Movie Review: The Big Year

"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!"--Official Press Release

Owen Wilson: I do not like him. It's his nose. Yes, the superficiality catapults my thoughts into punching his face every time I see it.

Jack Black: I love-yet I want to tie him to a chair and force some downers down his gullet. It is hard to imagine having a calm, still, conversation with the man.

Steve Martin-Well, there is nothing wrong with him.

The previews did not provide enough for me to know what  The Big Year was about-from them I figured one of the main characters was terminally ill-like the Bucket List just with younger characters played  by comedians about birds. With that prefaced, here's what started the evening with the hubs, "Let's watch The Big Year so I can review it, but check on RedBox for a backup movie to watch after." Yep, superficial and judgmental.

We turned on The Big Year and when it ended both my hubs and I felt good. Not in a "I want to climb Mt. Everest I'm so motivated because of this flick" way.  In a "hey, no matter where we are in life right now we can still travel the path for our dreams."

WTF? Yes, I got that from this movie!

Quick Synopsis:
Owen's character as would be expected is an ass, he holds the record for the number of bird species viewed in a year, called "A Big Year". He will do anything to maintain that title. He is narcissistic, his family & career take second place to his desire for the spotlight and his dreams are darkened from the title he fights to keep,

Steve's character is an overachieving owner/CEO of a mega profitable corporation that he has coddled too much, his customers want him not "his people", an his people don't know what to do without him.  He has retired twice before but this time he is ready.  He retires, yet just a phone call away to encourage his underlings that they can do this.  An avid bird watcher his dream is to go on A Big Year.  His wife fully supports him, nearly pushes him out the door, and he sets off-quite comfortably.

Jack's character is a divorced computer programmer who is infatuated with all things birds. He puts in way too many hours in his cubicle, is taken advantage of by his boss, is close with his mom and his dad seems a bit ashamed of his son's life and the whole bird thing. Jack's character needs A Big Year, he needs to fulfill a dream so his life can move on to better.  His credit cards maxed, his mom underwrites his trips and on weekends he sets out to not fail at one thing in his life...while sometimes sleeping in his car.

As you may guess, the three of them nearly immediately cross paths while following the most coveted of bird species and it is there the movie unfolds.  It is steady paced and level.  Your adrenaline doesn't pump and your tears don't flow.  The actors become their characters and you find yourself not rooting for any but enjoying watching their Big Year unfold.  When you push eject is when the smile creeps on your face and you realize--this IS a good movie.

Its a feel good movie with out fluff and yes, I do recommend it as a nice family night film.

Here's more from the official Press Release:

Let the fowl play begin!  Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment presents the story of a competitive trio who quickly turn a simple quest into the ultimate competition whenTHE BIG YEAR spreads its wings on Blu-ray and DVD January 31.

Directed by David Frankel (The Devil Wears PradaMarley & Me) and featuring outrageous supporting performances from Joel McHale (“Community”), Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”), Angelica Huston (50/50), Dianne Wiest (“In Treatment”),Brian Dennehy (The Next Three Days), Rashida Jones (“Parks and Recreation”), Kevin Pollak (Red State) and Anthony Anderson (Scream 4), THE BIG YEAR Blu-ray is loaded with special features including the theatrical and extended editions of the film, over 40 minutes of deleted scenes and the featurette “The Big Migration.”  The Blu-ray combo pack and single-disc DVD will be available for an average retail price of $29.99 and $19.99 respectively.  Prebook is January 4, 2012.

THE BIG YEAR Blu-ray Special Features
  • Extended Feature Film
  • “The Big Migration” featurette
  • Deleted Scenes              
    • Roger Tory Peterson
    • Bird Behavior
    • Stu Late for Boat, Bird Puns with Brad & Ellie, Stu Gets Bostick’s Autograph
    • Longer Boat End, Dock, Pretzels & Skippy
    • Nozzle Theft and Other Newscasters
    • Longer Cars to HI
    • Cereal Rat with Talk
    • Lanky Birder Makes Time with Ellie
    • Stu’s Summer Montage with Fire Island Fauna
    • Bostick Returns Home
    • Long Pelagic
    • Bostick Goes to China
  • Gag Reel

About Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LLC
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, LLC (TCFHE) is a recognized global industry leader and a subsidiary of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, a News Corporation company. Representing 75 years of innovative and award-winning filmmaking from Twentieth Century Fox, TCFHE is the worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox film and television programming, acquisitions and original productions on DVD, Blu-ray Disc Digital Copy, Video On Demand and Digital Download. The company also releases all products globally for MGM Home Entertainment. Each year TCFHE introduces hundreds of new and newly enhanced products, which it services to retail outlets from mass merchants and warehouse clubs to specialty stores and e-commerce throughout the world.

*I received a free copy of this movie from Fox Home Entertainment/Think Jam in return for an honest, upfront review. No monies or specified expectations for the review were exchanged.*

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