Birdemic: Shock and Terror
- Street Date:
- February 22nd, 2011
- Reviewed by:
- Nate Boss
- Review Date: 1
- August 18th, 2011
- Movie Release Year:
- 93 Minutes
- MPAA Rating:
- Release Country
- United States
The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take
Anyone could tell by the trailer to 'Birdemic: Shock and Terror' that good things were not right around the corner, and that the film's only value would be in its unintentional comedy due to the extreme amounts of ineptitude on display from the actors and the writer/director. But nothing, absolutely nothing could have prepared me for this. I don't think I've ever seen a film that took itself this seriously be this awful. This isn't camp fare, where the film pokes fun at itself with its cheap and shoddy effects and poor acting. It's as if writer/director/DP/producer James Nguyen didn't realize he was possibly the worst writer/director in history. How many takes did each scene require? How did the actors say their lines with straight faces, without the desire to gut punch the man who is responsible for destroying their acting careers before they even take off?
In the same fashion as Aaron Peck covered 'Blood Out,' the awful 50 Cent / Val Kilmer film of the month, this review will not be so much a review as it is a chronicle, a live journal bearing smarmy testament to my pain as I sit through this film again. Yes, I know, that's the true sign of a massochist. There may not be a better way to discuss this film, as there's so many things done so horribly, horribly wrong, that no traditional review, no matter its length, can bring up all the shortcomings and massive failures that await any viewer of this film.
Please note, just like with 'Blood Out,' spoilers will be found throughout the coverage of this title. If you actually want to see this film (masochist) and don't want a single failure...I mean, facet of it revealed to you, please skip ahead to the technical portions of the review by clicking on the links in the star ratings box found above. And no, that isn't a loading error on the star ratings box. Those are the scores. Why oh why did this title get reviewed? Honestly, I thought I had a valid reason/excuse when I started this project. I can't remember what it was. Maybe someone pissed me off and I wanted to inflict pain on others. Anyways, read on to find out a scene by scene reaction, or play the film and keep track of the blog's notes, see if you agree or not. Either way...
Get ready to get shocked and terrorized!
00:50: Holy shit, how did I get a VHS into my Playstation 3's disc slot? Oh...
01:40: So, why the creepy, slow dreary music when all we're seeing is what some guy is seeing when driving his blue Ford Mustang? Shouldn't someone driving such a rocking car be playing hard metal or driving faster than 15 MPH?
02:37: Wait, why does it say "Supporting Casts?" I don't get it. Were there multiple casts? Is this a typo, and it should be "Supporting Cats?" Will they be the secret weapon against the birds?
03:50: Isn't the phrase "out of the woods now" supposed to mean you're in the clear, and everything is easy from here out? Because we're finally out of the woods, and soon we'll have to hear people talk.
04:30: Is it a global warming message that blue Mustang guy parks so far away from where he is going and walks like ten minutes to get there? Or is he just that damn cheap? Why doesn't he bicycle around?
04:38: Oh shit, he's walking like the Terminator. Watch out!!!
04:52: It's really nice that Nguyen cast ventriloquists in this film. They're really hurting for money and work these days. Just watch their lips, they're so perfectly still when we hear their words!
05:13: Of all the gin joints in all the world...why am I not in them, watching this instead? ...That was a 'Casablanca' joke. I'm trying to keep my brain from shutting off by thinking about better films.
05:27: Did someone hit the mic, or rip something foul? The look on Mustang guy (yep, that's his name from hereon out)'s face makes me wonder.
05:52: You haven't even ordered, and you're already dine and ditching? Premature egress-ulator! Wait, he's following that girl. That seems pretty creepy, really.
06:17: Mustang guy asks the girl he's stalking if she went to a certain high school, which she did. Next question: so, are you from around here? Wait, what?!?! Haven't you already established geographic proximity, pal?! Is your real name Redundant McJerkface?
07:06: Clingy, much? You just chased after her, she escaped your creepy stalker crap just ten seconds ago, and you're already chasing after her again?!
