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The Aviator (Two Disc Special Edition)

A movie directed by Martin Scorsese

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Trapped By His Own Ambition

  • Apr 16, 2009
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Howard Hughes was a brilliant man who helped society more then we realize sometimes. Though he was known for making violent (and at times smutty) films, Hughes main contribution to society was for his aviation skills. Though he may have intended to make his living as a major Hollywood director, during the filming of his World War II epic "Hell's Angels" he needed to make the planes move faster for that epic feel he was going for. In a move of keen observation, Hughes ended up with the fastest plain in the world, and he just kept going from there. Though brilliant, Hughes was also a troubled man. Obsessive compulsive and a recluse, Hughes lived the life of glamor and fame, until he died alone with a reputation as an acentric old fool.

What attached director Martin Scorsese to Hughes life was, most likely, the troublesome aspects. Scorsese himself went through many of the same problems Hughes went through, though unlike Hughes, it seems Marty was able to overcome them. As a sign of deep respect, "The Aviator" downsizes most of the troubles in Hughes life (played by Leonardo DiCaprio in an Oscar nominated role). Though trouble still looms, even the most difficult of times is shown with a hint of glory. Take, for example, a test flight that goes horribly wrong. While in the air for an hour and forty-five minutes Hughes has another great plane on his hands, until something goes wrong with the plain and is crashes into a residential area. The crash is massive, and it leaves Hughes in dire state, but what a disaster it was.

If you have to fail, you may as well fail this way. Earlier though, he is a successful movie director, dating several famous film stars, getting into his most serious relationship with Katherine Hepburn (Cate Blanchet, in an Oscar winning role), though this relationship falls apart once Hepburn meets Spencer Tracy. The highlight of his life comes when Pan American Airlines proposes a bill to monopolize aviation, and even buys a politician to help feud a very public battle with Howard Hughes. If it weren't for Hughes, we'd have another DMV on out hands when it came to flight travel. Though Hughes died lonely and insane, his mark on the world of aviation was important. Even to the end of his life he was talking about jet engines, claiming they were the way of the future.

As bio-pics go this is not the most faithful adaptation of Howard Hughes life, but it is the most grand. It has an eye for color, as in the first hour of the film, which is colored in various shades of red and cyan blue to help mimic the two-color Multicolor process (a process Hughes himself owned). The acting is wonderful, fooling even the biggest history buff into suspending disbelief long enough to believe that these are the actual people. Keep an eye out for a slew of cameos playing famous people, with my personal favorite being Jude Laws appearance as Errol Flynn. Though underrated and considered a big indulgence effort on Scorsese's part, I feel "The Aviator" is one of the directors best, and most personal films.

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More The Aviator reviews
review by . November 19, 2008
Howard Hughes, this is your life - and what a life it was. This movie vividly portrays the life and times of one of the quirkiest, most reclusive men ever to inhabit the earth, warts and all, and while it answers a lot of questions, it raises a few of its own.     Running a whopping 170 minutes - that's almost three hours! - it begins with a scene between Hughes as a child, and his mother, which ultimately leads to his developing a phobia about germs that would make Adrian Monk …
review by . November 05, 2008
The Aviator (Two Disc Special Edition)
'The Aviator' is a sweeping epic of a movie chronicling the earlier years of multi-millionaire and aviation genius Howard Hughes. Hughes was more than just a simply playboy millionaire, he was a risk-taker and a brilliantly gifted mind, but also a soul tortured by Obsessive-Compulsive disorders.     The movie starts with Hughes's movie project, 'Hell's Angel's', the most expensive movie of its time. Hughes was into the movie business along with the aircraft business, which would …
review by . October 08, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
I'm not surprised that Cate Blanchett won an Oscar for her supporting role, playing Katherine Hepburn, but I'm shocked that Leonardo DiCaprio did not win for his brilliant portrayal of Howard Hughes. With all Mr. Hughes's phobias and odd ways, portraying him must undoubtedly have been the ultimate challenge.     This movie was great! It was awesome seeing the genius of Director Martin Scorsese "pulling" the best from his actors and from each scene. Everyone pulled together to …
review by . April 11, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
What I expected from Aviator was "Gangs of New York" in the sky. What I received from Aviator was my imagination at full throttle.    I have been blessed to lead a life where I had parents who introduced me to the classics of Hollywood since I was just old enough to crawl. Growing up, it was nothing to see Katherine Hepburn or Mickey Rooney, Dorris Day, or the Little Rascals on my tv set. What an incredible honor to be a part of the "revival" movement of the classics going on …
review by . January 31, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett shine.      Cons: Too short.     The Bottom Line: At the end of The Aviator audience in our almost packed theater stood and clapped. There can be no higher complement.      As a child I remember the name Howard Hughes as this vague echo bouncing around the periphery of our household. I didn’t know much about the man only that he was larger then life, and then he was dead. He was one of the …
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Kevin T. Rodriguez ()
Ranked #57
Kevin T. Rodriguez is an aspiring film journalist. He's more comfortable typing a review then doing an on-camera appearance, but he loves doing the occasional rant. Whether it be on movies, eBay, or comics, … more
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About this movie


Martin Scorsese's THE AVIATOR is a lavish spectacle of a motion picture that harks back to Hollywood's Golden Era in telling the story of Howard Hughes, one of 20th-century America's most pioneering and influential figures. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the eccentric billionaire, Scorsese's biopic concentrates on Hughes's life between the 1920s and '40s, when he made striking contributions to both the film and aviation industries. At only 25 years of age, Hughes directed the most expensive film ever made up to that point, HELL'S ANGELS (1930), which Scorsese gleefully recreates here in all its sprawling, audacious glory. At the same time, he became known as an unabashed playboy, bedding the likes of Jean Harlow (singer Gwen Stefani), Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale), and Katherine Hepburn (a brilliant Cate Blanchett). In the mid-'30s, he turned his attention to the aviation industry, where he quickly became world-renowned for shattering speed and distance records. He also continued to test the limits of fli...
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