Airplane! : Film Review

Airplane! - Film Review

Widely seen as among the funniest films ever made, Airplane! is a spoof comedy film revolving around an aircraft that becomes infected with a sickness, leaving a traumatized war pilot in the perilous position of landing a commercial aircraft. The film stars, among other, Pete Graves, Robert Hays, Leslie Nielsen, Julie Hagerty. It was released in 1980 to overwhelmingly positive box office and critical response, but was criticized at equal measure for what could only be described as a unique sense of humor.

My expectations were very high going into this film. I’d heard all the stories, of course, and seen a few clips, but I had my doubts about whether or not the film could sustain that for the course of its 1 hour and 27-minute runtime. I was absolutely not disappointed. Airplane! is among the funniest movies I have ever seen without a doubt. People interested in watching the film should probably be warned that it doesn’t even try to maintain a sensible plot; it’s a full on spoof film, supposedly of 1957 film Zero Hour, where the pilots fall sick and a passenger is forced to land the plane. There’s a whole bunch of stuff going on at all times, and next to none of it makes logical sense. Half the plane gets fatally sick because they had fish for dinner, and at least one woman’s tongue gets replaced with a never ending slew of unhatched chicken eggs. It’s batshit crazy.

That said, alongside the slapstick comedy, there’s a decent amount of nuanced, (if slightly distasteful 🙂 comedy. It’s hard to pinpoint something they didn’t make a punchline out of. There undoubtedly somewhat racy and offensive undertones; I don’t think I’d recommend this film to someone who feels they fall into the category of ‘uptight’. I mean see, I don’t think there’s anything in there that’s in bad taste or anything, but there are a couple times where they make a punchline out of jewish people and there are a few suicide jokes. Again, the specific jokes aren’t in bad taste, but the subjects could be seen as a little edgy so just a heads up to anyone who feels they might not enjoy it.

I should reiterate that the plot does not exist, and what does exist is kind of crap. It’s not the intent of the film. I absolutely died laughing during the vast majority of the film, I didn’t stop once to think about the realism because the tone discards it as immaterial. Leslie Neilsen is an absolute god among men. His classic deadpan delivery kills every time it shoots. Peter Graves remains that guy I swear I know from somewhere but I can’t place where, and the romantic duo of Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty makes for the reason for a lot of the suicide jokes. The star of the show is, of course, Otto. Watch the movie, you’ll know what I mean.

I’m sure you’ve been able to tell, but this was a really hard review to write; namely because I honestly don’t know what to say. There’s not much sophisticated concept to talk about; it’s just a gloriously funny movie, among if not the funniest I’ve ever seen. It’s not your usual comedy film, the comedy itself is quite niche and unique so if it ends up not being your cup of tea there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, nor, for that matter, is there ever anything wrong with a film not being your cup of tea. Realized how that read after I’d written it. I’d definitely give Airplane! a chance though. One of the funniest films out there.

Aman’s Rating: /100                                                                         Aryamaan’s Rating: 66/100

The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs: Film Review

The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs 3

The Coen Brothers latest project released on Netflix earlier this year as the film adaptation to their own collection of unreleased short stories, entitled “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” The film is an anthology of six different stories, each exploring an aspect of the way of life of the wild west of old. The six stories run over the course of 2 hours and 13 minutes, with a lengthy cast starring the likes of James Franco, Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson, Zoe Kazan, and others.

I was not at all interested in this film before I saw it. I’m not the biggest Coen brothers fan in the world as it is, and I’m even less of a fan of westerns. This being as hard-core a western as it gets, I was not thrilled when my family decided to watch the Netflix film on holiday. I came out of the film thoroughly confused. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is an exceedingly odd film, comprising of six undeniably odd storylines with many irrevocably odd characters in the strangest circumstances I’ve ever seen. Each story, pretty much without exception, is a full blown desert burner, so anyone who, like me, is not necessarily a fan of the whole sand and dustballs aesthetic, I’d avoid this film at all costs.

It peaks early. As much as I don’t like the genre, the first story, starring the titular Buster Scruggs, is an undeniably thrilling and enjoyable segment. Scruggs is a country-music singing, gun-slinging, sharp-tongued son of a gun with more charisma than anyone for miles, and his Jack Sparrow meets Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained persona is too entertaining to look away from. Unfortunately, this segment lasts about twenty minutes at best, at the end of which shit gets a little crazy. I don’t want to say what exactly happens, it’s a little too priceless when it happens to take that image away from you, but suffice it to say that it’s definitely drug induced.

The other stories would take too long to explain individually. They’re all very stylistically made, which, at first, seems to be the only noteworthy thing about them. You’ll find your mind occupied by wondering why exactly you’re watching a guy dig holes for ten minutes straight for, or whether that could possibly be the guy who plays Dudley in Harry Potter during stretches of confusion and boredom; only to have that monotony broken by events that could only be described as tragic and gruesome. Death, injury, and discomfort are frequent companions while watching this film.

Nonetheless, the stories are decidedly not without point. To be honest, as strange and needlessly quirky as a lot of it tends to be, all of them end in a way that makes you think (with the exception of the last one which is just weird). The messages aren’t always fun, often depressing, might they are definitely provoking. Of what, it’s not always easy to say. This is the way an anthology is supposed to work, I suppose. Absent the time it takes to sell character and plot, the Coen’s have written a collection of stories that say more than they tell. What they say might not be easy on the ears, but to those with the interest, you come away from this film with plenty of food for thought on the human condition, even if you couldn’t relate to the stories themselves.

It’s an exceedingly odd film, no doubt about it. I went into it very apprehensive, and, frankly, was pleasantly surprised by the commentary, when I wasn’t straight up confused with what was happening. There are some absolutely priceless sentiments wrapped up inside the potentially over-stylized waffle. Enjoyable viewing kind of depends on whether you can eat the waffle to get to the gems. I’d like to end this with a quote, a rough one mind you, which closes the first story. As Buster’s consciousness leaves him, he speaks to the audience in his wonderful cowboy manner “I’ll see you all up in the paradise beyond the heavens. I’m sure it exists. If it don’t, what’re all the songs about?” Priceless.

Aman’s Rating: 63/100                                                                    Aryamaan’s Rating: 68/100