“Ready For This?”

"Let’s find out…"

We are officially mere days away from the US Premiere of X-Men: First Class and reviews, which  have been overwhelmingly favorable, are EVERYWHERE, as are interviews with the cast. It seems that every movie site on the web has managed an "exclusive", not to mention high profile sit downs, either collectively with the likes of Matt Lauer on the "Today Show" or singularly as with James McAvoy on Letterman or January Jones on Leno. The promotion machine has been cranking overtime for this film.  Let’s face it, there have been high hopes for Matthew Vaughn’s fourth film (yes that’s right, this is only his fourth film and every one that preceded it has been a gem) right from its announcement. It must be gratifying for all involved that there is so much positive buzz going in to next Friday, June 3rd’s release and that it’s not just the fanboys and comic book nerds who are salivating.

I do have to wonder if the two actors at the center of the film, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, really know what they’re in for and how much their lives are about to change.  Both actors have recently talked about their lack of notoriety and the fact that they can walk down the street unnoticed.  No sooner had they said that than paparazzi shots of McAvoy leaving his hotel in London turned up on the web.

And today, Just Jared posted pap shots of Michael Fassbender and his ‘girlfriend’ and XMFC castmate, Zoe Kravitz (well, she’s a girl and I’m willing to concede they are friends. Anything else…*la la la I cannnn’t heeearr youuuu.*) walking the streets of New York City.  ‘So what?’ you say? Well, click on his name and all you get are promo shots from a movie or a movie premiere or a photo shoot.  This is the first time he’s been "papped" just for being out living his life.   I guarantee it will not be the last.

This film is going to be huge. If Fassbender thought his life would change by appearing in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, and I’m sure it did to some extent, since then he’s worked with directors like David Cronenberg and Steven Soderbergh and is currently working with Sir Ridley Scott, to name a few, but Inglourious Basterds was rated R and Tarantino is not everyone’s cuppa, and while he stole his scenes, Fassbender was only in three. This time around he’s truly one of the stars of a major summer tentpole film, rated PG-13 and directed by the man who gave us Stardust.  Mom, Dad and the kids will be seeing this one.

There certainly is an upside to this impending notoriety: A Dangerous Method, in which Fassbender plays Carl Jung to Viggo Mortensen’s Sigmund Freud, still has no US release date, Soderbergh’s Haywire is listed on imdb.com vaguely as August 2011.  I want very much to see these films. I’m hoping that huge numbers for XMFC and the spotlight that is only just beginning to find Michael Fassbender will spill over to these films as well.  If I have to lose him to the masses, then I hope that it will mean people will seek out his back catalog and new viewers will watch and appreciate films like Fish Tank and Hunger, even Eden Lake, and that little known mini-series like "The Devil’s Whore" will get a full blown dvd release.

The downside is that he won’t be anonymous anymore. The masses will be aware of him and the masses must be appeased lest they grow bored and move on to the next big thing.

And so it begins…

Of Dragons and Tattoos

As you may or may not know, a (bootleg!) red band trailer for the remake of Niels Arden Oplev’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been leaked to the wide wide world of web.

It looks exceedingly cool, there is no doubt about it. ("The Feel Bad Movie of Christmas" is not a tag that many would dare to hang on a film.) Of course, the masterful use of the Trent Reznor/Karen O cover of Led Zeppelin’s "Immigrant Song" helps on that front. The trailer for David Fincher’s version also looks very similar to the original. As in almost but not quite shot for shot similar. It was even filmed in Sweden. So, I have to again ask, "WHY?"

Fincher is a talented director and I admire a lot of his work and he has assembled a first rate cast, starting with Daniel Craig and including Rooney Mara, Robin Wright, Stellan Skarsgård, Christopher Plummer, Joely Richardson, Steven Berkoff and Joel Kinnaman (from AMC’s "The Killing". Did you know he’s actually Swedish?)

I’ve mentioned before that I’m quite sure I’ll enjoy Craig as Mikael Blomkvist, but I enjoyed Michael Nyqvist in the role as well and it’s just really soon between the two. I am having a very difficult time believing that Rooney Mara is going to make anyone forget Noomi Rapace. Her Lisbeth Salander is pretty indelible.

I just can’t help feeling that the whole thing is simply because Americans are too lazy to read subtitles. And that just makes me sad.

