Birdman: Washed Up Actors Excel at Being Washed Up

Hello everybody! For this week’s new movie show we watch Birdman.

BIRDMAN

birdman

DIRECTED: Alejandro González Iñárritu

STARRING: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

GENRE: Black Comedy

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: United States

Riggan Thomas, once known quite well to movie theater goers as an iconic super hero called “The Birdman” had recently turned down a fourth installment of the franchise. Now washed up, he attempts to reinvent himself as a director by staging a new adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story called “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”. The events leading up to the Saturday night premiere prove to be one disaster after another as the original lead actor is injured while on set and Riggan scrambles to find a replacement, but the replacement proves to be exactly who he needs – a method actor who takes the job way too seriously. But Riggan has a hard time juggling between the set, his replacement actor, his equally washed up daughter, and a host of other disasters that prevent a proper staging of the play. Meanwhile, a New York Times critic who Riggan has to woo threatens to shut down production of the play before it even starts with a scathing review of the opening night performance. Does Riggan have a hit on his hands or will he even make it past opening night?

birdman_a

Birdman definitely wasn’t what I expected. Maybe that is because when  first saw the trailer/ heard about the film, I thought it was actually a documentary and not a comedy. The one thing that I absolutely loved about Birdman is the editing and camera work. It is done so well, edited so closely together that it makes the film look like it was shot in one continuous take. I can understand that this was to give the illusion that our main character was being followed by paparazzi. Lastly, I want to point out that Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, and Edward Norton are all great in their roles. Superb, ladies and gents.

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There isn’t much I didn’t like about Birdman. The pacing was relatively slow, as at some points I wish it would stop dragging. That feeling quickly passed me by, as yet another episode with the Birdman was going to occur. I did not like Zach Galifinakis in his role as friend and producer. I do want to acknowledge that you performed decently, especially since it is such a far role change from his more drunken comedic roles. I just wouldn’t have cast him in this film. Not this time.

PROS:

  • Editing.
  • Camerawork.
  • Main cast performances.

CONS:

  • Pacing.
  • Zach Galifinakis casting.

SCORE: 8.8 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.

The Grand Budapest Hotel: Cameos Galore!

Hello everybody, Today for our New Movie Show we have The Grand Budapest Hotel.

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

The_Grand_Budapest_Hotel_Poster

DIRECTED BY: Wes Anderson

STARRING: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Edward Norton, Mathieu Amalric, Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Léa Seydoux, Jeff Goldblum, Jason Schwartzman, Jude Law, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Tony Revolori

GENRE: Comedy

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: Germany, United Kingdom

A teenage girl visits the monument of the writer who penned the book, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. In 1968, that author was inspired to write the book when he visited that hotel, located in the European mountainous country formerly known as Zubrowka. Once a luxurious hotel, it, in 1968, has fallen on hard times. The author meets the then current owner, M. Zero Moustafa, who recounts the story of how he became the hotel’s owner and why he holds onto it and keeps it open despite it obviously making him no money. Zero’s story begins in 1932, when the hotel was in its golden era. Zero was the novice immigrant lobby boy, who, like all the other hotel staff, was under the guidance of M. Gustave H., the devoted concierge. Gustave aimed to please, he giving the guests whatever they wanted, especially the wealthy blonde women. The story largely revolves around one of those women, the wealthy Madame Céline Villeneuve Desgoffe-und-Taxis – better known as Mme. D. – her opportunistic son Dimitri, the bequeathing of a valuable painting called “Boy with Apple” to Gustave, the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death which is initially pinned on Gustave, and the attempts of Zero, his girlfriend – a baker’s assistant named Agatha – and others to clear Gustave’s name while Dimitri does whatever he needs to get what he believes is rightfully his, namely the painting.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

 The Grand Budapest Hotel came to me well praised, even though I actually had no idea what it was about or even what kind of film it was. To my surprise it is a hilarious comedy film filled to the brim with cameos from hilariously great actors. I do have to give Adrien Brody a real shout out as I normally will not see any film that he is in. Although he actually makes quite an awesome villain. Add Willem Dafoe to the mix and they are an easily stoppable but a hilarious pair of antagonists.

The-Grand-Budapest-Hotel-580

 I do have to point out that I did not find much wrong with The Grand Budapest Hotel. The film is a comedic masterpiece with an ensemble cast for the ages. If I had to gripe, which I guess I have to, it would have to be how little they touch on the The Author and Zero in later years. I know they used it as a framing tool but still.

PROS:

  • Ensemble cast.
  • Main cast performance s.
  • Dialogue.
  • Hilarious.

CONS:

  • Framing Tool.

SCORE: 9 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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25th Hour: The F**k You Monologue

Hello everybody! Today we have one of Edward Norton’s best performances, 25th Hour.

25TH HOUR

DIRECTOR: Spike Lee

STARRING:  Edward Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper, Rosario Dawson, Anna Paquin, Brian Cox

GENRE: Drama

YEAR: 2002

COUNTRY: United States

Plot Synopsis:

Monty Brogan is about to start his last day of freedom before turning himself into the authorities and serving a seven-year term for drug dealing. He’s a charming young man who had always dreamed of being a fireman, following in the working-class footsteps of his father, who has had to put up his bar in Queens as bond so that his son can stay out of jail until his sentence begins. Monty, named for Montgomery Clift, does not know how he managed to get himself into this predicament. It was easy money and it carried so many perks, and you’ll feel more than a little sympathy for this young man who has managed to kill his own dream for courtside seats at Madison Square Garden. But before he goes to prison, Monty wants to have one last night out on the town with his two best friends. Frank Slattery is a bond trader, one of the best and most successful risk takers in a very risky business. The other is Jakob Elinsky, an English teacher who envies his friends’ lifestyles but who has no intention of ever giving up his job for the easy money, despite the disillusionment of teaching high school students in a tough school. The three young men enjoy the night into the early morning as they eat, drink, and visit the hottest spots in town. It’s a sad night for Monty, but he has a plan that neither Frank nor Jacob know about–and it makes for a shocking ending to this brilliant and disturbing story.

While 25th Hour isn’t exactly the film I thought it was, it definitely was a good film. Edward Norton is absolutely phenomenal as … His performance was so amazing on screen that I almost forgot he was only acting. The film dives into these characters and makes me care for them sooo much that I feel like I have known them forever. This is definitely 25th Hour’s strong point. I also admire the way they incorporated the September 11, 2001 attacks into the film (since it was released 15 months after the attacks). They center the remains of the structures in the background during a pivotal scene about freedom during the film.

Besides everything that I listed above, the film had many drawbacks. I have to mention the film’s pacing. The film was insanely too damn slow! I have never wanted a film to speed up and end more than this one. It was ridiculous! I felt like that I actually spent his whole last 24 hours with him. The film could have been cut down easily. Just on a side note, I wasn’t impresses with any of the other actors except for Edward Norton and Rosario Dawson. If the rest of the cast actually performed like they should have, then maybe I would have liked the film more.

PROS:

  • Edward Norton’s performance/monologue.
  • Rosario Dawson’s performance.
  • Incorporation of 9/11.
  • Interesting look at human nature.

CONS:

  • Rest of the cast’s performances.
  • Very slow pacing.
  • Film length could be cut shorter.

SCORE: 7.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music for me to review, drop me a comment! Remember: Like Media In Review @ https://www.facebook.com/MediaInReview?ref=hl Follow Media in Review @ https://twitter.com/Media_In_Review.