Tag: Michael Fassbender

Dark Phoenix

Oh X-Men, how much we weep for thee.

X-Men so bad now, they took X-Men out of the title.

X-Men so bad, they are trying to remake their previous worst main X-Men title with the same writer.

X-Men so bad, they make a movie called Dark Phoenix and don´t have Phoenix in the movie at all.

X-Men so bad, this movie killed the X-Men.

And no amount of Albinism can save it. 

X-Men: Apocalypse took place in the 1980´s, and this one takes place in the 1990´s and features no real aging of any of the mutants. That is the real superpowers here.

At this point, they are accepted by the public, a weird timeline indeed. And after the crew was sent into space to safe a spaceship disaster. And sure enough, some space dust gets absorbed into Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) making her feel all funny inside.

It turns out Xavier (James McAvoy) may have been lying to her about her past, and hidden some of her own memories from her. That makes her sad. And mad. And willing apparently to turn her back on all of the X-Men, even killing a few of them, just to showcase how mad she is.

Also aliens.

Featuring of various amounts Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters, Halston Sage, Brian d´Arcy James, Lamar Johnson, Scott Shepherd, and Jessica Chastain.

X-Men so bad, their faces are breaking and not the box office records.

X-Men so bad, they keep having their greatest enemy be themselves.

X-Men so bad, that kindness saves the day, like they are care bears.

X-Men so bad, this is not the first time actors have asked for their characters to be killed in order to leave the franchise.

X-Men so bad, that they used time travel to fix the bad movies and still made more bad movies (and time paradoxes).

X-Men so bad, they have failed multiple times to make a hero turning bad in no way compelling for the viewers.

X-Men so bad, they are their own Greek tragedy in terms of a rise and fall of successful films.

X-Men so bad, their film qualities would make a better roller coaster than anything at the Island of Adventure.

X-Men so bad, I put off writing this review for months due to complete and utter apathy.

0 out of 4.

Song to Song

I have put off watching Song to Song as much as possible. At this point in my career, I am more likely to check out the director before watching an unknown movie for only one reason. To see if Terrence Malick was secretly the director.

Because if he is, I need to go into the movie with a completely different mindset than literally any other film.

I need to have hawk eyes to figure out just what the main plot of the film is going to be, especially when the narrators decide to switch on me, or even be from characters I never paid attention to.

No one else makes me waste my time like Malick. And I just need to know before seeing if a movie how mad I will be five minutes into it.

Yeah, get that bitch some Christmas lights…

What do Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Holly Hunter, Val Kimer, and Bérénice Marlohe have in common?

They are all in this series of maybe related scenes “film,” and have been tricked into working with Malick!

Look at all these dynamic camera shots!

2017 was a year of change for me. I gave up watching the Sharknado movies, because heck, they didn’t need my review saying they were shit on top of the pile of reviews saying they were shit, as it did nothing. Everyone agreed they were shit and I realized I can stop. I also gave up on the Transformers films, because fool me four times, then fuck me over.

I think…I think I might have to do it for Terrence Malick films. Which is a significant director still in the film community, so it is not something that I can say lightly. Or maybe I will never see them in theaters again, and only at home…where I can distract myself with my phone.

At this point when it comes to directors, I am still willing to watch things that Luc Besson has dealt with, even if I generally hate it all, whereas I feel like I will just burn into painful flames if I have to watch a complete Malick film.

They are all now just feeling the same at this point. I can’t imagine saying new stuff for the next film, I didn’t even really say new stuff for this film.

Song to Song is just home made movie trash.

0 out of 4.

The Snowman

Without a doubt, snowmen have always been scary. We had that Jack Frost horror movie, and that other Jack Frost horror movie, all about snowmen!

My first real interactions with snowmen and music however, have also been terrifying. After all, in Cannibal! The Musical we were given the hellish tune of Let’s Build a Snowman, multiple decades before Frozen came onto the scene with their snowman song.

Apparently this one was based on a book, but I am sure The Snowman was supposed to be scary as well.

Is this an alien snowman? Is this movie actually supernatural?

Norway. Winter. It’s cold everywhere, it snows all the time. Basically, everyone is a snowman if you think about it.

And Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) is a detective for the main Norway police people, and yes, that is his name. He is good at his job, but he also is a bit of a drunk and going through a life slump. A new recruit to their agency is Katrine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson), who has a lot of spunk and drive. She thinks a series of disapperances are similar to a few done years ago in a different Norway town, so she is ready to investigate!

Aw, so young and naive. And maybe oh so right.

A few murders, a few snowmen based deaths, and sure yeah, I am sure someone is behind it and just fucking with them all. And to think it is happening as they are trying to finish a bid for some non Olympic winter games event too.

Also starring Michael Yates, Ronan Vibert, Chloe Sevigny, Charlotte Gainsbourg, David Dencik, Jonas Karlsson, Toby Jones, Val Kilmer, and J.K. Simmons.

I think this is the first time I have ever seen the :/ used in any real context.

In The Snowman, there is a good mystery plot in there, somewhere. A lot of it may have been on the cutting room floor, or it may have never gotten shot. According to the director, he talked about why the movie was terrible, before it was even released in America. It was released a week early in Europe and met with so many bad reviews he just had to admit the whole thing I guess.

It quickly went from a “I can’t wait to see this film!” moment to “Oh man, how much of a train wreck will this be? Can’t wait!” feeling. And trainwreck it was.

Which is a shame, because Fassbender isn’t acting bad in the film or anything, it is just the plot is so shitty. There are motivations behind the characters, but the herring is so red it should almost be a scarlet herring. Or bloody herring. So much side plot is technically relevant, but so badly explained it just feels slightly shoe horned. And when we get our big dramatic reveal (which isn’t too hard to guess), it is explained so poorly it just feels. Well, badly written.

Which is a shame, because the novel by Jo Nesbø I am sure is really swell. He has written a lot of books, so he must have some talent. But now my introduction to his work just smells of…wait. Herring. Yeah, it smells like old yucky herring.

The Snowman is poorly put together work of film, despite some cool elements. Probably just avoid this one forever and read the book instead.

1 out of 4.

Alien: Covenant

I have never been one of those geeks super into the Alien franchise. After all, that shit is scary, and I didn’t watch horror for the longest time.

I can understand the appeal, but after Alien and Aliens, the only other film in that series I have seen was Prometheus, so there is that. Allusions and references will mean nothing to me.

So I am not excited to go into this film, but I am a bit excited it isn’t just “Prometheus 2” or anything. Because I want my scientists to be smart and not watch the opposite of that. I do want nice scares as well. But mostly, I want a shit ton of Danny McBride.

I hope this isn’t Danny McBride.

Alien: Covenant is set about ten years after the events of Prometheus, aboard the ship named Covenant. It is a colony ship, with a ship ton of bodies on board while asleep. There are also hundreds of embryos frozen and about 15 or so crew members to run the thing if problems arise or when they get close to the new planet. Lastly, they have a lovely robot helper to run their ship while they sleep in Walter (Michael Fassbender), who is totally different than David from Prometheus!

Sure enough, some bad stuff happens, their voyage gets stopped, they have to make repairs, and their captain dies! Oh no! Now Oram (Billy Crudup) is in charge, and he wants them to get back on schedule asap before more bad stuff happens. Daniels (Katherine Waterston) is the new second in command, and she was also in a relationship with the captain so she is pretty upset. Tennessee (Danny McBride) is their pilot/tech guy or something and Lope (Demián Bichir) is some sort of head of security, maybe.

While doing repairs, they received a faded distress beacon from a place not too far away, and according to scanners it is ALSO a perfect planet for them to live at. They decide it is their duty to check it out, saving them 7 years on a different awesome planet would be sweet. Once they get there though, spores, aliens, a lot of problems. But hey, they also meet David, so we get to find out what happened after Prometheus. Ain’t that swell?

And here is a bunch of the crew actors! Alexander England, Benjamin Rigby, Uli Latukefu, Tess Haubrich, Carmen Ejogo, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Amy Seimetz, and Nathaniel Dean. With maybe, MAYBE, about 2 minutes of screen time for James Franco.

Front chest bursting is so 30 years ago.

