There are movies you pay to see in the movie theater, movies you pay to rent, and then there are movies you watch on airplanes.
I have some rules about movies on planes.
1) The movie must not make me cry.*
2) Pretty much anything else goes.
Flying internationally, especially on nice airlines, means that you will be greeted with a smorgasbord of films to choose from. Gone are the days of being subjected to Karate Kid 4.
I started my films on my LAX-NAR flight with Zombieland. I’d been itching to watch it since I saw Adventureland, (Jesse Eisenberg is the new king of the nerd boys, in a totally real way) and I was not disappointed. Rules projected on the screen (e.g., #4 always wear your seatbelt), a twinkie search, and an awesome cameo by Bill Murray. See this movie!
Next, I thought I’d give Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland a chance. I refuse to see his movies in the theater anymore – I am always disappointed. But still, I thought it would be airplane-worthy. Guess what? It’s not. In fact, it SUCKED, and I turned it off halfway through. I repeat: I stopped an airplane movie. This has never happened before. I sat through all of Australia. I sat through all of Mamma Mia. I even sat through all of The Next Karate Kid all those years ago. I could not sit through Alice in Wonderland, and so I am officially dubbing it the worst movie ever. Do not see this movie! In fact I'm not even going to bother to link to it!
After that debacle, I went for Neal Jordan’s recent Ondine. It stars Colin Farrell, who I think is getting better with age (you MUST see In Bruges), and co-stars Stephen Rea. Ok, it’s not the best movie ever, but it’s a sweet Irish mermaid tale, and is certainly a fine way to while away the hours.
Less than four hours to go – what shall I watch now? Ah, I know: The Ghost Writer, a political thriller about the thinly veiled US-British political entanglements that authorized extraordinary rendition and torture. Perfect timing with the Wikileaks release of all those documents that are raising serious doubts about the war in Afghanistan. Plus, bonus: Ewan McGregor. Perhaps the fact that Roman Polanski directed this film led to its tepid reception, despite good reviews. I hope you won’t let his asshole-ishness prevent you from seeing a good movie.
*This rule has been broken on occasion, most notably by Rachel Getting Married. It was totally worth it, though.