Customer Reviews: Pretty Bird
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3.4 out of 5 stars
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on August 13, 2010
A Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize nominee, Pretty Bird is an eyebrow-raising adventure of the lengths to which ordinary Americans may go to pursue their extraordinary dreams. When three unusual inventors - a charming entrepreneur, a compassionate mattress store proprietor, and a rocket scientist with a bleak worldview - team up to create a rocket belt company, the put everything they have on the line in hope of finding success. Pretty Bird blends skewed comedy, genuine warmth, and the drive to see the results of one's labor made real into a thoroughly engaging human saga. Highly recommended. 98 minutes, widescreen, rated R for language and a scene of sexuality.
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on May 22, 2013
It's storyline is surprisingly close to the actual events of the TRUE STORY of the RB2000 Rocketbelt. It shows how money, power, fame, fortune and greed can twist and turn people against one another and change a wonderful dream into a total nightmare. Add to that the mufti-talented Paul Giamatti and actor Billy Crudup and the (underused) comedic antics of SNL's Kristen Wigg make Pretty Bird a very unique film that should have made it to the silver screen of the major movie theaters.
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on May 20, 2013
This is a very simple story about a venture capitalist, a scientific genius, and a slick talking marketer who secretly intends to steal all the profits from their rocket belt in a side deal. It's interesting how the two dupes just take it for granted they will be needed for every stage of the process until their "partner" behaves strangely. The response and outcome is amusing.
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on September 19, 2014
I really enjoyed the acting although the story didn't really appeal to me. It's one of those movies you should watch and expect nothing but good performances by actors like Paul Giamatti and Billy Crudup.
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PRETTY BIRD (prod. Paul Giamatti, 2008) Ah, first reviewer. That has only happened to me twice before over the course of 120 film critiques (and counting). Pity it had to be this film.

I missed this in its maiden year, though I can't be sure it was released in theaters. I have to make an educated guess and say it was theatrically released. It would have been declared the biggest box office rip-off of all time if anybody had seen it. I recall seeing on the news a man flying a jetpack over the Swiss Alps. It was real, and it was cool. That popped into my mind as I suffered this film.

This film set in the present day purports to be a story about the building and testing of a jetpack. It even begins with a written 'history', describing Bell Labs' perfection of a working prototype and the military's rejection of it. It then goes on to say that hasn't stopped inventors from working on jetpacks (which they keep calling a "belt").

PRETTY BIRD proclaims itself to be based on true events. It then goes on to be the dumbest thing I have ever seen. The Three Stooges got nothin' on this revolting trio of Paul Giamatti (I expected him to know better since he starred and produced), Billy Crudup, and a poor, attractive dope called David Hornsby (Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, his only other film role).

Crudup plays Curtiss, the ever-irritating conman/entrepreneur who always seems to get people to do exactly what he wants. Now I knew better than to expect anything from Crudup except a slight migraine, but I couldn't miss a Paul Giamatti movie. I love him, no matter what the critics say.

Giamatti is Rick, the perpetually pissed-off engineer who has tired of a 20-year career as a "rocket scientist". After securing money and a devoted gay love-beam from his pal Kenny (David Hornsby), Curtiss enlists Rick to build a jetpack. It's a start-up company that will, in future, make jetpacks ... presumably.

This film is so dumb that I can't do anything except tell what transpires. Rick successfully builds a working jetpack, they test it, Kenny loses his shirt and his mattress business, and Curtiss ends up stealing the jetpack. Rick goes nuts, first trying to sue Curtiss then planning to shoot him.

Eventually he has Curtiss kidnapped, but Curtiss, who walks away from this situation, NEVER tells anyone what he did with the pack or why he did it. There seems to be some indication that Curtiss, who is obviously the most mentally disturbed of the three, simply wanted the jetpack invented so he could fly.

It is stupid. It is a waste of time and treasure. It is a disgraceful production for Giamatti, his first time out producing a real movie. If you can call this "real". It has its moments and they are good; the acting is solid and Giamatti is quite brilliant. That is what is most angering: the waste. This film is NOT: a comedy in any sense; a mystery; a thriller; a murder tale; a conspiracy film; hell, it's only a film because, well, it's on film!

I'd suggest getting Rocketman,Primer or the spectacular The Book of Eli, which have in common with PRETTY BIRD a certain cinematic desolation, a minimalism that should not be tried too often. PRETTY BIRD should not have been tried at all. PRETTY BIRD brought to mind PRIMER because it shares a plot about the creators of a machine, the machine being hijacked, a storage unit involved ... and that is about it.

The three stars are for Giamatti, for his efforts here, and for him alone, though he really should have done better.

A fan of the film posts to me that I ought to "chillax", which I assume means a combination of "chill" and "relax". That says it all about the poster of the message, but I think if a reviewer decides to "chillax", the prospective buyer might not know what he's buying.

How about you chillax, write your own review and don't read my reviews!
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on February 5, 2015
This "Rocket-Propelled Misadventure" was just stupid. It goes nowhere and does nothing. An idiot takes a set of blueprints off the internet or gets them from the library or something, he has no business sense at all, talks a unemployed rocket scientist into making a rocket belt with the financing of a closet homosexual who will do absolutely anything for him. They didn't invent it, they just used the prints. The homosexual friend loses his successful business and everything providing the funds for this as the idiot can't get any funding for it. The scientist and the idiot feud over the belt and the idiot steals it. The belt is never seen again - the end. This is a bad movie. Poor plot, poor storyline. Not worth a watch.
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on July 9, 2010
I can see why some may have gave this movie low marks. But it is undeniably funny. It is dark with classic Paul G elements. I usually watch extremely serious and depressing movies. When I do watch comedies they are usually in line with Woody Allen, Coen brothers, Curb your enthusiasm. If you like comedies in that sense, I think you will enjoy this one. It is not American Splender or Sideways Paul G, but nonetheless - enjoyable.
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on February 23, 2015
This was pretty painful to watch and that was probably the intention. The performances were good, but they couldn't save a film with few other redeeming qualities.
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on January 7, 2013
well, it was a good time to give a review to this movie because I watched it last night but, ....
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on March 10, 2015
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