Friday, August 6, 2021

Birds at Large: The Bourne Identity (2002)


I don't know why this clip was recommended to me on YouTube. I have never seen the Bourne Identity and have never searched for clips of it, and don't care much for Matt Damon, and uhhh I just don't know. But I saw that there were birds in the thumbnail so I gave it a watch. You should too, for the purposes of this blog post!

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OK so this dude shoots some barrels and they explode immediately. I don't know if that's actually something that can happen (Mythbusters in 2005 apparently found that "It has already been proven that when shot by a normal bullet, a gasoline tank will not explode. However, if a gasoline tank is shot by a tracer round from a great enough distance so that the round can ignite with air friction, it will cause the gasoline to catch fire. By the time this happened, the tank was so riddled with bullets [from previous tracers that were fired too close to ignite], there was no contained pressure, but the MythBusters surmised that had the tank been properly enclosed, it might have exploded." Great!), but (still with me?) the thing I took from that explosion shot is "this movie is not set in the United States." Those are Europe homes!

So, I thought to myself, inner monologueingly, it seems likely that if there are any birds singing in the vicinity (if they haven't fled in terror from the massive explosion) they are likely to be ones that I cannot identify. I don't know the vocalizations of European birds, dear friends! I believed myself to be up the proverbial creek SANS paddle! 

Imagine my surprise then, when just a few moments later, the perfectly enunciated song of an Eastern Wood-Pewee bounded through my ear drums or canal or however it works. Surely I must be imagining things, I monologued to myself, innerly! An Eastern Wood-Pewee, in the snow, in Europe? There must be some mistake! I took off my headphones to check if there was some poor, lost Eastern Wood-Pewee stuck somehow in my basement office, but no. This was IN THE FILM. 

Look, I continued internally monologuing, everyone makes mistakes. It's OK! The wrong bird sound just slipped in there! It's the audio equivalent of a typo. Nothing to make a big deal out of!

But then in rapid succession came the vocalizations of Blue Jay, American Crow, and Black-capped Chickadee! Ain't none of these birds in France unless there was some kind of avian class trip? They were on a passing bus on the way to Normandy? No, no, no ("my inner monologue is arguing with itself now," I thought in an inner aside, a kind of even deeper, even inner-er monologue), birds don't take class trips. This was just a shitty job from the sound guy or gal.

Then Matt Damon goes over and shoots into the air and a ton of birds take off from the field. What the shit was that. Why didn't those birds flee during the earlier massive gas explosions and/or gunshots? What even were those things? Too skinny to be doves but does France have huge winter fields filled with snipe? 

This clip sucks and the movie looks like shit and if Matt Damon's character is supposed to be so smart why doesn't he know a single bird call? GOODBYE.

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