Tag Archive: michael keaton


 

spiderman

Didn’t really go in with any expectations, and have to say I enjoyed it.

Not another origin story (thank God) but picking up where ‘Civil War’ left off, the first real ‘Marvel’ Spider-Man movie feels that way.  Not just because of the Iron Man and Captain America cameos, but just in general tone.  There are stakes, but not ‘the whole world will collapse if Spider-Man fails’ stakes (another big plus); there’s a lightness that never goes into camp…it’s not a ‘game changer’ but it’s enjoyable.

It’s early but I already feel like Tom Holland is my favorite Peter Parker.  In physique and the way the character is written, actually feels like a teenager trying to be cool and figure life out, but even with his intellect and powers, he can never completely win.  That matches everything I have in my head about Peter Parker.  Michael Keaton is equally relatable as the Vulture, the main antagonist for this adventure.  While we’re here, my favorite in joke in the movie kind of has to be seen as a ‘Batman joke’.  Don’t forget though folks, Christian Bale and Kevin Conroy got the idea of using a deeper tenor for Batman because Michael Keaton did it (in a way more subtle manner I’ll give you) in 89.

So yeah, this one is a winner.  Glad the web slinger looks to be fully back on his feet cinematically.

 

Batman: the Telltale Game

 

batman-the-telltale-series-screenshot-1

First and foremost, it’s not the Arkham series.  That’s still the standard for Batman (and probably all superhero) games.

But Batman: the Telltale Series is great in all the ways that it’s different.  It’s not a button masher at all, but still very much a Batman game.

The beauty of this game is in how it makes you consider the ramification for each aspect of the character.  What type of Dark Knight are you?  A completely psychopathic ‘beat all criminals to near death’ like Batfleck, or do you see the Dark Knight as more of a symbol and a scare tactic like Malik Aziz?

Then there’s the public persona of Bruce Wayne.  Do you carry yourself like an oddball recluse like Michael Keaton, or do you lean more into the pretentious, flippant guy in the Armani suits who has a taste for beautiful women, like Malik Aziz?

And there’s the aspect the movies rarely dig deep into: the legacy/relationship of the Wayne family to Gotham.  You’re the oldest of old money.  Your parents were well known philanthropists.  As the last standing Wayne, did your parents’ murder make you into an idealist like Batman Begins Christian Bale? Or are you a pragmatist who understands how the sausage gets made on the highest levels, like Malik Aziz?

The game branches out based on the choices you make, Choose Your Adventure style.  It’s a mental exercise in making important choices on instinct and dealing with the ramifications (like life), not a brawler.  (So you can’t really ‘die’ as much as not finish fights as quickly.  Not like you’d lose anyway, you’re Batman right?)

High recommend here.  Must play if you’re a Dark Knight fan.

SteveCarellFoxcatcher1

Here are the nominees for Best Actress:

Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore – Still Alice

Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon – Wild

Who Should Win: While I normally feel meh about ‘career achievement’ awards, Julianne Moore is a respectable choice, with no shame given to Amazing Amy and Reese Witherspoon.

Who I’m Cheering For: As a man, I’m still too terrified to vote for Rosamund Pike.  I’m kidding.  I’m cheering for Julianne Moore. (looking over my shoulder…)

Who Will Win: Julianne should provide one of Sunday’s feel good moments.

Here are the nominees for Best Actor:

Benedict Cumberbatch – the Imitation Game

Michael Keaton – Birdman

Eddie Redmayne – the Theory of Everything

Steve Carell – Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper – American Sniper

Who Should Win: One last time, this is one of those years were a strong case could be made for all five of these guys.  Carell for going so far outside of his known wheelhouse, Redmayne for his physical commitment, Cooper just for being nominated three years in a row (as Josh Lucas puts more pins in his Bradley Cooper voodoo doll).  This feels like the extremely rare year where a ‘comic actor’ will be respected for giving the best performance.

Who I’m Cheering For: Umm…really?

Who Will Win: Hate to say it, but my gut says Bradley Cooper…

‘Birdman’

Birdman_courtesy_Fox_Searchlight

‘You confuse love with admiration.’

Can I stop right there?  Please?  Alright, I’ll write a full review…

No surprise why so many actors/artists/Hollywood types love this one.  The original Dark Knight, Michael Keaton, stars as a past his prime movie star who tries to return to relevancy by staging a Broadway play.

The rest of the cast: Amy Ryan (why isn’t she working more?) as his ex wife who genuinely loved the man more than he loved himself, Zach Galifianakis playing the straight man as the lawyer holding it all together, Naomi Watts as the beautiful actress with self esteem issues (fighting off a million inside jokes).

And also nominated for golden men: Emma Stone, evolving out of different versions of the ‘nerd dream girl’ to play the fresh out of rehab daughter of Keaton’s character.  Between this and doing ‘Cabaret’ on Broadway, she’s taking advantage of the chance to show she has some range.

And in the future Malik Aziz role, Edward Norton as the smart and talented Method actor who is an arrogant, unrepentant asshole.  Personally, I’m kind of ‘over’ actors spoofing their reputations for a laugh, but thank God we got to see Edward Norton playing ‘Edward Norton!’  None of you who know me well will be surprised that the ‘movie star or actor’ scene Keaton and Norton have about halfway through is one of my favorites this year. Any other year, I think Norton would be a shoo in for the Oscar, but not this year.

Everything revolves around Keaton though and he carries the weight.  It’s not even a Batman bias here; it’s really fun watching him play a comedic lead again.  ‘Birdman’ isn’t one of the frontrunners for Best Picture by accident.  I haven’t even touched on the great cinematography or the drum score (my God).  Yeah, I was all in on this one from frame one.