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Flight [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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Academy Award® winner Denzel Washington stars in this “riveting and powerful nail-biting thriller”* from Robert Zemeckis, the Academy Award-winning director of Forrest Gump and Cast Away. Airline pilot Whip Whitaker (Washington) miraculously lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe. But even as he’s being hailed for his heroic efforts, questions arise as to who or what was really at fault. Action-packed, engrossing and powerful, Washington’s performance is being hailed as “a triumph”** and one that “will be talked about for years.”***
* Pete Hammond, Deadline Hollywood
** Richard Corliss, TIME
*** Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
- Origins of Flight
- The Making of Flight
- Anatomy of a Plane Crash
- Q&A Highlights
Few directors can meld high-tech whiz-bang with solid narrative values like Robert Zemeckis, a filmmaker whose best work (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the Back to the Future trilogy, Cast Away) stands tall among the blockbusters. Although there have been times when Zemeckis's insistence on pushing the special effects envelope can end up overshadowing the story being told (as in his animated version of A Christmas Carol), his innate gifts persist: when he's in the groove, he can show you something you've never seen before, as well as a reason to care about it. Flight, the director's first wholly live-action film in over a decade, serves as a reminder of just how good he can be, featuring both an exquisitely terrifying crash sequence and a fearless central performance from Denzel Washington. John Gatins's script serves as a bizarro inversion of the Sully Sullenberger tale: when a routine flight over Atlanta goes terrifyingly wrong, the aircraft's pilot (Washington) saves his passengers with a near-miraculous display of skill. As the investigation into the disaster begins, however, it becomes apparent that its hero's impromptu bravery hides a multitude of bad habits. Washington does a brilliant job as a man who is all too aware of his feet of clay, subverting his innate nobility to shattering effect. (As in the earlier Training Day, when he goes to the dark side, the shock ripples the screen.) The strength of his central performance is only amplified by some outstanding supporting work from Kelly Reilly (as a recovering heroin addict), Don Cheadle, Bruce Greenwood, and a scene-stealing John Goodman, who gets a few lines crass enough to remind you that yes, Zemeckis is the same person who once made the low-taste classic Used Cars. Impressive as the cast is, though, it's unlikely that things would work nearly as well without the director's grasp of the material, which shifts between horror, black comedy, and uplifting pathos without missing a beat. In his hands, this potential sap story makes for a smart, worldly addiction saga that blessedly refuses to stay within the usual melodramatic lines. Just don't ever, ever expect to see it as the in-flight entertainment. --Andrew Wright
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The start of the film sees his character flying an internal American flight under the influence of alcohol although not presenting as drunk to his co-pilot and crew. The plane goes out of control due to a catastrophic manufacturing fault. Falling from the skies fast with everyone on board doomed, Denzil's character, remaining calm, takes some last ditch crazy and an unheard of courses of actions by inverting the plane, slowing its speed and descent and then righting the plane up the right way gliding to safety with only 6 lives lost.
Running through the film is the dichotomy of Washington's extreme bravery that saved so many lives contrasting with his extreme arrogance and refusal to face his drink dependence depicted by flying drunk. No other pilot would have had the ability to glide the plane to safety and would have caused all on board to lose their lives.
You see his character slowly stripped of his arrogance. His further descent into drink and drugs and facing life in prison for 6 counts of manslaughter if the public enquiry finds out he had been drunk, sees his own personal decline in character willing to do and say anything to protect himself and his career and freedom. The realisation of real imprisonment sees him testing the friendship of the surviving crew on board asking them in various ways not to testify that he had been drinking. The airline put themselves on the line to back up Washington and arrange a cover up. Washington is unable to remain sober, even for the Enquiry, despite his own attempts to stop drinking along with the protection of the airline.
Will he take the way out offered to him by the airline to blame a dead crew member for the missing alcohol bottles on board? Thereby tarnishing her memory forever despite her having saved the life of a little child. Or will he finally take responsibility for his own actions?
A thought provoking film in that but for the drunk Washington flying the plane all would be dead. There is no doubt that the accident was caused by a major part of the plane detaching and falling off mid flight. However, their lives were in danger by being flown by an intoxicated pilot. It also demonstrates the difficulty of drink dependant people to find and take the path to recognition and fight for sobriety.
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