Friday, March 24, 2017

TGIF 3.24.17

Last weekend when I watched Song to Song, I forgot to mention that the first screen time Michael had in the film, he was riding a motorcycle, really fast. It made me wonder if it was something Michael suggested to Malick that his character Cook engage in, or if it was already in the script that Cook was a bike enthusiast, just like our Fassy. Either way, it was pretty cool to see Michael participating in his favorite hobby in a movie. Which is a great segway into letting you all know that we have just 7 days remaining for the 5th Annual Michael Fassbender Birthday Fundraiser for The Bike Experience. We are running behind on our fundraising goal, so I'm hopeful in this final week that those of you who plan to donate will do so and help make up for the slow pace this year's fundraiser has experienced.

When you donate to the fundraiser, you are not only celebrating your favorite actor's upcoming 40th birthday, but you are also helping a charity that is extremely reliant upon fundraisers to help support its growing mission to give disabled people the opportunity to ride a modified motorcycle on a professional speedway. It takes a lot of money to build these special bikes, maintain them, rent the use of tracks, and provide the riders with the biking accessories and protective gear, etc., that fundraisers like ours provide to TBE.

So please donate whatever amount you can. I strongly believe in this charity, and those who have donated thus far feel the same way. When you donate, your name will be added onto a birthday greeting announcement to Michael, which will be given to him on his birthday. A raffle prize and winner will be announced on Monday, April 3.

Please go to this link to donate asap because we need your assistance to make our goal and give TBE the monies they desperately need!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Fundraiser Countdown: 10 days left!

The final stretch of this annual birthday fundraiser is a crucial time to rally up the troops and ask for donations so that we can meet our goal. This year's fundraiser has been particularly challenging as we're not at 30% yet and we have 10 days remaining. We can do better than this, and I know some donors like to wait near the end to donate, so thank you in advance for that. However, there are many of you who need a bit more reminding.

A charity like The Bike Experience is wholly reliant upon fundraisers to operate. And this fundraiser wouldn't be happening if we all weren't so fond of Michael Fassbender and wanting to honor his birthday on April 2, where he'll turn the Big 4-0!

Please donate whatever you can today to help jump start the fundraiser so we can meet our goal!

Donate here ===>

Monday, March 20, 2017

Michael Monday | Song to Song FF Film Review

Every single time I go see a Terrence Malick film at the theater, I see people get up and walk the hell out and never return. These poor people just can't handle the lack of steady, easy to follow dialogue from Malick characters. They don't like or can't follow the hop scotch way of his film making process. The same thing happened this weekend at my Arclight Hollywood viewing of Song to Song, starring Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara and Natalie Portman. If you can remain in your seat during an entire Malick film, you are a true cinephile, you enjoy the challenge of watching and understanding a Malick film, and you want to see the ending so that you can see how this mysterious puzzle all comes together. You are a person who appreciates film making that is non-traditional, utterly non-linear, uses the beautiful landscape to help shape the narrowly defined characters, and use a diary narrative method to guide the viewer as to what happened and what will happen. Song to Song is set in Austin, TX, and this film should be adopted by the Tourism Board of Austin because it did a splendid job in showcasing this beautiful and amazing city.

Rooney is Faye, an aspiring musician who is reluctant to work with music producer Cook, played by Michael to launch her music career. And she has every reason to feel this way because Cook is a predator who uses his position and power to seduce people and throw them away when he's done with them. He hypes them up and charm them at first, but then makes them feel worthless and stupid. He lives off of their co-dependency to him, and when you cross him, he'll leave you high and dry, and he'll find another desperate, gullible person to suck dry; like the sweet character played by Natalie Portman as Rhonda, who then marries him and quickly becomes miserable. He won't even go to church with her. Heathen! While Faye is trying to ween herself off of the poisonous Cook, she befriends and then falls in love with BV, played by Ryan Gosling. BV is a songwriter and musician who works with Cook to get his music produced. Through the process of introducing Faye and BV to the music scene in Austin, the three of them go traipsing around Austin and hang out with all the other fabulous, pretty, and rich people connected to, or are hangers on of the music business. Plans, hopes, and dreams are shared and discussed in these various hot spots, while betrayal and backstabbing are planned in secret. Song to Song shows us how people use other people and how people allow themselves to be used in the pursuit of their dreams, but still wind up back to square one with nothing to show for their efforts; or in a worse situation, like what happened to poor Rhonda.