07:17: Is it normal to exchange cards on introductions to potential mates? If so, do you think I should instead bring a 1991 Hoops Mookie Blaylock rookie card, or just one with my name? I think it shows a lot about my personality when I represent M-M-M-M-M-Mookie!
07:38: Whoa! A Flock of Seagulls was found dead! I loved that one song! Oh, the newscaster meant the actual animals. She also said a crow was found dead, but that was like in 1993.
07:58: "The population of polar bears is rapidly declining due to the melting of sea ice." Did he mean to say polar ice caps? O_o
08:35: I feel like I should be writing a historically important novel. This music is so inspiring! Mustang guy wasted it just getting into his car. I'll get started on it now.
09:10: Can Chevron sue to get their name removed from this film, or are they so hard up for a refill that they let people film on their property in exchange for the promise to buy 10 gallons of gas? Wait...how many other films do we really need to see a guy gassing up his car? Oh lord, I hope we don't see any bathroom breaks that are "essential to the plot."
10:41: My novel is finished. Off to go get it edited! I work fast when inspired, and that music really did the trick!
11:00: "What does it take to win your business, sir? Mmmm hmmm, mmm hmmm....ok, I'll give you that and 50% discount. Can we close the deal today?" Geez, he sounds like that one guy in that 'Seinfeld' episode...Serenity now...Serenity now.
11:22: Wait, that sale was for $1 million dollars? In essence, it could have been for $2 million if it weren't for Mustang guy giving away the farm? What else did he agree to, when he was just nodding in agreement? The skull of his boss's daughter? The mineral rights to Alaska? Free Jalepeno Cheetos for life?
11:28: Wait, wait, wait...why is there only one cubicle in the office? Is Mustang guy on time out due to creeping out the female employees? Isn't that like inefficient if they run the air conditioner, and what about the lighting? Isn't this film about global warming?
12:01: Ah, on to the My Studio 1 Hour Photo strip mall joint, where the gal Mustang guy is stalking has a modeling audition. Wearing various traditional Asian garb. Seriously, I bet I could get her on my casting couch, and have that garb off her in ten minutes flat. Hey that gives me an idea for a website!
12:19: Damn, someone is already using that angle. I suppose my foray into gonzo porn directing will have to wait. Maybe I should get a van and drive around...
12:20-12:49: Establishing shot for Dream Models, where Model gal works. That's her new name, deal with it. So, this secretary who has no piles of paper or filing system on her desk calls up Model gal, and informs her Victoria's Secret wants her to become their "cover girl model." Man, they must really like the way bleach blondes look in traditional Vietnamese garb...but don't they do, you know, lingerie modeling, not ridiculous excessive amounts of clothes modeling out of strip malls? Maybe now she can afford pants without holes in them!
Random thought: Doesn't it seem the world is falling in the laps of these two attractive young people? They're the best at what they do!
13:38: Oh goodness, he's staring at the business card and calling her on his cell phone. Doesn't Mustang guy know about address books in his phone? Just save it in case he loses the card, you know, as a precautionary measure?
14:28: Did we really need to cutaway to Mustang guy just for him to say "Thanks." Do we really need back and forth for every line of wooden dialogue?
14:48: Did Mustang guy really just mispronounce "Vietnamese?" And wait a minute, she was just modeling their clothes, and he's saying they should eat their food. I seriously think he may have been in the ceiling tiles watching her model, making sweet love to himself. I'm officially creeped out.
15:22: When playing basketball, it is advised to not dribble the ball higher than your head. It makes you look like a kindergartner.
15:58: Random Basketball Playing Friend tells Mustang guy, after finding out his stalker friend has a date, "I hope you score with her." Two things come to mind: One, maybe RBPF has a sister that Mustang guy has been stalking, and hopes he latches onto and eventually murders someone else, and two, if Mustang guy can't score playing basketball, what chance does he have with a Victoria's Secret "covergirl model?!?!"
