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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Thriller > Flightplan (Touchstone DVD)

Flightplan

 

Picture: B-†††† Sound: B†††† Extras: C+†††† Film: C+

 

 

Jodie Foster does not make as many films as she used to, but when she comes back, so do the audiences.One of the only full fledged big screen movie stars around, Robert Schwentkeís Flightplan (2005) does go more than a bit out of its way to be David Fincherís Panic Room (2002) in an airplane.It is nowhere as good, but thanks to the production design and Fosterís intense performance, it was one of the seasonís big hits and will easily repeat that business on DVD.

 

Foster is a professional airplane designer responsible for the fancy, ultra technical, ultra modern and ultra luxurious Aalto E-474 mega-jet.Ready to celebrate, her husband suddenly turns up dead, likely from a suicide more than an accident.Her and her daughter go on the plane.Suddenly, the daughter disappears, no one has seen her, no one remembers her, she was not in the records with her mother and Kyle Pratt (Foster) starts to question her sanity.Who were those Middle Eastern men looking through her window at home?Are the medications she is using for her mourning affecting her brain and memory that much?How could a little girl suddenly disappear without a trace?

 

This is a nice set up and Foster is perfect for the role.The problem is that the film is choppy in the later sequences, where it is obvious it was test marketed to death, then political correctness is thrown in at the end that additionally contradicts the set up and earlier scenes in the film.Without giving anything away, the mystery that is laid out is betrayed by the last half hour and the film looses all altitude after flying high early on.Peter Sarsgaard, Erika Christensen and Sean Bean are among the good supporting cast that also includes some good character actor unknowns.However, foster is so good and the film so loose in its plot, that Foster out-acts and mows down all other performances and script flaws in her wake.She is not one of the biggest stars in the world for nothing.You have to see the film once to believe it and even when the film itself disappoints, she does not.Too bad Flightplan is more a one-way ticket than a round trip tour.

 

The 2.35 X 1 image was shot in Super 35 and then rendered darker via a digital intermediate in another attempt to make it like Panic Room, but it does not hold its form as much, no matter how compelling the design of the plane is.Even in the theater, some of the shots looked like they were shot in digital HD as a result, though cinematographer Florian Ballhaus at least goes for a big screen look for the most part.The sound is here in Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 mixes, but the DTS is much fuller and one of the best sound DVDs of a new film we have heard lately over films like Fantastic Four, also issued with a DTS option.James Hornerís score is a plus that saved the film in some spots.Extras include a feature length audio commentary by the director, featurette on the film, featurette on the making of the plane in the film and a couple of previews for other Disney releases.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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