Isaacs Picture Conclusions

ALTITUDE (2010) THREE TOP HATS

When I saw the trailer for this piece of work, I got really excited – it looked like we were in for another “Frozen” treat. It looked moody and dark and claustrophobic and afraid-of-flying-willy-inducing, with people opening the hatch, people screaming like crazy, flying around in a twin engine in a bad storm , and some sort of tentacle monster out there waiting to getcha. The movie started off with an harrowing plane crash scene and then a very novel look at the captain’s free-fall that had me pretty stressed out.  We are then introduced to the good looking twenty something cast (three dudes and two chicks): the wrestler guy who is to be hated, his irritating, sweet-with-the-asshole girlfriend, the emo guitar player, the captain and her weird everyone-else-hates-him boyfriend. We take to the air, have a LOT of over-acting and crappy dialogue, a bunch of stressful shots and scenes, the monster, the lame explanation and a pretty creative ending. I hoped I was going to give it four or five hats, based on the trailer and the opening, but then there is a LOT of bad delivery, who-cares sub plots, some stupidity, some physics defying actions and the end, which worked for me. So – overall, an average movie that is probably better caught on HBO then spending the money to rent it.

Here’s the story, this will contain spoilers… we get the crash scene at the beginning which had me worked up (in my old age I am getting more and more afraid to fly). Turns out the captain of that doomed flight is the mom of our new sky captain “Sara”.  The group detailed above are flying to some sort of concert in the woods that they don’t want their parents to know about – and so forth. Along  the way we find out that: Sara’s boyfriend (“Bruce”) is love struck and emotionally destroyed that his lover is moving to Montreal (surprise he  is going to secretly move there without her knowledge), the wrestler dude is a complete A-hole that I don’t know anyone would date such a person, the emo fellow is Sara’s cousin who is secretly screwing wrestler-dude’s girlfriend. During all of this the plane ascends into an ominous storm cloud where everything starts to go wrong. First – Sara gave Bruce a rare comic book – wrestler takes comic book and rips it up (his secret ticket to Montreal is hidden within and revealed to Sara), Sara gets awful mad. Meanwhile, the flight is now in a giant mess of darkness and lightning, the dials go bad, gas is leaked, people scream at each other, etc. As it turns out, the “elevator” of the airplane has something wedged in it, so they can’t descend or “even out”. Emo boy decides tie a rope around himself to climb out on the airplane and dislodge it, the wrestler is to bolster him. Wrong move. Wrestler has figured out his girlfriend is bonking him. After he gets the screw out of the elevator, wrestler cuts the rope. Bye! Inside, things are just as bad. Bruce has gone crazy and has had to be subdued, wrestler’s girlfriend has decided to take ALL of her bottle of “motion sickness medicine” and ODs. Before too long Bruce has freed himself, and coincidentally, a tentacle from the creepy monster rips the girlfriend from the plane to the great beyond. A fight ensues (Bruce is blamed for their troubles) and wrestler ends up tossed out the hatch. Only two remain and the plane ends up in the clutches of the giant octopus thing.

If you’re still there, here’s where things get stupid. Turns out that when Bruce gets scared, his imagination changes reality. Seems Bruce was the kid on the doomed flight at the beginning, he was scared and when he saw a picture of an airplane in a comic – the airplane appeared and destroyed their own plane, but he survived. Eventually he sought out Sara as they “were meant to be together”, but when she got mad at him for wanting to move to Canada, he got scared again and the pictures in the comic she gave him come true – the storm and the octopi in the sky. Towards the end, she kisses him and things subside, but he knows she doesn’t love him so it gets bad again. At one point, she is yanked from the cockpit by the octopus, then things revert back to normal and, as they are flying at 300 miles an hour, mind you, she drops back into her pilot’s chair… and they keep on flying and flying, minus a front window. I would think their skin would be abrased clean off, but not here, their hair ruffles a little bit. But, thankfully, the last time he reset reality “ he did it right”. We find out that they have become the plane that, this time, almost crashes into her mom’s plane, but does not. Their parent’s plane makes it home safe and everyone survives. There is a final shot of a smoking something off in the background, I assume it’s adult Sara and Bruce’s wreckage, but that’s cool because they’re all alive (in the past).

There you have it – sometimes stressful, nicely shot, irritating characters and acting, the monster was cool when it was “in the backdrop” but kind of dumb at the big “reveal”. I might watch again some day I am laying around with nothing else to do.

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