Sunday, November 04, 2012

"Flight" is pure melodrama with one great crash scene; "Fitz" is lilting gay musical comedy (short)


Robert Zemeckis returns to big-time movie making with “Flight” (Paramount), and once again, he puts his protagonist in the most extremely spinning peril.  This time, an airline pilot Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) has saved most, but not all, of the passengers and crew from a plane crash, clearly caused by mechanical failure, by red-tail maneuvers, even flying upside down, but in the aftermath, his drinking and drug use come out of the woodwork.  It’s only a twist of conscience at a NTSB hearing (after a bizarre sequence in a hotel room) that brings this long film to a just conclusion.

My problem is that I didn’t like the character, or many of the characters, other than the defense attorney (Don Cheadle), who repeatedly lays it on the line.

The flight sequence (on a regional jet from Orlando to Atlanta) is quite well done.  But the aftermath settles into a bit of boredom, with no volleyball named Wilson for relief.

I found it unbelievable that an alcoholic and drug-dependent (even cocaine) pilot could go undetected and continue flying on a commercial airline (here, SouthJet).  So, despite the air of crisis (known to the screenwriting profession and WGA), the film seemed to be a wash.
    
The official site is here


I saw this at the Algelika Mosaic in Merrifield, VA.  The new theater had some issues fitting the image (2.35:1) properly on the screen in the beginning Saturday afternoon.  I had thought Angelika was going to show only “independent” films.

For today’s short film, try the gay musical comedy “Fitz” (20 min, Idyllwild Arts), directed by Brit Wiginnton, with Michael Minor as a prep boarding school student, confused by gay day and by a young Republicans club that wants to borrow his parents’ mansion for a party, where he does “get it”, link here

Also, Angelika showed a 3-minute Hulu short, “Green Girl Press”, about a manual printing press.  
  
Wikipedia attribution link for Stone Mountain, GA picture, personal visit in 1971. 

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