Sunday, May 29, 2016

FF Film Review: X-Men Apocalypse (4/5)


[Caution: Some spoiler and plot details]

In the third X-Men film featuring the younger cast of mutants, it is set in 1983; twenty years after First Class, and ten years after Days of Future Past. Just as a slight fatigue starts to settle in on the X-Men franchise, I was nervous that Apocalypse would signal it winding down or set the stage for another changing of the guard. But if anything, X-Men Apocalypse re-introduced enough younger X-Men to justify the continuation of this franchise. In living up to its title, the X-Men are faced with dealing with the original mutant, Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac). He wakes up after being dormant for nearly 4,000 years and he's very disgusted with the state of the world in the late 20th century. As he's coming to his senses, he comes across another mutant, a young Storm (Alexandra Shipp). After Apocalypse has a crash course in getting up to speed on the way things are in the modern world, he sets plans in action to cleanse the world of filthy, war mongering humans, and start anew with just mutants on the planet. But first, he needs a few more human hating X-Men to join his posse.

Michael Fassbender as Magneto/Erik Lehnsherr
Meanwhile, in Poland, Erik (Michael Fassbender) is playing nice and trying to blend in with the humans by being a polite, quiet, low-keyed factory worker. He's married and has a little girl who also has beautiful animal friendly mutant powers. For the first time in Erik's life, he is happy... but also in hiding due to his act of war crimes from the past decade. By accident, Erik saved a man's life, but by doing so, he revealed his hidden powers. Humans being the backstabbers they are, alert authorities of what they saw Erik do, and they come looking for him. In the process of taking Erik into custody, a moment repeats itself similar to when Erik was taken away from his mother, and again, his life is ruined. Erik becomes Magneto on steroids, and he's done playing nice with the humans. Apocalypse is now aware of Erik and uses Erik's righteous anger on a mission to destroy the world. Magneto was already a powerful mutant, but under Apocalypse's guidance, he becomes even stronger and the world is once again informed of just how scary, bad and powerful Magneto is.

With electromagnetic chaos occurring all over the world, and with the world's nuclear weapons being destroyed, the X-Men convene at Professor X's School for the Gifted. Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) has matured but her physical appearance is not blue Raven, and the same for Beast (Nicholas Hoult) by using his serum to suppress his blue skinned alter-ego. The newer versions of Cyclops, Night crawler, and Jean are introduced in short back stories which starts to make the movie feel a bit bloated. That's not to be a negative, but it just demonstrates how relevant and interesting each X-Men character is, and to just insert them in the film without explaining who they are would be an injustice, so the film suffers slightly in trying to give intro space for each integral X-Men. Due to the destruction that the Apocalypse crew is causing around the world, Charles/Prof. X (James MacAvoy) uses Cerebro to log on into the minds of mutants and humans to see what's going on. For the first time 10 years, Charles and Erik meet in their minds and Charles comes to understand Erik's newest pain and anger. But with Apocalypse coming to learn about Charles' existence and his powerful mutant skills to enter the minds of anyone on the planet, Apocalypse sets his sights on using Charles' body as his next conscience transfer. Apocalypse uses Cerebro to track down Charles and capture him, and in the process, the school is destroyed.

Evan Peters as Quicksilver
The most brilliant scene in the film was with Quicksliver (Evan Peters) as he arrived at the school just in time to save the students. This scene had the Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams playing, and it was just a spectacular use of CGI and slow motion and demonstrating Quicksliver's awesome super speed mutant powers. The film switched gears again by inserting the evil Colonel Stryker. I did not expect to see him and it was a minor 'what?' moment, but I went with the flow because when there's Stryker, Wolverine is not far behind. Seeing a feral and abused Wolverine go full rampage was the second best scene in this great film. This slight detour in the film will most likely be used to set up the next round of X-Men films.

The ending was predictable but satisfactory. The heavy reliance on CGI can get a little old, but when it comes to super powerful beings destroying the world, this is when CGI must be employed to simulate the mind blowing destruction that occurs. There will be more X-Men films in the future because the new recruits of Jean Grey, Storm, Cyclops, and Night crawler will be fascinating characters when they are given more room in future films to breathe. Especially Jean Grey, so much more can be done with her character because her mutant powers are untapped and can be horrifying if not controlled.

