Reviewing Rex Reed’s Reviews: Birdman


Pictured: Rex Reed’s headshot. Image via New York Times

Rex Reed is like the movie critic equivalent of GamerGate: the less you know about it, the happier you will be.

Against all odds, Rex Reed has had a long, fabled career as the film critic at the New York Observer. During his tenure, Reed used his review of Oldboy to insult the entire nation of South Korea, and then used multiple reviews to make fun of Melissa McCarthy’s weight. A lot of film critics can barely get by. Reed lives in The Dakota. I hope he gets haunted by the ghost of Rosemary’s baby on a regular basis.

The only possible reason he still gets work is because controversy gets clicks. You should check out one of his reviews sometime. Actually, don’t do that. Instead, I will read one of his reviews, so you don’t have to, and break it down. I will now be the first person to review Rex Reed’s reviews. Please, help me turn this into a living. I want to earn enough money so I can buy Rex Reed’s place in The Dakota.

Let’s begin with this never ending journey Reed’s review of Birdman:

An unrecognizable Michael Keaton seems to have aged 40 years since the last time he appeared on the screen…

Guys, did you know that Michael Keaton has gotten older? Did you know that humans age as time progresses? Did you know that actors sometimes use makeup and wigs so they can look different when they play a character? And yes, he does look 40 years older since the last time he appeared on screen, which was actually this past March in Need for Speed. I am assuming that Rex Reed doesn’t realize that Michael Keaton has been in movies since Batman.

Mr. Keaton once played Batman, so maybe he’s perfect for the role of Riggan Thomson…


His comeback is sabotaged by roadblocks from the get-go, but the night before the first preview, his male co-star drops out after being knocked unconscious by a mysterious flying object and another demented Hollywood refugee from the set of Bates Motel (Edward Norton, in the most embarrassing role of his checkered career) takes over the role.

I don’t care so much about the fact that he spoils a pretty big plot point. I will even forgive him for his Ed Norton diss. I will get irrationally mad at him, though, for his Bates Motel comment. I’ve only seen three episodes of the show so I can’t stand up for it. I just don’t know what ol’ Rex is trying to say here. Is it a good show? Is it a bad show? Like with everything he discusses, I doubt he has actually seen it; he just took a cursory glance at the press release.

…from the Hills of Beverly.

“Hey, maybe if I rearrange some words people will think that I’m smart!”

Naomi Watts, who is making more movies these days than James Franco, and not always the right ones

Naomi Watts has been in two movies this year and one episode of Bojack Horseman. It’s not even worth counting how many things James Franco does anymore. I assume he’s currently working on an art installation at the bottom of La Brea Tar Pits while simultaneously directing an adaptation of Moby Dick that’s set in Paris in the 1930s.

Never have I seen a group of actors who look more collectively like they’ve dropped into the middle of the Mojave Desert in the middle of August wearing nothing but their underwear.

So…are you saying that there are months of the year where it is okay to be dropped into the middle of the Mojave Desert in nothing but your underwear? Because I was planning a trip in April.

It’s supposed to be a comedy, but Birdman is directed by the usually brilliant Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel), who knows nothing about the subject.

I totally see what Rexy is getting at here. Because a director has only made films in one genre, that means he can never try anything new. People should never try things that they don’t know anything about! By that standard, Rex Reed should not be allowed to write about movies.

The silliest character of all is an evil dill pickle of a critic…

Whatever. Screw it, man. I give up. I’m just going to give up writing and apply to law school. Or medical school. Whichever one boosts my JSwipe profile the most. 

  • moon arabesque

    ” And yes, he does look 40 years older since the last time he appeared on screen, which was actually this past March in Need for Speed. I am assuming that Rex Reed doesn’t realize that Michael Keaton has been in movies since Batman.”