Malick said the original cut of the film was 8 hours. Although the film was just over 2 hours in length, perhaps another 40 minutes could have fleshed out the characters a bit more. Just as you're about to figure out one character, an entirely new character pops up in the next scene with another dark woe is me tale of misery and broken dreams. As a fan of music, the scenes at the SXSW festival were fun to watch and have a glimpse of the behind the scenes off stage. Malick's camera loves Michael Fassbender, and Michael did a great job playing such a creepy creep. The movie provides many opportunities for Fassy .gifs to be created because he goes through many acts of seduction, bastard behavior, and emoting as a man with regrets and sorrow at a key moment. I do enjoy Malick's style of directing because no one does it quite like him. He is reliant on the cinematography of his films which become supporting characters of his films; often at the sake of the human characters whom are dull compared to the nature surrounding them. Perhaps on the Blu-ray of Song to Song, Malick will add another 30-90 minutes to a director's cut version, if only to develop the primary characters a bit more. But 8 hours of Song to Song would be too overwhelming and unnecessary to tell the story of people trying to share their music to the world - at any cost to their soul and spirit.

Grade: B-

Friday, March 17, 2017

TGIF 3.17.17

Michael at Heathrow Airport 3/12/17

It's St. Patrick's Day, and Michael's movie, Song to Song, made way back in 2012, opens in theaters today! I'm going to try to check it out this weekend for sure, and a film review will be posted. I have steered clear of reviews because Terrence Malick films are not very mainstream friendly, and critics can either love it, or hate it with extreme prejudice. So I don't want to be spoiled of anything, especially anything related to Michael's character.

As you know, Michael is in the rare position of not actually filming a movie at the moment. After his promotional work for Song to Song at SXSW last weekend, as well as some pre-promotional work for Alien: Covenant, Michael is most likely doing some production work for his DMC Film company, and preparing for what will surely be a huge marketing junket for Covenant in early April, in preparation for the film's May 19th release date.

We're in the end of the second week of the birthday fundraiser so I hope donations continue to come in today and throughout the weekend, in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day and in honor of half of Michael's heritage, his upcoming birthday, and supporting the fantastic The Bike Experience charity!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Michael Monday 37

Thanks to Martha for creating this cool fundraiser image to recognize Michael's upcoming 40th birthday and the fundraiser honoring him, and supporting The Bike Experience. This year's fundraiser has started off very slow, but I'm hopeful that with this week being St. Patrick's Day on Friday, and Michael's next film, Song to Song, being released on Friday also, will help boost support for the fundraiser this week. It's so important that we keep the momentum going because it helps encourage others to support the fundraiser as well. When people see others giving, they will give too. So please donate this week to help get the fundraiser on track to its goal of raising at least £1,000 by the end of the month.

Like in the past, all who donate will be entered into a raffle where the grand prize winner will be announced on April 2, Michael's birthday. And all donors will have their names added onto a birthday card fundraiser greeting and sent to Michael's representative. It is a one page announcement listing all donors and a birthday message to Michael. With this being his 40th birthday, it will be a most special message to recognize this milestone in his life.

Just Giving accepts payments through Paypal which makes it easier and more convenient than years past. But if you encounter any donations problems, please let me know via email and I will work with you to get your donation processed. You can also donate anonymously for privacy.

Thank you for supporting this year's fundraiser to honor Michael and to help disabled persons experience the thrill of riding a motorcycle!

