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Pretty Bird
DVD disk
Jul 22, 2010 By: Chris Bumbray
Pretty Bird order download
Director:
Paul Schneider

Actors:
Billy Crudup
Paul Giamatti
Kristen Wiig

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A wacky, wannabe inventor (Billy Crudup) decides to create a rocket belt- a la James Bond, in the hopes of striking it rich. He’s aided by his oddball best friend (David Hornsby), and a grumpy, recently laid off rocket engineer (Paul Giamatti).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
When PRETTY BIRD arrived on my door step, I was a little taken aback. Here was a comedy starring Billy Crudup, Paul Giamatti, Kristen Wiig, and directed by Paul Schneider, a terrific up and coming actor hot off an acclaimed turn in BRIGHT STAR. Heck, according to the box, it even played at Sundance! Why hasn’t anyone heard of it?

Within about two minutes of starting this film, I had my answer. PRETTY BIRD is yet another, wannabe quirky indie- similar to the recent SAINT JOHN OF LAS VEGAS. It boasts a great cast, and fine production values, but lacks two things. One- it has no heart, and two- it’s not funny.

Billy Crudup, a supremely talented actor who’s strangely never really broken through as a leading man, stars in the kind of role that would have been a fine fit for someone like Sam Rockwell, but on Crudup fits like a four fingered glove. Crudup’s not a comedian, so he doesn’t come across as funny. His manipulative character, who’s supposed to be a lovable misfit, just comes off as a manipulative asshole, and the “quirky” idea of making a rocket belt gets old FAST.

Giamatti’s a bit better as the grumpy rocket scientist, but it’s nothing you haven’t seen him do before. Take his character from SIDEWAYS and make him a rocket scientist, and this is what you get. As for the third billed Kristen Wiig- she’s barely in the film, and never really gets a chance to shine, which is a shame. You’d think in a comedy, they’d give the one cast member who actually knows comedy a chance to be funny, right?

THE EXTRAS
Nothing here, except for a roll of previews for other Paramount films, including THE ECHELON CONSPIRACY, which looks to me to be a low-budget remake of EAGLE EYE.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Probably the nicest thing I can say about PRETTY BIRD is that it’s not quite as painful to sit through as other recent “quirky” films like SAINT JOHN OF LAS VEGAS, and GENTLEMAN BRONCOS, but that’s not exactly high praise. It’s a shame though, as director Paul Schneider’s a talented guy- as long as he’s IN FRONT of the camera, and not behind it.
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