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Rare Birds (2001)

William Hurt , Andy Jones , Sturla Gunnarsson  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: William Hurt, Andy Jones, Molly Parker, Vicky Hynes, Greg Malone
  • Directors: Sturla Gunnarsson
  • Writers: Edward Riche
  • Producers: Janet York, Jeff Sackman, Paul Pope, Sam Feldman, Tamara Shannon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: May 28, 2002
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000639HO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,557 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rare Birds" on IMDb

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  • Production Design Artwork

Editorial Reviews

Greg Malone, Mary Walsh, Molly Parker, Randy Jones, Vicky Hynes, William Hurt - Director: Sturla Gunnarsson Dave Purcell (William Hurt) just woke up on the wrong side of life. His marriage is dead and his restaurant just went belly up. Things look prett

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Funny Offbeat Movie October 20, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I say this is really funny and it was to me. I saw this in an arthouse theater in SLO and laughed my head off, unfortunately more than half the audience did not. Many were not amused. Whats happening out there? This movie has the most audacious characters. Especially Phonce, Andy Jones, who is so believable in his role. Actually all the actors were excellent! Probably some of the best acting I've seen for awhile. The story weaves around the beautiful coast of NewFoundLand and William Hurt's characters restaurant, The Auk. Hurt is a great cook but his place is located in some remote seaside area, which causes a lack of customers. Anyways, Phonce, who is always the creative planner, the leader in the twosome, comes up with some zany ideas to bring fortune to Hurts character and also to himself. The scenes involving the mini submarine are some of the funniest I've seen in awhile. Like I said though, many in the theater were not even cracking a smile, this is an offbeat comedy so may appeal to some and not to others. Unique and different, these characters are the real rare birds in this cool little film. Also the actress, I think Molly Parker?? does another great job in getting her role to shine, even without alot of film time, well done!
Lisa Nary
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT AN UGLY DUCKLING AT ALL. July 28, 2002
This is yet another movie filmed in New-Found-Land , the other being 'The Shipping News' and that being said, it is the only similarity... Where as Ship News was dark, moody, and sinking in its' own sea of muck. (Rare Birds) is on the opposite end of the scale, light, witty, much more lively character to watch. This little gem of a movie got lost in the 9/11 murder-madness and went right to dvd and video. I am reviewing the DVD, which has a lot of info. on it.
William Hurt, John, " Kiss Of The spider Women ,"Altered States, is very funny as the (Off the beaten path restaurant gormet cook, owner.) Whose clientele is non existent? John is about to throw in the towel when his friend, Andy Jones(ll), (Phonce), comes up with an idea to get people for the restaurant.
He comes up with an idea of sighting a rare bird, Duck, in the ocean below the restaurant. The scheme and how they set it up is hilarious. Also Phonce has a paranoia re; people in motor homes and he thinks the're out to get him which is half right. There is a scene in a homemade submarine which Phonce built in his secret tunnel under his garage. A real hoot! There are frogmen, a CEO from a corp. trying to get an invention which Phonce's one time partner invented, sheet's of light hung up on clotheslines , with clothspins , in the tunnel.
The people start coming to eat, and John hires more staff and there is a love which develops between John and Alice. But things start to unravel and the laughs keep getting longer. The cinematography is great and the sun really does shine in New-Found-Land!!
ciao yaaah69
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Intelligent Escapist Fare September 21, 2005
By Charlie
Why else to watch a film, except for an intelligent escape from the mundane; otherwise, one could simply recount one's day, write in one's diary, or read the friggin' newspaper, if that were literate or non-fiction. Let's not even talk about TV news; HBO is the most real thing on television. I happened across this movie on cable, while eating dinner. Do yourself a favor and take in this film; do others a favor and buy the DVD, to promote intelligent and thoughtful entertainment. I know I will. The cinematography alone is worth it, but, so is the acting, the writing, the imagination...
