Currently browsing the "Michael Fassbender" tag.

The Light Between Oceans

Some people (particularly those who hate melodrama) may scoff at the manipulative nature of The Light Between Oceans, with its sweeping score and dramatic pans of crashing waves and remote landscape; but for fans of a solid romantic drama with a two-kleenex tearjerker quotient, The Light Between Oceans is worth the view.

Steve Jobs

First, there was Jobs, a 2013 biopic about the Apple founder as portrayed (rather decently) by Jobs doppelgänger Ashton Kutcher. Then, there was Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, a rather disappointing documentary from acclaimed director Alex Gibney. And now, there’s Steve Jobs, yet another take on the flawed genius who put iPads, iPhones and iMacs in the hands – and on the desktops – of the masses. This latest effort has three things going for it: a snappy script by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, The West Wing, etc.), the direction of Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), and the magnetic appeal of Michael Fassbender (X-Men, Inglorious Basterds). Put all of the above movies together, and you come away with one clear message: Jobs was a brilliant a-hole. (ummm, A is for apple?)

X-men: Days of Future Past

I will admit up front, I haven’t seen any of the other X-men flicks. But the good news is that this one stands alone and begs me to watch the others to see what I was missing. In Days of Future Past, Wolverine is sent back in time to 1973, so the characters that populate this series are youngsters and their relationships with one another are not yet certain, which makes for a great introduction to the mutant clan. And it is a LOT of fun with a fabulously yummy cast too boot. Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy — what could be wrong with that? And Jennifer Lawrence proves once again that she is a force to be reckoned with.

12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave is a film based on the memoir of Solomon Northup, a free middle class black musician who lived in upstate New York in the first half of the nineteenth century. It is the nightmare tale of his abduction and sale into slavery, and his 12-year fight to survive and rejoin his family. The film is filled with ugly brutality and Northup, who is forced by the slave traders to go by another name, is systematically dehumanized and has to hide his true educated self, since that could mean a death sentence for him. A lot of it is hard to watch, but the violence is integral to the story, and it is definitely graphic but never gratuitous.

The Counselor

I almost didn’t bother writing this up at all. But then I felt an obligation to alert the Chickflix readers… that I really hated it. The fact that it features an A-list cast makes The Counselor all the more disappointing. I’d love to be able to encapsulate the plot, but I really don’t have a clue. All I know is that Michael Fassbender plays a lawyer who’s mixed up in some underworld drug dealings that begin to take a heavy toll on his personal and professional life. His girlfriend (Penelope Cruz) is blissfully unaware. His “friends” (Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt) don’t exactly have his best interests at heart. And I don’t know what Cameron Diaz is supposed to be playing. Whatever it is… it’s creepy, and gross. If you haven’t already heard about her display of ‘auto erotica’, count your blessings.

Prometheus

I really wanted to like Prometheus. Really I did. I have loved Ridley Scott movies in the past. Alien was groundbreaking. Blade Runner is one of my favorite movies ever. Gladiator certainly did not suck in the least. And I am a fan of great sci-fi. But for all the hype and general bated-breath teasing for this movie, it never really got all that interesting. What it did mostly for me is to set up the next film. And two hours is just too much exposition for this chick.

Haywire

Mixed martial arts (MMA) superstar Gina Carano plays the lead and does all her own stunts in Steven Soderbergh’s latest action flick Haywire, which comes off feeling kind of Bourne-lite. In it she is surrounded by a pretty yummy collection of today’s high powered male stars: Antonio Banderas, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, even Michael Douglas. And that is the problem with the film. Carano is not an actress, and she really cannot hold her own with the big boys.

A Dangerous Method

Michael Fassbender has been one extremely prolific actor this year, first as the arrogant Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre, then playing Magneto in X-men: First Class, then as the tortured sex addict in Shame, and now he gives us psychoanalyst Carl Jung in A Dangerous Method. What a range of characters! I think Jung may be his best performance (I didn’t see Magneto, but…), and A Dangerous Method is the best film in the bunch.

Shame

Oh my! I’m not really sure who – if anyone- you can actually see this movie with. Suffice it to say, it’s not a date movie. Or a family movie. Or a fun fantasy flick. It’s dark and disturbing – and provocative – in a Black Swan sort of way. I didn’t particularly like Black Swan, despite the Oscar-worthy performance of Natalie Portman. Same goes for Shame. It’s not my cup of tea (at all), but the performances – especially from Michael Fassbender and Carrie Mulligan – are quite superb. So should you see it? Maybe – in the privacy of your own home when it comes out on DVD! But in a theater??? That’s a tough call. Here’s why:

X-Men: First Class

This movie is everything a prequel should be: entertaining in its own right and true to the characters we’ve come to know in the previous franchise films. For the uninitiated, the X-Men (and women) are a superhero team sprung from the pages of Marvel comic books. They are considered mutants because they have an extra “X” gene that gives them each a unique power or ability that normal humans lack.