Hypable Movie Review: ‘Flight’

11:00 am EDT, November 2, 2012

Robert Zemeckis returns to live action filmmaking for the first time in a decade with Flight, a sometimes-thrilling account of an alcoholic airline pilot and one life-changing event. The problem here is the film can’t help but get in its own way at nearly every turn, despite a terrific performance from Denzel Washington and some exhilarating moments inside the cockpit.

Highly touted as Zemeckis’ return to live action filmmaking, Flight proves he’s still more than capable behind the camera, as there are moments, particularly early on in the film, that show true cinematic ingenuity, thanks in large part to some slick work from long time collaborator, cinematographer Don Burgess. In fact, the opening sequences are highly riveting and offer a promising beginning, as we follow the flight and piloting of Whip Whitaker, played superbly by Denzel Washington.

Much will be made about the flight sequence in the opening portion of the film, and for good reason. Zemeckis crafts an immensely thrilling, edge-of-your-seat opening act that largely takes place inside the cockpit, as we see a new perspective of flying; picture The Aviator meets commercial airline travel. Yet this is the first instance of Flight sabotaging itself, as the filmmakers choose to intersperse this flying sequence with that of a mysterious heroine addict, Nicole (Kelly Reilly).

Flight

Despite these sequences with Nicole somewhat taking the wind out of the film’s sails early on, the first act is promising nevertheless, as the intense events aboard the plane outweigh the film’s missteps. Yet the issues don’t stop there, as the second act is a complete mess; Flight completely shifts gears from the thrilling, devastating events of the first act. Think of it as if Nicole’s story wins out – as she coincidentally does play a surprisingly large role when she befriends Whitaker in a hospital after overdosing on heroine.

Zemeckis and writer John Gatins do manage to instill a few moments of brilliance into the second act, particularly with a brief scene in the hospital between Whitaker, Nicole, and a cancer patient, played brilliantly by James Badge Dale. Yet this sequence ends up as little more than a vignette, while a budding relationship between Nicole and Whitaker surfaces and goes nowhere. The second act does introduce several supporting talents, such as Don Cheadle as an attorney for Whitaker, Bruce Greenwood as a pilot’s union representative, and John Goodman as Whitaker’s friend and all-around wacko. These talents go largely wasted however, as they become bit players in a story that revolves into focusing on Whitaker’s ghosts and eventually, just how unlikeable Whitaker is as a character.

Flight

This could perhaps serve a purpose as some sort of redemption story, which would make sense considering the prominence of Nicole as a character, but instead Flight seems only keen on reinforcing Whitaker’s struggles. While Washington is as convincing as ever, it’s tough to have a central character who disappoints at every turn, well into the third act. Stories in addiction are fine, but it doesn’t fit here nor is it treated with competence.

Flight has flashes of brilliance; an impressive opening act, a solid-as-ever performance from Denzel Washington, a fantastic soundtrack featuring the likes of The Rolling Stones and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, but it is all for naught. The real travesty here is Flight‘s clear potential, as there is talent to spare and an opening act so strong that when what comes is so uneven and pointless, the end result is disappointment.

Grade: C

Rated: R (for drug and alcohol abuse, language, sexuality/nudity and an intense action sequence)

Flight opens in theaters on November 2, 2012.

The film adaptation of Wicked is currently in production and Stephen Schwartz revealed at Comic Con that the film will feature plenty of new songs!

Warm up those vocal pipes and get your best “Defying Gravity” cape dry cleaned, the Wicked film is gearing up for production at long last! The Broadway hit, currently in its 13th year, has had audiences clamoring for a filmed production since Idina Menzel Kristin Chenoweth brought Elphba and Glinda to life. Now, that dream is becoming a reality, but probably not with the original cast.

At the CW3PR’s 8th Annual Behind-The-Music: Crime, Death and Resurrection Panel at Comic Con, Stephen Schwartz the man behind the music of Wicked appeared to announce that the film will feature songs both old and new. The “old” of course includes songs from the stage production such as “Defying Gravity,” “Popular,” and most likely, “One Fine Day.” But it also includes songs that were written and cut from the production before its Broadway opening.

Winnie Holzman will be writing the screenplay as she also wrote the book to the stage show based on Gregory Maguire’s novel. Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) is attached to direct.

You can watch Schwartz’s announcement from the panel below!

Now its time to start some casting speculations! It is my hope that the casting director sticks with strong Broadway talent to carry the roles. The musical has enough of a following to garner a strong viewership, but it also wouldn’t hurt to throw Menzel and Chenoweth in for a cameo or two!

Wicked is expected to hit theaters in December 2019.

U! S! A! U! S! A! A new Fantastic Beasts poster debuting at San Diego Comic-Con has American pride peppered into the design, giving us a hint at the film’s plot.

The film’s official social media channels unveiled Fantastic Beasts’ SDCC poster on Friday morning, just a day before the movie hosts a panel at the conference with the cast and crew. Presumably these posters will be handed out on the show floor, and/or at the Fantastic Beasts event.

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There’s a lot to unpack in this poster, which features Newt and a brightly lit “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” sign.

Newt is looking over his shoulder in the middle, holding a wand in one hand and a suitcase (with a beast trying to get out!) in the other. Supporting characters Graves, Jacob, Queenie, and Tina appear in the wings. Also here: Our very first looks at two female characters. We believe the one in the bottom left is Mary Lou, played by Samantha Morton. The guy on the right is Credence played by Ezra Miller.

So what’s with the American flags? They’re not only to remind fans that the movie is set in New York — We believe they’re teasing an election of some sort. The last Fantastic Beasts trailer briefly depicted a political event (See a screenshot below). We’re guessing an election will be taking place over the course of the movie with possible ramifications for the well-being of the North American Wizarding World.

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Fantastic Beasts opens this November. Return to Hypable on Saturday to check out our coverage of everything that happens during the movie’s panel!

Have a round, or two, with Lin-Manuel Miranda when he steps in to tell the story of Alexander Hamilton on Drunk History.

Comedy Central is keeping Lin-Manuel Miranda connected to Hamilton for a little while longer by setting the scribe up on the next season of Drunk History to spin another verse about the founding father. The show will concentrate on the rivalry between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton duel that resulted in SPOILER Hamilton’s death.

Hamilton was the first subject that the series took on in season one. With the rising success of the Broadway hit, fans clamored for Lin-Manuel Miranda to give Alexander Hamilton a reprise on the series.

Miranda is not throwing away his shot at telling another version of Hamilton’s decision to throw away his on the shores of New Jersey in 1804. Even though Miranda stepped away from the show on July 9, we expect to see him sticking close to the production for quite a while, especially as the show begins performances across the nation.

Miranda was not the only guest announced for Drunk History‘s fourth season. Joining him will be Aubrey Plaza, Ben Folds, Billie Joe Armstrong, Busy Phillips, Dave Grohl, Ed Helms, Elizabeth Olsen, Josh Charles, Mae Whitman, Michael Cera, Rachel Bilson, and Tony Hale, to name a few.

Raise a glass!


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Drunk History returns for its fourth season on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 10:30 p.m. ET on Comedy Central.