Movie Review: Birdman (2014)

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Superhero movies! You either love them or you hate them, that’s how it is. Fine you can be indifferent about them too, but that isn’t important. So last year I heard about this new superhero movie that when it came out got some of the best reviews of any superhero movie ever. So I was of course pumped! Now this superher-what? This isn’t a superhero movie? Really? Well, fuck you, Jeff!

So this isn’t a superhero movie apparently… fuck it, this is my review of “Birdman”.

“Birdman” is about washed up actor Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton). In the early 90’s he played superhero “Birdman” (Roll Credits). But now he got no major relevance. So to kind of get back some of that former glory he is setting up a stage play. But that isn’t as easy as it may seem. For one it is on Broadway, A.K.A it is a big production. Next up he has to deal with a few family issues, mainly his daughter Sam (Emma Stone). He also has to deal with a last minute replacement actor named Mike (Edward Norton) who is really “method”. We also get to kind of see Riggan’s descent into madness throughout. And it turns out the story of “Birdman” is fucking amazing. I have never been invested in a story this weird and amazing since I first saw “Fight Club”. Seeing Riggan and everybody try to deal with setting up the play is interesting and then to see the often kind of surrealistic descent into madness from Riggan just adds to the already multi-layered and amazing story.

The characters in this movie are all incredibly interesting with some terrific writing and great development. It is also noticeable that they all have their own problems to deal with. It was also great to see a movie with so many great performances. Michael Keaton gives the best performance of his entire career. I have always liked the guy, bur he has never really been THIS good. Emma Stone was also great. Hell, even Zach Galifianakis was really good in this movie. And I am aware you know I will gush over Edward Norton since he is my favorite actor so let’s just get it over with. Edward Norton was fucking amazing in this movie. Now he is always great, but he hasn’t given a performance this good since I don’t know, “The Illusionist” maybe. But I do think all the acting in the movie was great and all characters were well-rounded and well-written.

The score was done by Antonio Sanchez and the funny thing about the score is that it is made from percussion only… but I didn’t mind. The score was truly great and really worked to give the feel of all the situations and emotions of the characters. There is also a thing about the score that integrates itself into the movie in a really fun way that I am not going to spoil, but when you see it you will know it and really enjoy it. Overall I found the score to be great.

This movie looks amazing. Not only because they found people who could line up the shots perfectly but also because it all looks like a continuous shot. That’s right, the entirety of “Birdman” looks like one long never-ending shot. Of course there are cuts in it, but it is cheated and edited so well that it isn’t easy finding them all. It is also kind of ironic that this is about a guy who used to play an iconic superhero, even bigger irony is that the last movie that said character was in came out 1992 (according to characters in the movie). Why is this ironic? Well because Michael Keaton used to play Batman back in the day and that the last movie he played Batman in was “Batman Returns” which came out in 1992. See the irony? Good. To keep on the same trail of superheroes, this movie gives a lot of great statements on superhero movies, stage plays, actors, critics and everything within the entertainment business you could think of. And that type of self aware commentary is something I love seeing in movies. Of course I love myself a good superhero movie, but the way this movie comments on them is genius. Believe me, this movie doesn’t rip the superhero movies a new one, but it sheds a good amount of light and gives great commentary on it. There is also a scene featuring some great commentary in the movie where the character of Riggan just explodes on a critic and it is glorious! Of course I might sound a tiny bit like a hypocrit saying that because I might be viewed on as a critic and I completely understand that, but I’m not a critic… but that’s for another time! *Nudge nudge, wink wink*.

This movie like I said in the beginning got some great reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating and is certified “Fresh”. On Metacritic it has a score of 88/100. And on imdb.com it has an 8,1/10 and is ranked #202 on the “Top 250” list. Also, as of this review the movie has been nominated for 9 Oscars (Holy shit) in the categories of Best motion picture of the year, Best Actor (Michael Keaton), Best Supporting Actor (Edward Norton), Best Supporting Actress (Emma Stone), Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best cinematography, Best sound mixing and Best sound editing.

“Birdman” is an achievment in film-making with it’s original filming/editing style. It also got some truly great performances, a great score, a great original story and some great commentary on the entertainment industry. Time for my final score. JEFF! Where’s the fucking envelope!? Thank you! My final score for “Birdman” is a 9,86/10. This is a fantastic movie that of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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“Birdman” is now reviewed.

Why the extra title? Why not simply choose one? Either you go “Birdman” or you go “The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance”. Simple as that.

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