Alien: Covenant is a film that wants to explore some pretty deep questions in a hypothetical setting. It wants to talk about Rogue AI. It wants to talk about where we came from (like Prometheus before it). It wants to talk about the next stages of evolution for beings. It wants to talk about what it means to be a creator of life, a mother, without necessarily giving birth in the traditional sense. It wants to play on human emotions at the loss of a loved one (because straight up every crew member is apparently in a relationship with another crew member). A lot of good discussions and themes can arise from this film, some of which is subtle and some of which is blasted across the screen into your faceholes.

But you know what Alien: Covenant does not feel like? An Alien movie. Oh, we get a least one Xenomorph in this film, but it kind of sucks. It is defeated easily, with the smaller aliens seemingly posing a bigger challenge. And this movie isn’t scary. We got some gross scenes? Yeah, a bit, but I have seen a lot worse. We have some people flipping their shit of course. And we have a lot of crew members make terrible decisions over and over again, a big problem with Prometheus. But I never really felt scared. I never really felt the tension.

The best elements from Covenant would fall under the Drama Genre, which would be fine if that was the goal of this film, to make it a drama. This is a franchise known for changing its genre between films, and it could have really fucking worked (although, admittedly, people would probably still be disappointed). But it still tries to hype up its action and horror moments which for the most part just fall flat.

The best part of the movie is Fassbender and Fassbender, including the best scenes where he has to act with himself. I probably said something similar in the last movie about the “best parts”. But the twists feel obvious, McBride isn’t even used as a comic relief, it is setting up for a future movie (which I will note I have no idea where it really wants go with), and above all, just not as good as most people would have hoped.

But hey, Ridley Scott wants to make like, six more of these, and he is super old, so I guess that is what will happen.

2 out of 4.

Assassin’s Creed

A Christmas release? Could it finally happen? Could Assassin’s Creed be the chosen one?

Ever since Super Mario Bros. we have been turning video games into movies and hoping it would finally work. Some early examples like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat at have their moments, but still fall short and feel cheesy. Other noble attempts include Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, and Final Fantasy: Advent Children is one that I personally adore. But year after years they are met with criticism.

They try and provide fan service but if they do too much they don’t make an understandable film for those who don’t play the game. If they abandon the game, fanboys get mad. And yes, most just don’t try.

But in a year with FOUR movies based on video games (Ratchet & Clank, Warcraft, The Angry Birds Movie) Assassin’s Creed has the potential to finally break the mold. It has well liked actors, a director with a vision, and it is based on a game with a decent story.

And hey look, fights! Most video game movies have these!

In this world, there is a secret order of Templars and a secret order of Assassins. The Templars wants to find the legendary Apple of Eden, which holds genetic code and if they get it, apparently they can control everyone’s free will? Crazy yeah. The Assassins don’t like that, and they want to stop them, because they like free will.

In modern times, Cal Lynch (Michael Fassbender) is getting executed in Texas for murder. His dad killed his mom way back when and he is violent too. But after his “Death”, he finds himself woken up in Spain in an Abstergo Industries compound. He is not dead! According to this doctor lady, Sofia (Marion Cotillard) he is no longer a prisoner, but if he helps them out, they will give him a new identity, wealth, and he will live out his life.

It turns out that one of Cal’s relatives in 1492 was one of those Assassin people! And that guy’s DNA also runs in his blood. Abstergo has developed a machine that will let someone experience these DNA memories as if they were real, in order to gain knowledge. They believe that Cal’s ancestor, Aguilar, was the last person to see the Apple of Eden, and they want it, damn it.

So Cal has to deal with his past anger, his current anger, and determine how much he wants to help out these strangers in exchange for a whole new life. But hey, maybe these memories on their own can give him a whole new life. A whole new…Assassin life.

Also featuring Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michelle H. Lin, Denis Ménochet, Ariane Labed, and Essie Davis.

This whole scene feels like a “Previously on The CW” advertisement.

If I could wipe away the memory of the many hours I have spent playing these games, in order to give an unbiased review, I would. But alas it is all still a part of me, despite being a new story.

