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The Big Year 2011

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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!

Starring:
John Cleese, Jack Black
Runtime:
1 hour, 40 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Comedy
Director David Frankel
Starring John Cleese, Jack Black
Supporting actors Zahf Paroo, Stacey Scowley, Michael Karl Richards, Owen Wilson, Rosamund Pike, Steve Martin, Kevin Pollak, Joel McHale, JoBeth Williams, Paul Campbell, Cindy Busby, Greg Kean, Eva Bourne, Bill Dow, Barry Shabaka Henley, Dianne Wiest, Brian Dennehy, Anthony Anderson
Studio Twentieth Century Fox
BBFC rating Parental Guidance
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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
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 Verified Purchase
Birding (bird watching) and the 'Big Year' challenge of spotting as many birds as possible in a year may not seem the most exciting of subjects for a film, but The Big Year manages to engage and entertain throughout.

Jack Black, Steve Martin & Owen Wilson play (essentially themselves) Birders all seeking to set a new record for the number of species spotted.

Whilst badged as a comedy, it's no rip-roarer (Jack Black falls over a couple of times, which is about the extent of it) but the film is certainly light hearted and completely harmless.

I'm not a birder, or particularly interested in our feathered friends, but I was drawn in by the concept and particularly the beautiful scenery across the USA. There are also some really powerful messages within the plot, which are delivered subtly and thoughtfully.

If you want good, clean, family fun with the potential for a few laughs and broadening of the mind then you could do a lot worse.
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Format: DVD
As a novice birder, I was a bit worried that this film would be a bit hardcore and serious. However, I greatly enjoyed it! It caught the essence of what makes birdwatching reportedly the 3rd most popluar pasttime in the UK (after golf and fishing). It is a gentle film but quietly ribs those who take life too seriously, whatever their hobby.
It was a great way to spend an evening and I would happily see this film again. Also the birds (of the feathered variety!) and the scenery were spectacular!
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