Pretty Bird Reviews

  • May 19, 2019

    characters with character that engage, excellent choice of actors, pleasant movie music, production easy on the eyes, truly a nice an inspiring watch

    characters with character that engage, excellent choice of actors, pleasant movie music, production easy on the eyes, truly a nice an inspiring watch

  • Dec 01, 2018

    Excellent first half, terrible second half. The plot went nowhere, and a good start was ruined.

    Excellent first half, terrible second half. The plot went nowhere, and a good start was ruined.

  • Jan 31, 2018

    Modest, minor, and harmless, Pretty Bird is pretty funny. The cast is odd and ambitious, each actor trying something a little unorthodox for them, not risky necessarily, but the performances are definitely different and solid. Paul Giamatti and Billy Crudup are both amusing in their roles, especially when they play off each other, which happens often because the story revolves around their equally quirky characters butting heads. The screenplay for Pretty Bird was a hit on the blacklist but as a film it was a dud at Sundance (among other festivals) and never received a theatrical release and for the first hour I was watching it I couldn't figure out why. It was well paced, likable, and had that mainstream appeal. It wasn't until the third act began that it quickly became apparent as to why this movie never took off (inside joke/pun intended.) Still, the third act isn't bad, just the ending, which lacked resolve. Pretty Bird manages to maintain its tone for the most part but loses its steam in the last 30 minutes and just kind of wanders, which is odd, because the film could have gone in at least a dozen other directions that would have resulted in a more satisfying/sensible conclusion. For actor turned director Paul Schneider (aka pseudo Jim from Parks and Recreation)'s directorial debut, Pretty Bird is successful in its own right, but let's be honest, it's textbook indie stuff.

    Modest, minor, and harmless, Pretty Bird is pretty funny. The cast is odd and ambitious, each actor trying something a little unorthodox for them, not risky necessarily, but the performances are definitely different and solid. Paul Giamatti and Billy Crudup are both amusing in their roles, especially when they play off each other, which happens often because the story revolves around their equally quirky characters butting heads. The screenplay for Pretty Bird was a hit on the blacklist but as a film it was a dud at Sundance (among other festivals) and never received a theatrical release and for the first hour I was watching it I couldn't figure out why. It was well paced, likable, and had that mainstream appeal. It wasn't until the third act began that it quickly became apparent as to why this movie never took off (inside joke/pun intended.) Still, the third act isn't bad, just the ending, which lacked resolve. Pretty Bird manages to maintain its tone for the most part but loses its steam in the last 30 minutes and just kind of wanders, which is odd, because the film could have gone in at least a dozen other directions that would have resulted in a more satisfying/sensible conclusion. For actor turned director Paul Schneider (aka pseudo Jim from Parks and Recreation)'s directorial debut, Pretty Bird is successful in its own right, but let's be honest, it's textbook indie stuff.

  • Nov 14, 2015

    The reviews here seem to be basing this film on the criteria reserved for mainstream BS and therefore miss the point entirely. The performances in this film are incredible. Crudup and Giamatti are both absolutely outstanding, and the supports are right there with them.

    The reviews here seem to be basing this film on the criteria reserved for mainstream BS and therefore miss the point entirely. The performances in this film are incredible. Crudup and Giamatti are both absolutely outstanding, and the supports are right there with them.

  • Jul 08, 2015

    This movie made no sense. A complete waste of talent.

    This movie made no sense. A complete waste of talent.

