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The Aviator [Blu-ray]
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Product Description

An epic biopic depicting the early years of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes' career, from the late 1920's to the mid-1940's.

From Hollywood's legendary Cocoanut Grove to the pioneering conquest of the wild blue yonder, Martin Scorsese's The Aviator celebrates old-school filmmaking at its finest. We say "old school" only because Scorsese's love of golden-age Hollywood is evident in his approach to his subject--Howard Hughes in his prime (played by Leonardo DiCaprio in his)--and especially in his technical mastery of the medium reflecting his love for classical filmmaking of the studio era. Even when he's using state-of-the-art digital trickery for the film's exciting flight scenes (including one of the most spectacular crashes ever filmed), Scorsese's meticulous attention to art direction and costume design suggests an impassioned pursuit of craftsmanship from a bygone era; every frame seems to glow with gilded detail. And while DiCaprio bears little physical resemblance to Hughes during the film's 20-year span (late 1920s to late '40s), he efficiently captures the eccentric millionaire's golden-boy essence, and his tragic descent into obsessive-compulsive seclusion. Bolstered by Cate Blanchett's uncannily accurate portrayal of Katharine Hepburn as Hughes' most beloved lover, The Aviator is easily Scorsese's most accessible film, inviting mainstream popularity without compromising Scorsese's artistic reputation. As compelling crowd-pleasers go, it's a class act from start to finish. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews:

  • Howard Hughes - Another Scorsese Biopic Masterpiece
    Martin Scorsese has a way with biopics. Each one has been a masterpiece. Raging Bull (Special Edition), The Last Temptation of Christ - Criterion Collection, and GoodFellas (Two-Disc Special Edition) are masterpieces and I feel THe Aviator ranks right up there with these.

    It's a wonderful movie. Spectacular and grand in its scope. The cast is brilliant and their acting is perfect. Cate Blanchett steals the show as Katharine Hepburn, definitely and Oscar worthy performance. Also are Alan Alda, Alec Baldwin, Kate Beckinsale, Jude Law, Gwen Stefani, and John C. Reilly.

    The film itself covers Howard Hughes life for 20 or so years. It features his move to Hollywood, the making of Hell's Angels, and his entagles with both Katharine Hepburn and Ava Gardner.

    The DVD features an informative commentary with the man himself, Martin Scorsese, also included is one deleted scene, and a few featurettes, all of which are a must watch.

    Although a tad on the lengthy side (170 minutes!), this muvie is a very good movie. I love it. It's one of the best of the year. Definitely recommended.

    Highly recommended....more info
  • Everybody works for you, Howard
    If you're thinking this is a story Martin Scorsese just might be able to do something with -- oh, does he ever in The Aviator. But if you're thinking that Hughes doesn't sound like a role made for Leonardo DiCaprio, you're as wrong as I was before seeing the film.

    Despite the film's sporadic lulls, both director and star are on full beam. The first and third hours of this 20th-century epic are as dazzling as big-scale movies get.

    Screenwriter John Logan wisely limits the action to a roughly two-decade time span: the filming of 1930's bank-busting Hell's Angels (just out on DVD) to Hughes getting airborne (once) in the Spruce Goose, which was thought to be unflyable. With the full story -- Texas background, ownership of RKO, the famed Clifford Irving Hughes memoir hoax -- the movie would have had more problems with unwieldiness than Scorsese and DiCaprio's Gangs of New York.

    The picture is still stuffed, though not overstuffed. Hughes romances Katharine Hepburn, deliciously played by Cate Blanchett in a performance broad enough to be a stitch but not so broad as to be a cartoon.

    Later, he takes up with Kate Beckinsale's Ava Gardner -- the one performance that doesn't come off (though Beckinsale has the requisite beauty).

    On the guy front, Hughes, who ran TWA, battles Pan Am's Juan Trippe (Alec Baldwin) for a monopoly over the international skies. This leads to one of The Aviator's two scenes that rank with the greatest in recent memory: Hughes making mincemeat of Maine Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster (a never-better Alan Alda) at a congressional hearing on corruption in the awarding of World War II-era government contracts.

    The other hall-of-fame scene is the Beverly Hills plane crash that almost killed Hughes and probably exacerbated the dementia, germophobia and gone-to-seed appearance of his final reclusive decades. It's spectacular in all senses, but in this movie, spectacle rules throughout.

    A magnificent DiCaprio fully captures Hughes' drive and intensity yet also makes you see how, before he went fully over the brink, someone so impossible was also genuinely liked by so many.

    I wish Scorsese could have trimmed 10 or 15 minutes from the running time; overlength is the only thing that keeps The Aviator from being the year's best movie. But even as it is, it's the year's most exciting by a wide margin.
    ...more info
  • Aviator
    I bought this DVD for my husbands birthday and he loved it. Recieved on time and brand new...more info
  • The Aviator.
    This movie sucks. I don't know what they were trying to do,but it didn't work.The acting was OK, but the plot and the way it was presented was really bad. I'm glad they were cheap, I gave it away. No wonder you didn't hear much about this movie....more info
  • A movie smaller than the subject
    The Howard Hughes story is huge - he inherrited wealth as a teen, while the world thought he was blowing it, he drove innovation in film and aviation. Along the way his personal eccentricities and dalliances with Hollywood stars were the stuff of legend - and gossip pages.

    Despite almost 3 hours of footage, the Aviator fails to capture the bigness of Howard Hughes. One is left with only a partial story of one of the century's giants - a glimpse of a playboy with vision. Unfortunately Howard Hughes was so much more. Perhaps 3 hours was too long for shortened version, and too long for a mini-series that wouldn't sell. Either way, the reader is simultaneously left bored and wanting more.

    Perhaps the acting is what saved the movie? Even those who don't like Dicaprio can agree he lost himself in the role. Balwin plays a role easy to him - a villian you can quickly hate. Even Alan Alda manages to shed Hawkeye for the role.

    In summary, it just isn't worth the 3 hours when there's so many other good movies out there....more info
  • The Aviator
    I'm saying it. The only reason Leonardo DiCaprio didn't win an Oscar is because Ray Charles died. You know I love Ray's music, the movie called RAY, and over half of the GENIUS LOVES COMPANY CD. You may also know that I despise TITANIC, sight unseen, simply because it is soooo not my style. But guess what? Leo can act. I was totally floored. In other news, the script was awesome, the life of Howard Hughes was far more compelling than I could have realized at my young age, and this was actually too short at 2 hours and 40 minutes. Go get it! I WILL watch it again. This is why people make movies. It's why we watch movies. We want to see more of these.
    ...more info
  • Great movie
    The directing by Scorsese was superb the acting by Dicaprio, Blanchett and Beckinsale was fantastic. It sparked an interest in the life of Howard Hughes who was before my time. I think that even though the movie was long the most interesting part about Hughes was his later years starting with Vegas. Yes he accomplished a lot in his 20's but his recluse days is really when a lot of things occurred such as the sale of his beloved TWA and buying the casinos. Dazzling performances....more info
  • great film
    Saw it in the theater and loved it. On Blue ray I was surprised it did not look a bit sharper - maybe I just remembered it differently...more info
  • Recommended... but it is not for everyone
    I don't believe this movie is for family. It is not entertaining enough to keep everyone's interest. I recommended this movie for people that appreciate and have an interest in stories about people that are different....more info
  • Mesmerizing film
    This is an outstanding, expansive, detailed portrait of the enigmatic and eccentric billionaire playboy and aviation enthusiast/Hollywood producer (Hell's Angels) Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) in the years (the 1920s through the 1940s) leading up to his bouts of insanity and decline from the spotlight. It's ambitious and never disappoints. It is bound to become a classic. The Aviator is a riveting film with a thoughtful, provocative script that delves into the many aspects of Hughes personality: the explorer (he bought TWA and flew planes and constantly planned on building bigger and better airplanes), the playboy (he dated and love Katharine Hepburn (a commendable performance by Cate Blanchett who embodies all Hepburn's traits and her accent) and Ava Gardiner (Beckinsale) and squired many other starlets around town), the germ-o-phobe (he constantly washed his hands and became obsessed with touching and cleanliness), the consummate businessman (he fought Congress and Pan Am for the right for TWA to fly abroad) and the perfectionist who analyzed everything he did. DiCaprio is amazing as always as he sheds light on this strange, wonderful and wealthy man. He brings so many layers to the character. We feel sorry for him, we root for him, and we get upset when he doesn't win. It's mesmerizing.


