What's that expression? ... "All that's necessary for evil to prevail, is for good men to do nothing"... or something like that.Well I agree with prashanta_guha: "people's taste in movies is getting worse by the year. They seem to give high ratings to mindless movies and fail to appreciate the good ones."But maybe it's just that it's mainly idiots writing these reviews, and not enough good men? So this film made me sign up and write; this is my first review.I absolutely loved this film. It's charming, warm and funny.There are reviews on here about <more>
it not being funny enough or no real love story etc, but therein lies its beauty.There's no over-the-top Hollywood slapstick comedy, no over-the-top romantic storyline, it's a little birdie but not too birdie. And so you're left with a subtle, very real, quality film.I would say that whoever made the trailer should be fired as it has no reflection on the film, creates no desire to see the film and no doubt was the cause of the complete flop in theatre ticket sales. The film is not about mid-life crises. It's a simple film about hobbies and how they can affect your life, as well as being what all films essentially are; a story to entertain you for an hour and a half.On top of that, I was delighted and amused to learn that this film is not too far off a true story. Take a look on Wikipedia, a big year is real thing in the ornithology world, and there is a world record holder with 745!So if you like this film, write a review and let's get the rating up closer to what it truly deserves.
Hollywood's idea of a fun movie circa 2011 seems to be one where people have mindless sex with each other or spend the entire movie talking about having mindless sex with each other. Love equals having a relationship that lasts more than one night, and cheating on your spouse or significant other is par for the course. How refreshing it is to find a jewel like "The Big Year!""The Big Year" is a delightful movie centered around three men at different walks of life who each want to have a "Big Year.". A Big Year is birdding terminology for spending the year <more>
counting each different bird species you see. The unattainable world record has been set by Bostick, Owen Wilson's character, several years before. But Stu Steve Martin and Brad Jack Black feel compelled to try to beat the record. This is something each man needs to do.Stu is a hugely successful head of a large company who wants to retire. His minions feel that he can't retire or he will be letting his business his life's work down. Brad is a divorced man in a dead-end tech job who feels like this is his chance to give his life some meaning. Bostick is defined by being "the world's greatest birder," so can't let anyone beat his record. He has to have another Big Year as well.Going along with these three men on their Big Years is an absolute pleasure. We have a lot of laughs together, and we all start to see a little bit more clearly the things that are important in this life. We also see the effect the Big Year has on those left at home Bostick and Stu's wives and Brad's parents. Hollywood today feels that they need to always show us the Real World. To them, the Real World is the very worst of society. People who use only crude language and who can't be faithful or supportive to their wives and husbands unless their lives are going along in a perfectly smooth pattern. Any upset is an excuse for leaving and/or cheating. This movie shows a different version of the Real World where people can be supportive and faithful even when things get a little rocky. It's a joy to watch!
expecting it to be nothing special boy was i wrong (by mariannealex27)
I wasn't expecting a good movie at all. It's a weird casting but the characters surprisingly worked very well together. The movie itself was fantastic. Great cast, usually i don't like Jack Black but it was a part well done, and Martin short was also perfect. Owen Wilson was picked well for his part because he always seems to be this cocky know it all, and that's what he was. It was full of laughter, sadness, love, friendship, I even clapped at one point during the movie. All in all i loved it. I especially liked how it wasn't just focused on one thing. Sure its a movie <more>
about bird watchers a competition really, but the characters learned and found out about themselves in the movie. Who they really are and the prices they pay for different routes in life. I gave the movie a ten because it was something that i thought that would not be worth watching but it really was an awesome movie.
Big Year has Big Laughs and Touching Moments (by CaptMTS)
In the Big Year, bird-watching "birding" for those serious about the activity takes a beautiful backdrop to the story of three men in different stages of life that are all struggling with priorities and what is important in life. Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson all do a great job as lead actors and come across as real bird lovers.The settings are incredible - taking viewers from Attu Island in the Aleutians to Brownsville, Texas, and everywhere in between. The race to find birds results in many humorous moments between the three competitors as they scour North America in <more>
search of rare bird sightings and compete to be the world's best birder.Steve Martin does a wonderful job as a man on the verge of retirement, who is struggling to let go of his career. His long-time dream to spend a year birding helps him understand what is important in life. Steve's character develops a father-like relationship with Jack Black's aimless computer programmer whose passion is birds. Steve's character provides fatherly guidance and support that helps Jack Black's character move forward with his life and relationships.Owen Wilson is great as the obsessed world's greatest birder, who does everything that he can to stop his challengers - Steve Martin & Jack Black. The obsession and drive of Owen's character draws anger, jealousy, and respect from his competitors and other birders. Several supporting actors providing some funny moments with their hatred of Owen.Overall, Big Year is a funny and heart-warming movie that will make you think about your own priorities and dreams...and maybe grab some binoculars and search out some birds.
