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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable film - great entertainment
Martin Scorsese's 2004 film of the varied life of Howard Hughes, the millionaire, aircraft designer and recluse, is an enjoyable film. Leonardo DiCaprio, surprisingly, is quite convincing, as is Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner but, for me, the star of the film is Cate Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn. She has her unusual and distinctive voice and mannerisms off to...
Published on 3 Dec. 2011 by RR Waller

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost Takes Flight
An extremely interesting take on the life of Howard Hughes. With a strong central performance from DiCaprio, and a setting of the the 20's - 40's. The movie is at its best when in flight, both literally and figuratively. Like the film "Hells Angels" you get the impression that Scorcese spent as long on these sequences as Hughes did. The poorest part however is the...
Published on 14 Sept. 2005 by Donald Thompson


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable film - great entertainment, 3 Dec. 2011
By 
RR Waller "ISeneca" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Aviator [DVD] (DVD)
Martin Scorsese's 2004 film of the varied life of Howard Hughes, the millionaire, aircraft designer and recluse, is an enjoyable film. Leonardo DiCaprio, surprisingly, is quite convincing, as is Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner but, for me, the star of the film is Cate Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn. She has her unusual and distinctive voice and mannerisms off to perfection.

I do not know Hughes's story well enough to know whether it is true-to-ife and accurate but, as I do not watch films for historical accuracy, I am not concerned. It is a thoroughly enjoyable film and, should anyone win the Lottery, it is well worth watching this film shortly afterwards. He had all the money he needed and millions more but ...
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 6 Dec. 2005
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This review is from: The Aviator (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
I watched this film twice back to back , admittedly i had seen it at the cinema , and think it is better suited to a large screen showing , i thought Scorcese,s interpretation was brilliant , resonant of a "old style film " every scene has a purpose , basically to give you an insight into the genius of Howard Hughes , i dont think that is an exagerration as his combination of business acumen , vision,and sheer daring , must amount to genius .
he would override his best emgineers when insisting on some aspect of aeroplane design , he put his money where his mouth was , and when it came to putting his ideas to the test , he was the first one to take the plane for a test flight !
likewise in business he would morgatge his entire wealth on some businees venture .
the film also shows his ruthless streak with anyone that crossed him .
And then when all seemed invincible, his descent into madness .
For me such an examination of a fascinating life was simply gripping .
My favourite film of 2005
;-)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh, for some antibacterial hand gel!, 27 Dec. 2005
By 
Mr. Joe (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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AVIATOR depicts roughly twenty years in the life of what many - especially those outside the U.S. borders - may regard as the quintessential American: one who's an enormously successful business entrepreneur, a daring technical innovator, the playboy companion of Hollywood starlets, and crazy as a loon.
My opinion of Leonardo DiCaprio has never been more than one of indifference. But here, as millionaire aviator Howard Hughes, he excels.
The film opens in the late 1920s as Hughes is filming "Hell's Angels", his World War I air combat epic that was the most expensive Hollywood production to date, and ends with the one and only test flight of his Hercules military transport (a.k.a. "The Spruce Goose") in Los Angeles Harbor in November 1947. In between, we see depicted the highlights of his amazing life: his personally achieved air speed record (352 mph), his aerial circumnavigation of the globe, his controlling ownership of TWA, his development of the Constellation (perhaps the most beautiful passenger aircraft ever built), a nearly fatal crash in his FX-11 prototype reconnaissance aircraft, his battle with the government and Pan Am to prevent the latter's monopolization of American international air routes, the squabble with censors over Jane Russell's cleavage in his western "The Outlaw", and his liaison with starlets, especially Katherine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett) and Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale).
Director Martin Scorsese doesn't flinch from showing Howard's darker side: his increasing obsession with germs transferred by hand contact and his slow slide into madness. The film gives a new meaning to hand washing and the recycling of milk bottles. (What Hughes wouldn't have given for the waterless, antibacterial hand gel!) However, no mention is made of Howard's addiction to painkilling drugs after the FX-11 mishap, and which contributed to his eventual mental deterioration into being a completely reclusive figure. Nor, somewhat surprisingly, is there any epilog in the end credits regarding the remainder of Hughes's life and the fates of that which he wrought.
For me, Blanchett as Hepburn almost stole the show. Cate had Kate's mannerisms down pat; she was positively resplendent in the role with an Oscar-worthy performance. Beckinsale is luminous as Ava Gardner, and Alan Alda is effective as the oily Senator from Maine and Pan Am's lackey, Ralph Brewster.
Scorsese's use of special FX and sets is impressive, principally the recreation of the interior of Hollywood's Coconut Grove nightclub, the onboard re-creation of the test flight of the Spruce Goose, and Howard's filming of the aerial dogfights for "Hell's Angels".
At a 2 hour and 45 minute run time, AVIATOR is an all-American epic.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cinematic masterpice and great story too, 3 May 2005
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Mrs. Carrie Smith (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Aviator (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
I saw this movie, not really expecting it to live up to it's unpublicised hype as usually when a film gets the critics attention it is well made but boring. This movie gripped me from the start to the end and was without a doubt the best film I've seen in years. In fact, I would not go to the cinema for weeks after because I knew that nothing could live up to it. The portrayal of obsessive compulsive Hughes was matched by the obsessive compulsive filming. Look out for the colours being changed in the nightclub to emphasise the blue and red on the screen (including blue peas). Admire the Art Deco attention to detail even on stairwells and floors. I was all set to hate Cate Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn but she was brilliant and very convincing - you forgot she was Cate. The time flew through this movie and I could happily have watched the rest of Hughes story. It inspired me to find out more about Howard Hughes and found some even more wonderful stories about him - I wanted more...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch this more for learning than for entertainment, 23 Jun. 2008
This review is from: The Aviator (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Before watching this film I knew nothing about Howard Hughes, about aviation, had no idea what this film was about other than a biography, when it was set, had never even seen a trailer. Yet, I had heard many positive reviews and curious to see what all the fuss was about I finally got around to watching the film, and was not dissapointed I did.