    ...more info
  • I couldn't finish watching this movie!
    This movie annoyed me so much that I had to turn it off before it was over, I couldn't take it anymore. There are some good action/aviation scenes, but way too much time was spent documenting the quirky OCD-oriented eccentricities of Hughes and it gets old quick. Why do I care if this guy is afraid to touch a doorknob on the way out of the bathroom? OK, Hughes is a wierd guy, I get it, now move onto something interesting...it doesn't happen in this movie. I don't blame DiCaprio (not that I am a fan of his), I blame the script. It is beyond me how this movie was nominated for so many awards. ...more info
  • Not that bad
    Saw this while Puppy sitting.

    DiCaprio isn't one of my favorite actors but he did a superb job portraying Howard Hughs. One of aviation's unsung heroes, most people think Howard Hughs as the long haired semi-mad recluse paranoid about disease that Johny Carson so often mocked. Yet Hughs is one of the top aviation pioneers of the beginning time. Indeed if Hollywood had tried to make up a character like him for the films, nobody would believe he was real. Yet Howard Hughs the man was very very real and very very human.

    This film avidly portrays him. Portrays him well. His antics in Hollywood. His pioneering flights. His record setting flights. His committment to aviation as the future. His slow decline into madness.

    Scenes great. Costuming wonderful. Character acting supurb. Special effects well down and not over done.

    A good film....more info
  • Amazing blu-ray
    I love this movie and can watch it over and over again. The picture quality is remarkable and really shows off what blu-ray technology is capable of....more info
  • A mixture that sometimes works and often doesn't
    This film is an odd lot. There are a few good points but I was disappointed that a director with as much talent as Martin Scorsese would produce such a poor film. I can't really understand why the Hollywood academy found this to be a good film other than much of the film is about film-making, and thus of special interest to them.

    The script is primarily superficial with only a few good moments. Cate Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn, Alec Balwin as the President of Pan-American Airlines, and Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner all have great lines and perform well. It is Leonard DiCaprio who offers the weakest performance in the film. He just is unable to convince the viewer that he is Howard Hughes. From the earliest scenes he appears to be a spoiled boy rather than an eccentric young man. He sounds childish when he raises his voice. As the character of Howard Hughes ages in the film, DiCaprio remains adolescent in looks and manner. Many other actors could have made the film work but DiCaprio was a total disappointment. It is Cate Blanchett's performance as Katherine Hepburn that saves the film. The scene where she takes Howard home to her eccentric New England family is superb and even DiCaprio performs well in this scene. Gwen Stefani as Jean Harlow was a waste of Stefani's talent. However the real crime was the cameo from Jude Law as Errol Flynn. The cameo lines were terrible, the acting silly and superficial, the whole thing stunk. Law should have run in the opposite direction when offered this insipid, worthless cameo with no meaning or value added. The male actors who play the accountants, engineers, technicians, and pilots that supported Howard Hughes' wild projects were all excellent. DiCaprio seemed misplaced and miscast surrounded by credible adult male actors. Alan Alda as a corrupt Senator had the absolute worst lines in the film. He was totally unrealistic and foolish and must have received some big bucks to make such a fool of himself in this film. The senate hearing scene may be the worst scene in film-making history and should be used in film school as an example of everything going wrong at once: bad mindless unrealistic script combined with terrible acting.

    Scenes meant to convey the glitz and glamour of Hollywood were pitiful and stereotypical. Big party scenes were terrible conglomerations of stereotypes of wild parties for the rich and famous. The rich and famous, even in the 1930s would run away from these silly scenes complete with showgirls swinging over cocktail tables messing up the hair of starlets. These scenes were too much and too silly. To make the scene even more awful, there is a scene where Howard Hughes seduces a brainless cigarette girl in the middle of a nightclub by playing with her genitals under her cigarette selection box. DiCaprio does a terrible job here but the script is so silly that only a master like George Clooney could have pulled off such a terrible meaningless scene.

    Why did I give it a 3? Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, and the Hell's Angels footage. The rest was just a mixed bag of silly wasted film.
    ...more info
  • One of the Greatest Bio-Pics...
    I can't believe this movie receives so many poor reviews. While it is not Scorsese's best, it is still very impressive and quite epic. Howard Hughes remains a mysterious character whose biographies are usually based on speculation rather than truth. Scorsese has done an amazing job of showing one adaptation of Hughes' life from his ambitious beginnings as a filmmaker to his later contributions to the world of aviation. Due to another impressive performance from DiCaprio, Hughes' obsessive-compulsive disorder is shown as both his biggest fault and at times his biggest asset. But the most impressive acting in the film is Cate Blanchett's role as Katherine Hepburn, one of the most famous (and yet still mysterious) actresses in movie history. Blanchett is very convincing as Hepburn, almost as if she had found some way to become possessed by Kate Hepburn's spirit as she frolicked through each of her scenes with biting wit and attractive charm that is shared by both Hepburn and Blanchett, winning her the Oscar she deserved for this role. All together a great film with some stunning visuals, outstanding performances, and a time capsule glimpse into movie history, a film you may want to watch again and again.

    I can't believe this movie receives so many poor reviews. While it is not Scorsese's best, it is still very impressive and quite epic. Howard Hughes remains a mysterious character whose biographies are usually based on speculation rather than truth. Scorsese has done an amazing job of showing one adaptation of Hughes' life from his ambitious beginnings as a filmmaker to his later contributions to the world of aviation.

    Due to another impressive performance from DiCaprio, Hughes' obsessive-compulsive disorder is shown as both his biggest fault and at times his biggest asset. But the most impressive acting in the film is Cate Blanchett's role as Katherine Hepburn, one of the most famous (and yet still mysterious) actresses in movie history. Blanchett is very convincing as Hepburn, almost as if she had found some way to become possessed by Kate Hepburn's spirit as she frolicked through each of her scenes with biting wit and attractive charm that is shared by both Hepburn and Blanchett, winning her the Oscar she deserved for this role.

    All together a great film with some stunning visuals, outstanding performances, and a time capsule glimpse into movie history, a film you may want to watch again and again....more info
  • A film that takes flight and soars above the rest...
    It took me a while to see `The Aviator' since word from my friends and family was that the running time was exhausting. While they have some reason to feel that way personally I feel that the film is so well put together that it more than makes the running time worth while. Leonardo DiCaprio is at his best here and delivers an award worthy performance as the legend Howard Hughes. Martin Scorsese delivers as well, directing powerhouse performances with great effects and amazing storytelling capacity. `The Aviator' truly is a mesmerizing biopic and is probably, but don't quote me on this, the best of the bunch to be released in `the year of the biopic'.

    The film gracefully covers most of Hughes adult life, exposing his love life and his business escapades not to mention his quarks and obsessions. Along the way we are introduced to some of Hollywood's most elite, from Katherine Hepburn, played magnificently by Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, to Jean Harlow and Ava Gardner. His relationships with these women is dissected, mostly when it comes to Hepburn, and the chemistry between both DiCaprio and Blanchett is so effortless that it makes the whole experience comfortable and believable to the viewer.

    The film, as is apparent by the title, focuses in large part on Hughes obsession with aviation, but it's his other strange obsessions that make a great canvas for DiCaprio's in-depth and articulate performance. I've always known that there was a great actor underneath those pretty boy looks and thankfully Leonardo took advantage of that when he took this role on full speed ahead. The way that he delves deep into the madness that overtook Hughes was pure genius, and the way he was able to keep his head, making it believable as apposed to over the top, his commendable and noteworthy.

    The supporting cast including John C. Reilly, Alec Baldwin, Gwen Stefani, Kate Beckinsale and Jude Law is very impressive, and everyone is on key, but none so much as Alan Alda who plays Senator Brewster, the enemy as you could label him. The court hearings towards the end of this film where Brewster and Hughes square off are exciting and real and they really show the brilliance of these two actors. Watching them debate back and forth is so effortless it transcends acting. It's actually, don't take this wrong, beautiful to watch.

