I have taken several overseas flights. They are always long. They are always exhausting. The only thing that makes them bearable is being able to watch movies. The best airlines have little TVs in front of every seat, each programmed with a large selection of movies and TV shows that you can control. The worst have a few select screens that pop down at random intervals throughout the plane and only play the same films. Unless you are seated in the right spot, it is difficult to see what is happening on those screens and anytime someone gets up to go to the bathroom or a flight attendant walks by your view is blocked.
On a flight to Belgium a few years back, I had one of the bad planes. One of the films they played was How To Train Your Dragon, a movie I’d been anxious to see. I was disappointed. No doubt in part because watching a movie on a plane in the best circumstances isn’t great and watching it with poor screens is even worse. The action scenes looked tiny and the visual jokes were hard to get. I had the hardest time understanding why so many seemed to love the film. Then I actually got to see it at home with a nice-sized TV and no distractions and I understood. It is a visually beautiful film with some stunning action sequences. The jokes worked a lot better this time around and the story was nicely done.
The sequel was also quite enjoyable and now there is a third one. Once again, I wasn’t able to catch it on the big screen (maybe if there is a fourth one, I’ll finally get that pleasure) but I’m excited to at least catch it at home. So is the rest of the family. I’m happy to be calling How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World my pick of the week.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
Les Miserables: PBS version of Victor Hugo’s classic novel. This one stars Dominic West, Lily Collins, David Oyelowo, Olivia Colman, and David Bradley. Be warned musical fans, this one plays it straight.
Isn’t It Romantic: Rebel Wilson stars in this meta comedy in which she plays a young woman disenchanted with love who one day mysteriously finds herself living inside a romantic comedy.
Bitter Moon: Kino Lorber is releasing Roman Polanski’s film from 1992 about a respectable young couple who meet highly unconventional couple who teach them in the erotic arts.
Let the Sunshine In (Criterion Collection): Claire Denis directed this film about a divorced Parisian painter searching for another shot at love, but refusing to settle for the parade of all-too-flawed men who drift in and out of her life.
She-Devils on Wheels: Arrow Video brings this Herschell Gordon Lewis film about an all-femal motorcycle gang who terrorize the residents of a small Florida town. Arrow previously released this film in their massive Herschell Gordon Lewis boxed set which Luigi Bastardo reviewed for us.
The Upside: American remake of the excellent French comedy The Intouchables stars Bryan Cranston as a paralyzed billionaire who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a recently paroled convict (played by Keven Hart).
The Image Book: Jean Luc Godard digitally alters clips from a wide variety of classic film and mixes them with television and internet video clips alongside literary quotes, classical music, and his own musings on film, art, and life. Sounds interesting and exhausting. Davy has our review.