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Flyboys

DVD

4.2 out of 5 stars 1,580 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In 1914; "The Great War" - WWI - began in Europe. By 1917; the Allied powers of France; England; Italy and others were on the ropes against the German juggernaut. Some altruistic young Americans disagreed with the war. They volunteered to fight alongside their counterparts in France; some in the infantry; some in the Ambulance Corps. A handful of others had a different idea: they decided to learn how to fly. The first of them - a squadron of only 38 - became known as the Lafayette Escadrille. This is their story. Forced to abandon his family's ranch; Blaine Rawlings finds his future in a newsreel chronicling the adventures of young aviators in France. At a small train station in rural Nebraska; William Jensen promises to make his family proud. In New York; spoiled Briggs Lowry embarks on a trans-Atlantic passage. Meanwhile; in France; black expatriate boxer; Eugene Skinner; vows to repay his debt to his adopted racially tolerant country. Together; these American boys arrive at an aerodrome in France; eager to learn how to fly. What they didn't realize was that they were about to embark on a great; romantic adventure; becoming the world's first combat pilots.

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World War I aviation action gets an impressive digital upgrade in Flyboys, a welcome addition to the "dogfight" sub-genre that includes such previous war-in-the-air films like Hell's Angels, Wings, and The Blue Max. While those earlier films had the advantage of real and genuinely dangerous flight scenes (resulting, in some cases, in fatal accidents during production), Flyboys takes full (and safe) advantage of the digital revolution, with intensely photo-realistic recreations of WWI aircraft, authentic period structures, and CGI environments requiring a total of 850 digital effects shots, resulting in an abundance of amazing images, many of them virtually indistinguishable from reality. Unfortunately, the film's technical achievement is more impressive than its screenplay, which conventionally and predictably tells the fact-based story, set in France in 1916, of the daring young pilots of the Lafayette Escadrille, a pioneering French air-combat unit that welcomed American enlistees prior to the United States' entry into the war.

There's a familiar cliché to match every thrilling scene of aerial combat, but director Tony Bill manages to keep it all interesting, from the romance between a young American maverick (James Franco) and a pretty French girl (newcomer Jennifer Decker) to the exciting action in the air, which includes a stock variety of heroes (many of them composites of real-life WWI pilots) and an intimidating villain known only as "The Black Falcon," whose Fokker Dr-1 triplane (one of many in the film) recalls the exploits of German "ace of aces" Manfred von Richtofen, the dreaded "Red Baron" of legend. With impeccable production values that will impress even the most nit-picking aviation buffs, Flyboys (like Superman Returns and Apocalypto, also released in 2006) was also one of the first feature films to be shot with Panavision's state-of-the-art Genesis digital cameras, resulting in beautiful images that meet or exceed the visual nuance of film. Flyboys also benefits from painstaking attention to physical detail, making it easier to forgive its shortcomings as a generic and formulaic slice of romanticized history. So while some viewers may have wished for a more realistic and grown-up depiction of the Lafayette Escadrille, it's safe to say that Flyboys will be thrilling its target audience for many years to come. --Jeff Shannon

Extras from Flyboys



Director Tony Bill on Filming Dogfight Sequences

...On throwing away the script for pilot training

...On the real-life stunt pilot who stars in the film

Beyond Flyboys



More "War in the Sky" Films

SPA124 Lafayette Escadrille: American Volunteer Airmen in World War 1



More "Military and War" Films

Stills from Flyboys





Special features

  • Commentary by director Tony Bill and producer Dean Devlin
  • 15 minutes of deleted scenes
  • Short Documentary on Real Life Airmen
  • Short Documentary on the SFX
  • Miniature Stunt Pilot Feature

Product details

  • Actors: James Franco, Jean Reno, Jennifer Decker, Scott Hazell, Mac McDonald
  • Directors: Tony Bill
  • Writers: Blake T. Evans, David S. Ward, Phil Sears
  • Producers: David Brown, Dean Devlin, Duncan Reid, James Clayton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • 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
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: January 30, 2007
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 1,580 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000LAZE8C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,656 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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  • Learn more about "Flyboys (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

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