However excellent Michael Fassbender was in Apocalypse, his turn this time, he really brought his A-game into this role. Michael has clearly demonstrated that he is a superior actor by bringing so much depth and emotion into Erik's world. I almost feel that Apocalypse should be Michael's last time at bat as the younger Magneto because he's so stand out, so commanding on the screen, that anything short of a full blown stand alone Magneto film would feel like 20th Century Fox and Marvel is cheating the integrity of the Magneto character, and the actor, Michael Fassbender. I know I'm biased, but many other fans and reviews of this film think the same way. A two-time Academy award nominated actor portraying a superhero character that is multi-dimensional, and equally loved and feared, deserve so much better than being a supporting X-Men character. So far, only Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) has had a stand alone film. His character is very meat and potatoes and has a crazy military and war background and a strong fan base that was hungry for a solo film. I don't know if Magneto has that same level of interest in a separate film. He's a beloved character, and a very powerful mutant, but his story is more sad (Nazis and Auschwitz) and a bit more high-brow and cerebral - a film plot not for the lowest common denominator.

X-Men Apocalypse is a very entertaining film. There are just too many X-Men to really embrace and appreciate appropriately in this film. I think this is the last time we'll see some of the characters we have enjoyed from these three films, but that's fine because there were some worthy characters re-introduced to us this time. I think James MacAvoy is in this for the long haul because his Prof. X is integral to his school he developed. However, I think Jennifer is done with Mystique because I sensed a lack of interest in her when watching her on screen, she seemed, bored or distracted. And Michael, I think he gave this his all and did a fantastic job in what may and should be his swan song as Magneto. He's just too damn good of an actor to play second or even third fiddle mutant in the X-Men movies - and he has second billing. Maybe Michael will make a cameo appearance in future films, because Quicksilver has something to tell Magneto.

Score: 4/5 stars - go see this!

Friday, May 27, 2016

TGIF 5.27.16

It's X-Men Apocalypse opening day here in the US! Michael has been receiving great reviews on his third outing as younger Magneto. This time, they are in the year 1983 (hence the neon pink TGIF coloring), and a select crew of pissed off X-Men are being recruited by the Original mutant to teach stupid humans a final lesson in respect. Will they succeed? I'm going to see it this weekend and post my review here shortly afterwards.

We have had some good conversations over at FF Facebook, so don't forget to visit there when things are quiet on the blog! It's also Memorial Day weekend, so have a fun and safe time whatever your holiday plans are!

Friday, May 20, 2016

TGIF 5.20.16

We have a full week remaining in the US before we can see X-Men: Apocalypse. From what some fans have seen so far, people really like it, and Michael as 1980's re-pissed off, anti-human mode Magneto is fantastic. Want receipts? Here is a sample of Michael's A-game as the mutant Magneto having an emotional breakdown after humans screwed him over, yet again.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Michael at the Sydney VIP Screening of X-Men Apocalypse

Photo by Mentrik Tjen

FF reader Mentrik Tjen kindly shared these photos of Michael Fassbender attending the Sydney VIP screening of X-Men: Apocalypse. She said he looked even better in real life, and was very sweet with all the fans. Since Michael is down under filming Prometheus 2, it appears that this may be the only premiere he can attend to support the film. I guess that's the good and bad thing about working in Australia; it either prevents you from doing all the premiere stuff for other films, or it's just so far, far away, you can't go. It's like a glass half-full, half-empty dilemma.

Zimbio just posted a bunch of photos from the VIP event too, so check them out!

Thanks Mentrik, I'm glad you had a great time!

Photo M Tjen

Photo M Tjen

Friday, May 13, 2016

TGIF 5.13.16

Michael participated in Skype interviews for the London premiere of X-Men: Apocalypse, and he looked really good, but his hair was not blond as I anticipated to see him. He's in Australia filming Prometheus 2, so perhaps in his second spin as David, maybe he will be wearing a blond wig. When X-Men have their Australian red carpet, Michael will be in attendance.

Also this week, the first official trailer for Assassin's Creed debuted on the Jimmy Kimmel show with a fantastic parkour delivery (watch the video). And a beautiful new trailer for The Light Between Oceans was unveiled this week too and it's definitely going to be a very emotional film (Video).

In my long quest to obtain a second interview with Michael Fassbender, some promising developments occurred this week. While it can still take some time for this to come together, it will happen, and I'll keep you updated as things progress. Michael is extremely busy, he is an A-list, two-time Oscar nominated actor who is on the hot list for loads of mainstream media to interview. I have to wait my turn, and as a mere blogger fan, it's worth the wait because it demonstrates that Fassinating Fassbender is a reputable source of information for all things Michael Fassbender, and it's an honor to once more be in the queue of consideration to interview this wonderful actor and human being.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Assassin's Creed World Premiere trailer

The moment we've all been waiting for has arrived! The first official trailer for Assassin's Creed reveals an exciting, intelligent, and intriguing glimpse into Michael Fassbender's newest film that will come out in the US on December 21st!

