Two friends arrive back from Vietnam, scarred in different ways. One has physical injuries, the other has mental problems that make him yearn to be a bird, a subject he has always been fascinated with.
|Birdy Movie(DVD)||Resolution: 800x448 px||Total Size: 700 Mb|
|Birdy Movie(DVD)||Resolution: 800x448 px||Total Size: 700 Mb|
|Birdy Movie(iPod)||Resolution: 480x268 px||Total Size: 175 Mb||
|Birdy Movie(iPod)||Resolution: 480x268 px||Total Size: 182 Mb||
Very disappointing movie despite the wonderful performances andcinematography. It is not clear what the movie is about. It's notabout friendship itself, it's not about war (although it criticizes thearmy and its mechanism), it's not exactly about insanity either. Allthese themes are definitely touched upon, but diluted. The vieweris not geared to sympathize with Birdy either. I kept expectingsomething to happen but nothing did happen. I was actually boredwatching this. By the end of the movie, I didn't know if I hadwatched a comedy or a drama. The ending didn't help any.
This movie is amazingly acted! The story is haunting, but I find myself watching it over and over. I recommend it highly!
I haven't read through all the comments of others on this film, but mostofthem are pretty much right on cue, with a few exceptions. I feelcompelledto express my opinions of the movie, since it has always been one of myfavorite Alan Parker films, along with The Wall, and a few other notablygood films of his mentioned by others. This movie, along with The Wall,have had a huge impact on more than one person's life in this world, andthat says a great deal on its own. It had been one of my favorites nearly20 years ago when I was beginning college, and the quest towardindependentlife, searching for your place in the world, your identity and your ownpersonal meaning in life. This is what the movie (story) is about to me.There is a lot of generalization about insanity, mental illness, the war,the human bonding of two friends; and they're all true; but there's somuchmore here. The symbolism of searching for yourself, flight equalingfreedom; authoritarian symbols, from war, to the military, from yourparentsto just about everything else we question in life. Birdy is differentbecause he (and those who identify with him) yearn to be free, not just inthe literal sense, but as a free spirit, an individual in a world full ofnormalcy. Parker does an excellent job of direction, cinematography is inmany respects still ahead of its time and acting is top notch. Parker'suseof film as character memory in this film is among the first I encounteredand I still find it equal to many other great directors who have used ittotell a story to this day. I can hardly find better performances by Modineor Cage anywhere in their vast catalog. Cage comes close in many films andprobably equals it in others, but for as early as this was on his career,put in context, it's nearly impossible to beat. It's too bad Cage hasn'thad a decent role in many years. As for Modine, nothing comes close tothisperformance that I've witnessed. I find it interesting that I didn't readanyone's comments about the soundtrack by Peter Gabriel, which wasborroweda great deal from his 'Security' release, probably one of his finest, andiseasily on par with his work for Last Temptation of Christ, The RabbitProofFence and others. This is what partly drew me into the film so many yearsago, and I'm sure his having worked on it is no coincidence, as hetypicallyonly gets involved in projects which say a great deal about humanity.Highly recommended, a very conservative 7/10 vote.
I purchased this movie to add to my growing collection of Nicolas Cage films. He is a brilliant actor and this movie shows that. For the majority of the time during the film, Nicolas' face was covered with gauze because his character sustained injuries during the Vietnam war. I was impressed with the fact that even though his face was covered, he could still project his emotions through his eyes, speech and body language. He is so good, he could pull any movie off wearing a sack over his head! 'Birdy' is also a wonderful story. I especially love the ending! When I was researching this movie, I read that Nicolas Cage actually had a tooth pulled on film, with no anesthetic, because he needed some dental work done anyway (boy, did he ever!). I was disappointed to see that did not make it into the movie but you can see the gap in his mouth where the tooth had been. Which gives his character even more authenticity since he had a facial injury, it would make sense to lose a tooth or two!
