on July 10, 2013
I'm a huge fan of films that are so-bad-they're-good. Naturally, I loved the first Birdemic movie. Between the bad acting, unintentionally hilarious dialogue and $27 special effects budget, it was an instant classic. When I heard a sequel was in the works, however, I was a bit incredulous. The last thing I wanted was a polished film that was in on the joke. Luckily, my fears were unwarranted.
What you get in Birdemic 2 is pure cinematic insanity. Exploding birds are back (prehistoric this time!) and are joined by cavemen, zombies and giant jumbo jellyfish. Most of the original cast returns, right down to minor characters like Nathalie's mom and B movie crooner Damien Carter (with another classic tune). It seems that several members of the cast are yellow belts in Tae Kwon Do, as they engage in hand-to-hand combat in close proximity to CGI eagles. The sequel benefits from better pacing and improved audio and video, but don't think that the director went to film school in between movies...
Improved cameras do not translate to improved camera work. The screen lingers, in extreme closeup mode, on actors for far too long. Boom mics are visible, and occasionally, so are the crew holding them. The CGI has been improved to include slightly less crappy killer birds and South Park style explosions that are used liberally. Speaking of CGI, this may be the first film to include a computer animated ambulance...
In short, this movie is about one man's apocalyptic vision and his complete inability to articulate that vision through the medium of film.
This. Is. Birdemic.....2.
"Birdemic" was meant to be a serious romantic-thriller (trademarked and everything) with a Serious Message about global warming. Instead we got a gloriously amateurish so-bad-it's-good disaster... like "Troll 2" and "The Room."
So of course, James Nguyen (Master of Romantic Thrillers, TM) made a sequel: "Birdemic 2: The Resurrection." Yes, the floating gif birds are back, as is everything you loved to mock about the first movie -- Natalie's mom, Random Bird Expert Man, coat-hangers, Random Global Expert Man, and so on. But it also has a self-referential story set in Hollywood, gratuitous boobs, and the giant jumbo jellyfish.
The self-referential humor starts with indie director Bill (Thomas Favaloro) slowly meandering down Hollywood Blvd. and chatting up a disinterested blonde Gloria (Chelsea Turnbo), whom he tries to convince to audition for his new movie "Sunset Dreams." He then meets his wealthy friend Rod (Alan Bagh) and his distractedly vacuous girlfriend Natalie (Whitney Moore).
Rod is going to be an investor on "Sunset Dreams," and after Bill convinces Gloria to audition for (and win) the lead female role, she begins double-dating with him, Rod and Natalie. But their pre-production bliss is ruined when giant prehistoric eagles (just go with it) explode from the lake and begin randomly killing people all throughout Hollywood. Can Bill, Gloria, Rod and Natalie escape the terror of poorly-animated gif birds?!
One of the important rules of "So Bad They're Good" movies is that they can't be self-consciously awful. These have to be real, serious, heartfelt pieces of art that just happen to be brain-meltingly bad... and that is why "Birdemic 2" is not in the same league as the first movie. It's too AWARE of its badness, and too quick to homage James Nguyen's (Master of Romantic Thrillers, TM) filmmaking flaws.
Yes, "Birdemic 2" is an entertainingly bad story -- James Nguyen (Master of Romantic Thrillers, TM) injects random over-the-top nonsense like a zombie attack and a woman being attacked by a "giant jumbo jellyfish" (to which Gloria blandly asks the screaming bloodstained woman, "Are you okay?"). The acting is awkward at best, and Nguyen (Master of Romantic Thrillers, TM) even tosses in a totally gratuitous scene where bare-breasted women bounce around swatting at the birds.
But it's not as fun because it knows that it's a terrible movie, and refer a lot to the terribleness of the previous movie. You have the random side-characters, the bad sound, the global warming message, the coat-hangers, the special effects that Internet reviewers do better... except now they're done intentionally. Half the side characters are cameos by characters from the first.
