Movie Diary 10/21/2014

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Alejandro G. Iñárritu, 2014). Long unbroken takes, showbiz satire, magical realism, spirited cast – whatever else you say about this thing, there’s certainly a lot to watch. Michael Keaton plays an actor, formerly typecast as a caped superhero, now trying to make a comeback in the legit theater. (full review 10/24)

John Wick (Chad Stahelski, David Leitch, 2014). Unaware that grown men faint at the mention of the name John Wick, some Russian gangsters kill Mr. Wick’s dog. Many are slaughtered after. Keanu Reeves is still around doing these. Ludicrous in many ways, but …. (full review 10/24)

Listen Up, Philip (Alex Ross Perry, 2014). Nice casting for Jason Schwartzman as a near-sociopathic author who repels people; Elisabeth Moss and Jonathan Pryce are aces in support. (full review 10/24)

Stonehearst Asylum (Brad Anderson, 2014). It’s a Poe story, but nobody thought to include Roger Corman as a producer? Can’t tell you which Poe, because that would give it away. An old-fashioned enterprise. (full review 10/24)

The Passionate Friends (David Lean, 1949). Had not watched this one in a while: former lovers Ann Todd and Trevor Howard get older and occasionally meet, which is complicated after she marries successful and stable Claude Rains. Lean’s precision is something to marvel at. But he is no mere technician, as the sympathies in the storyline suggest.

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