The film was an unfortunate mess. It begins with scrolling text as a quick way to introduce you to the plot, but it will make those not knowledgable with the game roll their eyes. After the exposition, we still take awhile to get to the main point of the story, where they have to give even more explanations to show how it is a story within a story. The time spent just setting things up will make the casual viewer bored or the at the very least, confused.

The ending is also a huge mess. It goes past the logical ending point to maintain some mystery and instead tacks on an additional ten minutes that drag it out needlessly. I am advocating that a more open ending would have done this film wonders for once, as it badly wants to become a franchise.

But it isn’t all bad. In a way, Assassins Creed is really just a disappointment. Fassbender is excellent in this film, he feels tortured, morally confused, and is a nice lead. The action sequences get really intense at points with a few callbacks to the series. The biggest callback are the leaps of face, which take forever to actually occur and are mostly teased out and ruined. It didn’t have too many game call backs though, which will disappoint those fans of the series.

Having the Spain portions in Spanish did add a nice element to it. Only a few real historical connections to the events though. If they had instead picked the original games story it might have allowed a better plotted movie.

It is still relatively nice to look at. It isn’t anywhere close to Macbeth levels of cinematography, but it is still above average.

Assassin’s Creed was supposed to be the chosen one of video games, especially after Warcraft. While still better than the norm, it was still unable to raise the bar that much higher on the video game film.

2 out of 4.

The Light Between Oceans

I won’t begin this review with another boring introduction about how I know nothing about this film (I do!). I will instead mention a strange coincidence!

For the last two weeks I have been listening to the Blueprints of Armageddon, a seven part podcast series about World War 1 by Hardcore History/Dan Carlin. I have been taking a break from audio books for awhile on my drives to and from work and movies. It is pretty good so far and I am learning a lot. And earlier this week I watched Sunset Song (review at some point), which is a Scottish film based on a book that leads up to World War I. And much to my surprise, the next night, I watched The Light Between Oceans, a film that takes place in Australia, right after World War I.

Fuck. I am so god damn into World War I right now. This cannot be a coincidence, I should develop time travel. And you know, avoid World War I, because that shit was scary.

Awww, a nice happy and calming baby to make me feel better.

A lot of people died in World War I, and a lot of survivors had to kill people to do so. PTSD is real. It has fucked over people. Like Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender), who just wants to be alone. He got a job manning a lighthouse on an island called Janus in Western Australia, which is a long long distance from any civilization. He has no family to bring with him, just a home, a lighthouse, a job and an island to himself.

But eventually, Tom does get a bit lonely. And in the “nearby” town, he has met and started writing to one Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander). They instantly hit it off and fall in love and knowing that only a wife can join him on the island, they get married and begin their lives together.

Unfortunately, their lives together begin with a rocky start. And no, I am not just talking about their island coast that they warn nearby ships about. Pregnancies occur, but so do miscarriages and they start to begin to lose hope. Sure, they love each other, but a death in the family is a hard thing to cope with.

However, miracles do happen. A small row boat washes ashore and inside is a dead man (Leon Ford) and a crying baby who needs help. Have their prayers been answered? It is Tom’s duty to report this incident, but if they do that, the baby will surely be taken back and there is no way they can adopt her. Maybe they can just…lie, raise the baby as their own.

Also starring Rachel Weisz, Benedict Hardie, Garry Macdonald, Jane Menelaus, Anthony Hayes, Florence Clery, and Jack Thompson.

Love Love Love Love Love
Nothing really says love like turning yourselves into patio furniture.

Well, I cried. I cried a lot. I cried probably more than a grown man should in a film, unless it is somewhere in his first 1-3 times watching Les Miserables. This film had all of the correct notes to just wreck me emotionally.

It had romance and loniliness. It had pregnancies and miscarriages. It had depression and danger. It had the cutest baby girl, learning how to be a real human. It had a father figure who would do anything to protect his wife and daughter (well, “daughter”), both things I can relate to. And it had morally black situations. That is more hardcore than morally grey. Because, really, at some points the right decisions are easy to determine as long as you ignore the human factor. But eventually, the situation becomes so out of control that I didn’t even try to predict what would happen next. I just wanted the movie to decide for me and show me the consequences of these decisions.

