Tag Archives: Michael Fassbender

31 one sentence letter box reviews for the 31 movies I watched this October

Black Christmas (1974)

“The original slasher film and still one of the most satisfying.”

 

Blood Creek (2009)

“Fassbender, Cavill, Nazis, the occult, gore, awesomeness.”

 

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

“Not only a great genre flick, but one of the best movies of the year!”

 

Dead Alive (1992)

“Peter Jackson came onto the scene is a blaze of blood, guts, and ridiculousness.”

 

Dead Girl (2009)

“An unexpected gem and a truly disturbing look into the teenage male psyche.”

 

Dead Ringers (1988)

“Wikipedia lied…not a horror…but still creepy Cronenberg.”

 

Drag Me to Hell (2009)

“Sam Raimi’s return to the genre and it’s great!”

 

Evil Dead 2 (1987)

“Incredible, but I still prefer The Evil Dead.”

 

Ghostbusters (1984)

“80s comedy at its best, Bill Murray is a god.”

 

Halloween (1978)

“Defined a genre and set the bar to almost unreachable heights.”

 

Halloween 2 (1981)

“Hands down, one of the best slasher sequels ever made!”

 

Hellraiser (1987)

“Introduced a generation to absolute terror and the makeup is fantastic!”

 

Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 (1988)

“Picks up where the first left off, then adds amazing lore!”

 

Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth (1992)

“Kind of a cheesy revisit to a dying franchise.”

 

Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)

“Science fiction meets historical fiction, and they make an okay movie with some cool special effects.”

 

Haute Tension [High Tension] (2003)

“French slasher with great murder sequences, but a plot twist full of holes.”

 

I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

“Absurd rape horror that almost makes you laugh, not good.”

 

Kill List (2011)

“A pretty good movie, but not ‘the scariest movie of the year’ as advertised.”

 

Lawnmower man (1992)

“The idea still stands up, somewhat, even if the technology doesn’t.”

 

Lo (2009)

“A wonderfully minimalist Faustian tale that took me completely by surprise.”

 

Misery (1990)

“King, Goldman, Reiner, Caan, Bates, perfectly unsettling!”

 

Pandorum (2009)

“An alright story completely redeemed by the acting of Ben Foster and Dennis Quaid.”

 

Silver Bullet (1985)

“Worst Stephen King adaptation ever, and Gary Busy has always been a nutjob.”

 

Slither (2006)

“Not as great as everyone said back then, no wonder it never gained cult status.”

 

The Collector (2009)

“Better than every mainstream horror of the last 3 years, find and watch this movie!”

 

The Dead Zone (1983)

“This creepy adaption of King, is one of the best, plus… the scissors!”

 

The Faculty (1998)

“Without a doubt the best of the late 90s teen horror movies!”

 

The Shining (1980)

“A masterpiece!…still”

 

The Strangers (2008)

“The first 40 minutes are the most stressful of my life, the end left something to be desired.”

 

V/H/S (2012)

“Somewhat inventive with some great moments, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

 

Wolf creek (2005)

“Not sure about the hype. it just didn’t have any effect on me…at all.”

What Designer are you wearing? Who cares?! 2012 Oscar Selections!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the Oscars, I hate the Oscars. It is like the Super Bowl at my house. I come back every year and dig in deep and see as many of the films as I can, that is the great part; expanding my mind through the education of a wide range of films. The thing I hate is the stupidity of the Academy and its predictable and political motives. I can get over it easy, because I love films, actors, writers, set designers, etc., etc.

This year I am taking a different approach. Instead of actually predicting who I think will win, I will just tell you my choice in these selected categories. I am typically 50% wrong, it is not because I do not know what I am talking about, it is because I cannot set aside my personal taste and preference when it comes to these “art” films.

Also, follow me on twitter @jwfyler as I “live-tweet” the show. Because you really care about my opinion. I will try to be funny, I make no promises.

 

Sound Mixing

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

Moneyball

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

War Horse

I am not exactly sure how they actually choose the winner in this category. Of the five, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had the best mix of all the sounds in it. Haha.

 

Sound Editing

Drive

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

War Horse

This is the only thing that Drive is nominated for, thus, it should win.