Arguably Alan Parker's best film, "Birdy" stars Mathew Modine andNicholas Cage as a pair of friends who are shipped off to Vietnam andthen come home disfigured and traumatised.Told in flashbacks, the film focuses on Modine's character, nicknamedBirdy, an introverted, polite, sensitive and endearing kid who becomesobsessed with birds to such an extent that he eventually believeshimself to be one.Many audiences are baffled by Modine's character, viewing him as amadman or nut-case, but the film's point, made clearer in the WilliamWharton novel upon which the film is based, is that Modine's retreatinto a kind of metaphorical bird cage is a result of a ghastly "adult"world which the sensitive kid rejects. Through various symbolicepisodes, Wharton and Parker sketch the world as a horrible place atworst, illogical at best. Birdy is so dumbfounded by the inanities ofhuman society (and biology) that he turns his nose up to a beautifulgirl's breasts. They're just mammary glands, he shrugs.Birdy's desire for flight, for escaping a kind of cruel corporeality,are cut short by the Vietnam war. He's shipped off, sees untoldhorrors, and then returns to America believing himself to be a bird.He's then locked away in a mental hospital. In other words, the waraccelerated Birdy's desire for escape. Vietnam's horrors pushed himover the edge, pushed him into a kind of comfortable fantasy land wherehe no longer has to confront a humanity he deplores.With Birdy drifting further and further away from humanity, his bestfriend Al, played by Nicholas Cage, struggles to nurse him back tohealth. It is only when Al breaks down and confesses his own hatred ofthe world, that Birdy realises that he is not alone and returns fromhis self imposed avian exile. The film's point: you're not alone, theworld violates everyone, everyone suffers, so step out of the box,release your ignis fatuus and hold somebody's hand. Yes, I'm makingthis stuff sound cheesier than the actual film is.The film is mostly worth watching for Modine and Cage, both of whomturn in a couple of excellent performances. Modine is all internal,invisible pain, while Cage is extroverted, scars on his flesh andtongue. The film is itself a tragi-comedy, a difficult mood to capture.But Parker's does well. He captures the nervous energy of youth, thepleasant glow of young friendship, and wisely tones things down whenthe film ventures into darker territory.8/10 Â Parker specialises in overrated, obvious and overcooked dramas.I think this film is a bit different, though, Modine, Cage and Whartonsmuggling in real humanity. Worth one viewing.
I think I first watched this on cable back in the 80's and liked it alot but I'm not sure I appreciated it until I recently saw it again.The first time I was about 18 and enjoyed the bond that these twobuddies forged from what seemed like important events in high school tomore daunting issues that soldiers have to face and resolve. Plus I hada couple of friends in high school that reminded me of these two...onethe affable Italian ladies-man and one the somewhat eccentric whofights for what he believes in. After this recent viewing I appreciatedthe acting, cinematography, and story-telling much more. This filmdeserved more commercial accolades but maybe that's the penalty youface for flying out of the mainstream.
Birdy was a great movie but comeon, it could have had a whole lot better ending. Modine jumps from a building to a building and then it fades, OK. But anyway, its a very outstanding movie and it is worth seeing.
Birdy is one of my favorite films from the 80's, one that slippedmostly unnoticed as far as award recognition goes. Though it has a lotof the 80's feel in it (especially in Peter Gabriel's wonderfulsoundtrack), it aged far less than many films of its time, and while itplays around with various clichÃ©s, it refuses to go all the way withany of them, and so manages to be fresh and surprising even now.A lot of that originality may be missed when referring to Birdy as awar film, or a story about PTSD. The film follows two friends andVietnam vets before and after the wars, through intersecting flashbacks- a familiar tool in war films. But this time the flashbacks are asimportant as the scenes taking place in the present; the warexperience, surprisingly, is only one example - maybe the ultimate one- of society bringing down people that live on its fringes, which iswhat Birdy is all about. It's a buddy film, a psychological drama, asocial critique, a film about friendship and madness andnon-conformism, and maybe a coming-of-age story (or a not-coming of agestory), but war plays a much smaller part than might seem at first, andwisely, 'Nam flashbacks (which we've seen so many of in so many films)are few and saved till the very end.Special attention should go to the two lead actors - Nicholas Cage andMatthew Modine, both in the very early stages of their careers and bothsupplying one of the definitive performances of their careers (inModine's case probably the peak of his career). They create real, full,flawed characters, aided by Alan Parker's sensitive directorial workand by poetic, beautiful cinematography. The film deals with somedifficult and very dark questions, but it manages to keep the audienceinterested and even entertained without compromising its message. The80's feel does pop-up every now and then, and some of the flashbacks tothe 50's and early 60's rely too heavily on well-tried clichÃ©s ofperiod films (most jarringly, the use of La Bamba and other hits of thetime period in certain scenes, clashing with the beautiful score). Butall those little flaws don't make Birdy anything less than a classic.
This review is from: Birdy (Amazon Instant Video) Always loved this movie. It was quirky enough for Peter Gabriel to do the soundtrack for it! Two little known up and coming stars in their earliest work.
