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The Big Year

Comparison:

  • Theatrical Version
  • Extended Cut
Release: Mar 13, 2012 - Author: Buster - Translator: Sebbe - external link: IMDB
Big Year is called a competition among birdwatchers and amateur ornithologists to see who can spot the largest number of different species of birds within a specific area within a single calendar year.

This is what Brad Harris (Jack Black), Kenny Bostick (Owen Wilson) and Stu Preissler (after a 2-year break: Steve Martin) try to do in the comedy film The Big Year.

On the cover of the exclusively on Blu-ray available Extended Cut it says:

Includes the NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN EXTENDED Version of the Film – with
OUTRAGEOUS ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE Not shown in Theaters!


One could be curious to see how much "outrageous additional footage" can be packed into 3 more minutes.

The result of comparing the two versions is rather sobering. Minimally extended scenes and additional scenes unimportant to plot line or character development contradict the above mentioned statement.



Runtime:
Theatrical Version: 94:34 min. NTSC (without end credits)
Extended Cut: 97:41 min. NTSC (without end credits)

There are missing 3 minutes and 7 seconds.

In detail:
6 additional scenes: 2 minutes and 23 seconds
6 extended scenes: 44 seconds
Extended Scene in the Extended Cut:
00:00:00
The montage of the birds in the opening credits was extended by some more images and at the end Brad Harris also takes more from the buffet.

But one sound alteration is more interesting. At this point, Jack Black's voice can be heard in the Theatrical Version. But in the Extended Cut they replaced it with the voice of John Cleese, who is also mentioned in the opening credits there.

11 Sec.


Theatrical Version:
Brad Harris (Jack Black): "I love birds. Who doesn't love birds? Sure, they'll wake you up in the morning, or ruin the fruit in your garden. And sometimes, of course, they'll crap on your car. But they're beautiful, and they fly, and they're capable of incredible things. Take little sooty shearwater of Tasmania, for example. Before setting out on his first migration to Hawaii, he has to shed half of his body weight. Me, I probably should've shed half my body weight. too. And I was trying, I really was. Okay, maybe I wasn't trying that hard. 'Cause the truth is, being thin was really never my dream. No, I wanted to do something even more amazing. I wanted to be the greatest birder in the world. Seriously. How do you become the greatest birder in the world? You have to win the Big Year."


Extended Cut:
Historical Montage Narrator (John Cleese): "The female ruby-throated hummingbird is a plain Jane. In the weeks leading to her migration, She eats almost continuously. To survive the journey, she must double her body weight. The sooty shearwater, on the other hand, must lose weight before setting out on his first migration from Tasmania. His goal, to shed half his body weight. The North American programmer would be content to lose just a few pounds. But the task is difficult. He has a demanding job, a brutal schedule, precious little willpower, and an all-consuming secret life. He is a birder. A man obsessed. Nothing in nature inspires anything like his passion for birds. Not even the female of his own species."




Additional Scene in the Extended Cut:
00:02:09
Brad sits at home at his computer when Vicki, a friend of his, calls.

49 Sec.


Brad: "Hello?"
Vicki: "Brad?"
Brad: "Hey, Vicki? Hi, I was just thinking about you."
Vicki: "Look, there's something I've got to tell you. I'm getting married again. And we're announcing it tonight and I didn't want you to hear it from just somebody. Brad? Are you still there?"
Brad: "Yeah. That is great. Congratulations. I was just taking it in. That is good news."
Vicki: "Thanks."
Brad: "I'm sorry, I'm a little distracted. Because I've got some pretty huge news of my own, actually. I'm gonna do a Big Year."
Vicki: "Great! Yeah. What is that again?"
Brad: "What's a Big Year?"




Extended Scene in the Extended Cut:
00:06:58
Kenny Bostick is shown a little bit earlier and the waitress brings some fresh coffee.

2 Sec.




Extended Scene in the Extended Cut:
00:06:58
Kenny heard that a pale-throated flycatcher was sighted in the Patagonia Lake State Park, so he leaves in a rush. In the Extended Cut he's shown running a little bit longer.

1 Sec.




Extended Scene in the Extended Cut:
00:22:29
Kenny and his partner Fuchs spot a rare great spotted woodpecker in a forest by pure chance. They are shown for two more seconds.

2 Sec.




Additional Scene in the Extended Cut:
00:25:00
An extended shot of the ruby-throated hummingbird with an explanation of the narrator.

50 Sec.


Narrator: "The time has come for the ruby-throated hummingbird. While other species migrate in aerodynamic flocks or majestic 'V's', she flies alone. Tonight, this bird who typically eats every 20 minutes just to stay healthy, must cross 500 miles of featureless blackness, high above the Gulf of Mexico. Weeks of sustained eating have prepared her for the journey, an innate, unerring sense of direction tells her where to go, but nothing can prepare her for bad weather. Bad weather is the deadly wildcard for every bird who migrates."




Additional Scene in the Extended Cut:
00:29:57
After the weather forecast predicted a storm front for Texas, there's missing another shot of the little ruby-throated hummingbird in the Theatrical Version.

28 Sec.


Narrator: "Sixteen hours have brought Ruby within 20 miles of shore. But the tailwind that carried her all this way is suddenly a headwind blowing from the north. Now she must work twice as hard to go half as far. The storm has knocked her from migrating altitude of 1.000 feet to a mere six feet. She can't swim. One dip, and she's gone."




Extended Scene in the Extended Cut:
00:34:17
Brad and Stu encounter Kenny. A short monologue's missing.

11 Sec.


Kenny: "Hey, is that a Calliope? Just another ruby-throated. On everybody's list by March."




Extended Scene in the Extended Cut:
00:34:34
The little ruby-throated hummingbird also arrived safe and sound.

17 Sec.


Narrator: "Not just another ruby-throated, but our ruby. Drenched and diminished, frail and trembling, but alive. Alive! Alive!"




Additional Scene in the Extended Cut:
01:02:31
A family of ducks is missing.

2 Sec.




Additional Scene in the Extended Cut:
01:02:35
Next up, there's a montage of Brad travelling through several states. Two very short shots are missing at the beginning, one that shows him on the way and another one in which he's shown working in his office to get some money.

4 Sec.




Additional Scene in the Extended Cut:
01:02:44
After his credit card has been declined in a motel, he sleeps in the car. From his last change he buys a pack of salami for breakfast. A further shot shows him in an internet café.

10 Sec.

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