Friday, March 10, 2017

TGIF 3.10.17

Michael the movie star 2017

The movie '300' came out in the US on Friday, March 9, 2007, and like a lot of people, I wanted to see it, on IMAX even. I was lured in by the promised display of lots of man flesh and I was not disappointed. As of March 9th, I never knew some guy named Michael Fassbender was even on planet Earth. But on Saturday, March 10th, I saw him for the first time as the excited and eager to fight Stelios. I loved the movie so much, and Michael, that I saw it again the following weekend. Soon after wards, I started to Google him, learned more about him, saw him outside of his Stelios persona and was surprised to see a slight, cute, toothy young man just about to make it big in Hollywood. It would be a full year later that I would then be inspired to create a blog about him because after meeting him in Toronto in 2008, I was impressed and smitten big time, and was inspired to support Michael's endeavors by creating a fan blog to chronicle his life and career.

Michael as Stelios in 300, filmed in 2006

There are literally thousands of actors just as ambitious and hungry for Hollywood fame like Michael Fassbender. But what stands them apart from Michael and a select few like him is the raw, pure talent to excel in the film industry and be in demand from top directors and studios. With no signs of his career wavering, Michael is at the top of his game and has won numerous acting awards and accolades, and has been nominated twice for an Oscar. I will soon be celebrating 10 years of being the editor of Fassinating Fassbender, and I can honestly say that when I took on this venture, I was just going with the flow and using my interest in Michael Fassbender as a creative outlet in covering the entertainment world. But I think by the following year, and most definitely in 2010 when I interviewed him for the blog, that's when I realized that I was in this for the long run - permanently - I ain't going nowhere!

Michael at the 300 premiere in 2007
In recent years, there have been many fan sites, tumblrs, twitter accounts, etc., focused on Michael Fassbender. And all these places offer something unique to a very diverse fan base. Fassinating Fassbender, while one of the oldest websites, we're not the biggest, and we don't have the largest fan base, and that's perfectly fine. So many fans have come and gone, but I'm still here. I don't personally know anyone who has been with FF since the beginning because fandom is fickle, it's always been that way in every fan genre. I never take on a project that I don't believe in, and it's such an honor to still be a huge fan of Michael for a decade. Not many Fassinators can say that. Sure, there are a few remaining fans who have genuinely known of Michael since his Hex days on BBC 2004-2005 (I didn't have cable TV). A great number of them became fans because of 300, like me; but the majority came on board once Michael got involved with the X-Men franchise in 2011.

With my prior close proximity to Toronto, I've had the pleasure of seeing and meeting Michael a few times at TIFF, and each time my appreciation of his talent swells a bit more. To honor Michael's April 2nd birthday, we are in our 5th year of the birthday fundraiser supporting a British charity, The Bike Experience, which helps disabled people ride a motorcycle, a hobby that is near and dear to Michael. Since 2013, we have raised just over £4400 and we hope to add another £1k, at least, to that total by the end of this fundraiser. It would be easier and for vanity reasons to switch up fundraisers and support an American one because the dollar amount would be easier to raise and more impressive to brag about, instead of the more valuable British Pound which hurts those of us donating in US funds. But because Michael has lived in London for more than a decade, it makes sense to support a charity based in England.

This weekend at the SXSW festival, Michael's latest film, Song to Song, will open the festival, and it will be released in US theaters the following Friday, on St. Patrick's Day no less. Also on Friday, there will be a special 'Meet Walter' video released to promote Michael's character in Alien Covenant. And lastly, to close out the year of award nominations, Michael has received his ninth Irish Film & Television Award nomination for The Light Between Oceans.

I hope you enjoyed reading this week's TGIFassy to honor my 10th anniversary of being introduced to this amazing actor. I'm going to watch 300 this weekend to celebrate the occasion. Thanks in advance for your donations to the fundraiser to honor Michael's upcoming 40th birthday!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Michael Monday 36

Over the weekend, I went to the theater to see Logan, and I saw the preview for Alien: Covenant. I tell you, the computer screen doesn't do justice for the latest and scariest trailer for the movie. Watching it in the theater made it more exhilarating and horrifying! There were gasps in the audience when the Alien was on the screen. Covenant is going to be a hit and I already know I'll be seeing it more than once in the theater. I hope 20th Century Fox gives it a proper Hollywood premiere because I will be there!

