Films about the generation gap tend to pit parent versus child, old values against new, youth versus age, experience against optimism. Which is what makes Noah Baumbach's While We're Young such a treat...
Insurgent is a relentlessly exasperating sci-fi film made, miraculously, with a half-baked imagination, a slaughtered wit, and insufferable direction by Robert Schwentke, the man who supplied 2013 with one its biggest flops, R.I.P.D.
I began looking into the ice-bucket challenge because I was thinking of launching a challenge of my own. It turns out that it originated as the Cold Water Challenge. It was to donate to cancer research or jump into cold water. But my challenge is a bit different.
Mexican drummer and composer and four time Grammy Award winner, Antonio Sánchez is considered by many critics and musicians alike as one of the most prominent drummers, bandleaders and composers of his generation.
It's not like Michael Keaton's career was kaput, but it seems like he raised himself from the dead with this invigorating performance. Mexican director/writer Alejandro González Iñárritu gave Keaton a plum role.
The dialogue is fast-paced, spiced with clever double entendre, Hollywood in jokes and literary and social references. The direction is crisp with fluid camera streaking through the theater's backstage, to the roof and even out into the surrounding theater district streets.
When you hire Bill Murray to star in your comedy, his eccentric curmudgeon persona comes with the deal. First-time screenwriter/director Theodore Melfi knew that and desperately wanted Murray to star in his movie, which is based on a true-life experience.
Our 'hero' -- Riggin (literally and figuratively) -- is haunted by the voice of his iconic movie character, Batman, er, Birdman. He is often in the throes of human despair. Or he experiences what might be called the 'magic realism' of levitating, flying and causing much mischief.
The premise itself will bring a chuckle, if you get it. A former movie action star, Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), wants to win back his legitimacy as a serious actor. So he has not only written a stage adaptation of Raymond Carver short stories, he's directing it and playing the lead role.
Murray's shimmying in his seedy Sheepshead Bay kitchen, and singing to Dylan's "Shelter from the Storm," are some of the film's many highlights, but he has nothing on Naomi Watts' pole dancing with a baby bump.
The unique blend of locals and visitors stops the Distillery District from being a tourist trap like New York's South Street Seaport. The place feels organic, authentic, warm and inviting. It's steeped in history.