Monday, January 16, 2017

Michael Monday 29


Let's be honest, this week is going to suck. A major political event will take place in the US this week and I've been bracing myself for it, but it's not working. One remedy for this pickle I find myself in is to just focus on happy grinning photos of Michael Fassbender. Short of winning the lottery jackpot that will allow me to buy a private plane and fly to an exotic location, permanently, that is not affected by US politics, I'm just gonna have to find cheer from Happy Fassy photos.

Friday, January 13, 2017

TGIF 1.13.17

By John Russo 2013
As Assassin's Creed opens in cinemas all over the world, it is moving into 'hit' territory with its global box office of $155 million as of Jan 11th. I'm really proud of Michael doing what he aimed to accomplish with AC. It's a great film that deserves to be seen by gamers, and those who enjoy sci-fi/fantasy films that make you think. To remind you of the importance of international box office and how Hollywood is now catering to it, read this article from the BBC - How the Global Box Office is Changing Hollywood. It makes perfect sense why Michael and the studio focused on heavy promotions overseas.

The next Fassy film that will be released is Song to Song and it will be the opening film, on March 10, at the SXSW festival and the SXSW website has the film prominently featured. A fan emailed me asking if I thought Michael would attend the premiere. Well, since he's not filming anything at the moment, I think that he might make himself available especially since this is a Terrence Malick film, and it's been five years since Michael filmed it, so he's probably excited to see how it turned out at the very place that inspired the film. So yes, I now think he'll be there. And in case you haven't heard, apparently Michael's character in the movie has a 'Lucifer' quality to him. If this is true, then Malick has something up his sleeve about this particular character. Since this film has been off my radar for a while, I'm just starting to warm up to it again.

Thanks to all the new readers who rallied in the past two weeks to help FF @Facebook hit and pass the 1K Likes milestone. We got 15 in just the past week, even while I was out of town and offline. So that's great that you guys are enjoying what we cover on Michael here at the blog and at FF@FB. Thank you!

Friday, January 6, 2017

TGIF 1.6.17


The Fassy Universe has finally updated us on that Terrence Malick film that Michael worked on way the hell back in 2012. The new title is Song to Song, and it will have its world premiere on Friday, March 10 at the SXSW festival, a very appropriate place to debut this long awaited... and I admit, long forgotten film about the Austin music scene. According to reports, Michael's character has a Lucifer quality to him, and this has really piqued my interest now. Song to Song will be released on March 17, so I'll definitely check it out.

If you're not familiar with Malick films, well, I highly recommend you check some out first before you watch Song to Song because, he's a different type of director and his films all have a message in them that some people get, and some people don't and hate the film for not understanding it. You've been warned.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Michael Fassbender FF Year in Review: 2016

The year of 2016 was a very good year for Michael Fassbender. The year started off with loads of industry recognition for his work in Steve Jobs, and it ended with the fantastic Assassin's Creed. Not many actors have Michael's range of being nominated for an Oscar in one film, and starring in and producing in a video game adaptation of a popular video game. This year has been great for me as a Fassinator as I traveled great distances to see him being honored at public events, and supported and reviewed his films released in the past 12 months. As I reviewed the FF posts of this year, I realized that I shared a lot of frustrations earlier in the year related to the Hollywood awards game.  Here are the highlights of Michael's career in 2016 as covered by Fassinating Fassbender!

January

In the first of many honors for his brilliant work in Steve Jobs, Michael Fassbender was honored as International Star Actor Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. I flew to Palm Springs to attend this unique event. Michael was also in the middle of filming The Snowman in Norway, which is scheduled to be released in October of 2017. The Golden Globes was an embarrassing joke, and a few days later, Michael received his second Oscar nomination.

February 

At the height of Oscar season, Michael attended the BAFTAs in London and a week later, the Oscars in Los Angeles. I have nothing more to say.

March & April

In these quiet months, the 4th annual birthday fundraiser hit our goal this year to help The Bike Experience! There are huge challenges in online fundraising in fan communities, so it made me proud that we could honor Michael this way in supporting a worthy charity and hitting our goal. Michael is down in Australia filming Alien: Covenant.

