Monthly Archives: October 2011

Attack the Block

I admit, I’m something of an anglophile to some extent. I enjoy a lot of media related items in regards to the UK, especially when it comes to their more independent comedy films. They seem to do a good job with those.

Which is what Attack the Block is. Big Talk Productions is the group behind the film, which may mean nothing to a lot of people. The production company is behind the Edgar Wright gang including people like Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, etc. I didn’t find Attack the Block as good as those films, but as far as I know the only person involved from that group was Nick Frost with a very minor acting role. Still that production name got my attention.

So Attack the Block (not Attack of the Block or Blog, which I keep typing accidentally) is an alien invasion film set in South London. A small group of hoods and up having a “war” with some aliens. The story isn’t anything special. It’s pretty basic, but director Joe Cornish did a good job at helping to make the film entertaining and provide something of a different take on the genre.

The aliens. Must mention them. Initially they are handled well. You don’t really get a good look at them, and what you do see is really nice looking. Unfortunately, by the halfway point or a little later that no longer matters. For whatever reason we see the aliens up close and in detail (well sort of). There are a number of shots that no longer obscure the aliens as well. Basically they are no longer a surprise and they actually start to seem a bit hokey because of it. Had the director kept them obscured (at least while they were alive and moving) like he initially did, then that alone would’ve improved the film.

In going with the decrease in care of the aliens deception the thrill of the movie faded as well. While this isn’t Silence of the Lambs, the movie started out at least doing a good job at building some nice tension and suspense. It actually seemed a bit like a rarely decent slasher film. Unfortunately things kind of unraveled on that end. I’m guessing it probably had to do with the added focus on developing the characters more as well as doing some fancier action scenes. While those are good things, the thrills and surprise didn’t need to be sacrificed.

The characters and of course cast is what helps make this film. It seems that most of the actors (at least the “hoods”) are relatively new or first time actors. They were all extraordinary great. I hope I get to see them in more films. And these characters do speak with a heavier accent with slang, but I was perfectly able to understand them.

Having browsed IMBD (which I usually regret doing) there seem to be a number of topics regarding racism with this movie. I don’t want to dwell on that whole debacle, but I’ll touch on it. I didn’t find it racist. The cast is mixed and yes the kids are all non-white or mixed but one (could be wrong on that. Figuring out someones race by appearance is nota  good idea). There’s racism in the movie if you want it I suppose. I never saw that, but I can see where it wouldn’t be hard to pull that out.

The movie does however touch on race/class half heartedly. The movie is a comedy/action flick, not a social commentary. Yet there are a few random attempts to delve into the kids lives and rationalize why they are mugging someone in the opening of the film. The final scenes are very much making a big deal about that. Unfortunately I wasn’t fond of it because it wasn’t developed. There was room in this film to add that social commentary. It actually could have been a really nice addition. The movie though does not run with this theme for most of the movie and its large addition to the end of the film was out of place. The movie is short and I would have glad sat and watched a two hour version had they chosen to flesh those themes out.

That’s my biggest complaint. The movie seemed like it might have been edited down quite a bit. That or they added some stuff randomly at the end. The movie overall is really good, but again I would have loved to seen a longer version where they fleshed things out more, because I think they could have done it. The ending just didn’t mesure up to the rest of the movie.

Despite any negative comments above, I really loved the film. It’s short so it is really watchable in that sense. It’s also a great comedy with some nice action and thrills in it. Great pacing as well. Defiantly worth checking out and I feel like it has a good rewatchability factor.

The Rum Diary

 

My initial expectations were to say that this is a weird film and all of the girls who adore Johnny Depp wont want to watch this. Having seen the film that statement is not necessarily applicable anymore.

The Rum Diary is based off of the Hunter S. Thompson novel of the same name. Many people are familiar with the other film based off of Thompson’s work, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Technically the film Where the Buffalo Roam sort of falls into that category as well. For those who are familiar with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, this is not a sequel or a prequel. Johnny Deppp does play the fictionalized version of Thompson in both films, but both characters are actually different and so are the movies. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Fear and Loathing, but I still remember how bizarre the film was. I liked it, but it was defiantly bizarre, but what else could a movie steeped in drugs and liquor be but bizarre? So for those expecting another Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, this is not it.

The movie is actually quite good. I was actually surprised, though I was also assuming it to be like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I’ve never read The Rum Diary before either. Visually I enjoyed the film. I suppose a lot didn’t really happen there, or at least nothing special, but they managed to not screw up a gorgeous location.

