Video Picks Archive
This week my picks are Pushing Tin (1999 - ) and Airplane! (1980 - ).
The first film stars John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton as air traffic controllers for the New York area. Cusack has an affair with Thornton's wife (Angelina Jolie), and their high-stress jobs are intensified by jealousy and mistrust. A good film that deals with masculinity both amusingly and perceptively. Worth seeing to catch Cate Blanchett playing a New Jersey housewife, but it is overlong and a tad too conventional. This was the first screenplay written by TV producers Glen and Les Charles ("The Bob Newhart Show", "Taxi", and "Cheers").
Of course, the best portrayal of an air traffic controller was given by Lloyd Bridges in the second film. In this spoof of the Airport movies of the 1970's, Robert Hays plays an ex-pilot who must commandeer a jetliner when the entire crew passes out from food poisoning. This was the first studio film (and best overall) from Zucker-Abrahms-Zucker, and gave new life to the career of Leslie Nielsen as a deadpan comedic actor. The best role went to Peter Graves as Captain Oveur (classic line: "You ever see a grown man naked?"). A pure delight, and one of the best comedies ever.
For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
Pushing Tin (1999)
Guide to Star Ratings
Capsule Reviews © 1999 Matt Heffernan