Thursday, September 8, 2011

Spotlight on Michael Fassbender! Plus New Releases...

On Friday, X-Men: First Class comes out on DVD as a video store exclusive (not available through Netflix or Redbox). This highly entertaining origin story is directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, Layer Cake) and features a great cast that includes James McAvoy, Rose Byrne, Oliver Platt, Kevin Bacon, January Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, and Nicholas Hoult. But it's Michael Fassbender, who plays the young Magneto, who gets the spotlight this week...

Fassbender has quickly and quietly established himself as one of the strongest and more versatile actors working today. With a duo of upcoming, highly anticipated films (David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, where he plays Carl Jung opposite Viggo Mortensen's Sigmund Freud, and British director Steve McQueen's Shame, where he portrays a sex addict), Fassbender seems poised to cement his rising stardom. Here we take a look at some of his earlier roles:

Steve McQueen's directorial debut is an austere and meditative look at the 1981 IRA hunger strike in the Maze Prison of Northern Ireland. Fassbender plays strike leader Bobby Sands in a physically transformative performance that is as unsettling as it is impressive.

Fish Tank
Director Andrea Arnold's excellent depiction of Mia, an aspiring teenage flygirl, features authentic performances and a vivid sense of place. Fassbender shows up as the seductive boyfriend of Mia's mother - a beguiling mixture of charm and danger.

Inglourious Basterds
In Tarantino's divisive revisionist war fantasy, Fassbender plays one of the Basterds, Lt. Archie Hicox, whose tension-filled scene in the basement of a German tavern is one of the film's stand-out sequences.

Eden Lake
One of the more effective horror offerings of recent years, this disturbing tale centers on a young couple on holiday (Fassbender and Kelly Reilly) who find themselves terrorized by a menacing group of chavs. White-knuckled suspense marked by moments of gore and terror.

Other notable new releases:
Joe Wright (Atonement) directs this action thriller, starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, and Cate Blanchett. This is also a video store exclusive (not available through Netflix or Redbox).

Everything Must Go
Will Ferrell stars in this adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story.

Frederick Wiseman on DVD!
Our first offerings by the legendary documentarian include his two most recent films, Boxing Gym and La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet, as well as his first, Titicut Follies from 1967, an unsettling look inside the Massachusetts Correctional Institution Bridgewater.

Another good week for TV on DVD!

The Office - 7th Season
Catch Michael Scott's final season and learn a new dance in the process!

Parks and Recreation - 3rd Season

Community - 2nd Season

The Good Wife - 2nd Season

Fringe - 3rd Season

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