    Scorsese really outdoes himself here, combining a great true life story with a powerful script that does it's best to flesh out a man who had a lot to uncover, not to mention the fantastic acting and fluid chemistry, making `The Aviator' one of the must see movies of the given year. I remember watching it and wondering how anyone could walk away feeling indifferent. Sure, it's not perfect, but it's one of the best films of the year and surely one of the best showcases for pure acting genius. Scorsese and company is truly to be commended for delivering one great work of art....more info
  • LOng and boring...
    Its been a while so thought I would complain about the hype of this movie. As I recall it was quite touted by hollywood... What a joke... I think if anything Orson Wells was rolling over in his grave... This was a cheap (or rather expensive waste) attempt at Citizen Kane... From beginning to end a carbon copy with a different tycoon... Except Leo does not suit the character... Don't bother unless you are very bored like I was this afternoon.......more info
  • Awe Inspiring...
    Impressive biopic about the eccentric genius Howard Hughes. There's something about passionate men that inspires others to dream bigger dreams and achieve bigger goals. And Hughes was passionate if anything. We see him strive to make his dreams come true, in spite of corrupt politicians and back handed competitors like Pan-Am. And in spite of his own very personal war against his obsessive-compulsive disorder (probably induced by his mother (who most likely had the same illness) putting it into his mind from early childhood on how dangerous germs can be).

    Because of this - and his deafness - he's (understandably) rather reclusive and shy. But he can be terribly witty and to the point as well. For instance when he strike's back at Hepburn's family; the quintessential rich, bored salon-socialists. These people are all utterly blas¨¦, and whilst they're having the typical quasi-intellectual dinner conversation about art ("contemporary obviously"), politics ("we're all socialists here, and we just can't stand anyone with different views") and dogs ("we don't trust people who don't like dogs"), Hughes is - understandably - somewhat puzzled by their rudeness and definitely 'not amused'. No-one at the table listens to one-another, they're all babbling away on their own ego-trip, trying to outwit each other and show off how great (they think) they are. When the mother finally states offhand "we don't care about money" Hughes strikes back with "that's because you have and always had money, you were born with it. Other people like myself have to work for it. Good day." And walks calmly from the room...

    Another fine example of his wit comes to light during the senate hearing, as he strikes back at the corrupt senator who has set it up to favour Pan-Am's monopolistic plans. But I won't give too much away, you really have to watch this for yourselves.

    Seeing all those great aeroplanes from bygone eras pass the screen is a feast to the eyes by itself. The entire movie is filmed beautifully and luscious, the in-flight scenes are nothing short of spectacular. Not at least when things go horribly wrong.

    It's a `big' film - as Hughes would have liked no doubt - yet it's intimate enough to completely relate to the man. So much even that I wished from time to time that Mr. Scorsese would have put a little less emphasis on Hughes' illness. It's essential to portray the man's life and battles effectively of course, but it was a bit poignant at times. Be that as it may, all in all my respect for Howard Hughes has only grown. He may have been difficult at times, for himself as well as others, but he was most of all a good man, a great man, a visionary and a huge individualist.

    I think this is why we all - even people who weren't born yet during this era - still know his name, but no-one remembers the likes of a Juan Trippe, let alone some dodgy senator from Maine...

    I knew Leonardo DiCaprio could act from the moment I saw his performance in 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape', and he does it again in 'Aviator'. His role as Howard Hughes is utterly convincing. Cate Blanchett's Hepburn is pleasant to watch, and so is Kate Beckinsale's Ava Gardner.

    All in all, a compelling film from start to end, about a great historical figure. Definitely worth buying, as you'll likely want to watch it more than once! ...more info
  • Hollywood Hard at Work
    Whooaa! Here for once you have Hollywood hard at work rather than hardly working, and a present day glimpse at what "screen magic" used to be. Perhaps the placement of a story during Hollywood's golden era helped. But what a convergence of planets -- writers avoiding knee-jerk political correctness despite the mammoth temptation of Howard Hughes at center, Leonardo DeCapio performing as a top-notch, intelligent actor and not a sneering boy, Martin Scorsese just being an honest tradesman. That plus mid-century 20 razzle-dazzle, an edgy sort of heroism, and the wild card of a tough lesson in obsessive-compulsive disorder adds up to a movie that will certainly last, long after Titanic has sunk again and the gratuitous sadism of Casino has been properly relegated to the smell-o-vision pile. Bravo!

    See it on as big a screen as possible, grrreat sound with ample supplies of popcorn, if you can. You will meet, best as he can be recreated for you, a complex and driven creator named Howard Hughes who attempted to do more with his life than simply rest on the $$$ he was born with. Warts and all but funny too. As for the rest of the cast, no extras here -- the recreation of Ava Garner was particularly smashing and unexpected.

    Despite having lived through the era and read all the Life magazines & other news junk about Hughes' last days in my teens, the movie taught me I knew nothing at all worth knowing about him. I had sat down just expecting a typical Hollywood stroll through big sets, snazzy clothes, all that jazz. I can count on one hand films that were actually an advanced learning experience, and I have seen dumpsters full of them in 55 years. But this is not only not one of those clunkers, but also close to the top. DeCapio is absolutely convincing, and I hope he and Marty S team up more often just to lay down their respective crafts....more info
  • "Way of the future, way of the future."
    The Aviator starring Leonardo DiCaprio is an exciting film about the life and loves of Howard Hughes, the film also focuses on his plane crash, his obsession with cleanliness, and his financial struggles. DiCaprio should've won the oscar for lead actor instead of that over-rated Jaime Foxx. This could easily be Leo's best performance to date. And don't forget about the luminous Cate Blanchett, she won the best supporting oscar for her dead-on portrayal of screen legend, Katherine Hepburn. Kate Beckinsale also does a fine job doing her best Eva Gardner. The only thing that's disappointing is the ending, there's no real closure and it's kind of a shame since the film runs about 3 hours. This is a great biopic nonetheless so save yourself a weekend and watch this film!...more info
  • Inspiration
    Howard Hughs is a total inspiration. He had so many blocks in his life, but he did not let them destroy him. He had his dreams and nothing would stop him from achieving them. I watch this movie when I feel that life is blocking me. If Howard could do it, I can, too....more info
  • The American Dream redeemed
    Since I don't really know anything much about the "real" Howard Hughes, I can only review this movie as a movie. I found it engrossing. America is not the world's favourite nation these days. She is seen as something, more than something, of a stupid, greedy, bully, and a sort of control-freak. Many outsiders feel sad about this, because there is still a hope that, underneath that ugly surface, she still has something good to offer that is struggling to get out. Something about basic decency, plain-dealing and plain-speaking, guts, individualism, technological know-how: the can-do spirit of independence that repudiates the corruption, paranoia and money-madness of the political and corporate powers that seem to be in control; something of the almost obliterated simple ideals of her founding fathers. For me, this film highlights these two aspects, as they may be perceived by a non-American, both in terms of the plot-line and the study of one man's character. There is still something inspirational about the story of Hughes, as presented in this picture; and I found it gripping, from start to finish.

    ...more info
  • I had such consideration...
    ...for Martin Scorcese that I feel very sorry for his precocious senility. I can't think of any other explanation (there is no excuse) for mistaking di Caprio for an actor (which is about as ludicrous as mistaking McDos for restaurants). And, since he's persisting in polluting the screens with something whose only merit is he never will be a "Has Been" (since he never was anything in the first place), from now on I will keep clear from Scorcese's movies....more info
  • A Wonderful Surprise
    I am not a big Leonardo DiCaprio fan, but I found myself captivated by this film, and even forgetting that I was watching Mr. DiCaprio, but watching Howard Hughes...a testament I begrudgingly must give to Mr. DiCaprio and his abilities as an actor. He captured the man that was Howard Hughes; his visions, his incredible effect upon aviation, an insight into his life and what he became, how he began, and his utter brilliance. This movie runs an amazing 170 minutes long, and one finds himself wishing it lasted even longer...I don't think I can say that about a single movie I've ever seen! An added bonus...you get the second disc which has the History Channel's bio on Hughes...what a wonderful surprise addition to this set! If you have not seen this movie, drop everything and rush out to rent it, buy it, borrow it, whatever you can do to see it.

    Donn Kean ...more info
  • Aviator rates a high flying 5 stars
    Actually, I saw Aviator at the theater, and bought the tape for my boyfriend, whom I thought had not seen it. I personally think the movie should have won best picture of the year. Leonardo, much to my surprise, depicted the real Howard Hughes beautifully. Cate Blanchard, who played Kathryn Hepburn, was amazingly believable, as was the person who played Ava Gardner. The special effects, especially when he crashed the plane were very dramatic and realistic. I am an aviation buff, and love movies about flying. Aviator had enough aviation to be satisfying, and an amazing inside look at the mind of this incredible man. His paranoia, his idiosyncrasies, and his charm were lain bare. It is very worth buying and keeping in your film library. I could watch it two or three more times and still see something new....more info
  • The Sky Was Not The Limit
    The Aviator has been called the film in which Martin Scorsese went Hollywood, and surely its large, A-list cast makes it seem that way, but at its heart The Aviator has much more in common with both the big budget epics of the old studio days, and with Scorsese's classics such as Raging Bull and the more recent Gangs of New York. The Aviator is and will stand through time as an immense motion picture. Everything about it, from its subject matter to its scenes of flight and airliners resting in various stages of assembly in huge hangers displays an immensity of scale seldom seen in the movies or in life.

    Telling the story of the glory years of Howard Hughes from the 1920's to the 1940's, The Aviator displays once again that its star is much more than just another industry "it boy". Leonardo DiCaprio is a talented actor, and here he joins the select few (Val Kilmer in The Doors, Gary Busey in The Buddy Holly Story) who almost seem to become possessed by the figure they are portraying. DiCaprio nails the accent, appearance, and the idiosyncratic mannerisms of the tormented billionaire Hughes, and really should have taken home the Oscar last year, as did his co-star Cate Blanchett, whose respectful but never worshipful turn as Katharine Hepburn all but upstaged even DiCaprio.

    The Aviator reaches great heights and mixes in feel good moments with episodes of darkest despair. We root for the bizarre Howard Hughes and cheer him in his victories, even as we recoil and hate to look on as he falls into and the terrible living hell of mental illness. The most rousing scenes are of course the most dramatic, and the twin plane crashes should have anyone on the edge of his seat, just as Hughes' famous victory over Pan-Am's pocket Senator and his efforts to give that airline a monopoly on international flight make for a cheer-worthy climax to the film's nearly three-hour length.

    The Aviator shows a director working well with his star(s) and it demonstrates exactly how good American cinema can still be. It was fun to watch and makes a worthy addition to any collector's movie library....more info
  • The Crash Scene!!
    How do you show a millionaire playboy, swooping in by plane to pick up a socialite Hollywood actress and make it look like a coming of age story? When he shared his milk with her, it was so romantic, I didn't know what I was going to do.

    Also, has that recording of that Bach fugue ever been put to better use than it was in the Hell's Angels filming scene? I'm such a *fan* of Scorsese that I could see taking my remarks about him with a grain of salt, but honestly, no one else could possibly be as good at adding music to a film.


    Also, everyone's acting was just great. Alan Alda playing the mean guy...Alec Baldwin was great... I knew Jude Law was Errol Flynn even before he was introduced... Kate Blanchett was of course wonderful... I'm so glad that Scorsese has decided Leonardo DiCaprio is his new favorite actor. They make such a good team -- Dicaprio was great in this. ...more info
  • A grand story that manages to be intimate at the same time; a solid "A" and a potential classic
    On one level, this is an interesting and convincing period piece about the times in which Hughes lived and his remarkable accomplishments. I didn't fully catch onto the filmmakers' ultimate intent though until I watched it a second time: that is, the gravity of obsessive-compulsive disorder in Hughes' life. I greatly enjoyed the film the first time I saw it but it wasn't until that second viewing that I realized the power and grittiness of the story they were trying to tell and, for me, the "classic" status it should/will receive. The source music really helps set the period and the score by Howard Shore is truly exceptional. My respect for DiCaprio grew tremendously as well - both for his actual performance and after learning more about his passion for wanting to put this story onscreen and all the work he went to and interest he took in the project. I don't like using the word "epic" and often avoid so-called stories that are, but 'The Aviator' is a grand one that has a tone all of its own due to the focus on Hughes' determination and achievements in face of mounting external struggles and even more overwhelming internal ones....more info
  • An Odd Guy, With Almost More Problems Than Money
    This well-made but by-the-books biopic is worth seeing, if only for this exchange:

    "Howard, do you really think they'll let you put out a whole movie just about t**s?"

    "Sure, who doesn't like t**s?"

    The censorship board's comments: "I have never seen anything quite so unacceptable as the shots of the mammaries of the girl named Rio."...more info
  • Come Fly with Hughes, Scorsese and Di Caprio (4.5 stars)
    "The Aviator" carries more similarities with earlier Martin Scorsese's masterpiece -- "The Raging Bull" -- than might be obvious at first viewing. Both the aviator and film producer Howard Hughes (Leonardo di Caprio) and the boxing pro champ Jake LaMotta (Robert de Niro in the 1980 movie) achieved much in their lives, but were prevented to reach even higher heights -- partly due to their own mistakes, partly due to circumstances that were against them. But the most striking similarity between the two films lies in the way Scorsese masterfully injected them with understated compassion with the characters -- Interestingly, even the names of the two Scorsese's favorite actors are similarly Italian.

    There are some differences, too. While Jake LaMotta's demons are an integral part of the film and its events, Howard Hughes' mental illness does not really carry the film forward and is the main reason why "The Aviator" feels a little too long. But not too long, rest assured. You can devour it, time flies with it -- so irresistibly watchable this is. Also due to the stellar cast headed by di Caprio. And the word to Cate Blanchett -- when Katharine Hepburn, so far the only actress (or actor, for that matter) who owns 4 acting Oscars, passed away at 96 in 2003, it could not occur to many that in just a year there will be such a great incarnation of HERSELF on film.

    Blanchett earned the Oscar of her own for this role and the film got four more statues, but the most prestigious ones went to Clint Eastwood's sombre and more intimate "Million Dollar Baby". Indeed, "The Aviator" has not as high emotional resonance as some other big prize winners and as such does not stay with you for days after you see it, but solely for its sheer, classy filmmaking craft it easily ranks among the best works of the century so far....more info
  • Scorsese Illuminates Hughes' Enigma, DiCaprio Grows...
    This 2004 Howard Hughes biopic stands out amongst the best biographical pictures of the last 10 years. Although not as gritty and intense as Scorsese's greatest film "Raging Bull" (1980), this picture is well-crafted and sleek. The life and times of the enigmatic Howard Hughes make for compelling subject matter and Socorsese's effort does not disappoint.

    Those of us Scorsese fans that look upon his work as commercially defiant, and nuanced towards sophisticated viewers have witnessed a gradual, relentless modifying of his technique toward a wider demographic. This evolution of Scorcese's once radical film-making style towards a more commercial, big budget approach is natural and expected given the increasing commercial success of each successive Scorsese film, (not to mention major studio desire to release the next potential Scorsese classic i.e. "GoodFellas"). These changes in style and presentation are also closely linked to the diverse screenplays and proliferation of new A-list talent (such as Mr. DiCaprio) headlining Scorsese's recent pictures. Given these considerations, "The Aviator" still manages to showcase quite a few original Scorsese sequences recalling his raw and intensely personal early films.

    Howard Hughes was a filmmaker as well as an aviator and it's no surprise that the chaotic production of Hughes first film ,1930's "Hell's Angels" (which Scorsese clearly admires) is chronicled in detail at the outset of the movie. We witness the continuous nervous energy and persistent drive of Hughes to achieve his daring goals, all the while breaking new ground in aviation, film and big business. This film closely tracks Hughes' personal life as well, his well-publicized affairs with famous starlets of the day such as Katherine Hepburn (played well by Cate Blanchett) are illustrated in-depth with notable performances throughout.

    Leonardo DiCaprio continues to grow and develop under Scorsese's direction, and the development is phenomenal to witness. Beginning with "Gangs Of New York" (2002) and continuing beyond this movie (2006's masterful "The Departed"), DiCaprio's acting chops are sharpening with each performance, eclipsing his previous work and establishing his talent amongst Hollywood's A-List actors. As the Hughes character, DiCaprio is able to captivate and compel us with flashes of OCD symptoms and manic behavior to the extreme, all the while struggling to balance these chaotic forces with his public and managerial personas. A fascinating example of this balancing act occurs when Hughes is confronted with a ruthless public relations attack, designed to coerce him into selling his airline TWA to his commercial competitor, Pan Am (whose chief, Juan Trippe is played by Alec Baldwin). Hughes collects his faculties and battles back with impressive vigor, this after nearly dying in a spectacular crash of his XF-11 spy plane prototype. All of these events unfold beautifully and the rhythm of this film holds our attention despite the nearly 3 hour running time.

    "The Aviator" holds up well on repeat viewings despite the long running time, it covers the entire first half of Hughe's remarkable life and career, and a second feature could easily be written detailing Hughes' subsequent years in Las Vegas and his premature death. All in all, DiCaprio's growth as an actor cannot be understated, this is a must-see performance!...more info
  • Scorsese and DiCaprio at their best
    That plane crash was probably one of the most brutal scenes that I have ever seen.

