Tag Archives: Michael Fassbender

Pain, truth and transcendence in Shame

Unlike my experience with The Artist, I did not walk into a full theatre either time I saw Steve McQueen’s new film, Shame.  It was rather like a men’s restroom or a public bus with few passengers: everyone silently agreed not to sit near anyone else. We were all watching the film together, but each of us watching it alone.  The physical setup of the cinema space proved to be perfect for the film, whose protagonist Brandon (Michael Fassbender) wakes up to find himself utterly alone in the most populous city in the world. Continue reading

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X-Men First Class gets B- (but kind of hates women and minorities)

The re-boot: what an intriguing concept. A production company just Etch A Sketches the previous narrative to start a new one.  One motive is the hope of re-invigorating a franchise that’s hobbling along; both Spider-Man and X-Men got their re-boots (Spider-Man hits next year) after weak third installments. Or maybe you just don’t want to spend the money to maintain your now-expensive lead actors and directors.  For the audience it’s almost like losing the lottery: you spend three films (over the course of a decade) investing in the characters and their narrative, only to be told you’ll have to re-invest (maybe that’s more like the stock market).  Fortunately X-Men First Class offers some legitimate incentives to do so, but it’s not without its flaws. Continue reading

Jane Eyre – a master class in adaptation

For all intents and purposes there are two kinds of adaptations. The first comes out of respect for the original source, immense reverence for the intent of the original author, and a meticulous approach to detail. This is the faithful adaptation. The other, unfortunately much more common, is the interpretation of the original. It places the characters in a new setting, or alters their relationships to invoke new themes or update the old ones to be more relevant today (a lamentable approach, as many of those altered themes were universal to begin with). Rarely does a filmmaker succeed in either category, as either the book far outshines the complexity achieved by the film, or the book was so forgettable people fail to recognize the adaptation at work. Here, however, is a prime example of not only a perfect adaptation, but one that eschews the aforementioned dialectic. It creates a wholly original work, one that pays more than its due to the Bronte novel, but also completely devoted to playing with his own themes. In both areas it succeeds tremendously. Continue reading

New footage revealed in the Russian trailer for “X-Men: First Class”

Last month we brought you the first full-trailer for Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class, which is set to open June 3rd of this year, and the Russian trailer has now appeared. As is usually the case with foreign trailers, we get some new visuals we didn’t get in the original U.S. trailer. It’s in Russian, but the visuals say everything you need to know. Let’s have a look…

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Fish Tank: The Best Film of 2010

Try as we might as film critics to present an objective review of a film, one filled with points of evidence and fancy adjectives, ultimately cinema-going remains a subjective experience.  The darkness of a cinema is not the equivalent of a blank canvas; rather, the film ends up in dialogue with that in which we carry into the cinema–life experiences and even our knowledge of other stories.  I mention such subjectivity because I do not have the hubris to believe that any “Best of” proclamations should be universal.  Keeping that subjectivity in mind, I found Fish Tank to be the best film of 2010.

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Neil Marshall’s Centurion: Early Review

The last time we saw the Romans in ancient “Britannia” was in The Last Legion or the better known King Arthur.  The Last Legion played with King Arthurian legends, as well as the myth of the 9th legion, which is where Centurion comes in.

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