They say you should never meet your heroes, but Michael Fassbender is glad he met Brendan Gleeson.
Getting to meet your heroes as an actor must be one hell of a job perk, though not as much as getting to work with said hero on a movie project. For Michael Fassbender, he was a little starstruck when he met fellow Irish star Brendan Gleeson on the set of 'Trespass Against Us'.
Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson star in 'Trespass Against Us'
Of course, Michael Fassbender is more internationally well-known than Brendan Gleeson, and that fact wasn't lost on the latter who was just as eager to work with the younger star. Little did he know that Michael had been following him for over twenty years.
With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a punch in the nose, launching at full speed and never letting up. It's a funny and edgy portrait of three generations of a family stuck in a cycle of criminality and ignorance. While writer Alastair Siddons and director Adam Smith kind of lose the plot along the way, at least they aren't interested in preaching at us. Instead they create a group of unforgettable characters in a seriously messy situation.
The leader of the family is the patriarch Colby (Brendan Gleeson), who rules the community of caravans with a macho smirk and ignores the law as if it's still the good old days. His son Chad (Michael Fassbender) never learned to read, but wants his children (Georgie Smith and Kacie Anderson) to go to school. Colby thinks that's ridiculous, preferring to educate the kids by taking them along on badly planned robberies. Chad's wife Kelly (Lyndsey Marshal) wants out of this situation even more than Chad does, and she's increasingly annoyed that Colby is putting their children in danger. Will Chad have the nerve to stand up to his imperious dad?
Miraculously, the actors underplay these larger-than-life characters, creating eerily realistic, charming people whose clashes are a direct result of the changing world around them. Fassbender and Gleeson bring terrific detail to their roles and then spark off each other with such power that we don't know quite where to look. It's utterly riveting, drawing out personal grit along with darker themes. And it's not surprising that other characters are less fleshed-out. Marshal is most impressive in the scenes in which the seriously tough Kelly locks horns with Colby. And a couple of side characters register nicely: Rory Kinnear as a beleaguered cop trying to get the drop on this gang and Sean Harris as a mentally unstable family member.
Continue reading: Trespass Against Us Review
Chad Cutler is an Irish traveller who entered a life of crime at a young age, following in the footsteps of his father before him, Colby. Now that his own son Tyson is growing up, he wants to show him the ropes. Teaching him to drive a car through the fields is one thing, though, and he's starting to realise that introducing him into a world of police chases and robberies is very much another. Chad is becoming disillusioned with the lifestyle with which his family is accustomed, and wants to find a new path for both himself and his child. While his mother Kelly is supportive of his feelings, she and everyone else knows that Colby won't hear anything about it. He needs to find a way to sever ties with his father, without unleashing hell on his own family.
Continue: Trespass Against Us Trailer
Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's novel Gone Baby Gone, and he now returns to the author to adapt this Prohibition-era gangster drama. It's a big, beefy story with colourful characters and a snaky, expansive plot. And it's beautifully assembled by a skilled cast and crew. Even so, the film never quite generates quite enough energy to engage properly with the audience.
In 1927 Boston, Joe (Affleck) is a war veteran who has turned to crime to survive. But problems arise when he launches a torrid affair with the moll (Sienna Miller) of the Irish mob boss (Robert Glenister). With his life in danger, he turns to the rival Italian mafioso (Remo Girone) for a job, and is sent to Tampa to run their rum-smuggling operation. Working with his pal Dion (Chris Messina), Joe makes a success of a string of speak-easy bars and finds love with a the sister (Zoe Saldana) of a Cuban gangster. Then as he plans to open a huge casino, his gentlemanly agreement with the local police chief (Chris Cooper) is threatened. And it doesn't help that the boss in Boston begins to meddle.
Everything is assembled with a sumptuous sense of style, from the cool cars to the epic suits and hats. The film looks gorgeous, shot with muted colours that echo the subdued emotions of people who never quite say what they think. Of course, this creates a big problem, because it leaves Affleck's Joe looking like a blank slate, intriguing to watch but impossible to sympathise with. Nothing feels properly developed, with romances that seem to exist for no real reason and business relationships that appear to be based on some sort of unexplained subterfuge. The most riveting element of the story is Joe's clash with the KKK, a powerfully bull-headed group that refuses to play by the usual mob rules.
