Tag Archives: Edward Norton

It’s a Birdman movie! No, not that Birdman.

Michael Keaton has been a little quiet in recent years but that’s all about to change with not only the Robocop but also a dark comedy called Birdman. Now I say it isn’t the Birdman of Hanna-Barbara fame, but no one really knows. All we have to go off if the logline so far…

[quote]A washed up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory.[/quote]

Could the “iconic superhero” be the Birdman? Could he even be Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law? Unlikely, but how awesome would that be? What we do know is Michael Keaton plays the lead role of Riggan Thomson, washed up actor. Surrounding him is a host of talented actors including Edward Norton (who also took a turn as a superhero back in the day), Naomi Watts, Zach Galifinakis, and Emma Stone. While the casting is impressive, the man behind the camera ain’t too shabby himself.

Birdman

Alejandro González Iñárritu has a resume that speaks for itself. His 2006 film, Babel, which he wrote and directed, same as Birdman, was nominated for two Oscars as well as winning a host of various festival and awards show prizes, not the least of which was a Best Picture Golden Globe. While he himself wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for 2003’s 21 Grams, two of the actors (Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro) were so he’s no stranger to winning.

Could Birdman be the Academy Award winning vehicle that has alluded Michael Keaton for so many years? Granted he hasn’t made a career out of “Oscar worthy” films but there have been plenty of times he could have been given a nod, Batman or Beetlejuice come to mind. Given Iñárritu’s proclivity for directing award winners, there’s a good chance we might see Mr. Mom up on stage come awards season.

Even though Birdman is listed as in post-production, there hasn’t been a lot seen of this movie. As a matter of fact there is just a few pictures of filming that have only been published in the last few weeks. Hopefully as they move further along the production process we’ll get a better glimpse of Birdman and find out just exactly who we’re dealing with.

Birdman does not yet have a firm release date, but is expected sometime in 2014.

Advertisements

Grizzly Review: The Bourne Legacy

There is an irony to The Bourne Legacy. The soldiers in the movie blindly do what they are told and never question the mission or authority. If an important task needs to be accomplished, they go head first, with an eye on the prize and don’t blink. They are only controlled by what seems to be a reliance on the same two sets of pills. The redundancy of these tasks echoes the movie. The film charges forward without questioning its path despite the ripe material it glances upon but we continue to eat it up because we don’t question the monotony of what we view on the screen, which results in a generic action thriller that only scratches the surface of a greater story.

In the fourth installment of this series, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is a genetically enhanced field agent similar to Jason Bourne (Matt Damon, who shows up in spirit only). He is part of the Outcome program, a more sophisticated, controlled program than Treadstone from the first three films. These soldiers are genetically enhanced for higher motor and physical skills, as well as better mental dexterity and ability. They have a reliance on a set of two pills, as previously mentioned, which breaks down into the blue and green. It does remind of The Matrix in which the control and enhancement of their abilities is based on whether they take the pills or not. The major difference is if they take the pills, they play into the control aspect of being reliant on their prescriptions from their providers (granted, if they don’t take the pills, they probably get shot).

Unfortunately for these Outcome members, Jason Bourne is happening. More specifically, the third movie’s events, The Bourne Ultimatum, is running concurrently during this movie. He raises the profile of the possibility of other programs in the CIA so in turn, all evidence must go. That includes Outcome and its members. So Aaron Cross must survive and find answers, and of course, he is almost out of the pills so he must find a doctor connected to Outcome (Rachel Weisz, who follows the Hollywood tradition of aging backwards) in order to get his dosage and survive.

The best part about the Bourne movies were its ability to take a small detail and make it rich in detail, or provide an essential purpose. Whether looking at the limits of patriotism or the idea of fighting for freedom with people who had theirs taken from them, I loved the Bourne Trilogy because there was that underlying message of the cost of ‘whatever it takes’. Of course, being able to use a magazine to disarm someone or a towel to take out a knife wielding villain helps too. I feel this movies brushes against these issues yet won’t attach themselves to them.

