Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Year 2, Day 96 - 4/6/10 - Movie #461

BEFORE: From a film about an erupting mountain to one about a plane crash in the mountains - and I'm kicking off air-disaster week.

THE PLOT: Uruguayan rugby team stranded in the snow swept Andes are forced to use desperate measures to survive after a plane crash.

AFTER: In real life, disasters often strike without warning - but in a disaster film, when should it happen? Films like "Earthquake" and "The Perfect Storm" give us a good hour to get to know the characters first, but this film doesn't have that kind of time. Ten minutes in, and the plane is in trouble. But this film is more about the survival and aftermath, during which we learn what people are capable of achieving and enduring, in some terrible stressful days after the crash. (Sorry, SPOILER ALERT - the plane crashes...)

This movie actually portrays one of my worst fears - I take one round-trip plane journey each year from NYC to San Diego and back, and unless I keep my mind occupied with crosswords, sudoku and in-flight trivia, I tend to focus on a crash, or a mid-air collision with another plane that manages to tear my plane in half, right in front of my row, so I'm exposed to the elements and aware of my impending doom, all the way down to the ground.

And what if my plane crashed over the Rocky Mountains, and I were stranded on a mountaintop with a bunch of Comic-Con geeks with no survival skills? I'd better get serious and lose some weight, or I'll look like a giant pork chop with a face to them... Really, I should lose weight anyway - I just used my SkyMiles to bring my fare down to $100 - I don't need Delta Airlines telling me that I need to buy a second seat, like Southwest did to Kevin Smith. He can afford a second ticket, but I can't.

The film is inspiring for several reasons - if members of a rugby team can survive in extreme cold on rations of wine, chocolates and...well, the meat that they had handy (and foot-y, and leg-y) then I can certainly stand to eat a few salads this week without complaining. I seem to have lost my appetite for red meat anyway... (Sorry again, SPOILER ALERT - blaarrgh...)

More of my rants about airplane safety coming later this week...

Starring Ethan Hawke, John Malkovich (uncredited...), Vincent Spano, Jose Zuniga, Ileana Douglas.

RATING: 6 out of 10 (Probably due a 7 for a gripping story and effects, but 1 point off for some really horrible acting)

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