Film Review: The Big Year

 The Big Year (2011)
starring Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Steve Martin, Rosamund Pike,
Rashida Jones, Angelica Huston, JoBeth Williams, Brian Dennehy, and Diane Wiest

Watch the trailer for The Big Year
(source: )


[Warning! ... for those who haven't seen this movie and don't want to be spoiled...]

I saw The Big Year and guess what? I actually quite enjoyed watching it. Though I expected it to be really funny with the big trio lead stars of Owen Wilson, Jack Black, and Steve Martin, but it was only kind of funny and more of a dramatic kind of film with a nice story and interesting ensemble cast to go with it, which I didn't mind in the least. It was still a very good movie about "bird watching" which I didn't know (and never heard of until I've heard this movie was being made and Rosamund Pike was cast, the main reason along with the trio actors aforementioned, which I was actually interested and went to see this movie) as a sport for those bird lovers. The title of this film now made sense after seeing this movie. While it lacks a lot of humor I expected to see in this film especially with the trio of Wilson, Black, and Martin, it still had its funny and a few LOL moments here and there that made me laugh. The movie though was still a very good "bird-watching" as a sport film, which is interestingly, different than your typical sporting genre movies. This one's not really a sport movie, but about three avid bird watchers who compete to spot the rarest birds in North America at a prestigious annual event (brief description via IMDB).

I was pleasantly surprised that this movie was not a comedy, but rather a little mix of comedy and a little more on the drama, but mostly it's a movie with heart and moral lesson. Interestingly, Jack Black's character Brad Harris is a nice character and will tug at your heart...well, at least, a little... Steve Martin's character Stu Preissler was quite nice and at times funny as well. Loved his character's line when he said to Brad about Owen Wilson's character Kenny Bostick (who was actually the opposite and rivals of both Black and Martin's characters in this movie), "lets get this SOB and win!" or something like it, LOL! Love that this movie also focused on other supporting characters connected to the main 3 characters. Rosamund Pike, who played Jessica, Kenny's neglected wife, was pretty good in her supporting role and scenes. She actually appeared more here than I expected (especially with a big ensemble cast like this film). I felt for her character though. Poor Jess, all she wanted was to start a family with her husband and all her husband seemed to care about was doing another "big year." He does not deserved her, but she still loved him. Interesting, her character's side story has been shown a lil' more in connection to Kenny, but towards the end, they didn't show her at all or what she was up to. That was a letdown for her character, but I'm guessing she probably ended up with that handsome looking guy who did the renovations to hers and Kenny's house. I wouldn't be surprised if she did. He's a hottie and is always around when Kenny was not, lol. Brian Dennehy and Diane Wiest (she was funny in the scene with her son Brad as she tried to help him with his "big year") played Jack Black character's parents. They were pretty good in their supporting roles. JoBeth Williams, who played Steve Martin's wife did good too in her small supporting role. Love her scenes in Paris overlooking the Eiffel Tower! (I've been there, so I thought it was nice to see it in this movie and thought to myself, yeah, I've been there! lol). Rashida Jones did good with her scenes with Jack Black...though I was not too fond of her "bird imitations" after hearing her doing it more than a few times (but that's just me...). Angelica Huston was only seen briefly, but she was good, mean, and kinda funny when you see her brief scenes. Kevin Pollack and Joel McHale (of NBC's Community) were funny on their scenes with Steve Martin. Jim Parsons and Anthony Anderson both appeared briefly, but you'll still remember they were in this movie especially Anthony Anderson as Jack Black's character's boss. And Paul Campbell (who I kept thinking he looks familiar and that I've seen him before...I immediately looked at his IMDB filmography and sure enough, I've seen him recently on an instant watch movie on Netflix in the romantic-comedy movie Play the Game (2009)), who played Steve Martin's son Tony was not seen much in this movie, but he's handsome and easy on the eyes to look at, at his brief scenes, lol.  

Overall, I thought this film was pretty good. It was beautifully shot and nicely edited. It had a lovely scenery, nice ensemble cast, and a wonderful music too. This is a must-see movie mostly for bird lovers, but it's also a nice movie for those who are not, like myself. I quite enjoy watching this movie for what it was and its ensemble cast (esp. Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and Steve Martin and the always lovely and wonderful Rosamund Pike, even though she wasn't seen much or interacted with the other main and supporting cast/characters except for was still great seeing her in this movie).

My The Big Year Film Rating: ! (7.5/10; C+)


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