Michael Fassbender’s Jonah Hex Poster & Upcoming Projects

Happy Friday, folks! I thought I was too tired to write a post for today, but I guess Michael Fassbender stunning green eyes below inspired me last nite 🙂

I haven’t been following the DC Comic-based Jonah Hex as I don’t really care for the storyline (nor the lead star Josh Brolin), but with Fassbender having a pretty prominent role, I just might check it out. He plays one of the adversaries Burke, and the other one is played by John Malkovich as Turnbull. Saucy Megan Fox (who just yesterday announced she’s out of Transformer 3) plays the love lust interest (what else?). You can see the rest of the character posters here.

Here’s the plot in case you’re interested: Hex (Brolin) is a horribly scarred veteran of the US Civil War who has turned bounty hunter. The US military offers to clear the warrants on Hex’s head if he’ll stop a terrorist with a supernaturally-tinged plot from going through with his plans – and it’s an offer he can’t refuse.

Anyway, back to Fassbender, the German-born actor is really on a roll! After one excellent turn after another in various flicks like 300, Hunger, Inglourious Basterds, Fish Tank and most recently Centurion, Hollywood doesn’t seem to get enough of him (and so do we!) Take a look at these four projects he’s lined up for next year:

  • A Single Shot – a thriller he’s just been cast in, alongside William H. Macy and Forest Whitaker.
  • Jane Eyre – I’ve been soooo excited about this one for quite a while. The Charlotte Brontë’s gothic love story is currently shooting in Derbyshire, England. Rope of Sillicon has the first still of Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) as the young governess.

    Hope the pics of him as Rochester turn up soon. Really, THAT is what we gals are looking forward to! 🙂
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  • A Dangerous Method – formerly titled The Talking Cure, a David Cronenberg film. It’d have been nice to see him reunited with Christoph Waltz again  (his co-star in Basterds), but with Viggo Mortensen as his replacement, I’m not going to complain. Fassbender will play Carl Jung, with Mortensen as Sigmund Freud, a relationship that gives birth to psychoanalysis. Vincent Cassel and Keira Knightley round up the cast.
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  • Knockout – the ensemble-cast Steven Soderbergh has compiled for his action thriller is quite impressive: Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, and Bill Paxton, among others. The plot: A black ops super soldier seeks payback after she is betrayed and set up during a mission. Not sure what part Fassbender will play as of yet.

I’m sure glad to be seeing more of this talented and easy-on-the-eye actor. Here’s to a lasting and fruitful acting career for Mr. Fassbender!

Eastwood is America’s Preferred Co-star

Well, isn’t this a fun fantasy for regular moviegoers and cinephiles alike. I learned through Movies Boxwish, that 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair recently asked over 1,000 American adults this fanciful fantasy question: If Tinseltown were to offer you a film deal where not only do you get to star in it, but you also, get this, choose your co-star AND the genre. Wow, that’s almost better than fairy godmother’s offer to Cinderella! I mean, who needs a darn prince these days anyway. The top choice is none other than Clint Eastwood in one of his popular western, scoring 20% of the vote, beating George Clooney and Cameron Diaz in a rom-com in second place with 18%. The rest of the result goes like this: action flix with Will Smith (15%), a comedy with Will Ferrell (14%), and a drama with Oscar winner Meryl Streep (13%). Not much love for Julia Roberts in a thriller (8%), nor a martial-arts epic with Jackie Chan (4%).

Hmmm, I don’t think my pick of the killer combo is represented in any of this, but if those were the only selections, I’d probably go with Mr. Eastwood myself, though not necessarily in a western. An action thriller of the Dirty Harry variety is more my thing. Not sure I’d want to be in a movie though, sheesh I’d rather stay behind the scenes if I can help it. It’d be a dream come true however, if my favorite actors were to star in my movie where I get to write the script AND be the casting director, ha! I posted my wish list of movie couples, but my top pick would probably involve Gerry Butler in anything but a rom-com or video game-based flick, preferably sharing the screen with the likes of Eva Green, Emily Blunt, Naomi Watts, Cate Blanchett or Maggie Gyllenhaal.

I’d love to see Butler snatch one (or two) of these ladies for his hopefully-soon-to-be-in-the-front-burner Rabbie Burns biopic now that he’s been appointed Glasgow’s first film ambassador. It’d be nice to see him with a fellow Scot James McAvoy, too. If anything Butler could learn a thing or two as far as role choices go, as the younger actor definitely has picked some wise film choices (The Last King of Scotland, Atonement) and most recently the Tolstoy drama The Last Station with Helen Mirren.