For some, the film will drag at over 2 hours long. There are lots of scenes with no dialogue, especially early on, but the shots are beautiful and the emotions are showcased in our actors eyes. But it was just right for me. I almost never wanted it to end. I was shocked every time we had a large jump in story time, basically wishing I could see every decision and action that led up to the end.

And fuck, we cannot forget about our leads. Vikander and Fassbender’s chemistry (and last names) are so strong in this film, they feel like a real couple. And hey, it turns out that they are now still a couple thanks to the film. The film showed them falling in love so well because that is what was happening between them in real life. And damn it, it shows. Strong performances were also given by Weisz and Clery, our little girl.

The Light Between Oceans is a movie I never want to see again. It is also the type of movie that makes me want to read the book it was so good. I just cannot see myself dealing with all those emotions in such a small amount of time again that I just will probably avoid it forever, despite being one of the year’s best.

4 out of 4.

X-Men: Apocalypse

Here it folks, the big one. The Apocalypse is coming, despite everything Idris Elba did to cancel it.

The recent strange reboot of the X-Men franchise has been wildly successful. I enjoyed First Class and loved the crap out of Days of Future Past (which made my top of the year list), while also fixing some continuity issues that had been brought up. I used to like X2, but honestly, it hasn’t aged well with me, and I am tired as fuck of the Wolverine origin stories.

As a fan of the X-Men stories, Apocalypse has always felt like their biggest and greatest enemy. He is their Thanos or Darkseid. Not their main enemy, just their biggest threat. So to see it finally come to fruition on the big screen is both exciting and frightening. It is obvious why I am excited, but I am also frightened that I am over hyping the film. Days of Future Past did a lot of things right, so it will be hard for them to live up to that film. There are so many ways for X-Men: Apocalypse to go wrong.

But despite all this, I will do my best to not make fun of the way he looks.

He looks a lot less like Ivan Ooze in the actual film!

Ten years after the events of the last film, the world has changed for Mutants. After Mystique’s (Jennifer Lawrence) speech, mutants are a bit more understood and not completely seen as threats. In America, they can look weird and walk around and most people seem to accept them. It helps that Magneto (Michael Fassbender) has gone into hiding in Poland to live a new life, and Xavier’s (James McAvoy) school is a rousing success!

Until shit starts hitting the fan. Moira Mactaggert (Rose Byrne) discovers cults that are worshipping ancient beings believed to be the first mutants. Sure enough, bad events occur, and En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac) is out and about after being trapped and asleep for almost 5700 years. Go fuck yourself, Rip Van Winkle. What’s an ancient deity gotta do to get some respect around here? Make a new team of individuals to help him gain more powers and enslave the world of course! That is why we get to see new people, like Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Angel (Ben Hardy), and Mowhawk Storm (Alexandra Shipp)!

Ah, the end of the world. The best time to introduce young new guys to the fold too. Like Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Cyclopes (Tye Sheridan) who is of course Havok’s (Lucas Till) brother, Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), and Jubilee (Lana Condor).

Also returning: Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Evan Peters as Quicksilver, and Josh Helman as Col. William Stryker. And featuring Warren Scherer, Rochelle Okoye, Monique Ganderton, and Fraser Aitcheson as the original four horsemen.

Something new, something old (Apocalypse), and a whole lot of somethings blue.

With X-Men: Apocalypse, we now have our third 2.5 hour Superhero film of the year, which must the new normal. Please be different Dr. Strange. The timing felt good for Civil War, but it was too much of a run time for this film. Plenty could have been cut out to give a more straight forward and less clunky film.

Here is the good stuff though! I almost gave this a 3 out of 4, because what worked really worked. There is a scene that actually made me tear up in this film. It was then immediately when extra lives were somehow lost without making a whole lot of sense. I will say that Magneto’s reason for getting involved seem almost completely justifiable, and like normal, Fassbender and McAvoy basically carry the film. Lawrence isn’t bad in her role, although Mystique’s arc seems just a bit weaker. In terms of new characters, Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler does a fascinating job and Turner as Jean Grey grew on me over time. Quicksilver was a lot more involved in the plot and his moments were some of the highlights of the film again. It is great that they made him more integral to the plot and confirmed some of his backstory.