*sigh* I’ll probably see it anyway. Fincher’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo opens in the US on December 21, 2011.

*Trailer removed-I guess you’ll have to take my word about the coolness*

Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander and Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist

Daniel Craig and Michael Nyqvist

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander

Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist

You’re Welcome

These were taken at last night’s (Wed. May 25, 2011) New York Premiere of X-Men: First Class.

(I realize that posts like these undermine my desire to be taken seriously as any sort of film blogger. I vacillate on this point quite a bit and ultimately, it’s my blog and I’ll drool if I want to…)

My Daily Moment of Zen

These were taken today, Monday 23 May, 2011 in London at the X-Men: First Class photo call. As Mr. Fits’ biggest fan said to me, "What is he? Made of marble??"


I can only assume the blonde hair is for Prometheus, Sir Ridley Scott’s sci-fi epic now filming.

And yes, these are cropped. I’m sorry Mr. Tumnus, you’re cute and all, but you have no place in my MF fantasies…and don’t get me started on Lenny Kravitz’s DAUGHTER!

Colin Farrell Can Bite Me

As you know, I’m on the record as not being a fan of remakes in general (despite the fact that I liked the True Grit do-over, ) so I don’t have especially high hopes for this Fright Night rehash.

Touchstone has posted the official trailer to YouTube so, since I do everything the internet tells me to do, I gave it a look. 

Alright, so I didn’t  hate it. I didn’t curl my nose in distaste and immediately switch the channel. While I do think Anton Yelchin is even more slight and less-likely-to-get-laid than William Ragsdale,  ironically I do think he has better chemistry with his way-hotter-than-Amanda Bearse girlfriend, Imogen Poots. Her name gives me an immature chuckle, but Poots (Centurion, Jane Eyre) can also act. I don’t see a "Married with Children" in her immediate future.

Toni Collette replacing Dorothy Fielding is not bad on its face. It just makes me feel old. I thought it was an odd choice both for the film and for Collette until I looked up director Craig Gillespie. They’ve worked together on "United States of Tara." His film cv is spare and uneven. His first feature, Lars and the Real Girl, was brilliant. Mr. Woodcock…heinous. Basically that means this film is a crapshoot. He’s already been given the reins to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, so someone with money has faith in him. (Even if he was third choice behind David O. Russell and Mike White, who both quit over money.)

Christopher Mintz-Plasse needs to grab all the gusto he can. Realistically, he’s a niche player (what is he now, 30?) and when he gets too old to play the nerdy outsider…it’s gonna be signing "McLovin’" autographs in a Jersey mall. I think that’s where Stephen Geoffreys, into whose shoes he steps for this film, was last spotted.  (There is always voice work. Have I mentioned lately that I’m looking forward to How to Train Your Dragon 2?)

David Tennant’s Peter Vincent appears but briefly, but I have seen stills. Apparently, his character is no longer inspired by vintage Hammer films, but by Vegas and magician/illusionist Criss Angel. Whatever. I don’t worship at the altar of Dr. Who, although thanks to my ex I do appreciate the Jon Pertwee (I appreciate his son Sean even more…but I digress) through Peter Davidson years, so I have no feeling about Tennant one way or another, nor do I feel particular allegiance to Roddy McDowell.

So let’s face it…none of the above would make me change my mind about this film.  And then came Colin.

Don’t get me wrong. Chris Sarandon’s Jerry Dandridge was smooth, suave and dangerously sexy. Despite his very extensive list of credits, it is the role for which he will be remembered. JMHO

Colin Farrell as Jerry Dandridge, judging from the scant minutes I saw him in this trailer, appears more gritty, more earthy (ironically enough) but definitely dangerously sexy.  Holy crap, I hope there’s a lot more neck licking in the actual film! I’m counting on this to be portents of things to come… (yeah, I’m still sayin’ stuff.)

It is for this reason, Colin Farrell and the possibility of on-screen licking and biting,  that I am now officially looking forward to this movie. It’s been a cold spring…I need some steam heat!  There appear to be more pyrotechnics in this version and it has been filmed in the dreaded 3D, but I see no mention of an actor playing Billy Cole, so I assume they’ve done away with the homo-erotic subtext, they have to come up with something to fill the gap.

