November 2, 2012, - 5:33 pm

Wknd Box Office: Flight, The Sessions, The Bay, The Details

By Debbie Schlussel

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.


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.

Skip this.


Watch the trailer . . .

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19 Responses

Looks like more good reasons to keep my DVR and practice some other worth while daily activities other than going to a movie. As usual. Christian bashing? No way. Look out for the violence that always follows….Lol, just kidding! Wrong I am always surprised at how much of a fuss the main stream makes about Washington being in a movie. He’s a good actor, but anything he’s in is gushed over like Chris Matthews over a BHO speech.

Samurai on November 2, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Well, there was one good thing about the movies this week. It doesn’t appear that there were any vomiting scenes.

Little Al on November 3, 2012 at 7:45 am

What? No “Man With The Iron Fists”? Just kidding. I am just waiting on Debbie to tell me whether I can take my kids to see “Skyfall” next week or not.

Gerald on November 3, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Hi Gerald – it depends on what ages your kids are. Might be too dark and scary for young ‘uns. Early teens should be able to handle it. (Skyfall).

    Reel One on November 5, 2012 at 6:55 pm

I just watched several movies on Turner Classic Movies that were GREAT. I would have paid $25 to see these great movies. But I would not go to see any new movie coming out of Hollywood even if I were given free tickets. PURE TRASH.

Fred on November 3, 2012 at 11:44 am

I’m glad you’re a movie reviewer, DS. It’s absolutely true…you are the only good reviewer calling the prostitutional piece of crap “The Sessions” what it is. Everyone else is falling all over themselves about how brave bird-faced Helen Hunt is. I know when chicken sh** is being served up even as it is labeled chicken salad. (I hate Chicken Salad anyway!!!)

A local reviewer (Sean Burns) whose reviews I also like to read (he has a fun writing style) also liked it like the rest of the pretentious bunch. Oh well. He can be Liberal and be a bit lemming like but no shock there. He didn’t like “Flight” as much but you described it much better and I couldn’t wrap my mind around why he didn’t like it so much. I think I will REALLY like it. I like the premise and I do like a heavy, depressing film. And Bruce Greenwood is such a great actor. I am always impressed with what he brings to the table. He’s got some acting chops some of the hailed so-called “actors” wish they had.

Back to “The Sessions”. The premise of this movie is very offensive to me. All the pompous, hipster-like doofuses who sing it’s praises are always so interested in people’s sex lives in movies. Meanwhile, in real life most people (quite rightly) have zero interest in peeps having cheap sex…especially when these peeps can’t get sex on their own. (Which, when you think about it in 2012 is kinda amazing. Women are so trampy and sell themselves so cheaply every hornbag guy who wants it like an animal can prolly get it…cheap). I know the dude is now dead but the 90’s are not too different than the “aughts” in cheap sex mores and preoccupations.

That movie sounds like it’s taking a big dump on religion…namely Catholicism and Judaism. Cute.

Betcha weirdo perverts go to this dumb flick. In real life nobody cares or even thinks about sorts who can’t get laid. Some people have real and bigger problems. But Hollywood is too perverted and fresh out of ideas to make something worth watching. They want to titillate the masses with a weirdo subject matter that if you presented it to the average person you would see a look on their face as if they just sucked a plate full of lemons!

Skunky on November 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Regarding “The Bay.” I am a member of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and while chicken waste was at one time a problem, chicken factories and farms have been quite responsive to end runoff and dumping in the bay.

The biggest problem the Chesapeake Bay has is overdevelopment in the greater Washington, DC area (due to an ever increasing government), with herbicides applied to the most wasteful crop in the U.S., Kentucky Blue grass.

Much of the development around the bay is due to liberal politicians and government contractors building their second homes at the bay’s edge. Combined with the great runoff of sediment coming from Pennsylvania via the Susquehanna River, the Bay is still in great trouble, but the primarily liberal Democratic politicians in Maryland will never limit the real estate developers, who are the local Democratic Party’s greatest campaign contributors.

Jonathan E. Grant on November 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm

I agree with Fred. I watch Turner Classic Movies too, and 99% of what is being made today can’t come close.

Little Al on November 3, 2012 at 12:59 pm

“The Flight” Oh brother, the white guy is a crying b*tch and the black guy is strong and brave. Had quite enough of that already, no thank you!

David Lanham on November 3, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I can’t watch Adam Arkin in anything. He always comes across as the sleaziest person in the room. His dad, however, is another matter. In the end, I’ll pick up a dvd from the library and enjoy myself with something worthwhile…or at least entertaining. K

Kent on November 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm

What an unusual movie for Denzel Washington. He is a very strong Christian. He personally dislikes R type movies. He is also given to pushing the limelight towards up and coming actors and actresses. There must be something he saw in the script because this actor can really pick and choose his roles. He is a terrific actor.

pat on November 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    What, so it’s your job to come on here and try to build liberals up? What’s so moral about him? I saw him in Richochet, that was pretty depraved.

    David Lanham on November 3, 2012 at 8:12 pm

As per usual Debbie your movie reviews were spot on. I’ll only say that “Flight” looks like it will be good entertainment. Denzel Washington is one of my favorite actors who hasn’t to my knowledge made any bad flicks yet. The previews look ok and I’ll definitely go see it.
“The Sessions” on the other hand looks like pure dreck. Helen Hunt was good in “Mad About You” and Castaway with libdope Tom Hanks but what has she done that was good lately. Let me help out the Hollyweird casting directors a little here. If they wnat to do any full frontal nude shots of Ms Hunt I suggest they hire her clone Lee Lee Sobieski. She can’t act but she looks better than Helen. The casting of Arkin and the slamming of Catholicism and Judaism makes tripley sure that I don’t see this crap.
“The Bay” What can I say other than I’ll just watch my dvd of “Invasion of the Bodysnatchers”.
“The Details” looks like utter crapola. Now that they’ve found someone else to play Spiderman Tobey Maquire is in a dumb movie with other dummies. I like Banks, Linney and Haysbert but I can’t stand Liotta and Obowma skank Washington. She should just stick to the small screen starring in the All Barack Channel’s unwatchable snoozefest “Scandal”.

Ken b on November 3, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Ken B., I really enjoyed and appreciated your point on LeeLee Sobieski. That was clever and I was thinking something akin to that when I initially read DS’ reviews. Bravo!

    Skunky on November 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      Thanks Skunky. It’s uncanny how those two look alike. Just like Obungler dodo Natalie Portman and Brit twit Keira Knightley.

      Ken b on November 3, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Thank goodness for Turner Classic Movies!

Michelle on November 4, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Denzel Washington only saved the earth once this week?

burt on November 5, 2012 at 10:22 am

The fact that “Flight” may be “depressing” is hardly a reason to stay away from it. It’s been getting great reviews, and with good reason. Director Robert Zemeckis (“Romancing the Stone,” “Back to the Future,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?,” “Forrest Gump,” “Cast Away,” “Polar Express”), like Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard, is a superb big audience director who knows how to make a storyline move with remarkable camera work. I’ll definitely check “Flight” out. Whether or not I wind up leaving the theater “uplifted” is moot.

As for posters to this site who blindly go by every word Debbie says, hear ye: She’s a reviewer. And a reviewer, whether liberal or conservative, is simply providing an opinion, a set of insights. A review is not a Godly seal of approval. I don’t take ANY critic’s word on faith. If I’m curious, I go and see the movie.

As an aside, there are plenty of fine recent films, domestic and foreign, to see. I don’t have to turn to Turner Classic Movies for my cinematic pleasures, never mind that TCM at night shows plenty of films from the 1970s and after. I have found, at least measured by contemporary standards, that at least two-thirds of all pre-1960 Hollywood movies were basically crap.

Seek on November 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Thanks to Debbie for providing her reviews. I do not need a seal of approval from G_d or anyone else. She provides a conservative viewpoint and uphold her life values when interpreting the movies she chooses to review.

Keep it up Debbie. You have not given a positive review that I have disagreed with since I began following your reviews several years ago.

Panhandle on November 5, 2012 at 4:18 pm

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