16:24: So the company the two guys work for may get bought out, and they may become millionaires. Let's see, will attractive white male who gets everything he wants get rich, too? C'mon Nguyen, throw me a curve, have his stock drop to pennies and have him take Model gal to dinner in the dumpster behind the Vietnamese joint.
17:07: Bwahahahaha! The news is advertising a "green" racing event, where the cars will all be driven by "Hollywood celebrities." Holy shit is this Nguyen guy funny!
17:36: Don't scoff at 20 G's to install solar panels, Mustang guy. Your commissions on that million dollar sale should be more than enough!
18:11: Oh man, he's already haggling! You're going to be a millionaire in probably fifteen minutes, you just made a million dollar sale, don't hurt the commissions of the solar panel guy, you insensitive jerk!
18:51: Have you noticed the lack of extras in almost every scene so far? And why does the Vietnamese joint's door say they open at :00 am on Mon-Thur and :30 am on Fri-Sun? If they open at infinity some days, when exactly is infinity:30?
19:42: While the characters explain their histories to each other (I'm amazed they didn't bring resumes, considering they exchange information with business cards), now is the perfect time to go grab a drink or use the head. No, don't pause the film. Don't prolong it, man. You're missing nothing.
20:40: I considered making a joke as though I was using voice recognition to write this review, and forgot to turn the mic off while I followed my own advice and went to the restroom. That gag works better in audio reviews than it does in text.
22:35: The first birds in the film appear. They're pretty peaceful, and fly in a perfectly straight line, really, really slowly, so slow, in fact, I don't see how they are capable of maintaining flight. The film is ruined. This ignorance of physics is just too much.
22:50: Oh god, the birds now look like they're all romancing the cherry blossom tree they latched onto, and by romancing I mean having hot dirty sex with. Why? Why must they do that?! Why can't I look away?!
Random thought: By keeping my status bar on for this viewing for time stamps blocking part of the screen, this film is effectively 10 percent less awful.
24:25: Post-date line while at her doorstep: "Can't I come in?" "Not on the first date...I'm not that kind of girl." Wow, I was right about that whole clingy stalker thing. I wonder if he builds a toenail clipping shrine to her later that night. I bet he does.
25:03: You know what they say about girls and their mothers, what they look like when they grow older. No wonder Mustang guy isn't around for brunch!
26:33: Can this scene end via bird attack? It's been twenty six minutes, already, and so far the only birds we've seen do nothing but hump trees. I see the terror part of the title, but not the shock part.
27:05: Sex scene? Sex scene? Wait, why is there a white poster in RBPF's bedroom with a website's URL and nothing else?
27:22: Hey, bikini clad girl in sex scene with RBPF: Paris Hilton can answer the phone and record herself having sex. You stop everything, still clothed, and grab your phone. Amateur.
28:40: From sex scene to board room meeting. Natural transition. Blank paper and Arrowhead water: the only tools you'll ever need in any meeting... Oh no, the company sold for a billion dollars. Damn it so much, now Mustang guy is rich through stock options! Why must everything work in his favor! Why can't he struggle like a normal human being?!
31:41: Bikini clad phone answering sex scene blocking girl (don't worry if you can't remember the name, she dies before she has another line. Wait, is that a spoiler?) is now wearing a shirt with that damn URL from the bedroom. Does that mean it was her room? Does she not care that plain white shirts with black advertising text on them are unflattering?
32:07: "We've got to get back to work...you know, sensual work..." RBPF, you have game. I should hire him on my website. He can help coerce the girls into the van!
32:30: What, you mean there's already a porn site that does that, too? Oh come on! Next you're going to tell me the boat angle is taken, too!
33:13: Wait a minute. Mustang guy is pitching people on a solar panel company investment with a crappy slideshow, and he just said there's no more need for $20 thousand solar panels. If he knew so much about solar panel technology, why did he buy one for 20...sorry, 19 thousand? Can't forget that money he screwed the hardworking everyman out of, despite making millions of dollars...
Random thought: Mustang guy got a role in the next Clint Eastwood film. Figure that one out...
35:50: Model gal and Mustang guy are at a street faire for a date, and focus on a picture of a sun and moon making out. You know what that means, right? No, they're not about to have sex. It means they have horrible taste in art, and are a couple of yuppies who have the world fall in their lap. Although a fade cut to a sex scene would have worked wonders.
38:55: The first eagle makes an appearance. It looks like it was eaten by a dog. Wait a minute, Model girl wants to touch a mangled dead bird on a beach? I can tell she had to get a career based on looks, not brains... That won't work well for her as she ages and looks like her mom.
40:38: I just watched the last scene at 1.5x speed to make up for the fact that doing play by play adds a good hour to the runtime.
44:00: Awesomeness has a new name.
44:29: Wait, wait, wait, what the hell. Top tier talent like Damien Carter shows up, hangs out with the family, and has himself a good time, and there's no one in the restaurant but our two main characters and him? Advertise a free concert, Nguyen, fill those sets damn it!
44:39: After a nice date and some Damien Carter, why not take your lovely young lady to the sleaziest hotel in history? Corpse outlines, cockroaches, and stained everything is soooooo sexy. You know you can totally seal the deal by making her think you're the only clean thing in the room, so she has to nuzzle up real close...
45:45: It's proper etiquette, after forty five minutes of 'Birdemic' to slip the bra off her entirely, not just a strap part way. I feel cheated. Used.
46:01: It begins. Random footage of random areas, with a left to right pan, and no audio whatsoever. Such a serene morning. All is right with the world, Mustang guy lost his virginity.
47:11: IT'S ON! THE FILM FINALLY STARTED! My ears are bleeding from the zero to one hundred volume spike, my eyes are bleeding from the special effects, and my wrists have been bleeding since about the 30:00 mark. Punch me in the face so I can bleed out of four places at once!
47:12: Yep, an update taking place one second after the last. A bird just dive bombed a building, kamikaze style. And it blew up. The bird was a suicide bomber!
47:18: Another suicide bird attack. Why, why weren't we warned?! What did we ever do to them?! How long have they been hiding these powers?!
47:30: Wait, this isn't making any sense. Aside from the dive bombing jihad eagles, why are the birds staying still, hovering? Are they waiting for targets to dive bomb?
47:37: Mustang guy and Model gal, look out! They're outside your sleazy hotel room! They know you just committed a sin, and are here to hawk block you! Hawk block!!!
48: 06: Oh dang, how long has that bird been at the window? Here I was thinking it was you making all those hot screeching sounds. Does that mean you really weren't as satisfied as I thought you were?
48:29: After trying a landline, Mustang guy tries his cell phone, putting it up to his ear. "Batteries dead" he says. So, since when does one put a cell phone up to their ear to find out the battery charge level?
49:06: Barricading a window that's taller than your mattress with said mattress doesn't stop birds from breaking the glass and getting through. In fact, the birds stop trying to get through immediately when the bedding blocks the window, despite the blinds being closed. So...what the hell is that?
49:48: Less than a minute later, they're gone, everyone is dressed. Do you suppose they object to millionaire stalkers and Victoria's Secret "covergirl models" in various states of undress?
50:17: After running past various bottom floor rooms, our two leads knock on a door that gets instantly opened. Why didn't they try any of the others?
50:33: Mustang guy says he can't drive away, he lost his keys somewhere. After a long sweaty sex session. I really shouldn't correlate these two things, but I can't help it. I'm also really disturbed, more at his lack of keeping track of his possessions than the potential use of keys as sex aides.
50:44: "We need something to protect ourselves!" Cut away to a shot of hotel room guy grabbing a big pile of coat hangers.
51:21: After flailing at five hovering hawks with coat hangers, to no effect, as the birds don't seem hurt, what would be your next move?
51:34: If you guessed flail wildly some more, you win!
51:40: Just hangin' out, just hangin' out, hangin' out with wire hangers, gotta go kill us some birds!
Random thought: This film took four years to make. Longest bowel movement ever.