We are starting a new full week to get the annual Michael Fassbender birthday fundraiser off to a good start. The fundraiser has always started off slowly, and that's ok, just as long as we made our goal. So this is just serving as a reminder to make your donation as soon as possible because it helps inspires others to donate too.

Friday, March 3, 2017

TGIF 3.3.17

Michael just wrapped up his tour of Asia in support of Assassin's Creed. Next, in just one week, Michael will be attending the World Premiere of Song to Song at the SXSW Conference and Festival on March 10th. The film will be screening at the Paramount Theater at 6:30 pm. Are you going? I've never been to SXSW and I don't think I'll ever have the pleasure of attending, but if you are able to go, it seems like a fantastic festival with something for everyone to enjoy. Surely there will be lots of images from the world premiere of Michael. I think everyone will be in attendance except for Natalie, and surely Michael will have a lot to talk with Ryan Gosling about with what happened at the Oscars.

Also, as you may know, Michael's birthday fundraiser just started this week, so please read Wednesday's announcement and plan to make your donation sometime this month. Michael will have a milestone birthday next month and be a part of Team Fassinating Fassbender in contributing to this year's fundraiser supporting The Bike Experience!

Next week I will feature a cool anniversary special report I want to share with you!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The 5th Annual Michael Fassbender Birthday Fundraiser!

For the fifth year, Fassinating Fassbender is the proud sponsor of The Annual Michael Fassbender Birthday Fundraiser in support of the wonderful work of The Bike Experience. Michael will turn 40 years old on April 2 and it's my hopes that we can raise a record amount of money and surpass the goal! Since 2013, we have raised just over £4,400, and this year, our goal is to add at least another £1000 to that amount. Each year it is a challenge to raise money and my belief has always been that any amount raised is a good amount raised, and we should be proud of ourselves for doing as well as we have. Certainly, The Bike Experience appreciates our support and at the bottom of this blog post, I share with you an update from Talan, the founder of TBE, which explains how your donation is used to allow the charity to flourish over the years.

Unlike previous years, I am going to withhold until the end, what this year's raffle prize will be. I don't want it to be a distraction, or an enticement just to get people to participate. You will make a donation on your own volition because you simply want to support the cause. Many donors will be repeat donors from the past 5 years, and some of you will be first time donors. I and TBE welcome you all to donate whatever you can. As usual, the fundraiser starts today, Wednesday, March 1, and it will end at 6 pm PST on Friday, March 31. So we have a full month to make our goal and really show Michael and The Bike Experience that Team Fassinating Fassbender wishes Michael a great 40th birthday, and to help TBE continue to provide a life changing motorcycle riding experience for disabled persons.

There have been some slight changes/upgrades with Just Giving since last year's fundraiser, and one noticeable difference is the donation option. You can donate using your Paypal account now! I made my donation and it went through without a problem. Previously, even I had to call my bank to get approval to allow my card to be processed via Just Giving, but this year, you won't have that headache, just click the Paypal link, or if  you prefer, you can still use your credit or debit card.

Please click the link below to make your donation. The same button will be located at the top of the sidebar as well.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Here is the summary from Talan on The Bike Experience's successes last season, and their goals for 2017 - all due to fundraisers held by teams like FF. Thanks everyone, let's make this a big year!

The Bike Experience review 2016 

The Bike Experience season ran from April 2016 to October 2016. It has proven to be another very successful year in getting disabled/injured riders back on a motorcycle.

During the course of the 2016 season, the instructional days were designed to have six riders attending a single day. This was managed by the careful division of use of the instructional area and the increase in number of TBE Instructors and core TBE Volunteers. A total of 77 places were taken by disabled riders, with 50 different riders (as some came more than once). 

