Coming Back on a Jet Plane

Well it doesn’t have the same ring but my daughter and granddaughter are on their way back home today. If I didn’t scare them off last time, maybe these cinematic gems of airplane travel will do the trick. All are currently available on instant Netflix.

Air Collision

Air Collision (2012) – Not rated

“Air Force One and a passenger jet wind up on a collision course after a solar storm destroys the air traffic control system. Now those on the ground and on the planes must work feverishly to avert disaster.”

Turbulent Skies (2010) – Not rated

New aircraft-guidance technology promises to replace human pilots, but the system’s big debut leads to a crisis when a computer virus sends a 747 loaded with celebrity guests straight into an electrical storm.”

Ground Control (1998) – Rated PG-13

“In the stressful business of air traffic control, Jack Harris (Kiefer Sutherland) was the best — until a crash ended his career. Haunted by the tragedy, Jack struggles to cope. But when a fierce storm cripples the Phoenix airport, he’s called back into action. Now, he must fight his demons to clear his conscience and save the lives of hundreds of people. Robert Sean Leonard, Henry Winkler and Margaret Cho co-star in this gripping thriller.”

Airline Disaster (2010) – Not rated

“In this fast-paced actioner, members of the Aryan Brotherhood hijack an airliner piloted by the younger brother of the president of the United States. They threaten to kill his family if imprisoned members of their group are not freed.”

I’ve mentioned these two recently but they bear repeating. Lost features a terrifying plane crash and The Grey has a rather artsy one.

The Grey

The Grey (2012) – Rated R

“After narrowly surviving a deadly plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness, a band of oil riggers must fend for their lives in the ice and snow. But thanks to wolves that view their presence as a threat, they aren’t alone.”

Lost

Lost (2004-2010) – Rated TV-14

“After their plane crashes on a deserted island, a diverse group of castaways adapt to their new home in this Emmy-winning drama. As if learning to survive and get along weren’t enough, they soon must contend with the island’s mysterious forces.”

Lazy Weekend Musings – Lost & Asheville Film Society

I am beginning to feel like a shill for Carolina Cinemas. Previously I have plugged for them on Actionfest many times and also for their FREE Thursday night horror movie (this Thursday – 1931s Frankenstein!). This plug is a little mixed however.

Carolina Cinemas has been playing Lost for FREE (FREE is such an important word that it should always be in all caps) on Tuesday nights in their cinema lounge. With the Lost finale occurring on Sunday, I was concerned that the cinema lounge might have been reserved for something else.

I called Sunday afternoon to verify that Lost would be playing that evening at 7. I was told yes – not no or even maybe. My long-suffering wife drove all of us into Asheville. When we arrived the cinema lounge was being used by a private group. We arrived early (6:15) and asked at the concession stand if Lost would be playing at 7 and were assured that it would be. When the group was still going strong at ten minutes until 7, my wife went back downstairs and asked again.

Bizarrely this time she was told no. With no time remaining to get home and watch it (Carolina Cinemas is in Asheville and we do not live in Asheville), we were quite naturally very annoyed. We found some members of management and voiced that annoyance in what I hope was a respectful manner.

Management was quite receptive. They comped us three movie tickets even though Lost was a FREE feature and were properly apologetic. They also went to the extra trouble to find out that Lost was playing at Cinebarre – a movie theater on the West end of Asheville. In my mind, this stellar handling of a bad situation really redeemed them.

We hustled over to Cinebarre and enjoyed Popcorn and French Fries while watching the marathon four and a half hour conclusion to Lost. We enjoyed it though took some issue with how they ended it – not surprising as this is Lost we are talking about.

The Asheville Film Society

Bill Banowsky, owner of Carolina Cinemas is setting up the Asheville Film Society as a nonprofit organization and Ken (Cranky) Hanke will be serving as artistic director. Lost will be replaced by Asheville Film Society movies every Tuesday at 8 in the Cinema Lounge. The first film being shown is the classic neo-noir Blood Simple from the Coen brothers. As with Thursday night horror, the Tuesday night films will be FREE and open to the public.

Upcoming Tuesday Asheville Film Society films – FREE at Carolina Cinemas 8 pm

May 24th – Blood Simple (1984)

June 1st – Rushmore (1998)

June 8th – The Times of Harvey Milk (1984) –  The documentary not the biopic Milk

June 15th – Manhattan (1979)

June 22nd – Twentieth Century (1934)

June 29th – Tetro (2009)

Upcoming Thursday horror – FREE at Carolina Cinemas 8 pm

May 27th – Frankenstein (1931)

June 3rd – The Lair of the White Worm (1988)

June 10th – The Gorgon (1964) – Woohoo! One of my favorite Hammer films starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.

June 17th – The Sentinel (1977)

Lost – Do Not Get on That Plane week

This is Do Not Get on That Plane week. Lost seasons 1-5 are currently available on instant Netflix.

WATCH: Lost season 1-5

“Stranded on a tropical island after their plane crashes 1,000 miles off course, a group of castaways must learn to survive in their new home, avoid the gigantic something crashing through the trees and determine whether they are really alone. Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Terry OQuinn, Dominic Monaghan and Naveen Andrews head the diverse ensemble cast in this landmark series, which won an Emmy for Best Drama.”

What can I say about one of the best shows on television? It begins with a bang and is endlessly fascinating.

The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous with locales chosen from all over Hawaii. It looks especially good in HD for those who are using a set top box.

The large ensemble cast is definitely one of the reasons the show is such a winner. While there are members who get more attention than others, hardly anyone is skimped on. Almost all of the characters arrive on the island while on the run.

Matthew Fox appears to play our quintessential hero, Dr. Jack Shepherd. It is not long before we find out that while the Doctor is heroic and a natural leader, he is also deeply flawed. He represents the voice of reason. Michael Keaton was originally cast in the role.

Terry OQuinn plays John Locke, almost the polar opposite of Jack. He is a deeply spiritual man who finds his answers on the island. He represents the voice of faith. Terry had previously worked with J.J. Abrams on Alias.

John Locke is not the only character named after a philosopher. Lost also has characters named Jeremy Bentham, Anthony Cooper and Rousseau as well as scientists Faraday and Minkowski.

Other main characters include Sawyer, a rogue, Kate, our woman of mystery, the Kwons, an unhappy Korean couple, the hapless Hurley, and Sayid (my favorite), an Iraqi.

Telling you much more about the characters spoils a few of the surprises though Sawyer, Kate and Jack form the main romantic triangle in the show.

The writing is simply amazing. It manages to be very literate while giving each character their own voice. A common failing among series is that the dialogue of different characters becomes interchangeable.

The writers juggle dozens of plot threads with a great deal of finesse. The only thing that is infuriating is that for every mystery they resolve, they add two more. Having said that, it does come together as one big story as opposed to 24 where Jack Bauer and CTU clearly forget every lesson they learned from each season when the new season starts.

Lost is not the best TV series on instant Netflix (Dexter carries that honor) but I heartily recommend it if you have the time to invest. The first five seasons are currently available on instant Netflix. The current season (6) is supposed to be the last and they are clearly winding up the threads.

People Watch: Two members of the cast of Con Air (covered earlier this week) also appear in lost. Rachel Ticotin appears in two episodes as Captain Teresa Cortez and M.C. Gainey appears in 18 episodes as Tom Friendly.