Air Force One

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Adam Lenhardt, Mar 2, 2002.

  1. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Continuing with my line of movie posts, tonight I revisited Air Force One, as I continue to go through my DVD collection with the new TV.
    In a post-9/11 world, I think this film holds new significance. Or perhaps not. Either way, it's a great over-the-top patriotic film. From Jerry Goldsmith's flag-waving score, to the medal-of-honor President Marshall retaking the plane, this is one of those popcorn films that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
    Normal terms of reality are thrown out the window the moment Gary Oldman boards the plane. Knowing this, one can expect anything to happen... and Petersen's lives up to the promise.
    While some critics like Ebert throught it was too over the top, I say nonsense. No action film is really realistic. I love the way that through the early scenes of the film, one gets the impression: "Man, this plane is frigging huge!" but as the movie unfolds, and the same areas are retread time after time, one begins to understand how small it really is. Die Hard created the whole reverse-robber genre, and gave us a whole skyscraper to dwell in. Then an entire airport. Then an entire city. By containing all the action in such a small space, the creative team had to get creative with the action scenes. I think they did an admirable job.
    What'd you all think?
     
  2. Drew Mertz

    Drew Mertz Stunt Coordinator

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    I still can`t get over the whole glenn close roll of vice president. They should have went all the way and had a cartoon character play the president after that. I liked the movie but I`ll go for snacks everytime she gets screen time.
     
  3. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

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    Hey, the ultimate popcorn flick. I never gave a rip if this was believable. It is just plain fun.

    Every notice how some of the great actors really shine in the cardboard cartoon role of the bad guy. Gary Oldman just about sets the mold for the ultimate bad ass that gets done in by the protagonist, President Indiana Jones.

    Same for Alan Rickert as Hans Gruber.

    Maybe the unwritten rule for mindless actions flicks is that the bad guy has to be well versed in Shakespeare, and the good guy a capable actor who can hit his mark and not go Marlon Brando on us.
     
  4. ozar

    ozar Agent

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    Haven't had my DVD player and widescreen very long, but Air Force One was one of the first DVD's I bought to go with it. Good story and suspense all the way... [​IMG]
     
  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I just watched this over the weekend. I treat it like the last Jack Ryan movie that Harrison Ford ever did (even if he's not "Jack Ryan" in the film, he may as well be given how the film goes). It has high re-watch factor for me (loved the F-15 swirling around AFO and also when they are engaged with the short battle with the migs)
     
  6. Christopher P

    Christopher P Supporting Actor

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    I thought that Glenn Close did sort of bring down the WH scenes, while Dean Stockwell, Philip Baker Hall, and other character actors nicely conveyed he tense, stressful, and even political, goings-on in the absence of their Commander-in-Chief. Gary Oldman's speech to the daughter was brilliant, explaining to her how her father is a murderer just as he is, even though he does it with a cell phone and a smart bomb. And Harrison Ford is, well...Harrison Ford. Solid as usual, allowing the action to go on around him while still maintaining the focus of the scene. As Roger Ebert put it in his review of Raiders of the Lost Ark "He is the fulcrum, not the lever."

    Chris
     
  7. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

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    I always wanted them to make a sequel in which President Ass Kicker solves the problem of partisan politics and gridlock in Congress with the business end of an M-16 [​IMG]
    I think Air Force One is fun but am I the only one that finds that shot of the plane crashing really distracting? It might be the worst effects shot I've ever seen in a big Hollywood movie.
     
  8. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Being that this film is sort of a bombastic guilty pleasure for me, I can say that the scene with AFO crashing into the ocean doesn't bother me anymore. It's just part of the whole ride.
     
  9. Eric Fisher

    Eric Fisher Stunt Coordinator

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    "Same for Alan Rickert as Hans Gruber."

    I believe that's Alan Rickman.
     