This season there were three events at Donington, these events were paid for and manned by Bennetts Bike Insurers. The area is an ideal size for the riding of motorcycles on the Experience, and the Launch Pad Building is a great indoor facility to allow for briefing, relaxation and changing. In addition there were three events at RAF ODIHAM and six events at Silverstone Circuit. The charity had three fund-raising/demonstration events -  Prescott Bike Festival, F1 and MotoGP at Silverstone Woodlands Campsite.

The charity had its first corporate or group day. This was organised through Silver Linings and the group brought along 14 clients with various levels of disability, but all having some form of acquired brain injury. Although only a small number actually managed to ride independently, all had an experience of being around motorcycles again, sitting on them, watching and sharing the day. This is an area that the charity will look into for the 2017 season, in addition to regular TBE events.

The charity would like to thank all those who have supported the 2016 season, through financial contributions, pieces of equipment, maintenance of equipment, volunteering at TBE events, fundraising, increased awareness, social media and support of riders. Without all those working together, the charity would not be in a position to operate and continue to offer the life changing experiences to so many.

 Looking ahead to 2017

The charity will seek to have 13 instructional events as per each season, as well as introducing some specific group days similar to the specific Silver Linings event at Silverstone. For increasing awareness of the charity there are three demonstration events already booked - Prescott Bike Festival, Tandragee100 Road Race (Northern Ireland), Donington Endurance Legends.

We are also creating a Virtual Reality Bike that can be taken to SCI centres/rehab centres/groups. This will take the form of a CBR954RR on a plinth, with a screen or headset. The client will be assisted to sit on the bike, or next to it and have the sensation of being taken around a track. There will also be the interaction between the motorcycle controls and the computer simulation, so the client can be responsible for part or full control of the motorcycle.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Michael Monday 35

I'm still reeling from the Best Picture announcement fiasco of the Oscars last night, just unreal! I had hoped Moonlight would win, but, not quite so dramatically. So in honor of Moonlight winning, here's a lovely Michael Monday portrait of Michael with a lighting effect in the background that is similar to a moon.

The 5th Annual Birthday Fundraiser begins in two days! Let's make this a big success for a very special birthday!

Friday, February 24, 2017

TGIF 2.24.17

It has been a good week in catching up with Michael on the final leg of promoting Assassin's Creed in Japan and China. He looked breathtaking and he seemed to really enjoyed himself there. Also this past week, we finally got to see the trailer for Song to Song, and, a really cool prologue video of the Alien Covenant crew before chaos ruined their lives. I still stand by my grand appreciation for Prometheus, but I'm so glad Covenant is going to be bloody gory, going back to the scary roots of what started it all. As much as I love horror films, I don't like watching them in the theater because weak people in the audience scream and trip out and a few fools even kicked the back of my seat, something I really don't appreciate. I anticipate Alien Covenant will be a scream provoking, back seat kick inducing film, but I'll deal with it because some films (i.e. Fassy Films) need to be seen in the theater.

The month is winding down and next Wednesday, March 1st will be the first day of the 5th Annual Michael Fassbender Birthday Fundraiser in support of The Bike Experience (TBE). The founder of TBE, Talan, has provided me with a great summary of the 2016 season, and some cool updates on what they have planned for 2017. I will share his update with you next week. Please start thinking about what you would like to donate this year. If you have never participated, now is a really good time to do so because we really want to honor Michael on his 40th birthday with a most successful fundraiser for this worthy charity!

Lastly, I was asked to be interviewed by the Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail, on Thursday in light of the news that the Toronto Int'l Film Festival has made some significant changes to its program. Apparently the reporter read some of my TIFF articles at Theatre of Zen and she wanted my reaction to the changes. I spoke with her for over 10 minutes and the article went live late Thursday evening. I'm apparently an "industry insider", I'm so geeked, I'm too legit to quit! Read the article: TIFF Overhaul Receives Cautious Applause from Industry Insiders. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Michael Monday 34

With the long awaited trailer for Song To Song released on Friday, and with the UK release of Trespass Against Us next week (3 March), we're going into this week with high hopes that March is going to be a great Fassy month. And the timing couldn't be more perfect to coincide with the birthday fundraiser that will start soon. I had a crappy week last week, so I'm very hopeful that Michael's smile in this week's MM photo is seriously contagious in real life and be much better for me... and for you if last week sucked for you too.  Cheers!

