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The Aviator [Blu-ray]
The Aviator
Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, John C. Reilly, Alec Baldwin
Genres: Drama
PG-13     2007     2hr 50min

An epic biopic depicting the early years of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes' career, from the late 1920's to the mid-1940's.


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Movie Details

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, John C. Reilly, Alec Baldwin
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Drama
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: Blu-ray - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 11/06/2007
Original Release Date: 12/25/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 12/25/2004
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 2hr 50min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
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Movie Reviews

I get ideas......
Archmaker | California | 12/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Martin Scorsese's stylish take on Howard Hughes' early life, is a stunningly visual treat in art direction made even more compelling by Scorsese's sure handed directorial flourishes. Scorsese is, by now, a master of the medium, always finding the interesting shot, the fitting camera angle, the flowing tracking shot, the camera movement that breathes energy into his story. It is beautifully filmed and acted, most especially by Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes.

It is a long movie, and it will be interesting to see whether a modern audience, many doubtless unfamiliar with the Hughes legend, will find it as intriguing as we who remember the Hughes of Las Vegas etc. Take the clue from the title, this is a film about the young Hughes who was a genius and a creative dynamo, and an almost overlooked pioneer of aviation. This was a young man full of ambition, dreams, energy and contradictions. The film not only presages the pitiable creature Hughes will become, a slave to his obsessive compulsive illness, but it does so with sympathy and sensitivity.

A first rate biopic done with flair and style. Another worthwhile look at an American life."
A modern-day, old-school epic!
RMurray847 | Albuquerque, NM United States | 09/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Reviews of THE AVIATOR seem to fall into three camps. Those who hate it because it rewrites history...I'll admit right here that I don't know enough about the "true" history of Hughes to comment on the accuracy of every detail. Others hate it because they find it boring or don't find Leonard DiCaprio credible as Howard Hughes. The third group likes the movie.

That's the group I'm happily in. It is by no means the greatest epic ever made, but for me it hearkens back to the glory days of the early Cinemascope, Technicolor Hollywood epic, but with better special effects. The sets and costumes are completely luscious. No expense has been spared. You feel glamorous just watching the darn thing. The acting, while very good all around, teeters close to going "over-the-top," which is just what this sort of film needs. It is not a subtle film. It is trying to tell the epic story of an epic American who achieved epic things and endured epic personal battles. A bit of bluster and scenery chewing is in order.

For example, everyone loved Cate Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn(heck she won the Oscar). I admired her performance too...but when you watch it, you see that it is pretty unsubtle. Was Hepburn, even in quiet moments, really so full of PERSONALITY? But the film needs this to work.

Alan Alda was great...he plays slimy so well now. In my mind, he's going to totally shake off Hawkeye Pierce and emerge as a key player of political villany. In real life, he seems like a terrific, open, intelligent and easily amused person. Scary how just a tiny tweaking of those dials makes him creepy. Good stuff!! Kate Beckinsale, out of her league, does okay as Ava Gardner, but the role is generic. You never feel Ava Gardner...just some nameless starlet. Gwen Stefani got a lot of mileage out of dressing up like Jean Harlow, but she's hardly in the film. She looks great, though. Jude Law has a tiny part as Errol perfect that casting is!!

