The Montevideo assignment is almost over and the last in-flight film I saw was around two months ago. Just the same, there’s an urge that I have to finish this entry. This is a way for me to remember stuff. And ponder upon, both on the films that I saw and the rare chance to be flying with Emirates (thanks, dear company).
Flights from Manila to Dubai take around eight hours. That means two to three movies per trip. Unfortunately, the flight leaves from NAIA at close to midnight so the first thing I usually do after the hot towel part is sleep. From Dubai to Manila, the plane leaves at 3am so it’s pretty much the same movie viewing challenge. There’s also the luck of having upgraded to Business and it means more comfy seats and more options for alcoholic drinks (read: more prone to sleep). Dubai to Sao Paulo is a different story. It’s a 14-hour trip. That means I have the luxury to sleep, eat properly and enjoy movies as many as I want. It’s actually one of those trips that you are forced to watch films just to kill boredom.
Anyway, here are the 17 in-flight films I have seen since the start of the year:
Manila – Dubai (January 2012)
Dubai – Sao Paulo (January 2012)
Moneyball (Bennett Miller, 2011) Brad Pitt is good here but I think his slot on the last Oscars belongs to Ryan Gosling or Michael Fassbender. It’s more of an Aaron Sorkin film, complete with an Aaron Sorkin ending (read: The Social Network). The very last frame, right before the conventional title card, is just mindblowing. I’m not a sports buff but this one doesn’t alienate me. Direction is light and focused. It doesn’t resort to tricks that a film about sports should be fast-paced and adrenaline booster.
Sao Paulo – Dubai (May 2012)
Dubai – Manila (May 2012)
The Muppets (James Bobin, 2011) The premise is undeniably very Hollywood but it’s an enjoyable one even if you’re not a muppets fan. On the side is the team-up of Oscar winner Amy Adams and funnyman Jason Segel as they provide a bit of a romance and some sugary musical numbers. For me the best scenes are when the muppets do some stroke of metafiction.
Manila – Dubai (June 2012)
Dubai – Sao Paulo (June 2012)
Sao Paulo – Dubai (July 2012)
Dubai – Manila (July 2012)
A Ghost of a Chance (Koki Mitani, 2011) Based from the note in the film selection menu, this one’s the highest grossing Japanese film in 2011. It would be really unfair but I made a comparison in terms of sensibility to the highest grossing Filipino film during that year. Though Wenn Deramas’ “Praybeyt Benjamin” has a commentary on homosexuality and its acceptance to the society, it drowned in the middle of the film in the most dim-witted way possible. This Japanese film, also a comedy, is more situational than a social commentary. It tells a story of an incompetent female lawyer (Eri Fukatsu) who’s last chance to live up to her father’s legacy is by having a ghost as a witness in a murder case. The premise is actually stupid but I got the hang of it the moment the film takes it seriously. Its resolution is both satisfying and uplifting. Even if the film runs for a whopping 142 minutes, I enjoyed every turn without having the nagging feeling that it’s undermining my intellect.