Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Makes me wanna sniff some lines and go fly a jet!

I have never used drugs. But, I have seen quite a few movies where drugs (and drug use) were well, prominently displayed. Now, hold on. I realize this is like saying, Well, I've never had sex. But, I do have the internet.
Obviously, the experience of watching doesn't exactly hold a candle to doing, right? Right. Though, to be fair, there is a level of education and insight to seeing such acts on the (big) screen. For example, say I've got my boss' ladyfriend overdosing on heroin in my living room, right? This is simple. I jam a needle full of adrenalin in her heart, naturally. But what if I'm in charge of an American hero who has gone on a major bender the night before an important hearing? Oh, wait. I know this one too.

Flight is an incredible film. Despite having heard nothing but great things, for whatever reason I was relatively indifferent as my sister and I sat down to watch it this past Tuesday. It took less than a minute, but believe me, I was hooked. Sure, a screen full of titties always helps (not to mention Wally Cleaver's little brother), but the film is loaded with great characters, great scenes and utterly fantastic performances. And that's not even including the guy that King Kong ain't got shit on.

Denzel. There's not much more positive to say about him that hasn't already been said, but he has delivered yet another truly epic performance. His Whip Whitaker doesn't do anything half-assed. He's an incredible pilot, who's also incredibly f--ked up. He's charming, he's outgoing and he's impossibly good at what he does (all qualities of many of Washington's roles), but otherwise - he's a mess. An absolute train-wreck of a person. And while maybe Whip could have lived his miserably doomed life in relative peace, everything changes the moment the plane he was piloting crashes in spectacular fashion.

I used to think that the plane crash sequence in Cast Away was the ultimate tragic scene in its gut-wrenching realism. Not even close. The crash in Flight is possibly the worst thing I have ever laid my eyes on. I really don't think I took a breath during it. And at the end, even though we all knew what was coming, I was almost in tears. I have been on probably a hundred airplanes and imagined a countless variety of horrible things happening, but to see it so vividly depicted on the big screen? Terrifying. But, right in the middle of the absolute shit, is Denzel Washington, kicking ass and taking names. He puts everybody in the plane on his coke and vodka-fueled shoulders and saves the f--king day. It's one of my favorite scenes ever.

Two men you'd want in your corner? Greenwood and Cheadle.
And while almost everyone on board survived the crash, there was one major casualty, that being the morality of everyone involved. But somehow, coming out of the wreckage intact, is Whip's ego. Which was pretty impressive going in.

Imagine if someone saved your life. What would you let them get away with? And for how long? It's okay, I'll help you with this. Everything and forever are the answers you're looking for. It puts such an immense burden on everyone surrounding Whip, it's devastating at times. But, it's also fascinating, too.

More devastating than fascinating, are those two Business Class fools, the Yays and Boos. Business Class? Well, they can't fly coach, their butts are too big.

Here comes the banana boat!
  • Let me offer up a legitimate contender for best opening scene ever. Coke, weed, and full frontal? Sounds like one Hell of a pre-flight shindig.
  • Next time I can see a member of the flight crew addressing those of us in the cabin, I'm going to make sure I can see both of their hands.
  • No lie. I experienced every emotion possible during the crash scene. Every one.
  • The black box comment suggestion crushed me. Intense.
  • As pictured above, John F--king Goodman. Sure, he's four-fifths Jeffrey Lebowski here, but I loved every second he was on the screen. This guy is a solid friend. Well, for a drug dealing jerk-off...
  • ...who brings you a copy of Assmasters and instructs you to stroke it all day. Classy.
  • The cancer patient they meet in the stairwell. This actor delivered one of the best one-scenes in recent memory. My cancer might get cancer. Seriously, outside of Donnie Wahlberg in The Sixth Sense, I can recall few actors who've kicked as much ass with so little screen time.
  • Not only is the soundtrack pretty kickass, this flick also features the best elevator music ever, too.
  • This movie could easily be an intro-level college film class on symbolism all by itself. I think the continually stressed act of God applies at least a dozen times. There's a certain open door I'm thinking of...
  • And finally, the morning of is probably one of my favorite scenes as well. Everything has gone completely to shit, and then there's this moment of clarity/insanity. Everyone throws away everything they've stood for. Even Cee-lo.
Only Denzel makes cokehead/alcoholic prick seem like a real catch.
  • The way I remember it, the redheaded chick wasn't prominently featured in the previews. That was probably a good call. Because despite being easy on the eyes, her whole arc was weak and slightly uninteresting.
  • Legal loopholes. Here, it was all smiles and rainbows, but in reality, it's some major bullshit.
  • This flick features a few too many endings. Though it would have been the biggest pro drug ending ever, I would've loved for this flick to end about five minutes earlier (right before the hearing would've been great).
I know the holiday movie blitz is just around the corner, but I would definitely make a point to see this one while you can. If you miss it theatrically, just a give it a few weeks and I'm sure you'll be able to watch it in-flight.

