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Arts & Culture(Archives)


Paula Ogonoski is…The Entertainiac

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My Uplifting Column

In celebration of the new airport opening I thought I would write an uplifting column with a flight theme. Yes, you may groan at that ridiculous attempt at puniness, I can take it. There are numerous entertainment forums which include flight themes, and I felt a need to inspire YMM by listing my top 10.

1. Snakes on Plane: I am in no way saying this is a good movie. In fact, it is possibly the worst movie that I have ever seen. That said, I highly recommend it for its category of junk food viewing - you know it’s bad for you but you just can’t stop watching. Samuel L. Jackson brings the unintentional hilarity to the screen starring in a movie about yes- snakes on a plane. The best part of this film is the last five minute music video at the end of the film. It’s so bad- it’s good.

2. Lost: The TV series which truly put J.J. Abrams on the map in 2004, brought an entirely new narrative to the small screen. From the first seconds of the of the plane crash which started it all, the story grabbed audiences who became obsessed with the mysterious island and its new inhabitants. I personally was left gobsmacked wondering everything from why a polar bear was on an island, to the mysterious button, to the Dharma Initiative. While Lost may have been what introduced me to Abram’s work, he was already well established as a creator and producer. Other notable work includes: Mission: Impossible III (2006) and Super 8 (2011) just to name a few.

3. Red Eye: This 2005 surprisingly good thriller starred Rachel McAdams and the creepiest actor known to man - Cillian Murphy (he was also Scarecrow in The Dark Knight Rises). My hesitancy for this film correlated with director Wes Craven bringing this story to life. That said, the veteran director known more for his horror movie prowess did a fantastic job bringing to life suspense in a story about a woman who is kidnapped on a plan as part of a murderous plot.

4. Leaving on a Jet Plane: Whether it’s you on your travel soundtrack, used by United Airlines commercials in the 1970s, or just something you heard sung in the film Armageddon by Ben Affleck - this 1966 John Denver tune has beat the sands of the hour glass and will continue to do so. As a side note, one of my favourite covers of the song is by Canadian Chantal Kreviazuk.

5. Airplane: The 1980 film and its sequel in 1982 brought hilarity to new heights. These films had my personal favourite slapstick comedian, Leslie Nielsen performing the ridiculous so what’s not to love! The story is essentially about passengers falling ill on a plane which is not so funny however the plane ends up being piloted by a pilot afraid to fly. Surely this will be an amusing film for anyone.

6. Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Steve Martin and John Candy star in this hilarious 1987 film, need I say more? Ok. I will. A straight laced businessman is forced to ride shotgun with a slob-of-a salesman while travelling home for Thanksgiving. The chemistry was no doubly some of the best duo acting; eventually paving the way for future buddy films such Tommy Boy starring Chris Farley and David Spade in the 90s.

7. Top Gun: If I didn’t put this 1986 high octane film on the list, I know I would have been scolded so here it is, the Tom Cruise movie which made all boys want to be Mavericks. While this is not my personal favourite, it does have something for everyone. A little romance, a little humour but testosterone-filled action most importantly. The story follows a hot-shot rookie pilot while he maneuvers his way through Navy’s elite fighter weapons school. This movie is likely the Navy’s best recruitment tool.

8. Up: Ok so this isn’t about an airplane but there’s flight therefore it’s part of the aviation family - and it’s just so cute! This 2009 animated film by Disney’s Pixar follows the adventure of 78-year-old Russell who ties balloons to his home in the hopes of venturing to the wilds of South America. Unbeknownst to him, with an adventuring stow away.

9. Up in the Air: I’m not normally a fan of indie films. Generally I find that they have an inflated ego and rarely live up to the hype. They’re like an abstract painting; no one wants to admit they don’t understand. That said, this 2009 George Clooney film is thoughtful, poignant and filled with layers of complexity. Simply, it is worth your time even if it lags on occasion. A businessman who spends his life in flight is forced to see if there is more to life than work.

10. Die Hard 2: It’s rare a sequel would make it in my top 10 list unless it was a list specific to sequels, but no one does it better than Bruce Willis’ John McClane. In 1990, the yippee-ki-yay toting cop was brought back to life as John is forced to curtail a terrorism ploy at an airport, while his wife is held hostage mid-flight. Really there are booms and bangs some clever retort and it’s awesome. Note: this also may have made my Christmas movie list and I have no apologies for the repetition. I love Die Hard movies.


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