Mile high reviews

Not that kind of mile high, silly. Get your mind out of the airplane washroom!

I'm referring to movies watched whilst on a long flight. Air Canada offers on-demand in-flight movies (or TV or news) on a screen on the seat back in front of you. There is quite a selection available in different categories such as "Hollywood" (fairly recent commercial releases) and "Classic." Even though sometimes I prefer to listen to music or read, I often take advantage of this feature.

I find I will watch movies on an airplane that I might not rent when at home. That was the case with the movie I watched on the flight out of here, One Day. I had read the book for my book club and liked it very much. I had also heard that the movie was a stinker, but I figure I'd take a chance. Hey, I'm on a plane, and I have time to kill. And I love Anne Hathaway. How bad could she be?

As it turns out, I thought the movie was decent. Not as good as the book, but I never expect that. It's true as I had heard that Hathaway's supposedly northern accent drifts in and out and is never totally convincing, but I managed to ignore that for the most part. I found the movie similarly uneven but with several quite good scenes. Some of the "years," corresponding to chapters in the book, were pretty inconsequential, but others were quite well done. I was especially struck by the scene in which Emma's boyfriend Ian, whom she never really loves, pops back into her apartment. He's a bit of a loser, but he basically has a good heart, and you can understand why he's bitter. In fact, I quite liked Rafe Spall's performance overall. I also enjoyed the interaction between Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. As in the book, it's a bit of a mystery why Emma loves Dexter, but no mystery why he loves her. As he notes somewhere in the film, with her he's actually a good person. Without her, he's pretty much a disaster.

I'm not sorry I watched it.

On the way back, I chose one from the "Canadian" category. I'd read a lot about Starbuck. It's a comedy by Ken Scott (writer of La grande séduction, a.k.a. Seducing Dr. Lewis) starring the wonderful Patrick Huard as a kind of overgrown kid and general fuck-up who learns that, due to a mistake at the sperm bank where he had donated sperm some 20 years before, he has 533 children, several of whom are suing to find out who he is. The way he deals with this makes up the bulk of the film. Some of his encounters are amusing, but some are quite touching. It's a comedy with heart, yes? It slows down in spots but comes to a satisfying conclusion. Unlike One Day, this is one I want to rent and watch with Sweetie, who I think would enjoy it. And I'd love to see it on a screen that isn't just a few inches across.

In between flights, on terra firma (and big screen TV), I saw one film on DVD that my friend shared with me, Love Actually. I enjoyed it. Bill Nighy is a scream as an aging rock star cynically doing a Christmas version of the Troggs's 1967 hit "Love Is All Around." Hugh Grant is charming, of course, as the Prime Minister who finds love with his tea girl. I loved the relationship between a bereaved man (Liam Neeson) and his stepson. Emma Thompson is brilliant, as always, as the wife of a possibly straying Alan Rickman (yum). There is some unexpected pathos in the encounters between Laura Linney's character and her schizophrenic brother. It's a Christmas movie, so the timing was good!

By the way, why it is called the "mile high club" when cruising altitude is generally more than six miles up? The "mile high club" is something you could join by having sex in Denver!


Coline said...

We were swindled when poor Bill high just failed to be the number one christmas record which would have meant that we could see the video of him with his marvellously delicious girl band every year 'til the end of time...

I live at sea level and have been unable to experience it this century, what am I doing wrong?

Anonymous said...

hi to all liferightsideup.blogspot.comers this is my first post and thought i would say hello to you all -
regards speak again soon

Ellena said...

How did I manage to miss Starbuck?
Saw 'Monsieur Lhazar' recently and hope you'll review it some day.
The one 'Canadian' movie that did it to me was 'Gerry'. Was not aware of Gerry when he was famous here and have no idea what touched me so deeply and why he continued living inside me for much longer than any other caracter or movie I have ever seen. I had to see it twice to get it out of my system.

Véronique said...


You're more up on Canadian films that I am! I had never heard of either of those films. I don't know who Gerry Boulet is! Might have to find out. And Monsieur Lazhar looks very interesting.

One that I missed that I would like to catch up on is Incendies.

Not all Canadian cinema is French, but often the best of it is. :)

Ellena said...

Gerry Boulet was 'Offenbach'. I can't believe that he was only GREAT in French Quebec. Anyway, knowing you (not really, but I read you a lot),you will soon know more than I do about Gerry since you already looked him up to know his full name.