Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Cast: Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 10/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
A washed-up actor, who once played an iconic superhero, battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career and himself in the days leading up to the opening of his Broadway play.
Riggan (Keaton) is a washed up actor, best known for portraying ‘Birdman’ a popular costumed superhero role, who decides to attempt a comeback by writing, directing and starring in a Broadway play in order to finally show the world just what he is truly capable of. The only issue is that in order to successfully pull it if off he will need to overcome numerous obstacles in his way before premiere night, while also trying to keep his alter ego (the voice of the iconic Birdman character) at bay before he completely loses his mind. Giving it his all and with nothing left to lose, he puts it all on the line and holds no punches attempting to make his moment come to light one way or another, no matter what the cost.
‘Birdman’ is directed (and co-written) by talented filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Babel, Biutiful) who took home three well deserved Oscars for the film this year, and he does an outstanding job at the helm of this one, bringing this unique and wonderfully off-beat gem to life beautifully. The incredibly talented cast also contributes in a large way to making this film so fantastic, including phenomenal performances by Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton (all three of whom were also Oscar nominated for their performances in the film), as well as Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts and a number more, all of whom are at the very top of their game here.
Every once in a while a film comes along that even with such positive word of mouth resulting in high expectations, still manages to soar above (pun intended) and really impress. ‘Birdman’ is one of these films and even with significantly high expectations I could not possibly have been more impressed by this truly beautiful and marvelous film. ‘Birdman’ could not possibly be more awesome and it delivers in every possible way with impressive performances, a well constructed and executed idea and a real beauty in the way its shot, complimented by a fantastic drum score that only helps to make this already stand out film even more unique. In short, ‘Birdman’ is well deserving of its praise and recent Oscar wins, it’s easily one of the best films of last year and I can’t possibly recommend it highly enough; this is not one to be missed.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Birdman’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks marvelous, delivering rich, vibrant colors and solid, detailed clarity throughout, thanks in large part to a more than sufficient bitrate that provides this fantastic film a chance to really shine on Blu-Ray. Everything looks absolutely perfect and spot-on as a whole with no notable faults or issues of any kind found within on my end; fans and newcomers to the film alike should be absolutely thrilled with this impressive high definition video presentation.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless soundtrack sounds as fantastic as the video looks and really contributes greatly to the overall experience of ‘Birdman.’ All five channels are regularly utilized with everything from the films wonderful drum score, to crowd noise and any other auditory effects that fit into any given scenario. This is a pretty active multichannel soundtrack that hits hard at times and really fills the room with its aura, while never causing any of the dialogue occurring simultaneously to become inaudible at any point. Overall, this is a very solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that should leave the masses very pleased.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Birdman’ doesn’t include too much in the way of bonus content although it does include some pretty nice and worthwhile extras, and while this Blu-Ray release is pretty fantastic in every other possible way, I wouldn’t be horribly surprised to see this well regarded title get another release down the road at some point. The Blu-Ray release includes ‘A Conversation with Michael Keaton & Alejandro G. Iñárritu’ which runs just shy of 15 minutes in length and is pretty much exactly what it states. Also included is ‘Birdman: All-Access’ which explores a lot of what went into making this film come to life, featuring Behind the Scenes footage and more, it runs approximately 33 minutes in length. Lastly we are treated to ‘Gallery: Chivo’s On-Set Photography’.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 10/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
‘Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)’ is Now Available to own on Blu-Ray™ & DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.