Passing Time in Airplanes

Oh, watching movies in airplanes. It makes me feel like a Dr. Seuss character. Not only am I cavalier about a technology I admittedly don’t understand, but I’m actually so bored by this magical, flying tin can that I’m actually watching practically new releases at the same time. Plus trying not to accidentally elbow my tiny plastic cup of water, or that of my neighbour, while also holding on to my precarious ear buds (those of you with similarly tiny ears will understand: ear buds are NOT one size fits all). If Sean and I decide to watch a movie together, we have to try to synchronize the pressing of the Play button, or else one of us is watching with a delay. AND we have to ignore what everyone else is watching around us for fear of spoiling an untold number of movies in a matter of minutes.

On our way there, Sean watched Mr. Holmes. I tried to watch it with him but the jack was broken and I was only getting sound in my left ear, which was giving me a left ear-ache.

On our way back, we watched Bridge of Spies. Apologies to Mr. upcoming-movie-bridge-of-spies-446711Spielberg because we absolutely intended to see this in theatres, it’s just that life and other movies kept getting in the way. And this movie did not deserve this treatment from us. I LOVED it. I was sorry to be seeing it on a screen the size of a box of tictacs but happy to be seeing it at all. That Tom Hanks. Tom Fucking Hanks. This guy is the bomb. If
you haven’t seen it, it’s about an ordinary lawyer who is asked by his government, during the cold war, to defend a Soviet spy. He accepts, for his country, even though this means he quickly becomes the second most hated man in America. He’s an honourable guy who goes above and beyond – even putting himself at risk by going over to Germany to negotiate for a prisoner swap. Joel and Ethan Coen, who co-wrote the script with Matt Charman, deliver the goods, and Spielberg knows just rylancewhat to do with them. It’s interesting that with enough distance, this isn’t just about espionage anymore, it’s about seeing the humanity on both sides. What a relief. And here’s a nod to Mark Rylance who gives a nuanced and impressive turn as the spy. It’s a very grown-up character, drawn evenly, bravely, and with dignity, and Rylance lives up to every detail. The movie also manages a fair bit of humour – a spoonful of sugar to help the history lesson goes down. It was gripping, it was smart, and I loved the shit out of it.

Vacation is the newest installment in the National Lampoon tradition, with Ed Helms taking over the role of Rusty Griswald, who Ed Helms Christina Applegate Vacationjust wants to take his family on a vacation to Walley World (god knows why). It tries really hard to live up to its predecessor, going as far as stealing whole plot lines without really doing them justice or finding their charm. Ed Helms is watchable as always, and the truth is, we did chuckle.  Although because we failed to press Play at the EXACT same time, I was
watching one or two seconds ahead of Sean, which meant every time I squeezed his thigh he knew a joke was coming, and every time I pinched it, that something gross was about to happen. And a lot of gross things happen. Because if you can’t be witty, go for the grossout. This movie relies on every road trip movie cliché you’ve already seen so believe me when I say you can live without it. But if you’re stuck on a plane for 6 hours, you could do worse. Probably.

You know what’s a better way to pass your time on a plane? Reading! And boy have we got just the thing for you! Our dear friend and fellow blogger Carrie Rubin has a terrific new novel out.
It’s a medical thriller called Eating Bull, and you’ll be so absorbed you won’t even notice the seat belt sign clicking on and off like it’s disco night at a truck stop. I totally recommend it, and it’s available for purchase by Canadians Eating Bull at that link, and by Americans over at Eating Bull that one, and to most others up in this place. But for a couple of our lucky readers, we’d like to send you a copy – FREE. Leave a comment on this post to be eligible, and give us a follow\retweet on Twitter for an extra chance to win.


43 thoughts on “Passing Time in Airplanes

  1. Alok Singhal

    I just watched the Bridge of Spies on 5th Dec in Theater and i must say i could have watched it at home as well, with same enthusiasm.
    I guess big screen should be used for only Action Movies! Else, it is just stills we are watching. No?


      1. Cassandra

        Yes, his dad became an Economics professor at Swarthmore after no one would give him a job because “he’d been in jail”. At the time they didn’t seem to distinguish the fact that it was a Soviet jail.


  2. Carrie Rubin

    Wow, that fantastic plug for my book was unexpected. Thank you so much! I’m thrilled you enjoyed it, and you are very kind to give a copy away. I will go spread the word on Facebook and Twitter. And now that I have the expert opinion of film critics, I’m thinking Ryan Reynolds for Darwin and Barbara Eve Harris as Sue. What do you think? Need someone for Jeremy still though. Oh…wait…am I getting ahead of myself? 😉

    I sent my husband on his own to see Bridge of Spies. Didn’t seem like my kind of movie. But now I wonder about the wisdom of that.

    Thank you again!

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Sean

    I guess I am responsible for the Mr. Holmes review. It was decent but not memorable. Ian McKellan was good as usual, and it was an interesting take on Sherlock Holmes, but something was missing.

    Bridge of Spies was awesome though. I expected it to be good and it still blew me away. Spielberg and Hanks make it look so easy and I’m glad you mentioned Mark Rylance, because his performance/character helped make this movie special.


  5. Liz A.

    I didn’t enjoy the first Vacation, so I’m not tempted by the new one. I do want to see Bridge of Spies, though. I haven’t been to a movie theater in a long time.


  6. Birgit

    I want to see the film you mentioned except for Vacation. Christina Applegate is in it right? This means it must suck. I read the comments and was also wowed that the one commenter know the one person where the movie is based on. I remember when all this was going down. I don’t think I like the new way of watching movies-It looks so small. This does seem to go with everything else on airplanes now. I remember when they had big screens, larger seats, free wine, meals no matter where you were going and could bring quite a bit of luggage.


  7. DotedOn

    I can relate to the earbuds problem!!
    The tiny screen is not nice but it’s much better than the stupid TV hanging a few seat ahead as it used to be some years ago… It was IMPOSSIBLE to watch a movie then!! 🙂


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  9. badblokebob

    The last film I watched on a plane was Superhero Movie. The alternative was Kung Fu Panda, which I thought deserved a bigger screen. I saw it months later and was right. Superhero Movie, on the other hand, deserves no screen whatsoever.


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  11. BunKaryudo

    I haven’t seen Bridge of Spies yet either, but I want to. I like Tom Hanks so I might have watched it even if you’d given in a bad review, but it certainly gives me a little more confidence that you’ve given a clean bill of health too.


  12. Anna (Film Grimoire)

    My partner and I always try to sync up the films we watch on the plane and there’s always a millisecond delay which is so frustrating! I remember we got it completely in sync for A Beautiful Mind on the way back from London, but then I fell asleep in the middle so it was all for nought. 😦


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  14. Brigitte

    Carrie deserves all the great feedback she’s getting! We just watched the Vacation movie. Not even in the same league as the original, though like you, we did chuckle a few times. I don’t get the gross graphic stuff. I wasn’t expecting it. It was weird and not so kid friendly.


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