CON AIR [1997 / 2007] [Blu-ray] [UK Release]
Fasten Your Seatbelts! High-Energy Action!

Buckle up for a pure adrenaline rush! As producer Jerry Bruckheimer s explosive hit ‘CON AIR’ detonates onto this Blu-ray Disc. Starring acclaimed actors Nicolas Cage, John Cusack and John Malkovich, this edge-of-your-seat thrill ride soars to new heights in this remarkable format.

A prison parolee Cameron Poe [Nicholas Cage] on his way to freedom faces impossible odds when the maximum security transport plane he is on is skyjacked by the 10 most vicious criminals in the country. Experience death-defying stunts and mind-blowing special effects in eye-popping 1080p while jet engines roar and turbulent action rocks your world in 5.1 Dolby Digital 48 kHz, 24-bit uncompressed audio. The excitement takes off and never lets up with Blu-ray High Definition!

FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: 1998 Academy Awards®: Nomination: Best Sound for Art Rochester, Greg P. Russell and Kevin O'Connell. Nomination: Best Music for an Original Song for Diane Warren for the song "How Do I Live." 1998 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA: Nomination: Best Supporting Actor for Steve Buscemi. 1998 ALMA Awards: Nomination: Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film for Rachel Ticotin. 1998 ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards: Win: Most Performed Songs from Motion Pictures for Diane Warren for the song "How Do I Live." 1998 BMI Film & TV Awards: Win: BMI Film Music Award for Mark Mancina. 1998 Grammy Awards: Nomination: Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television for Diane Warren for the song "How Do I Live." 1998 Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA: Nomination: Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing and Sound Effects & Foley. Nomination: Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing and Dialogue & ADR. 1998 Razzie Awards: Win: Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property. Nomination: Worst Original Song for Diane Warren for the song "How Do I Live."      

Cast: Colm Meaney, Mykelti Williamson, Nick Chinlund, Renoly Santiago, John Malkovich, Ving Rhames, Dave Chappelle, Rachel Ticotin, Steve Eastin, Steve Buscemi, Danny Trejo, M.C. Gainey, Landry Allbright, John Cusack, Monica Potter, Nicolas Cage, Brendan Kelly, Jesse Borrego, Carl N. Ciarfalio, Jerry Mongo Brownlee, José Zúñiga, Ned Bellamy, John Marshall Jones, John Roselius, Fredric Lehne, Marty McSorley, Dylan Haggerty, Dan Bell, Robert Stephenson, Scott Ditty, Tommy Bush, Lauren Pratt (Debbie 6 Years Old), Steve Hulin, Don Charles McGovern, Angela Featherstone, Doug Hutchison, Jeris Poindexter, David Ramsey, Conrad Goode, Emilio Rivera, Mario Roberts, Tyrone Granderson Jones, Earl Billings, Greg Collins, Billy Devlin, Mark Ginther, Joseph Patrick Kelly, Jeff Olson, Dawn Bluford,  Charlie Paddock, Randee Barnes, Don S. Davis, Barbara Sharma, Thomas Rosales Jr., Eddie Perez, Scott McCoy, Brian Hayes Currie, Ashley Smock, Charles Lynn Frost, Joey Miyashima, Scott Burkholder, Kevin Cooney, Gérard L'Heureux, Pete Antico, John Robotham, Gilbert Rosales, Richard L. Duran, George Randall, James Bozian, Harley Zumbrum, Doug Dearth, David Roberson, Alexandra Balahoutis, Dick 'Skip' Evans, Sheldon Worthington, Robert Taft, Robert White, Chris Ellis, John Campbell, Brian Willems, Bill Cusack, Dabbs Greer, Marco Kyris, Matthew Barry (uncredited), Powers Boothe (voice) (uncredited), John Branch (uncredited), Sherry Brown (uncredited), Dennis Burkley (uncredited), Kira Burt (uncredited), Christopher William Chamberlin (uncredited), John Diehl (uncredited), Marty Fresca (uncredited), Kevin Gage (uncredited), Christopher Robin Hood (uncredited), Walter Ludwig (uncredited), Bob Pepper (uncredited), Mark Rodney (uncredited), Scott Rosenberg (uncredited), Dan Rudert (uncredited), Jay So (uncredited) and Lance Wallick (uncredited)                                                  

