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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 Sep 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
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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
By 
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 
Joseph Haschka (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
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
By 
Mrs. Carrie Smith (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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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
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Great!, 7 Jan 2006
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost Takes Flight, 14 Sep 2005
By 
Donald Thompson "waldo357" (Belfast N Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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 casting of Cate Blanchette as Katherine Hepburn. By this I do not diminish Ms Blanchettes' skill as an actress, but the decision to play the role as if she really was the character in "Bringing Up Baby". It distracted from the only other strong role in the movie. Alan Alda and Alec Baldwin are rounded character actors but are given little to chew on. The exposition of Hughes many phobias, legendary, and the reasons for them is a little weak. This diverts us from learning what drove him to do what he did in real life. This may have made an even better story than Hughes OCD, although to deny its existence would have benn criminal. Large on style low on substance. More on Hughes' acheivements would have made a good movie a brilliant one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Think Big, 21 Jan 2006
By A Customer
As a biop this film was superb. It had everything; high drama,
excitement, great acting and above all, for me, the subject
was exactly as I had always imagined. I personally have never
been a great fan of Cate Blanchett,but her portrayal of Hepburn
plus the tour de force of de Caprio and the final scenes in
the Govt enquiry left me with nothing but admiration for
Scorcese and his team. It was so satisfying that I don`t want
to see it again. Does that make sense?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kate Hepburn Spins In Her Grave..., 14 Aug 2005
By 
M. L. Harris (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Did Cate Blanchett get an Oscar for her performance in this movie? One would get the impression from other reviews here that her performance in "The Aviator" was worthy of such an accolade. Her performance is just one of the many unconvincing factors in this movie, looking like Kenneth Williams in drag and sounding like a second-rate Spitting Image puppet of the late great Ms Hepburn. Di Caprio meanwhile looks like he escaped from the set of "Bugsy Malone" to appear in a big boy's movie and puts in a typical hammy Di Caprio performance. The script leaves you none the wiser about what motivated Hughes, how he made his millions, what triggered his illness, etc. Finally the cinematography lacked the usual Scorcese magic, though probably watching on DVD didn't do the film justice in this respect. Having said that me and the husband stayed awake for the full 160 minutes, thanks to a couple of exciting crash sequences, some punchy editing and a "Made For TV"-style, undemanding appeal
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Director's masterclass in engrossing biopic, 9 April 2005
I have to say my primary reason for seeing this film was because of the pre-release hype regarding Scorsese's direction. I am not a big Di Caprio fan (in fact, quite the opposite). I was not disappointed by the direction, although at times it feels as if the techniques on display are there for their own sake. The major revelation was that Di Caprio grabs your attention straight from the off and doesn't let go - he brought a brooding intensity to the role that fully deserved an Oscar nomination.
Add to these factors an outstanding performance from Cate Blanchett and a host of guest apperances by some of the most famous names in Hollywood of today and the 1950s (e.g. Jude Law as Erol Flynn) and you should have enough to keep most viewers happy.
This is a long film and does not even touch on how Hughes actually made his money - simply on how he spent it. Overall, this is easily the most entertaining biopic I have seen. Recommended.
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The Aviator [2004] [Blu-ray]
The Aviator [2004] [Blu-ray] by Martin Scorsese (Blu-ray - 2011)
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