Just don't sit near the back of the plane while you watch it. Trust me.


  1. Drug use and full frontal in the first scene?? I'm in! :-P Seriously, this does sound like an excellent movie, despite a few flaws. I'm off to see whether it's already on my watchlist.

    1. I thought it was soo good, but I'm a sucker for the ol' drug addict/alcoholic pilot saves the day while also ruining f--king everything genre.

      It's my fave.

  2. Even though he won’t win, Denzel definitely deserves an Oscar nomination because he is just great here and keeps this flick ticking, just when it seems to fall on it’s own, two feet from conventionality. Good review M.

    1. I haven't seen enough good movies, but I think he has a definite shot. Is DDL the favorite then?

  3. I gotta stab her three times?

    1. F--king Stoltz.

      Somehow, this scene needs to be on his tombstone. Unless he dies of a giant-bug thing being lodged in throat. Then, they should probably opt for some Anaconda goodness.

  4. Great review! Definetly looking forward to this one, I really like Denzel and movies about addictions. Shame Kelly Reilly is useless in this one, she is so pretty!

    1. I'm always torn with addiction movies, as they can be frustrating (and even slightly infuriating), even if that's obviously the point. But in the hands of Zemeckis and Denzel...it's an exhilarating ride, no doubt.

      I couldn't place Ms. Reilly, but she is pretty sexy. Her part is a bit undercooked, that's all. But, in the end, I didn't really care about her.

    2. I saw the film few days ago and I must say I'm shocked you didn't mention PRAISE JESUS! chick in Boos. Good God, what a freak show. I'd rather be in a plane piloted by a drunk that this other dude talking about divine intervention.

      The scene where they found Denzel in the hotel was fucking brilliant. Goodman is such a scene stealer. Loved the "who is running this enterprise?" line. My review will be up some time next week :)

    3. Nooo! I forgot about that lady. I thought that scene was oddly funny, but it was scary in a way, too.

      You've already nailed it with Goodman - the friend that we wish we had. To a T.

  5. Really glad you like this one so much, it is easily one of my favorites of the year. I've spoken a lot about that hearing scene with friends and on the blogosphere. A lot of people have a problem with it, but, for me, it worked. In my experience, two things happen to addicts (especially ones as far gone as Whip's): they either tell the truth, or die. Their death may not come right away, but if they keep lying, the end result will typically be irreversible. I love that Whip decided what he did. It was honest and goddamn heartbreaking. Ah. Killed me.

    1. I loved that scene too! The decision he made was brilliant and breathtaking. I loved how he didn't take the easy way out. And, he took up for his crew.

      If they had ended it after Goodman shows up and gets him..er, right, it would've have been so pro-drug people would've hated it, but it would've shown what a mess that addiction truly is (in a slightly cynical way). I was feeling such a high right there, it would've been the best f--k you ending ever.

      Ultimately, the ending they went with is more satisfying, but the douchey side of me didn't want everything tied up. Sometimes, I like the abrupt leave-it-up-to-them endings.

    2. I think the scene where he confesses was my favorite and lifted the film from 6/10 to 7 for me. Easily the highlight of Washington's work in this one.

    3. I'm with you, but I think the crash scene is where it's at. Everything is so dire, and Denzel (as f--ked as up as he is) just keeps cool and handles shit.

  6. I agree with the assessment that the film's ending would have been better if left...ambiguous. Whip gets right and starts off down the hall. Fade to black.

    And the terminal cancer patient would have stolen the entire movie except for John Goodman.

    1. This is the best "anonymous" comment ever. You, good sir or madam, are welcome around these parts anytime.

      I completely agree! That ending would have blown me away.

      Great call on that cancer patient dude, too. Only Goodman could trump him. Maybe even barely, too.

  7. Here comes the banana boat