With films like Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Forrest Gump under his belt, as well as my favorite Christmas movie, The Polar Express, Robert Zemeckis has long been my favorite director. However, his exploits in the field of motion capture animation over the past decade, while memorable and still of great quality, left a little more to be desired. When I saw that he would be directing Flight, his first live action venture in over a decade, I knew it would be on my list of must-see films. Now that I’ve seen it twice, trust me: it should be on your must-see list as well.
Flight has very little to do with actual flight, though it does feature a rather fantastic (and sobering) crash sequence. Focused around an airline pilot who successfully crash-lands a doomed plane, saving 96 of the 102 people on board, the film focuses more on the pilot’s substance addiction and personal growth than on anything else. Denzel Washington stars in his best role (my opinion) as Whip Whitaker, who, after landing the plane, is thrown into the middle of an investigation to see whether it was his actions that caused the plane to fall out of the sky in the first place or whether it was simply an equipment malfunction within the plane itself.
The stress of the investigation worsens Whitaker’s already bad reliance on alcohol, and we watch his world fall apart as a result. He is divorced from his wife and estranged from his son, and even his new friendship with a recovering heroin addict, Nicole, becomes strained when his over-drinking becomes a threat to both himself and to those around him. In the end, Whitaker is given an opportunity to make a decision…his choice will surprise you and is highly reflective of the change inside of him.
Flight is about love, recovery, lies, and responsibility. Denzel’s all-star performance, as well as excellent performances from Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, and a particularly fun one from John Goodman, make this film more of a character study than anything else. It is yet another high-quality film at the hands of Robert Zemeckis, who appears to step right back into the swing of live-action as if he never left it. It is thoughtful (and the ending is very Forrest Gump-esque, if I may say so) and makes you want to question your own character: do I do anything like this that alienates me from the people I love? The ending is one of my favorite endings of any film I’ve seen in quite a while; Denzel’s final monologue is one of the best I’ve ever heard.
It’s so good, everyone. Go see it!
Rating: 4.5 (out of 5)
MPAA: R – for drug and alcohol abuse, language, sexuality/nudity and an intense action sequence
1 Comment | tags: Back to the Future, denzel washington, don cheadle, flight, Forrest Gump, john goodman, kelly reilly, live action, motion capture, plane crash, Robert Zemeckis, the polar express, Who Framed Roger Rabbit | posted in 4.5, Entertainment, Film, Film Reviews, Movies
Really, if I chose any soundtrack other than Alan Silvestri’s Captain America: The First Avenger for today, I don’t know if I could call myself an American.
The score to Captain America is one of my favorites of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, helped along by the fact that Alan Silvestri (Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump) is also one of my favorite film composers, and nothing quite says “America” like the Cap’s main theme (as far as film themes go, that is).
Most of the Captain America score is pretty excellent, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t hear lots of Back to the Future and Night at the Museum throughout. For example, compare the opening seconds of “Hydra Lab” with “George to the Rescue – Pt. 1” from Back to the Future (click titles for YouTube links). Captain America’s “Farewell to Bucky” is the track that sounds especially like some bits of Night at the Museum. Sure, it’s a little disappointing, but the theme itself takes away a lot of that disappointment for me…it’s just too darned American/fun.
I really don’t have too much to say about this one; it is what it is and it does it well. Sure, it borrows freely from Silvestri’s other scores, but it still manages to be one of the better superhero soundtracks that I’ve ever heard…certainly not the best, though. But with a main theme like this and a song composed by famed Disney composer Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Tangled), called “Star Spangled Man”, how can you go wrong?
Rating: 3.5 (out of 5)
1. “Captain America Main Titles” 0:56
2. “Frozen Wasteland” 1:53
3. “Schmidt’s Treasure” 3:01
4. “Farewell to Bucky” 2:50
5. “Hydra Lab” 1:54
6. “Training the Supersoldier” 1:08
7. “Schmidt’s Story” 1:59
8. “Vitarays” 4:25
9. “Captain America “We Did It”” 1:59
10. “Kruger Chase” 2:55
11. “Hostage On the Pier” 2:46
12. “General’s Resign” 2:18
13. “Unauthorized Night Flight” 3:13
14. “Troop Liberation” 5:06
15. “Factory Inferno” 5:06
16. “Triumphant Return” 2:16
17. “Invader’s Montage” 2:16
18. “Hydra Train” 3:27
19. “Rain Fire Upon Them” 1:39
20. “Motorcycle Mayhem” 3:05
21. “Invasion” 5:09
22. “Fight on the Flight Deck” 3:30
23. “This is My Choice” 3:26
24. “Passage of Time” 1:35
25. “Captain America” 1:08
26. “Star Spangled Man” 2:53
27. “Captain America March” 2:36
Total Length: app. 74 min.
iTunes Album Link
Leave a comment | tags: 4th of July, Aladdin, Alan Menken, Alan Silvestri, America, American, Back to the Future, backtothefuture, Beauty and the Beast, BTTF, Bucky Barnes, Captain America, Captain America: The First Avenger, chad hopkins, chadadada, chadlikesmovies, Forrest Gump, Fourth of July, Independence Day, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Merica, Night at the Museum, soundtrack, Soundtrack of the Day, soundtrackoftheday, United States of America, USA, Who Framed Roger Rabbit | posted in 3.5, Entertainment, Film, Movies, Music, Scores, Soundtrack Reviews