Mountain climbing asks a lot of its devotees. One should ideally be in top physical condition, with all senses at peak performance, and possessed of a quality that, if it's not best described as fearlessness, is at least a willingness to ignore the natural instinct not to dangle precariously above a drop of several thousand feet.
Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 6:46 pm
A near-agoraphobic musician is an odd protagonist for a road movie, but then "odd" is the operative term for This Must Be the Place, Italian director Paolo Sorrentino's first English-language film. This mashup of genres and themes doesn't entirely succeed, but it is warm, funny and ably crafted.
Airline pilot Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) is hailed as a hero after averting disaster when his plane malfunctions — but as <em>Flight</em> goes on, it turns out he's anything but a shining example.
Credit Robert Zuckerman / Paramount Pictures
Charlie Anderson (Bruce Greenwood) and Hugh Lang (Don Cheadle) help Whip navigate treacherous legal waters.
Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 6:21 pm
For Whip Whitaker, the commercial airline pilot played by Denzel Washington in Flight, daily life is about achieving a practiced but tenuous equilibrium between the professional he's required to be and the wreck he really is. As the opening scene reveals, it involves keeping his poisons in harmony: Peeling himself off a hotel bed after a wild night, Whip guzzles the stale swill from a quarter-full beer bottle, does a couple of lines of cocaine as a pick-me-up and strides confidently out the door in his uniform. This is the morning routine.
<em></em>Thomas E. Ricks is also the author of the best-seller <em>Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq </em>and its follow-up<em>, The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008.</em>