Christian Serratos

While fear of flying isn’t exactly a unique phobia, most people who suffer from (ten dollar word coming up) pteromerhanophobia are afraid of understandable and traditional stuff, like heights or being in a confined space or plummeting to their deaths in a giant aluminum tube or being like Devon Sawa in Final Destination (chilling). Normal fears! But for those of us who have somehow managed to avoid classic flying phobias, director Takashi Shimzu (The Grudge) seems dead-set on making sure no one views air transportation as a safe option ever again. In 7500, Shimzu has gathered a predictably second-tier cast (including Ryan Kwanten, Leslie Bibb, Nicky Whelan, Jerry Ferrar, Christian Serratos, Jamie Chung, and Amy Smart) as the terrifyingly good-looking passengers on a jet bound for Tokyo. As if a ten-hour flight doesn’t sound hellish enough, weird occurrences start happening on the plane, and not “weird” as in “drunk guy jumping on drink cart,” but “weird” as in “supernatural and homicidal and evil and oh my God what was that?” That sort of thing. Take your Xanax, fasten your seatbelts, move your trays into the upright and locked position, and check out the first teaser trailer for 7500 after the break.

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If there’s one thing consistently more frustrating than a film being out-and-out unwatchable it’s a film on the cusp of being really good if not for something irredeemable getting in the film’s own way. All of the elements to make the vision happen are there and firing; the acting is solid to standout across the board, the non-linear structure is used well, and the writing is done well…for the most part. Where 96 Minutes loses effectiveness in intensity and diverts into frustration is in the primary catalyst for the film’s conflict. Partly the character at the center of it, but mostly our lack of significant knowledge about him that justifies him doing what he does and allowing us to connect with the motive. I gather that there’s much more to him beyond ignorance and anger at his current situation (at least I hope so), but all of that story happens over the course of the prior 16 years before the 96 minutes of time we experience.

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published: 10.30.2014
B-
published: 10.29.2014
D+
published: 10.27.2014
C-
published: 10.24.2014
C-


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