This list will be of no real interest to anybody else but it helps me keep an easier track of…
The Big Year
Everyone is searching for something
Three avid bird watchers compete to spot the rarest birds in North America at a prestigious annual event.
So, I'm watching this, and I'm having a hard time staying awake. Pure boredom.
Then, the sound designer decides to mix the film so a Coldplay song plays at maximum volume, making me spill my Pringles.
I just don't know what to say, this sucked.
The Big Year is the very definition of a gentle comedy. It could also be classified as unfunny, uneventful, unmemorable and occasionally irritating. It is hard to know how a film about bird-spotting was ever commissioned as it hardly seems the sort of material to excite studio bosses. There must have also been a point when the writers realised that their slow paced script with broad and shallow characterisation just wouldn’t be particularly interesting. Yet miraculously it kept getting the green light at each stage before assembling a pretty impressive cast (if you excuse the three leads).
Jack Black’s narration throughout is probably the most annoying thing about the film because, well, it’s Jack Black talking and that is always…
I truly think this COULD have been funny.
The Big Year is a nice little tale about three competitive birders stumping for the world record of spotting the most species of birds in the wilds of North America. Martin, Black and Wilson - three actors with strong screen-personalities all manage to rein themselves in much to the benefit of the story's subtext about compulsion, sacrifice and legacy. The perfect Angelica Houston shows up for about twenty seconds to deliver one of the movie's best bits. Overall, kind of a sweet story that maybe should have gotten a bit more attention when it was in the theaters.
It is easy to see why critics took against this film as the comedy heavyweights on show are not giving massive laugh out loud performances. As this is a gentle film giving me plenty of small laughs. I love the cast in the film possibly my only slight disappointment is Owen Wilson playing his usual persona of a confident smooth talking man in a constant state of trying to one up his rivals. But I still enjoyed and I especially enjoyed Jack Black and Steve Martin’s game and different performances. Like the film Best in Show this gives an affectionate view on small sub cultures and obsessive views on them. But whereas Best in Show did provide plenty laughs this film had a lot more heart.
Why? What's the point? Steve Martin wasn't very Steve Martin-y; Jack Black wasn't Jack Black-y; and Owen Wilson. Meh.
It was sweet (so sweet that my teeth hurt a bit), family friendly and there were some moderately amusing site gags. And birds.
Two wanta be comedy legends and one used to be comedy legend looks at birds. A nature documentary tries to cash in by hiring three comedians
Very underrated comedy with three comedy legends.
Mild comedy/drama which revolves around a rather niche topic: birding. Black, Wilson, and Martin are all fine as birders of different backgrounds competing to achieve the record for most birds sighted in a year. One questions the film's reason-to-be initially, with such a seemingly thin premise, until it gradually reveals itself as a feel good drama about self-realization. Bird lovers should find it a treat; but there is some edutainment value for non-birders, and a long list of lovely locations.
A great surprise for me. I honestly don't know why I put this on. I wasn't particularly captured by reading that the story is about birding. And I had a less than optimistic outlook since it had Jack Black as a leading actor. But I went against my gut feeling and was pleasantly surprised.
It constantly begged the question, what would you sacrifice for your dream. But for one or two of the guys it became, who is not worth sacrificing for a dream. I think that shift in thought is what made this transcend the generic comedy which I expected and gave it heart.
Splitting the screen time between Wilson, Martin, and Black worked for me. A solo comedy…
Why get this cast together and not try to make something funny? Actually I don't think anyone knew what was going on. The plot and character arcs skip along at a jerky pace with pointless arbitrary narration and sudden shifts in direction without any real foundation.
The visual style and gimmicks are also frustratingly inconsistent, except the animated birds that are consistently fake looking. Marginally better than Birdemic.
Foolishly marketed as a bucket-list comedy adventure, this movie is actually just about bird watching, or "birding", for the entire 101-minute runtime. But with big names like Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson, even such a limited, and sometimes uninteresting subject matter could still be an engaging, and humorous film.
Unfortunately though, as its pathetic $33-million-dollar loss at the box office proves, "The Big Year" was anything but. Our three protagonists are competitive birders, each globe-trotting around the world to see more bird species than the other in one calendar year. Such a travel-heavy and intense hobby-sport has its consequences though: each character must sacrifice something at home, Black, his meager life-savings, Martin: his massive business enterprise, and Wilson:…
It's refreshing when you stumble into a Hollywood movie that aspires to be nothing more than a humble, entertaining story. THE BIG YEAR has no grand aspirations, no designs on creating good vs. evil. While there may be a "high concept" in as much as there's oddball competition between obsessive humans... none of the humans are played for caricatures. They're just guys compelled to see as many birds as possible during one year. They confront "the why" and "the how" while spotting birds and coming to terms with their mortality -- though only Steve Martin's character actively confronts the notion of "the abyss." By the end, however, the audience understands that the movie is really about humankind's drive to leave…
Didn't see this one coming. It manages to subvert most middle-class white guy competition movie tropes (is that a term?). For one thing, it's ultimately less about competition than friendship, less about following one's dreams than making sacrifices for others, less about evil traditionalists trying to put a cramp in the style of younger enlightened millennials than finding what matters in life (sometimes it's traditional, sometimes new). Having a sister who's an avid birder, I also resonate with much of the story.
And no, it's not wildly funny - it has its moments, but it isn't really trying to be the world's funniest film.
As Jeffrey Overstreet wrote about The World's End:
Instead of giving us characters who find happiness…
- The Secret World of Arrietty
- Take Shelter
- Elite Squad: The Enemy Within
- Project Nim
- The Country Girl
- The Misfits
- Queen Christina
- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
- Gone with the Wind
Let's celebrate those extremely beautiful women who also have the ability to ACT. I know, I know -- almost all…
- The Conversation
- Wonder Boys
- The Terminator
- Kill and Kill Again
- Out of Sight