A.C. AT THE MOVIES

Flight:  Really good, really hard to watch

THREE AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE STARS

This movie is rated R for drug and alcohol abuse, language, sexuality/nudity and an intense action sequence

 

One thing you can always count on from Denzel Washington is a great performance.  Rarely does he misstep in the films he chooses, and it becomes clear early on in Flight that you’re in for another powerful performance by the accomplished actor.  It also becomes clear early on that this is going to be a hard movie to watch as it deals with some really rough subject matter.  

Washington plays an airline pilot with some severe personal issues.  On a flight to Atlanta, the plane develops problems and he pulls a bizarre maneuver en route to crash landing the plane in a field.  From there, things get worse and worse for him as his life is put under a microscope.

You can’t say too much about the movie without giving away some of its main plot points, but suffice it to say that Washington’s character takes center stage through most of the film.  It’s hard to remember a time when the actor has portrayed a character this full of faults, and he does it so well that at times it’s painful to watch.

I found myself wanting to cheer for the character, and yet sort of shaking my head at him as well.  It’s a bold way to make a film, as without any clear heroes the audience can sometimes grow disengaged emotionally.  Somehow, Washington combats that, and despite his character’s many flaws you still hope for the best outcome for him.

The movie is rounded out by a fantastic supporting cast.  While none of them get much screen time, Don Cheadle, John Goodman and Bruce Greenwood are all excellent.  Relatively unknown actress Kelly Reilly is also really good in the film, adding some much needed heart to a particularly dark section of the movie.

This is one of those movies that’s hard to review, because while it was clearly a good movie, I didn’t have a good time watching it.  Of course, not every movie is about having a good time.  Flight has some big, important things to say, and I admire how hands off the filmmakers were in getting their big points across.  In an age of filmmaking where cartoon characters are shoving morals down children’s throats in every animated film that releases, it was nice to watch a movie that let a simple character arc and real human emotion portray the grand moral.

If you’re prepared for the heavy subject matter and a main character that isn’t your typical charismatic Denzel Washington type role, then you should probably go check this movie out.  The plane crash sequence is extremely intense, but even more intense is the personal struggles that Denzel’s character goes through in the later parts of the movie.  Just ready yourself for a lot of language, as this film is packed full of it.

 

Guest Review:  Wreck-it Ralph 

By Phillip Hall

FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS

This movie is rated PG for some rude humor and mild action/violence

 

Each year there are tons of animated films released. and very rarely do you find one that is truly good.  Even more rarely do you find an animated film that is exceptional.  Wreck-it Ralph is that film.  Disney has created something special with this movie.
The movie follows the adventures of Ralph, voiced by John C. Reilly, who is the bad guy in an arcade game, Fix-it Felix Jr.  After thirty years of being bad, Ralph decides he will head into other videogames within the arcade to try to become a hero.  He fumbles his way through several different games until he finally ends up meeting Vanellope, voiced by Sarah Silverman.  Vanellope is a young outcast in the game Sugar Rush, whom Ralph tries to help.  It soon becomes apparent things aren’t as they seem within the game world, and Ralph finds himself fighting for something more than just becoming a hero.
Wreck-it Ralph is an exceptionally good movie.  The story, voice acting and graphics were amazing, but what truly makes this movie shine are the characters.  You are pulled into Ralph’s world and find yourself truly caring what happens to him and others around him.  It’s not often that an entire theater connects with the character and it can be heard through gasps, laughter and shouts as things happen.  The movie moves along at a quick pace but never so fast you feel rushed.  Everything about it is just right.
I highly recommend Wreck-it Ralph to anyone and everyone.  This film may be targeted at kids but I believe everyone would enjoy it.  As much as I have enjoyed animated films like Toy Story 3, this one truly goes beyond.  I walked in with high expectations and walked out having those expectations blown away.  Load up the kids, your significant other or even just yourself and go see this film!

This Weekend At The Theater

  After an exceptionally busy October, the box office starts slowing down for the winter this week.  There is only one new release, which will be the norm through most of the rest of the year.

This week’s new release is Skyfall, the latest in the long running James Bond franchise.  Daniel Craig returns to the role for the third time, and opposing him in the film is Javier Bardem.  Best known for his spine chilling villain in No Country for Old Men, Bardem is being praised as the best Bond bad guy in a long time as Skyfall is already breaking box office records overseas.

Craig’s turn as Bond has brought a darker, more gritty sensibility to the film franchise.  If early buzz is to be believed, this could be the best Bond film in a long time.

Releasing on home video this week is The Amazing Spiderman and Arthur Christmas.

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