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3.4 out of 5 stars
Stealth (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition)
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2006
Format: DVD
Stealth is one of those summer action flicks that has leave-your-brain-at-the-door written all over it. It's really a simple and mindless fun action movie that delivers on the premise of ultra hi-tech weapons (mainly all the futuristic warplanes) piloted by great looking people and lots and lots of explosion. Rob Cohen directs from a script by W.D. Richter that is point for point something that Michael Bay has made a living on. Rob Cohen is not a rookie when it comes to mindless, action fun since he's also directed Fast and the Furious and xXx. He knows what the teenage and young male demographic likes and caters to them. This mans that Stealth is not something that will receive much critical acclaim but then its not made to be.

The plot written by W.D. Richter is simple enough. Trio of hotshot pilots (played by Josh Lucas, Jessica Biel and Jamie Foxx) tests new futuristic warplanes for the Navy with all the requisite action movie repartee. They're soon joined by a fourth wingman who is actually a flying computer with a HAL9000 complex and even sounds like HAL but with a penchant for hard rock music. They're all commanded by a commander (Sam Sheppard) whose agenda may not be as altruistic and honorable as the military requires from all its officers. The HAL9000 wanna-be gets all haywired and all hell breaks loose. That pretty much sums up the basic plot of the movie. Just add gratuitous destruction and explosion with music seemingly lifted from any number of Michael Bay movies then stir the pot. I swear I thought I heard a few soundtrack pieces from The Rock and Pearl Harbor in Stealth.

There's really not much to say about the acting in the movie other than its pedestrian and good enough for the type of film Cohen and company were making. They weren't trying to remake Citizen Kane and with half of the dialogue faux-military speak there wasn't much to quibble about. Even all the scenes where the actors need to emote comes off as just tacked on. Stealth is all about great looking CGI planes dogfighting against each other with lots and lots of explosions. And I must say that whatever amount they spent on creating the look of those Talon prototype fighters and the EDI-UCAV was well worth it. They look great and realistic. The physics involved with all the maneuvers performed might not follow any current laws but it sure does make for great action sequences. I felt like I was watching a live-action version of the great anime Macross Plus and the Playstation game Ace Combat.

Stealth was not a film to write home and the Academy voters about, but it does deliver in what it set out to do. Stealth was suppose to deliver beautiful people flying hi-tech planes and pretending to be hotshot military pilots. They sure did good enough in that respect. stealth also delivered on the explosion quota that such mindless, action flicks are required to have to qualify as one. Stealth might not be the Academy-Award material or even a great action movie, but it has enough to make it a fun movie for however long it lasted.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2006
Format: DVD
A trio of the best the US air-force have to offer are selected for a special mission - to fly with an experimental AI stealth jet. A lightning-strike later and the AI goes whacky, breaking loose all hell.

Okay, so this is more Top Gun than 2001 - hammy acting, a cliched script and plot-holes aplenty - but this movie should not be underestimated.

Any seasoned fan of the action genre should have little trouble predicting the plot frame-for-frame for the first hour, and will be quite content - as I was - to ooh and aah at the pretty pictures and flashy effects (not to mention Jessica Biel in a bikini).

But then, all of a sudden, something unexpected happens. There's a plot twist! And rather an interesting one (albeit within the regular themes of what it means to be 'alive', how far are those in power willing to go to further their own ends and finding friends in the most unusual places). The results aren't exactly innovative or thought-provoking, but it's nice that they tried and it certainly justifies the latter hour.

On the technical side of things, the special effects are superb and the action sequences are well choreographed and exciting, with some imaginative exploitation of the completely unrestricted 'camera'. The actors' performances are nothing of merit, but good enough in the context of the movie and there are some pretty stonking tunes on the soundtrack.

All in all, Stealth is very entertaining and well worth a Saturday night in.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2005
First of all, this is a popcorn, get-their-butts-in-the-seats, summer entertainment movie. It's not something worthy of Oscar consideration; nor is it intended to be an "art-house" or serious-minded film. I went into the theater fully expecting to see explosions, loud sound fx, and generic performances from the cast. Yes, Josh Lucas and Jamie Foxx waste their talents. Yes, Jessica Biel is little more than eye candy. Yes, the dialogue is horrible and contrived. However, I was also entertained. The three leads do their best with the clunky dialogue and situations; but don't hang them out to dry for it. They didn't write it, and from interviews and articles I've read, the director, Rob Cohen, put the kibbosh on the actors trying to add depth to their characters. In fact, Cohen apparently told Lucas that to be an action hero, you don't need to think or wonder what's the motivation behind the lines or situations. I think with a better script and direcor, Josh Lucas will become a sought-after leading man in Hollywood. I look forward to seeing him in Glory Road this winter. Overall, I think he does a good job with the material he's given, and I did identify with his character as the lead hero, especially when he goes off to rescue Jessica from behind enemy lines in North Korea. Some people are upset that Jamie Foxx's character is killed off halfway through the movie (sorry for that spolier) but like Goose in Top Gun, one of the buddies has to be sacrificed. Yes, the EDI plane concept is reminiscent of HAL9000 from 2001, although EDI has a "change of heart" after he goes haywire and his creator tries to reprogram him (it?).