A tremendous film that captures the coming of age of two men, one man who is psychologically mature but socially withdrawn and the other man, his opposite. Together they find and draw strength from each other in order to survive the traumas of their lives, from the simple yet deep traumas of high school to the essential trauma of how does a man survive in a world of death and chaos. Modine and Cage are excellent in these early roles, with Modine especially interesting to watch in comparison to his role in "Full Metal Jacket". Technically, the film is excellent as well with Peter Gabriel's score adding an emotional overlay to key parts of the film. It is hard not to be moved by his score as we look through the bird's eyes in its headlong rush towards death. Those few seconds of film perhaps encapsulate most fully the fate that awaits innocence at the hands of war and the need of every being to seek solace and commiseration from those close to the heart.
Arguably Alan Parker's best film, "Birdy" stars Mathew Modine andNicholas Cage as a pair of friends who are shipped off to Vietnam andthen come home disfigured and traumatised.Told in flashbacks, the film focuses on Modine's character, nicknamedBirdy, an introverted, polite, sensitive and endearing kid who becomesobsessed with birds to such an extent that he eventually believeshimself to be one.Many audiences are baffled by Modine's character, viewing him as amadman or nut-case, but the film's point, made clearer in the WilliamWharton novel upon which the film is based, is that Modine's retreatinto a kind of metaphorical bird cage is a result of a ghastly "adult"world which the sensitive kid rejects. Through various symbolicepisodes, Wharton and Parker sketch the world as a horrible place atworst, illogical at best. Birdy is so dumbfounded by the inanities ofhuman society (and biology) that he turns his nose up to a beautifulgirl's breasts. They're just mammary glands, he shrugs.Birdy's desire for flight, for escaping a kind of cruel corporeality,are cut short by the Vietnam war. He's shipped off, sees untoldhorrors, and then returns to America believing himself to be a bird.He's then locked away in a mental hospital. In other words, the waraccelerated Birdy's desire for escape. Vietnam's horrors pushed himover the edge, pushed him into a kind of comfortable fantasy land wherehe no longer has to confront a humanity he deplores.With Birdy drifting further and further away from humanity, his bestfriend Al, played by Nicholas Cage, struggles to nurse him back tohealth. It is only when Al breaks down and confesses his own hatred ofthe world, that Birdy realises that he is not alone and returns fromhis self imposed avian exile. The film's point: you're not alone, theworld violates everyone, everyone suffers, so step out of the box,release your ignis fatuus and hold somebody's hand. Yes, I'm makingthis stuff sound cheesier than the actual film is.The film is mostly worth watching for Modine and Cage, both of whomturn in a couple of excellent performances. Modine is all internal,invisible pain, while Cage is extroverted, scars on his flesh andtongue. The film is itself a tragi-comedy, a difficult mood to capture.But Parker's does well. He tapes into the nervous energy of youth, thepleasant glow of young friendship, and wisely tones things down whenthe film ventures into darker territory.8/10 Â Parker specialises in overrated, obvious and overcooked dramas.This film is a bit different, though, thanks largely to Modine, Cageand Wharton. Worth one viewing.
Birdy portrays the dreams and affections of boys and young men with a rareveracity, particularly for a film made in the US. It depicts a deeplytextured friendship and the obsessive vision of one of the friends withenormous depth, texture, honesty, beauty and....dare one say it,sensitivityand becomes, in its way, a direct descendant of Huckleberry Finn. Theactingof Nicolas Cage and especially Matthew Bodine is nothing short ofbrilliant. This is the only time I can remember preferring the movie tothebook.
Best Alan parker film. two great players play as two great friends inthis movie about friendship. a must see movie for anyone who like Alanparker(Midnight express) films. i don't understand why most of thepeople give this movie 8 i gave it 10. a most beautiful extraordinaryfilm. most recommended to people who liked Midnight express or thewall. a masterpiece with directing of Alan parker and starring byMatthew Modine and Nicolas Cage. one of the two stars first films. agreat 80's movie. one of three masterpieces of Alan parker (midnightexpress, Birdy and the wall). this is really pity that this amazingmovie gets only 7.2 when it should be with the top 250.