And if I could just have one wish for ze Butler that I’m sure fellow fans would agree, is that I long to see him repeat his wonderful dramatic turn as a desperate alcoholic looking for love in The Jury a decade ago (take a peek at this clip). Whenever people doubt this guy can act, I just look back to that miniseries and naysayers can just take a hike. Oh, and as long as it’s my movie, I’d let the bloke use his own charming Scottish brogue, darn it, we all know accent-work is not his forte!

Anyhoo, just for the fun of it, here’s my other co-star picks and the corresponding genres:

  • Michael Fassbender in a romantic drama (i.e. The Painted Veil)
  • Henry Cavill in a espionage thriller (i.e. The International)
  • Christian Bale in a British comedy (i.e. Hot Fuzz)
  • Viggo Mortensen in a period drama (preferably sans violent gun-fighting or desolate setting)
  • Sharlto Copley in a quirky romance (i.e. (500) Days of Summer)
  • Daniel Henney in a fantasy adventure (i.e. Stardust)
  • Rufus Sewell in a contemporary thriller (i.e. Michael Mann’s Heat) as the protagonist, not the villain
  • Alan Rickman in a sci-fi thriller/adventure (i.e. Danny Boyle’s Sunshine)
  • Mark Strong in a poignant romantic comedy (i.e. About a Boy)
  • Timothy Dalton in a comedy drama (i.e. Stranger than Fiction)

Well, what are your picks, folks? Come on, I’m sure you can think of something 😉

Everyone’s a Critic Part 2: Reviews from FlixChatter Readers

It’s Complicated
by Becky (Prairiegirl)
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This is definitely the best baby boomer generation movie I’ve ever seen. I could relate to so many of the scenes it was scary! The audience was packed with them (including me), but quite a few older and many younger too. It keeps you in stitches throughout, especially the laptop scene (not at all what you first expect!), and the party scene where Streep and Martin indulge in a some recreational “inhalations” before hand. It’s very real and genuine – Baldwin is really convincing in expressing his renewed feelings for his ex, and Streep’s reluctant acceptance (and vacillation) of giving in to his desire is quite believable. Not just a chick flick, I think guys could really enjoy this as well. There’s a reason it rated R, but there really aren’t ANY uncomfortable, offensive scenes (for adults, that is). The laugh-out-loud moments slow towards the finale, but it ends up right where the audience hopes it will.

I’ll let an excerpt from an eight out of 10 stars review on IMDb sum it up:
“The cast here is one of the best ensemble works of the year. Meryl Streep is naturalistic and in top form showing her sexier side at 60. Streep shows that she can still create a character from scratch and make the woman as real as anyone walking down the streets of New York City. It’s one of her funnier turns in years.
Alec Baldwin, in one of his best performances to date, shows immaturity and careless can get you far in a film. Showing top comedic work, Baldwin seems in the hunt for Oscar recognition. His charm and magnetism is quite surprising as we haven’t seen him give a performance this funny ever, not even in his hit sitcom 30 Rock. Steve Martin, who I have found overdoes his comedy in some of his later years in film is in control and utterly enjoyable. Martin shows a sensitive side reminiscent of his works in Roxanne and Parenthood, and finds an audience cheer with empathetic tendencies can get you right back to what you do best. It’s a return to form for Martin.
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The Road
by Vince (Rockerdad)