The acting however is what makes this movie. I suppose some may be disappointed with Depp. Personally I liked him here. I thought he did a good job, especially since he manages to tone down the version of Thompson people have seen in Fear and Loathing. It’s a different character and Depp handles it well, though he is overshadow somewhat in my opinion. There were a number of other characters that drew my attention away from enough that he really didn’t seem like he was all that important. Aaron Eckhart deserves a nod for being the charming, yet dislikable businessman. He plays the role well, but really isn’t on screen much to make your own decision about the character. It’s pretty much made up for you. Amber Heard is hot and that’s pretty much her role. She did a good job for what the role is. I can’t say she was crap, because she honestly doesn’t have much of a role. I’ve never grasped the complaints people have of  the acting from women with these kind of roles. Michael Rispoli does a good job complementing Depp as his sort of drunken sidekick and Richard Jenkins brief appearances as the editor is nice. Giovanni Ribisi deserves some great praise here though. He’s a great actor to begin with and he seems to do an extraordinarily good job with creepier or oder characters and his role as Moburg is no exception. At first he’s just there, but the further you get into the film the more I wanted to know about that character. He’s the eccentric one out of the cast, and with a  story that does actually get a bit dull, he keeps things interesting a bit.

The plot or lack of one is what kills the movie. I suppose that’s expected. I didn’t go into the movie expecting to see anything coherent so what I got was actually an improvement. Still, the movie does wander about and the plots are just sort of half baked. This didn’t bother me to much for most of the film. By the end though, it just didn’t work. You can’t tie together a movie that’s been wandering about for two hours. The romance plot failed as did the whole business venture. Neither of those plots went anywhere or worked. Even the newspaper was a miss. What kept me interested were the bits in-between which were generally Depp and Rispoli wandering around drunk. I may be wrong, but it seemed like a good portion of the film consisted of those kinds of scene. If not, they were well done, paced nicely, and frequently enough that they made up for the plots the were probably meant to structure the film.

And I did find the film funny. Actually it seemed more of a comedy than anything else, though in some aspects I have a hard time saying that. The movie ends poorly and makes me want to detract that statement. Still, I laughed (as did others in the theater) often. It may not be as hilarious as The Hangover is for some people, but I enjoyed it. I suppose part of it is a matter of your sense of humor and how much you pay attention to the dialogue, since some of the dialogue is pretty quick.

There is a drug scene, but only one. Spoiler alert, but it involves LSD. It’s not much and is probably a disappointment to most people. Most of the movie is filled with alcohol, usually rum or beer.

One thing I missed in this film was Depp’s voice. He’s got a lovely voice and generally does a good job at narration or voice overs. Unfortunately he only has a few of those moments here. I thought they were nice, but they were slightly oddly placed and since they were few in number they seemed out of place.

I stand by my statement of enjoying the film. I’m still game for watching it again as well. As bad as parts of it were, I was still able to enjoy myself and really the only reason I second guess the film is because I’ve attempted to analyze and pick it apart to some extent. All movies are flawed and reviews tend to point them out. At least I bother to sometimes. Still, it doesn’t mean those films aren’t worth watching.

So it’s not Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It’s actually more likely to get more people to watch it and enjoy it than that. It seems to have a broader feel. That and this film is nowhere near as dark and bizarre as I remember Fear, being. People may be disappointed, but I guess that’s to be expected. I think part of it has to do with expectations going in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Days

Finished the death Trilogy last night with Last Days. It was defiantly a different film, although you can see the similarities with the other two films.

This is another beautifully shot film and again is very minimalist. Most of the shots are stationary, even when characters are walking around. It works with the movie though, and is defiantly what makes it look so good.

The content is a bit wishy-washy. It is a fictionalized account based on the possible last days of Kurt Cobain’s life. Knowing very little about that, it defiantly seems plausible and defiantly works if you ignore the connection to Cobain.

The biggest thing that bugged me was the dialogue. Blake (Cobain), mumbles all the time and is extremely hard to hear, as are a few others. I was watching this at 2am and was tired at that point so I feel like I missed a lot, but it is a film that makes it easy to do so.

It is an extremely funny film, to me at least. It’s small things that may go unnoticed, but really shouldn’t. At the front end of the film Blake starts pouring a bowl of cereal. He than takes the box of cereal and puts it in the refrigerator while leaving the milk out, and opened, on the counter. Shortly after that he ends up putting on a woman’s dress/nightie, some boots, a lady’s hat, and proceeds to wander around the house with a shotgun. Describing it does not do it justice, because it’s the way it is done. Those little things though helped make the movie good.