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never a Dull Moment June 22, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is going to be added to my video collection as soon as the price drops. William Hurt's performance is quite believable, as is that of Andy Jones. Hurt's character, Dave, is a restaurateur whose eating establishment is in an out of the way place on the bay; so out of the way that The Auk is going under for lack of business! Enter Phonce (Andy Jones). Phonce invites Dave over for a look at his "RSV" (recreational submarine vehicle) which he has been constructing in the WWII vintage tunnel that is on his property. Add to that the mystery surrounding the "svedtka" lamps which the Europeans left in his tunnel, and Phonce's plan to rescue Dave and the restaurant from bankruptcy, and POOF! - a grand scheme to spot a rare bird in the bay in front of The Auk, and bring in "birders" from everywhere. Birders who will, naturally, be very hungry. Very funny movie and heartwarming story. Great acting; zany characters. A must see, and after you've seen it once, you'll have to own it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"Rare Birds" chronicles the life of Dave (William Hurt), chef of "The Auk" in a small coastal town in Newfoundland. Business is sagging, and Dave is preparing to sell the restaurant when wacky Fonce (Newfoundlander Andy Jones in a brilliant turn as always) cooks up a scheme involving the sighting of a rare bird (in reality, an extinct duck) to bring flocks of birdwatchers to the area and boost business. The plan works, but the two get more than they bargain for: there are numerous other subplots, some unnecessary, such as the cocaine stash, a love affair between Dave and Alice, Fonce's bookish sister-in-law, the RCMP Bulgarian light conspiracy, and the Winnebegos.
Molly Parker's Alice was a delight, as was Andy Jones' neurotic Fonce. I thought that the entire cocaine subplot was unnecessary. The bathroom humour seemed too base as well, although limited to one (thankfully) brief scene. Although Ebert regards "Rare Birds" as more of a wacky Newfoundland character study than "The Shipping News," I disagree. I found that "The Shipping News" had a much more engaging plot and much more involved characters. The pacing of "Rare Birds" is sometimes slow and awkward, and I didn't really relate to Hurt's character, which made it much harder to enjoy the film as a whole.
The DVD offers very little in the way of special features, mainly a few computer-generated sets from production designs, a trailer (which shows what the film *could * have been if it had lost the excess baggage) and a commentary by director Sturla Gunnarsson. "Rare Birds" is rated R for language and drug use.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is One of My Favorite All-time Movies!
Quirky, funny, warming. Food, Nova Scotia and Winnebagos. What's not to like?
Published 29 days ago by SassTraveller
1.0 out of 5 stars No Thanks
Love William Hurt, hated the film.
Published 1 month ago by Diane Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars An Oldie but a goodie. This is one of ...
An Oldie but a goodie. This is one of those LITTLE MOVIE"S" that the star made. Not his/her most acclaimed, but one that is truly entertaining and indicative of the talent... Read more
Published 1 month ago by D. R. Tyler
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, intellectual
Funny, intellectual, and odd.. in a good way. Definitely entertaining. One or two unnecessary drug scenes, that don't do enough for the plot to justify having them and thus seem... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Alan DeFelice
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor entertainment
I was disappointed - I am a fan of William Hurt but this movie has nothing to recommend itself. I skipped through it hoping that maybe it would improve but it did not. Read more
Published 7 months ago by S Kirsteen
Loved the story. It was funny and serious at the same time. The scenery was impressive. LOVE CAN GROW IN STRANGE SITUATIONS.
Published 7 months ago by felix123
4.0 out of 5 stars A film that undeservedly slipped through the cracks.
Giving this film as a gift several times is my way of spreading the word about a film whose story, dialog, acting, and cinematography deserve attention with enjoyment the reward... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Barbara Sweney
5.0 out of 5 stars off beat comedy worthy of multiple viewings
I enjoy offbeat movies like this. If you have ever seen movies like "Waking Ned Devine" , you will find this just as enjoyable. See it at least twice...
Published 10 months ago by Mark Wistrand
5.0 out of 5 stars Our favourite Comedy!
This is a great movie set in Newfoundland . Very good acting and excellent humour. We have watched this movie many times and given it to our friends!
Published 10 months ago by john krall
3.0 out of 5 stars Quirky in Newfoundland
Charming little story with odd characters. Could have benefited from rewriting, character development. The outside of the restaurant could not have contained the interior...
Published 12 months ago by Frederik Lentz
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