I've always been a fan of Nicholas Cage and even though the mansometimes seems to make bad choices when it comes to new scripts, Istill see him as one of the best actors Hollywood has to offer. I knowseveral people who don't agree with me, but in my opinion, hisperformance makes even the worst movie worth a try. Not that it alwayssaves them, but it sure helped me to sit through some of them. However,in this case that isn't even necessary. Ever since I saw "Birdy" forthe first time, I am a fan of its story.When Al Columbato meets Birdy for the first time, he thinks he's a bitof a weirdo. Birdy isn't all that interested in social contacts withother children or young adolescents. All he wants is to play with hispigeons. But after a while Al and Birdy become good friends who have alot of fun together, especially when they go after some new pigeons forBirdy or when try to fly themselves,... But then the Vietnam war startsand it doesn't take long before both men are sent to this far Asiancountry. When they return they both have changed. Especially Birdy isin an awful state. Suffering from severe shell-shock, he is in ahospital for mental patients, where he sits in his room withoutspeaking a word while acting like a bird. When Al is asked to help withhis therapy by trying to talk to him, he does his best, but even hedoesn't seem capable to penetrate into Birdy's isolated world...I know that I've once said that Hollywood doesn't seem to be able tomake original drama's which are a lot better than the average TV-movie,but I admit that that was an exaggeration. "Birdy" is a very good andreally original movie which can stand a test with movies like forinstance the English drama "Spider". Not only is the story very good,so is the directing and the acting. Even though I've heard of himbefore, I can't say that I've ever seen another movie of Alan Parker,but this "Birdy" sure proves that the man must be a good director. Alsovery interesting in this movie were the very young Nicolas Cage, JohnHarkins - who has more often played in TV-movies and series than inother movies, but who did a good job in this one - and Matthew Modinewho hasn't played any big role in an important movie since the late1980's.The only problem many people might have with this movie is the factthat it is said to be a war movie, but doesn't really show much of theaction typical for such movies. It's a part of the story of course, butit isn't as important as some people might want. Also the fact that itis a - for Hollywood at least - quite unusual drama, might cost itquite some viewers. Personally I didn't have any problem with that, I'malready used to watch the 'not-so-average' movie and I must say thatthis one still stands after all those years. That's why I give it a7.5/10, maybe even an 8/10.
Simply said: I LOVE this film! It makes you feel every emotion. It makes you feel as if you can do anything! It is the very FIRST film that I saw that inspired me to read the book... without a teacher or anybody telling me to! The "sequel" was kind of a tongue in cheek comment, but if you think about it, it is a viable question. I myself have always imagined what became of Al and Birdy in their later years.
"Birdy" is a 1984 drama film set around two fresh Vietnam War veterans, with a score by Peter Gabriel. I picked it up mainly because of Gabriel's score, but after watching it discovered it was a brilliant and moving film as well.Birdy (Matthew Modine) and Al (Nicholas Cage) are good friends, and have been since high school back in Philadelphia. Al's a wrestling champ at school, a bit lusty and is often getting into trouble. Birdy's a more quiet kind of guy, not really interested in girls, and sticks to himself. He loves birds, builds his own set of wings, and trains carrier pigeons. He's so far into birds and flying it's more than a bit of a worry sometimes, and has got him into trouble more than once. The obsessive nature is from his father's side. When Birdy's Dad was a boy he was really into making wicker chairs, so he understands his son. His mother doesn't understand as much, and is rather worried at and angry about Birdy's passions. Still, Al and Birdy have a good time, they're always getting part time jobs together, trying to make some money. They end up going to Vietnam, and both come back messed up, Al physically (half his face was blown off), and Birdy mentally (Birdy now acts like a bird). Birdy is now in the psychiatric ward of a military hospital, and Al, covered in bandages, has been called in to see if he can talk Birdy out of his condition. If he can't, says the psychiatrist, he'll be sent to an institution. So Al goes into the cramped white room where Birdy is, reminsicing about all times, getting no answer. He is convinced that Birdy is still there, deep inside, but the psychiatrist is convinced otherwise. In fact, after reviewing Al's records, he thinks that Al is equally messed up. Will Al be able to get through to Birdy, or will they both end up as institionalized war veterans?Director Alan Parker has done a really good job with the look of this film, I thought. The Philadelphia we see is run down and rubbish strewn, but unlike so many films that try to be "gritty", there is a warmth to these places, they feel lived-in and loved rather than just trashy. There's an atmosphere to every place, be it under the bleachers, at the hospital, or in the darkness of Birdy's cell. The characters too, are interesting, especially the way they interact. (The scene where the usually quiet Birdy has a heated argument with Al's Dad, a gruff and usually furious man, and wins, for instance). Matthew Modine captures the quiet and intense feel of Birdy's character really well, as well as his quirky, dangerous moments that worried his friends and family so much. I've had a few friends like this in my time, and I think Modine hit the personality just right. There are a few themes and social comments running through the film (when and what is mental illness, the cold, hyper-sensitive eye of the mental health system, why young men choose to go to war, the nature of a deep friendship between two young men, etc) which were interesting concepts to digest.Peter Gabriel's score heightens the emotion and themes really well. Give or take a new composition, the score is made up of instrumental tracks and segments from his third and fourth albums, "3" and "Security", with the production values leaning more towards that of the fourth album. Already being familiar with the music, it was interesting hearing how Gabriel chose to use it. Birdy seems to get the song "Wallflower" as his theme (which I think is rather appropriate, given the lyrics of the original) while Al, more or less, gets an instrumental of "Family Snapshot" in his vulnerable and emotional moments. Gabriel was a good choice for scoring this film, I thought. In those albums whose materials he used for the score, he dealt a lot with mentally vulnerable people through his lyrics, while on Genesis albums like "Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" explored the friendship between men (Brother John and Rael, who appear through the songs), so I think he would have understood nature of the material when scoring it. Alan Parker also made a good decision in adapting the "Birdy" book to screen. Having dealt with mental trauma very well through his last film "Pink Floyd - The Wall", he had the experience to deal with the material with sensitivity, understanding and could add the right evocative imagery and dialogue. I got a bit emotional by the end, actually.Definitely worth a look for fans of a good drama, fans of Alan Parker and fans of Peter Gabriel.