Continue reading: Live By Night Review
Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on videogames. There may have been some hits (like Tomb Raider or the Resident Evil franchise), but none has ever been critically acclaimed. So perhaps reuniting the cast and director of 2015's Macbeth might finally break the cycle. But while there's plenty of whizzy stuntwork, this film never finds a story or characters to grab hold of the audience.
In present-day Texas, death row prisoner Cal (Michael Fassbender) is executed by lethal injection and wakes up in a gloomy fortress towering over Madrid. He's been saved by shady businessman Rikkin (Jeremy Irons), whose daughter Sofia (Marion Cotillard) is a scientist experimenting with DNA memory. Rikkin needs Cal to travel back into his own history using a mechanical contraption called an Animus to find out where his 15th century ancestor Aguilar (also Fassbender) hid the Apple of Eden, which holds the key to controlling human will. But Cal discovers that he is the last in a long line of Assassins who have sworn to protect the apple from Knights Templar like Rikkin or his imperious supreme leader Ellen (the fabulously gloomy Charlotte Rampling).
The idea is a clever one, and director Justin Kurzel keeps the visuals grounded with action that feels earthy and real rather than digitally manipulated. Indeed, the combination of sleek sci-fi thrills with medieval fantasy horror is very cool. But there's one huge problem with the premise: all of the big fight sequences and eye-catching parkour acrobatics take place in distant history. Cal can experience these things, but he can't actually do anything, so there's no peril involved. Instead, we get endless explanations of the technology and historical inter-connections, which never quite make sense regardless of how much the characters talk about them.
Continue reading: Assassin's Creed Review
'Trespass Against Us' is released on January 20th in the US, and on March 3rd in Britain.
Michael Fassbender took the time to speak about his lead role in the upcoming film Trespass Against Us.
The film, which also stars Brendan Gleeson, Rory Kinnear and Sean Harris, made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September. It is released in the United States on January 20th and in Britain on March 3rd.
Speaking at the BFI Film Festival recently, the 39 year old actor described the nature of the story, about a father who’s trying to break away from a crime family and do what’s best for his son, but keeps getting dragged back in.
Continue reading: Michael Fassbender Hopes 'Trespass Against Us' Will Provoke Discussion
Callum Lynch is a criminal facing the death sentence but is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to escape his fate by joining the mysterious Animus Project set up by Abstergo Industries. Abstergo is to its time essentially what the Knights Templar was in the 12th and 13th century, and want to hook Lynch up to an experimental piece of technology that will allow him to experience and explore the memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha who lived as an Assassin in 15th century Spain. He's returning to the age of the Spanish Inquisition which means he must absorb the warrior skills of his long-dead relative - but that only means that he's developing the tools to take down the organisation that pose a threat to him in the modern day.
Continue: Assassin's Creed Trailer
Joe Coughlin was born and raised in a good family, his father was the police captain and they were a respected family in the neighbourhood. Joe was the dark horse and fell in with the wrong crowd from an influential age. It was 1920's and Joe and the rest of the Coughlin family lived in the thriving city of Boston. Joe constantly seemed to be pulling in a different direction to that of his father and mixed with some of the town's most feared bosses responsible for any number of crimes from running alcohol to robbery.
Caught in the middle of a war between mob bosses, Joe ends up ripping off the wrong guy in more than one way as he also steals his woman. Everything appears to be going for Joe and his small gang but their next heist is a chance too far and sees Joe being put in prison for robbery. Once again, Joe finds himself falling in with another powerful boss who offers him protection in prison - but at a cost.
With his eventual release, Joe moves to Florida to begin over seeing a rum smuggling operation but as Joe finds love he begins to realise that there's more to life than working on someone else's terms but perhaps he's too deeply connected to ever be able to give up the life he's made for himself.
Assassin's Creed sees Michael Fassbender cast as the protagonist Callum Lynch, in this action adventure film that is based on the video game franchise of the same name. Lynch's identity no longer exists and he is forced by revolutionary technology to hear, see and feel the memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha, who was an assassin during the Spanish Inquisition.
Continue: Assassin's Creed Trailer
With a huge budget and a relatively small story, this is an intriguingly offbeat blockbuster that might struggle to find an audience. Basically, it's aimed at fans of more thoughtful, personal stories of tenacity and survival, but it's shot with a massive special effects budget that sometimes seems to swamp the drama. Still, it's involving and moving. And it's also fascinatingly based on the true events that inspired Moby Dick.
