In-flight Entertainment
Published by António Lopes on December 7, 2016

I don’t usually care about in-flight entertainment, since I carefully plan what I’ll be watching, reading or working on during flights and I pre-pack my laptop and kindle with the necessary stuff. However, last week I was travelling to Angola and the plane I was in had one of those neat in-flight entertainment systems per seat and I decided to try it. It was packed full of movies, tv shows and music and since I had a few hours to kill, I decided to watch a couple of movies (and maybe doze off until arrival).

The first movie I watched was X-Men: First Class. Entertaining, for sure, but a certain scene left me confused: in one moment the heroes were all inside a plane flying over a Cuban beach and in the next scene (without a single explanation) they were on said beach and their plane was a mere blur of destruction in the back shot. At first, I thought that maybe something must have escaped me, but then I realized this is just idiotic in-flight movie censoring to avoid disturbing individuals travelling on a plane by watching a plane crash. I find it unnecessary but I see their point. It might get someone nervous to the point they become a problem (like having a panic attack).

What I don’t get is what happened in the next movie: The Martian. Right at the beginning of the movie (SPOILER ALERT), the character portrayed by Matt Damon – Mark Whatney – sees himself stranded on Mars with no (apparent) possibility of survival. The scene in itself is quite powerful and I very much remember the build-up (since I read the book) to the point in which the character realized his doom and verbalizes it as any one of us would: with exclamative profanity.

But not in this in-flight entertainment system. Here, as Whatney realizes that he’s all alone in a planet with not enough food and with no possibility of escaping and with the next probable mission to rescue 4-years away, he just says: “Fudge”. I repeat, he says “FUDGE”. For fuck sake.



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