Tuesday, March 01, 2005

DVD Tuesday: Otto's Phoenix - Xoanon @ 09:52 PST
Flight of the Phoenix

As superfluous remakes go, Flight of the Phoenix could've been better, and could've been worse. It's a passable popcorn adventure, especially for those unfamiliar with the 1965 original, which starred James Stewart, made headlines for the crash-landing death of stunt-pilot Paul Mantz, and now stands as a minor classic of its era. This flashy remake stars Dennis Quaid in Stewart's role, adds a woman to the list of plane-crash survivors, and showcases Giovanni Ribisi, who gives a cleverly eccentric performance as the model-airplane designer who proposes to rebuild a crashed cargo plane into a single-engine escape from certain death in the remote Gobi desert. Both films are essentially identical, but this remake is somehow less believable (due to shortcuts in a haphazardly written screenplay) and much more spectacular, owing to the advantage of impressive special effects. Otherwise it's a routine dose of survivalist entertainment from the director of Behind Enemy Lines, never convincing enough to be genuinely compelling, but certainly never boring. [Order 'Flight of the Phoenix' (Widescreen Edition) on Amazon.com Today!] [Order 'Flight of the Phoenix' (Fullscreen Edition) on Amazon.com Today!]