DVD Reviews | Jan 17th, 2007

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Starring James Franco, Scott Hazell, Mac McDonald, Philip Winchester, Todd Boyce, David Ellison, Michael Jibson, Jean Reno
Written By: Phil Sears, Blake T. Evans
Directed By: Tony Bill
Studio: MGM/ UA
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If you like Memphis Belle and Band of Brothers, you’ll like Flyboys. Its a good drama with a lot of lesser known actors, and it’s about pilots of WWI. While it may not be the best war movie out there, I still found it entertaining.

Flyboys is an action-packed story about the first American fighter pilots of WWI. It takes place in France and is inspired by true stories of the legendary Lafayette Escadrille. They were one of the first brave men to go up in the air with planes and fight the Germans. The small group of American pilots travel to France and get trained by the French army. They experience excitement but at the same time they face loss and tragedy as well. Blaine Rawlings, played by James Franco, is the young pilot who eventually leads the pilots to victory. While fighting in the war, he falls in love with a French woman, and has to save her life more than once it seems. As each of their comrades die in battle, they realize that there’s one extremely bad asshole of a pilot with no honor that brutally murders American pilots. Each of the surviving pilots vow to go up against the German and take him down…or something like that.

Flyboys had the potential of being a great movie. It was a war movie, it had some decent actors in it like Jean Reno, the story seemed interesting and the fights scenes looked incredible. After I watched the movie, I felt the story in between the dogfights was not all that interesting. The overall story was sometimes predictable as well. But regardless of that, I still felt enjoyed the movie; I just wish it was better. If anyone has seen this already, you can all agree with me that the dogfight scenes were incredible in the movie and they were the best thing about the film. Other aspects of the film weren’t that great like some of the subplots, and the romance wasn’t that believable either. James Franco just doesn’t look believable as a fighter pilot from WWI, especially since he appeared to have blonde highlights. At least the other actors looked believable but Franco didn’t. I just don’t think he’s lead actor material just yet. I thought by having Jean Reno in the film might make this better but it’s not because he’s not really used all that much. The story is about the young pilots and not the old French dude that trains them.

The DVD I got sent to review didn’t have any bonus features on besides a trailer and audio commentary. Since I never check those out on any DVDs, I didn’t bother to watch the trailer or listen to the commentary. If you want to watch a decent war flick on a Saturday afternoon, then rent Flyboys. Oh yeah, pick a better movie title next time.

– Audio Commentary by the Director and Producer
– 15 minutes of deleted scenes
– Short Documentary on Real Life Airmen
– Short Documentary on the SFX
– Miniature Stunt Pilot Feature

English (DTS 5.1)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)

Widescreen 2.35:1

English, Spanish

Favorite Scenes: All the dog fights were cool.
Rating: NR
Running Time: 140 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: