Advanced search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Reviews of the Amelia movie (SPOILERS--read at your own risk)  (Read 14788 times)

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2934
Reviews of the Amelia movie (SPOILERS--read at your own risk)
« on: October 23, 2009, 09:38:09 PM »

Ric has put up part I of his review of the movie in the news section.

I'm copying the review I wrote for the IMDB messages board.  I hope others will post their thoughts in this thread, too.

Quote
If you have the time, please send me YOUR OPINION of the movie?
 In one sentence: I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would.

Disclaimers:

1. I am an Ameliaholic.

2. I love airplanes.  My Dad was a flight surgeon in the Navy during the Korean war.  I built model airplanes in grammar school and high school.  I fly radio-controlled airplanes (and the occasional helicopter) nowadays.

3. I've been to Oshkosh a couple of times.  I've seen the Electra replica with my own eyes--among HUNDREDS of other classic aircraft there.

4. I'm not a movie maven.  I understand the kinds of things that have been getting flak from the critics.  My opinion would carry no weight with them.  They are judging on a whole set of different scales.

5. I didn't see Night at the Museum.  I have no objections to Swank being cast as Amelia.  I don't know enough about contemporary actresses to have an opinion on that.  

BEWARE: SPOILERS * SPOILERS * SPOILERS * SPOILERS * SPOILERS * SPOILERS *

BEWARE: SPOILERS * SPOILERS * SPOILERS * SPOILERS * SPOILERS * SPOILERS *

Things I liked:

1. I found the love stories appealing.  I'm a Jesuit priest, so I'm not condoning AE's attitudes towards marriage and fidelity, but the movie became quite conventional--and maybe a-historical?--when she broke off with Vidal,
returned to GP, and finally told him she loved him in their last conversation in the movie.  I don't know whether that is an accurate representation of their relationship, but I found it a lovely arc in the storyline.

2. Lots and lots of airplanes onscreen.  I loved them all.  Probably not going to sell many people on the movie.

3. I generally liked the scenes with Fred Noonan and AE.  Other posters said that the movie blames Fred for the loss, but I didn't see it that way at all.  He was the kind of guy who drank (there are some letters about that); he may have had a wandering eye; it's not inconceivable that he would have made a pass at AE somewhere along the line.  As he suggests (using other words), guys are like that.

4. I appreciated the sub-plot about AE's experience of her father as an alcoholic.  It was a chord sounded relatively subtly throughout the movie and it makes her reaction to Fred's drinking all the more poignant (to me).

5. I thoroughly enjoyed Swank's performance.  To my eye and taste, she is lovely and made a very convincing Earhart.  AE was much more worn by the stress of flying and the years of making a living in the public eye, but I understand that it would be very difficult and probably distracting if the makeup artists tried to apply those details to Swank's face.  Putnam trained AE to keep her lips closed in publicity photos so as to hide the gap in her front teeth; the moviemakers chose not to portray that aspect of AE's life, so the big smiles were unreal--more Swank than Earhart--but OK by me.

6. I liked the ending, all things considered.  I think they played the final disappearance of the aircraft very well.

Things I didn't like: I am going to pass over these in silence.  There were probably two or three dozen details that would only concern continuity sticklers and other aviation buffs like myself.  I plan to buy the DVD and watch the movie with and without commentary, making notes on the things that made me grind my teeth.  Someday I'll put up a table somewhere of my gripes.

I guess that there were under 70 people in the theater (Dipson Amherst 3, across from the UB campus, 7:20 PM).  Most of them were my age (57) or older.  No children, no obvious groups of UB students.  Everybody sat quietly through the first minute or so of credits; perhaps two dozen stayed to the very end.