52:17: Wait a minute, where the hell did an automatic weapon come from? Are you telling me these people didn't once mention guns in a van while looking for weapons in the hotel room? That getting to the van and shooting the shit out of the birds wasn't their first plan? And there's a pistol, too?
52:40: "Hey, there's dead people on the side of the road. Let's see if there's any survivors." O_o
54:00: Wait, there was a kid locked in a trunk? Oh my god, the birds are heroes, they killed a kidnapping pedophile!!! What if the birds were, in fact, the good guys and our lead actors are killing them for delivering vigilante justice?!
54:50: So how much ammo is in that gun, anyways? Every burst of fire sounds like between three to seven bullets, and we've heard spraying for about two minutes straight now...
56:50: When looting, it's best to go for all of the alcoholic beverages, not the pre-made convenience store sandwiches. Those things are made from rat meat. I'd know.
59:57: Is it just me, or does that doctor on the bridge at first sound like Norm MacDonald?
1:02:00: I'm sorry, I was too busy burning fossil fuels to hear this part of the film. Was it important? Was there a message?
1:02:44: Wait, human beings are the dangerous animals? Human beings are clawing people's eyes out, exploding on impact with the ground, and all of that? I thought it was a bunch of birds.
1:03:31: Gun toting hotel guy: "Where's Becky (Model gal)?" Mustang guy: "She's taking a shit." Classier dialogue has never been heard.
1:03:46: Did the guy toting a giant gun, who has been killing birds all day, just ask why we don't give peace a chance? Oh, the irony.
1:04:06: Death by bird while pooping. That definitely goes on the resume. Poor random girlfriend of gun toting hotel guy...
Random thought: Did you notice Model gal not once mentioned her mom in this growing crisis? Even the brain dead softcore porn 'High School of the Dead' had characters who thought of people other than themselves!
1:06:50: Off to save some poor folks stranded in a double decker bus, and by save them, I mean shoot guns directly at them. Gun safety, folks. Gun safety.
1:08:19: Did those birds just puke all over the three bus people and GTHG, or am I being generous as to what kind of fluid that was?
1:08:52: Bird vomit/feces = deadly. So, first off, that rescue mission really didn't work according to plan. Secondly, if these birds could not only dive bomb, but also spray liquid death, why aren't they doing then when they hover innocuously over vehicles or near characters swinging at them with wire hangers?
1:09:28: Only twenty four minutes to go, including credits.
1:10:23: One hundred dollars a gallon for gas. That's outrageous! That's a rip off! Fine, I'll take ten gallons!
1:11:05: Two children stare at candy bars they pick out of a shelf for approximately ten seconds before deciding those are, indeed, the ones they want. Literacy, making trips to the convenience store that much more convenient.
1:11:20: Just gassin' up, just gassin' up, gassin' up my Aerostar, this cost a lot of money!
1:11:28: Only twenty two minutes to go, including credits.
1:13:30: Little known fact: the man lying dead from the bird slash to his neck was a method actor. Rest in peace, you maverick renegade...
1:14:00: I just realized I haven't made a single Michael Vick/Philadelphia Eagles joke yet in this live blog. Consider me embarrassed. To be fair, though, unless you're a dog you have nothing to fear.
1:15:15: A shot of the survivors filling empty Arrowhead water bottles in a creek.
1:15:25: This should have been a shot of someone urinating into said creek.
1:16:15: Some guy lives in a poorly photoshopped treehouse, and, amazingly, isn't wearing a marijuana t-shirt. Is this film like some weird iteration of 'A Christmas Carol,' where the survivors run into the ghosts of 'Birdemic' past, present, and future or some shit? Why do they keep running into people and having the weirdest conversations?!
1:16:53: Hippy guy says the birds are going after people in cars and gas stations. So why were they trying to kill our two leads after they had sex in the motel room? Insert fuel nozzle, pump, or premium/unleaded joke here.
1:19:21: Worst forest fire ever. These yuppy bastards could put it out instead of running away it's so small (at least at this point). Yeah, real responsible-like.
