Friday, 02 November 2012 04:14

Flight Featured

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Paramount Pictures, ImageMovers and Parkes/MacDonald Productions present an R rated, 138 minute drama directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by John Gatins with a theater release date of November 2, 2012.

The story opens with Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) and a very naked flight attendant Katerina Marquez (Nadine Velazquez) waking up together in an Orlando hotel room after a night of drugs and alcohol which still parlays into the morning hours.  Soon thereafter Whip is dressed in his Captains uniform and off to the airport to fly a South Jet Air plane to Atlanta responsible for 102 souls aboard flight 227.  Once on the plane he meets his co-pilot Ken Evans (Brian Geraghty) a young man of religious and moral fortitude.  Whip takes a swig of oxygen, a drink from his coffee and an aspirin as he starts to prepare for takeoff during a heavy thunderstorm.  Once in the air they experience the worst turbulence possible, pretty much vomit time in my hand book but after a very treacherous climb Whip peeks the clouds into a calm and sunny 30,000 feet.  The rest of the way auto-pilot and nap time while Ken and flight attendant Margaret Thomason (Tamara Tunie) look on.
Less than a half hour into the flight a mechanical occurrence causes the plane to drastically nose dive plummeting towards the ground.  Whip takes the controls and in a very high octane flash of minutes gone by he is able to save most of the lives aboard when it crashes to the ground.  Strange that the audience ends of praising a man that saved lives but put them at risk by drinking and doing drugs the last three days before his flight.  When Whip wakes up in a hospital bed he is surrounded not by loved ones but rather the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) and the representative for the pilots union, Charlie Anderson (Bruce Greenwood).  At this moment Whip is aware his hero status is taking a turn toward the darker side since he knew alcohol was going to bury him forever as the cause of this plane crash.
There are several side stories taking place that are melded into the life of Whip and his challenge to combat alcoholism.  His friend Harling Mays (John Goodman) stops by for a visit only to see the darker side of the moon as Whip struggles to get out of bed.  Amazing how those hospital robes always leave room to expose some people’s best assets.  One of the lighter moments of the story which is very well written is the gathering for a smoke in the stairway of the hospital, Whip meets Nicole (Kelly Reilly), a young attractive woman in the hospital for drug and alcohol addiction but the truly whimsical character playing a cancer patient truly leaves the audience in stiches.  Do you believe in God or for that fact the random acts of God?  It’s a small world and people enter in and out of one’s life for a reason hence the random acts of God!
Hiding from the reporters out for interviews as well as from people in general Whip heads out to his father’s farm and invites Nicole to join him.  Yes romance is in the air but also the quest of two lost souls out to find themselves.  One does but the other, Whip, has a very hard time conquering his illness which was a long time in the making and did not occur from the plane crash.  At first Whip made every attempt to quit his vices but in the long run it turned out to be a short walk and no one not even Nicole could help him.  Sometimes when one hits rock bottom it truly takes a look at oneself in the mirror that will help them see the reflection of a damaged soul. 
When Whip meets the pilot unions attorney Hugh Lang (Don Cheadle) he is informed they will do whatever it takes to get any charges against him dropped and turned over to the courts as being an “act of God”.  One problem, Whip can’t even stay sober to convince an NTSB board meeting headed by Ellen Block (Melissa Leo) that he is a responsible upstanding man, father and pilot.  As anyone knows an alcoholic must admit to himself that he or she is an alcoholic in order to fix themselves otherwise their lives will continue as lies forever.  Evidence piles up against Whip, people he thought he could count on are not as reliable as he had hoped considering he saved many lives that day.  His own son Will (Justin Martin) from a past marriage to Deana (Garcelle Beauvais) won’t even acknowledge who he is.  Heck even the audience at this screening seemed more supportive of his partying than his opportunity to make a wrong a right!  Overall in the end, forgiveness and the acknowledgement of ones fears and lies can almost always lead to freedom gaining the respect of the friends and family in a person’s life.  If you had to interview the most fascinating person that you never met who would it be?
The direction and writing is very well executed along with the music and casting of this dramatic but slightly too long story that is less on any action other than in the beginning of the film and more on the life and struggles of an alcoholic within the means of how it not only affects oneself but the people that surround that person as well.  My father was an alcoholic and I can truly say that Denzel Washington does a phenomenal job portraying such a character leaving the door open for a possible Oscar nod.  Goodman was the burst of comedic relief that enters the room for a short moment to create a few laughs than move on to continue the dramatic events of one man’s life and the walls he must climb to finally admit who he is.  Reilly is a nice diamond in the rough who not only brings a sense of attraction but a lesson to be learned along the way.  Cheadle as always is priceless yet a bit one dimensional here as is Greenwood although both adding a nice support to Washington’s character.  Albeit a film low on action, high on drama, beautifully performed with lessons to be learned.  Written and appreciated throughout flashbacks of my own with 3 paws out of 4 by Jon Patch.

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Jon Patch

Graduated from Penn State University in 1983 and landed my first broadcasting job at the flagship station to SUN Radio Network in St. Petersburg, FL as a producer of talk radio. In 3 months advanced to a network producer, then on air as a national eventually local weather reporter for the Tampa Bay area. Held a position in management as a trainer to new hosts and producers and later Affiliate Relations Manager, eventually in 1990 started hosting, Talkin' Pets. Left SUN radio several years later and worked with USA Radio Networks for 1 year. I worked with Business TalkRadio & Lifestyle TalkRadio Networks for19 years under the title of V.P. Affiliate Relations and Programming, later worked with Genesis Communications until starting a new network ATRN.  Currently working with GAB Radio Network and with Josh Leng at Talk Media Network.  I am still hosting the largest and longest running pet radio and internet show in the country, Talkin' Pets, for the past 29 years... My one true passion in life is to help to educate the world through interviews with celebrities like Betty White, Tippi Hedren, Bob Barker, Linda Blair and others, authors, foundations and organizations like the ASPCA, LCA, HSUS, AHA, WSPA on the ways to make this world a better place for all animals and mankind whom all share this very fragile and mysterious planet called earth. This is the only home we have so we all need to learn how to share and maintain it so that life for us all continues and evolves forever... | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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