2014 Has come to an end. Here are a few quick reviews to cap off Year 2 of BSReviews. Have a Happy New Year!
BIRDMAN Like Chris Rock in Top Five, Michael Keaton plays the lead in a self referential story about the nature of “show business”. In what is likely an Oscar Nominating performance, the former Batman actor portrays the star of the fictitious super hero film trilogy, “Birdman”. Now a struggling actor in his late 50’s, Keaton’s Riggan Thomson is looking to make his comeback on Broadway with the help of his best friend/manager (Zach Galifianakis). All he has to do is wrangle his manic co-star (Edward Norton), manage his former addict daughter (Emma Stone), and keep his strong case of schizophrenia at bay.
As stories go, when it isn’t being too depressing or too pretentious for its own good, Birdman is an absolute marvel. There are several key moments that strike a chord, such as Thomson’s angry rant about the nature of Critics or a special effects laden dream sequence that deconstructs the nature of the average moviegoer. Where the movie makes its biggest mark is in its cinematography. Set mainly within the confines of a theater, Director Alejandro González Iñárritu manages to shoot and edit the entire film to look like one long take, creating a true sense of an onscreen stage play that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
FINAL GRADE: B+
THE INTERVIEW Although it is one of the most controversial film’s in recent history, don’t be fooled into thinking The Interview is something that it isn’t. Just because terrorist threats and an angry North Korean government nearly brought about the end of the film before its begging, doesn’t mean it’s actually good. In fact, the movie is exactly what it was advertised to be: A James Franco and Seth Rogen movie. This time it revolves around the two bff’s trying to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
Have you seen This Is The End? Have you seen Pineapple Express? Did you enjoy them? If the answer to those questions is yes, then you will enjoy The Interview. Franco’s TV host character is a moronic, yet somewhat charismatic, man-child who can’t be taken too seriously. Seth Rogen’s producer best friend tries to keep him in check and tries to navigate around his stupidity. As you should expect from their earlier works, the movie is garishly dumb. Kim Jung-un (Randall Park) is portrayed in a fashion no different than how any sketch comedy show portrays George Bush Jr. or Bill Clinton so don’t expect to find anything groundbreakingly controversial. I, personally, found the aforementioned films absolutely hilarious. So it goes without saying that I laughed out loud watching this movie. And it goes without saying that if you aren’t a fan of Rogen and Franco’s antics, don’t watch. That goes for you too, North Korea.
FINAL GRADE: C+
My countdown of my favorite and least favorite films of 2014 will be coming later this week. See you in 2015!