I love movies, but never seem to find the time to go to the theatre. So I get caught up on the occasions when I have long flights.
I don’t miss the days when everyone on a plane had to watch the same film, which inevitably was shown on a screen as far as possible from my seat, no matter which seat I was in. Usually it was a film I had already seen, so I didn’t really care.
Today’s planes have much more choice, with screens at your seat. My problem is trying to decide which movie offering to watch, knowing the flight won’t be long enough to watch them all. So I was pleased to have a number of long flights last month and get to see some of the movies that I had missed seeing in theatres. Having made my choices I recorded my impressions immediately (aren’t smartphones wonderful) and today you get my capsule reviews. Just in case you are on a plane soon. Or feeling like renting one of these titles.
Still Alice – Another Alzheimer’s film. Well done, good performances, but I feel like I have seen it before. I have obviously seen too many films dealing with aging.
Unbreakable – I suspect that they toned this one down in terms of the violence and suffering. I was disappointed that the message of forgiveness and reconciliation was relegated to a note before the credits rolled. I’m told the book has the full story.
Song One – a simple love story, the word elegant comes to mind. Somewhat predictable, but I enjoyed it. It was 2 a.m.my time though when I watched, so I probably wasn’t as critical as I might have been.
American Sniper – the inner conflict involved doesn’t really play out as much as I expected, and there is no real attempt at an in-depth look at the morality of the situation. Bradley Cooper does a great job as Chris Kyle. I wonder if Kyle would have worked out his spiritual issues if he had lived.
Exodus: Gods and Kings – I’d read the reviews. I knew that only the names were the same: this is not the Biblical story of the Exodus. The more I watched the more unreal it became. The historical inaccuracies were staggering. At the 1:15 mark, halfway through the film, I reached my limit and turned it off. I just can’t see Moses using modern military training methods in 2500 BC. If you want a Biblical epic, try The Ten Commandments instead – much more realistic.
Citizenfour – Be afraid, be very afraid. A documentary about American security whistleblower Edward Snowden. I’d have more sympathy for him and his cause if he wasn’t Vladimir Putin’s guest these days. Big Brother is watching me and you, how do you feel about that? (For the record, I don’t think the US National Security Agency knows I watched this film. I had switched seats with another passenger – they may come after him. Then again, I don’t know what he was watching while sitting in my seat, so maybe they will come looking for me.
A Hard Day’s Night – After Citizenfour I needed something I knew would be light and fluffy, and Richard Lester’s classic Beatles romp was just right. It really is a silly, maybe even stupid movie – but I had been watching too much heavy stuff.
So there you have it, mini-reviews for your entertainment pleasure. I was too lazy to put up the trailers for all the films, but you can find them if you search for yourself. For the record, I also read on the flights. I would hate for you to think I had nothing better to do than watch movies!