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The Big Year Coming soon to Cinemas (1 Viewer)

DavidP

Well-known member
I just came out of the cinema to see it, must have been about 8 people total in a Southern California matinee but the weather was great outside, finally cooled down to the 90's.

I thought it was great, very nicely done with a good mix of birds, people and scenery to appeal to everyone.

Even had a couple of references for our British birder friends, one from a couple of very twee looking British birders complaining about Americans competing and the references to being the best birder in the world, sort of like the world series of baseball really.
 
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Saw the movie last week with my wife a non-birder. I very much liked the movie. The photography of birds was very good, it did not degrade bird-watching in any way. Steve Martin has done funnier parts but his character in the movie is not a comedy act. I feel the movie is about how people become obsessed with certain activities in thier lives and in this case it was "a big year" or bird-watching. Hopefully my wife will understand a little more of my love for bird watching. I would recommend this movie, enjoy some popcorn and relax.
 

Larry Lade

Moderator
I read the book a while back, then I went to the movie when it came out. Now I am going to read the book again.

I enjoyed the first reading of the book and the movie.
 

Steve69

Active member
well Vue has it listed as being released on the 2nd dec 2012, will be worthy of a visit to the cinema for the 1st time in 10yrs.
 

Euan Buchan

The Edinburgh Birdwatcher
Supporter
Scotland
I went to see it yesterday I have to say I really enjoyed the film I will probably go and see it again and on a serious note I think it will make people who are not interested in birdwatching learn about what it's all about oh and there was only 3 people in the cinema with me.
 
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Alf King

Well-known member
I watched it last week and thought it was poor. It failed to capture the essence of birding, notably the tedium illuminated by excitement; the humour was non-existent; it was schmaltzy (what should I expect?) etc. Some people felt that the bird photography was good - I thought it was CGI and would be interested in others' views. How could 30+ people be on the outermost island in Alaska seeking rarities and only have two 'scopes between them?

I certainly wouldn't go to see it again.

There were six people in the cinema when I saw it and it hasn't been on there since. It will hit the DVD market pretty soon, no doubt.

The dislikeable, fixated, egotistical character had wierd looking face and improbable blonde hair. He reminded me of someone but I can't for the life of me think who it was!
 

Don Listerino

Deep Ecologist
I went to see the film last week and I'm another one who enjoyed it. Admittedly, I went along with low expectations. Those who have been put off by the trailer should note that it doesn't represent the film well at all. The trailer suggests that the film is only loosely based on the book, but I found that it actually followed the book more closely than I was expecting.

It is certainly far from the funniest film I have ever seen, but I found myself sniggering quite frequently; a lot of the jokes are based on birders' humour, and some of the humour is quite dry, so it doesn't surprise me to find that many critics have been slating the lack of laughs. Having now looked back at a few mainstream reviews of the film, it is apparent to me that many critics were expecting such a comedy about birders to be a freak show of odd-ball characters. Hasn't that formula been done to death? Certainly not what I wanted to see anyway.

In the event, the story is told from a birder's point of view, and all three main stars take their roles seriously, although their acting skills are clearly not tested. Nevertheless, they do a pretty good job of playing birders who are trying to defend and explain their obsession to their families, friends and colleagues.

A nice aspect to the film is that short sections are dedicated to recounting bird life histories. For example, the migration strategies of Sooty Shearwaters and American Golden Plovers, as well as Bald Eagle courtship displays. Whether these are completely accurate or not, I predict that more people will leave each showing interested in birds than went in. It is especially touching when Jack Black's character explains to his father why his favourite bird is the AGP, and in doing this he manages to capture the awe and mystery of migration. The film shows how relationships can be destroyed by such an obsession, but it also shows how sceptics can find themselves being drawn into the hobby.

There are of course a few ornithological inaccuracies, but I found them tolerable, and I was surprised at how much they got right. A surprising number of the birds you see are real, and the inevitable intermingling of film and natural history footage, which could have looked terrible, is done well thanks to some adept editing. The CGI of gulls on Attu looked awful of course, but early in the film there is a beautiful slow motion CGI rendition of a Xantus's Hummingbird (if I remember correctly) hovering in the rain, which will surely draw in many non-birders. The CGI of a Great Spotted Woodpecker later on does have unnatural movements, but I thought it still had an impressive realism to it.

This film could have been done quite a lot better, but I still encourage others to go and see it at the cinema this week, as there’s some bird photography and some landscape shots that will look best on the big screen. Having said that, it might be best to go on your local cinema's bargain day, just in case you are disappointed.

DL
 
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Euan Buchan

The Edinburgh Birdwatcher
Supporter
Scotland
It feels like it's coming to an end of it's run at my local cinema because when I saw it 2 weeks ago on the day it came out it had alot of film times from during the day and evening and now they show Last Chance all week which is a 9.40pm showing which is a shame because my friend wanted to see it.
 

Don Listerino

Deep Ecologist
It feels like it's coming to an end of it's run at my local cinema because when I saw it 2 weeks ago on the day it came out it had alot of film times from during the day and evening and now they show Last Chance all week which is a 9.40pm showing which is a shame because my friend wanted to see it.

Yes, many people in the UK will have their last chances of seeing this film at the cinema tonight and tomorrow.

DL
 

Gill Osborne

Well-known member
Looks like I'll have to wait until it comes out on dvd :smoke: Neil was made redundant five weeks ago so it's been a case of non-essentials going by the wayside :-C SO frustrating because I enjoyed the trailers and loved the book! :t:
 

The Actor

Well-known member
I saw this film last night and I enjoyed it. It's entertaining and based on a true life story with only the facts changed. :)
 

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