1:21:09: The return of bikini-clad girl and RBPF! And we know it's her, she's still wearing her URL t-shirt!
1:21:55: You mean gas isn't as unlimited as bullets? Oh, there's a fishing rod and stove in the back of the van the main characters have been riding in for the last thirty-plus minutes! How'd those get there?!
1:23:00: I'm hoping for an ending straight out of 'The Mist,' despite having seen the film already.
1:23:54: A real bird! There's a real bird in the film! For once it isn't just Nguyen flipping us the bird!
1:26:55: Finally out of bullets. For those of you keeping count, that was a three hundred seventy five bullet capacity magazine.
1:28:00: Look! The non-descript computer birds flying in exact formation with only a few ever flapping their wings are leaving! We survived the day!
1:31:00: The film ends, our last sight the survivors staring at the ocean, the birds flying away. Of course, it would be fitting if another flock of birds followed their friends to sea, and on their way killed the survivors, who stopped defending themselves.
Closing thought: Someone already said it so much better, so why not give him credit?
The Video: Sizing Up the Picture
Yes, dear readers, this is a High-Def Digest first, a zero star video rating. Sure, there are other titles out there that deserve a similar star rating (particularly the Koch release of 'Gulliver's Travels') , but according to the wonderful cinemasquid.com, out of over 2,500 titles reviewed (splitting box sets into individual entries), we have ourselves our first zero picture score for a Blu-ray. What makes 'Birdemic: Shock and Terror' so ugly on Blu-ray? I'd say we have about 93 minutes of proof on that one (coincidentally, that's the runtime of the entire film...go figure!), but let's dissect this "1080p" transfer, shall we?
The flaws in this picture are so plentiful, there's no way to logically sort through them. The entire picture is so damned awful, to varying degrees, that it's hard to say what's truly the worst element. Picture depth is entirely non-existent. Perhaps that's why the sequel is supposedly in 3D, because the lack of depth was the only issue with the film in its entirety... Artifacts. You all love those, right? Well, they're around every corner, in every damn shot. That's about right. Every corner, every shot. Noise is horrific, aliasing beyond staggering, with any line that isn't perfectly straight looking like a 16 bit video game attempt to make a believable handrail, instead creating a staircase. Colors are all over the place, bleeding like a stuck pig, then muted, with blacks so bright they are in reality a mid-level grey. The opening camera shot, the driving sequence, it really tells the tale, as the car doesn't have clearly defined outlines, smudging up over the console into the road and woods randomly, like it were some sort of amorphous being. Skies have no consistency, ranging from a nuclear white that looks like the area had the bomb dropped on them just minutes earlier, to green, grey, and all varying shades of blue. It's bad, it's really bad. Signs on the road are mostly unreadable, no matter how large they are, they're so horrifically blocked and unclear. Tires on vehicles look like something you'd see on a dollar store plastic toy. Skin tones are half orange, half human, afflicted by any slight change in lighting. Chroma fringing? That's putting it lightly. Hell, there's probably more fringe than their is proper coloring. And what about black crush? Characters and objects blend into their surroundings if they're not wearing a completely contrasting article of clothing. Rod's shirt in the diner literally is absorbed by the wall behind him. You can't tell if that's a button, or some kind of rock on a necklace, clarity is that bad.
So, that's a really long paragraph, right? Well, I wanted all that together for one simple reason: that's just all the issues found in the first five minutes of the film. In 300 seconds, all of that goes wrong. Take that in for a second.
Right after the five minute mark (ugh), Rod gets up, and get this, his shirt is actually blue. It's blue. I had no damn idea up to this point. Edges are horrific due to some ringing and constant bleeding, sometimes of random colors that make no sense. The picture can go amazingly soft (softer than the already soft standard), with horribly fuzzy shots. Contrast? What the hell is that? If this film taught me anything, it's that pink and green are supposed to blend together into one coherent color. What? I'm wrong? Random edges dance with black lines, again showing the lack of clearly defined boundaries. Speaking of boundaries, the Dream Models receptionist stands out from her scene like a cutout against the natural background, like she were added in after the fact in a bad CG green screen effect. Sadly, she wasn't. The black solar power salesman has a massive, massive blue outline inside his face, like he had some weird tattoo or skin disease. He's part smurf!