    The performances were all excellent. Leonardo Dicaprio gave a so far career best performance. When he is in the car covering his mouth as he said the same thing over and over, It was very impressive.

    Blanchett gives the Hepburn in the movie life, energy, humor, depth, one of the best performances of 04. Beckinsale was also good. When she tears down the tape in the house, she serves the movie the way Blanchett does, though without as much depth, but still is excellent.

    Alan Alda deserved his nomination. He is a good villain, but also one who is thinking about playing the Washington game. The whole chairman scene with Baldwin was a good entry for his character. Also with the Baldwin character-Citizen Kane did pop into my head. It was probably the set, but his powerful character doing what he can to tear down Hughes reminded me of CK.

    The Aviator is one of the best movies of 04, even if it drags with the hearings, it provides for the set up for one of the more triumphant scenes with the flying of the Spruce Goose.

    ...more info
  • The triumphant and troubled life of Howard Hughes
    '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 explain his affairs with the hottest leading women of the time, Katherine Hepburn, Ava Gardner, and Jean Harlow. But Howard couldn't hang onto women, he wasn't just a A Type personality, he was A++++ Type.

    Hughes was both a dreamer and a mover-and-shaker. The movie follows his life from his days producing movies to his contracts with the government for Constellation aircraft, his tragic crash, and the building and first flight of the Hercules (the infamous Spruce Goose). There wasn't anything that could stop Howard Hughes except his own disorders, OCD's that he frequently succumbed to and suffered from.

    While many have mentioned the length of the movie, 170 minutes, time flew by for me as I watched it. 'The Aviator' doesn't have the feel of a long movie because I found it so interesting. There are no lags or drags in the storyline.

    Worthy of mention is the absolutely spectacular performance by Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes. His performance is on the money and down to a T. The casting is superb, with Cate Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn, Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner, Alan Alda as Senator Ralph Owen Brewster, Ian Holm as Professor Fitz, Alec Baldwin as Juan Trippe, William Dafoe as Roland Sweet, Brent Spiner as Robert Gross, Jude Law as Errol Flynn, and Gwen Stefani as Jean Harlow. Topping off the star-studded cast is director and epic film master Martin Scorsese.

    The only downside would be a couple of editing mistakes and the fact that I could have watched more. A short piece on his tragic ending would have been a better follow up than ending the movie the way it did. 'The Aviator' is an interesting and beautiful journey through the triumphant and troubled life of one of America's most romantic figures. Don't miss the extras on the second CD, which hold a great deal of information on the real Howard Hughes. The two CD set is worth every penny. Enjoy!
    ...more info
  • Not De Niro ?
    It's very hard for me to watch a Scorsese's movie without a real lead actor. DiCaprio looks like a kid with a growing mustache, and just don't fit in the part. Some directors should quit while they are still in shape. ...more info
  • Drama at its Utter Best
    This really is the sort of film that inspires you to find out about the man behind the legendary film. This film is well crafted, well acted, well styled, beautifully shot and just plain well done. Scorsese freely admits to playing around with time lines, but to getting things "Emotionally" right, which I think is correct. The more you know about the lead topic, the less likely you are to be a nice in hindsight review ( Like I think Jude Law is abysmal as Errol Flynn since I am Tasmanian and Jude is as Tasmanian as Jack Daniels when playing Errol... he did not even try; Knowing a subject too well can be a handicap when viewing an artistic endeavour). Anyways, as a soaring, roaring emotional rollercoaster, the events such as the Flight with Cate and Leo in the plane is as passionate as anyone could hope to get. Its beautifully done. The DVD commentary assists in an understanding of how this film was created, and the performances of the supporting cast is just brilliant. You will love this emotional tour de force, and enjoy exploring the passions of the screenwriters version of Hughes, and I hope it does spur you on to read more about the man himself who helped shape Film, Cinema and Aviation as we know it today...more info
  • Excellent exploration of the life of the extraordinary Amerian genius Howard Hughes
    "The Aviator" explores the life of the extraordinary American genius Howard Hughes from the 1920s-1940s. Left a multimillionaire by the early death of his parents, Hughes embarked on a remarkable career in movies and especially aviation. He continually risked everything to follow his dreams.

    Leonardo di Caprio makes a good fist of the title role assisted by a strong support cast and director Martin Scorsese pulls out every trick in the cinematic book (lighting, sound, editing, special effects) to tell this amazing story.

    Suffers a few lulls in the latter half when exploring Hughes's mental illness but builds to a powerful conclusion.

    Yet another exceptional film from the master Martin Scorsese.
    ...more info
  • paid more than it is selling for in stores, three times more !
    I paid $ 19.95 for a dvd that I could have gotten for $5.oo in another store the day after I received it....more info
  • Enjoyable and entertaining
    The acting in this is top notch. Everyone did such a fantastic job, especially Leonardo and Cate. Perfect casting. The film itself was maybe a tad overlong, but it did a great job in conveying the emotions of the character role and what he went through. Howard Hughes seemed like a complicated character and I thought Scorsese did a fantastic job of portraying him. The imagery in the film is also quite stunning. If you like character driven films, this is a great choice....more info
  • Lavishly produced portrait of an American enigma
    I recently rented this at our local library, and unfortunately all they had was the"full screen" version - meaning, chopped off at the sides. Watching the aerial scenes, I realized this is NOT the way to view this movie!

    That said, I enjoyed "The Aviator," despite its being a bit too long and unfocused. I wish Scorcese had taken more time at the beginning to develop Hughes' character, and spent less time on his relationship with Katherine Hepburn (whom I found REALLY annoying).

    "The Aviator" is not a definitive depiction of Howard Hughes' life (nor does it pretend to be) but if you enjoy lavishly-produced movies with great sets, decent acting, and a sense of history, you'll enjoy "The Aviator.'...more info
  • Marty & Leo make Hughes fly!
    This is probably a milestone in Leonardo DiCaprio's acting history!! Outside of this being his second film with Scorsese, the film marks a definite maturity in his acting that I haven't seen even in their first colloboration, the flawed "Gangs of New York" (though Day-Lewis was superb in it). Especially in HD DVD, the scenes are glitzy and the sound is phenomenal especially in the near fatal plane crash of Hughes which the director filmed to perfection. If you loved the era of the 30's and 40's (I'm sure Scorsese does too), you'll love the details in this off-beat bio. Cate Blanchette is superb also in her Oscar winning role as Katherine Hepburn. So 4 stars for cast & director and 5 for the HD transfer. In total 4 and half stars!! Also take note of how Scorsese changes the color transfer from old 2-strip Technicolor to the more conventional color scheme of today--this is meant to quell people who complain of his use of color in their criticisms of this fine film....more info
  • The Aviator
    The Aviator (Two-Disc Special Edition)
    This is the second DVD I have purchased from you that I cannot use as it is the wrong region for Australia. How do you think I feel that you send me a Christmas present from my family that I cannot play in my country. Surely, an organisation as large as yours would have products suitable for Australia....more info
  • Entertaining as far as it goes, but lacks context...and an ending
    This is one of those movies which leaves you wondering why exactly it was made in the first place. If you are part of the DiCaprio target demographic, you have no earthly idea who Howard Hughes even was, and fact this applies to pretty much anyone under the age 40. Those of us in our early 40's are dimly aware of Hughes, while our parents will remember Hughes from the point where his story began to get really weird & really interesting. Those of you who can remember the time covered in the movie...well, you are probably already dead or very nearly so. This begs the question: for whom was this movie made, and what story is it trying to tell?

    It is important to consider this, because the story really doesn't have an ending. We get to see the Spruce Goose fly in 1947, but beyond that...who knows? Does Hughes get crazier (he does). Do his plans for TWA come to fruition (ultimately, they don't). Does he make bigger & better movies (they are big, but they go from bad to worse --- John Wayne as Genghis Khan? Enough said). The movie is made with the assumption that the bulk of the audience knows ultimately how the story ends, but how can this assumption be made? We, the movie-going audience, are left at a dead end.

    So why 4 stars? Because up until the dead end, it is one hell of a ride. For those of us who do know, more or less, how the bigger story ends, it is a glimpse at the Hughes who is less likely to be remembered than the reclusive nutjob occupying the top floors of assorted hotels for half a year at a time. It is a remarkable story of a driven man, whose self-destructive demons were nonetheless the source of much of his achievement. As the movie concludes, Hughes himself seems to accept that these warring aspects of his personality are interwoven to the point that he cannot have one without the other, and whatever may be in store for him in the future, it will be worth the price paid.

