REVIEW: FLIGHT

Starring

Denzel Washington (The Equalizer)
Don Cheadle (Avengers: Endgame)
Kelly Reilly (Sherlock Holmes)
Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek)
John Goodman (Argo)
Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Tamara Tunie (Snake Eyes)
Nadine Velazquez (My Name is Evil)
Brian Geraghty (ATM)
Peter Gerety (K-Pax)
James Badge Dale (Iron Man 3)
Ravi Kapoor (Ad Astra)

Denzel Washington in Flight (2012)Airline pilot Captain William “Whip” Whitaker Sr. uses cocaine to wake up after a night of little sleep in his Orlando hotel room. He pilots SouthJet Flight 227 to Atlanta, which experiences severe turbulence at takeoff. Co-pilot Ken Evans takes over while Whip discreetly mixes vodka in his orange juice and falls asleep at the controls. He is jolted awake as the plane goes into a steep dive. Meanwhile, heroin addict Nicole Maggen is on the verge of being evicted. She overdoses on heroin and has to be wheeled out of the house by a paramedic. SouthJet Flight 227 flies inverted overhead in the midst of its rapid descent. Unable to regain control, Whip is forced to make a controlled crash landing in an open field, losing consciousness on impact.Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, and Bruce Greenwood in Flight (2012)Whip awakens in an Atlanta hospital with moderate injuries and is greeted by his old friend Charlie Anderson, who represents the airline’s pilots union. He tells Whip that he managed to save 96 out of 102, losing two crew members and four passengers, but mentions his copilot is in a coma. Whip sneaks away for a cigarette in the stairwell and meets Nicole, who is recovering from her heroin overdose in the same hospital. The next morning, his friend and drug dealer Harling Mays picks him up from the hospital.Denzel Washington in Flight (2012)Having retired to his late father’s farm, Whip meets Charlie and attorney Hugh Lang, who explain that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) performed a drug test while he was unconscious. Results showed that Whip was intoxicated during the flight. Hugh promises to get the toxicology report voided on technical grounds. Meanwhile, Whip visits and soon becomes intimate with Nicole, but Whip’s drinking habits clash with Nicole’s attempts to stay drug-free. Later at a crew member, Trina’s, funeral, he attempts to persuade a surviving flight attendant, Margaret Thomason, to tell the NTSB that he was sober.Denzel Washington and Bruce Greenwood in Flight (2012)Whip pays a visit to his co-pilot Ken Evans after he awakens from his coma. Evans has likely lost much of his ability to walk and may never pilot an airplane again. Although upset, Evans has no intention of telling the NTSB that Whip was drinking. Nicole decides to separate from Whip, following his failed attempts to stay sober. Hounding Whip, the media catches him drunk after he spontaneously drives to the home of his ex-wife and son, both of whom resent him. He stays with Charlie until the NTSB hearing, vowing not to drink. The night before the hearing, Charlie and Hugh move Whip to a guarded hotel room with no alcohol. Although his minibar is empty, he finds the door to an adjacent room unlocked and raids its minibar instead.Denzel Washington in Flight (2012)Whip is discovered by Charlie the next morning, passed out and still drunk. Harling is called, who revives him with cocaine. At the hearing, lead NTSB investigator Ellen Block explains that a damaged elevator assembly jackscrew was the primary cause of the crash. She commends Whip on his valor and skill and notes that no other pilot was able to land the plane in trial simulations of the crash. She then reveals that two empty vodka bottles were found in the plane’s trash, despite the fact that beverages had not been served to passengers due to the severe turbulence, and that Whip’s test was excluded for technical reasons. The only other member of the crew to test positive for alcohol was Trina, who died in the crash, and with whom Whip had spent the night before. Whip, unable to bring himself to blame Trina for his actions, admits to being intoxicated the day of the crash. Whip is then arrested.Denzel Washington in Flight (2012)Thirteen months later, an imprisoned Whip tells a support group of fellow inmates that he is glad to be sober and does not regret doing the right thing. Whip is seen looking at pictures of Nicole, family, and friends on the wall of his cell, along with greeting cards congratulating him on being sober for a year. He is working to rebuild his relationship with his son, who visits to talk with him about a college application essay on “the most fascinating person that I’ve never met.” His son begins by asking, “Who are you?” As a plane flies overhead, Whip replies, “That’s a good question.”Denzel Washington in Flight (2012)Washington gives what is nothing less than a performance of a lifetime in this tension filled film dealing with a pilot wrestling with inner demons. The aviation sequences are stunning and the crash one of the most breathtaking ever filmed. 

