There are many, many things I love about living in Boise, but air travel is not among them. Not being a major airline’s hub means we pay more for tickets. It also means most trips include at least one plane change and sometimes two. Which also means I am rarely on a flight where I get to see a movie that I haven’t brought along on DVD.
On my Atlanta trip for ICRS, I saw one movie going (a four-plus hour direct flight) and one movie returning (a three-plus hour first leg).
The eastern flight featured The Astronaut Farmer, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Virginia Madsen. Netflix describes it this way: "To save his failing family farm, a NASA astronaut in training must shelve his dreams of intergalactic travel — until he decides to
build a homegrown rocket in his barn. Enduring the jeers of the local
townspeople and the government’s efforts to bring his grassroots space
program to a screeching halt, he keeps his eyes on the skies,
determined to realize his ambition of orbiting the Earth."
I admit that I wasn’t convinced I would want to see this film, although it was in my Netflix queue. I’m not a real fan of Thornton, and the movie sounded so unbelievable. But guess what? I liked it a lot. I loved the "never give up the dream" theme. Come to think of it, I really liked Thornton. Okay, do I think a guy could build a spaceship from things thrown away in government dumps? Not really. Not unless he could travel the world to gather what he needs. But maybe I’m wrong. Regardless, I think you’ll enjoy this one. Give it a try.
The western flight featured Premonition, starring Sandra Bullock. I remember that the reviews of this movie weren’t great. Here’s how Netflix describes it: "A housewife (Sandra Bullock) is devastated when her husband (Julian McMahon) dies suddenly in a car crash. But when he reappears the next day as if nothing had ever happened, she realizes it may have just been a premonition. Can she prevent the horrible tragedy from happening all over again, or is she powerless to redirect fate?"
I hadn’t even put this movie into my Netflix queue, despite enjoying Sandra Bullock in many of her movies. That’s how convinced I was that it wouldn’t be very good. Wrong again. I thought it was intriguing, and I was surprised by the ending. Most novelists I know are pretty good at guessing where a movie’s storyline is going and why. So when a movie ending surprises me, it gets some extra marks in my rating system.
SPOILER: I cannot say the ending was happy-ever-after happy, but I did think it worked well.
There are several films in theaters now that I would really like to see, but my travel and writing schedules probably won’t allow me to get to the cineplex. So they are now all waiting in the Netflix queue so I won’t forget about them when they finally come out on DVD.
What about you? Seen anything good in the theaters or from your local DVD rental that you care to share about?