 

Visual Effects

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Hugo

Real Steel

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Rise of the Planet of the Apes did a great honor to the original movies by keeping the same level excellence. CG, backgrounds, all of it was fantastic.

 

Film Editing

The Artist

The Descendants

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

Moneyball

David Fincher’s team knows how to pace a movie, editing is the key to his success. Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall are true wizards.

 

Makeup

Albert Nobbs

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

The Iron Lady

Old ladies, women as men, done before. I think this category is a joke this year. The original Planet of the Apes should just hold this honor for all time.

 

Art Direction

The Artist

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Hugo

Midnight in Paris

War Horse

More so than the other films on the list, it felt exactly like the time period. Not just as a movie, but the atmosphere, acting, and color were all perfect.

 

Cinematography

The Artist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

The Tree of Life

War Horse

Back to Fincher’s team. Angles, speed, focus, these things matter more than people ever realize. Jeff Cronenweth started with Fight Club and has kept that level of greatness in all his work.

 

Costume Design

Anonymous

The Artist

Hugo

Jane Eyre

W.E.

I hate the Jane Eyre story, it is so boring. I find that I am of a small percentage here. The film did have great casting and costumes. A classic British tale, it is kind of a shoe in. Michael O’Connor has already won for The Duchess.

 

Foreign Language Film

Bullhead

Footnote

In Darkness

Monsieur Lazhar

A Separation

Sadly, this is the only one I have any experience with. I make a promise do to better in this category next year.

 

Documentary Feature

Hell and Back Again

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Pina

Undefeated

Again, the only one that I actually saw. It was so good though. The story of the Memphis Three, this film is one of three that have been a major factor in bringing this case to light across the whole country.

 

Animated Feature Film

A Cat in Paris

Chico & Rita

Kung Fu Panda 2

Puss in Boots

Rango

Down year for animation. A Gore Verbinski/Johnny Depp film has the best shot in a year when Pixar put out a turd.

 

Music (Original Score)

The Adventures of Tintin

The Artist

Hugo

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

War Horse

John Williams holds the record for most Academy Awards nominations of any living person. He has two in the fight, and I preferred War Horse. This is a situation where I cannot set aside body of work.

 

Music (Original Song)

Man or Muppet

Real in Rio

Only two nominated. Bret McKenzie, of Flight of the Concords fame, wrote a song worthy of The Muppets I grew up with.

 

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

The Descendants

Hugo

The Ides of March

Moneyball

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

I have not read the original material, but of these five films, The Descendants felt the most honest and real. It was an interesting family tail that had depth without being too depressing.

 

Writing (Original Screenplay)

The Artist

Bridesmaids

Margin Call

Midnight in Paris

A Separation

Woody Allen either nails it, or bores me with the same old game. Midnight in Paris was funny, witty, and not over the top. Plus I love the 20s.

 

Actress in a Supporting Role

Berenice Bejo: The Artist

Jessica Chastain: The Help

Melissa McCarthy: Bridesmaids

Janet McTeer: Albert Nobbs

Octavia Spencer: The Help

No stand outs here, in my opinion. That said, Octavia stole the show in The Help and I really hope she wins.

 

Actor in a Supporting Role

Kenneth Branagh: My Week with Marilyn

Jonah Hill: Moneyball

Nick Nolte: Warrior

Christopher Plummer: Beginners

Max von Sydow: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

This is really tough. Nick Nolte gave his best performance since Blue Chips and I have a soft spot for Christopher Plummer (General Chang). My final decision came down to the fact the Plummer played more out of his element and was marvelous. Nolte was extremely believable, but not an unexpected role.

 

Actress in a Leading Role

Glenn Close: Albert Nobbs

Viola Davis: The Help

Rooney Mara: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Meryl Streep: The Iron Lady

Michelle Williams: My Week with Marilyn

Another hard one. Rooney Mara took over a role that was done very well by Noomi Rapace, but she did it all better. She was brutal, mean, sexy, vulnerable, all the stuff the Academy looks for. Michelle Williams was the perfect Marilyn Monroe, which is a great feat. I loathe Meryl Streep and Glenn Close; they very seldom evoke any emotion in me. I will call a tie between Williams and Mara, loved them both…Oh, I can’t do that? Ok, Michelle Williams, there.