As I said before, I knew nothing previously about Howard Hughes so this film was interesting to me just to find out about the man, about his eccentrisities, his obsession with perfection, his his constant strive towards the future. Leonardo DiCaprio was believeable (though how similar he was to the real Howard Hughes I cannot comment), as was Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn (in fact, I'd say Blanchett's performance was some of the best acting I have seen in a long time).

The film isn't exciting, fun, it doesn't even capture the viewer and keep them enthralled in the story. It is long, and I often began to think 'is this film actually going ANYHWERE?' but it is worth a watch, especailly if you're interesting in Howard Hughes, or if not, if you enjoy biographical films, or even interested in hollywood at the time. I'm glad I watched it purely to find out about the man, but it is dark, and will leave viewers with a dark feeling looming over them, and I don't think I'd like to watch it again in a hurry. It is a brave film, some of the scenes seemed incredibly risky but were pulled off well, but there isn't really much more to say - I won't rave and say it was one of the best things I've ever watched, because it isn't, but it does deserve recognition (far more than it's had if I'm honest) and is a good piece of work. Give it a go, just don't expect to be overwhelmed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Hughes Goes to Hollywood, 23 July 2006
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Aviator (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
The Aviator was a real surprise. I was expecting another aimless and repetitive Scorsese ramble at best, and was dreading far worse from John Logan's presence as screenwriter (this is the same John Logan who wrote Bats, The Time Machine and Star Trek Nemesis). Instead it turned out to be one of the very best films of the past year, managing to mix and match the epic public aspirations and the private hell of Hughes remarkably successfully. Not just a movie-buff's outing, the darkness is always present (who'd have thought bathrooms could be so terrifying?), always threatening, and the film's final image of Hughes horribly trapped in his obsession is genuinely disturbing. DeCaprio's performance was superb, catching the public face of Hughes so convincingly that he sold the film's interpretation of his private one and serving as a reminder of why he used to be regarded as a great actor before Titanic turned him into a much reviled icon for the resentful boyfriends of smitten teenage girls. It's impossible to think of another actor of his generation giving such a fearless performance.

Excellent supporting performances too, especially Alan Alda, John C. Reilley and, most surprisingly, Kate Beckinsale, who overcomes being physically far too slight for Ava Gardner by capturing her strength surprisingly well. Jude Law made a bit of a pig's ear of Errol Flynn, though: they should have hired Nathanial Parker, who does a pretty neat Errol instead. Fabulous cinematography from Robert Richardson, capturing the evolution of color processes from the relevant eras with real skill and subtlety. And looking at how much more impressive Scorsese's version of the dogfights in Hell's Angels were than the real thing - not to mention that astonishing, almost apocalyptic crash sequence - it's a shame he wasn't around in 1930 to make it for real!

