Highly Suspect Reviews: 'Birdman' | One of Us

Highly Suspect Reviews: ‘Birdman’

14 Submitted by on Fri, 24 October 2014, 12:30

When a washed-up former Hollywood star of three popular superhero films (Birdman, natch), decides to reboot his career by producing, directing, writing and starring in a Broadway adaptation of a Raymond Carver story, the stress starts to become overwhelming, leading to hallucinations (or are they?) of telekinetic abilities and of his own voice as Birdman calling him a failure. And who did director Alejandro González Iñárritu (21 Grams, Babel) brilliantly cast in this role? Why, Michael Keaton, of course.

The casting seems appropriate on many levels, as Birdman is a meta-film about stardom, franchise dominance, and egos in the star system if there ever was one. Ed Norton plays the public perception of himself: an arrogant, pretentious, yet undeniably talented actor in the play. Emma Stone is essentially playing Lindsay Lohan here (whose career she ostensibly replaced after Lohan’s crash and burn) as the daughter of Keaton’s character who’s gone through a long haul of drug rehab and no one really trusts anymore. Add to that cast Zach Galifianakis as Keaton’s harried stage manager and Naomi Watts as an actress about at the end of her rope with her co-stars and you have something approaching brilliance….all in one long simulated take.

Or at least, some of us thought so (clearly me). Listen to the Chris, Brian, JC and Michael have a surprisingly reasoned discussion on the vagaries of cinematic perception on Birdman.

Empty SpaceShows

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Born in the wilds of northern Virginia, in 1992 Chris managed to put all of his survival skills to use and barely escaped with his life to Austin Texas, where ever since he’s dabbled in everything from plumber’s assistant to sandwich maker, from band to bar management. An opportunity to see theatrical release films for free, by becoming a critic on a local public access show called “The Reel Deal”, turned into a full time job when Chris and his friends decided to take it to the internet. They built the site Spill.com, adding multiple podcasts and animated features, to no small amount of success. During this time, a fortuitous friendship sprung up between Chris and young Brian Salisbury, who was also a local film critic, and they merged their forces of will, and their laundry list of ideas for shows, to eventually build this paradise you see before you.