And finally (a vague spoiler) we have a film where characters can actually die from these extremely powerful individuals doing battle. Thank goodness.

For most of the other players, everyone else feels underutilized. Psylocke is only really used in one fight, we get a decent amount of Angel but it isn’t great, and Storm doesn’t have many great moments. And if you were one of the dozens excited to finally get Jubilee in film, then quickly suppress that excitement, because she does diddly squat. And of course we have the wonderful OSCAR ISAAC to play the big bad guy, but for half the film his voice is distorted and there is never really a moment where he can really display any great acting, which makes the casting feel a bit wasteful.

It could have been the 3D and theater settings, but the CGI felt weaker than Days of Future Past. Apparently Apocalypse’s powers involve turning items into sand and sand into items for the most part with the occasional cool purple thing. Add in Magneto’s electric field near the end and we just get a used over and over again ugly look to the whole film.

This movie is not as good as Days of Future Past, and maybe not even as good as First Class. It is still decently enjoyable though, but it features a clunky plot with a lot of underutilized characters. The good news is that for the parts that work, they work really damn well. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy some nice fan service?

2 out of 4.


Forsooth! Verily! Haberdashery!

These are the words I imagine to be in Shakespeare plays. A lot of crazy language that is hard for a simpleton like me to understand. Thankfully all of their plots are explained in modern English online, so you can read up ahead and just nod along during the movie/play and pretend that it all makes sense.

At least for Macbeth, it happens to be probably his third most famous story after Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, so that is good. Macbeth is known for its play and film curses, which are silly. I actually saw an old TV movie of Macbeth before. Came out in 1979 and a much younger Ian McKellen played the starring role.

What that means is that this is the SECOND time that Michael Fassbender has played a role that McKellen played first. First it was Magneto, and now Macbeth. Hmmm. I Wonder what else Fassbender will try to steal?

This film sponsored by: Monster. Unleash the beast!

Trouble dost follow our poor Macbeth (Michael Fassbender), one of the Thanes of the great King Duncan (David Thewlis). The King had a few traitors, trying to take over, causing a few wars. Not so good, thankfully people like Macbeth, all weary and haggard, still battled some battles and saved the day.

After the last battle, Macbeth is visited by a few witches (Kayla Fallon, Lynn Kennedy, Seylan Baxter), who speak cryptically. They call him a title that is not his own, and then call him King! And for his warrior companion, Banquo (Paddy Considine), they say he will have a better life and that his sons will be Kings.

Sweet deal for both of them, unless Macbeth cares about future children. Next thing Macbeth knows, the King is staying in his grovel of a village and has given him a new Thane ranking! Like the witches said! Macbeth tells his wife, who of course only goes by Lady Macbeth (Marion Cotillard) about the premonition, and she is like “Fuck that, let’s kill him and get this show on the road!” And then you know. Things start to happen.

It wouldn’t be a Shake spear drama without some murder and some guilt and ghosts. You know, like Hamlet!

Also featuring Hilton McRae as Macdonwald, Sean Harris as Macduff, and Jack Reynor as Malcolm, son of Duncan.

“With all these Mac-daddies running around, why do I also have to take the Mac crown? ” – Lady Macbeth

Macbeth is bound to be one of the prettiest and more stylized movies of the year. The costumes were great and everything felt age appropriate. I never considered Macbeth living in basically wooden shacks before he got to go to the castle, but it makes since given the era. Everything was put up to 11 when it comes to the cinematography. The fights weren’t just people yelling and swinging swords at each other (although we did get that). We got slow motion, colored backgrounds, monologues from internal thought. A lot of the monologues were overlain with scenes of the characters wandering around and doing shit. Vocal montages, if you will.

I know my great use of descriptors like “doing shit” will really draw you in, but every shot being a portrait clearly was their goal.

Unfortunately the film suffers in another aspect. Understand-ability. Most obvious would be the dialects from a few of our actors. Very northern Scottish stuff, could be a struggle at times. Second comes from the fact that it is already Shakespeare dialogue, which is known to us silly Americans for its confusion. Thirdly, I have to imagine that at least half of the play is omitted from this film.

Most annoyingly, it doesn’t begin with the “Double, double toil and trouble” witch thing. What even is the point? But outside of that, there is a lot of crazy shit going on and they don’t even try to help explain things. Neither the missing dialogue/conversations nor the actual dialogue. The prophecy from the witches was whispered and easy to miss completely.

I think if you don’t know what Macbeth is about from previous source material or from looking up the plot summary, you will be lost throughout this film. A film needs to make sense so that the viewer can understand the story. I hate having to know the book to understand the film, as they should stand on their own. Don’t care how famous the tale might be.

Well acted? Fuck yes. Cotillard and Fassbender are outstanding. Even more props to Harris, who had a smaller role but knocked it out of the park. It makes me angry that he was also the shitty Geologist from Prometheus.

But a very confusing rendition of the story, despite the beauty behind.

2 out of 4.

Steve Jobs

Few people are lucky enough to have a film be made on their life. For the most part, they have to wait til they are both dead and a decade or so after they kick the bucket. Obviously, some people wait hundreds of years, because they are old famous people and movies weren’t a thing in the 1600s.

Steve Jobs is a luckier than most men (outside of the being dead from Cancer thing). He had two movies about his life in the last two years! And he only died four years ago! Not only does he have Jobs and now Steve Jobs, he also had quite a few documentaries.

It is clear that Steve was a living legend who had tons of stories about him. It is true that he was a flawed character with a lot of issues, problems, and broken friendships. But he also did a lot of good things, so this makes him an interesting character for people to want to see.

Now, this movie was delayed for awhile. Blame Ashton Kutcher. But at a time, this was supposed to be directed by David Fincher and starring Christian Bale. The script was always Aaron Sorkin I believe.

I believe that Seth Rogen can play a character who doesn’t get high at all. I believe it so much.

1984. 1988. 1998. These 3 years were some of the most pivotal in Steve Jobs’ (Michael Fassbender) life. There were tons of big moments before and after of course. Before that he helped build a computer with Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen) and helped create Apple into a powerhouse corporation. There was the failed computer the Lisa. After 1998 he introduce the iPod and the iPhone, crazy popular Apple products in our current era.

But in 1984 he was about to introduce the Macintosh computer, after the best Super Bowl Ad ever. Sure he came to the team late, but he is a visionary damn it. In 1988 he was going to release the NEXT computer, a perfect cube, away from Apple due to the falling out after the Macintosh. And in 1998, his triumphant return to Apple, about to release the iMac computer. He wanted to make the products sexy again. That may have been a line from Jobs, whoops.

Each setting of the film, each roughly the same length in time, takes place the the minutes before his press conference, with all the drama and tension of his life coming together to fuck with him. That includes Chrisann Brennan (Katherine Waterston), a former lover who always needs more money from him, to take care of the daughter he originally doesn’t claim to be his. It also involves an Apple CEO, John Sculley (Jeff Daniels). There is Andy Hertzfeld (Michael Stuhlbarg), one of the better computer engineers, and Avie Tevanian (Adam Shapiro) a different engineer. His ever faithful assistant/planner Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet), a tech reporter (John Ortiz), and of course his daughter, Lisa (Makenzie Moss, Ripley Sobo, Perla Haney-Jardine).

I didn’t remention Wozniak, but he is totally hanging around each time too. But I kept the above vague so you could hear the major players but not the many of their plot lines. Because I care and I am not an asshole CEO, like some people.

“How big is my metaphorical penis you ask?”

I am a big fan of Sorkin’s writing. The dialogue between characters is often quick and forces me to stay on my toes. Several times in the film, standing on my toes didn’t seem to be good enough. The conversations at point were so rapid fire that I practically had to dance to avoid the bullets from striking my legs, like a western stereotype. I think that metaphor works, if not, re-read it and think harder. The best way to describe some of these scenes would be an intense action fight, with words as bullets. I rarely feel that tense during a drama, let alone a biography.

