Saturday, November 10, 2012


Whip Whitaker (yes, you heard me) (played by Denzel W) is a pilot with problems. First off, he's had a bad day after a hard night because his plane almost blows up, and he does a miraculous job of landing it and not killing most of the souls onboard. (as an aside, I love the airline industry for referring to passengers as souls). Anyhoo, we know Whip likes the sweet nectar and the booger sugar because the film opens with him partaking. He's also partaking one of the female flight attendants, and that is important later on- so pay attention.  After the crash, we see the incredible disintegration of an alcoholic- we are given flashes into his sadly destroyed personal life and his inability to give up the demons.  It is a painful and sorrowful film in so many ways- a cautionary tale that is really not far from the slow slide into alcoholism that becomes a full blown disaster for some. Denzel Washington does such a good job in every role he plays- and I love that Don Cheadle was cast in a role that the director said "get me a Don Cheadle type" and they went out and got the real Don Cheadle. Nice. John Goodman plays the aging hippie drug supplier in what is such a throwaway parody of some of his other work that it seems unnecessary.  The airplane footage is so realistic that it makes you sort of queasy.  This is a very, very, very good movie. It's not about the airplane though. It's about the sad desperation of alcoholism.