You might expect the idea of Michael Bay remaking Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 The Birds, as reported on 4.26 by THR‘s Liza Foreman, to induce purist convulsions among people like myself. But taken as a whole (and I mean apart from the excellent bird-attack sequences and the “end of the world” scene in the Bodega Bay diner), The Birds has always been a flat and rather stodgy film, and it could use some jazzing up. No one expects an egoist like Michael Bay to do a Gus van Sant and try and visually recapture Hitch’s 42 year-old original, and it would be a total shocker if Bay were to ape Hitch’s discipline in very gradually building the suspense and intimations of the coming bird attacks. We all know he’s going to speed up the story (if he pays any attention at all to the Hitchcock film or the Daphne du Maurier short story it was partly based upon) and go right for the jugular and heap on the CGI and so on. But at least Bay won’t have the terminally glacial Tippi Hedren as his lead actress (watch the Birds DVD…her performance wasn’t that good to begin with, and it really doesn’t hold up by today’s standards). And unless he’s a total klutz, Bay will have to be better with child actors that Hitch was. With the exception of the young Vernonica Cartwright’s, every kid performance in The Birds is flat-out awful…squirm-inducing. My son and I were watching the DVD a couple of months ago, and we were laughing and hooting when those black crows attack the kids as they’re running from the schoolhouse. Their acting was so bad that we wanted them to die.