FLIGHT (2012)



  • Best Actor – Denzel Washington
  • Best Original Screenplay – John Gatins


Right off the bat, here are a few problems I had with Flight: it was too long, one of the main characters was unnecessary, another character wasn’t used enough, and the main character, Will “Whip” Whitaker (Denzel Washington), was an asshole. These problems really got in the way for me, although overall I think Flight was a pretty decent movie.

If the filmmakers had cut out the character of Nicole (Kelly Reilly), I honestly think it would have been a better, cleaner movie. Nicole doesn’t really add anything to the movie; it takes a little while before it’s even clear why we’re following her character at all, and then when she does enter Whip’s life, she doesn’t really add much except to be someone for him to kiss and be mean to. Whip is an alcoholic and a drug addict, and Nicole is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, but her presence does not change Whip or his situation at all. Change eventually comes to Whip, but it’s because of his own actions and the plane crash that the story is based on, not Nicole.

If they didn’t want to cut out Nicole’s character and they still wanted Whip to have a main companion, it should have been Harling Mays, played by John Goodman. Harling Mays is essentially a hippie version of Walter Sobchak and is therefore pretty amazing. He’s funny and his character plays off of Washington’s character so well that his lack of overall screen time seems to be a wasted opportunity.

Then there’s the issue of Whip being an asshole. It is extremely difficult for me to feel sympathy for asshole characters, even if they’re compelling. I just don’t feel like wasting my time with them. Obviously there are many exceptions to this rule, and Flight is bordering on being an exception. Whip is obviously an amazing pilot, crash landing a plane instead of just crashing it in a way that apparently no other pilot can do, saving the majority of the people on board. But the flipside to this is that Whip was drunk and high while he did this, and was continually drunk throughout the rest of the movie and while he’s being investigated for the crash. So in the end, the movie is not about a plane crash, but about addiction. But I just wasn’t super interested in it, because despite his amazing pilot skills, I found little to no other redeeming qualities in Whip’s character, which was a big obstacle for me.


This film was very Hollywood to me. It was a solid story, it was dramatic, it was funny, it was sad, and the movie came to its inevitable end. I have to say that I really did like it a lot more than I thought I would. It was nice that it wasn’t a “did he get drunk or high before the flight or not” story. It was more about his struggle with his addictions and how far he’s willing to go to keep up his lies.

Of course the best part of the film was John Goodman. He basically played the hippie version of Walter from The Big Lebowski, a dick but still pretty funny. The other characters in this film were fine; the main actress was a little boring though. In many ways it reminded me of Silver Linings Playbook. Very basic and light but this didn’t feel like it was trying as hard.

I think Denzel Washington did a fantastic job but I couldn’t stop thinking throughout the film that he is nominated for this when John Hawkes didn’t get nominated for The Sessions. It seems weird to me but I guess I’m not cool enough for Hollywood so I might never understand.



LINCOLN (2012)



  • Best Picture
  • Best Actor – Daniel Day-Lewis
  • Best Supporting Actor – Tommy Lee Jones
  • Best Supporting Actress – Sally Field
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Costume Design
  • Best Director – Steven Spielberg
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Original Score
  • Best Production Design
  • Best Sound Mixing
  • Best Adapted Screenplay – Tony Kushner


I liked everything about this movie but I LOVED how many stories were told. Daniel Day-Lewis has proven himself to be an incredible actor and when I first saw the trailer for Lincoln I was a little concerned whether or not I would enjoy it. A few months ago I read through a good chunk of Lincoln’s speeches and the man in my head was nothing like what I saw and definitely heard in the TV spots. Luckily from the very beginning though I fell in love Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance and I was kind of sad that it wasn’t a film of him just talking through the whole thing, even though 80% of it was.

It was kind of nice seeing a film where I understood the politics, especially after watching The Thick of It. I feel that that was definitely a strong characteristic of this film. It was complex but easy to follow. I feel like Steven Spielberg really stepped up as a director on this. 10000% better than War Horse!

I always kind of wished that I was someone that told a lot of stories. Maybe that’s why those are the kinds of people I like hanging out with.


Not counting Disney animated films that I surely watched endlessly as a kid, I’m pretty sure The Last of the Mohicans is the one movie I’ve seen the most times. I’ve seen it in theaters (twice), VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, Netflix . . . pretty much every format that’s available. Because of this, I thought that no matter how good of a performance Daniel Day-Lewis put out, I wouldn’t be able to see him as Abraham Lincoln, because Lincoln is such an iconic figure and Daniel Day-Lewis is just so Hawkeye in my mind. But, sort of amazingly, Daniel Day-Lewis seemed to disappear into the Lincoln character, a feat that is really impressive given how famous of a figure Lincoln is and how famous of an actor Day-Lewis is (to me at least).

Although Lincoln highlighted my somewhat laughable knowledge of American history (due to having awful American History teachers in school, in my defense), I was still impressed with the movie’s ability to keep me in engaged and also understanding what was going on, something that I think owes a lot to Tony Kushner’s screenplay and the overall pacing of the movie. Another huge plus was that instead of being completely full of political talk, much of Lincoln’s dialogue was told through stories rather than just straight talking about politics, which helped me a lot in terms of following the action. There’s something about that that also added to the idea of Lincoln being kind of a fatherly figure; he spoke like a father talking to a child sitting on his knee, though in a comforting and understanding way, not in a condescending way.

The only time Lincoln got a little weak to me was toward the end, when they inevitably cover his death, which I wasn’t expecting. While he lays dead, there’s a weird amateur-ish transition of a close-up on a flame, where Lincoln’s figure appears and the scene transitions into one of his speeches. It could have been worse, but it was just sort of corny. Luckily, I think by showing his death the filmmakers avoided putting any text at the end, which I think ends up being pointless when it’s about such a well-known figure.

This was just a really solid historical movie. Should it sweep The Oscars? I’m not sure, but if there’s going to be any sweeping at all, I’d rather it be by Lincoln than Silver Linings Playbook.