Vicenarian Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss. Excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.
The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.
Biopic of billionaire Howard Hughes, starting with his early filmmaking years as owner of RKO studios but mostly focusing on his role in designing and promoting new aircraft. Hughes was a risk-taker spending several fortunes on designing experimental aircraft and eventually founding TWA as a rival to Pan AM airlines owned by his great rival Juan Trippe. When Trippe's politico Senator Ralph Owen Brewster accuses Hughes of being a war profiteer, it's Hughes who gains the upper hand. Hughes also had many women in his life including a long relationship with actress Katharine Hepburn. From an early age however, Hughes was also germophobic and would have severe bouts of mental illness. Written by
When Hughes is dining with Senator Brewster in the hotel, his jacket seems to vary between being buttoned and unbuttoned. Before he rises to leave, he buttons it, but when he stands up, it is unbuttoned again. Then when he walks into the hallway (in what appears to be a differently coloured jacket) it is buttoned up again. See more »
Leave it to Martin Scorsese, he is one of the few reliable directors
who graces in age, still manages to make outstanding movies. I thought
his previous film; GANGS OF NEW YORK was the best film of 2002 (and
still stand by that comment). Scorsese who was once known for showing
us the gritty realistic world of New York City's "Mean Streets" with
the Little Italy thugs (MEAN STREETS), anti-hero loners (TAXI DRIVER),
fallen hero (RAGING BULL), bizarre world of Soho (AFTER HOURS),
realistic thugs (GOODFELLAS), gangsters controlling Las Vegas (CASINO;
it wasn't in NYC, but it still had the similar theme), guilt ridden
paramedic (BRINGING OUT THE DEAD), and the war between immigrants
(GANGS OF NEW YORK). This is the Scorsese that all of us know about and
remember. Yet Scorsese was also responsible for telling us about a
single mother in the southwest struggling to survive (ALICE DOESN'T
LIVE HERE ANYMORE), the final farewell concert of a fantastic rock/folk
group The Band (THE LAST WALTZ), and the story of Jesus Christ (LAST
TEMPTATION OF Christ). Now Scorsese has become the storyteller of one
of the most enthusiastic and eccentric billionaires of recent years,
In THE AVIATOR, Scorsese portrays Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) as
several different roles: filmmaker, womanizer, entrepreneur, engineer,
germ-phobic, and aviator. The film tells about the achievements that
Hughes accomplished such as the movies HELL'S ANGELS & THE OUTLAW, the
building of an airplane that can fly above 20,000 feet, acquiring TWA
and making it a international airline, and the design and building of
the largest airplane ever the Hercules (now known as the Spruce Goose).
Yet Hughes went through so many conflicts with his business: Pan Am
Airline chief Juan Trippe (Alec Baldwin), Maine Senator Ralph Owen
Brewster (Alan Alda), Louis B. Mayer (Stanley DeSantis); his romance:
Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett), Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsdale); and
himself: paranoia, and obsession compulsion disorder.
THE AVIATOR discusses all of those elements in rich detail, that after
watching the movie, you begin to realize the amazing accomplishments
that Hughes did. Wonder why the only thing we most remember about
Hughes was being a recluse who was afraid of germs. And would like to
know more about Howard Hughes and see the films that were discussed in
This isn't a Scorsese film that people want another TAXI DRIVER,
GOODFELLAS, CASINO, or RAGING BULL would expect. This is a different
kind of Scorsese, one who is telling a story about a man, who is no
different that him. A dreamer who dreams big and ignores what his
advisors, and partners tell him, then come up with projects with
DiCaprio proves that he his under-appreciated actor in this film. While
most of the public see him as that goofy kid who shouts, "I'm king of
the world!" in TITANIC. Yet most don't realize his talent with such
roles as in WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE and CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. THE
AVIATOR shows that DiCaprio is a great actor, giving a realistic
portrayal of the eccentric Hughes in some scenes, and a man who
cleanses the germs that represent people he dislikes or negative
incidents. Blanchett does a amazing job with her performance of
Katherine Hepburn with the way her head is tilted back to the
pronunciation of words to the snobbish like personality she has when
she is around her parents. While Beckinsdale also does a great job
playing the very sexy Ava Gardner who has a love/hate relationship with
Hughes, a woman who hates him at times, but will help him when he needs
The supporting performances by John C. Reily, Ian Holm, Alec Baldwin,
Alan Alda, Danny Huston, and Matt Ross are all top rate and also
deserve recognition as well.
And Scorsese proves that he one of the best directors of all time with
several elements. First the pacing of the story, the film never drags
and at running time of 169 mins. it kept my attention on what was going
to be happening next. Second, some of the scenes of the film were of
complete beauty and wonder. One scene that blew my mind was during the
filming of the aerial scenes from HELLS ANGELS which showed how
dangerous it was filming the dogfight scenes from that film, seventy
years before computer generated images would replace that technique.
Third, the acting by the actors was top notch and very convincing.
Finally, the story of Howard Hughes himself was unique and original and
I think there will never be another person like Howard Hughes.
This has been quite a year of movies: COLLATERAL, SIDEWAYS, KILL BILL
VOL. 2, THE INCREDIBLES, RAY, A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT, THE TERMINAL,
FAHRENHEIT 9/11, BOURNE SUPREMENCY, OCEANS TWELVE, CRIMINAL, SPIDER-MAN
2, MEAN GIRLS, HARRY POTTER & PRISONER OF AZKABAN, and SPANGLISH were
all films that were amazing and all were among my favorite films of
this year (yet I still need to see LIFE AQUATIC and FINDING NEVERLAND).
But I think it will be hard to beat THE AVIATOR, for it's story,
characters, and epic feel.
The Academy has snubbed Scorsese for 30 years; they did the same thing
for Roman Polanski until THE PIANIST. Now I think its time for the
Academy to acknowledge Scorsese for his craft and technique. While some
people will believe that Scorsese should have won his Oscar back in
1980 with RAGING BULL, or in 1990 with GOODFELLAS, I feel that it's
time to recognize Scorsese for something! And THE AVIATOR is one film
that I think that most Scorsese devotees (like myself) feel is worthy
of recognition. Plus, if this movie wins both Best Director and Best
Picture, then two of my favorite directors will win Oscars (Scorsese
and Michael Mann, who produced AVIATOR).
So that is why I am rooting and hoping that THE AVIATOR will collect
Oscar gold. The best movie of the year, and don't miss it!!!!! *****
(Out of five)
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