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:yawn:

A lot of really stupid moments trying to be funny but falling short. I actually ended up falling asleep somewhere in the middle of it. Nowhere as good as the original.
 
Terrible, unsubtle story shot in artsy-fartsy vision.

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The acting is good though, Keaton especially. A awful film doesn?t turn into a good one because it is well acted.
I have to partly disagree after seeing it - eventhough I agree with you on "Inception": I am on record as saying that "Sucker Punch" did many things better than "Inception".

Let me start with the main good thing about the film: It is unbelievably well-shot. The way the DoP, Emmanuel Lubezki, makes long takes and sweeping steadycam movements work flawlessly, how he actually makes the camera movement help advance the plot, is just awe-inspiring. And I really have to protest against this being called artsy-fartsy, if we understand "artsy-fartsy" as "being overly complicated or putting a visual effect, an attitude before serving the story to be told". Compare the camerawork, for example, with the terrible mess that are the long takes and constant steadycam movements in "Irreversible" (you know, the one where Monica Belucci gets raped for ten minutes).
What I especially liked was how the DoP makes the camera relentlessly switch between subjective and objective perspectives in-shot without it looking gimmicky. The DoP takes a technique that has long been used for special "wow" moments in key scenes (see the "Library Scene" in "Wings of Desire" for the perhaps most famous example) and makes it look effortless, an everyday device of camerawork. As I said, I am in awe.

Then, as has already been pointed out, there's the acting, which is without fail from start to finish. And even as part of such a top-notch cast, Edward Norton still stands out, giving one of his strongest performances to date. I think what Norton did here is what some people call "career-defining".

Finally, the atmosphere of the movie reminds me of the nouvelle vague. Pro critics have compared the films style to Godard - I was reminded more of Godard's partner in crime, Truffault. That might partly be due to the fact that one of Truffaults films, "Day for Night", deals with the related subject of a film crew trying to get a location shoot finished on schedule. The nouvelle vague connection for me especially concerns the conscious blurring of the lines between the layers of fiction. We got the play-within-the-film being staged, we got people consciously and unconsciously playing a role towards each other, sometimes the characters seem to be almost conscious that they are playing parts not in life, but in a work of fiction, and finally, there's the dream sequence/film-within-the-film that is "Birdman 4". All these layers seem to bleed into each other all the time. I found that aspect of the film very well-crafted and working much better than the dream layers of "Inception".

Sadly, for all this brilliance in the crafts and theoretical layering department, I have to agree that the film lacked plotting, especially when compared to it's rather more thought-out main Oscar competitor, "Grand Budapest Hotel". "Birdman" isn't a bad film by any means, plot-wise. It's just nothing too special. I don't know much about films about theater, but comparing it with the three standard films about filmmaking, namely "Living in Oblivion" (about low budget films), State and Main (about big-budget Hollywood movies) and the aforementioned "Day for Night" (about European movies), it does not stand out at all. I was entertained (which, to take a final jab in that direction, is more than I can say about "Incepton"), but not blown away the slightest.

All in all
, I think the reason this film is Oscar material is because Hollywood loves navel-gazing. My prediction is that "Birdman" will win the supporting actor Oscar for Norton, the Cinematography Oscar for Emmanuel Lubezki and maybe the supporting actress Oscar for Emma Stone. "Grand Budapest Hotel" will walk away with most of the others.
 
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Kingsman - was different from what the trailer gives away, alot more violence than it would hint to, but not surprising i guess based on Kickass. The action scenes were awesome, really well shot.

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The church scene was insane


really enjoyable film, one of the surprise movies for me in the last year. 8.5/10
 
Let me start with the main good thing about the film: It is unbelievably well-shot. The way the DoP, Emmanuel Lubezki, makes long takes and sweeping steadycam movements work flawlessly, how he actually makes the camera movement help advance the plot, is just awe-inspiring. And I really have to protest against this being called artsy-fartsy, if we understand "artsy-fartsy" as "being overly complicated or putting a visual effect, an attitude before serving the story to be told". [...]As I said, I am in awe.
Well, I must admit that stuff like the visuals and the soundtrack would very likely be much more appealing to me, if it didn?t feel like the movie took my money and then insulted me.

