John Goodman

Denzel Washington flies into turbulence in Flight

 

 

If you are a fan of Denzel Washington movies where he flexes a little muscle and flashes that wide grin of perfect pearly whites to save the day and win the girl, then you won’t like Washington’s newest movie, Flight.

In Flight Washington is not a desirable character, even though he is dashing in his pilot’s uniform. Washington plays airline captain Whip Whitaker who, after a night of sex, alcohol and drugs, must pilot an out-of-control plane and then answer many questions after a crash landing. He wakes up in the hospital a hero learning that he saved 96 of 102 souls on board.

On a journey of self-discovery Whip Whitaker must face his past, his ex-wife and son, and his demons of alcohol and drugs before facing a NTSB hearing. By the end of the movie the viewer is thoroughly disgusted with Whip’s antics and, just when you are about to give up on him, the hearing takes a dramatic twist.

John Goodman is a hoot as Whip’s drug dealer, Harling Mays.  Harling still lives in the drug culture of the 70’s and Goodman steals every scene he is in.

Don Cheadle, as Whip’s attorney provided by the airline, is the true pilot of this craft and keeps the film moving toward its dramatic conclusion. He is a calm steady presence in the midst of Whip’s chaotic life.

Flight is a thought-provoking and entertaining film and I highly recommend it. Just don’t watch it before or during a plane trip.

I give Flight a B.

 

Movie Review–Argo is an Oscar contender

 

Ben Affleck has gone from the Hollywood playboy linked to several prominent starlets, most famously with Jennifer Lopez, to a respected actor, director, husband, and father. Affleck’s latest project, Argo, will certainly add to his credibility.

Argo is a movie about a fake movie that was used as a cover to bring six Americans home who were hiding in the Canadian ambassador’s residence after the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. These Americans were employees of the embassy and managed to escape out a back door when the embassy was overrun by a crowd angered over the U.S. support of the deposed Shah.

Even though this event occurred over 30 years ago and we all know the outcome, the movie keeps you on the edge of the seat until the very end. This is a tribute to Affleck who not only stars in Argo but is also the director.

Argo is filled with action, tension, political games, and a bit of comedy to liven the mood. Veteran actors John Goodman and Alan Arkin remind you of Laurel and Hardy thrown in the midst of a James Bond thriller. Goodman and Arkin play the fake film producers putting together a sci-fi picture similar to the recent block-buster Star Wars. They take their jobs seriously and see to every detail from advance PR to storyboards.

Ben Affleck’s character, CIA agent Tony Mendez, poses as the director of the fake movie Argo and tours exotic locations with his team of movie personnel (the escaped Americans). They must drive through crowds in narrow streets and walk through the local bazaar in order to maintain their cover of scouting a location for the movie. Every moment they are outside the Canadian embassy walls you feel their cover might be blown. They have many close calls including showing up at the airport where their tickets have not been approved and receiving the OK only at the last minute.

We went to the movies after a very busy and exhausting weekend and I said to my husband, “This movie better be good or I’ll fall asleep.” Let me tell you that there was no snoring in the movie theatre, in fact, the audience actually cheered and clapped.

Expect to see Argo nominated for best movie, Ben Affleck for best director, Alan Arkin for best supporting actor, and perhaps several other nominations. Argo is a real winner and I give it an A.