Starring: Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Run Time: 120 minutes
Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars
“Birdman” was easily one of my favorite films of 2015. Michael Keaton gave the performance of a lifetime. I am writing this review after the giant snug from the Academy denying Keaton the Best Actor award. This was a huge mistake because this was finally Keaton’s time. He really gave his all to this role and was not great but mesmerizing. What I loved about this film was that besides the performances, I loved the way it was shot with long and in what seems like unedited takes. This was a very unique and smart film. It may not be for everyone but it is certainly quite amazing.
Official Premise: “Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor (Michael Keaton) – famous for portraying an iconic superhero – as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.
Fox is releasing this as a combo pack with a Blu-ray and digital HD copy included. The 1080p transfer looks fantastic. Even though the film has that sort of handheld feel to it, it looks outstanding nonetheless. Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, who not only won the Oscar for “Gravity”, also just won for “Birdman” last week, really nails the shots in this film. As for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, it works with the dialogue really well. I am still not 100% sold on Antonio Sanchez’s score. Random drumming doesn’t really work for me as an effective score.
The special features are decent but a bit of a letdown to be honest. I was really hoping for a jam-packed commentary track to discuss the deeper aspects of this film but no luck. There is a solid feature called “Birdman: All Access” which runs over 30 minutes and has some great behind the scenes footage. There is also a fun feature called “A Conversation with Michael Keaton and Alejandro G. Iñárritu”. Lastly there is a quick photo gallery included called Chivo’s On Set Photography.