[...]Then, as has already been pointed out, there's the acting, which is without fail from start to finish. And even as part of such a top-notch cast, Edward Norton still stands out, giving one of his strongest performances to date. I think what Norton did here is what some people call "career-defining".
I?m not quite there with you. While Norton (as the whole cast) is good here, his act suffers the most from the character he has to play (this we are back to the topic why the story is so bad). Who is "defined" as a to be all over the place. He plays an unstable person (of many) in a movie about another person going through a monumental change in his life and psyche. The movie would have greatly profited if that character was more clearly defined, in order to focus the whole plot on main aspect of the story - not (in parts) divert from it. And it would have been quite easy to achieve. Cut the three pseudo-romantic scenes with Norton&Stone and you have a straight forward bi-polar Nutjob-artist (very well aware of the verbal irony). Much better for the overall movie. Like I said, this movie would be better if you cut some stuff out of. Half an hour or so is just useless side-story baggage that does nothing. After that it still wouldn?t be a great movie IMO, but at least it would be focused. And stuff (like the camera or the soundtrack) could start to shine that now just drowns in wank. Like the Norton-Keaton (I?m not going to bother looking up the role-names) dynamic/relationship.

Sadly, for all this brilliance in the crafts and theoretical layering department, I have to agree that the film lacked plotting, especially when compared to it's rather more thought-out main Oscar competitor, "Grand Budapest Hotel". "Birdman" isn't a bad film by any means, plot-wise. [...] I was entertained (which, to take a final jab in that direction, is more than I can say about "Incepton"), but not blown away the slightest.
The reason I bought up Inception is because it?s an example of a popular movie that makes people think a bit for themselves and does not chew it for them twice so that they get it. I liked it a lot because of that but it also generated a lot of negative comments that people "just didn?t get it", it also manages to somewhat surprise the audience. Birdman is on the other side of the scale, I cannot imagine even anyone leaving the cinema without understanding it, nor not see the on stage ending coming. Not that a movie has to be clever or surprising. A straight forward or even a stupid movie can work well for me, I like pop-corn cinema as well as the "good stuff". But artsy-fartsy and stupid don?t go well together.
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20 min or so in when they have the discussion about the gun, everyone knows what will happen at the end. I was actually sitting there going "oh, this must be a red-herring, they wouldn?t be that obvious" (at this point I was still excited about the film). But yeah. My conclusion is that this is a movie for people who are really thick. Outright telling me the "big dramatic ending" 20 min in? Talk about insulting your audience.

That said, Faffing about Hotel does not cut if for me either. Not that I do not think of as "bad" like I think about Birdman. But that is a discussion for another day.
 
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The reason I bought up Inception is because it?s an example of a popular movie that makes people think a bit for themselves and does not chew it for them twice so that they get it. I liked it a lot because of that but it also generated a lot of negative comments that people "just didn?t get it", it also manages to somewhat surprise the audience. Birdman is on the other side of the scale, I cannot imagine even anyone leaving the cinema without understanding it, nor not see the on stage ending coming.
Really? I think we can agree to disagree on the rest, but I think any person that thinks "Inception" is complex in any way, is hard to "get", does interesting stuff with layers of reality and/or storytelling, should get it's head examined. There seldomly has been a film that's so full of unneccessary signposting as "Inception". Such a stupid, stupid film. Regarding "Birdman", of course, using Chekhov's gun literally was a bit too much - but then again, it could be seen as a "Fight Club" reference.

"Fight Club" is a movie that I was shocked how much worse than I remembered it was on re-watching, but that's a story for another day, as well.
 
Mum and I took Junior to see the Shaun the Sheep Movie this afternoon. Good fun, lot's of very clever slapstick and sight gags and you have to admire the dedication that can see it take a week to create 8 seconds of footage. I still preferred Paddington.

7/10
 
"What we do in the Shadows"

Vampires, in New Zealand, struggling to adapt to modern life. Filmed by a documentary crew.
I laughed my ass off, this was brilliant. Solid 9.5/10, refreshingly different.




Big Hero 6


I really laughed a lot, nice animations, ok-ish story. Probably not entirely for kids. 8/10
 
"What we do in the Shadows"

Vampires, in New Zealand, struggling to adapt to modern life. Filmed by a documentary crew.
I laughed my ass off, this was brilliant. Solid 9.5/10, refreshingly different.

[...]
Had seen the trailer for that in Summer I think, was interested but then forgot about it. Thank you for reminding me :)
 
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