The story is framed in 1850 as novelist Herman Melville (Ben Whishaw) visits an ageing sailor named Tom (Brendan Gleeson) to quiz him about a momentous event in his past that he has never spoken of. Flash back to 1820 Nantucket, and Tom (Tom Holland) is a rookie crew member on the whaling ship Essex, working under the posh, privileged Captain George (Benjamin Walker) and his able but low-class first mate Owen (Chris Hemsworth). As these these two leaders clash against each other, the ship sails off for what will be a very long journey. Eventually they head into the Pacific in search of a mythical pod of whales. But when they find it, they run afoul of a gigantic white whale that takes their arrival personally, sinking their ship and pursuing the survivors in their lifeboats.
All of this is staged as an epic battle between humanity and nature, with layers of interest in the way these men strain to survive against unimaginable odds. It's a riveting story, beautifully shot and rendered with immersive effects. And the cast members create complex characters who are profoundly changed by their experience. Not only is there mammoth action, but there's plenty of barbed interaction and even some strongly emotional moments that bring the themes home to a modern audience. Sometimes this aspect feels a bit corny, as clearly whalers at the time wouldn't feel remorse about killing one of these majestic creatures. But we would.
Continue reading: In The Heart Of The Sea Review
[Spoilers] We've seen a thousand alien battles, but this one is re-hashed with creativity.
Fancy an action blockbuster this weekend? Doug Liman's hotly anticipated new sci-fi action epic Edge of Tomorrow finally sees its US release today and is set for a monster opening. Well, the critical winds are certainly blowing in the right direction: the film is unabashedly action-packed but complements its meat-headedness with moral dilemmas and a disturbing view of the future of humanity.
Tom Cruise takes the lead in this military sci-fi movie, playing a man reliving his death in battle against an alien force over and over again. Cruise plays Lt. Col. Bill Cage and co-star Emily Blunt is Special Forces soldier Rita Vrataski in this exciting new alien combat thriller.
Adapted by Screenwriter Dante Harper, Edge of Tomorrow is based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka's Japanese light novel All You Need Is Kill which combines a mind-boggling time loop scenario - think Groundhog Day crossed with Source Code - with heart-racing action scenes, evoking Cruise's own Oblivion and Matt Damon's Elysium.
Continue reading: 'Edge Of Tomorrow' May Be Recycled, But It's Not Rubbish
Watch the delightfully funny trailer below
With one darkly comic Irish film already receiving rave reviews, Brendan Gleeson is starring in a lightly comic Canadian one, which, by the looks of the trailer, will have exactly the same effect. Taylor Kitsch also stars in ‘The Grand Seduction’, which has a brand new trailer below.
French takes the doctor fishing 'The Grand Seduction'
The film sees Murray French (Gleeson) rally the troops of Tickle Cove, a picturesque harbour town, to convince a visiting doctor to stay permanently so the local factor can keep its business contract alive and provide the locals with work. But with such a motley and lazy crew, he’s got his work cut out.
The troubled priest troubled Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson and Kelly Rielly star in 'Calvary'
A good priest in a small town populated by people with dark thoughts, James Lavelle’s life is threatened during a confession. Of course, they’re anonymous things, confessions, and he spends what he believes to be the rest of his living days attempting to narrow down his would-be murderer.
Continue reading: For Brendan Gleeson, His Role In 'Calvary' Was Mental Grind
American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave lead the awards charge, while Scorsese's contender bows in Paris and The Hobbit takes Berlin. Also, first glimpses of new films with Tom Cruise, Channing Tatum and Jason Bateman...
As we move properly into awards season, films are jostling to be the frontrunner. This week saw nominations announced by the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild, two key awards in the run-up to Oscar night. At the moment, the leading contenders are David O Russell's Abscam comedy-drama American Hustle and Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave. But anything can happen, see the other contenders here.
The dark horse in the awards race is The Wolf of Wall Street, a late entry into contention. The film held its European premiere in Paris on Monday, attended by Leonardo Dicaprio, director Martin Scorsese and costar Jean Dujardin. Buzz is growing quickly for the film, which opens in most cinemas in January. Watch the latest trailer for Wolf Of Wall Street here!