Edward Norton plays Eric Byer, the guy tasked with cleaning up the Treadstone mess and anything related to it but him and his character were surprisingly one note. There was no tension on what he provides on-screen, no sense of urgency that he felt like a character born out of the necessity of moving the plot along. He was there to explain to the audience why Aaron Cross is the person we were following in this movie. Byer and his team were into the players from The Bourne Ultimatum like Pamela Landy (Joan Allen), Ezra Kramer (Scott Glenn), Albert Hirsch (Albert Finney), Noah Vosen (David Strathairn) and the most frustrating thing was to not watch their stories unfold. I wanted to know how or if there were going to be punished for their roles in the clandestine world of black ops, whether Landy uncovering Treadstone made her a patriot or a traitor to the country; if CIA Director Kramer covered up what was the best means possible to get the job done and if the ends justified the means; if Dr. Hirsch opened up the gates to super soldiers; or if Vosen was correct in his definition of patriotism and loyalty to his nation. I got none of this. Writer and director Tony Gilroy went the wrong way for this movie because it merely scratches the surface and nothing more.

It doesn’t help that the movie was boooorrrriiinnngggg. This is of no fault to Renner or Weisz, who were both good in their roles. The flick just comes up short and as it just wants to be a carbon copy of actions movies. For the first third of the movie, I felt I was watching The Grey. The chase was straight out of The Bourne Ultimatum. Heck, I felt like I was watching Spy Game during certain pockets of the movie. I wasn’t sure if I was watching a survivalist movie, a straight action flick, or a detailed espionage flick. Regardless, we’ve seen the movie before. It brings nothing new to the table and sadly, felt like it had no purpose. This movie did not follow its namesake and expand upon the legacy of Bourne. The action was decent but never anything ground breaking or having cause to talk about it right after the movie about “hey, did you see that one part?!”

There were good parts in the movie, such as the Manila rooftop and car chase (although I’m biased coming from the motherland myself) and less reliance of shaky-cam but this movie could have been so good. Maybe my expectations were too high dealing with the Greengrass/Damon combination. There is no creativity in the movie and that takes away from the mythology of Bourne. Even more frustrating is how the movie just ends with no real resolution to the plot or characters in this story. This movie is nothing more than diversionary ploy to look aesthetically pleasing yet provide no answers while asking the wrong questions. Skip the Bourne ‘Letdown’.

On a side note, another program that is chasing Cross all around Manila, is a beta subject that exhibits even less empathy. He basically came off as the Asian T-1000. Sunglasses, police motorcycle, him running and giving the quick turn and stare before launching him arms in perfect 90 degree swinging motion…seriously entertained Dr. Kronner and myself. Some of my exes might even think that’d be me considering how “emotionally unavailable” I am…So apparently based off of that, I am the next Jason Bourne – with NO EMPATHY.

Trailer Roundup – Goon, Silent House, Friends With Kids and MORE!

Goon

Labeled an outcast by his brainy family, a bouncer overcomes long odds to lead a team of under performing misfits to semi-pro hockey glory, beating the crap out of everything that stands in his way

Stars: Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Alison Pill, Liev Schreiber, Kim Coates and Eugene Levy

Release Date: February 24th, 2012

Continue reading Trailer Roundup – Goon, Silent House, Friends With Kids and MORE!

Hero Express – ‘The Avengers’ Banners, ‘Man of Steel 2’. and ‘TDKR’ Wraps?

Welcome back to the Hero Express, your one-stop sometimes SPOILER filled shop through the news filled world of superhero’s in Film, TV, Video Games and whatever else floats your boat.

Continue reading Hero Express – ‘The Avengers’ Banners, ‘Man of Steel 2’. and ‘TDKR’ Wraps?

Ed Norton Up For Villain Role In ‘The Bourne Legacy’

The cast for The Bourne Legacy continues to grow, and it just got better. After the additions of Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz, now comes word from IGN, that Ed Norton is in talks to play the role of villain in the Bourne ‘spin off’:

Edward Norton is up for the villain role opposite Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz in The Bourne Legacy.

As Variety reports, “Plot details are being kept under wraps but what is known is that Jason Bourne will not be featured in this film and that Renner will play another assassin trained in the same program that Bourne was trained who goes out to find his true identity. Universal had no comment on Norton’s negotiation.”

Cast is shaping up, what do you think? Are you down for a Bourne movie with no Damon?