It seems to have become something of a self-imposed tradition that I comment on the in-flight films I see. However since my upcoming return to the States in two weeks' time will be my sixth round-trip transatlantic trip of 2008, I am rapidly losing enthusiasm for the enterprise. But never mind, here we go:
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008): This is a movie that one must watch on principle, but the truth of the matter is that it is not particularly good nor exciting. Production was held up for yonks while they found a script that all of the interested parties liked, but it is hard to believe that they settled on such a pathetic one. Harrison Ford, even at his advanced age, still cuts the mustard as an action hero although he really must be on his last legs here. Cate Blanchett with her phony Russian accent makes an annoying villainess, but it was pleasing to see Karen Allen back in the picture. If new sidekick/son, the over-rated Shia LaBeouf, is being groomed for further installments of this franchise, they really shouldn't bother as far as I'm concerned. Enough is enough.
Drillbit Taylor (2008): It's the done-before tale of bullied students hiring a bodyguard to protect them, but the catch here is that Owen Wilson is a no-good bum, initially only out for the loot, (and allowing his equally reprehensible lowlife friends to ransack the kids' houses.) Of course he reforms and all comes right in the end. It would be fairly glib to say that Wilson is the whole show here, but in fact the three geeky kids are well-developed characters in their own right and help to make this negligible flick more watchable.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008): I only saw half of this movie from the prolific Judd Apatow stable before the entertainment system was switched off for landing and I can't say I'm in any rush to view the balance. Jason Segel plays the loser who is dumped by his longterm foxy girlfriend (Kristin Bell) and can't seem to get his act together. He decides to vacation in Hawaii and ends up at the same resort as Bell and her new and rather obnoxious beau, played by the full-of-himself (and rather obnoxious) Brit Russell Brand (whose charms -- if any -- elude me).
Married Life (2007): Having seen so many of the films on offer, I was at something of a loss what to select, but this was a good choice. Set in the 1940s with some excellent period detail, this is the story of long-term married Chris Cooper falling for the charms of a young widow, Rachel McAdams, and deciding that the only way to stop his patient wife (Patricia Clarkson) from being hurt is to kill her. Nothing like finding the simple solution I always say. However he is not counting on his best friend and full-time lothario Pierce Brosnan from also falling for his new love interest. That's about it, but all rather well done and watchable, if not overly memorable.
You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008): Regular readers will know that I am far from a big Adam Sandler fan, although he does occasionally make me smile. Here he plays an Israeli counter-terrorist who really wants to give up that life to become a hairdresser in New York. John Turturro plays his Arab nemesis, and the film ends up with an overly saccharine plea for racial tolerance which is pretty nauseating. In the meantime we are treated to a run of lewd jokes about Sandler's sexual prowess and equipment, as he spreads his special mode of hairdressing amonst the grateful older ladies in the salon.