A Must See Film: Living in the Age of Airplanes

I was fortunate enough yesterday that I had enough time to see Living in the Age of Airplanes, an IMAX film that’s newly released, playing in select theaters. The film is narrated by Harrison Ford, an avid aviator himself, and scored by James Horner, one of my favorite composers, probably most famous for his work for the movie Titanic.

The theater was jam packed, mostly due to several school groups. That’s not unusual since I was seeing it at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum on the National Mall, and I was fearing I’d have a bad seat. I actually didn’t, and was able to get a mid-auditorium, center seat, perfect for viewing. The kids in the group were chatty (as all middle schoolers are), and there was some screaming and kicking, too. To be honest, I was probably the only aviation geek in the house, really wanting to the see the film – these kids were probably told they had to see it, but nonetheless, things quieted down soon after the start.

As the score begins the build, there’s a prominent quote displayed, really putting you in the mood:

“The Wright Brothers created the single greatest cultural force since the invention of writing. The airplane became the first World Wide Web, bringing people, languages, ideas, and values together.” – Bill Gates

If you haven’t yet had a chance to see the trailer, here it is:

After seeing the film, and studying the reactions of those around me (well, those around me that weren’t in middle school…), I had several thoughts walking out of what is anticipated to be one of the best IMAX films this year:

  • People don’t fly as much as I think they do. To be honest, I had the impression that the crowd was “domesticated” and flying was a luxury. For me, it’s a way of life, and I had assumed that to be the case for the majority of folks, specifically those in the US.
  • There’s a cultural boundary between many destinations. There’s a scene of an airplane landing on the water near the Maldives, and if you look carefully, you can see the islands fly by housing the famous island resorts, similar to the Park Hyatt Maldives. The guy sitting near me was muttering “why would I want to visit there?,” and while I’m sure it’s not as high on the list as Paris and Hong Kong, I think there’s a mental boundary for many people.
  • Flying has improved history dramatically. There’s a very stark reminder of how much of an impact aviation has had on society – up until about 100 years ago, the average speed of man was just 3 miles per hour. As planes began to become the primary method of taking people longer distances, history would have one of it’s greatest changes ever. Flying on planes often, you take for granted this fact. It was just over several centuries ago that the “wheel” was the primary way of getting from one place to another. Now, that wheel powers an airplane down the runway and into the air.
  • Flying is way better when there’s a James Horner score behind it. Way better. 🙂
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The film is only playing in select theaters, and for many, it isn’t playing within a reasonable driving distance from you. That said, there’s no reason you can’t hop on a plane to see it in a city that is. After all, we’re living in the age of airplanes. 😉

Have you see the film? What are your initial impressions?

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  1. cnmaz says

    James, you did not say much about the film. Most of the review was on the reactions of others. I have seen the trailer and was excited about the movie. Is this worth going to see?

  2. Donna Kelliher says

    This is an incredible film. I was fortunate to attend the world premier and well worth a drive or fly to see it. The Air and Space Museum is a great venue. Check it out!!

  3. Lutricia Jackson says

    This is an awesome film. I went with five of my grandchildren ranging in age from 18 to 1 and they loved it. We all wanted to see it again. We say it at the Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, VA


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