Man, I really enjoyed this movie. Of course, I think the great majority of the enjoyment sprang from the fact we got that big-ass HDTV, and that the PS3 plays Blu-Ray, so we were able to watch the blu-ray version of the movie. And I have to say, I was pretty fricking amazed. I kept pressing pause, to count the blades of grass on a field, or the nose hairs on Jean Reno, or try to calculate the balefulness in James Franco's eyes.
It seems like a really old-fashioned popcorn movie, the type you could watch with your parents and not get embarrassed (in fact, because Alzheimer's turned my dad's brain to mush, this is exactly the sort of movie I would rent to watch with him when I visited home-- maybe that's another reason I gave this movie some latitude.)
Yeah, it was sort of predictable, in the way that old-time war movies are. You know the jackass will see the error of his ways. The black guy outcast will be accepted (and live). The rebel will break the rules and still be a hero. And the croward will rise to the occasion and sacrifice himself. I was okay with that, because the ariel dogfights kicked so much ass, and I sat there thinking, "they should really make more WWI dogfighting movies."
Anyway, I got through it and barely went at double speed at all. And I was prepared to give this movie FOUR Jennies.
But an odd epilogue came after I saw the movie, when my Tivo picked up Ebert & Roeper's "worst movies of the year" edition. Dumb old Roeper had this on his top ten list, as if this movie was actually as bad as "RV," or "Lady in the Water," or about a billion other movies that are churned out of the Hollywood shit machine.
And making this even more outrageous was the guest-host (since Roger is recovering from a stroke or something,) a guy named Michael Phillips who is part of a rotating stable of guest hosts while Ebert recovers. Phillips agreed.
Here's the weird thing: I know Michael Phillips.
He used to work with me at the San Diego Union-Tribune, a lifetime ago, where I was a lowly news-assistant and he was an arts writer. We weren't exactly friends, but we were friendLY, and we used to talk music and movies, and even comics to a lesser extent. He was a good guy, and I thought of all the guest hosts filling in for Ebert, Phillips is the best of them.
But he didn't have to agree that Flyboys sucked. I liked it. Maybe they should have watched it on Blu-Ray.
Anyway, just out of spite, I'm now giving this movie three Jennies and two Phillips. Take that, Hollywood!