Flight - 6/10
Cloud Atlas - 9/10
I took 5 points off the score for Flight for false advertising, then added a point for the good acting. This is one movie I actually contemplated getting up and leaving halfway through, and I sat through Very Bad Things. When I saw the trailer, what I took away from it was, guy heroically lands a damaged plane, saving lives, but for some reason, they are trying to blame him for it. I was thinking maybe some kind of conspiracy thriller or something. Not even close. It's just another movie about a person ruining their lives with alcohol. I watched a co-worker do that in real life, I don't need to see it in the movies. If I had even suspected that this film would be 2 hours of Denzel Washington's character getting drunk and throwing his life away, I would have passed and seen Man With The Iron Fists instead. But it is very well acted, Denzel does a good drunk, not the fake, comedic drunk, but the real, drink-a-gallon-of-vodka drunk, I know, I've seen it first hand. So, as long as you know what you're in for, it's a well acted movie, and Tom Goodman as the scumbag drug dealer is great and about the only comic relief you get after watching Washington drown in alcohol for a few hours. The almost feel good ending isn't worth the trouble of getting to it, if you ask me.
As for Could Atlas, I'm also a bit on the fence about this one, and was maybe thinking of giving it a point or two less, but I think it's worth seeing, and maybe seeing again, if not in theaters, then I might think of getting the Blu-ray. The biggest problem this movie has is you absolutely have to pay attention to what's going on and what everyone is saying, even if they are speaking 18th century sailor talk or 24th century post-apocalyptic patois. Also, the thing is almost three hours long, so that will turn off some people right there. Again, waiting for the Blu-ray and being able to pause to take a bathroom break would be a big plus, because you can't skip any of this movie, you won't know what's going on. It's actually 5 movies in one, following the same connected people through 5 centuries of what can only be described as reincarnation, no matter how you want to look at it. The part that made me take some points off was that the same actors are used pretty much throughout the arc of the story, though not in the same roles, of course. The makeup effects sometimes don't quite come up to speed as the actors have their race and even gender changed in the various story lines. For instance, Hugo Weaving is awesome as always, whether he's playing a hallucinated devil in the 24th century wasteland or a sadistic female nurse in a contemporary nursing home.
So, as long as you make a stop at the restroom immediately before entering the theater and pass on that big gulp soda, I would suggest seeing this in theaters to get the experience. I saw it in Imax due to the theater again scheduling the standard shows at inconvenient times but the visuals were worth it I think. Settle in for a 2 hour and 50 minute running time and pay attention.