legoWell, it’s that time of the year again, when lists must be made to give meaning to all the time spent going to movies the year before rather than doing things like joining Doctors Without Borders or trying to find a cure for cancer or sharing memes of kittens on facebook.
No matter what anyone tells you, this is the endgame of film watching, to create order out of chaos, to reach conclusions from randomness, to give deeper meaning to something that in many ways has little meaning except the attending in the first place.
But we’re human and it’s what we do.
However, before getting to the nitty-gritty, I would like to first make a few observations about the state of cinema these days based on the films I saw last year. Continue reading

MAN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN: Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

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birdmanMichael Keaton’s career has been what I would call somewhat unusual. He hit his stride early with the movie Beetlejuice and Clean and Sober and then was cast as Batman (and today is still many people’s favorite wing man). He looked like an actor on the rise.
Then after that? Well, I’m not sure how to describe it, but he seemed to do whatever he could to not go the way of fellow thespians like Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler, constantly required to star in the same kind of over the top, often obnoxious comedies that made fortunes at the box office (at least for a time) while trying to make more “meaningful” films on the side.
Instead, Keaton seemed to flee iconic roles and try to define himself as a more serious performer. But in the years since those early parts, it felt more like he was trying to find characters to play that would define him as an actor, rather than succeeding in actually reinventing himself. Continue reading