Urban Cinefile
"At one table you have got Clint Eastwood, another table you've got Brenda Vaccaro ..celebrities just everywhere - and the pizza is sensational"  -Jackie Collins on Hollywood's famous eatery, Spagos
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A DVD
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

FLYBOYS: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
In 1916, before the US becomes involved in World War I, several young Americans volunteer as trainee pilots in the new French flying corps, the Escadrille Lafayette. Blaine Rawlings (James Franco), a Texan evicted from his family's ranch, joins ace flyer Reed Cassidy (Martin Henderson)'s squadron, along with newcomers Higgings (Christien Anhold), William Jensen (Philip Winchester), Briggs Lowry (Tyler Labine), Eddie Beagle (David Ellison) and black American boxer Eugene Skinner (Abdul Salis). Under Captain Georges Thenault (Jean Reno), they are readied for deadly aerial combat against highly trained German pilots in superior Fokker aircraft. Rawlings even finds hope and love in a chance meeting with local French lass Lucienne (Jennifer Decker).

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Romanticised battles and chivalry, heroic deeds and brutal deaths, these are the elements that Flyboys flies by, a thrilling adventure from the pages of history, tinged with the sadness of it all. That bitter-sweet, melancholy mood is what makes the film more than a boys' own adventure, in which the good guys shoot down the bad guys.

Apart from the fact that the film is based on real events that are little remembered these days, it's a superbly crafted film that never lets us see the secrets of it digital magic as mosquito sized biplanes (the French Nieuport 17) sting the German Fokkers in aerial combat footage that gives the film its most intense moments, often giving us heart-pumping in-flight close ups of men and machines.

But the film's greatest achievement is its ability to establish so many key characters, complete with backstories and the nuances of unique profiles. This gives us a chance to make connections that are the control-strands that the drama then pulls and manipulates for emotional satisfaction.

James Franco and Martin Henderson carry much of the film's emotional charge and do so with great balance between courage and vulnerability, and the entire corps, including Jean Reno's sensible and likeable commanding officer, make us feel involved and engaged. Young Jennifer Decker's pretty Lucienne is charming and her role is a clever touch, adding a broader sense of reality to the basic story.

Flyboys is a terrific war movie, partly because it's different to most war movies and partly because it has such heart.

There's an audio commentary on the DVD plus deleted scenes, a feature on the making of the aerial battle sequences, diary of a miniature stunt pilot and more.

Published June 28, 2007

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

FLYBOYS: DVD (M)
(France/US, 2006)

CAST: James Franco, Martin Henderson, Christian Anhold, Philip Winchester, Tyler Labine, David Ellison, Abdul Salis, Jean Reno, Jennifer Decker, Todd Boyce, Karen Ford, Ruth Bradley, Tim Pigott-Smith, Gail Downey, Augustin Legrand, Keith McErlean, Hazel, Mac McDonald, Gunnar Winbergh

PRODUCER: Dean Devlin, Marc Frydman, Marc Roskin

DIRECTOR: Tony Bill

SCRIPT: Phil Sears, Blake T. Evans, David S. Ward

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Henry Braham

EDITOR: Chris Blunden, Ron Rosen

MUSIC: Trevor Rabin

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Charles Wood

RUNNING TIME: 139 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Magna Pacific

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 15, 2007

PRESENTATION: Widescreen

SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary with producer Dean Devlin & director tony Bill; Real Heroes; Taking Flight: The making of the Aerial battle sequences; The real plans of Flyboys; deleted scenes; diary of a miniature stunt pilot, trailer, Whiskey and Soda: The lion mascots; The flyboys ride with the air force TGhunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Magna Pacific

DVD RELEASE: June 27, 2007







Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017