HALLOWEEN OR HORROR REVIEW: EDEN LAKE

CAST

Kelly Reilly (Sherlock Holmes)
Michael Fassbender (Alien: Covenant)
Jack O’Connell (The Liability)
James Gandhi (My Life as Popat)
Thomas Turgoose (This is England)
Bronson Webb (Victor Frankenstein)
Shaun Dooley (The Awakening)
Finn Atkins (Once Upon A Time In The Midlands)

Nursery school teacher Jenny (Kelly Reilly) and her boyfriend, Steve (Michael Fassbender), journey to a remote lake in the wooded English countryside. Hiking to the lakeside, they meet Adam, a young boy gathering insects. Relaxing beside the lake, the setting is disrupted by delinquent teenagers and their dog, who have ridden their bicycles to a spot within a few metres of the young couple. After they sleep overnight in their tent, they find their food infested with insects and their car tire damaged by a bottle left behind by the teens.Returning to town for breakfast, Steve spots a house with the bikes he thinks belongs to the kids. When no one answers the door, he walks into the house, narrowly escaping as the surly homeowner returns. Back at the lake, Steve goes scuba diving while Jenny sleeps on the shore. Steve returns to find the bag with their car keys, phone and wallet is missing, soon confirming that their car is gone. Returning to town on foot, they avoid collision with their car, driven recklessly through the woods by the gang’s sociopathic leader, Brett (Jack O’Connell). Finding the gang in the woods after nightfall, Steve demands the return of his belongings, only to be attacked by the knife wielding teens. In the scuffle, Brett’s dog is mortally knifed, fuelling Brett’s lust for revenge. The couple grab their keys and drive off, but the gang attacks with stones and Steve crashes in the dark forest. Steve is trapped and Jenny runs for help.Kelly Reilly and Michael Fassbender in Eden Lake (2008)At daybreak, Jenny sees Steve tied up in barbed wire in a small clearing. Brett forces each reluctant teen to torture Steve. Paige, a female gang member and Brett’s psychopathic equivalent, records it on her phone, causing them to realize they have no choice but to kill Steve. The gang spots Jenny and gives chase, allowing Steve time to free himself. Jenny evades the gang and finds Steve, unable to nurse his many deep wounds and finds an engagement ring, leading Steve to propose even as he is in severe pain. After Jenny again heads off for help, she injures her foot on a large spike, her scream attracting the gang. She soon runs into Adam and pleads for his help, but he fears the gang and texts them to hand her over.Kelly Reilly in Eden Lake (2008)The gang tie Jenny, and a now dead Steve, to a pile of wood. Brett forces Adam to set the bonfire while Paige films. Jenny is able to escape and the gang burn Adam to death. Jenny continues to evade the gang, reactively killing gang member Cooper who was actually attempting to help her. When the gang find the body, Brett is thrown into further rage, killing another gang member and causing Paige to run away from him. Jenny reaches a road and is picked up by a driver who is looking for his brother, Ricky, another gang member. When the driver exits the van to talk with the gang, Jenny panics and steals the van, speeds off, and intentionally runs over and kills Paige while making her way back to town. She makes it to town, crashing into a fence at a large backyard party. Awaking, she finds herself being comforted by an unknown woman. She discovers she is in Brett’s house and heads to the bathroom. Brett’s father notices the van on his lawn and one of the parents receives a call informing her of the dead gang members, who are the children of the adults at the house.Kelly Reilly, Jack O'Connell, Thomas Turgoose, and Jumayn Hunter in Eden Lake (2008)A commotion begins in the house and the bathroom door is kicked open as Jenny is confronted by Brett, his father, and party guests. Brett has convinced the parents that the teens have been sadistically murdered by Jenny and Steve. Upstairs, Brett shuts the door of his room, blocking the sounds of Jenny’s screams as she is presumably killed by Brett’s father. He deletes the videos of the gang’s crimes from Paige’s phone and puts on Steve’s sunglasses, as he stares emotionlessly into the mirror.This is easily the finest pure horror movie since Switchblade Romance, and is absolutely not to be missed.