Marty
TIGHAR #2359
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 08:04:41 AM by moleski »
Logged

Monty Fowler

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1078
  • "The real answer is always the right answer."
Re: Reviews of the Amelia movie (SPOILERS--read at your own risk)
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2009, 01:53:06 PM »

... and those of us who live out in the sticks will join you in quietly grinding our teeth while we wait and wait and hope and hope and hope that Amelia reaches any theater within 50 miles before it disappears into the obscurity of the discount rack at Walmart.
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
Logged

Monty Fowler

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1078
  • "The real answer is always the right answer."
Re: Reviews of the Amelia movie (SPOILERS--read at your own risk)
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2009, 07:35:11 AM »

My daughter (16) and I finally had the opportunity to see Amelia this past weekend. Was it worth the wait? I thought so. She definitely thought so. I decided before going that I was going to put all of my “but that’s not what REALLY happened” feelings in a box until the movie was over and then take them out and see if I still felt that way.

I enjoyed the movie overall. It treated Earhart with a certain amount of respect (as we like to see our heroes treated, and she was one of those), while pointing out some of the flaws that ultimately led to her undoing (trusting to luck vs. planning, the “My way or the highway” school of leadership). There was not really enough about her childhood to show why she was such a driven personality beyond a few flashbacks, and her flying career leading up to the 1937 world flight is so condensed and telescoped as to appear almost meaningless – unless the audience remembers that in the 1930s any kind of flying was still relatively novel and kind of dangerous.

What some might find distracting I found the most interesting, the media machine that George Putnam created around Amelia and that he kept running, as he so brutally put it, “To make money so you can keep flying.” Amelia is plainly uncomfortable with some of the promotional contracts and endless lectures, but realizes deep down that, like most heroes, that is what the people expect of her, especially in a dark time like the Great Depression.  

There are all the little accuracy nits you could pick at … which could be a whole separate review. Suffice it to say I thought it was wrong to try and pin the whole world flight debacle on a forgetful Coastguardsman and a maybe-hungover navigator (which will now be accepted as fact by the general public). The movie did do a good job of portraying without really explaining the communications and radio plan snafus. The radio room scenes aboard the USCGC Itasca captured the cramped nature of that room and the atmosphere as things spiraled out of control, but the outside shots of the ship inexplicably show a two-stack vessel (sorry, I am a ship guy by nature).  

My daughter liked the acting better than I did. She gives Hillary Swank and Richard Gere solid As, and the film as a whole an A.

I give Amelia a B rating: For all the little historical inaccuracies, for the choppiness of the movie brought about by the constant switching from the world flight to her earlier life and back, and finally, by the decision to let historical legend trump fact in most things having to do with the world flight. The real story was dramatic enough.
 
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
« Last Edit: November 02, 2009, 07:34:53 PM by Monty Fowler »
Logged

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2934
Re: Reviews of the Amelia movie (SPOILERS--read at your own risk)
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2009, 05:25:54 AM »

Thanks for your review, Monty.

I'm sure there will be lots of folks like you and me who find something to enjoy in it.

Here's an extended interview with the owner of the Lockheed 12 (Electra Junior) that was used mostly for static scenes in Toronto.

Still no explanation for why the loop antenna is under the nose ...

                Marty
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
Logged

Andrew M McKenna

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 637
  • Here I am during the Maid of Harlech Survey.
Re: Reviews of the Amelia movie (SPOILERS--read at your own risk)
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2009, 01:26:48 PM »

There is a review of Amelia in the New Yorker - different from the article about Amelia earlier this year - in the Nov 2 issue, and also on line at

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/cinema/2009/11/02/091102crci_cinema_denby

The earlier Sept 14th article can be found at

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2009/09/14/090914crat_atlarge_thurman

Andrew
Logged

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2934
Re: Reviews of the Amelia movie (SPOILERS--read at your own risk)
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2009, 09:31:49 AM »

A post at IMDB.com says that the DVD will be released on February 2, 2010.

I'm planning to get a copy.  I'd like to hear the director's comments on the
choices they made.

                  Marty
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
Logged

Ashley Such

  • T3
  • ***
  • Posts: 119
Re: Reviews of the Amelia movie (SPOILERS--read at your own risk)
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2010, 08:56:20 PM »

I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to ask something. I was reading the IMDB message board one day, and someone said that the transmissions over the radio when Amelia & Fred were trying to find Howland were actually Amelia's? I don't know how someone could document such a thing, but, the voice may have sounded a little different over the radio than Hilary when she was on-screen.