  10. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Sticking with my role of resident wet rag, I have to say this one is barely watchable for me. An action film does not have to be unbelievable and so ridiculously over the top. I remember when The Wind and the Lion and The Man Who Would Be King combined action with sheer adventure and internal plausibility. To each his own! [​IMG]
     
  11. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Well since you've asked for opinions I guess I'll be the second "wet rag" to give his opinion. [​IMG]
    I thought this was a rather mediocre Action/Thriller. A little too over the top for me in light of the subject matter.
    I also didn't buy into the whole President as man of action scenario especially in this day & age. I mean C'mon Harrison Ford is no Teddy Roosevelt. [​IMG]
     
  12. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Well, I think in the post 9/11/ scenario, it does hits home a lot closer. It's comforting to know that somehow an ex-marine who becomes president would be able to take on the "Die Hard on a Plane" role and do the terrorists in.

    I accept it for what it is, a pretty thrilling ride, with plenty of thought behind the "what if's" in this scenario.

    (Of course, when the plane is nearly on the ground at Ramstaad, I don't know why the pilots didn't kill the engines before they were killed. Other than to get the plane back up in the air, it was good good vs. evil popcorn entertainment).

    "Get off my plane."
     
  13. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Let me just simply say I loved it. I just immerse myself in the action, leave my brain at the door and enjoy it. It is no more unbelievable than Speed was.
     
  14. Rob P S

    Rob P S Cinematographer

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    Yeah, it's a great rockin' good popcorn flick - no more, no less. You'd think that with over two hours of running time, they could have added at least one line to explain why Xander Berkeley's character became a traitor. And after Oldman's death


    it went into overkill. But I love the movie and Jerry Goldsmith's thundering score anyway.
     
  15. Qui-Gon John

    Qui-Gon John Producer

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    I love this one. But it always bugged me that why, after the plan was defeated and the President was going to be rescued, (and the hostage General they wanted released was dead), why does the Xander Berkely character give himself away. Right up until the end, nobody knows he's bad. He could have kept his cover and aided the cause he supported, some other way. To me, that is the most unrealistic aspect of the movie. Still a great flick.
     
  16. Kevin Grey

    Kevin Grey Cinematographer

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    I have more than a few friends who hold this one with some disdain but boy I love this movie! The premise may sound silly on paper but Peterson's excellent pacing, Goldsmith's score, and Harrison Ford in all of his ass-kicking glory really brought this to life for me. One of my favorite movies of an otherwise dismal summer of '97.

    The scene beginning with the takeover of the plane, its attempted landing at Rammstein, and the final fly-by of the F-15s served as my DVD/Doly Digital demo for many a year.
     
  17. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Well, I watched this movie again as a Superbit and enjoyed it then. If there's any movie you want to watch post 9/11 to get those feelings going, try DTS version of The Siege w/Denzel Washington. It'll scare the pants off of you seeing on how the format of the movie is so close to real life terrorist situations.
     
  18. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Executive Decision is another one that can get the feelings going.
     
  19. Corbin Stirn

    Corbin Stirn Second Unit

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    Just watched this over the weekend and it's as good as I remember. One HORRIBLE thing-I have the LD of this(bought the day it came out)and unfortunately for me, I forgot this was a SONY(Columbia/Tristar Indiana pressing plant) release. So of course, I wasn't able to finish the movie as the laser rot was so bad on the 2nd disc that it froze permanently after 2 minutes. [​IMG] Thanks Sony![​IMG]
    But a fantastic movie just the same. Definitely gets the U.S.A.! U.S.A.! feeling going.[​IMG] If you don't have it, get it. BB just had this for $6.67.
     
  20. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    I have to go with Patrick on this one. It's a great action-adventure popcorn flick, and it could have easily been written by Tom Clancy and fit perfectly into the Jack Ryan canon.

    Great realistic inside views of Air Force One. The production designers did a great job with their homework. However, the plane crash at the end was the most unrealistic part of the whole film - slipshod visual effects.

    Other than that, a great film. I almost expected James Horner's music from "Clear and Present Danger" to kick in at any time.
     

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