Sunday Review: The Big Year

May 5, 2013

Hello, friends, Happy Cinco de Mayo!  Oh, and because I missed it yesterday, Happy May the 4th for you Star Wars fans!!  I hope you have had a fun, celebratory weekend and are ready for the week ahead.  I have to admit that I am not, not at all.  But that’s okay, that’s what Sunday night is for, right??  Anyway, on to the review!  I caught this film on TV a little while back and I enjoyed it, so I thought I’d share it with you today:

TheBigYear

The Big Year (2011) is a film about two birders, or bird watchers, Brad Harris (Jack Black) and Stu Preissler (Steve Martin), who try to beat the record-holding Kenny Bostick (Owen Wilson) in a year-long bird watching competition.  I remember seeing previews before this film came out and thinking, “meh,” but when I saw it was on TV, I decided it was worth the two hours based solely on the outstanding cast.  I am huge fan of Jack Black and Steve Martin has long been a comedy great, not to mention the crooked-nosed charm of Owen Wilson, who unfortunately plays a bit of a jerk in this film.

While I am certainly glad I didn’t pay 12+ dollars to see this film in theaters, I am glad I caught it on TV.  It was entertaining and there were enough comedic moments sprinkled throughout the plot to keep me laughing.  I have to admit that I know next-to-nothing about birds or the world of bird watching, but that wasn’t a hindrance at all.  You are introduced to the bird-brained gently and aren’t overloaded with unnecessary information about what is essentially just the backdrop to the story, which is really the important part.

In fact, while the comedy made the movie fun, the story made it relatable.  I really liked Jack Black’s character, who is the underdog in the birding competition, and both Steve Martin and Owen Wilson’s characters felt pretty real and three-dimensional (which I have to admit surprised me coming from this small, relatively unseen movie).  It was interesting to see how the characters developed over the year-long period of the competition.  The editing obviously kept the pace moving so that it didn’t feel like you were watching a year-long film, but you still got a sense of progression, of seeing how they grew and how their decisions revolving the competition affected the rest of their lives.

All of that being said, it was a fairly predictable piece of Hollywood magic, all tied up for you in a neat little bow by the film’s end.  It was at least, however, an entertaining and comfortable predictability with enough laughs and engaging bird-watching tidbits to keep it interesting from start to finish.  If any of this sounds appealing to you, then I can confidently recommend a rental, if not, you can always try back next week or check out one of the links below for something different!

Thanks for reading :)

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