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Flight of the Phoenix (Widescreen Edition) (2004)

3.6 out of 5 stars 519 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

An action-adventure in which a group of air crash survivors - cast-offs from society who will never be missed - are stranded in the Mongolian desert with no hope of rescue. As they attempt to build a new plane from the wreckage of the old one, in hopes of flying back to civilization, they experience a rebirth of their own.

Special Features

  • Commentary by John Moore, John Davis, Wyck Godfrey, Patrick Lumb
  • The Phoenix Diaries featurette
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Threatrical Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Dennis Quaid, Miranda Otto, Giovanni Ribisi, Tyrese Gibson, Tony Curran
  • Directors: John Moore
  • Writers: Edward Burns, Lukas Heller, Scott Frank
  • Producers: Alex Blum, John Davis, Ric Kidney, William Aldrich
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Extra tracks, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: March 1, 2005
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (519 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007KIFI2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,201 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Flight of the Phoenix (Widescreen Edition) (2004)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Overall, no too bad -- if you can watch if for free! Saw the original several times. This remake lacked dramatic tension of original. Who could forget that famous Jimmy Stewart scene where it was revealed the "designer" actually designed MODEL airplanes, not the real things? Watching Stewart come totally unglued, now THAT was acting! Same scene as done in this film was flat except for Hugh Laurie's deranged attempt to shoot the designer -- about the only REAL dramatic acting in the entire film. In this film we learn absolutely NOTHING about the background of the pilot (whom I believe was an ex-alcoholic loser in the original).

Actors / director failed to show the sense of total exhaustion and desperation we saw in the original. I found it ridiculous that the one female character always seemed to be in perfect makeup except for a few dirty smudges and some dirty clothes. This ensemble struck me as being on a family vacation in Vegas, not dying of thirst and starvation in the Gobi. Oh by the way, where did the bandits find water for their horses? Camels I understand, they're desert animals, horses are not!

But the ending was a total joke!!!!! All you see is the plane flying off into the sunset and -- if you watched very carefully -- you'd see a poor CGI rendition of what's was supposed to be some sort of structure, maybe another oil rig. Missing is the final scene showing our motley crew straggling up over a sand dune and tumbling into a pool of water -- they landed at an oasis. Instead, they put up this silly montage scene showing happily-ever-after future snapshots of our characters pursuing their life dreams. Ugh, cheesy!!

I think these guys ran out of money & couldn't afford to shoot the proper final oasis scene.
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Flight of the Phoenix, directed by John Moore and starring Dennis Quaid, is a good flick if you are looking for something light. Quaid does a good portrayal of the pilot who crashes his plane in the desert, along with passengers from an oil-rig. With their hopes for rescue dwindling along their water and food supplies, they become convinced by one of the passengers, a stranger who says he designs airplanes, that they can build another airplane out of the parts from the wrecked plane. Giovanni Ribisi plays the stranger in an appropriately creepy manner-- one is left with the feeling that if and when the new plane gets back to civilization, the other passengers will kill him upon arrival.

Miranda Otto also does a fine job as Kelly, the oil-rig operator; and it's nice to see that there is no big deal made about the fact that she is a woman. Neither does the movie throw in a romance between her and any of the other characters-- she is simply another one of the "guys".

Inevitably you will want to compare this to the old Jimmy Stewart movie or the book upon which it is based. Don't, because if you do, it will inevitably fall short in the comparison. However, taken on its own, the plane crash is scary, the tension is high, and except for a stupid subplot involving bandits, it is fun to watch.
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I understand this movie is actually a remake of an earlier movie starring James Stewart in the sixties. I did not watch the earlier movie, even though James Stewart was a favourite actor of mine, but I certainly enjoy watching this one.

The storyline is very simple: A ragtag bunch of characters on a cargo plane crash-landed somewhere in the Gobi Desert. They worked together, led (or misled?) by an eccentric character, Elliot (played menacingly by Giovanni Ribisi), who had only some experience with model air plane design, to rebuild the plane from the wreckage & then to fly back to civilisation.

In a nut shell, it is essentially a movie about the triumph of the indomitable human spirit. What I like about this movie is watching the ragtag bunch of diverse characters eventually working together & using their sheer ingenuity & imagination to rebuild the plane, in spite of extremely hostile conditions - no contact with the outside world, brutal environment (scorching sun & scathing sandstorms), dwindling resources & attack by desert marauders. The dialogue is very witty...sometimes funny...coupled by a spectacular crash sequence, which has been seemingly extended for viewers' enjoyment.

This movie also brought back some sweet memories of my trip across the southern end of the Gobi Desert about a decade ago. At that time, I was trying to retrace the journey of Marco Polo along the Silk Road. I rode on a camel as well as on four-wheels across some short stretches. The view of the sand dunes was magnificent & enchanting, but I could sense the harsh reality of the environment. [This movie was actually filmed on location in Namibia, Africa.]

Only one aspect of the movie really puzzles me. As a Chinese, I noted that the desert marauders apparently spoke Cantonese.
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Saw it Saturday at the Bridge theater in Culver City. In one word, my review would be, "awesome." I remember when I was a boy my dad taking me to see the old Robert Aldrich movie "The Flight of the Phoenix" at the tiny Kings Park Theater on Long Island. That as so long ago James Stewart could still play an action hero. I loved the picture then, and I think a lot of boys my age still will connect the movie with similar male-bonding experiences with their dads--maybe they should have released this re-make during Father's Day holiday instead of Christmas. Anyhow, the remake did not disappoint. Dennis Quaid is no Jimmy Stewart, but he's just as good in this as he was in THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. Funny in this one he's always traipsing up and down over Gobi desert hills in Gunga Din heat sweating his balls off, whereas in TOMORROW he was all icy cold with ice forming over his face. What a year it's been for poor Dennis Quaid. In this film he plays Frank "Shut Em Down" Townes, a crack pilot who makes some unfortuante decisions early in the film and spends the rest of the time living them down and trying to righten things.

Miranda Otto looks completely different than she did in the final two films of the LORD OF THE RINGS tragedy. She plays Kelly, a tough as nails oil driller and physically she looks a lot like Evangeline Lilly who plays "Kate" on ABC's LOST. Everyone around me sitting in the theater was commenting on how much this film resembles LOST. Frank and Kelly are just like Jack and Kate in LOST, there's a quasi-Sayed guy who spouts a lot of mystic Kahil Gibran philosophy, a chubby guy sort of like Hurley, and strange monstrous creatures out there who are using the castaways as target practice.
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