  • Sep 18, 2013

    Just saw an edited TV version of it. I have to say, forget about watching it for entertainment. Although it is fictional, I think it is like a documentary in a way. I would disagree a bit with the movie info. The "fast-talking rainmaker" is more of a wannabe, a guy with a dream but nothing to advance it with except what he's learned from motivational books (which he doesn't really understand anyway) and some talent for putting up a false image (lying). "His wealthy acquaintance" is a guy with a mattress business and some space to spare. He seems to have been close to the shyster at one time and comes to regard him as his one real friend, and there are hints he'd like to be, uh, more than just a friend, but the feeling isn't mutual. Still, he supports Prentiss without reservation, without looking before leaping. Prentiss searches for a "genius" and tempts the reluctant rocket engineer to join by showing him some plans which may or may not have been obtained without permission by the owner... or might be just materials available at public libraries (rocket belts have been around for awhile, they just don't have any practical use due to severely limited time in the air: 15-30 seconds!). A key component, it turns out, isn't detailed, but the engineer zooms in on a picture in a video. The three men never really form a team, they do NOT "all" attempt to raise the money they need. They never seem to form a team. Actually, it would be a good set-up to have an initial sponsor supplying start-up money while concentrating on making more with his own successful business, and an engineer concentrating on making the product work. The scheme falls down because it never really had a chance to begin with (as noted, even a working jet belt isn't a good investment) and because Prentiss really doesn't know what he's doing even as a slick-talking fake -- plus he seems to be secretly planning to take all the credit and maybe all the money. The high point of the scheme is when the jet pack successfully flies (with a test pilot) for a few seconds. Then everything starts falling apart, or perhaps the failures of Prentiss start to become clear to the other two. The mattress business is going broke. The engineer becomes increasingly suspicious of Prentiss, and the sad tale descends into madness. The strange thing is, as strange as the tale may seem and as extreme as the behavior gets, something very like it has probably happened many times in real life, including the kidnapping and ATTEMPTED murder. I've seen several Prentiss types myself, known a man with a real estate business who bumbled into involvement with the mob (fortunately he got caught before he actually delivered what turned out to be bomb parts), and have experienced the pressure from money-grubbers to get someone with ideas to throw large amounts of money their way for very little in return, including a vanishingly small chance of ever seeing any money back for the "investment."

    Just saw an edited TV version of it. I have to say, forget about watching it for entertainment. Although it is fictional, I think it is like a documentary in a way. I would disagree a bit with the movie info. The "fast-talking rainmaker" is more of a wannabe, a guy with a dream but nothing to advance it with except what he's learned from motivational books (which he doesn't really understand anyway) and some talent for putting up a false image (lying). "His wealthy acquaintance" is a guy with a mattress business and some space to spare. He seems to have been close to the shyster at one time and comes to regard him as his one real friend, and there are hints he'd like to be, uh, more than just a friend, but the feeling isn't mutual. Still, he supports Prentiss without reservation, without looking before leaping. Prentiss searches for a "genius" and tempts the reluctant rocket engineer to join by showing him some plans which may or may not have been obtained without permission by the owner... or might be just materials available at public libraries (rocket belts have been around for awhile, they just don't have any practical use due to severely limited time in the air: 15-30 seconds!). A key component, it turns out, isn't detailed, but the engineer zooms in on a picture in a video. The three men never really form a team, they do NOT "all" attempt to raise the money they need. They never seem to form a team. Actually, it would be a good set-up to have an initial sponsor supplying start-up money while concentrating on making more with his own successful business, and an engineer concentrating on making the product work. The scheme falls down because it never really had a chance to begin with (as noted, even a working jet belt isn't a good investment) and because Prentiss really doesn't know what he's doing even as a slick-talking fake -- plus he seems to be secretly planning to take all the credit and maybe all the money. The high point of the scheme is when the jet pack successfully flies (with a test pilot) for a few seconds. Then everything starts falling apart, or perhaps the failures of Prentiss start to become clear to the other two. The mattress business is going broke. The engineer becomes increasingly suspicious of Prentiss, and the sad tale descends into madness. The strange thing is, as strange as the tale may seem and as extreme as the behavior gets, something very like it has probably happened many times in real life, including the kidnapping and ATTEMPTED murder. I've seen several Prentiss types myself, known a man with a real estate business who bumbled into involvement with the mob (fortunately he got caught before he actually delivered what turned out to be bomb parts), and have experienced the pressure from money-grubbers to get someone with ideas to throw large amounts of money their way for very little in return, including a vanishingly small chance of ever seeing any money back for the "investment."

  • Jan 20, 2013

    Very diferent from the trailer, only saw it because Paul Giamatti and Kristen Wiig were in it, not realy recommendet. 3.2/10.

    Very diferent from the trailer, only saw it because Paul Giamatti and Kristen Wiig were in it, not realy recommendet. 3.2/10.

  • Sep 21, 2012

    A sad tale of delusion and obsession. Tragic and smart.

    A sad tale of delusion and obsession. Tragic and smart.

  • Sep 14, 2012

    Not quite offbeat, but not mainstream, it is a character driven story with plenty of dark humour, every character has their faults and it is clear to see why the project is doomed from the start.

    Not quite offbeat, but not mainstream, it is a character driven story with plenty of dark humour, every character has their faults and it is clear to see why the project is doomed from the start.

  • Jul 11, 2012

    Nothing pretty about this movie, shades of comedic satisfaction but not enough to warrant seeing this.

    Nothing pretty about this movie, shades of comedic satisfaction but not enough to warrant seeing this.