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A&E Blog

The Hack Stamp: FLIGHT and WRECK-IT RALPH

by Scott Renshaw
Posted // 2012-11-02 - What seemed like a foregone conclusion has come to pass: Flight sticks the landing for Hack Stamp-ery.

From the moment ads started promoting the film with Time magazine critic Richard Corliss's "Flight soars!" obviousness, it was clear that the Denzel Washington drama about an alcoholic pilot would be fertile ground for Hack Stamp-worthy references. And plenty of folks took the same obvious route that Corliss did (and there seems to be something particularly Hack-Stamp-ish in the Toronto water):

Flight soars when it crashes and crashes when it soars.” – Rick Groen, Toronto Globe and Mail

“There’s a lot of talk of ‘miracles’ and ‘acts of God’ in Flight, but it’s completely human deeds that make this movie soar.” – Peter Howell, Toronto Star

“… in less capable hands Flight could have been trouble; instead it managed to soar higher than expected.” – Mark Ellis, Schmoes Know

Flight never soars, despite the often persuasive best efforts of Denzel Washington.” – Duane Dudek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Critics who were less enthusiastic, on the other hand, went in the opposite, equally obvious direction:

“ … the initially high-flying pic ends up crashing to the ground like the airliner within it.” – Jim Judy, ScreenIt.com

Flight rises quickly at the beginning, but then goes into a long descent.” – Tom Long, Detroit News

“… the moment that Whip lands the plane is when Flight begins a freefall of a different kind, and this time, there are no survivors.” – David Medsker, Bullz-Eye.com

“[Washington] takes a heavy-handed story, also threatening to similarly plummet, and glides the film to cinematic worthiness.” – Kimberley Gadette, Doodle

And some got more tortuously creative with the plane-themed metaphors:

“It's not without a bit of turbulence, but with its weighty subject, award-worthy acting and steady, competent directing, Flight easily sticks a landing worthy of Oscar consideration.” – Jeffrey Lyles, Lyles’ Movie Files

Flight performs a daring wing-walk between politically incorrect comedy and gut-wrenching drama…” – Rafer Guzman, Newsday

“ … the script by John Gatins leaves nothing up in the air and returns all the tray tables locked in their upright positions.” – Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle

Meanwhile, one of this week's other wide releases, Wreck-It Ralph, "inspired" its own package of gags based on its video-game subject matter. Special congratulations to the participants who nailed a contribution for both films this week:

“You might wish you could insert another quarter when it finally reaches ‘game over.’” – Jim Judy, ScreenIt.com

“Disney can dress it up, take it out to the arcade and plug it full of quarters ... but at the end of the cord, the film’s a simple, 8-bit I-gotta-be-me story, with a dull plot and tepid characters. Game over.” – Kimberly Gadette, Doodle

“It’s fun for awhile, but it's not a video game you’ll come back to once you set down the controller.” – Adam Graham, Detroit News

“A few power-ups shy of a classic…” – Jeffrey Lyles, Lyles’ Movie Files

Wreck-It Ralph is a lot like video games and candy: light entertainment but fun while it lasts.” – Jody Mitori, St. Louis Post Dispatch

“Starts out as a funny high scorer but limps into a second half as flat as those quarters we once pumped into arcade machines long ago.” – Linda Barnard, Toronto Star

“Like a video game, Rich Moore's 3-D film is colorful, noisy, and pixel-deep.” – Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer

“ … the production is diminished by the clumsiness of an 8-bit script.” – Joe Morganstern, Wall Street Journal

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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