The Pirate Captain has never won the Pirate of the Year award but this year he hopes to do so. He sets out with his crew - some are pirates, some are not, some are just fish he dressed up in a pirate hat - to beat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz. Along the way, he travels to places as diverse as Blood Island and Victorian London and joins forces with a young Charles Darwin. The Captain and his crew must also avoid Queen Elizabeth - who is determined to wipe out pirates from the seas.
Sergeant Gerry Boyle is a cop, working in a small town in County Galway, in the western part of Ireland, with a love of prostitutes, dropping acid on his days off and a dying mother. Whilst on the job, he doesn't follow the rulebook and he thinks that everyone he's met is an idiot.
Continue: The Guard Trailer
Michael (Murphy) is a slacker who has four hours to pay back his loan shark Perrier (Gleeson) before a bounty is put out on him. On this fateful day, he teams up with his dying father Jim (Broadbent) and his neighbour Brenda (Whittaker), who accidentally gets involved in his mess. As they run around Dublin trying to stay one step ahead of the goons, as well as a couple of zealous traffic wardens, this trio is forced to examine their lives and relationships, often in the face of imminent injury.
Continue reading: Perrier's Bounty Review
In The Tailor of Panama -- based on John Le Carré's novel and directed by John Boorman (Beyond Rangoon, Zardoz) -- Brosnan trades in the sophistication of James Bond for the identity of crude, disgraced spy Andy Osnard, an MI-6 operative that has to be shipped off to Panama on account of his loathsome behavior. Once he arrives in Panama City, the bad behavior doesn't stop: Osnard immediately sets upon the task of uncovering "what's going on" with the Panama Canal. Rumors swirl that it will be sold to another country now that Panama has it back from the U.S. Or perhaps there will be a coup from a populist underground?
Continue reading: The Tailor Of Panama Review
Gibson plays Scottish hero William Wallace, a Scotsman with simple roots who finds himself thrust into a role as leader of the Scottish revolt against England in the late 13th century. After the despicable King Edward the Longshanks (Edward I) decrees that English nobles will have the right to sexual relations with all newly-wed Scottish women, the revolution is set in motion. Wallace takes up the cause, only to find himself facing incredible odds against a superior English army and fighting Scottish nobles who want to negotiate peace instead of fight. In fact, it's the nobles who turn out to be the bigger obstacle.
Continue reading: Braveheart Review
Unfortunately for Perry, it's April 1992, and not a very good time to be an arrogant, white LAPD officer. The Rodney King trial has set L.A. on the precipice of Armageddon, and the verdict - to be announced imminently - has become the focal point for a metropolis simmering with class and racial tension. Perry, however, has more pressing matters to worry about. His partner, a wet-behind-the-ears rookie named Bobby Keough (played with baby-faced blankness by ex-Felicity hunk Scott Speedman), has screwed up an arrest, and Perry - always looking to back up a fellow brother in blue - has killed the defenseless perp (with Keough's gun) rather than letting him escape. The film begins with both officers knee-deep into lying their way through an eight-hour inquiry, since Perry has decided that his incompetent protégé should take the heat for the killing anyway. As far as Perry is concerned, one's first shooting inquiry is a right of passage - a baptism into an immoral system that's primarily sworn to protect and serve its own members.
Continue reading: Dark Blue Review
For almost five years now, Hollywood studios have beentrying to duplicate the success of "Gladiator"by making the same big-budget historical battle epic over ("TheLast Samurai") and over ("Troy")and over ("KingArthur") and over ("Alexander").
Each movie has re-imagined history from a modern, let's-keep-an-open-mindperspective and hewed to a shopworn formula in which the hero rallies hismen against great odds and for a greater good. He invariably leads theminto the same blood-and-mud war scenes, which are always shot in the samestaccato slow-motion that characterizes the chaos of combat but forgetsthe audience needs to be kept abreast of who is winning. The hero alsoalways finds time to romance a beautiful woman from another culture.
Aside from having different casts, the only significantvariations between these films seem to be 1) whether the hero was of noblebirth or came up from nothing to become a great leader, and 2) whetherthe battlefields are green and forested or brown and sandy. One thing mostof them definitely have in common is that they've bombed at the box office.
Continue reading: Kingdom Of Heaven Review
Date of birth
29th March, 1955
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