If you want a good waste of two hours, go see this movie. Don't go in with grandiose expectations; take the movie at face value and you'll enjoy it. Don't read all of the reviews (even some of those posted here on Amazon) and don't listen to reviewers who've panned it without even seeing it (another review here).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 5, 2005
This is a movie that looks great in the trailer and then when you actually see it you find that mayber the movie editor should have been the same person who did the trailer. This movie is just really bad with a total disregard for facts and actual political consequences of actions.

It is also another one of those moronic movies where there is a big government plot where the hero must be eliminated because he knows too much. Then after the "hero" gets away from the bad guys that are trying to kill him he takes his plane back to North Korea (not setting off any war I might add) and just happens to locate immediately Jessica Biels who had gone down there in her plane and could be anywhere in the country.

Also, when Biels ends up in North Korea, the NKs try to kill her rather than capture her (wouldn't a prize Navy pilot make a great political bargaining chip for NK? Apparently the makers of this film had no clue of this)

The special effects were ok but not as great as expected. The computer voice of the drone plane was definately a rip-off of HAL from 2001.

I grudgingly gave this movie 3 stars only because it has a few good air battle scenes and I enjoyed looking at Jessica Biels who now looks an awful lot better than she did on tv!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2010
Format: DVD
I really like fighter jet movies, which goes back to my high school day's fascination with the technology of the jets of the 1980s, back in the "good ole" days of the Cold War. So when Top Gun came out with Tom Cruise in 1986, it was more than obvious that I was going to watch it. Well, that was almost 25 years ago, hard to believe that that's a quarter century. But things were so different back then. I mean, there was a solid "real" enemy, which competed directly with the US in the arms race that produced real jets that rivaled those of the USAF.

Today, ever since 9/11 there's only a stateless threat and no real enemy (it's all contrived to maintain an excessively high defense budget) and Al Qaida of course doesn't have any jet fighters, so you can't have a movie with dogfights against them. That's one of the problems with this movie and movies like this. And in that sense Tom Cruise and the producers of Top Gun were lucky that they didn't wait a few more years (like about 5) when the Soviet Union ceased to exist in 1991.

But I digress, now to the movie itself. Stealth suffers from lack of a realistic enemy. Perhaps that's why the story seems so contrived and bloated, just overdone. Lacking an adequate or even halfway memorable enemy, the makers simply decided that if they didn't have a convincing external enemy, they would turn to an invented internal one. So they came up with not only the by far most advanced stealth jet in the history of aviation, no, they also made sure that its hyper capable computer system had more than just a few of the ordinary bugs. Thus, during a crucial mission the stealth on board computer turns against its own pilot and takes over the control of the aircraft. To me this always seemed like a cheap plot cop out, because the global balance of power in military affairs is so vastly in favor of the USA you only have potential pushover enemies no matter where you look, with perhaps some slight exception when it comes to Russia and China. But then again, the makers of this movie and especially the script writers aren't exactly Tom Clancy's so they apparently didn't feel confident enough to come up with a story that directly pits the USA against Russia in a major war, which would have had plenty of dogfight scenes, but just as well would have detracted from the 3 heroes and protagonists in it.

All of this makes the movie suffers from its weak plot. Even the internal computer driven enemy doesn't rescue this film, so a strong bond of friendship is created between the 3 pilots. This is perhaps all the easier since they consist of 2 young men (Jamie Foxx & Josh Lucas), and an attractive young woman (Jessica Biel). But even this camaraderie can't really save the sinking ship from its ultimate fate, since it seems overdone and exaggerated, that one of the pilots actually flies back into a hostile country like N. Korea to rescue her when she crashes there.

But despite all its shortcomings, the movie does have at least a few memorable scenes like the dogfight between the stealth jet and the Russian Sukhoi 35. Even if that scene felt almost surreal and anachronistic, I still enjoyed it immensely (always tried to imagine what it could've or would've been like).