I believe I’ve mentioned I have a vampire fetish, so it should surprise no one that Colin…er Jerry…(Gerry?) can bite me any time, any where. He has a standing invitation to enter my apartment. He can even use the door (because everyone knows a vampire has to be invited in.)

Fassy Does Venice!

Well, the Venice Film Festival, for which I still live in hope that Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus will make the cut, is shaping up as a Michael Fassbender showcase. I, of course, have no problem with this. Neither should the Italians.

The hardest working man in showbiz (quoting myself here) could potentially have three, that’s right, three films playing the fest. David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method and Steve McQueen’s Shame are already confirmed.  If Steven Soderbergh decides to go with Haywire, then Fassbender will score a hat trick or a triple play; a three-peat as it were. (It is still possible that Soderbergh could decide to bring Contagion to the Lido instead. The latter stars Matt Damon, Kate Winslet and Jude Law, so it’s a tossup. Why choose? Bring both! It’s Venice! Let there be bread and circuses! Oh wait…wrong city.)

George Clooney, not one to be outdone, may also have two films featured: Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, as well as The Ides of March, for which George would get extra points, because he directed it. Wow, now that I mention it, since Polanski’s Carnage is done-deal, if Contagion gets added, then Kate Winslet will have a double-header as well.

*I want to gooooo!*

In any case, the 68th Annual Venice International Film Festival is shaping up very nicely.  Chaired by director Darren Aronofsky, and in additon to the above mentioned titles, lucky Venetians and jet-setting cinephiles will get to see Tomas Alfredson’s hotly anticipated Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy with the other-worldly cast that includes Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Geoffrey Rush, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Benedict Cumberbatch…(Damn it! Uncle Peter says we’re OUT of smelling salts!) Steven Spielberg will arrive with either Tintin or War Horse.

If Coriolanus doesn’t get at least a screening, and it still might, it wasn’t added to Cannes until the last minute, then there’s always Toronto! *shakes fist*

Michael Fassbender is Gonna Suck…Blood

Some good news for a Monday: The invasion of Hollywood blood suckers continues and no, I don’t mean agents. I’m referring, of course to vampires, which have gone from hot to ubiquitous in recent years. Proving as resilient as Dracula himself, there is apparently no end to the inventive permutations the fanged -ones lend themselves to.

Aside from the classical, Victorian image of the suave and sexy Count in perpetual fancy dress (Frank Langella in 1979’s Dracula still makes my knees weak), over the years there have been pretty, brooding vampires (Interview with the Vampire from 1994, Dracula 2000 and all of the Twilight films), space vampires (1985’s Lifeforce), MMA Ninja vampires (the Blade Trilogy), trailer trash vampires (1987’s Near Dark), lesbian vampires (2009 Vampire Killers), dominatrix-lesbian vampires (1983’s The Hunger – anyone remember the short-lived offshoot tv series in 1997?) Speaking of tv, there are the Cajuns of "True Blood" and the Abercrombie & Fitch models of "The Vampire Diaries" (and don’t get me started on the original British version of "Being Human’s" Aidan Turner-holy schnikey!)

While the emo kids of the Twilight Series might be fading into the sunset, (or is it dawn?) we have the quasi-historical stylings of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, to look forward to next year. (I am looking forward to it-it has such a crazy cast that I just have to see it. Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Mary Todd Lincoln?) Just when it seemed the craze had wound down and played itself out, we get news that two of film’s most iconoclastic directors, Neil Jordan and Jim Jarmusch, both have vampire-themed pics in the pipeline.

The Hollywood Reporter announced last week that Jordan has cast Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan as mother and daughter (!!) vampires in Byzantium from a script by Jane Eyre scribe Moira Buffini.

Yesterday it was announced that Jarmusch will make an as yet untitled vampire love story. What really has my socks rolling up and down about this news is that he has reportedly cast Michael Fassbender (rapidly becoming the hardest working man in show biz-and yes, I said that too. Get used to it) as a freakin’ VAMPIRE! "Uncle Peter! My smelling salts!"* Oh yeah, and Tilda Swinton and Mia Wasikowska will be in it too. Needless to say, I will be keeping a close eye on more news about this one.

Filming will reportedly begin in early 2012.

*with a tip o’ the pin to Margaret Mitchell and a wink to KB