As I am flying to DFW I’ve got a few minutes to write a review of “Up In The Air” the recent Jason Reitman and George Clooney movie about a very frequent traveler.
Ummmm, what can I say? The movie was so hyped in upgrd-land that I had exceptionally high hopes for … well I don’t know what for. Technically there was lots of flying geekiness that fit the bill: Concierge Key, Elite benefits, airplanes inside and out, but somehow the movie missed the mark for me. From the bland colors meant to emphasize Clooney’s empty life to the odd story line where Clooney was going to be grounded, then put on the road, then grounded again, then … well you get the idea. Each story change seemed out of place and difficult to follow. I think part of the issue is I had seen so many of “big” scenes in the pre-release trailers that many of the great scenes were no longer that interesting.
I asked Shirley, a listener and member of Flyertalk to write her impressions and she wrote:
“I think the director also totally gets the whole romance of airports and flying (well, not surprising considering that he has admitted to doing a end-of-year MR for status). The airport/travel shots are really well done.”
There was a certain realism that was well done with the exception of Clooney riding in a 763 angled flat business seat just before his MD80 landed in the mid west. But other than that the filming inside the airport was exceptional. Reitman said in an interview that one of the airport scenes were filmed from 11pm till 4am, the lighting and energy of the actors did well to hide the late night reality of filming.
Shirley continued, “I’m surprised that none of the reviews I’ve seen mentioned how the movie really, really disses the Midwest (‘fly-over country’). Omaha is presented as a desert, a place where no sane person would choose to live or spend time in. ”
I have to agree with Shirley here, I have no interest in visiting any of the mid-west after watching this movie.
And Shirley agreed with what Gary and others have said, that the real life documentary style inclusions were unnecessary. “I disliked all the scenes with the “real-life” fired people. It was a very jarring note in this movie, which is otherwise a glossy Hollywood production and not a documentary.”
Perhaps I need to see the movie again without the hyped expectations regarding frequent flying. “Up In The Air” has been garnering high praise and possible Oscar mentions from dozens of seasoned movie critics. I guess this means that I don’t know what I am talking about so I’d suggest you see the movie for yourself!