The Blue Angels Arrives in IMAX Theaters

For many years, I have heard of people going out to watch jets flying overhead. My younger self should have paid more attention to all involved in these shows. My late older brother was in the Navy in the early ’60s (around the Vietnam era), and after his return and retirement, he would share some newsletters/magazines. I should have noted the details of the Blue Angels that provided the public’s exhibitions and that the Navy Flight Exhibition Team was created in 1946. A name change followed to Blue Angels (formally named the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron). After viewing the new documentary, The Blue Angels, in an IMAX theater, I learned much about what goes into being a Blue Angel – how skillful the pilots are – and the organization’s history. This feature-length film, directed by Paul Crowder and produced by J.J. Abrams and Glen Powell, should be seen on the most giant screen possible as the flight and other scenes are spectacular.

Watching planes fly overhead over and over for several months may not appeal to everyone, but after viewing the film that provides a detailed, behind-the-scenes look, I have nothing but respect for those real pilots. Watching a few movies about pilots (the obvious Top Gun/Top Gun: Maverick) and others gives people an idea of what it takes. That is Hollywood, but the documentary The Blue Angels goes deeper to show what can happen during training. Talking about it is one thing, but viewing it on the big screen is rattling to us viewing it. It can be a tough watch.

The aerial display in the documentary is truly awe-inspiring, especially when viewed on the IMAX screen. It transports you into the cockpit, making you feel as if you’re flying alongside the Blue Angels, particularly in the close-up shots of the pilots in the air. The precision and coordination required to fly multiple jets just 18 inches apart in their formation is mind-boggling. If you’re intrigued by this, the Blue Angels (six jet fighter pilots) tour the country for eight months at a time, each year. The 2022 season is featured in this documentary, from selection, to training that leads to the tour with duties to participate in outreach programs along with visits to schools and hospitals.

As we learn about women being included, it is not all men in the program, with Amanda Lee as the first female pilot to be inducted.

If you’re not yet familiar with Texas native actor Glen Powell, he played military pilots in the films titled Devotion and Top Gun: Maverick. In addition to his acting prowess, Powell serves as one of the producers of the IMAX original documentary, lending his expertise and passion to the project. The film, a collaboration between Powell, director Paul Crowder, and producer J.J. Abrams, starts its IMAX exclusive run on May 17. In Austin, you can catch the local showtimes at the AMC Barton Creek Square 14 & IMAX and The Bullock Texas State History Museum IMAX theater.

Source: Amazon MGM Studios

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