Having read the book by Mark Obmascik and being a birder, I looked forward to 20th Century Fox's film when it was announced over a year ago. I began to get concerned when I saw the trailer which didn't look like book, didn't feature birds and wasn't all that funny. Those unfamiliar with the book or the movie's plot line, a "big year" refers to an informal competition in which birders try to see the most bird species they can within North America North of Mexico in one year.My concerns were put to rest within the first 5 minutes. I found "The Big Year" <more>
humorous and thoughtful. The writing avoided the caricatures often associated with birding. I was in shock to see only one bird poop reference and surprisingly no toilet humor which I would have expected based on the cast . Direction by David Frankel Marley and Me, Devil wears Prada was well-paced. The story centers upon 3 men each going through their own version of a mid-life crisis and hitting the road in search of finding themselves and birds. Owen Wilson plays the record holder for the "Big Year" who is in constant fear that someone is going to top his record. He must decide between his obsession and his wife. Steve Martin plays a successful but retiring businessman who decides to start doing all the things he put on hold over the years. Jack Black, the poorest and youngest of the three, sets out to make a mark and in turn, finds himself. All three actors showed they do have considerable range beyond their usual comedy shtick. While this story could have generically fit any obsession, the beauty, magic and mystery of birds clearly rings through. Highly Recommended.
The Big Year Soars Above Expectations (by dollpenguin)
The Big Year's low IMDb rating and box-office take had me worried that this film would be a "lame-duck." Turns out, this movie is really good.I am not a "birder" and know very little about birds other than what I find on a typical restaurant menu. The beginning of The Big Year made me think I would learn a little bit more about birds, but was pleasantly surprised to learn that the film is not about birds at all; it is about people, how we relate to one another, and the things that drive us to do the things we do. The characters were more three-dimensional than those of <more>
any other movie I have seen in a long time. I think a lot of people are thrown off because we often don't know who to "root for" in this film. The characters seem like real people, albeit participating in a sport most of us do not understand and have never even thought about trying. I hesitate to even call birding a sport because there are no spectators, trophies or prizes involved.Jack Black gives his finest performance ever imo, playing an average working-class guy named Brad who has a crazy obsession with birds. His dream of spending an entire "Big Year" spotting and photographing as many birds as possible seems odd to us and Brad's family , but we soon learn that he is not alone with this obsession. All throughout the film, Brad offers glimpses of how birds and humans are more alike than different. Jack Black nails the dialog which manages to be insightful while avoiding any semblance of pretentiousness. Owen Wilson plays a married contractor named Kenny who takes more pride in his world record "Big Year" than anything else in the world including his trying-to-conceive wife. He gives a believable, nuanced performance as someone who will go to any length to protect his record, yet he is far from an average scumbag villain. He reminds me more of a prescription drug addict that I might feel sorry for. Kenny is so blinded by his addiction to "birding" that he cannot see the proverbial forest for the trees.Steve Martin gives a beautifully balanced performance as an aging business owner who has always dreamed of trying for the Big Year birding record. Martin is known mostly as an on screen "wild and crazy guy" but in The Big Year, he remains subdued as he has in previous films such as Grand Canyon and Parenthood. If you liked him in those movies, you will like him in The Big Year as well.The Big Year was not meant to be a gut-busting comedy, but there are several humorous moments. This movie also manages to be quite touching, thought-provoking, sometimes uplifting, occasionally heart-rending, and beautiful throughout. A lot like life except with better direction, better actors, great dialog, and fantastic cinematography.
I'm sorry, but I've to say that people's taste in movies is getting worse by the year. They seem to give high ratings to mindless movies and fail to appreciate the good ones.The Big Year is a beautiful drama-comedy picture, starring 4 of my favorite comedians - Steve Martin, Jack Black, Owen Wilson and Jim Parsons. It is a touching and heart warming story, which has it's comic points and showcases most valuable life lessons - family coming first, the price people pay for being the greatest in any field, choosing between priorities etc.It's a wonderful effort and it <more>
deserves a watch, and the a minimum 8 star rating.
