I have to admit with my schedule and responsibilities I never get time to go to see a movie in a theater. Instead I have to wait until they come out on video or make it to pay-per-view. While I have already pre-ordered my copy of ARGO, it won't be out until a few days before the Oscar winners are announced.
So I have to wait. But FLIGHT, starring Denzel Washington, in his Oscar-nominated role, has made it to ppv on cable. Last night I watched it. I've always liked him and admired his skill as an actor.
Though not as dark a character as he played in Training Day, FLIGHT is another chance for him to play on the darker side of a personality. Washington stars as an airline pilot with a drinking problem and drug addiction.
One day, after a night of carousing, he flies his regular route from Orlando to Atlanta, going through some severe weather (read that severe downdrafts and turbulence) until he gets clear of the system. Later on in the flight, they experience catastrophic mechanical failure, after he has downed orange juice mixed with three of those little airplane bottles of vodka. The result is a harrowing set of scenes featuring the cockpit action and the main cabin action.
As a white-knuckled flyer, those scenes were hard to watch. It took me back to being on a plane en route to Hawaii and encountering major thunderstorms over the southwest US. We were in a 747 and dropped 10,000 feet...That's an experience that colored my view of airplane travel for the rest of my life. Not to mention the lunch that went all over me. At least I hadn't asked for tomato juice like one of my friends did...
Anyhow, our movie "hero" manages to safely land the plane, gliding onto an open field. The plane breaks up and six people are killed from 102 on board. The pilot is called a hero in the press for saving so many lives.
They take blood tests of all the crew and that's when the drama truly begins.
It is a tense story acted by a talented cast. Don Cheadle plays the attorney representing Washington's character. Mary Reilly plays a recovering heroin addict that tries to help. Most memorable is John Goodman, who plays an affable, amoral drug dealer, who is Washington's long-time supplier and friend. You might also recognize Tamara Tunie as the chief flight attendant on the doomed plane. She plays the Medical Examiner on the long running "Law and Order: SVU."
FLIGHT is the story of a man who has ruined most of his life with his substance abuse, falling faster than that 747 I was once aboard. It's hard to watch in places and not just because I don't like to fly.
But it is an excellent drama with a surprising ending. Directed by the talented Robert Zemeckis, of Forrest Gump fame, it is well worth a viewing.
I'll review ARGO after I've watched it. Sigh, but I'll have to wait a bit to see LINCOLN and LES MISERABLES. Oh well, such is life...
Take care. If you are in the area of the country affected by "Nemo", stay safe inside and keep warm.
Am I the only one shaking my head over the naming of winter storms?