Judge Franck Tabouring is flying high...
Our review of Legends of Flight 3D (Blu-ray), published July 16th, 2011, is also available.
Cleared for takeoff!
Although its title may suggest otherwise, Stephen Low's IMAX feature Legends of Flight is not a documentary about the history of aviation or the birth and evolution of classic airplanes. Instead, the film pretty much focuses entirely on the creation of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, a promising new type of aircraft that has definitely seen its share of delays. That said, the carbon fiber airliner finally completed its maiden flight in 2009, giving Low a good enough reason to bring the 787's story to the gigantic IMAX screens.
While Legends of Flight may at times feel like a promotional video, it does benefit from fabulous production values. Released originally in IMAX 3D, this 45-minute documentary is loaded with wonderful shots and colorful visual effects that can easily engage viewers with a strong interest in aviation. Images of planes like the 787 or the mighty Airbus A380 are truly stunning, while a collection of animated graphics keeps the film's pace progressing steadily throughout.
The one major problem I have with the film is its high number of scenes featuring computer-generated aircraft. In an expensive IMAX production like this one, you would expect to see all real planes, but most of the flying airliners we get to observe here are fake. Additionally, the flick also features several boardroom meetings between Boeing folks discussing the 787, but those are staged as well. They're just something we have to live with.
On the positive side though, Legends of Flight still qualifies as an entertaining experience. An informative narration accompanies segments focusing on how older planes influenced the design of the 787, and footage from inside the giant Boeing assembly hangars offers viewers a pretty exciting glimpse of how an aircraft is actually put together. You're also in for some coverage from the fascinating Paris air show, which is indeed every bit as exciting as it sounds.
Even though Legends of Flight was shot in 3D, it looks terrific in 2D. Boasting a 1.78:1 widescreen transfer, the film carries a clear, sharp image blessed with terrific colors. The audio does its job as well, so no complaints in this department. Special features include a behind-the-scenes featurette and additional information about the featured planes.
Legends of Flight looks fantastic and boasts some interesting moments, but all in all, it's not necessarily as informative or original as you may expect. The film sure provides a good look at how the 787 came to be, but it never steps out of its comfort zone. That said, it's one heck of a great promotional piece, that's for sure.
Flying dangerously low, but not guilty.
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