Free Birds Directed by: Jimmy Hayward Starring: (voices of) Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler Rating: Not Yet Rated Release Date: November 1, 2013
Trailer Score: 4/10
Thoughts by TSR: Um. What? I simply don’t know what to make of this. I mean, a goofy film about time traveling turkeys is about the last thing I thought I’d see today. It doesn't help that I went in having no idea what this was, to the point where I wrongly assumed it was a small indie drama (perhaps one starring Juno Temple, never mind the fact that the source of confusion, the similarly titled Little Birds, came out last year). Anyway, once I got over the surprise of seeing the title in a very obviously animated film font, I still didn't really warm up to this ridiculous trailer.
One thing I will say is Woody Harrelson is as good a choice as any to play a tough tom turkey. Beyond that, this thing is a miss. The main premise of two turkeys traveling back in time to stop the first Thanksgiving from eating turkeys is bizarre enough that I might pay attention, but too much time here is dedicated to unappealing broad humor. Yes, I understand how a turkey voiced by Lightning McQueen kicking back and eating pizza could be appealing to the children. For me, though, that and the silly turkey violence isn't enough. Also, the horrible laughing humans in the yellow suits feel like an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Despicable Me’s minions. As a first impression – literally since I’d never heard of Free Birds – it’s not great. One more thing, show of hands: how many fans in the ‘90s said, “I bet Green Day will one day have one of their songs used in a movie about time traveling turkeys”? That's what I thought.