Next up in last weekend’s birthday movie marathon were “Inherent Vice,” “The Imitation Game,” and “Birdman.” Critics raved about “Inherent Vice.” It’s kind of another “Big Lebowski” about a stoner detective in Venice, California during the 1970s. A bit entertaining but ultimately ridiculous. There are only so many stoner jokes I can tolerate and the plot, like the characters, is a mess.

“The Imitation Game” is the story of how Alan Turing built what amounted to the first supercomputer to break the Nazis’ Enigma Machine that relayed strategic communications about the war and defied the British codebreakers’ frantic efforts to decipher the messages. A fascinating story and well done. And also a meditation on what being a genius amounts to in life. His colleagues disliked Turing but when he needed them to work on his machine, he was able to rally them, and they did. Recommended.

Oscar-nominated “Birdman” tells the story of a movie actor who played the superhero in a wildly successful Marvel comics-style movie that earned him fame, fortune, and a house in Malibu. But he desperately wants to prove he can really act and invests serious cash in producing, writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway play adapted from Raymond Carver’s reknown short story, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.”

We were fascinated by the behind-the-scenes minutia of how a play is produced, the dressing rooms and labyrinthine halls and stairways backstage, and the emotional rollercoaster the actors (and producers) go through before they set foot on the stage. Sort of a proof that actors are *always* acting. Reminds me of the trailer for “The Shining,” showing Jack Nicholson acting even when he’s brushing his teeth.

“Birdman” is also a very New York film in the vein of “The Sweet Smell of Success,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Manhattan,” and even “Spiderman.” Lots of shots panning up impersonal, dehumanizing skyscrapers. (You couldn’t persuade me to sit cross-legged on a rooftop ledge the size of a gangplank with only a concrete sidewalk six stories down for a million bucks. I know, they probably had some sort of safety net out of sight below Emma Stone, but still.) We think we get it. The City has obliterated Nature. There is only human nature and humanity’s monuments and artifacts.

So there you have it, my friends. The magical realism touches may have puzzled some viewers, but we found them consistent with the storyline and the City setting and quite delightful. Highly Recommended.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Australia.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

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