 

Actor in a Leading Role

Demian Bichir: A Better Life

George Clooney: The Descendants

Jean Dujardin: The Artist

Gary Oldman: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Brad Pitt: Moneyball

Most of the time the person who wins this category is an anti-hero of sorts, or an addict, or dying, etc. George Clooney showed me his great acting talent by pulling off a completely normal and real human being in a somewhat unusual circumstance. When I “buy” an actor, is when I no longer see that person, and I can imagine it would be hard to fully commit to someone who has no great conflict, disease, or war and completely “sell” it.

That being said, I think Michael Fassbender should have been nominated for Shame, and should win. He did four movies this year; his body of work is incomparable this year. I know, “the Oscar’s aren’t about body of work”. Really? Scorsese won for The Departed and not Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, or Goodfellas?

Someone else who had a great body of work this year was Ryan Gosling, three great films. Drive is crazy-awesome.

 

Directing

The Artist: Michel Hazanavicius

The Descendants: Alexander Payne

Hugo: Martin Scorsese

Midnight in Paris: Woody Allen

The Tree of Life: Terrance Malick

I think this was the best movie of the year, and in turn Martin Scorsese the best director. Malick’s The Tree of Life was too much of an art piece for me to think that he/it was the best. The other three are on the next level of good.

 

Best Picture

The Artist

The Descendants

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

The Help

Hugo

Midnight in Paris

Moneyball

The Tree of Life

War Horse

The most heart, the most interesting, and the most entertaining. A great film about a boy who has fallen in love with film and technology before Hollywood and before computers and smart phones controlled our lives. The awe and wonder of this film struck a chord because I remember falling in love with motion pictures at a young age. I related to this film, thus my choice for Best Picture.

Keepin’ Me Waitin’: Top 5 most anticipated films of 2012…plus some

I know it is almost March, but the last two months have not been noteworthy.  This list is based on release date, not excitement level for the film. I will also break the normal routine and add some honorable mentions.

Honorable Mentions:

Project X – 3/2

John Carter – 3/9

The Hunger Games- 3/25

The Cabin in the Woods – 4/13

The Avengers – 5/4

The Dictator – 5/11

Brave – 6/22

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – 6/22

G.I. Joe: Retaliation – 6/29

The Amazing Spider-Man – 7/3

The Dark Knight Rises – 7/20

Total Recall – 8/3

The Bourne Legacy – 8/3

Looper – 9/28

Skyfall – 11/9

Gravity – 11/21

Les Miserable – 12/7

World War Z – 12/12

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – 12/14

Cosmopolis – TBA

Seven Psychopaths – TBA

 

Top 5:

5. The Master – TBA – Directed, and co-produced by Paul Thomas Anderson. Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, and Laura Dern. Loosely based on L. Ron Hubbard and the creation of Scientology

 

 

4. Moonrise Kingdom – 5/25 – Directed by Wes Anderson, written by Anderson and Roman Coppola. Starring Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Francis McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Jason Schwartzman. Anderson bias, summer camp, and kids in love.

 

3. Prometheus – 6/8 – Directed by Ridley Scott and written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof. Starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green and Charlize Theron. Ridley Scott doing science fiction in the same universe as “Alien”.

 

2. The Great Gatsby – 12/25 – Based on the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel of the same name. Directed by Baz Luhrmann. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgarton and Tobey Maguire. One of my favorite books, a great director, and maybe the best character fit for DiCaprio.

 

1. Django Unchained – 12/25 – Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Christoph Waltz. Tarantino doing a post-Civil War Western.

If only half of these are as good as I am expecting, then it will be a fantastic year in movies!

Hey, you want a toothpick? Top 5 Favorite Films of 2011

Over 250 films are released in the average year. I do not get to see even half of them. That being said, I saw a lot of movies this year. Marvel literally exploded, David Fincher continues to put out great products, and Woody Allen won me over again. Some of my favorite filmmakers did not contribute to this year, so for me it was a bit of a down year. Down in that there were only about 20 films that I really liked. Of those 20 or so, these are my favorites:

5. X-Men: First Class – this is what an X-Men movie should look like. Thanks to Bryan Singer’s vision and his involvement in this picture, I believe we have come full circle since the 2000 cinematic super hero explosion. Singer produced and Matthew Vaughn directed this long delayed, much changed, rushed version of the beginning of the X-Men universe. Vaughn’s follow up to Kick-Ass, this film marks his first attempt and big time Hollywood blockbuster. Taking place in the 60s at the height of the Cold War, Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr meet, become friends, and introduce the world to mutants. It was executed perfectly, mainly because the casting was so fantastic. Fassbender as Magneto was inspired casting in the class of Patrick Stewart, Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman and Heath Ledger. This movie is cool, historical, fun, and makes you feel something other than just visual stimulation. It makes me excited to see what will happen next with my favorite super hero franchise.

