Monday, May 08, 2006


"There isn't enough Visine in the world!" --

Wes Craven's RED EYE isn't the worst thriller to come down the runway in recent years. It is, for example, a slightly better film than FLIGHTPLAN -- and it is considerably better than the recently released UNITED 93. Tepid praise, to be sure, but what else can one say when virtually all of today's Hollywood directors resort to a "paint-by-the-numbers" mentality. This adherence to formulaic filmmaking insures that today's movie audiences experience far more trill than thrill -- with obligatory music cues laden with the deepest of bass to heighten the suspense that should have been present due to a quality script. Bring on the timpany, cue the organ, let the subwoofer do what the screenwriter and the director can't...

An interesting comparison can be made if one watches LES DIABOLIQUE (THE DEVILS, 1955), directed by H. G. Clouzot. This acclaimed masterpiece is more frightening than waking up in bed with Leona Helmsley by your side. Here the suspense eminates from a terrific script performed by outstanding actors under the direction of someone who thoroughly understands all of the cinematic arts at his disposal. Unbearable suspense drives the 'killers' (and the audience) up the wall with a host of unexpected surprises and genuine terror. Cloying audio cues are not needed; they are not missed.

An aside: I do not know the record for "goofs" in a mainstream motion picture. RED EYE is riddled with them. Beginning with Rachel McAdams boarding a wide-body Boeing 757 cabin (incorporating 2-3-2 seating separated by two aisles) and then cutting to an exterior of this plane taking off (they filmed an Airbus A-310 -- a conventional one-aisle aircraft with three seats on each row separated by a single aisle just like a Boeing 737). Serious suspension of disbelief issues right off the tarmac, with at least another dozen or more continuity errors that follow.

And did I mention the name of the fictional airline? FRESH AIR -- sounds more like a feminine hygiene product than a company providing scheduled passenger service.


At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And talking of goofs (gooves?): in fact, it's the 757 that is single-aisle (not only like the 737 - and 707 and 720 and 727 - but with exactly the same fuselage cross section), while the A310 _ and A300 and A330 and A340 - has the two aisles, again with an identical cross-section. But nobody's purfikt...

At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Needtovent Headquarters said...

Dear Anonymous:

I have never been this embarrassed. You are absolutely correct on all counts, and so I have donned my hair shirt as penance and will wear it continuously until the Chicago Cubs win a World Series or a Basset Hound wins Best of Show at Westminster, whichever comes first.

Subsequent research clearly indicates that the aircraft seen taking off in RED EYE is, in fact, an Airbus 318 which has 3 and 3 seating with one aisle down the middle. (It's quite apparent that it is not an Airbus 310 which is a wide-body design as you pointed out. My mistake...)

As for the interior cabin, I now realize that the set was actually that of a Boeing 767, not a Boeing 757. (The 767 does have the 2-3-2 seating arrangement one sees on the screen.)

At least I was correct about one thing -- the two aircraft seen are not a match.


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