"What are the chances, when a passenger jet disintegrates, of the survivors consisting only of people uniformly blessed with good looks, sculpted bodies and an agent?" asks David Thompson at the Independent. "Lost," probably the most cinematic show on network television, is making its debut on UK TV (and honestly, it’s TV, the fact that there’s a fat guy in a major role, even as the expected comic relief, is revelatory (unless, we suppose, he’s a working class schlub married to some inexplicably hot, smart wife, and they have half-hour-long domestic hijinks), and Thompson takes the opportunity to go over some of the great plane crashes of film, including "The English Patient" and our personal favorite, "Alive" (Ethan Hawke eating his rugby teammate is oddly affecting, or maybe we just saw it at an impressionable age).
Karl Heitmueller at MTV looks at Hollywood’s poking at a general societal vulnerability â€” the fear of flying (Lord knows, there’s more edge and justification to that fear these days, though Heitmueller for the most part avoids this less funny angle) in honor of the upcoming Wes Craven film "Red Eye" and Jodie Foster vehicle "Flightplan." We love to see this nod:
Most of the time, our fears of flying are based on realistic potential for a mechanical failure or grisly act of nature. But in our crazier moments, we might worry about, oh, gremlins on the wing. Such was the case in "Twilight Zone: the Movie" (1983), where a panicked passenger (John Lithgow) cannot convince anyone else on board that a little green monster is trying to destroy one of the engines. The giddy balance of terror and humor â€” "You big silly!," the girl in the seat in front of Lithgow squeals. "You used to be a normal person once!" â€” captures the feelings of millions of passengers who never fully get used to air travel.
Never did quite capture the weird charm of the original, though.
We’d always been told that airlines, as a rule, didn’t show films that depicted any in-air mishaps, but once, flying from New York to London on Virgin, we caught "Fight Club" running on loop on one of the channels on our screen, with its fascinatingly graphic (though imagined) plane collision. And, come to think of it, the whole "replacing the seat-back safety cards with images of people screaming and dying" wasn’t so appropriate either. We were enraptured, couldn’t look away.
Meanwhile, and unrelated (unless you want to draw parallels about the fear of making an uneducated wine order at a restaurant and looking silly), both Jerry Shriver at USA Today and Harry Mount at the Telegraph take a look at how "Sideways," with its poetic monologues on the pleasures of a particular fermented grape, has affected Pinot Noir sales. "About 1.17 million cases were sold in the past nine months, a 44% increase over the same period a year ago, according to ACNielsen figures," Shriver says of the US, while Mount says that "[i]n Britain, Oddbins has reported an increase in sales of Pinot (and a 20 per cent decrease in Merlot) since Sideways came out."