Friday, May 6, 2016

TGIF 5.6.16

If you are in London, and are excited about X-Men Apocalypse, you can get a chance to see Michael Fassbender and the X-Men cast on Monday, 9 May at the London red carpet premiere of the film at BFI Imax London. Even if I were in London, I probably wouldn't have the time or patience to deal with the crowds, and it's really not my thing, but some people have time on their hands and the stamina to stand extremely close to strangers. However, we will appreciate any exclusive fan experiences and pictures from the event, just email me.

There will be lots of  new pics of Michael next week, so things will liven up here a bit real soon! Meanwhile, we have enjoyed learning about Michael taking on the Entering Hades project, and I'm patiently awaiting some images of him currently filming Prometheus 2 in Australia.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Michael's next role: Serial Killer

I was hoping that the next big film that Michael would be involved in would have him be a villain, a real, low down scumbag villain. Not one that you can sort of empathize with, like Magneto, or David of Prometheus for that matter. Today, Variety announced that Michael and his production company, DMC Film will produce Entering Hades. This film is based on the true life story of an Austrian serial killer,  Jack Unterweger, who murdered a prostitute in 1974, and went to prison. Whilst in prison, he was released on good behavior under the pretense that he was "rehabilitated". Upon his release, he became famous and even wrote some books. But the low down scummy murdering bastard in him reared its head again, and he start killing more women on his down time.

How screwed up is that? Jack had a new life, some fame, some money, but it appears that it was in his nature to just murder innocent people. He wound up committing suicide when he was found guilty of murdering those women. According to his wikipedia page, he was diagnosed as having a narcissistic personality disorder.  In total, it's estimated that Unterweger killed 11 people.

Michael Fassbender is known for taking on challenging and controversial roles, and this one goes straight to the top. Michael is going to have to do some major research into gory aspects of the murder cases of Unterweger, as well as other high profile serial killers, so that he knows at least a little bit about how the mind works on these natural born killers.

As sweet and nice of a person I am, I find that I gravitate towards movies about the macabre nature of deranged human beings. I guess I do it so that I know more about them and how to avoid the fuckers in real life. As a psychology major at University of Michigan in the 90s, one of my favorite classes was the Abnormal Psychology course. You take that class, and you realize how dull and regular you are, and that's a good thing.

Congrats to Michael and DMC Film for another major coup in nabbing a great story that will be an excellent film, starring an outstanding actor!

Are you excited about this new role for Michael, or concerned about the subject matter? Would you go see it?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

TGIF 4.29.16

Michael Fassbender has been spotted around Australia, mostly shopping, eating, and seen hanging out, enjoying himself... but more on the down low. He's there to film Alien: Covenant, however, he will be taking a break in about a week to start the promotional work for X-Men: Apocalypse! The film's release date in the USA is May 27th, but it will open in Europe and the UK May 18 & 19, with the UK premiere reportedly on May 9th. We will surely have much more to see and catch up on Michael in the coming weeks, and I tell you, I can't wait. I appreciate the Fassy down time so I'm not too distracted from real world stuff, but I adore the dude and I do want to see him in new interview clips and read the latest on him.

I'm heading off to Philadelphia in a few hours for my 20th...or my 25th, Pearl Jam concert since 1994! Sadly I have lost track, but one thing's for sure, I love them! So that is why the weekly TGIFassy post is posting a little earlier. I can't neglect one love over another. :)

Friday, April 22, 2016

TGIF 4.22.16

We just ended a second week of low news about Michael Fassbender. It may be dry like this for a few more weeks before X-Men: Apocalypse is released on May 27th. I'll be there to watch it on opening day. I don't have much more to write as I'm still in the afterglow of the shock about Prince's death the other day. I've been aware of Prince since 1981-ish and have enjoyed his work throughout the years. He was one of those people you knew would live almost forever. If I have to pause for a moment for him, it's worth it, and it demonstrates the power and influence that some musicians and actors have in our lives, whether we want to admit it or not. RIP Prince.

Friday, April 15, 2016

TGIF 4.15.16

I've been working massive hours in the past two weeks due to two upcoming trips (Philadelphia for Pearl Jam concert - weekend of April 29th), and my long planned London/Paris trip (June 23-July 2). It's a lie that money grows on trees, you have to go out there and earn it! Just as timing would have it, it's been quiet on the Michael Fassbender news front. Other than some promo posters for X-Men: Apocalypse and little tidbits about Assassin's Creed, I think Michael is en route to down under to film Prometheus 2. We should be seeing him with blond hair any minute now.  By the way, Michael did win his fifth Irish Film and Television Award this past weekend for Best Actor in Steve Jobs. Although he wasn't able to attend the event, I'm sure he's very pleased and honored. I thank IFTA for recognizing him once again. I think Michael is on track to be the most award winning actor of Irish heritage.