The acting was definitely on point in this film. This is some of Rogen’s best work. Daniels had one majorly great scene with Fassbender. Stuhlbarg? I don’t know anything about Stuhlbarg, but he did a great job. I didn’t even recognize Winslet the whole film, that’s how in character and different she was. And of course, Fassbender. Early on, it just looked like Fassbender acting in a film, but somehow during the movie, he transformed so fully into Steve Jobs that I couldn’t remember who was the main actor. Of course by the end he looks so much like Jobs that it is easy, but I am talking before that, when he still had longer hair. He nailed the shit out of the role.

For comparison sakes, Kutcher did a great job as Jobs too. He had a walk, he went fully into character, but I usually thought it was still just Kutcher. But Fassbender still did a better job. And besides, I saw Fassbender’s penis in that one movie, so for most comparisons he is sure to win.

A lot of this is highly fabricated. The plot lines are real, but there is no way the timing worked for most of this. Regardless, where it excelled was how true to life they made his character. Jobs was egotistical, a know-it-all-, an asshole and a dick. He wasn’t the most pleasant person to work with and that all came across in the film. This wasn’t some fluff piece. This just tried to present the man behind the myth, flaws and perfections and everything in between.

One final comparison: This is not as good as The Social Network. Sorkin is the common link between the two, and the fact that they are both based on real people. I am not saying Fincher is the reason and that Danny Boyle could not pull off a better movie. It was fine, and even if Fincher directed this it probably wouldn’t have been as good. Just don’t go in expecting that and you should enjoy the show.

4 out of 4.


When I first saw the pictures from the film Frank, it seemed eerily familiar and I didn’t know why. Most notably, in a fast moment in the film Filth, the main character was watching television and a scene showed a man wearing the iconic head. It freaked me out. Were the two films cross promoting? Was Frank a bigger movie than I could have ever known?

Well, no. Apparently Frank, although fictionalized in this movie, is based on a real person.

Frank Sidebottom was his name, and Chris Sievey was the man behind the mask. He was in some bands in Britain for a long time and Frank Sidebottom was his “Comic persona” and recognizable around the world. Which is probably why it looked familar. I didn’t know that I knew that it was a real thing. I must had just seen a person in the mask before, maybe haunting me in my youth. Who is to say.

It is inspired by several musicians, including Chris, but none of this on its own is a bio of these gentle rockers. No. This is its own entity.

And lo, his name is Frank.

Jon Burroughs (Domhnall Gleeson) would consider himself to be a sensitive man. He lives alone, works a job, has a twitter, and in general would consider himself a decent person. He tries to write music, can play guitar and keyboard, but it is all pretty shitty.

As luck would have it, he happens to be walking down the road when a naked man runs into the ocean trying to end himself. He is a keyboardist for a band. Their “manager” Don (Scoot McNairy) asks if he can play the keyboard, and since he can, he is totally in the band, The Soronprfbs, no practice needed.

He does okay on stage, but he is flabbergasted to find that their lead singer, Frank (Michael Fassbender) is wearing a giant head mask. What. Frank never takes it off. People don’t talk about it too. They just go with it.

Next thing Jon knows, he is in the band and they are on a retreat to a cabin to work on their next album and they won’t be leaving there until that thing is polished and done. He now has to live with the other band members (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Francois Civil, Carla Azar) and they are as eccentric as Frank, in different ways.

And you know. Frank has a fucking giant head on his head. That is important.

But then again, that bitch is wearing a cape.

At times, Frank was very realistic and charming. The cast seemed to have great chemistry with each other and everyone felt relatively unique. I laughed a few times and found parts very amusing.

But at the same time, I didn’t feel like I got enough out of it. The final third of the film felt very different from the first two thirds. That is because change starts to occur, but I just couldn’t get into it as much.

I will say I hated the music, but I think I was supposed too. (I have now used but 3 times in the last 4 sentences. Well, now 4 of the last 5) It was very experimental/indie/weird. Not pleasant sounds, but sounds nonetheless.

I think I just expected a lot more given someone like Fassbenders involvement. I wanted them to go harder on the psychological aspect of it all and hated when they ended up doing with the Jon character. However, I do like the head mask. I kind of want to have one. Is it too late to be Frank Sidebottom for Halloween?

2 out of 4.