Birdman (2014)

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by thing, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. thing

    thing Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Birdman
    (2014, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu)
    In a case of art imitating life we have Michael Keaton (Batman) playing washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero and must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory. The whole film bar two portions (one at the beginning and one near the end) gives the illusion of one long shot which works quite well for the subject matter of behind the scenes at a play. The acting is really great all around and the film has great dialogue and really feels like a dark version of something Woody Allen would make. Other than the cast playing broadway people which are always hard to relate to and the final scene which left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, I really enjoyed this whole experience and the satire on modern Hollywood and blockbusters, as well as the swipes at the Transformers was quite welcome. The fact that it is about the industry should make it a darling with Academy voters no doubt.
    8/10
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  2. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    I saw it a couple months ago and am a little baffled as to all the acclaim it is getting lately. It didn't do much for me. It reminded me of The Room, only not funny.

    I remember liking the scenes between Edward Norton and Emma Stone, but the rest of the film has pretty much left my memory. I remember a lot of whiny pretentious stuff about how hard it is being an actor, which makes the film completely unrelatable if you're not one.
     
  3. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    I really wanted to like this more than I actually did.

    Technically, it is fantastic. The performances are all great. And the writing, overall, is really sharp.

    But, I kept wanting it to be more "something". In the end, it's just a really good story about an actor going through a midlife crisis. Lots of speeches about how important actors are, even when taking swipes at actors who think they are important. Lots of examination about growing old and being past your prime. And all those are pretty well done. But, in the end, that's really all the film was about. It's all very fine and clever, but, for me at least, it kept feeling like it was going to move on to something larger and more profound that never really manifested.

    Part of my disappointment in the film comes from know that others have done it better. The long-take is cool, but it's nowhere near as breathless and exhausting as "Russian Ark" or even "Timecode" where they actually did the single take for real. And as sharp as the writing and characters may be, it was still nowhere near as good as anything in "Slings & Arrows"

    And a little side note, I think the ending is a reference to an Algernon Blackwood story called "The Wings of Horus" that deals with some of the same themes and ends in a very similar and equally ambiguous way.

    It's still a good film that I would recommend. But, if you liked it, I would also highly recommend the things I referenced above.
     
  4. thing

    thing Well-Known Member

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    Apparently the whole thing is quite inspired by Macbeth which I can see in parts but I didn't really think about it whilst watching it.
     
  5. Hatchetwarrior

    Hatchetwarrior Well-Known Member

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    I loved everything about this film. So much so that it is currently my favorite film of the year. I have yet too see a few of the more talked about films of 2014 (Inherent Vice, American Sniper, Boyhood, etc.) and although I am looking forward to those I can't imagine one of them out doing this film here.
     
  6. thing

    thing Well-Known Member

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    I doubt any of those will out do Birdman for you, I personally disliked American Sniper, was ho hum on Vice and Boyhood I liked but I doubt it will get the fervour you have for Birdman.
     
  7. MaxRenn

    MaxRenn Member

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    I only just got around to watching this and I could not believe how good it was - incredibly entertaining, funny and thought-provoking. I thought the script and presentation were touched by genius - so many interesting themes about reality/fantasy. Also as a Cassavetes fan I am sure this is some kind of homage to Opening Night.

    Great acting also.
     
  8. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I saw it only a few weeks ago myself, and even had I not known the results of the Academy Awards, I would have seen it as a shoo-in for Best Picture. Other than it dragging down a bit near the end, I thought it was amazing. By the way, did anyone else see that
    Martin Scorcese is actually in the audience when Michael Keaton enters the theater from the main entrance?
     
  9. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    I did. :)
     
  10. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    I did appreciate that Keaton and Norton were playing heightened versions of themselves.
     
  11. Myron Breck

    Myron Breck BOO!!! Gotcha!

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    I loved the base story and all of the performances, but all of the "fantastic" elements seemed almost dropped into the story as an after-thought; a reason to have an ending that everyone could chat about over drinks afterwards. I thought it was pat.

    My favorite of the awards season was WHIPLASH, although I have yet to get INHERENT VICE in the mail from Netflix.
     

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