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The Big Year
BLU-RAY disk
Feb 10, 2012 By: Stephanie Cooke
The Big Year order download
Director:
David Frankel

Actors:
Jack Black
Owen Wilson
Steve Martin

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson portray three men from very different walks of life, facing a mid-life crisis, a work-life crisis and a no-life crisis. In the biggest competition of their lives, they undertake an unforgettable trek through North America, engaging in hilarious and bizarre adventures and forming friendships that will last a lifetime.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Quite honestly when I first popped in THE BIG YEAR, I was expecting a comedy box office flop that just made fun of avid birders. As the credits started and the actors and actresses flooded across my screen (Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Steve Martin, John Cleese, Joel McHale, Anjelica Houston, Rashida Jones, Rosamund Pike, Tim Bake Nelson, Kevin Pollack, Jim Parsons and more), further dread set in as I felt like this was building up to be a movie that was casting big names to compensate for quality. And truth be told, Jack Black is one of my least favourite actors, along with Owen Wilson.

What I ended up being by the end of the movie however was surprised… pleasantly surprised. THE BIG YEAR wasn’t the horrific comedy that I thought it would be, but is instead an almost endearing dramedy about appreciating your life and living it to the fullest while you still can. That likely sounds hokey, but that’s what I got out of this film about three strangers with one similar and yet very different goal.

As I previously mentioned, I’m really not Jack Black’s biggest fan. So when I say that I actually enjoyed his performance in this film, for me, that’s a big deal. Owen Wilson was still not my favourite person in this film, but his character was meant to not really be likeable in a lot of ways… although THE BIG YEAR does a good job of giving Wilson’s character a back-story that people can relate to. The rest of the supporting cast does a really great job as well, but my favourite person in the film has to be John Cleese, who is never on-screen but instead narrates the film in a David Attenborough nature show kind of way.
THE EXTRAS
“The Big Migration” is a pretty lengthy featurette where the cast and crew discuss the film (it’s a Making Of feature) and what it was like to film across the continent over the course of 55 days with over 100 sets and 272 scenes. This was actually a really fantastically in-depth feature that I thoroughly enjoyed. This feature is the kind of Making Of features that I hope to watch on all DVD/Blu-ray extras.

The Deleted Scenes for THE BIG YEAR impressed me yet again. Usually I find that these features are a waste of disc space and I don’t really give a crap about any of them. Such was not the case with these deleted scenes. This was a fun set of extras that I felt actually added something to the film as a whole. Obviously there are always one or two scenes that were deleted because they just suck, but the majority of them were enjoyable additions to the film.

The Gag Reel is the weakest of these special features, but it still manages to be mostly amusing to watch. Not much of it is laugh out loud funny, but it’s enjoyable enough to watch and doesn’t go on too long.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Maybe going into this film with such low expectations is what made it so good for me, but between the film itself and the excellent set of special features, I actually really and truly enjoyed THE BIG YEAR. It might also help that I have a big appreciation for birds myself, although not big enough to do my own Big Year, but I do know avid birders who would likely consider it.

Oh, and bonus points for the person who put the soundtrack together and included the song “I Like Birds” by The Eels. Kudos!
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+2
12:04AM on 02/12/2012

huh!

might just have to check it out, nice review!
might just have to check it out, nice review!
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