Where the first Avengers film was a celebration of the long-awaited banding of superhero brothers, Avengers: Age of Ultron is about the escalating consequences and ramifications of such a grouping. Tasked with an impossible mission to appease fan’s lofty expectations, writer/director Joss Whedon has thrown every part of his being into providing audiences with the next epic, entertaining and thrilling chapter of the Marvel cinematic universe. And for the most part, he delivers.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice is a cinematic oxymoron. Anderson, a celebrated American auteur, has dropped his darkly brilliant sensibilities and opted to concoct a stoner/noir/spoof movie. He’s traded in metaphorical milkshake-drinking for weed-smoking slapstick. The results are gloriously muddled, yet ultimately make for some wickedly pungent and hysterical viewing.
“A thing is a thing, not what is said of that thing.”
This quote (seen in the opening scene on the dressing room mirror) is the perfect counter argument to any criticism for or against the film. Birdman defies genre categorising and labelling because the film is intent on being exactly what it is. Sure the film is a unique, darkly funny and feverishly theatrical exploration of a man’s ego and his quest for validation and meaning, but it’s also a visual slice of cinematic ballet. You could scrutinise and evaluate every inch of the script, or you could lose yourself in the technical mastery of its camera work. You can’t go wrong either way.