4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo- This did not originally make the list. It was because I wanted to avoid comparison with the original and the source material, plus I always put Fincher in my Top 5. After a second viewing, I knew that I enjoyed it so much; I could not leave it off the list. This mystery-thriller that takes place in Sweden is a return to form for David Fincher. Think back to his 90s films that were edgy, witty, and unapologetic. Se7en, The Game, Fight Club; these films caused some outcry about desensitization and the current state of movies. This film is dark, depressing, exciting, and has the perfect amount of Fincher charm. A story about a washed up journalist who is trying to solve an old case, then gets mixed up with a girl with a shady past and together they uncover years of deception, hatred, and cruelty. Rooney Mara is someone to watch in the future, I have been cheering since her small role in 2010’s The Social Network, also a David Fincher movie. Though not an original piece of work, this movie was great and, I think, better than the Swedish version. Nice to see that Fincher still has the Indie chops after a decade of Zodiac, Benjamin Button, and The Social Network. Plus the opening credits are really cool.

3. Drive- This was the most unexpected film of the year. Ryan Gosling is usually pretty good, I do not flock to his movies the way some people (read: critics and girls) do. But, this film was masterful on his part. He is a reserved individual with a great talent for driving for whoever offers him work. He has a moral code that keeps him alive. When he breaks that code and falls for a girl, trouble follows. This movie has a great soundtrack, style, atmosphere, acting, etc. etc. Just a great piece of realism and understatement. If you like the grand theft auto games, if you like Gosling, if you like mob movies, or you just like good movies; check it out.

2. Midnight in Paris- A somewhat unexpected addition to the list. I like Woody Allen films, but I don’t typically love them. Annie Hall is good, Scoop is great, and there are a couple in between. Then there are the bad ones too. I will leave my opinions on those as to let you decide how you like your Woody Allen. Midnight in Paris is a great one. Owen Wilson is back to his element of being a little self-deprecating and witty as opposed to boyish and charming. I like Wilson like this, let Luke be the good looking one. Only a few movies make me want to see Paris, 2 are on this list. The more I think about it though; it is not modern Paris, but the pre-WWII France that I desire. Much like Owen Wilson’s character, I love the 1920s. Hemingway, Dali, and probably my favorite, Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby was the start of obsession with the roaring 20s. The cast is great fun and well put together in small and large roles a like. I think Woody Allen is at his best when adding a little fantasy and philosophy to his films, so much as to avoid some of his neurotic overplaying of relationships. This is solid romantic comedy with an original take and lighthearted attitude.

1. Hugo- I was able to avoid seeing this in 3D, I believe that made all the difference. There is so much to say about this film, but I will edit myself. It takes place in 1931 and primarily in a train station. A story of a boy who has lost his father and whose imagination sets him on a journey that is not at all self-serving. That is a great delight in modern cinema, a hero who in the end helps someone else more than he helps himself. Set in Paris after the first war, the depth and atmosphere that Martin Scorsese creates is fantastic and shows his love of film history. I am no scholar of film, but I know the story of Georges Méliès and fell in love with the pictures from A Trip to the Moon in collage. This is the best PG movie I have seen that was not Pixar in a long time. It captures to the wonder of motion pictures and the purity of children who experience them, not just view them. The only other film that I have seen that balances childhood, adventure, and a history of film so well is Cinema Paradiso. Movies do not have to be gimmicks and mindless entertainment; they can mean something and speak to our inner adventurer who we have hidden since we “grew up”. This will be a film that I will revisit throughout the years.

Another year done with movies and I feel I fall further and further behind, I saw what I could and enjoyed myself immensely.