Birdman Review

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Birdman is a weird yet brilliant film starring Michael Keaton, who is most famous for playing Batman. In this role, he plays Riggan Thomson, a washed-up actor who played the superhero Birdman in the popular franchise decades earlier. He attempts to make a comeback by acting on Broadway.

A lot of this film deals with Riggan being haunted by the role he previously played. Literally, he hears the voice of Birdman and it even follows him around. He also has magic powers and can fly which is definitely the weird thing about the movie.

However, it’s directing is really great and there isn’t a bad acting performance in the movie. Emma Stone shines as Riggan’s daughter who just got out of rehab and is now acting as his personal assistant. She resents her dad for missing out on most of her life and holds it over his head every chance she gets. This is one of the best performances I’ve seen from the Hollywood star.

As far as Oscars go, Boyhood started winning Best Picture awards early on in the award season. But Birdman hasn’t been counted out just yet. It’s pretty clear that the race is between Boyhood and Birdman to take the top award. Personally, I think Boyhood should win the award for reasons SMJ already talked about. The movie is easy to relate to and Birdman is only something that a specific group of people- those in show business can relate to.

Edward Norton has a memorable performance as an experienced Broadway actor Mike Shiner, who fills in for an actor that gets injured just days before the show opens for previews. Mike causes Riggan more harm than good. The two constantly clash and don’t agree on really anything. The tension between them creates an interesting but small part of this complicated plot.

There’s some dark moments of the film. Such as, the times when Riggan constantly battles with the fact that he wasn’t there for his wife and daughter. The movie is actually depressing at times. I heard that it was a comedy but I didn’t expect it to be so dark. The funny moments are brief but also memorable.

In my opinion, the best scene comes towards the end of the film. You’ll have to watch it, but I’ll give just a little hint. Basically, let’s just say that Michael Keaton’s character ends up running around Times Square in nothing but his pair of briefs. The moments in the show that go horribly wrong are when the movie finds it’s funny moments.

All in all, the movie is unique and I’ve never seen a movie quite like it. It’s also one of those movies where so much happens that you have to watch it back a second time just to catch everything. Whether or not it wins Best Picture, Best Actor, or any of the other Oscars it’s nominated for, this is still a movie worth watching. Did any of you see Birdman? Do you think that Michael Keaton played too much like Batman in this role? Let me know your thoughts!

The Voice Finale Predictions

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Last night on The Voice, the four finalists sang three songs each: a song picked by their coach, their first original song picked by their coach, and a duet with their coach. This made Adam a busy man considering three out of the four finalists are on his team. This season has arguably been the most competitive and has had the best singers yet. These are my rankings of each performance by the categories and each will end with who I believe the winner of that round is and my prediction for who will win the competition.

The first round I’m going to touch on is the artist singing a duet with their coach.
Ranked from worst to best:
4. Craig Wayne Boyd and Blake Shelton

The duo obviously had fun onstage with a country song they both feel comfortable with and thoroughly enjoy. But I felt as if it didn’t showcase either voices enough. The music was pretty loud and it was difficult to hear them actually sing.

3. Matt McAndrew and Adam Levine

Matt could make any song sound good. He’s tremendously talented and Adam obviously loves and respects him as an artist. But it definitely put me off that Adam chose to sing a song from Begin Again, a movie that he was in. It just seemed narcissistic to me.

2. Chris Jamison and Adam Levine

Robin Thicke’s “Lost Without U” was fitting for both of the guys upper register. They both did a really nice job with harmonizing even though I’m sure that wasn’t easy to do since they have practically identical voices.

1. Damien and Adam Levine

Elton John’s classic song, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” was an amazing choice for Damien. It was great for Adam’s voice as well but most importantly, it gave Damien the opportunity to shine which is what the song should be doing. None of the other artists did this as well as Damien.

Round one goes to: Damien

Round Two: Cover Songs
4. Damien singing “A Song For You”

This is a beautiful song but it felt too safe for Damien. It felt a little karaoke to me which is an extremely rare side of Damien.

3. Matt singing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”

This is such a classic song but I’m not sure it was right for Matt. It was too high for him and they didn’t change the pitch of it. The song started out gentle and beautiful but the ending note was just clearly off pitch. My dad and I were both prepared to declare Matt the winner but that final note set us back.

2. Craig Wayne Boyd, “In Pictures”

I didn’t know either popular songs that Craig sang last night. But I knew that this was a good song for him as an artist. The sentimental value for him was very present. And him simply sitting down and singing the words out gave it that much more meaning which I really respected and hope to see more of from him.

1. Chris Jamison, “Cry Me A River”

I wasn’t sure what to think when I found out he was taking on JT. I was pleasantly pleased with his take on Justin though. I think Chris did the best this round because it was the closest to what kind of artist he wants to represent. Of course, it’s not a good idea to try to BE Justin Timberlake but it’s up to Chris to make his unique artistry that sets him apart. I was impressed with his vocals alone, his voice can often be forgotten when he works the crowd and moves around but his voice is very much there.

Round goes to: Chris Jamison

Round Three: Original Songs
4. My Baby’s Got A Smile On Her Face by Craig Wayne Boyd

I’m not a big country fan, every country song I love is because it tells a story. I love when Craig sings the classic songs like Johnny Cash’s “Walk The Line” he completely rearranged it and made it his own. I just feel like this song has zero substance. Blake made it known in the video footage that this is a song that he’s had in his back pocket for years but I think he’s had it in his back pocket for a reason.

3. Velvet by Chris Jamison

This article, especially the part that touches on Chris’s original song is hilariously accurate. “Weren’t we just singing about Jesus last week?” It made me uncomfortable to hear the words, “She rides like a dream and damn that velvet looks good on me” on live TV. Like is that even socially acceptable? I love Chris and he’s definitely got sex appeal but his take on “When I Was Your Man” last week is more of what I want to see from him. A song that showcases his beautiful voice.

2. Damien, “Soldier”

This Max Martin produced song was the perfect fit for Damien. I don’t think Damien is going to win it but I think this was an inspirational song that was one of the most fitting in terms of his voice and just being able to have a quality moment when he needs it the most.

1. Matt McAndrew, “Wasted Love”

I had a feeling going into the show that Matt’s song would be the strongest. This is because Matt is arguably the most original artist out of the finalists. He’s an artist because he’s written many songs and even when he covers songs, he puts his own spin on things. This was The Voice’s version of when Phillip Phillips was lucky enough to be given the original song “Home” on American Idol which ultimately helped him win the competition. I think this could happen to Matt.

Round Goes To: Matt

Predicted Winner: Matt
It’s a little unfair that Matt already has an album out and has been performing for awhile. The same goes for Craig and maybe Damien a little bit too. Chris should be the winner based on the less experience of all the finalists. But it’s not about that, this show has helped Matt form connections that could give him the big break he’s been looking for. I also think he’s been the most consistent contestant this season and I really hope he becomes successful.