As a reminder, if it's quiet here on the blog, go to the FF Facebook page for the latest on the most mundane info we can share with you about Michael's activities.

Friday, April 8, 2016

TGIF 4.8.16

Earlier this week, Michael Fassbender won the Jupiter Award in Germany for Best International Male Star. Even though Michael could not attend the event somewhere in Germany, he accepted his award like the perfect gentleman that he is, by wearing a tux and speaking in German to accept his award. It is a rare treat to hear Michael speak in the tongue of his birth country. There is another award that Michael could collect this weekend, and it is the Irish Film and Television Awards, which will be handed out Saturday, 9 April.

Michael is still in Norway filming The Snowman, so I am not sure if Michael will attend the IFTAs in person, or if he does win, if he'll put on his tux again, and record an acceptance speech. Remember, if he wins the IFTA, it will be his first competitive award won for his excellent portrayal of Steve Jobs.

Now that Steve Jobs and Macbeth are available on either Blu-ray or streaming on Amazon, a lot of people are watching both films and a lot of those people are also NOW declaring how incredible Michael Fassbender is in both films and that he should have won an Oscar. Duh! Gee, thanks people, you're a day late and a dollar short. If people actually went to the theater to support Michael's films in the first place, this past awards season would have been more respectful to him.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

More Fundraiser Winners! Updated

Once again, I cannot stress how happy I am that we had such a successful fundraiser this year to not only recognize the birthday of the best actor of our generation, Michael Fassbender, but to support a charity that all of those who donated, really believe in.

Talan Skeels-Piggins, the founder of The Bike Experience, will be sending me some TBE t-shirts. I pulled some names from a second raffle, and the t-shirt winners are:

Annagathe H, Karen A, Gabriel L and Kendra R! I got one for myself and the admin team. This was a unique year and again, thank you all for your support!

Also, stay tuned later today because the official trailer for Dream the Impossible goes live!

Here is the new trailer for 'Dream the Impossible', a documentary on The Bike Experience!

Dream the Impossible FULL TRAILER from Speechless Films on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Fassy Birthday Day and Fundraiser Contest Winner!

Today is Michael Fassbender's 39th birthday, and we just completed a successful fundraiser in his honor reaching 108% of our goal! Michael, whatever you're doing today, have a lot of fun and have a drink on us because he love and admire you for all the joy and entertainment you give to us! 

Happy Birthday!

We had 29 donations this year. And of all the years since 2013, this year had the highest average donation made at £37. That is very impressive! The whole average for the previous three years, was £28. Due to us just missing our goal last year, donors this year dug deep into their wallets and were more generous this year. Thank you all so very much!!! A successful fundraiser reflects a healthy and supportive community, and you don't know how much this means to me. So it's my honor to award a contest prize to the donor raffle winner this year.

I added all donor's name to the Contest Winner Picker random-ize website, clicked on the 'Pick One' button, and voila!.... Jennifer W. is this year's winner! Jennifer, you won a copy of the Michael Fassbender Biography written by Jim Mahoney! And the St. Patrick's Day winner, Sara Irvin will get a t-shirt from The Bike Experience! Talan is very appreciative of our support this year, he's in Cornwall on personal business, and he'll ship some t-shirts off to me next week. Depending on how many he sends me (I'm nabbing one big time!), I'll pick a few more names as runner ups and a few more people will get a TBE t-shirt too.

Happy Birthday Michael, and thank you to all the donors listed below!

Christine H
Kendra R
Jennifer W*
April K
Stephanie C
Sara I*
Vera I
Dianne d
Aimee VG
Marjan V
Jen C
Lauren BM
Isabelle S
Andrea C
Ramona C
Annagathe H
Gabriel L
Karen A
Rebekah H
Gisela F
Anonymous 1, 2 and 3

*contest winners

Friday, April 1, 2016

Happy Birthday to Michael!!!!

I am so grateful to the 27 donors who participated in this year's annual birthday fundraiser in support of The Bike Experience and to honor Michael Fassbender for his 39th birthday this Saturday, 2 April! Participating in fundraising is not everyone's cup of tea, and you select members of the FF community truly make a difference in someone's life, and in showing how much you admire and care about Michael Fassbender. This birthday announcement has been forwarded to a someone at Troika who will see to it that Michael sees this as soon as possible!

Managing a fundraiser is very hard, but the credit goes to the people who pay attention to the call to donate, and I'm grateful that an elite number of you have contributed to this fundraiser because, a) you believe in the charity, b) you want to honor Michael on his birthday in the best way a fan can, and c), and most importantly, you trust me and respect the mission of Fassinating Fassbender to be a part of this.

Go to the FF Google Drive to view the birthday announcement!

The winner of this year's contest will be announced on Saturday, on Michael's birthday.