Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

UMass woman’s basketball ends FIU Holiday Classic with 65-47 loss to Drexel -

December 29, 2016

UMass men’s basketball finishes non-conference schedule strong with win over Georgia State -

December 28, 2016

Brett Boeing joins UMass hockey for second half of season -

December 28, 2016

Fasten your seatbelts

Facebook

Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelts. We’re looking at a turbulent ride that you will never forget.

“Flight” is an intense and seat-gripping film that is beautifully directed by Robert Zemeckis, who returns to live-action for the first time since 2000’s “Cast Away”. The “Back to the Future” and “Forrest Gump” director has a stellar cast to work with, which is led by the always great Denzel Washington, who is strongly supported by Bruce Greenwood, Don Cheadle and Kelly Reilly.

“Flight” is a very intricate story about pilot Whip Whitaker (Washington), who is a heavy drinker and drug addict who happens to be piloting during a catastrophic failure that results in his 102-passenger plane crashing. Whip pulls some heroic maneuvers in order to try and save as many people as he can in a plane that seems doomed for total destruction and chaos.

Then “Flight” turns into something else. It is not just about the crash and devastation of it, but it is about the investigation of Whip and how his alcoholism and drug dependency may have come into play in the crash. “Flight” turns into a drama in which we see alcoholism and drug addiction affecting how one’s life can spiral out of control. Whip’s friend, lawyer and a new love interest who is a drug addict (Greenwood, Cheadle and Reilly) try to sober him up and cover up his intoxication while he was flying the plane that crashed as well as trying to get him clean. The story develops into Whip combatting his inner demons, addictions, denial and lying all the while being investigated for whether or not the crash was out of his control or if he had a role in it because of his altered state of mind.

Washington delivers his best performance since “Training Day” and his performance should garner him an Oscar nomination. Washington embodies the persona of a gifted pilot, but that is only a mask for his true self – an addict. Washington exhibits the difficulties that come with being an alcoholic and a drug addict. He does a flawless job in showcasing how the dependency and denial of alcohol have overtaken his life and his control over his life. Washington portrays Whip as someone who continually tries to quit his dependency on alcohol but we see him consistently fail and revert back to his old tendencies.

Washington envelopes the persona of a heroic pilot during the events of the crash and is also able to portray a damaged alcoholic and drug abuser. This is where his acting shines and creates what should result in his nomination of an Oscar. Washington’s dynamic acting is what makes this film feel realistic and it will make you feel like you truly know who Whip is and make you feel for his struggle.

The story and the characters that are intertwined are just fantastic. Zemeckis does an absolutely fabulous job in conveying the story through film and he is able to evoke a whirlwind of emotions to the audience.  Zemeckis has the right balance of destructive dialogue as well as emotionless and numbing images to correspond to Whip’s numbing and destructive addictions. Zemeckis flies us through the stellar special effects of the plane crashing and he directs one of the most intense and nerve-wracking scenes in movie history.

The plane crash sequence in the beginning of the film will send and eerie chill through your bones. The scene itself possesses enough action, devastation and spine-tingling drama for the entire length of the movie. It is a scene that you will not be able to forget once you leave the theatre. The cool composure of Whip is uncanny and the screams and shrieks of the crew and passengers will leave you feeling like you are onboard the plane. That is a sensation that is not easily shaken and one that makes that scene almost unbearable because of how real and life-like it feels. Your heart will race faster and you will hold your breath because of how real Zemeckis has directed this unnerving sequence.

The inevitable crash is one of the most suspenseful scenes ever and can be very unsettling, but it makes for a unique movie going experience. It’s one that not many movies accomplish nowadays with their audience.

Even with the difficulties of the crash scene, the drug and alcohol addiction and the frustration that come with watching this film, “Flight” is a must see film. Washington should receive a an Oscar nomination for his great performance of Whip and Cheadle should also receive an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his equally strong performance as Whip’s lawyer. Zemeckis should also be nominated for Best Director for his fantastic effort and his effort should also help “Flight” soar into the category for Best Picture.

“Flight” does not only deserve this nomination for the great story and actors, but for the way it really grabs and captivates an audience. It’s an experience that will leave an audience member with a vivid recollection of so many scenes.

What separates “Flight” from most films in recent years is its ability to connect and captivate the audience all the while sending a plethora of emotions that make “Flight” an absolutely awesome movie going experience. It is a truly special film and it will hopefully not be snubbed for an Oscar nomination because it has every right to be in contention.

Ryan Sacco can be reached at rsacco@student.umass.edu.

 

Leave A Comment