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The Aviator (Two Disc Special Edition)

A movie directed by Martin Scorsese

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Being Howard Hughes

  • Nov 19, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
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 look like an OCD amateur.

The movie focuses on his love of aviation, his incredible vision, his passion for building and flying aircraft, and the beautiful women whom he allowed to get close to him.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Hughes looks a little uncomfortable at the beginning, but quickly grows into the role, and by the end of the movie he actually becomes the character he plays. Cate Blanchett portrays Katherine Hepburn, the woman who meant the most to him, and she does so with style and panache. This woman is so talented that she could play any role she wanted to, and she aces this one in a memorable show stopping performance. Solid supporting roles are played by Kate Beckinsale (a beautiful Ava Gardner), Alan Alda (Senator Brewster), John C. Reilly (Noah Dietrich) and Alec Baldwin (Juan Trippe), with star cameos by Jude Law and Gwen Stefani (no Hollaback Girl here).

The part I found hard to digest was the sudden turn around, as Hughes pulls himself out of madness and solitary confinement just in time to effectively handle a set of grueling public hearings. How this actually happened is not brought out in the movie, or at least I missed it.

Excellent costume design and eye popping special effects round out the movie, which although a little long, was extremely entertaining. 4.5 stars.

Bigger, faster planes
Fast life and famous women
Look, but never touch


Amanda Richards

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More The Aviator reviews
review by . April 16, 2009
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 …
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 . September 22, 2005
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 …
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 …
About the reviewer
Amanda Richards ()
Ranked #41
I write reviews for a hobby. Most of my reviews are short and to the point, on account of my short attention span. I try to make my reviews both informative and entertaining, and sometimes I succeed. … more
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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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