And finally, DiCaprio. Here's a huge role for him, one leaving him open to great failure. Yes, I know he still looks like young teenager. In GANGS OF NEW YORK, that worked against him...his anger in face of Daniel Day-Lewis was never threatening...heck, the guy could hardly grow a could he take on a master-thug? In CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, he uses that boyishness to perfection...a role he was made for naturally. In THE AVIATOR, they don't really try to make him seem older. DiCaprio is forced to make us believe he is Howard Hughes by force of his acting...not his impersonation of the man. At first, Hughes hits Hollywood with his wealth and boyish enthusiasm and starts making huge films. He's full of nervous energy and driven to succeed. That actually suits DiCaprio's natural look pretty early on, we can see the boyish DiCaprio as the boyish Hughes. As Hughes ages, DiCaprio can't (and other than a few subtle lines, the makeup artists don't try to age him), but by this time, we already buy him in the role. His personality becomes more complex as his mental disorders become harder and harder for him to combat...and DiCaprio and Scorcese beautifully stage these scenes. One great moment has Hughes in a public restroom, having just obsessively washed his hands. Another patron askes Hughes to hand him a towel...but Hughes' problems simply won't let him. He knows there's no reason not to help the guy. We see DiCaprio's face racked with shame. He wants to get the towel, but can't. He groans out a "I Can't" over and over, as he's frozen in place. He can't even make himself run away...his horror at himself is too complete. This is pretty good stuff. Later, when Hughes has gone totally off the deep end, and locked himself into his offices, letting his hair grow and his hygiene become questionable (at best), his demons have totally evolved. So when he finally summons the strength to fight them down long enough to face a Senate committee (and the outcome will determine the survival of his airline), we root for him quite enthusiastically. And finally, there are the scenes where Hughes flies his experimental aircraft. First, he flies over a field and is forced to make a rough landing. His exhilaration, even as he must know at some level that he could die, is palpable. He's a kid in a candy shop...multiplied 100 fold. Later, he crashes into some fancy suburban homes. This scene is brilliantly staged, with great sound and editing, and we really feel we're in that crash with him. It's horrifying. And finally, the flight of the Spruce Goose is an emotionally climactic moment.

There's no doubt that Hughes was a "difficult" person...even without his madnesses. He wasn't much good at forging close personal relationships with women. But what Scorcese and DiCaprio have captured with THE AVIATOR is the spirit of a time in our history when great things could be done by great individuals with great ambition and drive. It's exhilarating.

To those who found the movie boring and cliché-ridden, I have no answer. People keep saying that THE AVIATOR "isn't TAXI DRIVER or RAGING BULL." So what? Spielberg's MINORITY REPORT ain't E.T. or JAWS, but each is a masterpiece on its own terms. Frankly, Jake LaMotta in RAGING BULL is so unlikeable, the film has always kept me at a bit of an emotional distance (great though it may be). At least in THE AVIATOR, I could root for Hughes and even sympathize with him. And DiCaprio, despite all his foolish, tabloid-baiting activities after TITANIC, is truly one of our most gifted actors. GILBERT GRAPE? CATCH ME IF YOU CAN? A BOY'S LIFE? And now, THE AVIATOR? He's the real deal.

Personally, I recommend this film VERY highly. It's the finest mix of old-Hollywood ambition with new-style technology.
A grand story that manages to be intimate at the same time;
ThrillSeeker1982 | Shreveport, LA | 02/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"On one level, this is an interesting and convincing period piece about the times in which Hughes lived and his remarkable accomplishments. I didn't fully catch onto the filmmakers' ultimate intent though until I watched it a second time: that is, the gravity of obsessive-compulsive disorder in Hughes' life. I greatly enjoyed the film the first time I saw it but it wasn't until that second viewing that I realized the power and grittiness of the story they were trying to tell and, for me, the "classic" status it should/will receive. The source music really helps set the period and the score by Howard Shore is truly exceptional. My respect for DiCaprio grew tremendously as well - both for his actual performance and after learning more about his passion for wanting to put this story onscreen and all the work he went to and interest he took in the project. I don't like using the word "epic" and often avoid so-called stories that are, but 'The Aviator' is a grand one that has a tone all of its own due to the focus on Hughes' determination and achievements in face of mounting external struggles and even more overwhelming internal ones."
Will floor you with blu-ray enhancements!!!
Jason | Orange County, NY | 10/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This movie is hands down fabulous when seen in blu-ray quality. Crisp screen shots and great sound quality makes this a wonderful addition to anyone's blu ray collection."