I enjoyed this film. Jack Black can actually act. Who knew? And Steve Martin hasn't done anything this appealing since "Shopgirl." It's got some funny moments, and at least two laugh-out-loud moments, but mostly it's a movie with heart. And Black's character will tug at yours a little. Beautifully shot and sharply edited. Lovely scenery and wonderful music. I hope this is still in theaters at Thanksgiving, because it would be the perfect family outing after devouring the Butterball species . The audience in my theater enjoyed it and some even applauded at the end. <more>
Eight is an honest vote, though I was tempted to give it a nine.
A joyous excursion, surprisingly supplying substance to an odd story (by StevePulaski)
Birding is one of the strangest, yet most expensive sports I know of. Yes, I said sport. By definition, birding or bird-watching as many people say is a sport. It has competition, a scoring system, teams, and a simple goal. Those are some of the bare-basics requirements for a sport. Birding has everyone of them.Why is it that Birding is mocked and not considered a sport? I suppose it's the idea. I mean, birdwatching doesn't sound like a sport. It sounds like a hobby or an activity. Some people take the exercise very seriously. It's not just a hobby to them, it's an ordeal. I <more>
think in order to be a Birder, at least a successful one, you need to be retired and/or wealthy preferably both . You must travel across the globe in search of all kinds of species, spending money on food, hotels, and tourist attractions. It's a tiresome event, and for all that trouble, I don't see why it isn't a sport. It hurts the most valuable part of most peoples' bodies - their wallets.In my art class months back, I was engaged in a heated debate about Birding with four others. I brought up The Big Year, hoping to just mention a few things about it before moving on, and it lead to almost a fifty minute discussion on why Birding is/isn't a sport. At the time, I said it wasn't a sport. I was close-minded to the idea of what qualifies something as a sport. One person stated "competition." I knew right off the bat that was simply way too broad of a definition. That would mean you and a friend racing to get a seat in class would be a sport. Does that sound right? I finally came to my senses and now consider Birding a sport. In the sport, there is such thing as going for "a big year," which is where our film, The Big Year, comes in. A big year is attempting to see the most birds in one single calendar year. The record is currently held by Kenny Bostick Wilson at 732 birds. He is a pompous, arrogant man who cares little about his wife, who desperately wants a child, and more about Birding.Stu Preissler Martin is a CEO of a company, and retires so he can pursue his dream of winning a big year. Preissler is energetic, cheery, and the typical character perfect for Steve Martin's persona. Lastly, we have Brad Harris Black , an amateur Birder looking to win the big year as well. He takes a lengthy leave from his job to also follow his heart.The film doesn't give us a regular plot. Just characters that occupy eclectic personalities that are thrown together to create chemistry. The result, like many other comedies, works quite well. If one pays close attention, they will see the families of the three characters have drastically different opinions of the idea of this sport. Your response to Birding will usually depend on how receptive you are to the idea of venturing across the country to see as many birds as possible in one year.Kenny's wife is a long suffering woman, tired of being married to a man who is rarely ever there for her. When he is there, he is easily distracted by the news of more birds, which more often than not results in his abrupt leave. Stu's wife is very supportive of his choice to follow the birds. She wants him to win and always forces him to "spot a rare one for her." Now, Brad's parents have the most common reaction; they find the sport to be ridiculous, cockamamie, and a waste of time and money. At least the father does. The mother is quietly supportive.I don't know how much of a kid's movie this is, though. I was entertained, but felt the film sort of pushes the envelope for a PG film. It has a bit more language than I'm used to seeing in a film with the rating, and for that matter, I suggest viewers be about nine and up. The Big Year, also, proved to be a colossal miscalculation. Its ambition was to be a delightful, charming kid's film, marketed by the big name actors. Unfortunately, the film's earnings were meager and the response lukewarm.The problem is in the market, obviously. Birders are few and far between. Kids won't likely be amused by the idea of birdwatching, and grow tired and weary of the concept early on. The humor is light, but the heart is there. The actors are playing the roles they were born to play, with the exception of Owen Wilson who gives the villain role a try.The Big Year is charming and commendable in its efforts. It's a seriously eclectic film for the mainstream audiences, and a joyous excursion for those anticipating the performances. The film provides insight on an underrated sport, but doesn't force you to like it. It allows you to walk out of it with your own thoughts, instead of persuading you a certain way. A rarity, especially for films that boast an unfamiliar concept.Starring: Owen Wilson, Steve Martin, and Jack Black. Directed by: David Frankel.