Austin Film Festival: Day 5
Ryan Revolver

Movie: The Eyes of Thailand


Synopsis: This moving documentary tells the inspirational and powerful story of one woman's quest to help two elephant landmine survivors—Motala and Baby Mosha—walk on their own four legs. Treating their wounds was only part of the journey; building elephant-sized prostheses was another. This new film, narrated by Ashley Judd and produced by AFF alum Tim VandeSteeg, is a true story of sacrifice and perseverance that shows how far one woman will go to save an endangered species from threats below the surface.


Reaction: I had to choke back the thought of crying at the end. Asian elephants all across Thailand are stepping on land mines (severly injuring whatever leg connected with the underground explosive). Two lucky elephants are brought to Soraida Salwala, who dedicates her kindness and empathy to these wonderful creatures. This documentary does not stay in theaters, it follows you after you leave. I ask that you go to The Eyes of Thailand website, and learn more about a new personal hero of mine: Soraida Salwala. She is like the Jane Goodall of elephants. In America elephants are only in the spotlight when they escape from the circus, and run wild down a busy street. Never would one think of how sensitive and vulnerable these 6 ton creatures really are. After you see The Eyes of Thailand you will see how these gentle giants need our help.


The Eyes of Thailand - ★★★★




Movie: Flight


Synopsis: Denzel Washington stars as Whip Whitaker, a seasoned airline pilot who miraculously crash-lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every soul on board. After the crash, Whip is hailed as a hero, but as more is learned, more questions than answers arise: Who or what was really at fault? And what really happened on that plane? The latest film from beloved director Robert Zemeckis, this action-packed mystery thriller features captivating performances from Goodman, Cheadle, Leo, and the rest of this remarkable cast.


Reaction: I’m not saying that Unstoppable was bad, but it was no Man on Fire. I will take your silence as agreeing with me. Washington returns to impeccable form with this severely turbulent adventure. The doomed flight is ÜBER realistic on the big screen. Sweaty hands, and jaw clenching is in order with every rough patch of air the plane hits. Washington had a great supporting cast with John Goodman (as the unlicensed pharmacy technician), Kelly Reilly (the love interest), Bruce Greenwood (longtime colleague), and Don Cheadle (the lawyer). Really dug this film, it was a first class suspenseful & dramatic thriller. The crash is only the beginning in Flight, and the flight plan on the ground is just as rocky for Captain Whitaker. This movie will make you never want to binge drink (until next weekend that is). If Jaws made people think twice about getting in the water, Flight will make you think before boarding a jet liner.


Flight - ★★★★


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