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Con Air Review


Excellent
It wasn't necessarily obvious (or even possible to know) at the time of its 1997 release, but Jerry Bruckheimer's Con Air would represent his finest hour. Bruckheimer isn't the director, of course, but rather the rare movie producer who would claim possessive credit on almost any of his projects. Bruckheimer branches into cheesy thrillers, cheesy inspirational dramas, cheesy inspirational sports dramas, and cheesy television procedurals, but Con Air finds the super-producer munching on his bread and butter: a loaf of action movie, with melted cheese on top.

Not only that, but it's assembled using all of Bruckheimer's tried and tested techniques: Mix movie stars and indie heroes into an eclectic, slumming cast and have them act in a ludicrously high-concept scenario. (Here it is: The worst criminals in the country team up to hijack their prison transport plane! And it's up to one man to stop them!) Then spend lots of money but indulge in a cynical jokiness, and hire a director who will shoot the whole thing like it's a music video or a commercial (preferably for itself).

Continue reading: Con Air Review

Con Air Review


Weak
It's appalling to see good actors (John Malkovich, John Cusack) make utter fools of themselves. This is undoubtedly the worst film of both their careers. Nic Cage may not be at bottom here, but his performance is embarassing to the point of making you want to vomit. Steve Buscemi's smiling serial killer redeems the film somewhat, but how much fun can you have in a film that's about convicts skyjacking a plane and landing it a few times here and there as they try to escape the law. First in a line of junk movies from director Simon West.

A Man Apart Review


Weak

In their attempt to make a shoot-'em-up with a soul, ready-to-be-crowned action king Vin Diesel and director F. Gary Gray ("The Negotiator") wind up with a dark and handsome movie -- quite unfortunately titled "A Man Apart" -- that's less than exciting and only superficially deep.

As a DEA bad-ass on the war path against an anonymous drug kingpin who killed his wife -- something you know is coming the minute he stares lovingly into the eyes of a beautiful actress without any name recognition (Jacqueline Obradors) -- Diesel seems to have taken the part so he could dust off some of his emotional range without straying too far from his muscle-rippling, shaved-head, five-o'clock-shadow tough Guy-with-a-capital-G screen persona.

While he does sell his brokenheartedness, with the aid of some beautiful ocean-side sunsets in front of which he despondently holds his head in his hands, Diesel and Gray know that's not what the people pay to see -- so pass the ammo, baby! Several thunderous, chaotic, hard-to-follow shoot-outs are the picture's big set pieces.

Continue reading: A Man Apart Review

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A Man Apart Movie Review

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