Friday, November 30, 2012

Pushing Tin (1999)

John Cusack Film Fest Movie #12

Synopsis: Alpha males clash, planes almost crash, Angelina Jolie plays white trash...

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “In the tradition of Grosse Pointe Blank comes an unconventional comedy about two air traffic controllers whose intense rivalry and penchant for one-upmanship causes hilarious havoc with their careers, their marriages – and the planes in their airspace!” [How is this movie “in the tradition of Grosse Point Blank”? This movie is nothing like Grosse Point Blank aside from being a comedy that stars John Cusack!]

What Did I Learn?: 1) If you’re thinking of cheating on your wife with a co-worker’s main squeeze, don’t take her to your wife’s favourite little out-of-the-way Italian bistro. 2) If this is a realistic portrayal of air traffic controllers, I think I’ll going to stick to Via Rail for cross-Canada trips.
Really?: 1) I’m pretty sure Nick Falzone (Cusack) would get tasered, arrested and fired after freaking out on board a jetliner. 2) I’m also pretty sure that Nick and Russell (Thornton) would have likely faced paralysis or even death after standing directly underneath a 747 seconds away from landing. 3) How many fucking casseroles does Nick’s wife make throughout this movie? It’s no wonder he has a wandering eye...4) So, Nick is able to land over a dozen planes during a bomb threat, and all Hell is breaking loose, but his mind turns to swiss cheese after his wife walks out on him? Sorry, but I didn’t buy that one – it’s hard to believe a professional who’s landed thousands of planes over his career couldn’t compartmentalize his problems.
Rating: Pushing Tin is a fun-yet-forgettable flick that often feels more like a sit-com. Cusack and Thornton work well together as a couple of top-notch controllers who don’t like each other, but the script is contrived and only occasionally-funny, and the computer graphics that are meant to illustrate circling planes are pretty much useless. Oh – Pushing Tin was partly filmed in the Toronto area – watch for Club OV’s. 6.5/10 stars.

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