Extras are plentiful, but irritatingly laid out.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Great!, 7 Jan. 2006
This review is from: The Aviator (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
This really wasn't the usual sort of movie I thought interested in to be honest.I'd never heard of Howard Huges before and I'm not interested in Aviation, or any type of old fashioned American Historical type subjects. Plus it's a very long movie, I thought I wouldn't be able to sit though it.
But to my surprise I really enjoyed it! I just watched it last night and I couldn't help watching bits over and over again wanting more. But every time I tried to skip a scene I got hooked into it. There were so many scenes I enjoyed. But most of all I thought Leonardo DiCaprio's performance was just outstanding! I think he's underated as an actor because of the pretty boy image but he is really talented. I've only recently started to recognise him a serious actor. He portrayed Howard Huges with such intensity and emotion. I found the movie educational too in a way,it tought me so much about things I knew nothing about. I usually like the usual bland romantic comedies that are always released but this was an just an epic movie, truly brilliant!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great performance by Cate Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn, 24 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: The Aviator [DVD] (DVD)
Although it is over 2 hours and 40 minutes, it almost feels quite short because of what's not in the film. It doesn't explore Howard Hughes' relationship with Cary Grant, nor Jean Simmons' reaction to him making a pass at her. What it does do is explore his relationship with Katherine Hepburn and Ava Gardner. There is also a good scene where he crashes on the rooftop of suburban houses in LA. It takes you through the painful process of descending at speed, the impact of crashing, the panic of trying to escape, and the terror of facing a ball of fire coming towards you. It's quite a good film, but I feel that there needs to be a film on Cary Grant and perhaps Bernard Herrmann as parts of the music sounded Herrmann-esque.
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5.0 out of 5 stars DiCaprio’s Intense Portrayal of Howard Hughes, 14 May 2014
This review is from: The Aviator (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
I am lucky to have originally watched my first showing of “Aviator” back in 2005 through a movie theater in San Diego California (I use to live in California when I was still in the military). Aviator is a captivating movie that highlights Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance as Howard Hughes. The film captures Howard Hughes rise in wealth and fame during his lifetime through his work in aviation and the Hollywood film industry. There are multiple popular celebrities that featured in this film such as: Cate Blanchett, John Reilly,Kate Beckinsale, Alan Alda, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Gwen Stefani, Ian Holm, Danny Huston, and Brent Spiner. I admit that I purchased this dvd due to being a fan of DiCaprio’s acting and noticed the great bonuses which include:
Disc One:
Feature commentary by director Martin Scorcese, Editor Thelma Schoonmaker, and Producer Michael Mann, an image of Leonardo DiCaprio pictured with Kate Beckinsale
Disc Two (many multiple features such as):
Deleted Scene: Howard tells Ava about the car accident. A Life Without Limits: The Making Of The Aviator. The Role of Howard Hughes in Aviator history. There is also the image of Leonardo DiCaprio walking through a beach wearing a suit.
Modern Marvel Feature: A History channel documentary on Howard Hughes. A feature titled “The Affliction of Howard Hughes: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. OCD panel discussion with director Martin Scorcese, Leonardo DiCaprio, and feature of widow Terry Moore. An Evening with Leonardo DiCaprio and Alan Alda. The Visual effects of “Aviator” and Constructing the Aviator (the work of Dante Ferretti.
More disco two bonus features: Leonardo DiCaprio pictured with Gwen Stefani (in a scene from the movie) and another image of Kate Beckinsale. Costuming the Aviator: the work of Sandy Powell, and The Age of Glamour: The Hair and Makeup Of the Aviator. Scoring the Aviator: The Work of Howard Shore,The Wainwright Family-Loudon, Rufus, and Martha, The Aviator Soundtrack Spot and Still Gallery featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and many of the other celebrities in Aviator.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood at its entertaining best, 26 April 2013
By 
Nat Whilk (Lincolnshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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In this sumptuous, intelligent, 170-minute biopic, Leonardo DiCaprio leaves Titanic far, far behind as he brings the extraordinary Howard Hughes convincingly to life. After a vignette of Hughes's childhood, we see how he filmed his gargantuan World War I aeronautical epic; the farcical making of his sexploitation Jane Russell flick The Outlaw; his romances with Cate Blanchett's Katherine Hepburn and Kate Beckinsale's Ava Gardner; his development of ultra-fast new aircraft and his notorious Spruce Goose; how he lead TWA in its struggle against the monopoly power of Pan Am; and his long, tormented battle with a very florid form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, probably aggravated by the very mixed blessing of his enormous inherited wealth.

What Martin Scorsese has given us here is a real cinematic banquet. It attempts many things, and in my opinion succeeds at all of them. It's a psychological drama, an illuminating slice of history, a dry comedy, a gorgeous spectacle - there's even an edge-of-the-seat CGI sequence that would do credit to a Roland Emmerich blockbuster. The supporting cast includes Ian Holm, John C. Reilly, Alan Alda, Alec Baldwin and Jude Law; Howard Shore attends to the score, Sandy Powell to the costumes. It's very much a case of luxury all the way. And the presentation of the Blu-ray is appropriately lavish, with superb picture and sound and very generous extras.

One caveat. There's a scene in which Hughes is playing golf with Hepburn on a course where the grass is not so much green as blue. Could the weather really have been that frosty, I wondered? Or was my two year old television going on the blink already? A bit of googling revealed that Scorsese deliberately tweaked the colour grading of some parts of his film to reflect the characteristics of the emulsions of the era. Perhaps there should be a warning on the sleeve!
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