Can anyone clarify that? Thanks!
Logged

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2934
Re: Reviews of the Amelia movie (SPOILERS--read at your own risk)
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2010, 11:03:31 PM »

I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to ask something.
No problem.  Feel free to resurrect any old thread that interests you!
Quote
I was reading the IMDB message board one day, and someone said that the transmissions over the radio when Amelia & Fred were trying to find Howland were actually Amelia's?
Yes.  That was the plan.  None of the suggest that Fred ever took over transmissions.
Quote
I don't know how someone could document such a thing, but, the voice may have sounded a little different over the radio than Hilary when she was on-screen.
The Chater Report shows that AE was advised to "pitch her voice higher" when transmitting:

"Our Wireless Operator reports –

'THE CONDITION OF RADIO EQUIPMENT OF EARHART'S PLANE IS AS FOLLOWS - TRANSMITTER CARRIER WAVE ON 6210 KC WAS VERY ROUGH AND I ADVISED MISS EARHART TO PITCH HER VOICE HIGHER TO OVERCOME DISTORTION CAUSED BY ROUGH CARRIER WAVE, OTHERWISE TRANSMITTER SEEMED TO BE WORKING SATISFACTORILY.'"

People with good ears say that Amelia had a somewhat affected way of talking.  Hilary studied the available tapes of AE and did a decent impression of her (to my taste).  The moviemakers had to make sure that the audience could hear the dialogue, so they necessarily portrayed AE talking much more clearly and without any strain on her part.  

The entire romantic dialogue with Putnam at the end is ridiculous on technical levels: they would have no privacy at all talking over the radio (it's not like a cell phone!); there was no capacity to transmit and receive voice from Lae to the states; they would not have been left alone in the transmitter stations; they could never have transmitted all of the vocal nuances portrayed onscreen with 1930s radios--they were pretty low fidelity.  

Setting that aside, I found it very romantic, indeed.  Did AE fall in love with Putnam again at the very end of her life?  It's a very nice thought.  I doubt that it can be answered with any of the records we have available.

I think AE's last phone call with her husband was 24 June:

"At 1:15 PM (1:45 AM in New York) on Thursday, June 24, 1937, Amelia succeeded in placing a phone call to the Herald Tribune’s office in New York. She gave the paper the previous day’s press release and reported that she was still in Bandoeng but was ready to depart for Surabaya. She also needed to talk to her husband. It was important that he know about this most recent delay before he made press commitments for her arrival in Oakland. But Putnam, she learned, was at that moment on an airplane en route to California. He  was scheduled to arrive in Oakland at 9:00 AM Pacific Time, ready to start the business day. She needed to catch him before he got there.

"The United flight was scheduled to land in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for a brief refueling stop at 2:33 AM Mountain Time, about three hours from the time Amelia called New York. The flight to Surabaya should take only about two and a half hours, but if there were delays or unexpected headwinds she could easily miss him. If she played it safe and waited to make the call from Bandoeng, it would then be too late to fly to Surabaya before dark. Playing it safe was not Amelia’s style. When the United DC-3 arrived at the terminal in Cheyenne, passenger Putnam was told that there was an international phone call waiting for him from Surabaya, Java. Earhart told him of the delay but assured him that she would be able to continue on to Australia in the morning. The three-minute call cost $24.40" (Finding Amelia, p.59).


LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
Logged

Ashley Such

  • T3
  • ***
  • Posts: 119
Re: Reviews of the Amelia movie (SPOILERS--read at your own risk)
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2010, 11:08:57 PM »

The Chater Report shows that AE was advised to "pitch her voice higher" when transmitting:

"Our Wireless Operator reports –

'THE CONDITION OF RADIO EQUIPMENT OF EARHART'S PLANE IS AS FOLLOWS - TRANSMITTER CARRIER WAVE ON 6210 KC WAS VERY ROUGH AND I ADVISED MISS EARHART TO PITCH HER VOICE HIGHER TO OVERCOME DISTORTION CAUSED BY ROUGH CARRIER WAVE, OTHERWISE TRANSMITTER SEEMED TO BE WORKING SATISFACTORILY.'"

