‘Big Year’ gives inside look to ‘birding’

By Erik Luna

Watching birds may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but when Jack Black, Owen Wilson and Steve Martin do it, it certainly is funny.

Black, Wilson and Martin star in the new comedy “The Big Year,” a story of three men attempting to have a big year, which is a “birding” term for watching as many species of birds possible within one calendar year.

Brad Harris (Black) is a working stiff who has one passion, birds. He saves up his money to travel around the United States to watch birds in hopes of breaking the world record of bird watching held by Kenny Bostick (Wilson).

On one of Harris’ trips he meets fellow “birder,” Stu Preissler (Martin), who is a successful businessman that’s afraid of retirement and to move on with life after work. Both Harris and Preissler suspect Bostick of cheating during the year, because no one sees the birds he claims to have seen.

Bostick becomes obsessed with the competition between himself, Preissler and Harris even goes as far as to ditch his wife when she really needs him. Once Harris and Ph realize that Bostick is getting serious about his big year they decided to team up to take Bostick’s title. One of the best parts of the movie was the narration by Black, it was witty and it filled the lack of dialogue between the three co-stars. Black, who is mostly known for his slapstick comedic style, had good jokes and great dialogue throughout the movie.

The only character that wasn’t really funny was Bostick, Wilson’s character. This was partly in result to how Wilson decided to portray the character, which was with a sense of arrogance and a type of cockiness. Although he wasn’t funny, Wilson still did a superb job playing that guy that everyone seems to want to punch.

The only bad thing about the film was that it didn’t get enough publicity, which is why it didn’t do so good opening day. It came in at number nine for the Oct. 14-16 weekend grossing in $3,325,000 according to the box office charts.

Also, the film has some good supporting actors and it seems like they didn’t have enough to do with the movie. Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) and Rashida Jones (The Office, Parks and Recreations) both came out in the movie, but they were not given enough attention throughout the movie. The movie, which was based off of the book “The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature and Fowl Obsession,” by Mark Obmascik, was rated PG which might have thrown off most people, because the three stars are usually known for their more raunchy humor.

The comedic timing of Martin and Black is apparent as it has always been and Wilson’s annoying shortcomings in the movie made something as mundane as bird watching into something hilarious.

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