    So --- a qualified 4 stars. Normally, I hate sequels. However, if ever there were a movie which needed a sequel, it would be this one. ...more info
  • Movie: 4/5 Picture Quality: 4~5/5 Sound Quality: 3.25/5 Extras: 5/5
    Version: U.S.A / Region A, B, C
    Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
    VC-1 BD-50
    Average video bit rate: 14.90 Mbps
    Running time: 2:50:05
    Movie size: 22,63 GB
    Disc size: 29,47 GB
    DD AC3 5.1 640Kbps English / Spanish French

    Subtitles: English SDH / French / Spanish / Portuguese

    #Audio Commentary
    #Deleted Scenes (SD - 2 minutes)
    #A Life Without Limits: The Making of The Aviator (SD - 12 minutes)
    #The Role of Howard Hughes in Aviation History (SD - 15 minutes)
    #Modern Marvels: Howard Hughes (SD - 42 minutes)
    #The Affliction of Howard Hughes: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (SD - 14 minutes)
    #OCD Panel Discussion (SD - 15 minutes)
    #An Evening with Leonardo DiCaprio and Alan Alda (SD - 28 minutes)
    #The Visual Effects of The Aviator (SD - 12 minutes)
    #Constructing The Aviator: The Work of Dante Ferretti (SD - 6 minutes)
    #Costuming The Aviator: The Work of Sandy Powell (SD - 4 minutes)
    #The Age of Glamour: The Hair and Makeup of The Aviator (SD - 8 minutes)
    #Scoring The Aviator: The Work of Howard Shore (SD - 7 minutes)
    #The Wainwright Family: Loudon, Rufus, and Martha (SD - 5 minutes)
    #Stills Gallery (HD)
    #Theatrical Trailer (HD)

    *************************************************************

    Version: Dutch FilmWorks / Region A, B, C
    VC-1 BD-50
    Average video bit rate: 23~30 Mbps
    DTS-HD MA 48Khz/16-bit English
    DD AC3 5.1 640Kbps English
    Subtitles: None

    #Trailer (3 min)
    #Behind the Scenes (PAL - 22 min)
    #Max Factor: Age of Glamour (PAL - 7 min)
    #The Mysterious Howard Hughes (PAL - 44 min)
    #Interviews (PAL - 13 min)
    #Trailers...more info
  • Cate Blanchett Owns This Movie
    "The Aviator" IS Cate Blanchett's film, her Oscar deserving role as Katherine Hepburn is so dead-on, you'd think she was possessed by her spirit. As for the film, not bad, a little slow at times, the CGI is horrific, and Alan Alda's performance as the slimy senator is quite good.
    The Blu-Ray is loaded with extras, and the transfer is quite clean, probably in the top 20.
    I've never really been a Dicaprio fan, but if he keeps making movies with Marty Scorsese ("The Departed"), I think one these days, he'll get his own Oscar. ...more info
  • 3 stars out of 4
    The Bottom Line:

    The Aviator looks great and features good performances, but it is painfully long, has middling special effects, and doesn't seem to notice that it spans 30 years without many of its characters aging....more info
  • Why did he mess with the color of the film?
    I know, the color of the film as Hughes gets older is suppose to reflect the changes in film technology; ie: it gets better as the film progresses.
    I think that's getting a little bit too "artsy" for me. For me, it just looks like the DVD's color is goofed up. In parts of the movie the greens are almost a fuorescent blue/green; such as the plants or the peas on his plate at the nightclub.
    I love most any movie about Howard Hughes because he is such an interseting "bigger than life" person. And yes I enjoyed this movie; BUT it would have been much better if the color would have just been either black and white or color (Today's color film)....more info
  • Interesting Portrait of Howard Hughes
    This portrait of Hughes shows him both as a forward looking genius who took tremendous chances that ended in great success and as a reclusive eccentric with mental problems. Is it accurate? I don't know. I have two problems with this movie. First of all, Leonardo DiCaprio was not convincing as Howard Hughes. He tried very hard, but it just doesn't quite succeed. I think he is still too young and inexperienced to really pull it off. It's not a terrible job of acting, but nothing spectacular either. Perhaps a very difficult role to do. The second problem was the ending. The movie just stopped without any real conclusion. I guess after almost 3 hours, they had to end it at some point. I was disappointed that they didn't follow the story on a little further and make it more of a full biography. It would have been too long then, but some scenes could have been cut and the movie could have completed Hughes life within 3 hours. If nothing else, the movie inspired me to want to read more about Hughes and find out how many liberties they took in the film. Did Hughes really drink only milk from a sealed bottle? Was he a cleanliness freak? Did his mental illness cause him to repeat something over and over again? How much that went on between TWA and Pan Am in the movie actually occurred? Was Hughes a big ladies man and did he and Kate Hepburn have a relationship for quite some time, as the movies suggests? The movie held my interest from start to finish, so for that I give it 4 stars. Is it really a 4-star movie? Perhaps not, but it was very entertaining and that's what movies are supposed to do--entertain you. Hughes was such an interesting man, a true documentary biography might have been actually more far more enjoyable than this fictionalized account....more info
  • A Brilliant, Fragile Mind
    Let me start of by saying that I'm not normally a big Leonardo DiCaprio fan. Aside from What's Eating Gilbert Grape and Gangs of New York, nothing he's done has really impressed me much. However, in The Aviator, he may have just given his career performance. He truly owned the role of Howard Hughes in this picture. DiCaprio perfectly captures Hughes' no nonsense approach to business and life. As the film progresses, and Hughes' mental condition slowly deteriorates, DiCaprio depicts eloquently the turmoil Hughes must have felt. To see such a brilliant, driven man gradually lose control of his life and mind is heart wrenching to say the least. The casting for this movie was perfection. Gwen Stefani sporting the platinum locks of Jean Harlow, Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner, and a brilliant turn by Cate Blanchette as Katherine Hepburn. It's my feeling that it's more difficult to portray a real person as opposed to a completely fictitious one and everyone in this film excels in this capacity. Alec Baldwin is especially seedy as Juan Trippe, the head of rival Pan Am. I love John C. Reilly as Noah Dietrich. I think he's a very underappreciated actor and he's excellent here as always. Of all the performances though, I was especially impressed by Alan Alda's portrayal of Senator Brewster, who makes quite a bit of trouble for Hughes. It was a different kind of role than what I'm accustomed to from Alda and he really makes the most of it. His back and forth with DiCaprio at a senate hearing was the high point of the movie for me.

    Howard Hughes was a larger than life figure in his time and this movie was an excellent representation of his ambitions, romances, and accomplishments, as well as his setbacks and implied eventual disintegration. I like the fact that Scorsese chooses to end the picture where he does, just after the successful flight of the Hercules. During the celebratory party, Hughes ends up in a bathroom, compelled to repeat the same phrase over and over again. The film leaves us with the legacy of Hughes as The Aviator, a man who contributed a great deal to the industry of avionics in this country and foreshadows his fall into seclusion and madness without forcing us to watch the tragic end of this great man's life. ...more info
  • The Aviator
    Good job of props, casting and acting however this movie tends to trivialize the life of a great man. I felt it should have spent more time on his vast acomplishments and less time on his physical/mental ailments which only became apparent in his later years, not early on as the film seems to suggest. I know, because my Grand Father worked with him on the HK-1 (Spruce Goose)....more info
  • not unlike its subject, the movie *just* falls short of greatness
    martin scorsese directed this bio of howard hughes, covering the period from the late 20s to the late 40s. theres so much good here, i feel kinda mean in only giving it 3 stars, but sadly the movie never comes together for me. and im not sure why; maybe it needed to be seen on the big screen, and not my television set. leonardo dicaprio manages to rein in most of his usually mannered acting, but maybe, for once, he SHOULD have hammed it up, as did costars cate blanchett and alan alda. this is a film i will come back to in a few years (and thankfully its a return to form for scorsese from the abysmal "gangs of new york"), but for now, it doesnt work in my eyes.
    ...more info
  • Movie needs something
    I bought it... thought it would be very interesting but I feel some areas are missing. I have no idea whatever Howard is married or have any children... It is just much focus on his disorder and his planes...

    The con of all is no closed caption on disk two for Modern Marvels: Howard Hughes, A Documentary by the History Channel. I am sure History Channel does have closed caption for it. I am deaf (born deaf) I am surprised no subtitle either... how can that benefit for me? I like history but that does not help me to understand that documentary.

