posted on March 06, 2013 00:00
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “The world has a funny way of bringing things together for you.”
Most of the time it’s on a much larger scale when you appreciate it this much, but a few nights ago I rented the movie Flight on DVD, and then when I finished watching it, Apollo 13 was on one of my movie channels. Not a lot in common beyond the surface, but I still thought it was funny. It seemed my night was planned out by some movie god or something.
If you don’t know, Flight is the recent film about a drunk commercial airplane pilot that saves hundreds of passengers by miraculously inverting the airliner to stop a horrible plummet to the earth. We go on to find out that not one other pilot could replicate this ridiculous maneuver, so Denzel should be playing the role of the hero in this movie, right? One problem. Actually, there were two. A. He was totally shit faced from the 3 previous nights of partying on booze, and B. He was also high on cocaine to counter-act the sleepiness that we tend to feel after a long drinking binge. Typical pilot…
If you’re not familiar with part two of this double feature, Apollo 13 is the true story of NASA’s failed mission to the moon. In this film we watch along as several members of the NASA team take turns playing the role of hero, as catastrophic problem after catastrophic problem occur after the initial coil failure while stirring the oxygen tanks.
So there you have it. Two films, both about mechanical failures that were completely out of the pilots’ controls, and both about the heroic efforts it took to “save the day.” I wish, for Flight’s sake that this was the case. The truth is that the plane crash (it still crashes, by the way) happens in the first act of Flight, and the remainder of the film is a bit of a snoozer. It is a character film where we learn of Denzel’s troubles with alcoholism and other wonderful/harmful narcotics. Don’t get me wrong; Denzel turns in his usual amazing performance. But the movie is just no fun. It comes around to a modestly happy ending, but for the most part you are either cheering on the drunk for solving his problem with more drugs, or you are covering your head in regret, thinking about the times you got a little too drunk and did something almost as stupid. (Not the landing the plane and saving hundreds of lives part, he does some other really stupid things later in the story)
The much more enjoyable film is Apollo 13. There is no real villainous behavior in this film, but you can’t help but grow attached to the 3 poor men trapped in a tiny space vessel with little to no chance of survival. The scene at the end of the film when you are waiting for them to return to radio contact after passing through the fiery entry of the Earth’s atmosphere almost let’s you start to believe that they aren’t going to make it after all, but then you get to see the chutes open and our little astronauts gently descend to the ocean where they return to safety. This is one of a few moments in movie history when I have been moved to tears.
So if you’re debating on whether or not to pick up Flight on your next trip to the redbox, think again. You’d be better served by this other classic film. Or, you could go find an 8-ball of coke, steal a Cessna and make your own movie. Oh, but if you do, you might also want to find a hot Mexican hooker to take with you. The opening scene of flight gives you a good look at Nadine Velazquez in the buff, and that is easily the best part of the movie. Saves the movie from the bottom 15%. So long suckers!