A lovely trailer. It pretty much sums up the first half of the film, which was the part I loved. Then again, I also started to fade later on because I was tired.

“Eeney… Meeney… Meiny… Moe… Catch a… Tiger… By its… Toe..”

I just finished Elephant, the second film is Van Sant‘s Death Trilogy and I’m blown away. I loved this movie. I’ve been aware of it and have wanted to watch it, but never bothered to. Now I regret never having watched it.

I’ll start off by saying that it is very simple in movie in a sense. The camera shots are basically all smooth tracking shots. The film is shot so that you follow various students over the course of a day. The idea I suppose is to make it look like a documentary in that way, and it works.

The acting is rather well done considering everyone in it was either not an actual actor or relatively new to acting. It defiantly helped make things seem more believable. Which is really what makes this film so stunning. The dialogue is rather spot on and the way most of the students act to me felt real. The only “unreal” thing to me was the high school, but that is a personal thing. I come from a small town. That being said people think my high school is big and it really isn’t. This high school is a prime example. It’s huge in comparison and seems very lax, something I did not experience during my days in high school. Still, I’m aware that those schools due actually exist, so it’s not a big deal, just a weird thing to me.

Again the simplicity is amazing. It’s what makes the film work. A number of the shots are without any really dialogue. While you follow a character you may here snippets from others, but not the person your focused on. There are instances where a scene takes five minutes just following a kid, but its intriguing.

I can easily see where people could get bored. It’s not action packed. For me though it looked wonderful and that keeps me in. I also knew what it was about so I kept waiting. Even if I hadn’t, there is something in the film that really gets your attention. Even after the movie ended I wanted more.

The movie is ultimately about a school shooting, inspired by Columbine. That being the case, Van Sant did a wonderful thing when he didn’t provide motives for any of the characters. The two “killers” are shown doing moderately normal things, but you never get a reasoning. It’s left open. The other characters that are brought in are giving small snippets of background information. You get just enough for them to be human, for a small attachment, but nothing more.

I still have Last Days to watch, but right now I really want to re-watch this. Maybe tomorrow. It’s defiantly a film I intend to buy and re-watch, despite it not being the most uplifting film. The fact that it’s only 1 hour and 15 minutes long make it easy to re-watch as well.

The Social Network

I wrote a review about The Social Network last March. I finally got around to buying and I just re-watched it, partially as research and partially because the movie captivates me in ways I can’t quite express. There are a number of things going through my head right now with this film so there will be a couple of more specific posts about it. If anyone is reading this outside of my blog than those extra posts will mostly likely only be on my blog.

Anyways, where to begin? The Social Network has been out for a year now. We have already seen the film nominated for eight Academy Awards and it won four of those among numerous other awards. That’s pretty damn good if you take any stock in some of those awards.  It currently ranks 8.0 on IMBD and 96% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Again not to shabby. Personally I loathed the idea that a movie about Facebook was being made. I’m not big on the site to begin with (though yes I do have an account). Yet as soon as I saw the trailed I couldn’t help by being amazed what they had created. As much as I didn’t want to see the film on principle alone, the trailer slowly ate away at me every time I saw it (which will be it’s own discussion). So why is this film so great?

Let’s put aside the directing and cinematography. That’s a whole separate post. Personally I loved the look of the film. Visually it’s very dark and sharp and most of the movie is amazing to look at. I enjoyed watching the cast sit in a dorm room or a lecture hall partially because it looked amazing.

And of course we can’t skip the score. The soundtrack is a nice complement, but the score. Oh, the score is amazing. I own it and listen to it often, particularly Hand Covers Bruise. Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross created an amazing score that matches the dark and edgy visual components of the film. The score is quite subtle, yet it sticks with you. Again I have to praise Hand Covers Bruise as being something that I have a hard time ever getting out of my head. It’s beautiful, but it’s kind of daunting at the same time.

The pacing is great as well. There really is never a dull moment. The film isn’t action packed per say, but I have seen this movie three or four times by now and I’ve never been bored during it. It has yet to get old at any point. A lot of the scenes are quite short and just keep on coming. The movie actually is action packed if you look at it that way. That and you get numerous verbal punches.

