I’M SUPER. THANKS FOR ASKING: The Lego Batman Movie and Logan


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First, a word from our sponsors: I wanted to say thank you to everyone who contributed to our Indiegogo campaign for 15 Conversations in 10 Minutes. We did very well due to you folks. For those who weren’t able to give, keep us in your thoughts. And if you are able to contribute in the future, contact me and I’ll tell you how. I will even honor the perks on the original campaign.
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Warning: SPOILERS
The LEGO Batman Movie is not a sequel to the wonderful, OMG can you still not believe it not only didn’t win Best Animated Feature at the 2014 Oscars, it wasn’t even nominated, The Lego Movie, but, rather, the newest entry in the franchise. For those of you into esoteric movie references, that’s like the difference between Road to Zanzibar and, say, After the Thin Man.
The Lego Movie was a film that wouldn’t stop and carried you along on its ridiculous back never giving you time to think about it. It had something to say about being a drone versus being a child again, but what made it work was the theme being so secondary you might have missed it and not realize (as one politician didn’t) that the main song, Everything is Awesome, was ironic.
The LEGO Batman movie starts out the same way as action, action, action drives the story backed by a great deal of wit and cleverness. And the opening scenes suggest a movie with all the positives and pleasures of the first one. Continue reading

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


First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r

Warning: SPOILERS
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