All in all, this DVD is only for real jet fighter movie fans, especially those enamored with all sorts of high-tech jets and dazzling animated FX scenes. But don't expect a convincing or even halfway believable story with that.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2006
Format: DVD
This movie has two big problems: First, it's not really a story. It's a set of carefully-contrived CGI-generated aerial combat sequences slightly leavened by some beautiful terrain photography and I include Jessica Biel in a bikini in that category. Second, NONE of the characters, including EDI, has any depth or anything that would make them engaging and human. Every single one of the major characters could be replaced by a CGI animation and nothing would be lost.

None of this is the fault of the cast. In fact, I give full marks to Josh Lucas, Jessica Biel and Sam Shepard for *trying*, but the fact is this movie is what happens when a director has to deal with a "written and greenlighted by studio suits" script as his playbook. In the end, it's just a set of still pictures flashed on the screen at very high speed, and as emotionally flat as the screen of the product-placed Sony(rootkit) Vaio that shows up prominently in an early shot.

My advice for this is to rent the DVD once and then forget about it. After the first few minutes, after it became obvious what this thing was, I read John Dalmas' "The Lantern of God" and looked up whenever it got to the aerial combat scenes.

Also, if you're interested in how an intelligent machine might feel about and deal with its imperfect creators, I can recommend two books. 1. David Weber's "Empire from the Ashes" has Dahak, and 2. John Ringo and Linda Evans' "The Road to Damascus" has Sonny. Either one of them is better more-than-an-evening entertainment than this empty child of boxoffice-grubbing Hollywood bureaucracy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I think the reviewer "girldiver" got it right ... this movie is visually enjoyable for people who like hot airplanes and cute people. If you're looking for profound story, OK, this sort of movie isn't about that. It's a cartoon for adults, it knows that, and it delivers on that score.

Why I liked it? I'm a big fan of Jessica Beil and I'm personally delighted by the "fun" tach she's taken with her career. "Cute girls doing cool things in sexy outfits" may not be the path to cinematic greatness ... but I suspect it will make her popular and rich, and that's not all bad. I decided I wanted to see this movie when I saw the preview in the theater and got a glimpse of Jessica in a bikini and a sky filled with crazy fast jets. While I certainly would have enjoyed MORE Jessica in a bikini, this movie was quite satisfying as the grown up cartoon I hoped it would be.

My wish for a next "Jessica and Jets" adult cartoon? Bikini clad pilot babe teaches the boys how to fly in 2020's new hottest sport, the world wide micro-jet racing circuit. :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2012
Format: DVD
This movie is about a team of pilots who get a new wing man. It's an A.I. that is programmed to be the best fighter pilot in the Navy. Unfortunately, this A.I. learns from it's experience. It's commander's disregard for his orders on one occasion gives the A.I. the idea of going rogue. With a near perfect pilot without feelings on the loose, the 3 team members that are human must shoot their counterpart down, before it starts a war.

This movie is pretty fun. It has a weak story and weak acting, but the action keeps you interested and relatively entertained. I've leaned that when you see Jessica Biel as one of the actors in a film, you shouldn't expect to much. This kind of movie is a dime a dozen. You know what you're gonna get. It's not bad, but it's not memorable either. Maybe you should just rent this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2009
Format: DVD
Like many of you, I thought that this movie was gonna be the next Iron Eagle, a HI SPEED C.G. JET WAR with LOT'S of shooting and explotions, but NOOOOOO!!!!

STEALTH is action-packed but not excactly as you think, The action scenes were EXPLOSIVE, FAST and COOL but very short (like 3 or MAYBE 4 minutes long) and just when you think that the action is gonna get better it get's interrupted by blah,blah,blah!, there are not much enemy jets to shoot at (it's more like jet chase), The story is VERY stupid and cheese, the acting wasn't good, and the C.G. special effects were cool but NOT first class.

If you like "fast jet action!" then maybe this movie is for you, but if you like HI QUALITY EXPLOSIVE SHOOTING SPREE VEHICLE ACTION like Iron Eagle, The Losers or Death Race then search somewere else.

Adios.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2006
Format: DVD
This was an action film with lots of eye candy. It was neither a great film, nor a bad one. The movie pits 3 navy fighter pilots against an artificial intelligence plane, whose voice sounded like Kitt. Remember Knight Rider? There was minimal plot, just enough to connect the action scenes together (I have definitely seen worse in this area). Some of the Navy and plane footage was really great to see. Also, you gotta love a tough chick, and the girl pilot was really good at that. The dialogue was trite and predictable, and some of it had me laughing. Not because it was comedy, but because it was supposedly serious. The womanizing efforts of the guy pilots were the worst of that. If you are looking for a mindless action flick, this one is worth renting once.
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