Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: James Franco, Jean Reno, Jennifer Decker, Scott Hazell, Mac McDonald
Director: Tony Bill
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Military & War
Inspired by the true story of the legendary Lafayette Escadrille, this action-packed epic tells the tale of America's first fighter pilots. These courageous young men distinguish themselves in a manner that none before the... more »
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William W. (wdavidw) from TYLER, TX
Reviewed on 9/3/2010...
Interesting WWI movie in which James Franco (Spider-Man) steps into the role of the hero in this aviation film about the Lafayette Escadrille in France. It is sort of cliched in areas and a bit too melodramatic in others, but the draw for me was the action packed flying scenes in the sky. Those scenes reminded me of a throw back to some of the old EC and DC comics like Enemy Ace, Blackhawk and such. The story starts out following each character and tells a little bit about their backgrounds, and we get to know their squadron commander played by Jean Reno. I thought the computer graphics worked well, so that the action sequences were exciting. Sort of an old fashioned film, but I enjoyed it.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Better than I was led to believe
Monkdude | Hampton, Virginia | 09/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The critics don't like it for the most part, but I really had a good time. Flyboys won't win any awards, but it sure entertained my packed theater. People laughed at most of the little jokes scattered throughout this long film. Clocking in at over two hours it is a bit too long and some of the dialogue is lacking, but the romance is handled well (unlike Pearl Harbor, thank God!), as are the many amazing CGI dogfight scenes. If your bored one afternoon, you should check out Flyboys, otherwise just wait for the DVD."
Keith Thompson | Ft. Thomas, KY United States | 01/14/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Flyboys is a decent adventure film, but with apologies to reviewer Monty Rainey, it can hardly be praised for its historical accuracy. The computer-generated planes zip around more like jet fighters than WW1 planes, making snap-rolls & vertical climbs rather than Immelman turns & the slower, more gradual maneuvers the real planes were capable of. The Nieuports the Escadrille fly were obsolete & replaced by Spads by late 1916/early 1917 (when the movie takes place--they mention the USA entering the war which was April, 1917), and the Fokker Triplane didn't enter service until the winter of 1917 & never in great numbers (very few were red by the way). These quibbles aside, what really destroys the believabilty of the movie is when one of the Flyboys gets shot down & crashes in no-man's land (at a point where the German & French lines seem to be about 50 yards apart when a half mile is about the closest they ever actually got). Though he's in the cockpit when it crashes, the pilot somehow gets his hand trapped between the ground & the upper wing (which miraculously didn't collapse when the plane flipped upside down). And he can't get it out! His friend has to land (apparently also in no-man's land), run THRU no-man's land perpendicular to all the Germans shooting at him, & help his friend get his hand out. (I won't spoil it by saying how.) WW1 fighters weighed roughly 1000 lbs, with the engine & guns comprising over half the total weight. The top wing his hand was trapped under would have weighed about 100 lbs total. If your hand was trapped under one side, you'd simply lift it off with your free hand. Also the trailing edge of the Nieuport was made up of a pine-wood stringer which was one inch square. He could have cut your way thru it with a penknife. OR, since his hand was trapped between the wing & the GROUND, he could have simply dug the earth away underneath it.
Other blatant inaccuracies: the Germans invade with tanks of British design a year before the tank was invented; they've made a massive breakthrough within a few miles of the airfield & the pilots (& the hero's French girlfriend living in the war zone) are completely unaware of it; the hero takes off at night, lands (where? in a field, in the dark?) by his girl friend's house, & none of the thousands of German soldiers in the area hear the plane. . .
For all that, it's not a bad action movie, but as far as being realistic? They should have just made the movie about the real Escadrille pilots. Raoul Lufbery's true exploits would have been much more exciting. (To anyone interested in the true story of the Escadrille, I heartily recommend Jeff Shaara's novel about WW1, TO THE LAST MAN. And for a movie that gets to the heart of what flying in WW1 was really like, try THE DAWN PATROL with Errol Flynn (coming out in March on dvd)."
Pretty good WWI aerial drama
T O'Brien | Chicago, Il United States | 12/26/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Flyboys didn't last long in theaters upon its release, but don't let that scare you away, it's an above average WWI period drama. During World War I, a group of American pilots joined the fighting in Europe before the United States entered the war in 1918. Flying for the French, they were named the Lafayette Escadrille. The movie follows five or six freshly arrived pilots, most notably James Franco as Texan Blaine Rawlings, as they train and learn how to fly and ultimately join the war as they take on German fighters, most notably the Black Falcon, a German pilot who doesn't follow the "rules of war." All in all, this was a pretty good movie. It's by no means a great movie, but it kept me entertained for the full 140 minute running time. The added love story isn't as bad as I thought it'd be, but the movie didn't need that storyline. It would have been better if the storyline focused primarily on the pilots and the dogfights, which are the high points of the movie. Go see this movie for the dogfights, especially the zeppelin attack on Paris and the final showdown between Rawlings and the Black Falcon!
One of the complaints of the movie was that it is too cliched, and this is partly true, but for me it felt like the actors did the best they could with what they have. James Franco gets top billing as Texan Blaine Rawlings, a young rancher who joins the war after his ranch went under. Along with flying with the Escadrille, he falls in love with a French girl, Lucien (French beauty Jennifer Decker), who can't speak English. My favorite character is Reed Cassidy (Martin Henderson), the veteran pilot who slowly opens up to the new pilots. The rest of the young pilots who arrive with Rawlings include Phillip Winchester as William Jensen, the golden boy who knows he'll become a hero, Tyler Labine as Briggs Lowry, a young man from a rich family who is trying to prove himself to his father, Abdul Salis as Eugene Skinner, the lone African-American pilot in the group who must prove himself while also dealing with some racism, and David Ellison as Eddie Beagle, the struggling pilot who may or may not have a suspicious background. Jean Reno is excellent in a small part as the captain of the squadron, Capt. Thenault, but it's too bad he couldn't have been used more.
The soon to be released two-disc DVD, Jan. 30, 2007, will offer a boatload of special features which I'm definitely looking forward to watching. There will be several making of featurettes, some history about the real Lafayette Escadrille, an audio commentary with director Tony Bill and producer Dean Devlin, deleted scenes, trailers, and a Flyboys Squadron DVD-rom game. So for a movie with some excellent dogfights and aerial sequences, a pretty good ensemble cast, and a not so bad love story, look for the two-disc DVD of Flyboys in January!"