Batman’s foes have an existential crisis in his latest outing, The LEGO Batman Movie.
Kicking off with an amazing 10-minute song-and-punch introduction, the LEGO Batman Movie not only features a bevy of villains, known and obscure — Crazy Quilt and Killer Moth! — the movie also treads into interesting meta territory.
After Batman saves another day in Gotham City, he drops a bombshell on the Joker — the Dark Knight doesn’t think the Clown Prince of Crime is his greatest foe.
Teary-eyed, the devastated supervillain escapes and begins work on a new plan to get Batman’s attention.
Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne finds himself torn against a potential love interest and a new commissioner who sees Batman as a problem. Between bouts of love and anger at Commissioner Barbara Gordon’s new plans for the city, Bruce agrees to adopt the orphan Dick Grayson.
Aged actor most popular for playing superhero wearing an animal costume tries to resurrect career — or at least stay relevant — by going to Broadway.
No, it’s not a semi-autobiographical movie based on Michael Keaton’s life, even if his performance is incredibly sincere and authentic. Rather, Birdman — or the movie in which a famed real-life superhero actor plays an actor who once played Birdman — is a mid-life crisis or the symbol of one in a meta-tastic film that’s like nothing you’ve probably seen.
Riggan Thompson (Keaton) is about to premiere a new Broadway play based on Raymond Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” As director, writer, and starring actor, Thompson has poured his life savings into the project as well as the last hopeful remnants of his legacy, and he’s starting to fall apart at the seams. When he’s not arguing with his inner Birdman, a super-alpha version of himself that waits for weak moments to tempt him back to the dark side of a Hollywood-miserable life, Riggan walks a mean tightrope as he juggles his out-of-rehab daughter, a cast of actors that includes his just-announced pregnant girlfriend, and the expectations of all his fans and critics.
Poetic and resounding, Up in the Air hits the emotional notes emphatically.
The pitch-perfect and subtle nuances, the ebb and flow of the characters, and the technical craftsmanship of director/co-writer Jason Reitman combine to form a poignant story about relationships.
Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) jetsets from city to city as a sort of corporate hitman. Companies pay him top dollar to do the dirty work of firing employees. It’s strategic in a sense — the company brings in a ringer bearing the bad news, and Bingham has a way of turning negatives into logical positives.
His uncanny knack for getting into people’s personal space while remaining professionally distant comes from years of practice — he has no real relationships outside of work. He’s forsaken all human relationships for a life spent in the air with dreams of becoming a member of the airline’s prestigious 10-million frequent flyer mile program, a feat that will give him executive privileges and his name on the side of a plane.