Director: Simon West

Producers: Chad Oman, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jim Kouf, Jonathan Hensleigh, Kenny Bates, Lynn Kouf and Peter Bogart

Screenplay: Scott Rosenberg

Composers: Mark Mancina and Trevor Rabin

Cinematography: David Tattersall, B.S.C., A.S.C. (Director of Photography)

Image Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Audio: English: 5.1 LPCM Uncompressed Audio
English: 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio
French: 5.1 DTS Surround Sound 
French: 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio
Spanish: 5.1 DTS Surround Sound
Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio 
English: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo Audio

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finish and Icelandic

Running Time: 115 minutes

Region: All Regions

Number of discs: 1

Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: the film ‘CON AIR’ [1997] is my one and only guilty pleasure. Here is a lesson in manhood where Nicolas Cage gets to be innocently hijacked on a plane and has to save his diabetic buddy with lots of explosions and it is a totally gloriously boneheaded macho-fest rollercoaster ride from start to finish.

But here is a slight warning: If you have a slight fear of flying, then this film will not be for you. But for me and for some unknown reason, with ‘CON AIR,’ is about a film in which an aeroplane transferring hardened nasty criminals is hijacked by its criminal passengers before being taken on a raucous rollercoaster joyride, has always had a comforting effect on me and I think (spoiler warning) it's because the good guys survive, but who that is, you will have to view this film and especially this high octane 1080p Blu-ray disc.

Of course, I'm well aware that Hollywood heroes usually live, but when I watched ‘CON AIR’ for the first time in the cinema in 1997 that I hadn't yet had the pleasure of working my way through the abundance of cheap action flicks with all-American bad-asses and one-liner scripts churned out by Hollywood every year. Previously, one of my favourite films was ‘Airplane,’ but of course that was the opposite direction and of course I considered ‘CON AIR’ gives us a lesson in real macho manhood, so to speak.

And the starring man in this gloriously boneheaded macho-man fest is soft spoken Cameron Poe, played by a biblically long-locked Nicolas Cage. What a man Cameron Poe is, a former soldier, he has just been released from prison after serving time for manslaughter after killing a local drunk who berates his pregnant wife. After more than seven years doing handstand press-ups, learning Spanish and making friends with the help of the “pink coconut things” his wife sends him, he's ready to be transferred home with a fluffy stuffed rabbit to give the daughter he's never met. Unfortunately for poor Cameron Poe, a nutty bunch of Supermaxim lifers led by Cyrus “The Virus” Grissom [John Malkovich] who are also on the flight, have other ideas; they take control of the plane and Cameron Poe is forced to tread a delicate line between being an innocent good guy and a criminal in order to survive the trip. But basically the film is just about a man trying to get a toy bunny home to his daughter.

That's what I love most about ‘CON AIR,’ because of all the masquerading; it really is a hysterically comic flick. The characterisation teeters just enough into the tongue-in-cheek side of cliché to make it fantastically watchable. You've got the Dostoevsky-quoting field marshal Vince Larkin [John Cusack] waxing sociological with the brutish DEA agent Duncan Malloy [Colm Meaney] while they try to take back the plane; the quasi-profound Garland Greene [Steve Buscemi] who plays the OTT psychopath who turns up on board in a Hannibal Lecter-style face cage; and Joe “Pinball” Parker [Dave Chappelle] who gets side-tracked chatting up an airport employee in a hanger during a stop-off and almost misses the flight. There's also great action slapstick, like when (spoiler alert) Joe “Pinball” Parker's dead body is shoved out of the plane and lands on the bonnet of a car as the driver grumbles about his dirty windscreen.

