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S&M sequel ‘50 Shades Darker’ panned by critics, beaten badly at box office by ‘LEGO Batman’

Peter LaBarbera Peter LaBarbera Follow Peter

February 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The family-friendly "LEGO Batman” beat “Fifty Shades Darker” at the box office this past weekend, earning $55.6 million in sales compared with $46.8 million for the S&M-themed, soft-pornographic sequel to the 2015 movie “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

The original 2015 “Fifty Shades” movie took in $85.2 million during its debut weekend and went on to become the fourth largest grossing R-rated movie of all time ($571 million worldwide). Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, respectively.

Although ticket sales were down on opening weekend, the R-rated “Fifty Shades Darker” is helping sadomasochism activists in their ongoing media campaign to “mainstream” extreme sexual deviance in the United States.

In 2015, LifeSiteNews launched a petition (no longer taking signatures) calling for a boycott of the original “Fifty Shades” movie. A series of articles and blog reviews explained how its co-stars were disgusted at times while making the film, the dangers of romanticizing sexual misbehavior that is inherently misogynistic and abusive, the “three most dangerous lies” promoted by “Fifty Shades,” and why it appeals to so many women, among other troubling aspects of the film.

The original movie, based on the mega-selling book series by British author E.L. James, was described as “female-oriented” pornography by one critic who said its popularity is another sign of Americans’ “loss of shame.”

"A culture that is determined to reduce all sexual morality to the issue of adult consent is now ready to eat popcorn while watching the corruption of the gift of sex and, in effect, granting approval to the vision of sexuality that is the film’s very essence,” Albert Mohler wrote.

The “Shades” movies have a built-in fan base from the books of mostly women, despite the celebration of behaviors that have, in Mohler’s words, “historically been defined as perverse and abusive.” Sales for James’ book series topped 100 million.

Critics spank “Fifty Shades Darker”

Secular media film critics, who are typically tolerant of sexual immorality and nudity in movies, have panned “Fifty Shades Darker.” (Some complained that there wasn’t enough deviant sex shown in the film.)

"This softcore swill is hardcore awful,” grumbled Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers.

The Toronto Sun’s Liz Braun could hardly contain her distaste for “Darker.” “Not to put too fine a point on this or anything, but ‘Fifty Shades Darker,’ sequel to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ is very boring. Very, very boring. Very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, boring, actually.”

Has even the target audience for this junk finally had enough,” wrote Rex Reed of the New York Observer.

Trashy and tawdry, tarnishing the luster of Valentine's Day,” said Susan Granger of SSG Syndicate.

"Fifty Shades Darker’s” Rotten Tomatoes score has crept up to a dismal 9 percent, reflecting critics’ overwhelming rejection of the film.

In contrast, “LEGO Batman” soared to a 91 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, with glowing reviews.

"It's the Bat-spoof we didn't know we needed and it gives Batman a chance to loosen up,“ writes review Adam Graham of The Detroit News.

“[T]his may be one of the very best films based on the DC Comics universe,” writes Daniel Kimmel of New England Movies Weekly.

Super Bowl ads and BDSM’s rising visibility

"Fifty Shades” in book and movie form is only the biggest-selling example of the rising visibility of “BDSM” themes in Western pop culture. BDSM, as defined by its aficionados, stands for “Bondage & Discipline, Dominance & Submission, Sadism and Masochism.”

Advocates now use the term “kink” as an umbrella term for the various BDSM perversions, which range from soft whipping to acts (especially in the male homosexual “leather” subculture) that are too repulsive to describe on a family website.” The use of “kink” can be viewed as analogous to the use of “gay” to help soften the public image of homosexuality.

Envelope-pushing opinion-molders increasingly have been inserting “kinky” BDSM references, jokes and themes into ads and movies. This year’s Super Bowl featured two such ads by T-Mobile. In both, the theme of being “punished” — like masochists take sexual enjoyment from being “punished” by their dominant partner — is linked to high cell phone fees.

Deviant-sex advocates use humor as one effective tool to break down cultural stigmas against BDSM in popular culture and society.

Such tactics were honed in the “gay rights” revolution: for example, the first TV show that “mainstreamed” homosexuality was the 1970s comedy “Soap,” with Billy Crystal playing Jodie, the first-ever proudly “gay” character in major TV. Jodie was funny and stereotypical and, like the show’s creators, quite serious about advancing the pro-homosexual “rights” agenda.

“Kink community” and “rough,” dangerous sex

In the same way, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF), based in Baltimore, Maryland, champions BDSM as well as other fringe behaviors and lifestyles such as “open marriages” and “polyamory.” NCSF staff lobby and “educate” the media, journalists, doctors, and police on how to be accepting toward the “kink community.”

Following a “victim” strategy endemic to the Left, the NCSF posted on its website a recent article in the liberal magazine Cosmopolitan about how difficult it is for BDSM practitioners to be open about their (perverse) lifestyle. The article is pro-“kink,” but along the way it reveals the physical dangers of BDSM sexual behaviors that effectively glorify “consensual” sexual violence.

The following anecdotes about what can result from “consensual” “rough sex” are from the original Cosmopolitan article:

“While a busted ankle or broken rib may not seem like a major health concern, the injuries that sometimes arise from BDSM can potentially lead to bigger issues if left untreated. According to Randall, bruises, muscle strains, and piercing tears are common medical issues associated with kink, but forgoing medical care for seemingly minor problems isn’t a good idea.

 “Big bruises can develop into hematomas, for example,” she says. “There are rare injuries from rough sex that may lead to serious complications, such as torn vaginal tissue or scrotum injuries, and because more risky sexual BDSM behaviors may include controlling the breathing of a partner, those with asthma face real risks if they’re not treated for attacks immediately.”

Earlier in the article, a South Carolina “kinkster” named “Sally” describes how “I fell while being untied from a suspension bondage scene and hit the edge of a table.” Sally “broke a rib,” but “I didn’t seek treatment because I was embarrassed to tell them how it happened.”

In the first “Shades of Grey” movie, the main female character Anastasia leaves her boyfriend Christian after he “punishes” her violently for sexual gratification.

The official MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) ratings page for “Fifty Shades Darker” states,

"The male protagonist's predilection towards BDSM practices forms the backdrop to the film's narrative. The film contains occasional verbal references and depictions of such sexual practices … Christian and Ana engage in various sexual escapades, but the BDSM segments which include restraints may be particularly uncomfortable for some viewers.”

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