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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Con Air
Con Air
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Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 26, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

While it certainly isn't the best film that action producer Jerry Bruckheimer has brought to the screens, it suprises me how many people really dislike this picture. While it isn't art, I think that it succeeds as what it set out to be - a slam-bang action movie. Suprisingly, this one attracted a rather big cast, with Nicholas Cage, John Malkovich, John Cusack and Steve Buscemi. The direction is from first time director Simon West, who went on to direct "The General's Daughter" for Paramount.

The story starts off with Cameron Poe(Cage) leaving his post as an Army ranger to visit his new wife(played by the too-cute Monica Potter). As the two are leaving the bar, they run into a group of drunks who pick a fight. Before it's over, the fight has gone too far, and Poe finds himself going to jail. Years later, he is released and allowed to go home to visit his wife and new daughter. On the flight home, the criminals onboard with Poe break free and take the plane, named "Con Air", hostage. The criminals are a varied and weird bunch, sort of a "Jerry Springer Show" of bad guys lead by one "Cyrus The Virus"(Malkovich, who always makes for an entertaining bad guy). On the ground, Cusack's character is figuring any way possible to get the plane out of the sky.

"Con Air" is over-the-top from the begining, and it helps that writer Scott Rosenberg's screenplay has a few funny lines to joke about the film's overdone nature. Performances are generally fine, with Cusack's being the strongest. Cage is fine, but not great. It's certainly not my favorite movie that Bruckheimer has produced (that would be "Crimson Tide"), but in terms of this genre, it manages to be pretty entertaining.



The DVD

VIDEO: I was actually pretty surprised with the image quality on this DVD. Compared to some of the other early efforts from Disney, "Con Air" actually ends up as being not too bad at all in terms of image quality. Although images aren't razor sharp on this nonanamorphic 2.35:1 image, but they remain above average and are quite clear throughout. Colors are rich, vibrant and nicely saturated. Flesh tones are accurate, as well. There are suprisingly few instances of shimmering or other such problems, which add up to an enjoyable, if not perfect presentation. The laserdisc edition was quite good looking as well, for that format.

SOUND: As over-the-top as the movie is, the sound is just as explosive. The surrounds are put into heavy use in many scenes to add to the action, and explosions give off a solid, but not overwhelming amount of bass. While it's not the very best "action-movie" soundtrack I've ever listened to, it still is successful in doing its job in putting the viewer in the middle of the action, with the crash in Las Vegas sounding quite impressive. Dialogue is fine and the score by Mark Mancina ("Speed") and Trevor Rabin ("Armageddon") sounds excellent. Definitely an entertaining sound mix.

MENUS:: The usual for most, if not all Disney titles - non-animated menus based around pictures from the film.

EXTRAS:: Trailer/teaser trailer.

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