But while the first half of the film is all about the hijack, the second half is essentially about a massive gun battle in an apocalyptic dustbowl scrapyard. Cameron Poe, who unlike the other prisoners is technically a free man, does actually get an opportunity to escape at this point, but turns it down because his prison cell chum Baby-O who happens to be diabetic and is in dire need of insulin. Did I mention Cameron Poe really is a great guy, who risks his life to get a syringe for a near-death Baby-O, in a fine homage to an oft-overlooked sub-genre of cinema; films that use diabetes as a narrative device?

Meanwhile, the plane takes off again, Cameron Poe's cover is broken and he is forced to fight for control of the aircraft for the epic finale; safely landing on the Vegas strip, a plane full of mad men crashing, cartoon-style into the American dream. It truly is a beautiful thing. I may be speaking for myself, but any action film that features the line: “Make a move and the bunny gets it,” deserves to be watched at least seven times. ‘CON AIR,’ is one flight you cannot afford to miss!

There's no moral to the story towards the film ‘CON AIR,’ and while the acting is great, where Dave Chapelle plays a particularly gregarious felon, there's nothing to sink your teeth into. But that will be fine for most teenagers. This is a typical blockbuster fare: The good guys and bad guys are clear from the beginning. Cameron Poe is a standby guy who is loyal to his good friend Baby-O [Mykelti Williamson] and the honour of guard Sally Bishop [Rachel Ticotin]. The bad guys are everywhere and seem to have no end of devious and fiendish plans to hatch. There are car crashes, massive explosions, pithy one-liners, like "Why couldn't you put the bunny back in the box?" Cameron Poe is deadpan after impaling a convict in the cargo hold, even a dead body flying onto the roof of an unsuspecting Volvo is great fun, for me especially and another guilty pleasure.

‘CON AIR’ delivers the goods with good-natured jokes and oddly non-threatening psychopaths especially like Steve Bushemi who plays a very creepy serial killer who psychoanalyzes his fellow convicts and has a disturbing tea party with a little girl in a trailer park. But if ‘CON AIR’ is a typical blockbuster, then a lot of critics said it suffers from the typical potholes of the genre, but I personally don’t care, as this film is definitely my one and only guilty pleasure guilty pleasure and I say “nuts” to those miserable pompous critics.

Cameron Poe goes to prison for killing a man during a light-night brawl outside the bar where his pregnant wife works. When Poe gets paroled seven years later, his plane is hijacked by criminally insane mastermind Cyrus the Virus [John Malkovich] and black separatist Diamond Dog [Ving Rhames]. It's up to Cameron Poe to save the day.


HOW DO I LIVE (Written by Diane Warren) [Performed by Trisha Yearwood]

CAROLINA IN THE MORNING (Written by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn)

THEME FROM ‘A SUMMER PLACE’ (Instrumental) (Written by Max Steiner) [Performed by Percy Faith and His Orchestra] [Conducted by Percy Faith] (uncredited)

SWEET HOME ALABAMA (Written by Ronnie Van Zant, Edward King and Gary Rossington) [Performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd]

HE’S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS (uncredited) (Traditional) [Performed by Steve Buscemi and Lauren Pratt]