However... there are moments where you start to wonder just what Nguyen (Master of Romantic Thrillers, TM) INTENDED to be bad, and what he just intended to be random. For instance, I don't think he meant for Bill's relationship with Gloria to feel so... casting couch. It's icky.
As for the acting, it's... awkward and weird. Bagh is as affectedly weird as ever, and Moore's Natalie comes across as a perky airhead who rarely speaks (and when she does, it's usually too loud). Favaloro and Turnbo give equally odd performances -- they seem pretty plausible, and Favaloro actually seems pretty enthusiastic, but are clearly being directed to act BADLY. So yes, woodenness all around.
"Birdemic 2" is not the masterpiece of ineptitude that the first movie was, but it is a pretty entertaining self-parody that dances between true ineptitude and the parody of it.
on October 25, 2013
If you are a fan of bad B-movies, this should be at the top of your list. I got this movie to watch with a bunch of friends and we had a blast watching it. It is over the top bad, and bad in a good way. If you are not a fan of movies that are ment to be bad, don't watch, but if you are...get it.
on October 24, 2013
If you saw the first Birdemic you will probably love this one....my friends and I did. This movie has some things that mirror the first (no real action until about halfway through, awkwardness, GIF, bad acting, bad editing, bad bad bad....but in a good way) but also has some new stuff (instead of awkwardly long clapping scene we have lots and lots and lots of walking, driving, and showing Hollywood....I won't spoil the other new stuff).
I was a little worried after reading these reviews that the awkwardness would feel forced....it didn't for me. It was another dose of pure perfect bad cinema and the only cure for this......birdemic.
If you saw "Birdemic" you will be wholly unsurprised with "Birdemic 2: The Resurrection." This is James Nguyen's over-the-top anti-global warming sequel to the original. Amazingly while some of the production values are better, the movie as a whole is still as unpolished as the original. Right off the top I'll say that I gave it three stars as it's hard to rate: if you're looking for a well-crafted creature or environmental picture look elsewhere; if you're a fan of movies so bad they're good, this will be out of the ballpark. The main issue is that it's impossible to know what Nguyen is serious about and where he is engaging in self-parody. Certainly the extras make him appear quite sincere about the project and serious about his craft, as well as the future potential of the "Birdemic" franchise. In his ultra-cheap self-interview in the extras he clearly thinks very highly of the film, even comparing it to a Woody Allen effort of all things. Indeed, watching the extras then rewatching the film tends to put a different light on the proceedings. The film emphasizes the anti-global warming agenda so popular in Hollywood (not that I'm in any way alleging that this is a mainstream Hollywood film!) and about that he seems completely serious, and the film is certainly ponderously heavy-handed on that subject: the reason the "Giant Jumbo Jellyfish" becomes hyper-aggressive is because of global warming! See, now it all makes sense!
After the least interesting credits in recent memory, the film opens to reveal that much of the original cast has returned. Alan Bagh and Whitney Moore are back as Rod and Nathalie, and newcomers Thomas Favaloro as Bill, a hack filmmaker and his wooden and unlikable starlet Gloria (Chelsea Turnbo) flesh out the main character ranks quickly. Amazingly, the pacing and acting are, if anything, worse than the original: I'd like to attribute that to Nguyen's self-referential humor, but there's no way to be sure. The good news is there is much mirth to be found here, starting with a "Giant Jumbo Jellyfish" attack that may remind you of another underwater rapscallion that I don't even have to name...not that there's a need to cite an influence given that the cast wanders around among props for "Amity Island" featuring a billboard with a giant shark in the background, not to mention dialogue like "'Jaws' happens to be one of my favorite movies." (I bet.)
The film gets out of the water and back into its familiar avian territory when it is revealed that primitive vultures and eagles used to live in Hollywood (enjoy the caveman footage and especially their interruption by prehistoric eagles.) Sprinkled into the film at random among the insane creatures are utterly dreadful musical numbers: particularly noteworthy is the abysmal cruise to Catalina Island, a scene that can only be topped by the ensuing and even worse dance club scene. Avert your eyes! And ears! As the huge prehistoric birds escape the La Brea tar pits they immediately seek out a low budget movie set where they are fought off with umbrellas and light stands. During the balance of the film we see the birds frequently explode on impact and despite endless rounds of ammo expended and the expected bargain basement CGI that was such a trademark of the original, they are not readily dissuaded from their formation hovering.