Friday, February 17, 2017

TGIF 2.17.17

Michael traveled to Japan this week for a final leg promotion of Assassin's Creed. With Japan and China the last countries to have the film released there, the box office for the film will get a nice boost of support. According to Box Office Mojo, the box office receipts of the film as of Feb 16 is at $212 million, and 74% of that take is from international movie goers.  In the end, Michael and company should be very pleased with the success of Assassin's Creed and feel confident in moving forward with completing the trilogy series. Meanwhile, especially for those of you who have seen this great film, check out this deleted scene that director Justin Kurzel removed because he deemed it "convoluted and complicated".

It has been confirmed that Michael will attend the SXSW festival on March 10 to not only support the long awaited Terrence Malick film, Song to Song, but Michael will be joined by Ridley Scott as they give a sneak preview of Alien: Covenant during the festival. Dang I wish I could be there, but I'll make sure to watch Song to Song as it'll be released on March 17, a week after the SXSW debut.

Remember the 5th annual birthday fundraiser starts in less than two weeks, so I look forward to your support once more!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Michael Monday 33

In a couple of weeks, the 5th annual FF birthday fundraiser will commence on Wednesday, March 1st. So please get ready to join the Fassinating Fassbender fanbase in making this year an exceptional fundraising success to honor Michael's 40th birthday, and The Bike Experience. Have any of you celebrated your 40th birthday yet? It's a really cool milestone. Still young, but older, wiser, and you're taken more seriously in the world because you're like a real straight up, bonafide adult. In your 40s, you're still receptive to learning and exploring new things, so it's an exciting age group to be a part of. If we thought Michael in his 30s kicked ass - and I've been a fan of his since he turned 30 in 2007, I know that his 40s are going to bring an expansion of his acting talent, more producing, and delving into directing. Michael Fassbender is like a fine wine - he gets better with age.

And speaking of that, I'm not being nasty or anything, but I Googled fine wines of 1977, and the first one that came up was Cockburn's 1977 Vintage Port for $155. Make of that what you will. What kind of celebratory Fassy birthday wine will you be drinking?

Friday, February 10, 2017

TGIF 2.10.17 (Edited)

After keeping tabs on Michael during his LA visit earlier this week, we're going into a quiet weekend until Michael pops up again. I posed a question at FF@FB asking if people would be interested in seeing Michael present at the Oscars this year. He did such a nice job at the DGAs that I think it would be great for him to be seen on a worldwide stage presenting an award. But I don't know if it's really his cup of tea, and I would totally understand if he's not interested. The closest most celebrities will come to being on the Oscar stage is as a presenter, and it's very lucrative to do so. In any event, slightly off TGIFy topic, since I've seen the one film that has been smartly marketed to all hell, stamped-approved, and pre-designated to win everything (you know how this works), I'm going to see two films this weekend that I hope win in their respective categories: I Am Not Your Negro (Best Documentary), and Toni Erdmann (Best Foreign Film  - Germany).

As usual, Hollywood has already negotiated the rights to take the very successful, very original, and very GERMAN Toni Erdmann and they're going to make it All-American for those who don't want to read the German spoken film with English subtitles. I'm not cool with this, because for cripes sake, we have the original, playing in theaters right now, and strongly positioned to win the Oscar for Best Foreign film. And before the Oscar engraving dust has settled, Hollywood has signed on two big All-American as apple pie celebrities to remake Erdmann for the USA crowd. I already know it's not going to be as good as the original so that's why in honor of Michael Fassbender and Daddy Josef Fassbender and the country of their birth, I'm going to the theater on Saturday to watch Toni Erdmann and reading the English subtitles of this German film like a proper and cultured cinephile!

Unterst├╝tzung deutscher Filme!

Edited to add: DMC Film is hiring an intern!!!