Being a Cormac McCarthy fan, I was immediately intrigued by the trailer of this film – it looked intense, bleak and depressing – and it delivered in all those fronts. The Road is a simple story of a desperate father (Viggo Mortenson) traveling cross-country with his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) in a post-apocalyptic world, trying to find civilization while the rest of the remaining human race has succumbed to suicide, lawlessness and murder. It doesn’t resort to the fake grandiosity of 2012’s disaster sequences or the self-indulgent fantasy of I Am Legend. The Road turns us inward into our most abominable and greatest fear – how do we survive the end of the world in the midst of illness and rampant cannibalism when all you have is a parent’s love for a child? Probably one of the most depressing films you’ll ever see this year. However, you won’t need to see it twice – the scenes are vivid enough to be ingrained in our collective memory.
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(500) Days of Summer
by ze blogger RTM
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I finally got around to seeing this one… ironically amidst the coldest days of Minnesota Winter. But the Summer in the title doesn’t refer to a season, as the opening tells you straight out, but to a girl named Summer. What the intro also tells you, is that this isn’t a love story, which means this is pretty much an anti rom-com (Hurrah!).
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I’ve always thought Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a fantastic actor and this movie secures his reputation even more. He plays Tom, a (reluctant) greeting card writer in L.A. who’s one of the best in the company, yet his college education and main ambition is to be an architect. Tom is the tortured soul of the young generation who believes that true love is not only possible, but within reach. At the workplace is when he first encountered and fall in love with Summer (quirky heroine du jour Zooey Dechanel) against his better judgment. You see, unlike Tom, Summer doesn’t believe in love. It’s not a gimmick like some girls would say to appear ‘original’ but secretly longs for the guy she tells that to. No, Summer really doesn’t believe that people fall in love nor does she feel the need to have a man in her life to feel validated. Strangely enough though, I never quite warmed up to Summer (pardon the pun), I’m not saying Dechanel is a bad actress because she plays the role really well. But like the movie suggested that you can’t force love, they can’t force me to like Summer either, no matter how affable and congenial the movie blatantly makes her out to be.At times I was practically screaming to my TV screen, “Leave her Tom, move on! She’s a cold, heartless vixen!” But of course, later we realize there’s more than Summer that meets the eye, and Tom has to learn the hard way – the only way it seems – to let go. Gordon-Levitt truly delivered an award-worthy performance here, so I’m glad to see his name among Golden Globe Best Actor nominees. Another performance worth noting is that of 12-year-old Chloe Moretz as Tom’s wise-beyond-her-years younger sister, his voice of reason. I was blown away by her understated performance, no surprise I suppose as she’s been in 20+ movies in her young career. She’ll be seen next in the highly anticipated comic-adaptation Kick-Ass.
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What’s interesting about this movie is the unconventional story-telling style, the 500 days isn’t told chronologically but jumps forward and backward within that time frame. Kudos to first-time director Marc Webb for making this unconventional sequence free of confusion. The movie is also peppered with memorably quirky, even surreal scenes. Like the one where Tom is standing with his back against us and the L.A. landscape around him morphs into a black & white rough sketch, and when he transform the blackboard wallpaper of his room into a city skyline. Even the somewhat cliched dance sequence – reminiscent of a scene from Enchanted believe it or not — after Tom’s first night with Summer feels fresh and utterly whimsical. Hope Webb will have a lasting career in Hollywood as we need more of this kind of talent and less Brett Ratner/Michael Bay types.
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This movie definitely lives up the hype and praises from critics and moviegoers alike. It’s nice to see a movie about love that doesn’t resort to a ‘happy ever after’ hackneyed premise, and one that almost feel like real life.

What are your thoughts on these films?

Conspicuous Trailer of the Week: The Road

Apocalypse cataclysm is no popcorn, which makes The Road a perfect antithesis for the farcical fluff that is 2012. Based on Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, it’s a post-apocalyptic tale starring Viggo Mortensen, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce and Charlize Theron. Here’s the short synopsis per IMDb: A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind and water. It is cold enough to crack stones, and, when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the warmer south, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing: just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless cannibalistic bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a rusting shopping cart of scavenged food–and each other.
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A friend at work came over on Friday and told me how mercilessly grim the trailer is — and it is — there’s no sugarcoating on this doomsday flick and that’s how it should be. Alas, this probably earn only a tiny fraction of what John Cusack-starrer raked up, as people would rather see spectacular SFX of stuff blowing up is far more commercial and ‘easier’ to watch. Just a side note, for some reason this trailer brings to mind Reign of Fire without the fiery dragons, though quality-wise it’s like comparing apples and oranges.

Mortensen continue to admirably defy his good looks to play the destitute and desperate father and husband. He’s one of those actors I deeply admire but I’m often too chickened-out to watch his films (i.e. Eastern Promises). According to his interview with Collider, filming The Road was both physically AND emotionally demanding. “If it hadn’t been and if we hadn’t shot outside in the winter, I don’t think it would be as good a movie because no matter how well you fake it visually, the actors aren’t going to feel the same.” He also admitted losing about 30 pounds to physically prepare for the role. But the emotional part proves to be even more challenging.

Q: Was it an emotionally taxing role for you?

VM: Yeah. To be honest, that was the hardest part. It was harder than the physical part, for me. I mean, I’ve been in movies where I’ve had to do physical – you know, whether I was in extreme heat or cold, mountains, horse work, fights, all that – I may have done things that I knew “Oh God, we’ve got weeks or months of this” – and you just get through it. But it’s a whole other thing to have to – and I’ve been naked physically in movies – but it’s a whole other thing to be naked emotionally in a way that’s not just a distraction or a character. It had to be very sincere or it wouldn’t work because just the landscape we’re in is so real. It’s so raw and in a way it’s such an open wound that our feelings had to be on that level, which was kind of a measuring stick, I felt. And then, I’ve never been in a movie where the environment was so consistently a character.

I definitely smell Oscar for this multi-talented actor’s heartbreaking performance! The Road is released tomorrow, 11/25.