The film bonks you over the head with the premise that this is the kind of thing that global warming causes. Not only do they attribute a forest fire to global warming, but the birds are a no brainer as the film points out "It has to be global warming!" This is where I hope the film is a parody, but after watching the interview with Nguyen I seriously doubt it. After birds invade a theater (I guess it must be cooler in there) with hilarious results, we are treated to yet another effect of global warming: zombies rising from a cemetery. A helpful zookeeper tells the cast to lead a greener lifestyle, but they're too late, as cavemen have come back to walk the streets of LA and beat on their (very environmentally conscious) RV. Speaking of this particular recreational vehicle, once it makes its debut be prepared for a lot of it: it gets more screen time than a lot of the actors. The mayhem goes on for a while and then just...ends. There really is no ending, no conclusion, or no dénouement. Nothing. The film just stops. You will not be expecting it (but you will likely be thrilled.)
By the end you realize that the struggling filmmaker subplot is totally irrelevant to the film, but then again most of the rest of the film is irrelevant to pretty much everything else on the planet except B-movie aficionados. If you want to watch a deliberately preachy, ponderous movie about large prehistoric creatures attacking characters you don't care anything about and may in fact overtly dislike, this is a great choice. The crux of the problem is that this is an awful film with a laughable pretext, but it's treated so seriously by cast and crew that it isn't as fun to watch as the original or many other movies in the genre. While James Nguyen may have proselytized not using toilet paper in this movie (really!), I can think of something to use instead if you are serious about saving the trees.
on December 29, 2015
For as fantastically bad as the first movie was, this is somehow worse. And yes, a bit of the magic is gone now because it's in on the joke, but it's still a great option to have around for those bad movie nights where you just need a laugh. Slight spoilers here but there was quite a bit more nudity this go around, so keep that in mind before watching it with your kids or parents, but it's fairly contained to a few scenes.
on January 26, 2014
I'm a huge fan of really bad movies, and I adored the first Birdemic with a love that can't be summed up in words, so naturally I had high hopes for the sequel, even while being a little fearful that it could never live up to the insanity of the first one. Fortunately, those fears were put to rest once I watched this.
When I look at reviews of this movie, a common thread seems to be people believing that James Nguyen became self-aware and was in on the joke this time around, and so the sequel loses the charm of the first one.
Honestly, I'm not sure we watched the same movie.
The charm is very much still there. The bonkers global warming message is still there, but now it's mixed with Nguyen's painfully obvious views on Hollywood. Rather than a software salesman, Nguyen's protagonist (and doppelganger for his movie) is a director who fancies himself an auteur. The bad acting, lousy camera work, and nonsensical plot are all still there.
In some regards, it's basically the same movie. It certainly follows the same basic structure of the first Birdemic. But rather than coming across as a parody of the first movie, I see it more as Nguyen believed the first movie was basically perfect, and decided he would do that again, only this time with a crew and a moderate budget to pursue his "vision". I've seen interviews of the guy, and it's pretty clear that he's not one to challenge himself artistically; for God's sake, this is the guy who made the first Birdemic and thought it was a good movie! I think he's proven he has no sense of what makes a good film.
However, there are some new elements (beyond the Hollywood stuff) which make the sequel really worthwhile and more than just a copy-paste of the first movie. Not to give anything away, but the new things Nguyen tosses in are what really makes this movie shine as a hilarious example of bad film making. While the bird scenes weren't quite as fun as the first time around (Nguyen didn't seem to be able to think of anything new to do with them), the new stuff definitely makes up for it.