    I hate when movie didn't put in English subtitle or closed caption on something may be important for us to understand. That is waste. That is shame.
    ...more info
  • Overrated
    The problem that almost all biopics have is that they tell far too much of their subjects' life facts that most of the drama is drained. They never seem to find the important nor key moments in a life in which to imbue the tale, rather they cram a life with minutia, and miss out on any real insight. Such it is with Martin Scorsese's latest film, now out on DVD. The Aviator spans twenty or so years in the life of Howard Hughes, the reclusive billionaire and eccentric, but never delves into the man, merely glossing the surface of its subject, mainly due to the pallid script by John Logan of Gladiator infamy. Having recently watched a DVD version of Raging Bull, from 1980, the difference is stark. I've never thought Raging Bull was Scorsese's best work- it's not on a par with Taxi Driver, The King Of Comedy, After Hours, nor Goodfellas- but it can be argued as a great film, and it's a cut above this film whose first half has potential, albeit flawed, but whose second half reeks.
    The film has many flaws, other than the script, though. The major one being Leonardo DiCaprio is simply not a good nor compelling actor, especially in comparison to Robert De Niro. He is, next to Tom Cruise, perhaps the most milquetoast and passionless actor going and radiates none of the magnetism, power, and arrogance of the real man- he is a boy pretending to be a man, and clearly way out of his league. He has absolutely zero range, and is unwilling to let go of himself to the role. He is always Leonardio DiCaprio, never Howard Hughes. Better actors, like Brad Pitt in Kalifornia or A River Runs Through It, do so. DiCaprio is woefully miscast- although since he shepherded the film to fruition Scorsese had little choice but to use him. First off, he doesn't age, as Hughes, in the twenty years of the film- what? Was all the money gone for looser prosthetic jowls or crow's feet? At forty-five Hughes still looks like a teenager, especially in scenes with his airline rival Juan Trippe, as played by Alec Baldwin, a man who in real life was only a few years older than Hughes. Next to Baldwin the two characters seem of different generations- as the fey DiCaprio may not be able to pass for thirty until he's fifty or sixty, and certainly never lets us in to the `real' Hughes', as he is content with mere gesticulation. DiCaprio also looks nothing like Hughes, facially, but that's not so important if the acting is up to snuff- think Anthony Hopkins as Richard Nixon in Oliver Stone's Nixon. This evidences itself in that DiCaprio sounds nothing like Hughes, and the constant ticking and twitching he does to suggest that Hughes suffered from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is just too carny for a convincing dramatic role, even up to the film's final shot of Hughes in a Tourette's Syndrome-like daze- which is far too reminiscent of both the prison and end scenes of Raging Bull. It's never a good sign when a director has to rip off a better, earlier film of his own.... While not bad, that's also not good. If you need proof just ask yourself if you ever thought you'd hear a phrase like `a rather conventional Hollywood film by Martin Scorsese' and you'll get the points that Scorsese did not.
    ...more info
  • Amazing.....
    An incredible film that I have found very re-watchable. A brilliant cast, who I am sure, received brilliant direction from Martin Scorcese. Leonardo Dicaprio did an outstanding job in his portrayal of Howard Hughes. This is a thorougly engrossing film that comes highly recommended.....a SOLID 5 stars. ...more info
  • Great movie, horrible product
    I love this movie and I was looking forward to owning it. But the dvd was so messed up it hardly plays. Now how does a brand new dvd get all scratched up like the copy I recieved? This is the first of many products I have purchased through that I am not happy with....more info
  • Good insight into the demons that plagued Howard Hughes
    This movie is basically three movies in one - The making of Hell's Angels, Hughes' relationship with Katherine Hepburn, and Hughes' battle with Congress over a law that could have effectively put him out of business, covering the years 1927-1947 in Howard Hughes' life. The opening scene, showing Hughes with his mother, is short but vital in insinuating that Hughes developed his OCD from his mother - either by listening to and remembering her fanatical anti-germ ravings about how he was never safe, or through strict genetics. It was probably a combination of both. Since his mother died young, she did not live to have the disease take over her life as it did with Howard.

    The first part of the film is actually my favorite, in part because Hughes is young and relatively free from the mental illness that plagues him later in the film, and also in part because it is just plain fun watching young Howard spend three years making "Hell's Angels". You have a hard time telling where his love of aviation and perfection stop and his OCD begins, and DiCaprio has the I-am-so-rich-I-can-buy-anything-I-want swagger down just right, mixed with the perfect amount of flirtatious charm and lost boy vulnerability. Hughes' hubris is balanced by his right-hand man, Noah Dietrich, solidly played by John C. Reilly, CEO of the Hughes empire for 32 years with only two vacations the entire time, and who lived to be 13 days shy of his 93rd birthday. This part of the movie has some of its most stylish sets and is the most visually appealing part of the film, in my opinion.

    The second part of the film, which focuses on Hughes' relationship with Katherine Hepburn, is good mainly because Cate Blanchett really steals the show as Hepburn. It is said that Blanchett watched every reel of film she could get her hands on from the 1930's that featured Hepburn, and her preparation shows. At some point you forget this actually ISN'T Hepburn you are watching. My favorite part of this section of the film is when the new-money unpolitical Hughes meets Hepburn's family, all old-money Democrats living a commune style existence with even Hepburn's ex-husband living on the family compound. Frances Conroy of "Six Feet Under" does a great job here in a cameo appearance as Hepburn's mother. This section of the film ends with Hepburn leaving Hughes for Spencer Tracy, and is way off base from actual events. Hepburn had been apart from Hughes for several years when she and Tracy actually met.

    The third part of the film is the most depressing and required the most acting talent from DiCaprio, and he did a stellar job showing Hughes descent into madness. This part of the film starts with Hughes' near-fatal aircraft accident on July 7, 1946, while piloting the experimental U.S. Army spy plane XF-11 over Los Angeles. During his convalescence, the political winds turn against him. Pan American World Airways chief Juan Trippe sought to monopolize international air travel and had influenced Maine Senator Owen Brewster to propose legislation securing Pan Am as the sole American airline allowed to fly overseas, at a time when Hughes planned TWA service to Europe with the Constellation. Brewster in turn, started a Senate investigation of Hughes claiming he had wasted huge quantities of the taxpayers' money and had yet failed to produce any planes. Just prior to the hearings, the film shows Hughes having a complete nervous collapse. He locks himself into one of his film viewing rooms, apparently for weeks, muttering to himself in one of his OCD-induced fogs. He does reclaim his sanity just in time, though, and manages to turn the Senate hearings into an attack on Brewster when he successfully exposed Brewster's dealings with Pan Am.

