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Entries in Michael Fassbender (78)

Wednesday
Mar182015

We Can't Wait #3: Macbeth

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's David to kick off the top 3...

Who & What: Yes, there have been countless Shakespeare adaptations through cinematic history, although the Scottish play is one of the Bard’s biggest plays that (perhaps) hasn’t landed a definitive English language adaptation as of yet (Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood will admittedly take some beating) – and that’s with auteurs as legendary as Orson Welles and Roman Polanski having taken a crack at it. Justin Kurzel, the Australian newbie who was much admired for the jagged savagery of his debut feature The Snowtown Murders, is in the directing chair, and has the awesome pairing of Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard as his royal Scottish schemers. 

People getting in the way of their bloodthirsty lust for power include David Thewlis’ Duncan, Paddy Considine’s Banquo, rising star Jack Reynor as Malcolm and The Great Gatsby’s Elizabeth Debicki as Lady MacDuff. Behind the camera, talent includes cinematographer Adam Arkapaw (Snowtown, Animal Kingdom), production designer Fiona Crombie (Snowtown, Top of the Lake) and our beloved costumer Jacqueline Durran.


Why we're excited about it: Ever since it was announced, Kurzel taking on what might be the Bard’s most gruesome pieces of work has seemed like a delectable proposition, with Snowtown’s eerie form promising a take on the greed, manipulation and psychological demonics of Macbeth that doesn’t skimp on the utter blackness at its heart. Add two of the world’s finest – not to mention most beautiful – performers at the centre, plus all of that additional talent, and this apparently ‘gothic’ take on the material can hardly fail.

What if it all goes wrong?: Well, it’s been a long wait – is that something to be worried about? Hopefully not; a preview at Cannes last year seemed to impress, and Kurzel probably didn’t want to rush it out of the editing room just for awards. Natalie Portman’s exit from the project was never explained, but it doesn’t seem to have augured any rumours of trouble in the production.

When: What with those Oscar rumblings last year, we’d wager it’ll be a long, impatient wait until some time near the end of the year, ready for next Oscar season, especially with The Weinstein Company involved. IMDb lists November and December dates for France and Sweden, but every other country is still awaiting news of when the latest take on the Bard’s most infamous play will arrive.

Previously...
Thursday
Jan292015

Sundance: Fassbender Wanders The Frontier In The Unsatisfying "Slow West"

Michael C here reporting from an unseasonably warm Park City

John Maclean's Slow West is an ambitious western that falls short of its lofty aspirations because of its thin execution and its dud of a protagonist. The protagonist is 16-year-old Jay Cavendish played by Kodi Smit-McPhee as a naif spectacularly ill-equipped to deal with the dangers of frontier travel in 1870. The voice over from Michael Fassbender's tough guy bounty hunter opens the film with the observation that it's a miracle Cavendish made it as far he did without getting murdered. We in the audience size him up with his innocent doe eyes and his still-waiting-for-puberty physique and we quite agree. He would surely have been doomed had Fassbender's Silas not taken him under his wing as a travel companion. 

This all would be a fine dynamic for a film, the weathered cowboy dropping a cold dose of reality on the young fool with his romantic ideas about true love and the West. Unfortunately, Slow West tries to push the idea that Jay is some kind of pure soul with poetry in his heart who can impart a lesson to the brutes like Fassbender about aspiring to something higher. Actually I thought the kid came off like a dope...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan032015

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Friday
Aug222014

Review: Frank

Michael C. here.  The audience can be forgiven if it assumes that Lenny Abarahamson’s Frank will be another cookie cutter indie quirkfest. The title character certainly seems at first glance like a contrived package of screenwriting conceits. Played by an actor we have to take on faith is Michael Fassbender, Frank is an artist who, despite a recent stay in a mental institution, still wears at all times a beach ball-sized fiberglass head with a smiling Howdy Doody face. Frank is the lead singer of an avant-garde band with an unpronounceable name (the Soronprfbs) and an unlistenable sound. When they perform it looks like five people having a synchronized nervous breakdown. With this shooting gallery of easy targets we sit back and wait for the movie to rain down mockery on its characters, sort of like a Napoleon Dynamite for hipster musicians.

The great surprise of Frank is that it avoids the easy jokes, aiming for something altogether more interesting. Abrahamson accepts these bizarre characters at face value and follows them with thoughtfulness and an open mind, often to funny places, sometimes to bracingly dark ones. It’s a tricky tonal balancing act, but the film rarely steps wrong. In passing up the cheap shots, Frank finds unexpected depth beneath the weirdness. 

We first meet Frank and company through Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) a would-be songwriter who spends his days wandering the streets hoping to find the inspiration to jumpstart his dormant creative engine. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
May252014

X-Men Movie: Shades of Future Franchise Past

[Editor's Navel-Gazing Note: I remind all readers upfront and as apology for this extraordinarily longwinded review that the X-Men are part of Nathaniel's actual soul, having clung to them like actual friends and role models for his entire childhood and adolescence. Other comics were mere 'entertainment'. The X-Men were the loves of his young life. -  Nathaniel]

Daniel Cudmore as Colossus and Fan Bingbing as Blink

The most visually intoxicating character in the latest "When Mutants Collide!" movie is Blink (Fan Bingbing). She has very little dialogue, if any, but linguistic skill is not a mutation ("Hey now...," protests Cypher, who the movies will surely continue to shun). Blink's highly effective signature move involves tossed off pink teleportation portals which she, her teammates, and their enemies jump, run, stumble, fly or are thrown through. Think of it as Nightcrawler's disorientingly rapid teleportation, if it involved all characters in a scene and could be used malevolently against some of them.

In the very exciting opening battle sequence of X-Men Days of Future Past we see this power used frequently and awesomely as she helps her teammates (Warpath, Collosus, Storm, Iceman, Sunspot and more) to surprise, fight back, and evade (for a short time at least) their attackers, an army of mutant-killing robots known as The Sentinels.  But these Sentinels learn quickly, and are very good at their job: killing mutants. The tides turn and a mutant massacre begins... or does it? 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr282014

Beauty Vs Beast: War of the Plastics

JA from MNPP here, bringing our weekly "Beauty Vs Beast" competition to North Shore High School for Mean Girls Week, The Film Experience's ongoing celebration of the film's 10th anniversary. That's right, it's time to pick a side - will you put on your bathing suit even if you're a lesbian and stand in defiance of Regina George, mean queen of the Plastic machine, or will you side with her, the devil you know, in the face of Cady Heron, that cruel interloper from the carcass-strewn wilds of the home-schooling system? Take a stand (and make sure to get your pink shirt back too)...

 

You've got one week to make your preference known and to scribble down your thoughts in the Burn Book that is the comments, so have at it.

PREVIOUSLY Last week we went mutant-crazy and asked you to choose between Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and whaddya know, evil has triumphed! It was closer than usual but Fassbender found the metal-core of your affections and yanked it his way, 60%-wise. Kate spoke truth to most everybody's feelings regarding the difficulty of this choice...

"I'd actually call it draw, myself. Xavier and McAvoy are the emotional core/grounding force of the film, while Magneto/Fassbender provides a kind of electric energy that jolts the audience. Their powers mirror their dramatic function in XMFC. Both of them are needed for the film to work."

Monday
Apr212014

Say What: Macbeth x 2

Amuse us. Add dialogue or a caption to these two new stills from Macbeth starring two much obsessed over actors, Michael Fassbender as the would be King and Marion Cotillard as his Lady with that damn spot.

I'll announce the winners of this and the previous contest on Wednesday