Directed by: Mira Nair Cast: Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor Running Time: 1 hr 51 mins Rating: PG Due Out: February 2, 2010
PLOT: The story of the passionate pilot Amelia Earhart (Swank) and the two men (Gere, McGregor) in her love life that inspired her.
WHO'S IT FOR?: This movie is made less for fans of Earhart or those curious about her life, than it is for those who want to see more romance in their period pieces.
Amelia Earhart had three passions in her life: sugar-daddy publicist George, (Gere) that guy Gene Vidal, (McGregor) and oh yeah, flying. The tone of Amelia is overall very romantic, but the relationship schmaltz makes the film stall in numerous occasions,especially when it should be educating the film’s viewers about the extraordinary person who was Amelia Earhart. With Swank speaking in whimsical high school yearbook quotes alongside a terribly cheesy Richard Gere, the script unintentionally turns her story and legacy into that of a redundant romance novel, for which the only bits of excitement come from the authentic in-the-air cinematography. And even those beautiful moments, (especially with its surprisingly tender score) are clouded by an overload of poetic narration.
For a life so inspiring, Amelia Earhart is given a very bland treatment. She’s presented as a small connector flight with a bag of peanuts that won’t open instead of a breath-taking flight around the world.
MOVIE SCORE: 4/10
Movietone News - A collection of authentic news clips that includes "Mrs. Putnam Flies the Atlantic Again - This Time Alone," "Amelia Earhart Flies Over the U.S In Over 17 Hours" and more. Footage of Earhart introducing the famous Electra plane, along with the newsreel that alerted of Earhart's disappearance, is also included.
The Plane Behind the Legend - This extra focuses less on historical details behind Earhart's Electra, and more about how a carbon copy was obtained. A remarkable story on its own, the Amelia crew located one of eleven still-capable versions and flew it down to South Africa (a journey that was close to 1/3 the distance of what Earhart originally flew.)
Re-Constructing the Planes of Amelia - Two complete aircrafts were re-built for the film - the Friendship and the Lockheed Vega. This extra describes with great technical detail the specific parts of the planes that were recreated using various resources such as models used in museums, diagrams, and the consulting of plane aficionados.
Deleted Scenes Making Amelia The Power of Amelia Earhart
EXTRAS SCORE: 7/10
The extras in this DVD know what is most important about the entire production of this film - the planes, and the woman who flew them. A couple of extras highlight the extreme detail that went into reproducing the moments that made Amelia Earhart love flying with such enthusiasm. That type of excitement can not be shared by her feature film, however, as the main event stands as a pretty weak rental recommendation.
FINAL SCORE: 5/10