    Overall "The Aviator" is a visually stunning film with great performances by both DiCaprio and Blanchett. I was really pleasantly surprised by DiCaprio's performance, though. His previous outing with director Scorcese in "Gangs of New York" was such a bad film that I couldn't really judge DiCaprio as an actor. His parts before that basically had him playing male "eye candy" roles, so, again, I couldn't really judge whether or not that was all he was capable of doing. This movie, however, finally gave him the chance to either shine or fall in a good role in a quality film. I give this movie four instead of five stars only because it is a little too long....more info
  • Great acting, abrupt ending
    This film does represent a serious investment of your time. And, after nearly three hours of viewing, you do not get a full picture of Howard Hughes' life. Scorcese's pacing is just painfully slow, right up until the oddly abrupt ending. At the very least he could've given us a block of type at the end that filled us in on the rest of Hughes' achievements, when he died, etc. That said, the acting is great and at least some of the storyline is quite inspiring. The cast is large and everyone contributes high-quality work. DiCaprio and Blanchett in particular really get into their roles....more info
  • Not the best form Scorsesse
    Very good effects. Good performance of Dicaprio and the other actors. However Mr. Scorsesse had made a movie very tipical from Holywood standards, not as original or intense as Goodfellas. I enjoy the movie, but this not catch me as other works from this director. May be the best years of Scorsesse had gone......more info
  • The Aviator
    I watch many movies over and over. A one time view is all this will receive from me....more info
  • Very graphic
    My husband and I liked this movie - except for the horrible plane crash that Hughes experienced. It was so graphic and painful that my husband was still talking about it the next day. The portrayal of OCD in Hughes life was very brilliantly played by DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett made a surprisingly accurate Katherine Hepburn.
    The Aviator is a movie that we have to plan to watch because it is so long and time-consuming. Usually it's a rainy day film, or one that we reserve for pizza nights when it's just the two of us. It IS a long watch. I find myself skipping ahead to some more poignant scenes at times. Overall, we like it - once in awhile....more info
  • Here is a Fascinating Film!!
    Watch this movie if you want something quite different than what you'll find at any movie theater this summer. DiCapprio gives his finest performance to date in this film, and I am not usually a big fan of his. The flying shots are so compelling in this movie, that despite the length of the film, you don't really notice the time go by. Add a very compelling, true story of Howard Hughes and his deteriorating mental illness, and this is not like any movie you have seen. I still maintain that any TRUE genius is a breathe away from some form of mental illness------it is the price of pure genius. These illnesses are all very close to each other, and I am glad to see on the screen, a depiction of something much more complicated than depression. (not that depression by itself is not complicated enough). The irony is that Howard Hughes had to suffer terribly, in order to make his great aviation accomplishments available to us, much as Beethoven paid a 'price' for giving us the 5th symphony. So buy this fascinating film and dare to be challenged as well as entertained. They don't make them like this anymore!! ...more info
  • Amazing movie!
    I knew nothing about Howard Hughes before watching the movie, and I think this movie did a good job of introducing me to this historical figure. DiCaprio did an amazing job, his acting talents never cease to amaze me! Wonderful movie!...more info
  • 5 Star Hughes
    Despite the lack of forestory information, this movie is entertaining. It is very accurate about the life of Howard Hughes. Some fascinating details of his family history is missing along with his Las Vegas acquisitions of casinos and many events that transpired during the latter part of his life (including the loss of Hughes Tool Company). Mr. Hughes strong attraction to have countless movie starlets was never viewed compared to what is documented from reality. This picture touches on his fancination of movie production and aviation which covers the broadest and most interesting facets of Howard Hughes life. It comes highly recommended....more info
  • Aviator by Brandon M. Moskos
    What can I say? One of the best actors, as well as best directors, a must-see movie. Aviator is outstanding and a must for any dvd collection. I don't like to give away what the movie is about, but this movie is a classic. Please see this movie if you haven't yet....more info
  • Not thought provoking, just GREAT FUN
    The AVIATOR for me was a load of fun. As someone born in the 50s this movie shows how much fun it must have been to live in the first half of the 20th century and have money. DiCaprio does a fine job portraying Howard HUGHES, a true visionary who was afflicted with mental illnesses that, at the time, were never publicly discussed. The movie does not gloss over his eccentricities but fully addresses his unhealthy preoccupation with germs and other compulsive bahaviors. It even spends time at the beginning of the movie to show his childhood where his mother planted the seeds of his anxieties.

    Cate Blanchett does a fine job in her portrayal of Katherine HEPBURN who had a love affair with HUGHES'S before she met Spencer TRACY. Also we see hollywood in it's heyday with appearances by Louie B. MAYER, Ava GARDNER, Jean HARLOW and Errol FLYNN (played by Jude Law) among others. Alan ALDA capably plays a cowardly and corrupt senator standing in the way of HUGHES'S business intentions. The movie is nothing to speak of as a great thought provoking experience. It is what it is- a very entertaining look at Mr. HUGHES life (with some very fine flying sequences thrown in). ...more info
  • DiCaprio is brilliant as Howard Hughes ... A great movie!
    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 create a phenomenal movie that deservedly won five Oscars.

    I learned many things about Howard Hughes and even more about what happened to the boy that helped form the man. Very sad in places, but uplifting in others.

    I admire what Scorsese said about Hughes; very insightful: "You get a sense of Howard Hughes being Icarus with the wax wings. Those wings were great for a while, but he flies too close to the sun."

    That is so sad, but so true, as this film adequately depicts. I don't think it's a typical "tear-jerker," but my heart went out to Hughes. I admit I used a few tissues....more info
  • Stunning movie, all-star cast
    This movie is about Howard Hughes who was an amazing man who suffered from a severe case of OCD. I loved this movie because it didn't show the disease comically. Leonardo DiCaprio took time researching it and really gets the audience to understand how horrible the diease can be and how Howard Hughes struggled with it. Back in those times, it was not as known and studied so treatment was not really there.

    This is a captivating movie and the special features are great. The plot keeps moving and it never gets boring. It is one of Leonardo DiCaprio's best works. I highly recommend this movie to anyone and everyone. Especially people who enjoy movies that are a biography of sorts. An absolute must-see and must-own....more info
  • LOOK, UP IN THE SKY, IT'S SUPERMAN !
    Before viewing this film last night, this reviewer had little knowlege of Howard Hughes. He may know less today,given the liberties of cinematic biography, but who cares? In an acting/producer/director relationship bar none, "The Aviator" impressed me as one of the most entertaining films of the modern era. The film's electric pace is reminiscent of some of Frank Capra's best work 60-70 years ago. In DiCaprio, one sees flashes of Errol Flynn, dashes of James Dean, crashes of John Wayne, crashes of Jim Morrison, the reclusiveness of a male Greta Garbo,the political genius of Huey Long, and the aeronautical genius of a true "Boy Wonder".Just imagine the energy required to meld these themes together effectively. But, Leo manages to pull it off in an acting "tour de force", which a fellow reviewer descibes aptly: "Sorry girls, this guy can flat-out act." The real tragedy here, however, may lie in the fact that modern day medicine may have remedied Hughes' maladies, much to everyone's benefit....more info
  • A Great Work of Art
    One of the greatest compliments to any film, IMHO, is when it can be called a great work of art. And this one is just that, a great work of art. Leonardo DiCaprio was great, as usual, in this film. I've read, in some places, that the film took a few liberties with facts about Hughes, but it's still a great film. It also highlights the rather unknown facts of Hughes' excentricities, OCD, which can be devastating for some, and greatly misunderstood by those around them. But the art and craftwork that went into creating the period are just fantastic....more info
  • Amazing blu-ray
    I love this movie and can watch it over and over again. The picture quality is remarkable and really shows off what blu-ray technology is capable of....more info
  • "Howard Hughes, The Aviator"
    "The Aviator" focuses on the brilliant and tragic life of the fascinating madman and genius, Howard Hughes, 1905-1976, (to be precise, 20 years of it, from 1927 when 22 years old Hughes was producing the film "Hell's Angels" until 1947 when his most famous aircraft, the Hercules was completed). The film is as amazing and dark as the man who called himself with pride, "Howard Hughes, the Aviator". Cinematography, Art Direction, and Editing were perfect in the almost 3 hours long film that never for a moment seemed too long or boring. Martin Scorsese made a spectacular and dynamic picture and Leonardo DiCaprio earns my respect and admiration for his acting - he is one of the most talented young actors now and I will be waiting for his following films impatiently. I trusted him in every scene and he made me feel strongly for and sympathize with Howard Hughes's affliction.

    Alan Alda and Alec Baldwin both gave great performances as the corrupted and disgusting Senator Brewster (Alda) and truly memorable Pan-American Airways CEO Juan Trippe, Hughes' enemy and competitor (Baldwin played a delightful villain). Surprisingly for myself, I didn't like very much Cate Blanchett's impersonation of Katherine Hepburn (I usually love Blanchette in every movie I've seen her) - it seemed more like caricature but it is a matter of personal liking or not.

    I feel that "The Aviator" took off the ground like a huge steel bird and took me with it to the marvelous journey. I also believe that "The Aviator" is much better and more interesting film than that year's Oscar winner - but this is my opinion. ...more info
  • Excellent movie, Great HD DVD
    I am very pleased with the picture and sound of this HD DVD. Not 5 star but definitely 4 stars. Nice addition to my HD DVD collection....more info
  • Mesmerizing film
    This is an outstanding, expansive, detailed portrait of the enigmatic and eccentric billionaire playboy and aviation enthusiast/Hollywood producer (Hell's Angels) Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) in the years (the 1920s through the 1940s) leading up to his bouts of insanity and decline from the spotlight. It's ambitious and never disappoints. It is bound to become a classic. The Aviator is a riveting film with a thoughtful, provocative script that delves into the many aspects of Hughes personality: the explorer (he bought TWA and flew planes and constantly planned on building bigger and better airplanes), the playboy (he dated and love Katharine Hepburn (a commendable performance by Cate Blanchett who embodies all Hepburn's traits and her accent) and Ava Gardiner (Beckinsale) and squired many other starlets around town), the germ-o-phobe (he constantly washed his hands and became obsessed with touching and cleanliness), the consummate businessman (he fought Congress and Pan Am for the right for TWA to fly abroad) and the perfectionist who analyzed everything he did. DiCaprio is amazing as always as he sheds light on this strange, wonderful and wealthy man. He brings so many layers to the character. We feel sorry for him, we root for him, and we get upset when he doesn't win. It's mesmerizing.


    ...more info