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The Aviator

The Aviator

I watched this with my wife a couple of years back and neither one of us liked it. That despite the fact that Martin Scorsese is my favorite director. There's other movies of his I don't care for like Shutter Island and Bringing Out the Dead. I was hoping I'd have a better experience this time around but I wasn't expecting to.

Going into it this time, one thing that piqued my interest was how they portrayed the filming of Hell's Angels, a good movie I just watched a couple of years ago. The way it turned out, I was more surprised by what they left out than interested in what was included. One interesting part about the making of Hell's Angels was how sound was added so late in the process, and that was shown. It wasn't a huge deal that they failed to mention that the movie contained a color scene that would be the only one Jean Harlow would ever do, but I at least noticed it. Most shocking and noticeable was the complete omission of any mention about the three pilots and one mechanic who lost their lives. Additionally, Hughes himself suffered a skull fracture, among other injuries, and if you go by this movie you'd never know it happened. I don't care about perfect accuracy in biopics, and this isn't a movie about the making of Hell's Angels, but these were some things that stood out to me.

I am a fan of DiCaprio's, especially since his brilliant turn in The Departed, but I felt this movie was too big for him. I never saw the character instead of the actor, and it came off as phony. I adore Cate Blanchett, and I think she was a solid casting choice, but it just didn't work for me. I thought she came off as over the top, also phony, and again I saw the character rather than the actor. Not helping matters was the fact that I've always found Katharine Hepburn to be unappealing. Adam Scott simply didn't belong in this movie while most others were in thankless roles with no opportunity to shine. The only actor I thought did well for themselves was Alan Alda. When he was talking and Leo remarks about the painting of the llama, I felt like yelling shut up and let him talk. Most of the actors do have some decent moments, as they are talented, but as a whole I they were subpar.

It's an epic production and it shows. That doesn't mean I was impressed. It's a great looking movie for the most part, yet there were times when I wondered if I was being fooled. The score is nice and era appropriate, but sometimes I thought it was overkill. I thought many of the details were well done, like the cars and the costumes.

The story is not one that interests me so the long runtime is a burden. I wouldn't say it bored me, yet it certainly didn't excite me. The OCD parts of the film simply made me anxious and I couldn't care less about the romances. There are some good scenes such as any that involved planes up in the air, the comparison of "mammaries", and the dinner with Baldwin's character. The plane crash was the most exciting part of the movie, even if it came off as a bit contrived with the glimpses of people in the houses that were being hit. It was a nice touch having Jude Law's Errol Flynn get into a fight, and I really enjoyed all the references to old movies and actors, especially since I recently became familiar with them.

I don't watch many movies that aren't at least rated R, and obviously I like even less than that. This movie was a little family friendly for my normal taste. I wouldn't say I totally dislike the movie, but I certainly don't like it either. I also wouldn't call it a bad movie, but surprisingly, I don't think it's very good either.