Movie Reviews: Birdman

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Birdman directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu

I’ll say it up front. This was the best movie of 2014.

I’ll say something else. The script was so good, I even read that, just to learn how the heck they pulled it off. If you are into the craft of storytelling, Birdman puts on a clinic. It stars Michael Keaton playing himself Riggan Thomson. To support him, it has Edward Norton playing himself Mike Shiner, a demanding method actor. Zach Galifianakis isn’t the caricature he built for himself. Emma Stone puts on a solid performance as well as Michael Keaton’s Riggan Thomson’s daughter.

Constructed to flow as one continuous story, the director gambled with a quick film shoot and used every trick in the book to pull off the sequences. I think I know how he did it, but not really. I keep telling myself I know exactly where the cuts are, but it really doesn’t matter. He builds the story around the stage, and on that stage is Riggan, a man with a crisis of conscious, but in a funny way (see Michael Clayton for the boring way). He is so hard on himself and his mind is so sucked in the vortex of the commerciality of art, that he is on the verge of a breakdown before opening night.

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There is an easy way out. Just eat the damn apple and agree to a sequel. But no, Keaton Riggan wants to be bigger than that. He wants to be taken seriously and accepted for being a talented actor. He wants to show his range and prove to his critics that they are wrong about him. He is willing to do anything … even walk in his underwear in New York City.

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The movie wraps up nicely on stage, as intended. Risks are taken, but did Keaton Riggan get the public acceptance he yearned for?

GUEST REVIEW: “THUNDERPECKS” (Rumored former A-list Actor)

I get this. Those who have not adorned massive cod pieces and thunderpecks do not understand the pressure to succeed as a superhero. We have to appease so many rival groups: The die-hard fans who will destroy you for getting something wrong, the teenage girls who who don’t think you’re hot enough to go see the movie with their boyfriends and sinking the opening weekend numbers, the reviewers who will skewer my ass regardless of how much soul I breathe into the character. As actors, we are one big fuck up from destroying our superhero careers (Ben Affleck in Daredevil, Ryan Reynolds in The Green Lantern, Chris Evans in Fantastic Four 2) that there are no second chances unless nobody else “looks the part” and Hollywood comes back to us (Ben Affleck in Batman vs Superman, Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool, Chris Evans as Captain America).

Movie Rating: 10/10 Virtues of Ignorance

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