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Two movies to recommend this week….

Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) is an exceptional piece of moviemaking, a black comedy of considerable merit that features some extraordinary performances from the likes of Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, and Edward Norton. It has a story that would seem to have some real-life parallels - Keaton plays a Hollywood actor who got typecast as a superhero, Birdman, and now is looking to reignite his career with a Broadway play based on a Raymond Carver short story that he is starring in, as well as writing and directing. (Keaton, of course, says he has no such feelings about his career since he played Batman.)

While the movie takes place over a series of days, it also appears to be one, long, single shot … which gives it the appearance of almost being hallucinatory. It also creates a framework within which Keaton gives an exceptional performance, going deep to create a fascinating character of shallow passions and deep conflicts. Stone plays his daughter, and brings luminosity to a role that could have been rote and thankless, while Norton plays a narcissistic Broadway actor who is so totally caught up in his "art" that he has lost touch with his humanity.

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman is a fascinating piece of work. I hope it ends up with Keaton, an actor of considerable talents, getting a boost for his career - he deserves bigger roles in better films than he's been getting.

Big Hero 6 is the new Disney animated film, based on a Marvel comic book of the same name, that is enormously charming. It tells the story of Hiro Hamada, a young technology wiz living in the futuristic city of San Fransokyo. For reasons that I won't explain here, he finds himself in the middle of a complicated plot that concerns the use of microbots, and he is aided in part by a "personal healthcare robot" called Baymax.

(The whole notion of San Fransokyo is appealingly subversive. And if Baymax had been part of Obamacare, the whole process would have been a lot smoother. I'm just sayin…)

I'm not going to tell you much more about the movie because I didn't really know anything about it before I went; my daughter wanted to see it, my wife was doing report cards, and so I went … and I'm glad I did. Find a kid, and take him or her to this movie … you'll be glad you did.

I was very happy this week to read that Netflix has decided to rescue "Longmire," the modern western TV series that garnered huge ratings for A&E but was cancelled after three seasons because its audience was too old.

Netflix, following the strategy that resulted in "House of Cards," "Orange Is The New Black," and a revival of "Arrested Development," says it will make a fourth season of "Longmire" available in 2015, with 10 new episodes.

The series stars Robert Taylor and Lou Diamond Phillips and is based on a series of novels by Craig Johnson. If you've never seen it, you should go catch up on the first three seasons, which are available on - natch - Netflix, which had a clear picture of just how popular the series is.

As it happens, A&E said that the "too old" average age of 'Longmire" viewers was 60.

Thank goodness Netflix realizes that some of us of this advanced age are still kicking.

Yesterday was Mrs. Content Guy's birthday, and at her request I made lamb and artichoke stew … and we washed it down with a terrific wine, the 2007 Carlton Cellars Roads End Pinot Noir, which is rich and delicious and utterly first class. Roads End is Carlton Cellars's flagship wine, and I urge you to find a bottle and enjoy it. It is wonderful.

That's it for this week … Have a great weekend.

See you Monday.

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