May

It was announced that Michael's DMC Film will produce Entering Hades, a film about a real life Austrian serial killer.  And while Michael is in Australia, he does his part to promote X-Men Apocalypse. The first trailer for Assassin's Creed is released!

June

Michael is still filming in Australia and I get on the defense again about the fandom. I pulled the plug on the MF Weekly, and started the Michael Monday series.

July

The Toronto Int'l Film Festival announced that Michael Fassbender will be their TIFF Soiree honoree in September! I was so shocked and happy to learn of this news, but I had to make a quick decision about if I would be able to attend or not. Just coming back from a week in Europe, and planning my move to California, I made the decision earlier in the year to skip TIFF. A few days later, I decided to attend... of course. Michael finishes filming Alien Covenant and flies to London to chill for a little bit. He is spotted at Scott's restaurant with Ridley Scott, Ridley's wife, and producer Daniel Emmerson. Michael started promotion work for the upcoming release of The Light Between Oceans with his co-star, Alicia Vikander.

August & September

Michael and Alicia are at the height of promotion work for The Light Between Oceans, I saw it and loved it (review). They attend the premiere of it at the Venice Film Festival, and the next week, Michael is attending the TIFF Soiree and the festival to premiere Trespass Against Us. In an interview with Collider.com, Michael announces that he will go on a 6-8 months break from filming to concentrate on producing work. Driving to Toronto twice within 3 days was tiring and stressful, but a necessary thing for the editor of Fassinating Fassbender. I had a blast and it was just an honor for me to go to my favorite film festival to cover and support the Soiree event and a film screening for Michael Fassbender.

October

Michael receives a civilian honor in his hometown of Killarney by the Order of Innisfallen. This month I relocate to California. I recruit the assistance of April K to help update the blog and she will be the backup for the blog indefinitely.

November

The Light Between Oceans is released in the UK on 1 November. The US election results put a severe damper on the remainder of the month, but British GQ and British Esquire try to lighten the mood by ending the year featuring Michael as their cover story. A massive worldwide promotion for Assassin's Creed begins in Australia.

December

We are in full Assassin's Creed (review) mode with high anticipation for this film. Michael is all over the place in promoting AC! Killarney Today features an interview with Michael Fassbender that is released over four days and shares never before seen images of Michael in his youth. The first trailer for Alien Covenant is released and it looks brilliant and bloody scary. Fassinating Fassbender Facebook has surpassed the 1,000 Likes milestone!


Top Five Most Read FF Articles of 2016

FF Film Review: X-Men Apocalypse (29 May)

The Unbalanced Benefits of Promoting a Film (3 Aug)

Michael on Stage at TIFF Soiree (8 Sept)

TGIF  9.30.16 (30 Sept)

TGIF 10.28.16 (28 Oct)

Friday, December 30, 2016

TGIF 12.30.16


This is the final TGIFassy for the year. I don't know about you, but I'm glad this year is over, it's been a trip - both good and bad. I'm going to produce the FF 2016 Year in Review on New Year's Eve and whatever this year has been for you, it has been a great year to be a Michael Fassbender fan, albeit on a rollercoaster ride! There's been some massive highs, and some crappy lows. Over at my Twitter (@FassFass), I'm posting pictures of Michael to close out the year. Even though my Twitter is multi-purpose and covers all things, it's been especially sucky the past week, so I'm just going to smother my account with images of our charming man in these final days of 2016 to cast a beautiful spell on 2017 to make it a much better year. The ridiculous and heartbreaking death announcements, politics, and general shitty news has been most depressing and I'm re-tweeting that stuff to my followers. That's not cool, so I'm going to give them some Fassy love over the next 48 hours.

At the FF@Facebook page, we're just 4 Likes away from the 1,000 Likes milestone, so please, Like us and help us start off 2017 properly with a strong Fassinating Fassbender Facebook presence.

