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Flash Movie Review: A Simple Plan

THE FIRST THING THAT CAME TO mind when I saw him at a party, was remembering how greedy he was when he was a little kid. Now before you say a lot of small children did greedy things, let me tell you what I thought about this one. When I was small there was not one candy dish, I passed up without taking a piece or two of candy. This kid was different. He would take a piece of candy; but when no one was looking, he would go back and load up his pockets with several pieces. Have I convinced you about him yet? I remember there was a dinner and we were all sitting around the dining room table. There was one roll left in a basket on the table; an adult was reaching for the basket when this greedy kid quickly made a grab for the bread. It did not matter that he had not finished the roll on his plate; he had to make sure he could get another one. He got scolded for being so rude, but he did not care because when he grabbed the roll, he made sure to take a bite out of it before putting it down on his plate, next to his other half eaten roll. I am telling you; he was not a nice little boy.      NOW YEARS LATER HERE I WAS having a meal with him being present. We were all eating at a restaurant and it was determined that we would be splitting the bill. It was easier to divide it by the amount of people instead of breaking down what each person ordered. As the waitress took our orders, I noticed pretty much everyone was ordering similar things. When it came time for him to tell the waitress what he wanted, he ordered the most expensive thing on the menu. I was still looking at the menu at the time, so I saw the price. He also ordered an alcoholic drink. Because people were talking no one noticed or if they did, it probably did not register with them that he was ordering an expensive dish. Part of me wanted to say something, but I decided to keep my mouth shut. And if I needed any more proof to validate my belief about him, when the breadbasket on the table had only one item left in it, he grabbed the last piece despite not finishing the bread he still had on his dinner plate. Some people, like him, are born greedy; others learn it. Feel free to see what you think about the main characters in this dramatic, crime thriller.      WHEN THREE MEN DISCOVERED A CRASHED plane in the woods, they found two things inside: a dead pilot and millions in cash. Each of them had an idea on what to do next. With Bill Paxton (Twister, Apollo 13) as Hank, Bridget Fonda (Single White Female, Lake Placid) as Sarah, Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa franchise, The Man Who Wasn’t There) as Jacob, Brent Briscoe (The Green Mile, Sling Blade) as Lou and Chelcie Ross (Basic Instinct, Grey’s Anatomy-TV) as Carl; this film festival winning, Oscar nominated movie was a solid production. It was refreshing to watch a character driven story that was well acted and direct. I found myself getting hooked into the plot early and enjoyed all the twists and turns along the way. The cast truly looked connected and in rhythm with each other as their emotions went on full display. Being an “older” film, I enjoyed seeing the sets and outdoor scenes that depicted a different period of time. Lastly, it always amazes me what greed can do to a person and because of that, I was especially curious watching how it would play a part in this thought-provoking drama.

3 ¼ stars   

Flash Movie Review: Flight

If the occasional bump or rumble disturbs you while flying in an airplane, then the beginning of this film will make you start traveling by train. I love to fly but found myself holding my breath during the intense flight crash scene. Gratefully I never experienced a problem when flying, since the time of my first airplane ride at 12 years old. An airline was offering 30 minute flight tours around the city, so a friend and I traveled to the airport to take a ride. At that time it was one of the most exhilarating things I had ever done. Keep in mind this was at a time when traveling by plane was easy and respectful. These days flying is more like riding an elevator without cables: passengers being herded towards their seats, the doors close, people squeezed together and when the doors open they are in a different location. In one of his best performances Denzel Washington (Safe House, Training Day) was pilot Whip Whitaker who valiantly steered a disabled plane into a crash landing. When he finally awakened and found himself in a hospital bed, Whip soon discovered the federal investigation was zeroing toward his dark secret. Due to the trailer, some people may be expecting an action film and that was not the case. This film was a study guide into a man’s character. Besides Denzel, Don Cheadle’s (Hotel Rwanda, Traitor) acting was impeccable as he portrayed lawyer Hugh Lang. All the humor in the movie was expertly handled by John Goodman (The Big Lebowski, Roseanne-TV) as drug dealer Harling Mays. One issue I had was with the subplot involving the female drug addict; the character seemed out of place in the way she was introduced and used to accentuate Denzel’s character. The director Robert Zemeckis (Cast Away, The Polar Express) kept the viewer interested in the main players by digging deeper into their characters and allowing the tension to build. Thanks to this movie I now have something else to worry about the next time I fly. Brief scenes with blood.

 

3 1/4 stars

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