At this point...the CG effects come in to the picture. This wouldn't be 'Birdemic' if they didn't hover awkwardly in shots, never clearly in them, staying static in a kinetic picture. Pans in the infamous pre-shitstorm, the tranquil random shots before all Birdemic breaks loose stutter horribly. Now, the film is covered in hovering non-descript birds with horrific aliasing, that randomly disappear and shift in shot. Brown hair suddenly turns green. The entire picture randomly shifts one direction or another. The world ends around you, and you don't notice, you're so distracted by the horrible, horrible video in front of you.
But hey, at least banding wasn't ever an issue. The fact that there's no contrast, clarity, or definition to the picture may have something to do with that, though. Welcome the world's first no-definition Blu-ray, and be scared, be very scared: imagine the DVD.
The Audio: Rating the Sound
So, the sound...yeah, it sounds wonderful. Take the first line of the film, for example. Our coat hanger using hero man walks into a diner, and a waitress greets him. The room goes silent. Is she the one? Is this some incoming slow motion moment, only without proper soundtrack clearance due to the fact that this film has a budget smaller than my monthly toilet paper bill? No. It's not. The audio drops out, and dialogue is crudely inserted in, forcibly , with no concern of matching room dynamics, timing of lips, pitch, volume level, and so on, and so on.
This is the story of the audio for 'Birdemic.' This one scene, these very first lines, they tell the tale. Dialogue can be damn near impossible to comprehend at times, not due to distortion or background static (I maintain that Nguyen's idea of a recording studio is a car in the middle of traffic), which are both more ever present than acting talent in the film, but due to how horrible line readings are, how rushed they are, mumbled, stumbled, murmured, /you name it. Horrible crackles in pops in the middle of scenes? What would any film be without them!? Random whirring noises in the background and changing background ambience levels from line to line? What's wrong with that?
All right, there's plenty more reasons to hate the audio. It may be easier to just list them at this point.
Random volume spikes that demand a hand near the volume control on your remote.
Music that doesn't hit every channel consistently.
Awful prioritization that buries elements of the sound in most every sequence.
Huge gaps in audio for transition shots.
The screeching of CG birds that sounds like a terrible discord, where two notes are so close together that they don't blend in harmony, but clash.
The same three to four bird sounds repeated over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.
Lines that cut out mid-sentence. "Use these to..." to what?!
Gunfire bursts blend into a single sound, no distinction between the rat and the atatatatatat that follow automatic weapon fire.
Random lines sound like they're being blurted out of a megaphone. Take the bus scene as an example. This is not exaggeration.
Timing on thumps on the bird corpses hitting the ground often delayed.
Miscued music cues that stutter and start over. What the hell kind of crap is that?!
Just hangin' out, hangin' out, hangin' out with my family, havin' ourselves a party. Just hangin' out, hangin' out, hangin' out with my family, havin' ourselves a party! Young ladies are doing their makeup, and the brothers can't wait to hook up, Jill Scott's on the radio, and I hear somebody say hello (hello!)
I hate to do this, but I have to give the audio on this release at least part of a point. This almost-concession was solely due to the score of the film, you know, the one element that wasn't a complete and utter turkey. Get it? That's a bird. Anyways, the facts that it hits the high notes nicely, fills the room, and even has some thump beneath it requires I give this disc some points, finally...before taking them away when even it leapt around awkwardly mid-song in volume and pitch levels.
Epic. Fail. DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1? Bwahahahahahahahaha-*deep intake*-hahahahahahaha
The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff
All of the extras on this release are found on the DVD.
- Audio Commentary - With James Nguyen. This track is awkward, as it was recorded at various times, it seems, and edited together, as Nguyen sometimes talks over Nguyen. Maybe he cloned himself, so he can make two shitty films at once. He sells himself way too high, calling his work "a romantic thriller" over and over, and takes himself so seriously and treats this like such an accomplishment. I mean, I guess people are proud of their crap, more than a few sites have proven as much (such as ratemy...), but this is just too much. If you can't take the guy seriously, who cares what he says?
