MOVIE REVIEWS

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By mattwilde123 March 10, 2017

This film tells the story of an over-the-hill actor called Riggan Thomson (brilliantly portrayed by Michael Keaton) who was once the star of a superhero blockbuster franchise known as 'Birdman'. We are shown his journey into making a Broadway production starting with the initial rehearsals and read-throughs. What follows is a brilliant exploration of celebrity culture in an intriguing and satirical way.

'Birdman' could essentially be looked at as one continuous long shot. The camera constantly weaves around the actors and action and so the audience are completely immersed into the perspectives of the various characters (mostly Riggan's). The opening shot plays like a scene in Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Boogie Nights' as it delightfully establishes the narrative in a fluid and polished style whilst introducing the cast and their entertaining interchanges during a rehearsal with hilarious consequences.

The editing throughout the picture is almost flawless when moving from scene to scene and has a dizzying effect much like Gasper Noé's 'Irreversible'. 'Birdman' also boasts some marvellous special effects throughout such as when Riggan (Keaton) is alone and being taunted by his egotistical alter-ego. The film shows up typical blockbuster action movies by asking the audience what they want and giving it to them in a manner which embraces the excitement and epic-ness of the genre whilst also poking fun of the conventions.

The music that accompanies the film is very scarce in a lot of places adding emphasis to the dialogue and situations arising but, in some cases, an erratic and improvisational drum riff can be heard (occasionally accompanied with the drummer on the set) which completely adds to the eccentricity and spontaneity of the movie.

The screenplay is very intricately written and contains many profound philosophical speeches about art, celebrity and criticism. There are monologues and debates by characters in which they discuss the core beliefs of the film such as Riggan's speech during his performance of his Raymond Carver play "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love".

The whole narrative of the film is very intriguing and interesting. There is a perfect blend of comedy and poignancy. There are a lot of twists and ambiguity throughout the film which could be analysed and interpreted for a long time.

Michael Keaton is fantastic as the protagonist and gives a performance that would have given his career a huge revival (his squeal is my highlight of the film). The parallels with the character's career and that of Keaton's could not have been a mistake and gives the performance that much more edge. Edward Norton plays the method actor from hell (Mike Shiner). He is annoying, snobbish and smug and played brilliantly by Norton who excels in the vileness and pomposity of the character.

The film is very much about actors. The self obsessive nature of acting is definitely highlighted by the two central performances but there is also a cast that really help to deliver the film's meaning such as Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Riseborough and Naomi Watts.

Overall, 'Birdman' is a fantastic film. It is filled with pathos and profound imagery whilst keeping the viewer thoroughly entertained throughout.

★★★★½

By Vincent January 30, 2017

**mounting spontaneity** or (dumb luck)

It's not fair.

I love Raymond Carver, long takes, theatre, Batman, NYC rooftops and alleyways, the blending layers of self-referential fiction, delirious fantasy, the creative process, the insane logistics of run-on cinematography, the seamless assembly of shifting environments, stepping into unresolved mental spaces, demonstrations of solitary madness and the unbearable anticipation of being, being judged, being booed, un-being, unhinging, delusional uppers, existential downers, magic surrealism, telekinetic fury, dreams of flying, throwing tantrums, the fragile yet invincible ego, immaculately constructed chaos, the recurring climax of ending it all -- where the blazes is that blasted improvisational drumming coming from? -- oh there, and there, so absurd, don't stop, the shot must go on, the show must go on, "You are not important, get used to it," she said, but so much angst overwhelms him, tethered to a feathered fantasy, a nagging reminder of what once was, or could have been, refusing to believe it's too late to soar to former heights, yet grounded by time and gravity, trapped in a narrative, caged in a fabrication, "You're an actress, honey," says another, "you have no self-respect" and all actors are game, Keaton and Stone zoned-in, knowing the pain, pretending to not care or pretending to matter, failing to be authentic, acting over acting, meta-acting meta-fiction meta-filmed with a meta-critical message: yeah, we're all messed-up and meta-fµcked, but after shooting your nose to spite the ruse, by unmasking the unexpected virtue of ignorance, peeling off layers of pretense and self-importance, you just might find a momentary strain of pure, uncomplicated innocence.

It's not fair. I love this sh*t!

By Jaba January 30, 2017

First of all, let me say, I like most of movies where Naomi Watts plays & thought this one would be good too, after all it has high ratings, but don't be fooled by famous actors which play in this movie. Don't be fooled & think that movie is good. No, not at all. This movie is complete junk. It supposed to be a comedy, but I didn't even find it funny. It's just like a big mess. I started watching it & I couldn't last longer than 30 minutes, it was so boring & uninteresting that I fell asleep. I can't believe people rate this movie so high & even worse - this movie won an Oscar. This again proves, that ratings & Oscar ain't always accurate.

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