#58 Birdy

#58 Birdy

Year: 1984
Director: Alan Parker
MPAA Rating: R
Epic Co-stars: Matthew Modine
Running Time: 120 mins
Cage Time: 85%
Cage Kills: 0 
Cage Flip-outs: 5
James' Stream of Conscience:
Al Columbato (NIc Cage) just got out of a military hospital and has bandages all over his face.  While on the train he drifts off while muttering something about "Birdy" and what he put him through when they were kids.  Cage was a popular kid who befriends "Birdy", a outcast who captures and trains pigeons.  Together they build a pigeon coup and use special home-made bird costumes to capture birds from a mill at night. Birdy takes a huge fall and doesn't seem to care.  He's just happy that he got to fly.

In present day, Cage arrives in a military mental hospital.  Birdy is locked up in a cell and doesn't communicate with anyone.  He is crouched in the corner and appears to have severe mental damage.  Cage is there to help the doctors figure out what the hell is wrong with Birdy.  Queue dramatic Cage-Birdy 1 on 1 in a prison cell. 

Nic Cage is virtually the only person on earth that can make love to another man in a bird costume and still look totally awesome doing it.
1st attempt:  Cage tries to talk about old times and remember the good ones.  No dice, Birdy won't say a word to him and doesn't even really look at him.
2nd attempt:  Cage is frustrated, even slightly angry with Birdy.  Still nothing.
3rd attempt:  Cage gets real.  He talks life and philosophy but Birdy remains in the same twisted squatting pose that he's always been in.
4th attempt:  Cage feeds Birdy.  Birdy eats.  Birdy makes eye contact.
5th attempt:  Cage Jokes...  BIRDY SMILES!
6th attempt:  Sponge bath with the nurse.  Cage makes a good move by just observing
7th attempt:  Pure Cage rage all directed towards Birdy.  Birdy cries.  Cage leaves.  Cage cries.  
8th attempt:  Baseballs...

A face that only a mother could love.  ...and a father.   ...and every other person on the face of the earth.
Back in the day, more memories flow by.  They steal a car and drive to the beach.  Cage nails a chick while Birdy creeps out her friend and drives them away.  Cage looks pissed; blue balls for sure.  Birdy can't stop thinking about birds, not chicks, birds.  He stays up all night playing with birds, creates amazing Di Vinci style flying machines, gives school reports on feathers, and even homemade human sized wings that may just allow him to finally bridge the human-avian divide.  

Bottom line:  This movie isn't bad.  If you want to see something a bit out of the ordinary with plenty of young Charming Cage, Birdy is the film for you.  And even if you find that it isn't the film for you stick around for the ending.  The final 2 minutes are probably the best 2 minutes in the entire film.  

Movie quotability:
  • (whispers) "Sure you feel like it."
  • "I want to go back and change, I look stupid."  "Not to a bird Al."
  • "You're wrong! They're dead: plucked and fucked!"
  • "Whoa, his foot looks like a weird giant dong." - James
  • "Mammary glands?  MAMMARY GLANDS?!?  No, we're talking tits here! Big tits...  Round tits...  Fleshy tits...  Full tits..."
  • "This fucking fucker's fucked" (Cage's Dad when trying to start the car, but used again by Cage 9 years later in Deadfall)
  • "This guy's really into birds." - Skyler

Plot Holes:
  • Anytime anything exciting happens La Bamba plays.

Exceeds Expectations
Exceeds Expectations
!Huffed her blankey while being fixated on the Cage!


Steve M said...

A bit out of the ordinary? That's an understatement. Not the worst movie in the Cage, but certainly not one of the better ones.

Unknown said...

I read the book this movie is based on, and it is set in the WWII era rather than Vietnam. We felt that Vietnam worked better because of the way veterans weren't treated as heros. Apparently, this is the first feature film to make use of a skycam. Also, that last bit is real funny.

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