Archive for January, 2015|Monthly archive page

I Want to Fly with “Birdman”

In Uncategorized on January 4, 2015 at 5:50 pm

“Birdman” was one of the best films I have seen in an incredibly long time. It is a film that I may have to see again not only because I want to but because I feel that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu deserves to have as much money thrown at him as possible for making this film. I should really say that no only does he deserve recognition, rather, that anyone loosely associated with this film deserves recognition. In the age of franchises, sequels, and blockbuster explosions, “Birdman” tells an original story and it is a movie that will be spliced, discussed, and examined for years to come. If you consider yourself a cinaphile, watch this movie.

“Birdman” tells the story of Riggan Thomas (Michael Keaton), an aging actor who left Hollywood because he no longer wanted to continue making Birdman films and decided, instead, to adapt and start in a Raymond Carver story titled “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”. The film begins a few nights before the show previews and Riggan must find another actor to replace a pivotal character. Lucky for him, Mike Shiner (Edward Norton) is free and has been rehearsing with Lesley (Naomi Watts) who also stars in the production. Because of this, Shiner knows all of the lines and comes with Broadway experience that equally frustrates and amazes Riggan. As the movie continues, the viewer finds from Riggan’s attorney Jake (Zach Galifianakis) that everything that Riggan has is on the line for this film, that Riggan’s relationship with his daughter Sam (Emma Stone) is severely strained, and that his lover Laura (Andrea Riseborough) may be pregnant.

This entire story is shown utilizing, basically, a single shot. There are some scenes where some craft editing is done, but with the utilization of a handheld camera, the story unfolds in a raw fashion, where the viewer feels closer to the characters and the characters themselves appear real. It was a fantastic movie, shots and interactions of which gave me chills.

Edward Norton is Mike Shiner. There appears to be no instance in which he broke from that character and his interactions with Emma Stone and Michael Keaton are fantastic. His monologues discussing the difference between Hollywood and Broadway will be quoted and studied for many years following this film.

I have no idea where Keaton pulled whatever he pulled to make this film, but he did it and he is unrecognizable. Seriously. It is a fairly meta film, he did play Batman as we all know, but the scenes when he goes on stage and when he begins to question his decision regarding this play, are Oscar-worthy.

The award winning part of this film, is the cinematography. I haven’t seen all of the presumed Oscar contenders, BUT, this film deserves the award for its cinematography. Some of the shots were set up so superbly and left me astounded as to how Inarritu did it.

This move set the standard for filmography and story telling and it something everyone needs to see and directors need to strive to create films as good as “Birdman”


Why I Will Never Go “Into the Woods” and Why You Shouldn’t Either

In Uncategorized on January 4, 2015 at 5:27 pm

Because, basically, it’s a crap film. I, personally, am not a huge fan of musicals, but given the hype machine surrounding this film, I agreed to see it and it was pretty terrible. The pacing was off, it stopped being a musical about halfway through the movie, and Johhny Depp as The Wolf was fairly disgusting. It also wasn’t that funny and I’ve heard that the musical is much better.

“Into the Woods” was directed by Rob Marshall based upon the musical created by Stephen Sondheim. This films involved the combination of Little Red Riding HoodRapunzel, Jack and the Bean Stalk, and Cinderella. This story includes three new characters, the Baker (James Corden), the Baker’s Wife (Emily Blunt), and the Witch (Meryl Streep) and all of these characters come together in the woods when the Witch is told that the Barker’s Wife can only give birth after a curse has been lifted. This curse was placed upon the Baker’s father for stealing the Witch’s magic beans and the Baker and his wife must collect various items from Jack (Daniel Huttlestone), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), and Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy). Throughout the movie there are various exposition-ary songs that explain everyone’s role within the film and what they want to gain from life.

The major downfall of this film is the pacing, it is a back heavy film where the second part includes very little singing, is fairly dark, and drags on and on and on and on. I presumed that the film had about half an hour 45 minutes left in it. Nope. It goes on for nearly an hour, none of which was necessary.

It was also not at all funny, which I am told, was one of the best parts of the musical. There were scenes where the character stepped out of themselves to comment on something that he or she had done that, from the audience’s point of view, was stupid. But these moments were sprinkled throughout, when this film should have been saturated with it.

The Wolf was a rapist and watching him sing and gaze upon a young girl, whose skin he describes quite clearly, is incredibly uncomfortable. I am told that Little Red Riding Hood was played by an adult in the musical and the use of a child actress within this film for this scene was careless and disgusting. Seriously, the song should have been cut or Little Red Riding Hood should have been played by an adult.

Finally, my last little pet peeve about this film, is that when the Giantess (Frances de la Tour) for some reason the camera shot only goes so far as to include her nose all the way down to here feet. Her eyes are rarely visible. It happens enough times within this film to be incredibly annoying and bothersome.

My thoughts, this movie was a waste of time and money. If you haven’t seen it. Don’t.