Blu-ray Tuesday: ‘BIRDMAN’, ‘DUMB AND DUMBER TO’ & ‘THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING’

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Preston Barta // Editor


BIRDMAN | 119 min | Rated R
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Cast: Michael KeatonEmma StoneEdward Norton and Naomi Watts

Alejandro González Iñárritu gave audiences one of the most unique film-going experiences of the year with BIRDMAN or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). With its sweeping cinematography, sharp script and grade-A performances, BIRDMAN has flown into the vaults of cinema history.

Following the story of a washed-up actor (a terrific Michael Keaton) who at one time acted as an iconic superhero (Birdman) must sweep over his ego and family issues as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to recover his past fame.

Keaton is an actor who has proven time and time again that he can virtually take on anything, from profound and hard hitting dramatic roles (JACKIE BROWN) to silly and funny comedic roles (BEETLEJUICE). In BIRDMAN, he strikes a perfect balance between the two and turns in one of the finest performances of his career, if not the best. He fires on all cylinders and truly brings forth his own life experiences (the man did play Batman), especially in scenes with an equally as great Edward Norton.

Check out our exclusive interview with director Alejandro González Iñárritu here.

The Blu-ray Extras Include:

  • 2.35:1. 1080p HD Video
  • DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Descriptive Audio 5.1 English; Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish; DTS 5.1 French
  • English SDH, Spanish, and French Subtitles
  • Birdman: All-Access
  • A Conversation with Michael Keaton and Alejandro G. Iñárritu
  • Gallery: Chivo’s On-Set Photos


DUMB AND DUMBER TO | 109 min | Rated PG-13
Director: Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly
Cast: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Rob Riggle and Laurie Holden

Bringing back beloved characters after a long absence is a difficult task to pull off successfully, because as fans we develop big expectations and rarely are they ever met. However, DUMB AND DUMBER TO proves that the Farrelly brothers still have a little juice left in their boasters. So, saddle up, partner.

After 20 years, we find Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey) on another road trip to find Harry’s newly discover daughter, who was given up for adoption.

So, yeah. The story is practically the same. Eh, but we knew that not much work was going to be done with the story, and should we really care? Not really. If you’re like me, you just want to see this movie for the jokes and witness what shenanigans Harry and Lloyd get into. Does it deliver on that front? Yes, to a certain degree. The laughs and creative comedy may not come a mile a minute like the original 1994 did (it goes outside reality a tad), but this sequel is far better than disaster we anticipated.

Read the full review here.

The Blu-ray Extras Include:

  • DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 English; DTS Digital Surround 5.1 Castilian Spanish, L.A. Spanish, French Canadian and German Audio
  • English SDH, Spanish, French and German Subtitles
  • Alternate Opening
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • What’s so Smart about Dumb and Dumber To? – From stress relief to providing a new perspective on life, the film’s cast and crew and the author of Psychology for Dummies make the case for why you sometimes need to step back from the seriousness of life and just get dumb.
  • That’s Awesome! – The Story Of Dumb And Dumber To
    • Chapter 1 – “I Like it a Lot” – The Beginning – Join Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels and the Farrelly Brothers on-set as they give you the hows, whats, whys and huhs behind making dumb magic all over again.
    • Chapter 2 – “Gotcha” – The Cast
    • Chapter 2.5 – “That’s Insane!” – The Cameos – Meet the fan favorites, powerful executives, brilliant musicians, and comedy legends who pop up throughout the film in surprising (and surprisingly dumb) ways!
    • Chapter 3 – “We’re Gunna Need Some Wheels” – The Cars – Take a ride on the Zamboni, go inside the hearse, and discover the story behind the triumphant return of the Mutt Cutts van in this fun piece!
    • Chapter 4 – “That’s Commitment!” – The Stunts – This chapter offers a high-paced peek into just a few of the hilarious stunts involved in the making of this movie.
    • Chapter 5 – “There’s No Diamonds In Here” – The Editorial – Step into the edit bay with acclaimed comedy editor Steve Rasch (CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM) to learn about how some of the movie’s most memorable scenes came together.

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING | 123 min | Rated PG-13
Director: James Marsh
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox and David Thewlis

James Marsh’s THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING is a heartbreaking biopic and simultaneous celebration of what it means to have a disabling illness yet persevere and do extraordinary things. Following theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, the film is anchored by two extraordinary performances from Eddie Redmayne (Stephen Hawking) and Felicity Jones (Jane Hawking). But it’s also about the power of true love. Many hours could be dedicated to the theories that Hawking has given us and yet the film manages to do more than just glaze over this information. Instead, Marsh gives us enough detail to both understand and ignite our own curiosity. In that way, it does Hawking proud.

Read Bill’s full review here.

Check out our exclusive interview with Eddie Redmayne here.

The Blu-ray Extras Include:

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Becoming the Hawkings
  • Feature Commentary with Director James Marsh
About author

Preston Barta

Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.