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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: March 6: The Big Year


March 6: The Big Year

"Two bird enthusiasts try to defeat the cocky, cutthroat world record holder in a year-long bird-spotting competition."

   The Big Year is a very ordinary film about people with too much time and too much money traveling all around North America searching for hundreds of birds. As always, Steve Martin plays an insanely wealthy person with an expendable income to do whatever he pleases (see Father of the Bride, It's Complicated). Jack Black tags along as the (surprise) "every man" who's ultimate dream is to win The Big Year annual birding event. Owen Wilson is attempting the event in hopes of preventing anyone from breaking his record he set in a previous Big Year. The three are good in their respected roles, but the script and lack of story leave their characters very plain and "safe". The Big Year does have a lot of good footage of birds but mixes in a lot of seemingly unnecessary CGI. 

The rare and elusive aviario adreamworkus

   The Big Year is one of those movies you can only assume people agreed to do for the sake of traveling all around the continent and, of course, working with Steve Martin. Now, I can't hold anything against them because Martin is a legend and any time you could spend with him off camera has to be like hanging out with a silver-haired god of comedy. Yes, I believe Martin to be a national treasure. You know I am right. However, The Big Year does not showcase Martin and his talent as much as one would hope, but his likability, as well as Black's and Owen's, does lift the film above mediocrity. 

One can assume this immortal man will never leave us, but if he does, may he be enshrined. And, thousands will make the pilgrimage to see his remains. 

   Overall, The Big Year is the sweet kind of movie you can watch with your grandparents. It's safe and packs just enough chuckles to keep it somewhat interesting. The film really lacks any true story, as it really just jumps around with the characters and their attempts to find birds. What little story exists, is weak and predicable, but as a movie you do need to have some sort of plot to string every bit together. The film's nice to look at, and the locations make you want to travel on your own, but you can't help keep looking for something that's not there. The Big Year is average on all levels, but given the subject matter, one could assume it's the best it could be. 

The Good:
the film makes you realize nature is more than just plants and animals, and seeing people do what they do, simply because they love it is inspiring in a way
The Bad:
a very, very weak plot that constantly jumps around
The Ugly:
realizing Steve Martin still has it, and needs to do something amazing again

Overall: 6.3/10

Best Quote:
  1. Brad: "There is going to be major fall out."
  2. Bill: "Nuclear fallout?"
  3. Brad: "Bird fallout."

Listen for:
as many songs with the word bird in them as they could squeeze into a film

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