HBO Max Series Review: The Flight Attendant

For the majority of people in the world who hate to fly, its a mystery why anyone would want to have a job where you are flying constantly and living in hotels around the world. In the HBO Series “The Flight Attendant”, Cassie Bowden, played by Kaley Cuoco is not only a Flight Attendant, but a raging alcoholic.

During a routine flight to Rome, Cassie has a one night stand with one of the passengers  Alex Sokolov, played by Michiel Huisman, gets very drunk and the next morning – she finds him dead in bed with her the next morning, with his throat cut.  Cassie has no idea what happened the night before because she blacked out from drinking so much. For the rest of this series, Cassie tries to figure out why Alex was murdered.  What makes this story extremely unusual is that Cassie is visited/haunted by Alex frequently as they both try to figure out clues as to who murdered Alex, and more importantly, try to understand why Cassie drinks so much.  Cassie’s dangerous drinking habit is directly tied to her abusive father and her relationship with her brother Davey Bowden, played by T.R. Knight. This investigation along with Alex of Cassie’s drinking problem is by far, the best part of this story. The story idea with a dead person who is murdered at the beginning of a story, visiting someone so frequently is an unusual and risky concept for any screenwriter. For this series, this new approach mostly seems to work.

One issue I have with this story, is its endlessly winding, and overly complex mystery/comedy that is at times more frantic than entertaining. The acting is very good throughout, including Cassie’s best friend Megan Briscoe, who has her own legal and dangerous problems, played by Rosie Perez. Cassie’s other friend and lawyer Ani Mouradian, played by Zosia Mamet is both endlessly annoyed and supportive of Cassie’s never ending life threatening problems.  

The Rotten Tomatoes review of this series is a too high 98%, my rating is around 80%, mostly for the interesting ideas attempted in this series.  Overall, I do recommend The Flight Attendant. 

Movie Review: Monster Hunter

The question that always comes up with action movies that have tons of special effects, karate fighting, huge monster-like creatures and explosions is – does there need to be a story? A beginning middle and end? We are spending so much money on special effects, why not just create the special effects and then try to make some kind of a story around those effects later. Too many bad movies are like this, with the screenplay and well organized story an afterthought, rather than the reason why the movie was created in the first place. For me, its always been intelligent story first, explosions and special effects second.

The new movie “Monster Hunter” is about a group of marines who are in a desert somewhere in the world, where they are suddenly trapped in a huge sand storm and then transported into a different dimension. There is no explanation as to why or how this happened, or why this other dimension even exists. Once the group of marines lead by Artemis, played by Milla Jovovich arrive in the new world, there is scene after scene of the marines being attacked and killed by huge lizard or spider-like monsters. Artemis then meets up with The Hunter, played by Tony Ja who does not speak English but does have outstanding karate fighting skills and what follows are at least 4 fighting scenes between the 2 of them, until eventually they become friends. They then team up to kill the biggest lizard monster, and them meet up with Admiral, played by Ron Perlman. This is the entire movie, marines transported to a new dimension, then fighting monsters, killing monsters and getting killed. There is absolutely no story here and really no movie, just an excuse for many special effects.

The Rotten Tomatoes rating for this bad movie is 48% – I give it 18% only for the special effects. This is not a movie, is just a series of action events and because of this, should be missed.