Saturday, March 7, 2015

Birdman - In Flight

It took a moment…  but I remembered…   Birdman!   “Maybe I’m crazy…. “  has been humming through my mind in the shower, as I walk the streets and river-sides of Glasgow, ride in elevators, and  wait in lines at airports.

Michael Keaton was truly oscar worthy in this film.  I see now why he won the Golden Globe.  Ed Norton was very good, and showed he’s great at playing a total ass hole.  Big Eyes actress Emma Stone was both beautifully played and exhibiting a very dark and disturbing side that I hope she does not emulate in real life.  Zach Galifianakis finally played a character who was not an idiot or a child, and it was refreshing to see him being a useful grown-up - something I had not seen him do previously.

Perhaps it was my irritability from being unable to get comfortable in the “Premium Economy” seat, or the fact that Air France in-flight service crews really don’t give a merde about the Premium Economy passengers - except when passing through quickly on their way to coddled business class where my company no longer believes I am worth buying a ticket for - or that I was extremely dehydrated at 40,000 feet and -68C outside with not a single drop of water being offered by the absentee Air France crew… but I found the beginning of Birdman VERY funny.  Laughing-out-loud-funny.  

Ed Norton at one point strips naked - apparently someone in Hollywood thinks hairless, little-boyish, weak little Ed Norton shirtless and pastey will put butts in seats - all it had me doing was snickering “first rule about fight club, is be strong enough to actually fight someone, little boy” …  this guy played “The Hulk” … really?  But in the scene where he is naked, his girl friend is confronting him and telling him to put his clothes back on and he says to her, standing buck naked in front of her in the wardrobe section backstage “play with my balls” - how hilariously inappropriate!  

Michael Keaton running through Times Square in his whitey-tighties is kinda funny.  The jamming, syncopated, rhythmic drum track provided by (insert name here) through-out the film powerfully appealed to me, in a tribal, reptilian brain, primal sort of way.  It was awesome when the drummer finally appeared, on screen, drumming.

There were far too many scenes going up and down back-stage stair wells.  I don’t care if that’s an integral part of the “theatre experience” I found it about as annoying as Wes Anderson’s fixation on centering the camera on the scene’s speaking actor and close framing him.  Enough with the stairs already!   I get it, there’s lots of ups and downs, and it’s cramped.  SNL does the whole back-stage thing very well, once every 3 or 4 shows, and that’s enough.  Don’t dwell on it throughout the movie.

Keaton evoked the old Batman voice for his Birdman alter-ego, and that made it all the sweeter (to me).  His telekinesis ability was interesting, but )I think) under-played.  A levitation here, a dropped light there, an exploded bulb or 4… I would have liked to have seen a tiny bit more of this ability on-screen to know that he was not hallucinating, but I am not a Mexican director with my own agenda.

Birdman - if you have a chance to see it on Netflix or Amazon, I highly recommend it. (I wrote this 2 weeks before the Academy Awards gave it an Oscar)

Do Not waste 2 hours of your life watching 50 Shades of Gray as I did in Glasgow last month, in a theatre packed with over-weight, dolled up, Scottish housewives, who heckled the screen and who had to endure some of the worst written, worst acted, weak themed, mis-represented characters of any film I’ve seen in the last 35 years - literally since I began buying my own movie tickets.  A severe disappointment it was, and my expectations going into the movie were already very low.


  1. I really disliked this film.
    The telekenisis, as well as the soundtrack, was all in his head.

  2. so at the end, when his daughter looks down... she doesn't see him SPLAT? I dunno. And how did the actor in the opening scene get beaned in the head? Maybe in his head.. maybe not.

  3. His daughter does see him dead, but instead goes into fantasy-land denial, just like her dad, imagining him flying away.

    The light just fell.


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