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The Aviator ~ Eh. It Was OK

Jan 23, 2005 (Updated Jan 23, 2005)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Kinda interesting

Cons:Didn't hold me

The Bottom Line: The Bottom Line really did like the crash scene though...

I know that The Aviator is being hyped to hell and back as a great picture, but having just now returned from the theater I have to say that I wasn't all that impressed with it. Sue me.

This is about the life and times of Howard Hughes (up to a point, anyway). Now I agree that Hughes was a character and a half and deserving of a film based on his life. He was a plain/plane talker and shot from the hip even against the odds. That was refreshing in a time of political plays and palm-greasing (what am I saying, it's still that time..) It was interesting to get into his head and watch his obsession with building the next and greatest flying machines, and damn the expense or consequences. Also interesting was his slide into mental illness.

I also agree that even though I am not a fan of Leonardo DiCapprio, he did do this role justice. I wasn't much into seeing his nekkid skinny rear end, but he was convincing in the role. He had the ticks down to a science.

Really, this is another one of those that I just can't quite put my finger on what was wrong with it. I just know that in spite of what should have been a great script and what was wonderful performances, I found myself fidgeting and my mind wandering away from the movie. I even saw Tom checking his watch a time or two. Why? I wouldn't call it a particularly slow movie, in spite of the evidence to the contrary. It seemed to be a well made character-driven piece. Each individual aspect when examined from acting to filming was spot on.. but the over-all end result was, well, not quite boring... but most decidedly less than spell-binding.

Martin Scorsese directed this one and looking back through his other movies it does seem that the ones he did using DiCapprio are the ones he lost me on, like Gangs of New York, another one that got rave reviews from everyone under the sun yet lost me almost from the very beginning. On the other hand, when someone else was in the lead, such as with Cape Fear and Goodfellas, I was captivated. Then there's The Last Temptation of Christ which was absolutely brilliant in every way. But again, I could see no flaw in DiCapprio himself, so perhaps he isn't the problem really. The other common denominator is that the ones losing me are his most recent flicks. Maybe Scorsese is just losing his touch.

Cate Blanchett and Kate Beckinsale also held thier own in the roles of two of Hughes' lady-loves, Katharine Hepburn and Ava Gardner, respectively. Saddly, neither one of them could hold my attention entirely either.

I dunno folks. All the elements were there, but the thing put together on the big screen failed to grab me and bring me into Hughes' world completely... for whatever reason. So, on an idividual basis this one may add up to a 5 star movie, but the finished product, in my eyes, is a mediocre 3 stars. I'll recommend it though if you've nothing else to do with your evening. Odds are you'll end up liking it much more than I did, and there are some very comical moments worth seeing... go ahead, but go to the half-price matinee.

Recommend this product? Yes

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