The Movie: 10/10
That 10 out of 10 pretty much says it all for me. Flight is one of those rare movies that cuts me to the bone. It’s the kind of story that we have seen and read thousands of times, for sure, it’s just that when it’s told in a way that’s undeniably powerful. I will go against the flow and remind everyone that Denzel Washington isn’t always a master, he’s simply naturally awesome. That kind of fuzzies everyone into thinking he always plays every character with that same awesomeness. I disagree, of course. He’s got a natural charisma, that comes through in every movie. When it comes to Flight, that natural charisma melts away when it should and the character of the alcoholic pilot comes out with force and is so compelling.
A man who has lied through is professional life, his personal life, all through the haze of being drunk, wasted, high, out of control. He’s not our typical movie junkie/drunk. That makes him interesting, and then we get the mastery of Washington. We can’t give the “greats” of our generation a pass for every movie just because they do have a few or even just one great performance under their belts. The thing is, when a movie and a part like this comes along that bring out the very best in our “greats” it’s an opportunity for us to really enjoy them without the Hollywood star worship.
Washington isn’t the only excellent performance in Flight. Everyone except John Goodman won me over. I’m not a fan of Goodman. Yes, he has his moments, but refer to my earlier comments. His character is brash and annoying, a fair enough break in the drama and heavy subject matter. It’s just that it’s too brash and too annoying. He does it well, I guess, but it’s the only weight that can almost pull the 10 out of 10 down to a 9.5.
And now for Kelly Reilly, our leading lady. She’s delicate and bold and I’m convinced completely that she’s struggling with drug addiction. Sometimes I am so compelled by her behavior I get lost in it….and that’s amazing. I won’t go on and on and on about her, just because she’s that good, no elaboration needed. See the movie. See for yourself.
The experience of an incredible plane crash, the crash of a person’s self imploding, the truth about addiction, it’s all still fresh in my mind. Almost every scene, nearly every conversation lurks in my mind when I think of the movie. Not a lot of the movies I’ve seen in my life do the same. Maybe some themes hit close to home, so I’ll acknowledge a built-in bias. It’s just that everything, scene by scene, it all made me wide-eyed and open to the story as if it were living in front of me. Films don’t promise that most of the time because they can’t do it. I can get lost in a space battle, a period piece set a thousand years ago, but nothing like the absorption I get from these rare gems.
Watch it for yourself and find that Mr. Washington and Ms. Reilly will possibly do the same for you. That’s worth the time and effort.
- Origins Of Flight – Writer & Director discuss how the project came to be, the best ideas come from the most mundane places.
- The Making Of Flight – A 10 minute making of which deals with as much as it can in its short run time. I really wish this was an hour-long as Zemeckis’s return to live action is fascinating to me.
- Anatomy Of A Plane Crash – If you happened to be an extra on this film you were suspended upside down in a fake aircraft fuselage for days on end, I tip my hat to you all as you brought this film to life. This 7 minute featurette goes through the special effects and practical effects that brought this scene to life.
- Q & A Highlights – A 14 minute Q& A session that features almost everyone but Denzel, apparently he was ill at the time.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
This cover is annoying, at best. I would not have it as a poster. I’m not that infatuated with Denzel. It completely does not tell the story of the movie. I can’t quite figure out why and how these kinds of covers come to be in the world, but someone somehow gets it wrong. Yes, he’s a pilot, that’s not the whole story. The menu is what it is, navigation with scenes from the movie playing in the background.
Audio & Video: 9/10
Filmed digitally Flight literally soars way above other HD transfers. Detail here is immaculate with every texture and detail of the movie perfectly visible at all times. Black levels are rich and inky and noise is nowhere to be seen. This is as good an image as you will see on the Blu-Ray format if you are looking for demo material the first 30 minutes will not disappoint.
Flight is presented in DTS-HD Master 5.1 Audio, the uncompressed format allows for an amazing amount of detail in the sound stage. It’s no secret that the first 30 minutes of the film feature an amazing plane crash. This crash is brought to life here in incredible detail, the impressive use of the LFE channel actually makes your room shake which is about as good as it gets without those fancy DBOX seats installed. Flight is an incredible film and a great showcase for the Blu-Ray format.
To have a movie in your collection that has some power and substance, it’s worth the 20 bucks you’ll find the Blu-ray for online. If you just want to dabble in self-examination or awesome performances, or just a new fix of Washington, rent it online.
Overall Score 9.5/10