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The Big Year 2011

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4.2 out of 5 stars (91) IMDb 6.2/10
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Comedy starring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson as three men in different stages of life competing to become champion birdwatchers. Stu (Martin) is a successful business executive on the brink of retirement. Brad (Black), the youngest of the three, works as a computer programmer but lacks direction and focus in his life. Meanwhile, the obsessive and unscrupulous Kenny (Wilson) will stop at nothing to hold onto his title of World's Greatest Birder. As they travel the length and breadth of North America as participants of the 'Big Year' competition, in which birders compete to spot the greatest number of bird species in the United States over the course of one year, the three men discover as much about themselves and each other as they do about America's bird population.

Starring:
Corbin Bernsen, Anjelica Huston
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 40 minutes
Starring Corbin Bernsen, Anjelica Huston, Kevin Pollak, Steve Martin, Rashida Jones, JoBeth Williams, Joel McHale, Jim Parsons, Owen Wilson, Anthony Anderson, Brian Dennehy, Tim Blake Nelson, Dianne Wiest, Jack Black, Rosamund Pike
Director David Frankel
Genres Comedy
Studio 20TH CENTURY FOX
Rental release 23 April 2012
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Birding, or "twitching", that is bird watching and spotting different species of birds is not the sort of topic which I would associate with being and interesting or engaging enough material for a movie or something that I'd associate with Jack Black, Owen Wilson and Steve Martin.

Although the movie is a real moving human interest story, three seperate human interst stories woven well into a single story, the competitive and quirky scene which is bird watching with the aim of seeing as many different species in one "Big Year".

Black's character is living with his parents, his relationship with them is fractious but not fundamentally broken, he hasnt seen any of the things he has embarked upon through to the finish, ie studies or marriage, so when he announces he is going to do a "big year" they arent exactly thrilled, his father and his mother reacting differently though and providing quirkly comic drama which plays to Black's on screen character "type" without being farcical.

Martin's character is a high powered exec who could easily come out on top in the contest but who chooses to play by the rules of most of the others in a sort of "keeping it real" fashion, like our other protagonists there is a mix of avoidance and escapism in play along with the obsessive interest in bird spotting.

Wilson's character is the "king of the hill" defending his title as record holder and not unprepared to play really dirty to do so, of the three he comes across as more obsessed and willing to sacrifice all, he is avoiding and escaping from things in his life too but its some how more sad than the others.
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Format: DVD
The film, The Big Year was really very enjoyable. All three of the actors gave a good performance and showed that they really understood the humour and competitive nature of birding in general. As a British bird photographer, I have been birding all over the world (including the USA) for thirty years and was amused by this film. Although some of the research showed a few flaws (those guys really would have notched up a Sandhill Crane by that stage of the game, and that was not High Island and, yes, British birders are incredibly competive, probably more so than the Yanks) there was a lot of accurate stuff about it too. Best of all, the film portrays the obsessive nature of birding very well. It was badly slated unfairly by some, the accusations aimed by the critics were unfair and inaccurate.

I would recommend it to birders and non birders alike, just forgive the couple of inaccuracies and you will enjoy it.
The Big Year [DVD]
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Format: DVD
With Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson in starring roles, and a small part for Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper in 'The Big Bang Theory'), this film is... not quite what you might expect.

There are plenty of moments for laughter, but this is not a film designed to wring laughs from its audience at every turn. Instead, the humour comes from the lengths to which obsessives will go to follow their passion, and the incomprehension of those around them who have more 'normal' priorities.

But this is also a story of the camaraderie between like-minded souls; of what it costs to chase a dream; of what it would cost not to. Only one person can find the most birds during the Big Year, but each of them will find out what matters most to them.

And it is also a love-poem to nature, and birds in particular. There's some fantastic footage of the birds, and the film is mostly shot in British Columbia and Yukon, a beautiful part of the world.

If you're in the mood for slapstick humour or complex drama, you won't find it here. But if you want to relax with a gentle celebration of the best in nature and in people, 'The Big Year' is well worth a look.
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Format: DVD
My sister and her husband are avid birders. I know a little about the topic. They are ranked in the top 10 within their home state, for their big year.

Bostick (Owen Wilson) is in serious competition. The movie is correct in that birders are on an honor system, although there are doubters which is why birders quickly become decent amateur photographers. Just about every year is a "Big Year" for birders as they always keep track of what birds they have seen as well as when and where. Most don't have the time or resources to cross the country several times a year, so they compete within their state.

The film shows some aspects of birders such as how life interferes with birding. Or how a birder would rather be in Brownsville, Texas at a dump site than in Paris, France. I have discovered that Birders are also acutely aware of things such as global warming as southern birds move north into new areas. They also know the points of illegal crossings as they visit the southern border at odd hours.

The movie has 3 diverse quirky characters competing nation wide to be the best birder. Jack Black and Steve Martin are likeable characters while Owen Wilson is the "bad guy." I had several laugh out loud moments during this feature. Birding is best done as a couples hobby.

Good comedy. Good script.
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