4th??) when they are released! The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Teaser Trailer #1   The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Teaser Trailer #2   Additionally, it seems that the movie producers are really making an effort to make the movies feel real. The Capitol’s Twitter account was “hacked” yesterday by Beetee one of the rebels in District 13 and the following Tweet was made:


  The Capitol’s official website, TheCapitol.PN, was also “hacked” by Beetee with “The Mockingjay Lives” and “You silence our voices, but we are still heard” appearing in the source code:

Source 1        Source 2

This has happened twice already, but the message isn’t always there. An inspection of the source of this morning (17/07/14) revealed no such hidden message. Click here to go to Capitol.PN so you can check out the source code for yourself (instructions here). What do you think of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 movie trailers? Have you spotted any other Rebel “hacks”?

Happy Reading,


Random News: What would Disney’s Princesses look like if they were real women?

Hello everyone,

I came across two really neat news articles this week.

The first news article was on stylist.co.uk, and showcased the work of an artist named Väätäinen (click here to go to his blog and see all the images) who has used photo-manipulation and digital paintings to show what the Disney Princesses might look like in real life. Overall, the art is beautiful! You can see the comparisons between my top 3 favourite images and the original Disney illustrations below:

1. Cinderella from Cinderella


2. Jasmine from Aladdin


3. Sleeping Beauty from Sleeping Beauty



My all time favourite Disney Princess is Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I expected that Belle would be my number 1 favourite on the artist’s website, but I’m just not keen on her expression. She looks rather afraid or confused which seems out of character.


I do think that a few of the Disney Princesses look too similar – Wendy from Peter Pan, Alice from Alice in Wonderland, and Rapunzel from Tangled. I think this is more of a reflection on the similarity between the Disney princesses rather than anything the artist has done.
Right = Wendy from Peter Pan, Middle = Alice from Alice in Wonderland, and Left = Rapunzel from Tangled.

What do you think of the “real life” re-imaining of the Disney Princesses? Do you have a favourite?

The second news article was on visualnews.com, and showcased the work of an illustrator named Claire Hummel (click here to go to her blog and see all the images) who has draw illustrations of the Disney princesses’ costumes based on historical fashion. It seems as though the costumes Disney drew for the Princesses were spot on for the most part with the key difference being that Disney’s costumes are simpler than the historically accurate dresses. You can see the comparisons between my top3 favourite illustrations and the original Disney costumes below:

1. Cinderella from Cinderella 



2. Snow White from Snow White



3. Belle from Beauty and the Beast


What do you think of the illustrations of the historically accurate Disney Princesses costumes? Do you have a favourite?

Happy Reading,

Book Review: The Splendor Falls

Book Title: The Splendor Falls
Author: Rosemary Clement-Moore

“She was the only creature in the world who would really care if something happened to me, even if it was only because I was the bringer of kibble.”
Sylvie in The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Final Verdict: A paranormal romance lacking enough “paranormal” and a “romance” to make a great book.

For the full review, click the name of the book.

See the end of the review for HIDDEN CONTENT about the ending of The Splendor Falls.


Movie Review: Maleficent (2014)

Movie Title: Maleficent (2014)
Director: Robert Stromberg

“Princess Aurora: “All the other fairies fly, why don’t you?”
Maleficent: “I had wings once, and they were strong. But they were stolen from me.
Maleficent (2014)

Final Verdict: A brilliant reimagining of Sleeping Beauty (1959) that is nostalgic because of the nods toward the original, but with new modern twists that update the tale for modern times.

For the full review of this movie and the movie trailer, click the movie title.

We have now added the link to our secret content for Maleficent that you can access through the Maleficent review. In the secret post we discuss our thoughts on the ending and other spoilers!

Book Review: Witch Finder (Witch Finder #1)

Book Title: Witch Finder (Witch Finder #1)
Author: Ruth Warburton

Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself.
Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton

Final Verdict: A dark and unsettling story that doesn’t exactly deliver what the blurb on the jacket cover implies.

For the full review, click the name of the book.