You'll definitely want to have seen the first Birdemic before this one, but if you're a fan of the first one, you should definitely give this one a look.
on May 13, 2014
The 1st Birdemic was bad but was an instant classic due to the blunders of people actually trying to make a make a movie. With Birdemic 2 its like they weren't even trying. They took all of the things that people made fun of in the 1st one I mean all of it I could make a list but I don't think I have enough room. Then they purposely put it in this one which was made to be funny but is really just annoying, stupid, and they go out of their way to be cheesy. There isn't mic pausing from editing which is a plus but that's really the only good thing in this turd of a sequel. Apart from all of that there's new things they did which was unnecessary or just stupid. For instance there is a scene, actually let me rephrase that, in the entire movie if someone isn't part of the film their face is blurred out. I don't know if that's so they don't have to get paid as extras or what but its distracting. Then they had to go and put zombies in the movie...zombies seriously as if there isn't enough of them in movies, books, and t.v. All in all the movie is short and ends(?) quickly I mean end? because im not sure if it did or not I mean the credits rolled but Im still like that's it! If you're a fan of the first Birdemic as I am please avoid this sequel its not worth it
on April 1, 2015
Birdemic 2: The Resurrection (2013)
The First Birdemic was Nguyen's dream project that was suppose to be a tribute to Hitchcock's The Bird's.
Birdemic: Shock and Terror is a fabulous disaster, an earnest, awkward, incoherent mess made by someone who truly loves movies
Birdemic 2 Resurrection is what happens when you suck all the fun out.
This time around the whole thing feels like a SyFy channel faux schlock movie of the week. A by the numbers production that is made intentionally bad instead of the gueniune awkwardness that made the first such an oddball treat.
Sadly it's this forced badness that causes it to lose the bad movie charm.
It's the equivalent of Ed Wood Jr. making Plan Ten From Outer space.
on November 3, 2015
Only good if you have seen the first, all the bad things from Birdemic 1 are back in style. Same atrocious actors, now augmented with new, fresh, atrocious actors. Creepy romance scenes, lots of great continuity riffs - using the same extras from 1 in different roles to solicit money from? I'm interested. Prolonged, uncomfortable clapping scene? Check. Mom cameo at a bar which is clearly somebody's apartment? Sure. Spectacular reprise of Damien Carter as himself singing an original song? Dude is versatile - Grandma's not prancing or hanging out with the family when there is Starlight bumpin, especially for 5 minutes whilst a motley assortment of human caricatures that would never be seen together in reality pretend to have fun dancing together. 45 second long shot of a mediocre 90s era yacht adds character. Lots of fun vignettes about how indie movies are superior and directorial control is essential - its not all boobs, blades and blood, after all. And true to form, 45 minutes in - birds.
Birds dying being separated on a perpendicular line with childlike CGI, whilst lead Bagh et co each fire over 100 rounds a minute while not looking at prospective targets. Wait... OMG where did Tony go? We just totally left him and forgot he existed! Oh well... Thankfully he got to ask a really creepy question about playing with birds to the random, disheveled scientist from the first movie, who reprises his role as a illspoken sagacious environment guru in a dirty suit. Scary environmentalist now has a hot wife - can't wait to hear his speech about global warming in 3. I bet he'll have a kid. They do solar, and grow their own vegetables, and have a TV show - so they'll make it. Running out of gas while driving around the same city block for 30 movie minutes. Roger. Zombies? At this point, why not. We had cavemen. Prolonged camera shot of the Asian director after being told they couldn't save the zombie-bitten-utterly-expendable-cowboy-sexpot rewind worthy. Inexplicable ending.
Seriously, I died laughing watching this. A part of me may have also died in the process. They added nudity, extras in scenes, a claymation ambulance, giant jumbo jellyfish, and blurred out faces. I think Nguyen may be a secret genius. My most treasured quote from this wonderful movie: "I wish Susan could have seen this bird skeleton, but she got a disease from that fish that Rod cooked." Oh, the explication. I wondered why she was not there while Tony was, and you delivered, Birdemic. Now I really want to know why Tony inexplicably disappeared. Give us more.