Ryan, he was probably talking about dynamic range, and yes, negative film is the best, followed by positive and then digital. It's basically the contrast range in which an object goes from white with no visible detail to black with no visible detail. Black and white negative film is the best.
Take the dark cockpit, bright outside scenario. Without a flash you are going to need a pretty good dynamic range to avoid a black cockpit or a blown out outside. With a really good negative film you will be able to get better results than with slides or digital. Problem with negatives is that much of the information is lost when it's copied onto paper.
The human eye is even better, that's why a dark cockpit, light outside can look ok but when photographed you'll have problems with over- and under exposure in the same photo.
This is why fill flash can be so good, it lightens up the dark parts of a scene and allows you to get it into the narrower range of the camera.