Blu-ray Image Quality – Touchstone Home Entertainment brings you this powerful action packed film ‘CON AIR’ in a brilliant awe inspiring 1080p image transfer, and an equally impressive 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Despite of its age, it has a great picture quality with some surprisingly good quality images. Virtually throughout the film it has completely sharp images. The contrast and detail is at a high level, with mostly very vivid image with some very good depth. You also have minimum noise in larger areas, especially in the darker areas. Minimal visible ghosting throughout the film and there is no artificial sharpening.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – Touchstone Home Entertainment brings you this powerful action packed film ‘CON AIR’ with an equally impressive impacting 5.1 Dolby Digital audio experience. Even ‘CON AIR’ follows the same rule as the other Jerry Bruckheimer productions: to crack it and the more intense, the better!  And Touchstone Home Entertainment here gives ‘CON AIR’ namely not only provides a reference image quality but also a corresponding Home Theatre Sound experience especially in the numerous action packed scenes, where the walls of your lounge will tremble with great vibration. Here you have a full programme on offer: explosions are punchy, cannonballs hiss from one corner to the other and the engine noise of the ‘CON AIR’ comes with plenty of deep bass therefore I can honestly say that action fans will find themselves in seventh heaven acoustic!  There are not many quiet scenes in this film, but even these have been well implemented sound wise, while dialogue remains always well understood even in fast-paced scenes. So well done Touchstone Home Entertainment.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Special Feature: Movie Showcase [2007] [1080p] [2.35:1] [2:33] Movie Showcase is basically a series of bookmarks that lets you demo the 1080p HD picture and sound quality by selecting three big cinematic moments from the film ‘CON AIR.’ While it is presented in 1080p, the audio is in 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio, you do get the full HD experience. Touchstone Home Entertainment is basically giving you a Blu-ray demonstration of the three selectable scenes that are presented, the brilliant 1080p HD image quality with this Blu-ray disc, but personally I cannot work out why this has been included, very strange.

Special Feature: A View From Above [1997] [480i] [1.37:1] [4:38] This “Making-of” is just under 5 minutes and is basically seeing behind-the-scene documentary of the filming of the film ‘CON AIR’ and some of the actors and several crewmembers have their say and they include Nicholas Cage [Cameron Poe]; Jerry Bruckheimer [Producer]; John Malkovich [Cyrus The Virus], John Cusack [Vince Larkin] and Simon West [Director] have far too brief words with their involvement in the film and you get to see a few set-shots. Basically, however, this is more or less a short promotional clip for the film, and this was originally only available as a DVD feature, that is why the quality of this video is very grainy.

Special Feature: The Destruction of Las Vegas [1997] [480i] [1.37:1] [2:40] This is a follow up documentary to the previous special feature where again we see behind-the-scene of the film ‘CON AIR’ where you get to view them destroying parts of Las Vegas, especially with the CGI effects and other special effects inside the plane. We also get to view a miniaturised to scale of Las Vegas on the film set, to show you how they did the effects of the plane landing on the road and destroying parts of Las Vegas. We get also contributions from Jerry Bruckheimer [Producer] and David Goldberg [Visual Effects Supervisor]. Again this was originally only available as a DVD feature that is why the quality of this video is very grainy.

Theatrical Trailer [1997] [480i] [1.37:1] [2:28] This is the Original Theatrical Trailer for the film ‘CON AIR,’ but sadly not being shown in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Despite the slightly grainy image, it sure packs in a lot of hard action for this theatrical trailer that really gives you a brilliant view of this film, to the point it makes you want to view the real macho testosterone ‘CON AIR’ film.

Finally, this is another Jerry Bruckheimer high powered production value film and therefore another highly explosive rollercoaster ride of this always rapid all action film! ‘CON AIR’ picks up basically where the film 'The Rock' has ceased and offers even more breathless action and this time mainly in the air.  Nicolas Cage maybe the hero throughout the film, while John Malkovich is perfectly cast to be the disgusting villain again. To add other forms of ingredients into this rollercoaster ride, on top of all that we have John Cusack and Steve Buscemi to add some familiar faces, to counteract especially the performer of nasty macho felons who clearly had their fun and delightfully over-acting personified. With such exaggerated story line, ‘CON AIR’ is the best 1990s popcorn cinema.  Sit down and do not forget to buckle up! Switch off the brain and have a good over the top time! The film can also be technically convincing, since ‘CON AIR,’ after all is a 1997 film, but still looks up-to-date and especially with a very good and excellent 1080p image quality and an even more powerful sound design. Sadly there are only two extras as an added bonus that has only a short run length and very poor standard definition presentation with only a slight inadequate impression. Fans of this immensely exaggerated over the top genre action cinema à la Jerry Bruckheimer will certainly not let down with this truly spectacular Blu-ray disc release is not to be missed! Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Aficionado 
Le Cinema Paradiso 
United Kingdom

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