Editor’s note: We all love movies, but rather than ask a syndicated columnist who has never visited our beautiful High Desert, we commissioned our own local movie critic: Nolan P. Smith to review films and give us a local perspective. Enjoy!
(Victor Valley)—In the race for what will be hailed as movie of the year, one movie continues to come up in every conversation: and that movie is Birdman, or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance. I finally decided to take the plunge and see what this film was all about now it is out on DVD and Blu-Ray: and now, I wish I hadn’t.
Directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman follows washed up action star Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), known for his films in the fictitious Birdman series, now trying to direct a respectable play on Broadway. So much so, that everything is writing on its success; his financial future, his dysfunctional family including his daughter Sam (Emma Stone), and more importantly, his sanity. Accompanied by his best friend Jake (Zach Galifianakis), Thomson not only has to pull off a knockout opening night, but he continues to battle his past in the masked manifestation of the role he has been type casted to, the Birdman.
Now, that sounds like a pretty great film, and at parts, it is. The acting is top notch, the cinematography is outstanding- but when you boil it down to what it is- it’s a stab at the big, loud popcorn action flicks many of us love. The film is a frantic, and at times boring. I don’t blame the actors for this; I blame the script, as there is only so much one can do within the confines of the script and the director’s vision. Sure, we see the struggles of a troubled man on the edge of insanity, who sees others as trying to detour him of his goal. We see a lot hallway interactions behind the stage, from fights to romance. We also see the world going back to the days of Birdman, which was quite frankly my favorite part.
I had high hopes going into this film. I expected some special and memorable- instead, the most memorable thing about this film was the Blu-Ray case it came in- which features amazing artwork and a clear red case. Very well done packaging. But for the film itself- I still don’t know what to make of it, I just know I didn’t care for it much, and I don’t see a reason to re-watch it anytime soon. Don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself.