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This "Flight" fails to take off..
In his first live action film in 12 years, director Robert Zemeckis brings the story of an impaired pilot flying a stricken airliner to the big screen. As most reviews state, Flight is an excellent examination of character development. And, while the characters are indeed compelling, the overall story goes undeveloped.
Captain William "Whip" Whitaker is an ace pilot who struggles with various substance addictions. After a sleepless night partying with a flight attendant, Whitaker is forced to save his doomed jet as it plummets to the ground. However, the hero is quickly forced to go on the defensive once it becomes known he was intoxicated during the flight.
It is at this point in the movie, approximately 25 minutes in that Flight begins to stall. It quickly transforms from a riveting movie to one of unrealized potential. As the film progresses, it becomes clear that the two lead characters face internal demons that prevent them from leading normal lives. Yet what the movie's writers fail to do is fully develop its characters; never answering these questions
o Why was Whip the one pilot who could land that aircraft? o Is the relationship between Whip and his father the reason he is an alcoholic? o What internal demons is Nicole constantly battling? o Other than a drug dealer, who is Harling Mays?
Despite these character issues the movie could have been a success if it had only taken advantage by comparing and contrasting the lead character that of an ace pilot and his internal demons.
Unfortunately, Flight succumbs to a predictable ending. And, I was left to exclaim to the remainder of the theatre, "what was the point?"
Is It Over, Yet?
Even though it is just inside of two hours, this movie seems to run forever.
Appaloosa does manage to meet all of the obligatory western stereotypes. (Hired guns? Check. Rogue outlaw? Check. Mysterious stranger riding into town? Check? The obligatory Indian scene? Check.) Yet, the movie's only original idea, a grizzled lawman acting foolishly for a love interest falls short as it is, simply, over the top.
The standard I apply in recommending any western is whether I can see John Wayne or Clint Eastwood being a part of the movie. I just can't see either of the two acting in this mediocre effort. I wouldn't even waste my time watching it on DVD.
Mr. Brooks (2007)
I feel as if this movie took 2 hours of my life that I'll never get back. The only consolation is that I rented the title instead of viewing it at the theater thus saving me $10 on popcorn and a drink.
The specifics... Kevin Costner plays Earl Brooks, a model citizen in Portland, Oregon who harbors a fixation for murder. Okay, on that premise, it sounds as if we have an interesting script.
Now add Dane Cook's Mr. Bafford character in the mix, a peeping tom who witnesses something he wasn't quite expecting one evening. Unfortunately, the audience wasn't expecting his reaction, either. But, even though it's nonsensical, we can still deal with this twist.
Then add Demi Moore's Tracy Atwood character, a consumed detective dedicated to catching Mr. Brook at any expense. Also, at the expense of the overall plot, is Detective Atwood's personal life included into the script. Even worse, this ridiculous sub-plot is rendered totally insane when it is revealed that Moore's character is extremely wealthy.
At this point the movie is ruined but the writers still insist upon driving their creation into the ground even further by introducing Jane, Earl Brooks' daughter. Jane is a recent college dropout who may have some skeletons in her own closet.
In the end, Mr. Brooks trudges along introducing one ridiculous story line after another until we are an hour and a half into it and just waiting for it to wrap up.
While Costner was excellent in his role, even he can't save this floater.
Final Destination 3 (2006)
At least the first installment of this series was original. Unfortunately, the unique concept that propelled the first movie to good reviews has been played out in the third (and hopefully final) movie of the Final Destination franchise.
In FD3, Wendy Christensen has a horrifying premonition of a derailing roller coaster that she is about to ride. As a result, she and several others manage to escape from the ride just before her vision comes to fruition. While coming to grips with the horrible accident, Wendy and Kevin, a fellow survivor, discover that the other survivors are dying in the same order that they would have died had they stayed on the coaster. Photographs she took before the accident offer Wendy clues as to how each person will eventually die. As person after person dies, Wendy and Kevin race against time trying to decipher how the next individual in line will be killed. As they rush to warn the next unlucky soul, they are often met with skepticism and ridicule, only to be proved right by witnessing that person's gruesome demise. In the end, only three of the seven initial survivors are still standing. That is until five months later, when, by chance, they meet on a subway train and Wendy has another vision.
The problem with Final Destination 3 is the tired premise upon which it is built. For everything the Scream movies did right, such as playing on itself, the Final Destination trilogy does wrong. It is basically the same movie as the first two with different death scenes.
Bottom line... the script is boring, the acting is ordinary, and the once amusing deaths are becoming stale.
A Painted House (2003)
It Might've Been Good
A Painted House probably would have been a decent Hallmark Hall of Fame movie on its own. Unfortunately, the movie is a based on a book of the same title by John Grisham. More often than not, the book is better than the movie. This in due, in most cases, to time constraints, where unimportant events from the book are left out of the movie. Yet, as a Painted House unfolded on my screen, I was surprised at to what was included versus what was not. Also, the pace at which the movie takes place is quite rapid. While watching the movie, I actually felt as if I was seeing the Cliff Notes version of the book on screen where I was receiving just enough information to "pass the test." If you haven't read the book, then I imagine the movie is worth a watch should it come on cable one night. However, if you have indeed read the book, spare yourself the 99 minutes and keep your memories of the book untarnished.