Book Review: Texas Gothic (Goodnight Family #1)

Book Title: Texas Gothic (Goodnight Family #1)
Author: Rosemary Clement-Moore

Emery cut in impatiently, ‘For crying out loud. Who do you think you are, Nancy Drew?’
‘Hey,’ I snapped, because no one sniped at my sister but me, and Mark echoed with a stern ‘Chill, dude.’
Phin was unperturbed. ‘Those books were highly unrealistic. Do you have any idea how much brain damage a person would have if she were hit on the head and drugged with chloroform that often?’”
Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Final Verdict: If you like the Nancy Drew, you’ll enjoy Texas Gothic. Think of Amy as the modern day Nancy Drew, but where the mysteries include actual ghosts!

For the full review, click the name of the book.

Random News: On hiatus…be back soon

Hi everyone,

Thank you to everyone who congratulated me on gaining my PhD! 🙂 It was nerve-wracking and exciting at the same time!

We’re going to take a brief hiatus from the blog this week to catch-up. We’ve read some really amazing literature and we’re looking forward to sharing the reviews with you. We just need to write them…

I’d also like to say a big thank you to Lynne for single-handedly running the blog while I was cramming for my viva!

Happy reading,


Random News: Hermione and Ron Debate UPDATE

Hi everyone,

I’ve finally managed to get hold of the Wanderlust Magazine guest edited by Emma Watson. Inside this edition of Wanderlust is an interview between Emma Watson and JK Rowling. Following a controversially titled article in The Sunday Times — “JK admits Harry should have wed Hermione” — the news spread like wild fire.  Here’s the excerpt that has been circling the internet following this article in The Sunday Times:

JK Rowling: “I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment. That’s how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron.”

Emma Watson: “Ah.”

JK Rowling: “I know, I’m sorry. I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this? I hope not.”

Emma Watson: “I don’t know. I think there are fans out there who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy.


The problem is that although the excerpt from the interview indicated that Rowling regretted Hermione and Ron’s relationship, this could easily be misleading without the rest of the interview.In addition to the excerpt above, JK Rowling also says:

JK Rowling: “It was a young relationship. I think the attraction itself is plausible but the combative side of it…I’m, not sure you could have got over that in an adult relationship, there was to much fundamental incompatibility. I can’t believe we are saying all of this – this is Potter heresy!”
JK Rowling: “Oh, maybe she and Ron will be alright with a bit of counseling, you know. I wonder what happens at wizard marriage counselling. They’ll probably be fine. He needs to work on his self-esteem issues and she needs to work on being a little less critical.”
JK Rowling: “Just like her creator, she has a real weakness for a funny man. These uptight girls, they do like them funny…It’s such a relief from being so intense yourself – you need someone who takes life, or appears to take life, a little more light heartedly.”

While the entire interview suggests that JK Rowling may have questioned Hermione and Ron’s relationship, when taken in it’s entirety, it isn’t clear whether JK would actually have written things differently. I do wonder if things would have been very different had JK Rowling written the entire series prior to publishing the works considering she admits that she wrote Hermione and Ron’s relationship as a “form of wish fulfillment” and for “very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility.”

Furthermore, the claim that JK admitted that Harry should have wed Hermione as per The Sunday Times news article and several other articles with the same title (e.g., Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, Daily Mail) this seems to have really been taken out of context. In the interview, JK Rowling says:

JK Rowling: “In some ways Hermione and Harry are a better fit and I’ll tell you something very strange. When I wrote Hallows, I felt this quite strongly when I had Hermione and Harry together in the tent!…”

Although, JK Rowling appears to have considered the possibility of Hermione and Harry may have been a better fit and that she felt chemistry between the characters, this doesn’t exactly say that she thought they should get married. Hermione could quite have easily met someone else better suited in the future that was neither Ron nor Harry.

You can read the full article by purchasing a copy of the Wanderlust Maganise guest edited by Emma Watson as I did here. Alternatively, a full copy of the interview transcript is available on hyperble here.

What do you think of the interview between JK Rowling and Emma Watson? And, do you think JK Rowling would write Hermione & Ron together if she could have a do over? Let us know in the comments!

Book Review: Insurgent (Divergent #2)

Book Title: Insurgent (Divergent #2)
Author: Veronica Roth

“It reminds me why I chose Dauntless in the first place: not because they are perfect, but because they are alive. Because they are free.” Insurgent by Veronica Roth.

Final Verdict: Fingers crossed that Insurgent just suffers from the Second Book Syndrome, and that Allegiant will be as good as Divergent.

For the full review, click the name of the book.