Which brings me to Aaron Sorkin’s writing. Most people adore this man and for good reason. Part of what makes The Social Network wonderful to watch is just the dialogue. It’s quick, witty, and harsh. Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) has some fo the best dialogue. I can’t help but love everyone of his lines, even if he’s being a dick.

People love critiquing the “truth” of the film. Screw that. Know why? This isn’t a documentary. If I was trying to find out the truth about Facebook and Zuckerberg and co. I would do actual research. If nothing else I’d at least watch a documentary, which this film isn’t. Liberties were taken with the film to make it entertaining. To make it dramatic. IF all Zuckerberg and his friends did was eat pizza and drink beer while coding, than very few people would go to see this film. I’m sure you could make a great film out of that material, but this film in the end really isn’t about Facebook. Very little of the promotion of the film or what the creative minds involved with it tried to advertise the movie as really being about Facebook. To me I always understood that the film was about a variety of other themes that they’ve created or exaggerated. In some instances the use of Facebook was just for marketing purposes. That and it is an interesting story without the dramatization.

The internet is something that has not really been covered that well in film or even literature as far as I know. Personally I’ve been racking my brain by coming up with drafts and outlines for something that can capture the world we live in now with the internet and social network. Yet I can’t. I come from a generation that has had the internet and is obsessed with things like Facebook. Yet I still can’t wrap my mind around it. The Social Network is one of the few (can’t think of any off the top of my head) films that really touches on the impact the internet, social networking, and media advances really has on our lives now. If nothing else that is a reason to watch this film. Forget all the artistic value to it. The heart of the material alone is impressive.

I don’t know how much sense I’ve made. Maybe none. Hopefully though I’ve at least touched on a few reasons why this movie deservedly got the praise it did and should continue to receive praise for. I’d hate to see this film just disappear now that we’ve arrived to a new year which is halfway over.

 

PS: I realized I failed to mention that cast. Honestly I don’t know what to say.  The cast was amazing and I can’t think of the words to describe how good the performances all were nor how well the characters were all shaped. Someone with better knowledge of acting might be able to take a stab, but all I know is that without the cast this movie had, it wouldn’t be the movie it is (obviously), but I mean that. I can’t imagine anyone playing these roles any better.

Punch-Drunk Love

Where to start? Punch-Drunk Love is an odd film that people seem to love, hate, or are just plain confused about. I fall into the latter category. On one hand I was kind of board and I was confused about a number of things. On the other hand, I loved some parts of it. I had a very polar opinions about the movie.

One of the things I enjoyed the most was Adam Sandler. Yes his acting is good, though to be honest the character is sort of like the ones he plays in his own film, just a bit more tame. I’m a fan of Sandler’s work normally anyways, which plenty of people aren’t. The character though is what I liked. He was intriguing enough to keep me watching the film throughout the slow parts. Part of that is because I identify with the character to some extent as far as awkwardness and anxiety, particularly around others.

I wouldn’t tell someone that this si a heartwarming film that is going to make you laugh. In a lot fo ways the film ultimately is, but I feel like going into the movie an expecting that would only put me off the movie even more. There are plenty of hilarious scenes though, depending on your sense of humor.

I’m sure I missed a lot of things that happen in this movie. Apparently there are a lot of little details to be enjoyed. Normally I wouldn’t bother to give this a second watch, but I think that is exactly what this film needs. It needs a second viewing to either confirm your dislike for it or to help sway you over to loving it.

The Ides of March

A lot of people are going to see this movie. The theater I was in was all older (50s+). Not sure what that says. Still, it’s getting attention for a reason.

Before I get to the movie though let’s talk about why I initially really did not want to see this movie. The trailer. The trailer for The Ides of March was just godawful. It was way overproduced and dramatic. It felt like they were trying to sell something more akin to the Bourne series than a political thriller.

Anyways to put it simply the movie is about seedy politics (poly = many, tics= bloodsucking creatures). Nothing new to most people. Yes the movie takes a stance on the democratic/liberal side. Get over it. It’s hollywood for starters and it’s also George Clooney, who get’s a writing credit in addition to his acting and directing in the film. That doesn’t really matter though. Clooney does criticize both groups since he’s pretty much bashing politicians in general. Again nothing new.

The movie itself is pretty streamlined. There isn’t a lot of flashy stuff going on here. You have a great cast, which is what is needed. The movie isn’t about the election, it’s about the characters. George Clooney fits the bill perfectly. He looks like  a President, and we do love picking Presidents based on their appearance. You have to fit the bill. Ryan Gosling is also really good and handles the character’s shifts well. The supporting cast of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, and Marisa Tomei were great as well. Again the names alone bring expectations. I only wish there could have been a few more scenes with them, especially Hoffman and Giamatti. Neither of their big speeches was enough for me and Tomei needed one. Evan Rachel Wood played her party pretty good as well.

