Archive for michael fassbender

Screened In Sundays: Fish Tank

Posted in Drama, Foreign, Screened In Sundays with tags , , , , , , , on August 26, 2012 by judsonw

One underseen gem every Sunday.

It’s rare to see a movie today with a strong female protagonist, let alone one who can fully take care of herself. In Fish Tank, Katie Jarvis plays Mia, a 15 year old girl who lives in the British equivalent of the projects. Mia has a lot of shit to deal with on a day to day basis, stuff that a normal teenager doesn’t have to deal with. Her mother is almost completely worthless, and her younger sister seems to be on a dark path. Mia’s relationship with the two of them is strained, to say the least.

Mia’s only vice in her loner life is dancing. She believes that one day she will be able to escape her sad life with her skills as a dancer, even though that dream is clearly a long shot. Her life takes a turn when her mother starts dating an Irish man played by Michael Fassbender. The two form a relationship that may or may not become inappropriate. Actions taken by both characters come the end of the film are both shocking and sad. It’s a great double performance by an acting vet and an inspired newcomer.

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Screened In Sundays: Eden Lake

Posted in Horror, Screened In Sundays with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2012 by judsonw

One underseen gem every Sunday.

There are many movies that have been made about damsels in distress being hunted by something/someone in the forest. Why do people find this plot so appealing? Maybe it’s the human will to survive on display, or maybe horny guys just want to see busty women in distress. Well, the former is what attracts me to horror films in general, and Eden Lake ends up being much more than a horror film.

The story follows a couple (Kelly Reilly and Michael Fassbender) who try to spend a romantic weekend on, you guessed it, Eden Lake. Their plans go awry, however, when they encounter a gang of obnoxious and sadistic kids who won’t leave them alone.

There are a few moments in the film that have literally haunted me since I first saw the movie 4 years ago. While the film is brutal, violent, and hard to watch at times, writer/director James Watkins is always hinting at something beneath the surface. Once the final shot closes the film, you realize that the film doubles as a social commentary on the poor state of youth in this day and age.

The 10 movies to look forward to in 2012

Posted in Lists, Upcoming Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2012 by judsonw

On paper, 2012 should be the most incredible year for movies of all time. Unfortunately, most of the time the most promising films turn out to be the most disappointing. Nevertheless, these are the top 10 movies of 2012 that show the most promise and the ones I’m most excited for.

10. Skyfall (November 9)

Sure, Quantum of Solace was a huge disappointment after the fantastic revival that was Casino Royale. My hopes are still high that the franchise will return to the heights of that action masterpiece. The addition of Sam Mendes as director is unusual in the best of ways.

9. The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3)

My first thought when I found out they were “rebooting” the Spider-Man movie franchise with an all new director, cast and vision was “why?” The original 3 films are mostly excellent (3 has its fair share of problems) and the last film was released a mere 5 years ago in 2007. But then Mark Webb (500 Days of Summer) signed on as director, then Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy (not Mary Jane – plus!), then Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) as Peter Parker. I have much love for Tobey McGuire and company, but I’m ready for some fresh blood in the spidey tights.

8. The Avengers (May 4)

Finally, here is what all the Marvel movies of the past 4 years have been leading up to. Ever since Samuel L. Jackson stepped into the home of Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man, we knew that all these movies were going to be connected in some way. A culmination of millions and millions of dollars, lots of talent and hard work, and a cast of different personalities – it’s hard to imagine director Joss Whedon letting us down.

7. Brave (June 22)

It’s hard to be too excited about the next Pixar movie after the money grab that was Cars 2, but Brave has everything Pixar needs to get back on its feet. It takes place in beautiful mythical Scotland and features the studio’s first female protagonist. Count me in.

6. Gravity (November 21)

Alfonso Cuaron. First movie since 2005’s masterpiece Children of Men. Set in space. Sandra Bullock. George Clooney. Enough said.

5. Prometheus (June 8)

With every Ridley Scott movie, I’m sucked in to thinking that it’s going to be great. It’s hard to accept the fact that the director just isn’t the same as when he made such movies as Alien, Blade Runner, and Gladiator. What makes Prometheus so promising, however, is that it’s Scott’s welcome return to the world of sci-fi. Reportedly a “prequel at heart” to the original Alien, the script is written by Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof and has a banging cast. Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, the original girl with the dragon tattoo Noomi Rapace, Patrick Wilson, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba. I usually try to avoid watching trailers of movies I want to see, but my curiosity got the better of me on this one. If the actual film lives up to the trailer’s astonishing visuals, then we’re in for a treat.

4. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 14)

I was a little disappointed when Guillermo Del Toro dropped out of the filming as director, but the only one who could do the justice of replacing him was Peter Jackson. The Lord of the Rings trilogy has to be one of the greatest achievements in film of all time, and I’m very excited to see how Jackson can top it (can he possibly?)

3. The Dark Knight Rises (July 20)

How can any movie buff not be enormously excited for Christopher Nolan’s conclusion to his Batman series? The Dark Knight  may have been the best event film of the past 10 years, so it’ll be hard to top. Tom Hardy’s Bane looks like an intriguing villain (maybe not Joker-intriguing) and the fact that essentially the same people are involved keep my expectations high.

2. The Hunger Games (March 23)

This makes me nervous. The adaptation could either be a disaster or a great cinematic achievement. The talent behind the film (Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Gary Ross) gives me hope and all the images from the production seem to be spot on. The source material is excellent – a unique and brutal story with a very strong female main character. It’ll be very hard to translate everything great about the book to the screen. Fingers crossed.

1. Django Unchained (December 25)

If a new Quentin Tarantino film is being released, it automatically goes to the top of my most anticipated list. Tarantino proved he could do no wrong in another time period with Inglourious Basterds’ WWII setting. Now he goes even deeper in the past – Mississippi slave time. The plot is about a slave-turned-bounty hunter, with the help of his mentor, setting out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner. Check out this cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Samuel L. Jackson, Sascha Baron Cohen, Christoph Waltz, Kurt Russell. I’m already salivating.