Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2012 Catch Up (Flight / The Perks of Being a Wallflower)

Flight (2012)

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: John Gatins
Stars: Denzel Washington, Nadine Velazquez, Don Cheadle

I don't know if that landing is even physically possible, but I don't care - that crash sequence was absolute perfection. One of the very few scenes in a movie that I can remember quite literally putting me at the edge of my seat. Unfortunately, it is all downhill from there. Don't get me wrong, the entire film is filmed and acted competently, but from the crash onward the story descends into an utterly predictable, heavy-handed tale with the profound message that "addiction is bad." The emotional roller coaster isn't nearly as thrilling when we know exactly when every twist, turn and drop is coming. It doesn't help matters that the soundtrack is, as many have pointed out, eye-rollingly on the nose the entire time. ("Under the Bridge" right as a syringe drops to the floor? Really, Zemeckis?) Shaking up the screenplay to reveal pieces of the story leading up to the crash at intervals throughout the investigation would have killed the intensity of that scene, but certainly would have made the remaining two hours far more interesting.

Score: 5 / 10 (Crash: 10 / 10, Everything Else: 3 / 10)

Director: Stephen Chbosky
Writers: Stephen Chbosky (book and screenplay)
Stars: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller

Welcome to the wide and wonderful world of pretentious and ridiculously profound teenagers. Chbosky's also got that knack for piling up misery and trauma on his protagonist in a way that forces his audience to swallow the more angsty moments. Aw hell, sounds like I hated it. Not so fast, my friend. Sure, the dialogue occasionally crosses into the territory of unbelievability, but the drama and characters are still engaging. Lerman and Miller are absolutely fantastic and carry this film while Watson does everything she possibly can to ruin it - seriously, she is that bad. I don't know if she was struggling with putting on an American accent, but it was painful to watch at times. The film believes itself to be deeper than it actually is, but the emotional core is genuine and touching at times.

Score: 6 / 10

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