November 2, 2012, - 5:33 pm
Two movies that were okay this weekend, two that were absolutely horrible. I did not see “Wreck-It Ralph,” as the critics’ screening was on the Jewish Sabbath, but I may see it later this weekend and post a review then.
* “Flight“: This movie was extremely depressing, though it has a very redemptive message at the end, so I had mixed feelings about it. I could have done without the gratuitous, unnecessary full-frontal nudity of an airline stewardess, er . . . flight attendant for several minutes at the beginning of the movie. Yup, you guessed it. This movie is a hard “R” for nudity, language, and drug usage. It ain’t for kids. Oh, and I didn’t care for the scene mocking religious Christians in a hospital room. Sadly, that is standard fare in Hollywood, as we know.
We’ve all seen movies about alcoholics and drug addicts and how they ruin everyone’s lives around them, plus their own. That isn’t new ground here, and the melodramatics and walking wreck of an addict are depressing. So, is the pilot’s co-dependent relationship with an addict who wants to get clean, ground which also isn’t novel. But this movie mixes that with action/adventure, as a faulty, defective airplane is in mid-air and the flight’s captain, who is hopped up on drugs and alcohol does what most sober ones could not and lands the plane. It’s also mixed with intrigue–will the pilot get caught, or will he get away with it.
Denzel Washington is a great actor no matter the role. And he’s superb here as the alcoholic, drug-addicted pilot. He lands his plane in an amazing feat by flying it upside down and pulling all kinds of moves out of his playbook when the plane is defective and essentially loses all of its important functions in mid-air during a storm. But as we know, they take blood samples from the pilots after crashes. And while he’s hailed in the media as a hero, he knows a different sort of infamy is impending, or is it?
The movie is entertaining and riveting. You won’t be bored by this fast-moving flick. But I’m not sure I’d enjoy myself, spending ten bucks and over two hours’ time watching such depressing stuff, even knowing that there is repentance and redemption and the messages the movie sends are good ones in the end. Remember, this isn’t a happy movie. It’s very sad.
Also stars John Goodman (who is funny, per usual), an aged Bruce Greenwood, and Don Cheadle. Don’t drink too much liquid before this movie. It’s nearly 2.5 hours long, though it flies by.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “The Sessions“: Watching this movie, I was reminded how uncreative the forces of Hollywood are these days. When they can’t come up with yet another remake or sequel, they, instead, look for the most deviant and uncomfortably odd stories that fall starkly in the TMI category and parade it as high brow. The mainstream liberal media movie critics are gushing over this disgusting, creepy waste of time. People who praise this weird porno flick are pretentious frauds.
In this movie allegedly based on a true story, John Hawkes plays Mark O’Brien, who was paralyzed as a kid after he suffered from polio. He is paralyzed from the neck down and survives mostly in an iron lung. Living in Berkeley, California in 1998, O’Brien gets permission from his Catholic priest (William H. Macy) to hire a “sex therapist” (a hifalutin’ phrase for what she really is: hooker) so he can lose his virginity. The movie was filled with gross sex jokes and the absolutely unattractive full frontal nudity of Helen Hunt, who plays the married sex therapist (and does a horrible version of a Salem, Massachusetts accent . . . or something). Oh, and I love how Judaism is forced onto this icky story. Hunt, who is a lapsed Catholic (and attacks the religious Catholic upbringing of her new “customer,” O’Brien), is married to a Jewish man with tattoos, played by Adam Arkin. She discusses how she is converting to Judaism for her husband. But, in real life, it’s more likely that a man would be more concerned with his wife’s profession as a prostitute than with her converting to Judaism. Here’s a tip: her job ain’t permitted in my religion, nor are tattoos. So, I was sickened when they showed this homely skank bathing in the mikvah [Jewish ritual bath, where men and women go to be purified]. But the rest of the movie is even more sickening and bizarre.
I’m sure I’m the only movie critic who will have the guts and honesty to say so. The rest will only continue to drool over this warped flick as if it’s noble. It is not. I feel bad for those who are disabled, and I know I’m lucky I’m not in their shoes. But my sympathy and empathy for them doesn’t mean I must endure and applaud this distasteful, depraved movie in some sort of aberrant “celebration” of the disabled.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “The Bay“: You’ve seen plenty of this type of movie. A fictional documentary-style movie with shaky video, showing us how a mysterious virus and bug-like creatures invade the bodies of people living in and visiting a Maryland seaside town. There’s nothing new here, but it’s slightly entertaining, if very slow moving. It isn’t that scary, either, for a thriller of this genre. Director Barry Levinson made this, so I expected maybe a little bit better. They never really explain why the virus struck or the oversized bug-like organisms. It seems like merely an attack on corporate America, as the characters in the movie imply that the disaster has something to do with chicken plants dumping chicken parts and chicken fecal material in the water. I felt like I’d seen a million far superior versions of this movie. It’s a highly derivative, boring rehash.
HALF A REAGAN
Watch the trailer . . .
* “The Details“: Oy vey. I can’t believe I sat through this crappy movie. Toby Maguire and Elizabeth Banks are a shallow upper middle class couple who illegally remodel their house, after the city refuses to issue them a permit. Maguire also cheats on his wife with his married friend (Kerry Washington). Because of these two things, Maguire’s life is turned upside down, after he is blackmailed and seduced by his wacky next-door neighbor (Laura Linney) and loses $70,000, after being blackmailed by the husband (Ray Liotta) of the wife with whom he cheated. Believe me, I’m making this absolute piece of excrement sound far better than it is. It’s excruciatingly awful. A horrible movie that tries very hard to be cutesy and offbeat, but not hard at all at being a good movie, having a good story, or any semblance of a plot. Also stars Dennis Haysbert. And the point of this movie is . . . ? Nothing, other than taking ten bucks and 1.5 hours of your life you’ll never get back. High-quality Gitmo torture material.
Watch the trailer . . .
Tags: Adam Arkin, Barry Levinson, Bruce Greenwood, Dennis Haysbert, Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Elizabeth Banks, flight, Flight movie, Flight movie review, Flight review, Helen Hunt, John Goodman, John Hawkes, Kerry Washington, Laura Linney, Mark O'Brien, mikvah, movie, movie review, Movie Reviews, Ray Liotta, The Bay, The Bay movie, The Bay movie review, The Bay review, The Details, The Details movie, The Details movie review, The Details review, The Sessions, The Sessions movie, The Sessions movie review, The Sessions review, Toby Maguire