Despite how low-key the film kind of is, it still looked great. I love that the movie is set in Ohio because that’s where I’m going to school right now. It’s a pretty good setting for making things look gloomy, which the movie is. The content is dark, but the visuals of the movie is even darker. There really aren’t nice happy sunny scenes. It’s pretty much all miserable weather, which is Ohio. It also allows the obligatory overcoats to be worn – something required in all political thrillers. That and some nasty weather, usually rain.

Actually the movie seems sort of like a play. The sets aren’t elaborate. Your focusing on the characters and they aren’t running around in any chases scenes or anything. I guess this isn’t surprising since it’s based off a play. One of my favorite scenes is when Hoffman gets into the SUV at the barbershop. You don’t hear what goes on inside. The camera just slowly gets closer and closer until he walks out and the SUV’s drive away. Clooney does this a couple of times, like the final scene and it works great.

The only disappointment was how fast the movie went. I’m used to these kind of music being longer. They don’t drag necessarily, but they don’t seem to fly by this quick. I guess it just goes to show how good a job Clooney did in getting people’s attention. Although the ended is kind of disappointing. I’m still not sure whether I like it, mostly because I still feel it’s anti-climatic. Not content wise, but visually. It’s another one of those slow move ins on Gosling as he sits there and then when he would in theory start speaking it ends. The scenes has to be at least two-three minutes. It felt like it at least and it just kinda irked me a bit.

Overall a great film. Defiantly one that probably deserves consideration for some Oscar nods. I don’t think this movie necessarily has repeat watchability though. It’s kinda dark so I don’t know it it’s something to many people will want to re-watch a lot because of that. Still, the length and pacing being amazing is why I’d watch it again.

Ever Since the World Ended

My senior thesis revolves around post-apocalyptic literature and films so I’ve been doing a lot of reading and film watching with movies revolving around those themes. I haven’t posted reviews of most of them, due mostly to the volume of movies I’ve watched. That and some are just pretty crappy.

Ever Since the World Ended is kind of crappy. The ideas behind it are good and actually quite interesting. On that level it’s actually helping a lot for my thesis, but the movie itself just doesn’t work. Part of it probably has to do with it being an indie film, but that really isn’t an excuse. There are a number of amazing indie films out there.

It’s twelve years after some plague took out most of San Francisco and presumably the rest of the world. There are 186 people left in the city and we don’t see most of them. The film is set up as a documentary. Some fo the survivors have some film equipment and make a crappy documentary. It’s not very cohesive. They sort of start talking about the onset of the plague, but not for long. They get into this one community and just branch of into a bunch of little nonsense stories that don’t fit together.

That’s the biggest problem with the story. I’m willing to forgo how unbelievable a lot of it is. I can accept that. The stories they tell don’t quite make sense. I feel like I’ve missed a lot of the documentary’s footage. The Mark story for example is still confusing. Same with the ending. It’s just this random snippets put together. That and we only see a small portion of the survivors and these survivors seem to be living in quite the cushy world.

The ideas behind the film ar interesting though. Brining up the human need to be in groups, to have society. How much better the world might be with this complete wipe. A lot of the major problems just gone (though there are obviously new ones). The idea of a clean slate, yet so many people trying to get things back to the way they were. The desire to go back to normal, to constantly think about the past. How to cope without some larger body to do your dirty work (the killing of Mark). They are great ideas and they are portrayed decently, but not really fleshed out and they kinda get lost in the mess the movie creates.

Some of the visuals are pretty nice. Especially on the beach or in the woods. It looks pretty, but it’s not enough.

Oh, Adam Savage makes an appearance here. That amazing man from Mythbusters who doesn’t look like a walrus. His character is actually really interesting. Unfortunately he doesn’t get much screen time to actually develop.

Nice idea, some neat aspects, but just kinda crappily put together for me. I can handle that it does get a bit dull, but really the end result wasn’t a good enough of a payout. Gus Van Sant’s Death Trilogy has those long moments that could be dull and are for some people. The difference is that the whole movie and those scenes are much more captivating. Most people here will get bored and wont finish it. No problem with that. Not much of a reason to try and finish it in my opinion.