People with good ears say that Amelia had a somewhat affected way of talking.  Hilary studied the available tapes of AE and did a decent impression of her (to my taste).  The moviemakers had to make sure that the audience could hear the dialogue, so they necessarily portrayed AE talking much more clearly and without any strain on her part.  

The entire romantic dialogue with Putnam at the end is ridiculous on technical levels: they would have no privacy at all talking over the radio (it's not like a cell phone!); there was no capacity to transmit and receive voice from Lae to the states; they would not have been left alone in the transmitter stations; they could never have transmitted all of the vocal nuances portrayed onscreen with 1930s radios--they were pretty low fidelity.  

Setting that aside, I found it very romantic, indeed.  Did AE fall in love with Putnam again at the very end of her life?  It's a very nice thought.  I doubt that it can be answered with any of the records we have available.

I think AE's last phone call with her husband was 24 June:

"At 1:15 PM (1:45 AM in New York) on Thursday, June 24, 1937, Amelia succeeded in placing a phone call to the Herald Tribune’s office in New York. She gave the paper the previous day’s press release and reported that she was still in Bandoeng but was ready to depart for Surabaya. She also needed to talk to her husband. It was important that he know about this most recent delay before he made press commitments for her arrival in Oakland. But Putnam, she learned, was at that moment on an airplane en route to California. He  was scheduled to arrive in Oakland at 9:00 AM Pacific Time, ready to start the business day. She needed to catch him before he got there.

"The United flight was scheduled to land in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for a brief refueling stop at 2:33 AM Mountain Time, about three hours from the time Amelia called New York. The flight to Surabaya should take only about two and a half hours, but if there were delays or unexpected headwinds she could easily miss him. If she played it safe and waited to make the call from Bandoeng, it would then be too late to fly to Surabaya before dark. Playing it safe was not Amelia’s style. When the United DC-3 arrived at the terminal in Cheyenne, passenger Putnam was told that there was an international phone call waiting for him from Surabaya, Java. Earhart told him of the delay but assured him that she would be able to continue on to Australia in the morning. The three-minute call cost $24.40" (Finding Amelia, p.59).

Ah, so the radio transmissions that we heard in the movie were Amelia's then, eh?
Logged

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2934
Re: Reviews of the Amelia movie (SPOILERS--read at your own risk)
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2010, 05:49:46 AM »

... so the radio transmissions that we heard in the movie were Amelia's then, eh?

As I recall, the transmissions shown in the movie are pretty faithful to the radio logs from 2 July 1937.

They are performed by Hilary, not replayed from tapes.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
Logged

Ashley Such

  • T3
  • ***
  • Posts: 119
Re: Reviews of the Amelia movie (SPOILERS--read at your own risk)
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2010, 11:59:46 AM »


As I recall, the transmissions shown in the movie are pretty faithful to the radio logs from 2 July 1937.

They are performed by Hilary, not replayed from tapes.

Ohhh, so that wasn't Amelia's voice we heard over the radio. My bad!
Logged

Paul Mitcheltree

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Reviews of the Amelia movie (SPOILERS--read at your own risk)
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2018, 08:40:50 AM »

There would be no voice recording devices on ships in those days AFAIK.

( I worked on the movie but only the early Vega and Fokker scenes )
www.vimeo.com/tree
(film JUMP RUN has 10E #1042)
 
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 

Copyright 2018 by TIGHAR, a non-profit foundation. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be reproduced by xerographic, photographic, digital or any other means for any purpose. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be stored in a retrieval system, copied, transmitted or transferred in any form or by any means, whether electronic, mechanical, digital, photographic, magnetic or otherwise, for any purpose without the express, written permission of TIGHAR. All rights reserved.

Contact us at: info@tighar.org • Phone: 610-467-1937 • Membership formwebmaster@tighar.org

Powered by MySQL SMF 2.0.15 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines Powered by PHP