Kicking off the year’s film watching with Flight

Flight - starring Denzel Washington, directed by Robert Zemeckis

An airline pilot saves a flight from crashing, but an investigation into the malfunctions reveals something troubling.

The first day of the first month of 2013 and I’m getting started with my film challenge for the year – watch at least 100 new-to-me films within the year. And the first film? Flight. Starring Denzel Washington and directed by Robert Zemeckis, who hasn’t done a live action film since Castaway.

I admit it. I have a soft spot for Denzel Washington. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I don’t think he can do no wrong, but he can almost do no wrong. Even with last year’s Safe House, while the film wasn’t the strongest, his performance was the best part of the film.

Flight is a much stronger film. It’s does have its flaws, but Flight is an engaging and thoughtful film. If a little repetitive at times. Watching the self-destructive Whip Whitaker drown himself in booze and drugs is depressing. Here’s a guy who’s a straight up hero, clearly has a drinking problem and yet can’t admit to himself that he needs help. And yet, it was how Whip’s addiction was written was one of the weakest aspects of the film. Drilled home time and time again. I get it. He’s an alcoholic. He’s a jerk. Let’s move on!

Despite this weakness in Flight, I enjoyed watching. It’s probably not the best film depicting addiction (The Basketball Diaries holds that mantle for me). But from the beginning watching the disaster of the doomed flight unfold to the ever excellent comic timing of John Goodman, it’s hard to keep your attention off the film. The final conclusion is sign posted a good mile before the end. But, by then it doesn’t matter. Denzel’s performance sells this film for me.

Flight (Viewed: 01/01/13 | Rating: 4/5)

Check out all of the films I’ve seen this year:

1 film so far…

  1. Flight (Viewed: 01/01/13 | Rating: 4/5)

35 comments

  1. Heh. So used to seeing this huge list of “Films So Far…” Seeing just 1 is strange. :D

    I agree with your assessment and I’m also a fan of Basketball Diaries as an addiction movie. LOL :D

    • I know – I was debating on how to word that, but eh… it’ll get built up soon enough ;)

      The Basketball Diaries is rough. So rough.

  2. I agree with your “soft spot” for Washington. I’ve always said that there are a handful of actors that I don’t even know what the movie is about, I’m watching it anyways. Denzel is one of those actors.

    OHMY Basketball Diaries messed me up. Very powerful movie. Leo DiCaprio is such a good actor.

    • Totally with you on Denzel and his films. Fair enough, there have been some duffs, but there’s still something to enjoy out of even Deja Vu.

      Leo was so young in Basketball Diaries – his performance totally blew me away. Of course, the only reason I saw that film was because I might have been slightly obsessed with him post-Titanic and was searching out his other films.

  3. I’m looking forward to this movie, despite its flaws. I agree that Denzel Washington is a fine actor. I really like John Goodman too.

  4. Nice to start w/ Denzel in the new year! I might check out this one when it’s out on rental, I’ve been hearing some weaknesses about this film but I reckon Denzel’s performance would still make it worthwhile.

  5. Glad you enjoyed it! I agree about Goodman, he was so funny. Loved all of his scenes in the movie, especially the one in the hotel – that whole sequence was surreal :P

  6. Hey Jaina nice write up. I haven’t seen this one yet but I agree with you about Denzel even if the movie is terrible you can count on a good performance! I enjoyed Basketball Diaries but I have always though DiCaprio was out of place in that movie. Have you ever seen Requiem for Dream? Now that is a tough movie dealing with drugs…

    • Not seen Requiem yet. It’s on my to-do list of films. But it sounds like the film I need to be in the mood for, rather than just flicking it on, on the off chance I fancy watching a film.

      Really enjoyed Leo’s performance in Basketball Diaries – thought it was one of his strongest films.

  7. Here we go again huh Jaina?

    Happy New Year!! FRC is back matey, we are out of depression and feeling sorry for ourselves and here to build the site again!!

    Hope you are well.

    • Yep, very much so, Scott! Here’s hoping this year I hit that goal.

      Great to see FRC back. Sorry to hear things weren’t so great for you though :( Picking yourself up and getting FRC back sounds like the best thing to do :)

  8. Flight is a great way to start the new year! I agree that it isn’t one of the best addiction movies ever made, but it’s still quite good. Could have done without some of the too-obvious music selections though.

    Also, nice job on the top banner! Is that going to be a regular occurrence?

    • Yeah, those bugged me a bit too thinking about it!

      And yep, hoping to put a bit more effort into things on this blog this year :)

  9. Woo hoo film #1. I’ve heard mixed reviews on this. Denzel isn’t enough to sell me on it and now considering your review, I prolly won’t see it even though you have it a 4.

    • At one point it was sort of a must-see for me. It’s a decent film, just don’t think there’s a massive rush to catch this one.

  10. I just saw this yesterday! Yeah Basketball Diaries and Requiem for a Dream kick the hell out of it but Goodman made it for me. That scene with the cocaine pick me up in the morning was hilarious but also kinda undermined the rest of the film!

  11. This I haven’t seen yet, though I plan to.
    I also have a weak spot for Denzel Washington even when most of the performances he’s delivered in recent years are nearly indistinguishable from each other.
    The highlight of his career still is Training Day but, who knows, maybe this film will take that mantle for me.

    • I’ve had Training Day on DVD for years and still yet to watch it! Going to make sure I get around to it this year.

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  13. I gave it the same score, Jaina. Fair review. Denzel was good and it was hard to both despise him and cheer him on. so conflicting. liked it.

    not so big a fan of John Goodman in this one, but, whatevs.

    Love the new banner

    • Not a fan of Goodman here? Interesting! I think without him, the film would have been a much more pedestrian affair. He gave it a bit of life.

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