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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - February, 2010

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"Amelia" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by John Johnson

Amelia

Synopsis

Amelia Earhart (Swank) was the female counterpart to Charles Lindbergh, who is credited with being the first pilot to fly non-stop from New York to Paris, in 1927. However, he was not really the first to fly trans-Atlantic non-stop. This had been done in 1924 by the US Navy, flying a Zeppelin from Germany to New Jersey. But, he was the first to fly it non-stop using a heavier-than-air aircraft.

In the 1920's, Amelia Earhart gained fame for her flying skills, and with the help of her husband, George Putnam (Gere), who was also her book publisher, she was the first woman to fly trans-Atlantic from New York to Europe in 1932.

She had bigger aspirations, and wanted to be the first woman to fly around the world, but George was very afraid for her, as other women had tried it and died in the process.

Nevertheless, Amelia got her way, and on June 1, 1937, she began her journey from Miami, Florida, taking her navigator, Fred Noonan, with her (so it was not a solo flight). After stops in South America, Africa, Asia, and New Guinea, their plane approached Howland Island in the mid-Pacific, on July 2, but stormy weather and poor radio reception resulted in her plane vanishing forever.


Specifications

  • 20th Century Fox
  • 2009, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 51 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC @ 18 Mbps
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor, Scott Anderson, Richard Donat
  • Directed by Mira Nair
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

More a documentary and love story than an adventure, Amelia simply tells us about the person rather than the pilot. Instead of spending more footage in the air, we are told of her affair with Gene Vidal (McGregor), father of Gore Vidal, who went on to become a successful author. Too much time is also spent on how she endorsed various products because of her fame. The justification for this is that it paid the high cost of flying. However, it drowned the excitement of soaring through the clouds during the early years of flight. There were other adventures that the story could have encompassed, such as her solo flight from Honolulu to Oakland in 1935, as well as from Los Angeles to Mexico City, and Mexico City to New York. I also think they could have spent some footage on the exhaustive search that was made after her disappearance, especially since there are people still searching for evidence of her plane in the region she was believed to be lost!

Technical

Excellent image quality, reasonable surround sound that could have been better.

Extras

These include Deleted Scenes, The Power of Amelia Earhart, Behind the Legend, Movietone News Reels (of the real Amelia Earhart), and a digital copy for your Video iPod.