The Trip

This is a review of the movie version of The Trip that was released. I haven’t seen the series so I don’t know what was all cut out. I think it worked pretty well as a movie, though I’m sure the series was better since some of the running bits would have gotten a chance to be fleshed out.

So The Trip. Most people probably won’t like this, but I could be wrong. I have a sneaking suspicion that fans of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are probably the only people who will dig this. Really before you watch the film or series you need to find Tristam Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story and watch that. This series/film spawned from what Brydon and Coogan do in that film. Actually Michael Winterbottom directed both.

For anyone unaware, Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan are doing exaggerations of themselves. It isn’t an actual documentary. Again they did this to some extent in Tristam Shandy and this time they have an entire series (or film) devoted to their bickering. It’s great because both men are extraordinarily funny to begin with.

So this film is about Brydon and Coogan going on food tasting trip in the north of England. They visit some old houses and eat fancy food. Long road drives and a lot of bickering with the occasional bonding moments. Also there’s some focus on Coogan’s personal troubles, which didn’t seem to mesh all that well in the film, but I guess I just wanted Coogan and Brydon 24/7.

Coogan is an ass. In the film, don’t know about real life. He’s supposed to be an ass, but Brydon is a dick as well. The difference is that Brydon has a smile on his face the entire time and is busy doing impressions or making jokes. He isn’t as blatant. It’s actually what helps make the film great. They are both competing with each other and being asses, but in different ways. Really, you shouldn’t like either character.

One big thing about this movie is the impressions. Both are actually really fucking good. Brydon is very well known for his impressions. Unfortunately he was a bit of a let down here. I’ve heard him do Al Pachino really well before. I believe he did an early Pachino and late Pachino, kind of how he did Michael Caine. Here however, his Pachino was pretty crappy and actually at times his Caine impression seemed less than stellar. I’m not sure if this was done on purpose or not though. If it wasn’t I’m not sure why they left it in since he is capable of doing the impression very well.

This movie is not entirely improvised, but there are clearly quite a few moments that are. I’m assuming most of the bickering is and the car rides are as well. About an hour in they go on a  great tangent in the car. These moments are part of the reason people should watch this film, even if they don’t know who the actors are, which you don’t need to know them, but it just makes it better.

As funny as the whole movie is, it really is about two middle-aged men. There’s a lot of focus on Coogan trying to cope with his age in various ways.

Defiantly a film worth running out and finding. I’m going to search for the TV series because it’s that great. Hopefully these two do more of this kind of work, because it’s great.

The Big Year

I went and saw The Big Year the other day. I’ve been waiting for it fora  while, mainly because Steve Martin is in it. I also really wasn’t sure what the movie was going to be. They easily could have made it very over the top and bizarre.

So the movie is about birders and achieving a Big Year, meaning you’ve seen/heard the most birds in a year. That numbers i in the 700’s. Jack Black is the main character and narrates the story. Honestly as soon as he started narration I was disappointed. The movie isn’t all that original structurally. Jack Black is this sort of pathetic dude with nothing good in his life. He has been planning this Big Year attempt for a while and puts everything in it. A girl gets involved and the end is all happy happy nice nice. Well almost (that spoiler will come later).

As uninteresting as the overall film was, it was still good. Jack Black and Owen Wilson didn’t irritate me to much, though neither one was spectacular. To be honest Steve Martin wasn’t amazing either. Still, none of them were horrible. Just very sup-par to my expectations.

The cast though is impressive, regardless to how well they acted. Especially the supporting cast. The supporting cast made this film, because they were all unknown actors (that’s sarcasm). Rosamund Pike, Kevin Pollack, Joel McHale, Brian Dennehy, Jim Parsons, Angelica Huston, Rashida Jones, Tim Blake Nelson, and a few more still show up as well. I loved all of them, even if some were very small parts. Casts like this just fascinate me. Oh and John Cleese does a little voice part briefly.

The movie isn’t laugh out loud funny the entire time, but there are some great bits and they come up often enough to at least keep you chuckling.

The movie isn’t always that funny though. That’s what makes it better. All of the characters have some kind of problems back home and birding either gets in the way or helps. These more emotional parts really aren’t all that grand, but it still helped round the movie out. It helped keep it from being some bizarre zany film about nutters who watch birds.

It’s not spectacular. For me it was a bit of a let down. Still, it was nice to watch. I probably wouldn’t go to the theater to see it, but if you want to get out fo the house this is isn’t going to be a bad choice. There are far worse movies out.

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