Monday, April 27, 2015


I know I'm late to the table but I just watched Birdman. I had a free code from Redbox and I had to go to the grocery store anyway. A couple of months ago during awards season, this movie was all over the media. I also like Michael Keaton, Edward Norton and Emma Stone so it seemed to be worth a look. 

Disappointed would be a good description. The only reason it won all those awards is because it is about show business and flawed actors. Another description would be pretentious and self important. The acting was mostly good but the script sucked. Too bad. It's the story of a former action hero franchise, Birdman, actor trying to make a comeback on Broadway. He picks an obscure story that he writes a stage adaption for, directs and stars in. A very ambitious undertaking for a not so great movie actor. Of course the real life comparison with Michael Keaton's stint as Batman can't be ignored although Keaton is a pretty good actor and is not washed up. Edward Norton plays the stereotypical "Broadway" actor who looks down on those who ply their trade in movies. He plays the complete ass-hole very well. Emma Stone plays Keaton's troubled daughter. Every movie about the entertainment business has to have trouble offsprings. 

I said the movie was pretentious. One gimmick was that Keaton had conversations with his fictional character, Birdman. The viewers got to see and hear those conversations. We also got to see Keaton's dreamlike episodes when he flew above New York City. The movie was also full of stereotypes. I already mentioned the washed up actor trying to make a comeback, the condescending Broadway actor and the troubled daughter. There was also the actress with no self confidence, the actress that was Keaton's conflicted lover, the agent/manager who does the dirty work and the cynical, all powerful theater critic who is a frustrated writer and/or actress. I probably missed a few other stereotypes. 

If you like artsy, talky movies that have little to do with normal folks give it a try. Otherwise I would suggest you skip it. Maybe it did deserve the awards it won but remember, those are voted on by entertainment people. 

I also had a problem with the Redbox DVD. I couldn't get the closed captioning to turn off although that may have turned out to be good since much of the dialogue was low or garbled. Also couldn't get a wide screen view either. Tried another DVD and it worked so it wasn't my player. I wasn't sure because I so rarely use the DVD player anymore. I did have to put new batteries in the DVD remote. 

In conclusion I would give Birdman an A for acting and a D for story and script. It wasn't terrible but it certainly wasn't worth a movie ticket or a $6 streaming rental. A free or $1 Redbox rental was OK.

Overall BillyJim47 rating is a 


  1. Total agreement. Saw it at the theater. It became an endurance test to not constantly squirm in my seat from bored exasperation.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.