To close out the year in TV appearances, Michael will be a guest on the Graham Norton Show New Year's Eve special airing on 31 December. The full episode should be available immediately afterwards. It promises to be a good show along with Michael's co-star BFF James McAvoy.

Thanks to my admin team of Martha, Stephanie, and April helping out this year. It's been a very good year and I believe next year is really going to put FF on the map now that I'm in Los Angeles.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Michael Monday 28


Because Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, at least here in the States, it's also being observed on this Monday, so it's a rather lazy day today and I don't have to go to work. Besides attending an Iyengar yoga class later on today, I'm in a raw mood after my 80s boyfriend, George Michael, suddenly passed away on Christmas Day; this just sucks so much! However, to stay the course with the Michael Monday series, I'm using this sweet image of a tween Michael Fassbender from the three part interview series from Killarney Today, posted at FF@FB all this weekend. I'm grateful that his family released this image because it just helps his fans have another peek into his youthful past which allows us to appreciate Michael even more these days. Such a cute kid that grew up to be a beautiful man.

Also released this weekend was the Alien: Covenant trailer. It's eerie as heck and on the scary/bloody scale of the original Alien franchise films.

Friday, December 23, 2016

TGIF 12.23.16


It's Christmas weekend and this gives you plenty of time to see Michael's latest film, Assassin's Creed! As per my review, I really enjoyed it and want to see it again. I was talking to one of my co-workers today about the film and he told me that he was surprised that a really good actor like Michael Fassbender would do something silly like Assassin's Creed. He doesn't know I'm an undercover Fassinator, so I told him that I think actors like Michael like to diversify in their craft and take on roles that are really different and fun. I also told him that I "read" that he's producing the movie too and "according to interviews" he's just really interested in the science fiction of memories of our ancestors in our DNA. And I also "read somewhere else" that although he's not a gamer, he was really impressed with the Assassin's Creed game and wanted to bring it to the screen.

So basically, I failed at pretending not to be a huge Michael Fassbender fan. So I switched gears a little bit and told my co-worker that although I don't play video games, my favorite type of films for pure, unadulterated escapism, are indeed, video game adaptations because they are usually set in bizarre worlds and really take you into fantasy plots that are either dystopian in nature or a really weird science where you have to suspend disbelief in order to lose yourself into the storytelling. Video game adaptations don't require Oscar nominated/winning caliber talent, and that is what's so different and intriguing about Assassin's Creed; it attracted all these excellent actors and it really is an engrossing and entertaining film.

So, I don't know if I convinced him to see it, but if  he's one to give credence to critics, that may scare him off from seeing Assassin's Creed. But like I stated previously, when it comes to video game adaptations, or super hero movies, for that matter, critics' opinion of these types of film really do not matter because they cannot suspend disbelief to allow themselves to enjoy something that requires you to release critical thinking and just enjoy a good film that is not Oscar bait. Michael Fassbender is a two-time Academy Award nominated actor. He's been screwed over three times after giving his all in films that he should have won the holy grail for, so cut the guy a break and let him have fun in exploring a new and exciting film franchise based off the most popular video game in the world. Michael can use the break from trying to appeal to critics groups, the Hollywood Powers That Be, and awards groups, and for once, just have fun in making a film that is his baby and introducing and exposing himself to a wider global audience.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

FF Movie Review: Assassin's Creed (B+)


Can you imagine how exciting, or scary, it would be to tap into your DNA to actually see who your ancestors were via your bloodline, and live through their experiences as if it's occurring right now? That's the premise of Assassin's Creed. In this film adaptation of the popular video game, Michael Fassbender stars as Callum, a man who has a criminal life and is resigned to accepting his fate in the punishment of the death penalty. But he is saved by a secret society that knows about his ancestor who was an exemplary Spanish Assassin name Aguilar. The Assassin's Creed brotherhood was recruited to protect a mysterious object that is the origin of free will. The Templars is another secret group that wants to control this object, and thus, control society. Sofia, played by Marion Cotillard, oversees the Animus science project which mentally transports Callum to the 15th century and he quickly develops phenomenal fighting and parkour skills which will come in handy when he comes to learn the truth of why the Abstergo Foundation wants him. (edit suggestions thanks to ButMadNNW)

