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The Aviator

2005-02-15 15:54:05.099593+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

Went out last night and saw the perfect Valentine's Day date movie: The Aviator[Wiki]. Think The Wall[Wiki], but with airplanes.

Overall, I liked it. The movie captured a struggle with obsessive compulsive behavior beautifully, and, for all that the first half screamed "Oh look, there's Jack Dawson flying airplanes", I thought that once he was allowed to act, rather than just look pretty, Leonardo DiCaprio[Wiki] was amazing at getting inside the behavior of someone who knows he's going crazy, but has to transcend that to fulfil his passion.

Martin Scorcese[Wiki] on the other hand, needs to get some new camera moves. That shit worked well in The Age of Innocence[Wiki](and didn't work in The Color of Money[Wiki]), but about the umpteenth time we see the "spiral staircase" move around the airplanes, it becomes monstrously distracting. In fact, one of the previews was for Kingdom of Heaven[Wiki], which looks awful, but my reaction was "Oh, look, Ridley Scott[Wiki] did a Gladiator[Wiki] remake". Scorcese is a better director than Scott, but this movie very clearly showed that Scorcese never really loved aviation and airplanes, and that visually he's essentially a one-trick pony.

And it was cool, in this administration of drafting legislation to help specific companies and lobbyists, to have the defeat of such evil be a pivotal moment. Alan Alda[Wiki] played the corruption well, although we were still aware that it was Alda playing a role (luckily, not Hawkeye Pierce).

Enjoyed it, didn't notice its length.

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#Comment Re: made: 2005-02-15 17:30:04.439286+00 by: petronius

I liked the Aviator as well, and agree that its insights into somebody with OCD are remarkable, particularly the subset of such folk who can afford to handle any compulsion. I thought DiCaprio did pretty well, but dammit he still looks like a 17-year-old.

Now I suggest you look at some of Hughs' old movies. Hell's Angels is remarkable, if you can see past the bad early-talkie acting. The famous Zeppelin scene is downright spooky, when the crewman jump off without 'chutes to lighten the ship. However, if you want to see a real weird one look at Jet Pilot (1953-1957). It is an anti-soviet sex comedy (!)filled with interminable shots of early '50s jet fighters. It is one of the strangest movies I've ever seen. I actually saw it when it was first released, and even at 7 years of age I thought that something was very, very wrong.