Cover and Menu: 6/10
Jodi Foster has a face, yes, we know that. She’s the star of this movie, yes, we know. Flightplan is the name of the movie, so we are pretty sure there’s a plane involved. So, why does her stressed out expression and the image of an airplane’s interior have to be slapped on the cover? It’s blah and doesn’t do anything to give a glimpse into what kind of story you are about to journey through with her. Ditto for the menus.
Special Features: 6/10
- In Flight Movie “The Making Of Flightplan” – If you are interested in ever being involved in the Hollywood movie making machine, this is a great extra to learn a few tricks of the trade. The people who built the interiors of the plane featured in the movie (a type of plane that does not exist, of course) go to great lengths and what looks like added expense to construct a film maker’s dream of an airplane set. With sides that hinge and open up like a Delorian, and a roof that is removable, it’s a pretty amazing thing to build JUST to make a movie..oh, did I say that? I don’t mean just for a movie, but geez, some people would be very glad to have a house, or three built from the money they spend on these movie sets nowadays. Besides the extravagant set, they went to a lot of trouble to make the exteriors of this non-existent plane look real. They succeed. You get to see Jodi Foster working through different scenes, her own stunts, and even joking around a bit. I wasn’t aware that Jodi could joke around..she and I are on first name basis, of course.
- Director Commentary – A commentary by a director who truly digs the project he’s talking about is a treat. I enjoyed the movie and again with the commentary actually made me like it even more. There’s a lot of behind the scenes stuff to a big action, but close quarters flick like this one. Making a drama, action, suspense movie on an airplane isn’t easy, but they pull it off and hearing how they did it is pretty interesting.
The Movie: 7/10
I’ll give an early nod to the visual effects in Flightplan. There are flaws in the movie, of course, but I was totally taken by the directing style, the camera work, and the overall look of the sets, special effects, and atmosphere of every scene. It’s visually engaging, which is important when you are stuck in a confined space like and airplane. Even if that airplane is mega huge. It’s the kind of plane only our beloved movie elves in Hollywood can come up with. It’s a double-decker with a lot more amenities than any plane I’ve ever been on. That’s one of the first things that kind of lulls you into the story. It’s almost futuristic, but not. It’s almost menacing, but not quite scary. They make sure to pipe in a constant chatter of sounds, hums, bumps, clanks, and other oratory tricks that keep you as suppressed in the claustrophobic environment as everyone in the story.
The details of the plane make for a place and time for this tale of a woman’s fears and traumas to play out without ever really breaking that suspense of belief thing some snotty people like to talk about. When you see it, you’ll know what I mean. It’s a big story, with extraordinary things taking place, but even if you are a boring skeptic who likes to pick things apart, you have to admit that at some point you are convinced this slice of life is happening, even if only on a movie screen (or TV screen, however you watch it).
The story isn’t too stale. That being said, you have to see it to know the full plot. I don’t do spoilers. I can say we are drawn into a woman’s tragic story as she deals with a missing daughter, an absent husband, a long move from one side of the ocean to the other, leaving her job..etc. Sounds stressful, doesn’t it? And to top it off the in flight entertainment is the first season of LOST…haha just kidding. There are elements of a character working through great depression, dealing with a confusion about what’s real and what’s in her mind, and then there are the forces of movie protagonist darkness working against her. If I say too much it will ruin the darn thing, so just trust me. Bad stuff happens, some action, some dramatic moments, a few tears, heavy breathing, highly emotional slow motion sequences, and bitchy flight attendants, of course. It’s not brilliant story telling, and it’s around the 62% originality range. That’s pretty good these days.
Foster is good, she always is. I just have to say that after watching her for more than 20 years I have come to be a bit fed up with that look on her face. It’s a pained, distressed, confused look that has followed her from Contact, to Panic Room, and now to Flightplan. An Oscar on her shelf should require that she have at least 7 new facial expressions with each project. I’ll look into having that implemented as soon as possible.
The young girl is charming, if not a bit overly directed straight at ripping your heart strings right out of your chest. I know she needs to be cute and sympathetic, but not quite soooo pathetic. I think she does a great job, but whoever pushed her to ham it up should have their wages docked.
Sean Bean, love him. He’s smooth and commanding no matter what his role is in any scene. I sure wish he was the next Bond…I’ll make a note of that while I’m getting the 7 facial expressions rule put into place.
Peter Sarsgaard is always interesting to watch, if not a bit too sleazy all the time. I mean, it’s good to not know who’s the bad guy and who’s the good guy in a movie like this, but putting a guy like Sarsgaard in the mix is just that much more confusing. He’s always kind of a shit in most films, so as he lowers his eye lids, lowers his sexy voice and puts on that semi-stressed and all-to-annoyed voice, it’s hard to see behind those eyes just where he stands between good and evil. It works for Flightplan, but I hope to see him lighten up a bit in the future.
You like Jodi Foster. You like action. You like Sean Bean. You like airplane movies. Pick any one of these or other things to enjoy in this movie an I think you will have an overall good experience. If you are full of movie hater rage and like to pick at every little “plausibility” tear in the time space continuum of film making, first, get a clue, and then go watch the Discovery Channel for you daily dose of reality.
Oh no they didn’t…Over $20??? Why do we have to suffer these expensive DVD’s that offer little more than the movie and a token extra or two? Rent this one now, but if you are a serious Foster fan, or plane dramas, or whatever else might catch your fancy in Flightplan, wait for a special edition, or for it to hit the bargain bin later in the year.
Overall Score 7/10