Assassin's Creed is a very mature film for the video game adaptation genre. It's an intelligent film, making it a stand out from your typical video game film adaptation. The more you're familiar with the video game itself, the more the plot between the Assassin's and the Templars make sense. There's enough intrigue, suspension, and unanswered questions to justify sequels. The action was first rate and the parkour sequences were breathtaking. Michael did a great job with Callum, especially with the physicality of the fight scenes. 

Go see Assassin's Creed and ignore the negative reviews from critics who are on auto-pilot when it comes to being negative towards films in the video game genre. This is not a Merchant-Ivory production, however, it is a step above the usual video games in its maturity, lack of gushing blood, no extreme foul language, no snarky one liners, and no sex. It's just a straight forward, cerebral, sci-fi/fantasy film that prompts you to think about how our DNA developed over millennium can tell us who we really are and what we're capable of doing by instinct once its awakened within us.

Grade:  B+

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Michael Fassbender in Time Out London

Scan from bulletproofisobel @Twitter
Michael is featured in the final issue of Time Out London as of today, and it's a pretty good interview. Michael admits that he's been working double overtime with making so many films in the past 5 years that he's up for a big break from acting soon. With his producing responsibilities, he now has that for focus on. The challenges of promoting films, and being a part of Oscar campaigning can talk its toll on a normal person.

Although the interview can be found at this link at Time Out London, I still want this magazine in my greedy Fassinating hands. Can you help me? Anyone reading this in London, please reach out to me and I will be happy to paypal you the money for the magazine and shipping. UPDATE: Time Out London at Twitter is sending me a couple of copies of the magazine. My twitter begging worked, they are fantastic and supportive of my Fassinating needs! Whoo hooo!!

Meanwhile, here is a what Michael said about winding down his thespian lifestyle. He certainly has given it his EVERYTHING.

I’m definitely going to take some time off acting now. I’ve given it everything up to this point.’

Monday, December 19, 2016

Michael Monday 27


Tomorrow I finally get to see Assassin's Creed! I'm going after work to see the 7pm show. But, I'm going to get to the theater a little earlier so that I can experience the Virtual Reality experience of the AC world. Some fans have the even cooler opportunity to do their own leap of faith before they saw the movie - as shared in this Tweet! I bet you have to sign a disclaimer that states that if you get messed up in the fall, they ain't responsible. I'd still do it for the fun of it! I'm really impressed with the marketing for AC, they really put the film out there and are enticing people to go see it, even during such a competitive time in the theaters. Assassin's Creed will find its audience, and I believe AC will be green lighted to have two more films.

It's going to be a long day on Tuesday, but it'll be worth it.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Red Bulletin Interview with Michael

Michael by John Russo

Thanks to Christine H, she found an interview with Michael from the Red Bulletin, a rare magazine in Germany. She kindly translated it, and yet again, I find Michael's interviews in German publications to be a bit more open and providing new details about himself. After following his career since 2007, it's great learning these minute bits of information on his life, past and present.

Interview has been uploaded at the FF Google Docs via this LINK.

Friday, December 16, 2016

TGIF 12.16.16

TGIF! Michael in Mexico!
A power blackout in my house prevented a timely update for this week's TGIF! This has been a great Fassy week with him being in New York promoting Assassin's Creed, and as of yesterday, visiting Mexico to wind down the past two and a half weeks of heavy promotion for AC. I haven't seen Michael so vivacious and happy about promoting a film in quite a while, and I'm sure his enthusiasm is also due to the fact that he's a producer of the film. Michael has looked fresh, relaxed, and very animated during this press tour and it's a great way to close out this year with his final film released in 2016.