This movie couldn't make up its mind whether it was about a friendship, oran allegory of urban life, or a story about Vietnam veterans, or a storyabout a weird boy fascinated by birds. I hoped the subject would befriendship, a big, broad subject. But it turned out to be a small one: theemotional traumas of war veterans. Instead of an ode to friendship, I got asocial studies essay on Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome! The film was tooclinical, not poetic enough, and the unexpectedly cheerful ending is bothunrealistic and pointless. Movie-makers are terribly uptight abouthomoerotic implications. To counteract the danger, these words are put intoone of the boys' mouth : "We're friends, but we're not queer about eachother"!! What a huge sigh of relief! The movie's unwitting subject wasfriendship, but the writer was too afraid to admit it to himself. Hepreferred the illusion of believing he was just telling a story aboutVietnam vets. Everything in the movie was designed to mask the deepfriendship.
Birdy is a great movie. I saw it about a year ago and I was blown away byit. Matthew Modine is excellent as the young man who comes back fromVietnamtraumatized and gets sent to a mental hospital due to his attempts to flyoff buildings like a bird. Nicolas Cage creates a very compelling andfascinating character also as his buddy who tries to help him. Verytouching. Highly Recomended!!!!!!!
Al (Cage) and Birdy (Modine) are two friends in Philadelphia. Al is averysocial and outgoing person, while Birdy stays to himself and his maininterest, birds. Although they have different personalities, they begintoform a strong bond raising and training carrier pigeons together. As theygrow up together, their friendship begins to fade. Birdy growsincreasinglyintroverted and obsessed with his birds. He dreams of flying and becomingabird. Eventually they go to Vietnam. Al comes home with a scarred face.Birdy comes home a with a scarred mind.Al goes to the army mental hospital to see Birdy, and he can't believewhathe sees. Birdy doesn't speak, and lies curled up on his floor. Only timewill tell if Birdy will awake from his catatonic state. Al knows that hemay be the only one who can pull Birdy back to reality.This movie shows the dichotomy of influence the war had on veterans. Ononehand, people came home with horrible injuries. On the other, vets camebackwithout a visible scratch, yet suffered the horrors of war in their heads.And as this movie shows, the mental injuries are the mostdevastating.I was pleased for the most part with this movie. Both Modine and Cage areconvincing in their portrayals. The story moves along nicely, and the warscenes are used sparingly and powerfully. The only problem I have withthisfilm is the ending, which makes you wonder if they ran out offilm.
Main characters:Al: Nicolas CageBirdy: Matthew ModineSPOILER-FREE REVIEW"Birdy" tackles the complex issue of post traumatic stress following wartime, telling the story of two childhood friends damaged by the ills of war in Vietnam. Raised in the slums of Philadelphia, Birdy and Al were very close friends as teenagers before the war. The film begins with Al returning stateside in facial bandages, headed for a military hospital at the behest of a psychiatrist who believes Al may find a way to coax Birdy from a catatonic state. The storyline drifts back and forth between the pair's childhood and the mental hospital, interspersed with flashbacks of the war. As the movie unfolds, we learn that Al just may need Birdy as much as or more than Birdy needs him. The movie takes an agonizing look at the emotional and physical trauma war can inflict on soldiers, and manages to portray the tragedy of PTSD with a silver-lining. A five-star movie with very good acting, directing and an ending which is sure to ask questions, "Birdy" is a wonderful addition to everyone's movie library.