THE  AVIATOR     -          A  Narada Film Review

   Ava Gardner     
   Howard Hughes
    Juan Tripp
THE AVIATOR - 2004   -Joseph Ruben-Director  &  Bruce Cohen  -Producer
        Every time I see Leonardo DiCaprio in a film, I tell myself, "He has real talent, and at the rate he's coming along through the ranks, one of these days he'll be recognized as a top-notch actor."   And it is no different in THE AVIATOR, although this time his failure to aspire to super-stardom wasn't entirely his fault.    -As convincing as DiCaprio is, his teenage California-boy timbre just doesn't call to mind a Captain of Industry.   This is the long way around to say he was plainly miscast as Howard Hughes.
         Nevertheless, it was a pleasant surprise to see this Hollywood film being made about Hollywood (in part), and considering the waves Howard Hughes made there in real life, I never expected that Tinseltown would ever come even half close to being objective, let alone entertaining.   But much more significant than any of this is the more than adequate job Director Martin Scorsese did on presenting a significant slice of aviation history - both civilian and military.   THE AVIATOR captures in technical splendor (CGI & remastered old footage) a history many of us had forgotten - and many of us never knew- of Howard Hughes' foresight and insights and personal pioneering that changed the pace, if not the face, of aviation history.
         Be advised that Tinseltown will not ignore a major studio effort which employs a cast of it's hottest stars and 'hot-properties' in the making of a film about itself.   Let there be no ambiguity - Hollywood WILL reward it's own.   Look for several of the participants in THE AVIATOR to be adequately recognized come Oscar time - especially in light of Hollywood's otherwise shameful, and at the same time, shameless dearth of cinematic achievement in 2004.   An indicator, of course, will be the Golden Globe Awards coming out in a day or two.
         As a final note, don't walk out before watching the credits scroll up to the very last frame - you will hear a seldom-played blues number called 'Howard Hughes' sung by Leadbelly - and I must admit I have never heard Leadbelly sound better.   One can only imagine where they found, and then remastered this ancient bit of 'The Blues' - (he died on December 6, 1949).
      Enduring Line or Phrase:  "We'll do it the legal way, we'll buy them..."

Copyright 2005,    Bangkok Eyes /
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