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Big Year has Big Laughs and Touching Moments
9/10 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.5 years ago
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 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.
A nice surprise.
8/10 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. Eight is an honest vote, though I was tempted to give it a nine.5 years ago
Much better the trailer indicates
9/10 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.5 years ago
My concerns were put to rest within the first 5 minutes. I found "The Big Year" 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.
A underrated but heartfelt little movie
8/10 With the lead cast consisting of Owen Wilson, Steve Martin and Jack Black, you would think The Big Year will be just another slapstick comedy with little to no story and cheap laughs. You would be wrong.5 years ago
The Big Year is beautiful. Three men of different ages cross paths in their interest for birding; spotting as many birds as one can in one year.
But the film isn't really about "birding", it shows us life through three different views and the challenges life can bring and the choices that everyone has to make.
The Big Year is not a movie you will sit through laughing out loud, but you will be smiling for the better part of the 100 minutes.
One of the most underrated movies of 2011, The Big Year suffered from lack of promotion and a misleading poster and trailer.
Do yourself a favor, and watch this, you will not regret it!
8/10 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.5 years ago
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 deserves a watch, and the a minimum 8 star rating.