- Story -
The Big Year tells the story of three bird watching enthusiasts in the US who decide to compete the for the prestiguous 'Birder of the Year' title, involving spotting as many different species as possible in one calendar year. This becomes quite a competitive sport as it were, with the three of them bumping into each other regularly in different far flung places as they travel throughout the many states of the US, including Alaska, on the hunt to spot as many birds as possible. However, life gets in the way with work and family issues threatening to throw a spanner in the works.
- More Info., Thoughts & Opinions -
Although this movie may seem to have a rather bland plotline, it is quite watchable and fairly entertaining overall. It pokes fun at the competitiveness of Americans in such seemingly boring, or anorak, interests. There is definitely comedy here, although its (as you may expect) fairly subtle and not of the laugh-out-loud variety.
The storyline does work in as much as having a clear start, middle and end, although it should be noted that this is an adaptation of a novel, so it makes sense that its structured that way.
The movie features quite alot of big names in the cast, with the three main characters being played by Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin. There are also (if brief) appearances by Brian Dennehy, Anjelica Huston and Dianne West.
Pace wise, I'd say its neither fast nor slow really. Its quite a gentle movie I suppose and has a bit of a sentimental feel to it, following around the different characters (or twitchers you could call them, ie. birdwatchers) - we learn more about their backgrounds and personal lives as the movie continues and there are some quite amusing scenes when they bump into each other and try to out wit one another. I found it less dull and more pleasantly watchable in general - I don't think the cast found it a challenging movie at all, it was probably a walk in the park for them to act in a movie such as this, so I couldn't call it remarkable but equally at only about an hour and a half long, it was a good length and I didn't feel bored to tears - I thought the characters were quirky in their own ways and I did feel somewhat reeled into their world, so it kept my interest for the duration of the movie. Themes include companionship, competitiveness and the importance of family life, I suppose.
This movie could be watched as a family movie, as it carries a PG certificate there's little to offend or scare younger viewers, indeed I can't think of anything worth mentioning as far as thats concerned - no real violence, very strong language or anything like that. Children (or people in general I suppose) who find it hard to concentrate would probably find it a bit boring though but thats maybe another issue lol.
Overall, there's not a great deal that can be said about this, I feel. I thought the ultimate message it sent out at the end was perhaps a bit preachy and cheesy, which wasn't great but it by no means really ruined the movie or anything like that. At a short running time of approximately one hour and a half, it kept my interest enough to not be bored enough to want to switch it off, which I'll freely admit does happen on ocassion. I thought the plot was interesting, the cast was good and there were some amusing moments, which kept me entertained, so overall its worth a watch.
- Would I Recommend It? -
Yes, I think I would recommend this movie as a rather pleasant and fairly entertaining movie suitable for the whole family pretty much. Its not exactly remarkable but its perfectly watchable - if your looking for a great laugh out loud comedy then this may disappoint but if your a fan of the cast or the story interests you then I think its worth checking out.
Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful and thanks for any and all rates and comments.
The film is based on birding, the goal of the birders is to see or even just hear the most birds in one year, Owen Wilson is the world record holder with 732 different species, and is desperate not to get beaten, Jack Black plays a guy who has failed at almost every thing from work to marriage to his dads great disappointment, Steve Martin who plays a successful buisness man who regrets spending all his days working and not getting to enjoy life more, after a few dirty tricks Jack and Steve team up to beat Owen.
The comedy was ok but not great none of the jokes were side splitting this is surprising considering the stars involved, this did not however make it a bad film i really enjoyed it and would watch again.
The film has wonderful scenary of America and some great footage of birds in there natural habitat.
All actors from the main stars to the bit part extras put in an excellent performance with Jack Black proving agin that he can act.
The film is rated PG but really cant see younger audiences enjoying thismabie about 14 and above unless there into bird watching.
There is just the one thing in the extras this is the gag real this is the funniest part with bloopers and seing the actors larking around well worth a watch.