Hitchcock was a great director but he made some lame films: the Birds was one of them.
It would be fair to say that many film fans have not exactly welcomed this:
Now I’m not going to defend Bay. I stopped watching his work after being subjected to the monstrosity that is Pearl Harbour: in which America’s worst military disaster is transmuted into a victory for Murika! From what I gather, his films have not improved subsequently.
The idea of letting him lose on a classic film is rather revolting. However, I don’t really think the Birds really deserves to be a classic. It’s no Pyscho or Vertigo. There are some moments of genius: Tippi Hedren smoking on a bench while the birds slowly gather on a climbing frame behind her is genuinely chilling. In general, however, the film doesn’t really work as a whole.
For starters, it takes forever to get going. The birds don’t really make their prescense felt until an hour in. So instead we have to spend an hour in the company of a set of uninteresting and dislikable characters.
In 1963, Hitchcock didn’t have access to either animotronics or CGI. As a result he had to rely on wooden models and real birds. Technical limitations like the malfunctioning mechanical shark in Jaws can be the making of a film but The Birds is not one of them. Instead the bird attacks often wind up looking fake and silly.
And while I admire Tippi Hedren’s courage in challenging and speaking out against Hitchcock’s sexual harrasement, her lead performance is rather stilted.
So while I find the fact that Michael Bay continues to make films objectionable. However, given the mediocrity of the original film, I don’t see it as especially regretable thathe is producing a remake of the Birds.