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FLYBOYS Collector's Edition (two disc set)

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 140 minutes, audio commentary, trailers, 6 featurettes, deleted scenes, theatrical trailer, DVD-ROM game

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 5.1 DTS, French, Spanish 2.0 Dolby Surround

Subtitles: English, Spanish

STUDIO: MGM/ Electric Entertainment/ Skydance Productions/ Ingenious Film Partners/ 20th Century FOX

RELEASE DATE: 1-30-2007


World War One has always been a fascinating period to explore in film and TV. FLYBOYS explores the true story of Americans who went to fight for the French Air Force (aka the Lafayette Escadrille) against Germany. The characters may be fictional, but each one is based on one or more real pilots. The dogfight sequences are some of the best ever seen in any film- impressive aerial action. The casting is top notch from James Franco to Jean Reno (it seems any Hollywood movie taking place in France gets Jean Reno which isn't a bad thing). So what if the plot is full of cliches (the guy who charms the French girl who doesn't know English) and stock characters (the troubled leader, the Texas boy on the run from the law, the black boxer)?! I'm just here to enjoy the ride and the aerial action. A big plus for FLYBOYS being very historically accurate. FLYBOYS is a film to watch again and again for the aerial action which is the best since HELL'S ANGELS and taking a look at a part of WWI that usually isn't mentioned that much in film.


Two versions of FLYBOYS will be out on DVD. The reviewer only has the one disc version that contains a very production and historical fact detailed audio commentary with producer Dean Devlin and director Tony Bill. Also included are trailers for LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, THE ILLUSIONIST, COPYING BEETHOVEN, and HOME OF THE BRAVE.

The second disc is full of worthy content from six deleted scenes (which include an excised lion subplot and an appearance from another famous French actor), six featurettes (two really suck), the theatrical trailer, and the FLYBOY SQUADRON DVD-ROM game.

REAL HEROES: THE LAFAYETTE ESCADRILLE- a fascinating 26 minutes featurette about the real pilots that inspired the characters in FLYBOYS. Oddly enough the real character Jean Reno plays looks like him.

DIARY OF A MINIATURE STUNT PILOT- a silly featurette about they film the miniature scenes.

WHISKEY & SODA: THE LION MASCOTS- this one is about the two lion mascots and teh lion they trained for the movie.

TAKING FLIGHT: THE MAKING OF THE AERIAL BATTLE SEQUENCES- this featurette shows the pre viz work, final composite shots, and motion capture tests.

THE REAL PLANES OF FLYBOYS- the curator of the Lafayette Foundation museum talks about the real planes used in the first World War.

There is also a lame featurette where the actors of FLYBOYS get to fly with the Navy Blue Angels and Air Force Thunderbirds. If you can't get enough of FLYBOYS still, you can pop the second disc into a DVD-ROM and play teh FLYBOY SQUADRON game.

The CE also comes with five collectible photo cards.

FINAL ANALYSIS: FLYBOYS is a historically accurate film with impressive aerial fight scenes. Watch it now. If you want to own it on DVD, opt for the two disc Collector's Edition over the one disc release.

this review is (c)2-1-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com