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Note 1: has there ever been as inaccurate a press announcement for a film as the one posted on rottentomatoes by the distributors? “action-packed mystery thriller”?? What kind of brains are at work at Paramount? Lure people into the theatres with the prospect of “Con Air Reloaded”, only to have them leave after an hour, being thoroughly disappointed? At the same time keeping away the more brainy crowd that may want to see a film about an extremely skilled professional struggling with his addiction? How can that work? I can only assume desperation and stupidity came together, having to handle a film that from the perspective of a Hollywood machinery defies categories.

It actually does not defy categories, it is an arthouse drama with high production values and a very good set of actors. John Goodman should be pointed out: as always, the directors have something special for him, and the special here blew me away laughing when he makes his first appearance, Sympathy for the Devil in Hawaii shirt and all… Denzel Washington has the main burden to carry it, and that’s an easy bet. While I think he is somehow making odd role choices (not sure whether he wants to be action lead or complex drama go-to guy), he is always solid in performance and sheer screen presence. I read praise about his under-playing of the role of the airplane pilot, avoiding the easy choices of playing him over-the-top outrageously drunk. I agree. What is strong is that while at times he is the cool and arrogant, while charming man in charge of situations, when he breaks down he does not stumble and slur (he does that sometimes, too). Instead he is embarrassing himself by becoming wimpish, asking favours he has no right  to ask, and losing his cool demeanour. That is not cute, it is the sign of a man falling apart. Whether the film’s end s true to that development or not is for everybody to judge, but let’s say I understand it is one possible ending, if not the most plausible one.

Note 2: Robert Zemeckis… I did not even know that he directed the film, and when I saw the end credits, I thought again “This is one of the most amazing creatures in the Holly Wood”… is there any other director who is responsible for such delight, entertainment and technological prowess? And is there any person making such high-profile movies with such a low profile? Maybe this looks completely different from a US or definitely a Hollywood perspective, but the name Zemeckis for me is somehow associated with a guy who is just happy doing his thing, has all the money he needs, and makes more money as required. Roger Rabbit, Back to the Future, Castaway, Contact, Forrest Gump, even Romancing the Stone??? I have never seen or read an interview with him, have no idea what he looks like. Is he a wizard? The Phantom of the Cinema? Just saying… need to read something about him.

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