One of the nice things about flying Cathay Air is that you have somewhere near 100 movies as well as tons of interesting TV shows to choose from. It was painful that on a 10-hour flight to Buenos Aires on American Airlines you were forced to watch the same movie as the entire plane on a shared screen. And I will never forget the trip to Spain where we had to view horrifying Robin Williams vehicle (har) R.V. going and coming. To be fair, it was two different airlines.
I am an antsy flier. I find it impossible to sleep or even read (I tried both fiction and magazines) on a plane and don’t even enjoy the onscreen entertainment. Maybe it’s that I just really hate sitting still for 16 hours without the internet. Sad, certainly. I took homeopathic sleeping pills and kept drinking wine in hopes of conking out and waking up in Hong Kong but that didn’t work either.
I tried making myself watch movies. First I watched WALL-E for some inexplicable reason. It stressed me out. I couldn’t get excited about any of the new releases so I landed on The Constant Gardener. I find that dramatic, suspenseful films, the type I normally wouldn’t see in the theater, are good distractions in the air and make time pass quickly.
And even better, I caught an emotional vomit scene where Ralph Fienne’s colleague couldn’t deal with Rachel Weisz’ charred corpse in the Kenyan morgue and he throws up in a sink. I thought scoring such a cinematic coup so early in the vacation boded well, but boy was I wrong.
Bizarrely, I witnessed a second emotional barf sequence during Transiberian, the best movie by far I saw, very engaging, on the flight back to NYC. I won't describe it because it ruins plot points. Alas, it was offscreen and anyway my camera battery had died during dinner the night before.
For what it’s worth, I also watched Bottle Shock, which was moderately entertaining with schlocky, predictable stereotypes for characters. Henry Poole is Here, which was pointless and annoying in a film student project way. I couldn’t watch more than 20 minutes of Diminished Capacity. I don’t recall the two latter films ever even being released, despite both being from 2008. I also watched 10 Items or Less on James’ screen sans sound and never felt inspired to put on my headphones.