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Denzel Washington heroically acts right through a tragic shaving accident in 'Flight.'
"WRECK-IT RALPH" (PG)
JOHN C. REILLY, JACK McBRAYER, JANE LYNCH, SARAH SILVERMAN
Who knew you could bring video game characters to life in such an interesting way?
The folks at Disney did, and the result is an animated movie that could well be a new studio franchise.
It all hinges on finding a sympathetic character, and poor ol' "Wreck-It Ralph" is just that.
In his video game, the big brute of an onscreen guy wrecks a building so the hero of the game can come along with his magic hammer and fix everything.
But darn it all, after 30 years, Ralph (John C. Reilly) is tired of just being the guy who breaks stuff up, but has no friends or positive achievements.
Ralph wants to be more, which is why he escapes his game and heads into other games ranging from an alien bug shoot-'em-up to a race through a candy-covered landscape.
It's all fun stuff for kids and adults alike, and benefits greatly from a good cast doing the voices, especially Jane Lynch and Sarah Silverman.
Did I mention that the animation and backdrops are amazing as well?
Well, they are.
Rated PG for some rude humor and mild action/violence. 101 min. [MC,RA, RF]
DENZEL WASHINGTON, KELLY REILLY, BRUCE GREENWOOD, JOHN GOODMAN
This is very much a two-star movie that gets the extra half star because Denzel Washington creates interest in anything he does.
It all starts well enough, as we meet hotshot pilot Whip Whitaker (Washington) who's getting by on reputation and skills, despite the drinking and carousing others overlook.
When the plane he's flying to Atlanta encounters extreme turbulence and mechanical failures, he pulls a miraculous maneuver to land the plane in a field, saving all but a handful of the more than 100 onboard.
The problem: The blood test they do on him in the hospital, where he goes for minor wounds, shows he was legally drunk at the yoke.
It's all interesting stuff, but director Robert Zemeckis quickly turns it into a plodding melodrama, with Whitaker's descent into alcoholism happening in dull and painfully predictable fashion.
And a side plot about a woman he meets who's a junkie just detracts from the story.
Rated R for drug and alcohol abuse, language, sexuality/nudity and an intense action sequence. 138 min. [MC, RA, RF]
"THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS" (R)
RUSSELL CROWE, LUCY LIU, RZA
Note to rappers or other musicians: it takes more than that lyrical talent to make a decent movie.
Apparently, no one told rapper RZA--he writes, directs and stars in this martial arts film--and the result is a disjointed movie that's badly written, poorly filmed and amateurish at every turn.
Even the presence of stars Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu can't save this mess, which delivers too much blood and silly fight footage.
Rated R for bloody violence, strong sexuality, language, drug use. 96 min. [MC, RA, RF]