- Audio Commentary - With Alan Bagh, Whitney Moore, and Bobby Hacker. These participants are less full of themselves and/or shit, so the track is easier to listen to. Bagh mentions Nguyen used PCP, though the others quickly say PVC...so there goes that theory! They talk about their "casting" (which didn't involve couches, just an overly enthusiastic guy who offered them roles within a few minutes), the fact they couldn't fix the broken English in the script, and, let's be frank, they make fun of the film nonstop. This is the best part of the disc, bar none.
- Deleted Scene- Cave (HD, 1 min) - With optional commentary by Nguyen. This scene features the young boy being missing suddenly, and he supposedly ran away from some eagles, into a cave. This is obviously a play on the classic claymation and animated adventures where dinosaurs and other large beasts can't reach in far enough to reach their prey. Hey James? Eagles can fly into caves you know.
- Deleted Scene- Taking a $#!& (HD, 1 min) - The young actress breaks character and laughs for five seconds...before Nguyen says cut.
- Birdemic Experience Tour Featurette (HD, 12 min) - This film actually screened in 60 cities? He also appears in Q&A sessions with the cast, and we get plenty more of the awesome soundtrack, about hangin' out, just hangin' out. There's also looks at how Nguyen advertised the film, terrorizing Sundance with a van coated in blood with ads, including one that misspells the film "Bidemic" (which are the ones advertising the website, www.birdemic.com). Raff out roud? You betcha.
- James Nguyen on "Movie Close Up" (HD, 27 min) - What better way to interview a horribly amateur director than to get a horribly amateur interviewer? I turned this one off as soon as the interview said the film looked reminiscent to something...referring to Hitchcock. We're done here.
- MOVIEHEAD: The James Nguyen Story Teaser (HD, 1 min) - This is...nothing. Fitting.
- Birdemic Experience Trailer (HD, 2 min) - A mock trailer for upcoming screenings.
- Teaser Trailer (HD, 2 min) - A trailer for the film, focusing solely on the serene scenes then the actual Birdemic. A real quick way to get someone to run for the hills, this.
- Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2 min) - A more traditional trailer, replete with voiceover. Including the rock song Birdemic, which is awesome.
- Electronic Press Kit (HD, 2 min) - Severin's produced promo for the film. Just more of the same, but with the origins of the film included.
HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?
The lone high-def exclusive here is fact that you're paying more money for a disc that resembles a VCD than you would the DVD.
No, I'm done here. I'm done. Period. What? I have to write this section? Fine, but I'm doing it begrudgingly, damn it!
So, before this review, you say you never heard of 'Birdemic?' Please, please don't hold me liable for now implanting the idea that you should ever watch this film. If you read my review, you know I'd never wish that upon even my worst enemies. This disc is awful, this film is awful in every aspect, and not in the "so awful it's good" way. If James Nguyen were seven years old, I'd say good job, little guy. But he isn't. For that, I say, shame on you, you talentless hack. Imagine this one doesn't exist, folks. It's not worth the time it takes to watch, even if you get it for free.
I'm ashamed to admit I've viewed this film three times now. Once when I got it, and realized I had to review it, once to do the video/audio take, and once again to do play by play, a task I didn't want to do when also jotting notes for the presentation. Like California's Three Strikes law, three viewings, and my sense of self worth is gone for good.
- BD25 disc
- "1080p"/AVC MPEG-4
- English "DTS-HD Master Audio" 5.1
- English Dolby Digital 2.0
- Audio commentary with Director James Nguyen
- Audio commentary with Stars Alan Bagh and Whitney Moore
- Deleted scenes
- Birdemic Experience Tour featurette
- James Nguyen on "Movie Close Up"
- Moviehead: The James Nguyen Story teaser & Birdemic Experience 2010 trailer
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