I hope you have your ticket to see Assassin's Creed next week, I'm seeing it on Tuesday after work. It's been very stressful this week at work, so I'm really looking forward to the weekend, and the short Christmas break the following weekend. As a reminder, I will be doing a year end recap of 2016 and that will post a few days after Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Michael Monday 26


This is still no clear information on what day Michael will appear on American TV this week, with the exception of the Tonight Show on Dec 13th. I will update this post as soon as I can confirm his appearances on other TV shows. However, there are some social media events taking place at Facebook and Twitter.

At the #Assassins Creed Movie Facebook, there will be a live event with Xbox on Monday at 10:30PST and 1:30 EST. And there's a Twitter cast chat at Entertainment Weekly on Monday as well. Gee, why can't these things occur either over the weekend or after work cuz some of us are adults and work for a living? We have just one more week until Assassin's Creed comes out. Do you have your ticket yet?

Friday, December 9, 2016

TGIF 12.9.16


I was preparing myself to cover an LA premiere of Assassin's Creed, but alas, it ain't gonna happen. I don't know if there will even be a NY premiere. In the past two weeks, Michael Fassbender and his AC co-star, Marion Cotillard, have hit all the major cities in the 'foreign' markets in Sydney, Paris, Berlin, London, and points in between, to remind everyone that Assassin's Creed is coming out and to go see it. With the studio's focus on the European and Aussie market to promote the film, I'm getting the impression that 20th Century Fox want to promote Michael Fassbender more as an International Star, instead of a Hollywood star where the emphasis on the latter is on expectations to have a number one box office hit IN the US. Well, with another Star Wars film coming out on Dec 16th and the Christmas time family animation 'Sing' coming out on the 21st, of all the damn days of the year, let's just say that Assassin's Creed is going to assassinate foreign theaters more than American theaters.

I'm of the belief that for at least the 6 years or so, the success of films in global markets has become much more significant and a credible factor in determining the overall financial health, success and ROI of a film. For instance, if a movie "only" makes $27 million at domestic box office, but kicks ass at the global box office by earning over $75 million, that softens the blow of the softer box office returns from a country that apparently the film was not its true target audience, but instead, an international global audience. I remember trying to defend a favorite film some years ago at Gold Derby, and when I dared to place more emphasis on the fact that the film earned almost three times more money overseas than in the States, I was put in my place by an American awards prognosticator that foreign box office doesn't matter. American studios producing American films want those films to have domestic box office success. Who cares what those foreigners like, right? Well, that was the ignorant attitude about six years ago. Now, if a film doesn't do all that well in the states, so the fuck what, as long as it recoup its costs and does well in foreign markets, that's all that matters now. Here in the states, millions of ignorant assholes in this country elected an asshole asshole for president, so studios are going to continue to wring their hands and clutch their pearls about what the fuck we like? I doubt it because we're stupid and a joke the world over. Want proof, read this article from Grantland, All The World's a Stage: How International Box Office is Changing the American Blockbuster Economy.

Now that I got that off my chest, I just want to stress that Assassin's Creed, with its international star power, is being set up to be a worldwide hit which will be more embraced by the global audience, hence the marketing and promotional premiere emphasis overseas. I know it will do well and I'm so damn excited to see it on December 20th, here in Hollywood!

Michael will be appearing on TV here in the states to promote Assassin's Creed - he'll appear on the Jimmy Fallon Show - December 13, and Good Morning America as well. I will update with more accurate information soon about Michael's TV show appearances.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Michael Monday 25


The British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) had an opportunity to make Michael Fassbender fans, and the 50 Shades of Grey crazy fans supporting the awesome Jamie Dornan, completely ecstatic last night by having Michael and Jamie as winners in their respective categories. But neither won and that's pitiful. I already forgot the unknown, unphotogenic generic actor dudes who won, and I could care less about their films, that's how dull the winners are. But at least, unlike American awards, the BIFA don't care about PR and ratings, they vote for whom they believe gave the best performance. For what it's worth, I am pleased that as this year comes to a close, at least Michael got nominated for a performance released in 2016.