Dude. How great was '97? You could ice skate all good, kissing girls just started happening, pizza was the best. Oh man, your best friend just got an enormous trampoline in his backyard, holy shit, life is good. Your whole career was basically about cracking up and getting rides to Sam Goody.
And watching movies with retardo-huge airplanes in them.
For some reason 1996 rolled around and Hollywood got an insatiable boner for jumbo jets. Speed put city buses on the map, Mission Impossible made people realize trains were for real, and then suddenly all the writers in LA were like: "Oh my god. Airplanes. Big, shiny, metally airplanes. They fly through the air, they have seats for people, holy shit, my mind is going so fast right now."
Between '96 and '97 five Large Airplane Movies were made and three of them were Biggie Sized for theaters.
Aside from having the most orange movie poster of all time, Executive Decision was mainly popular because it was the first to buck MPAA regulations and brazenly show two airplanes fucking in midair. Referring to the controversial scene, star Kurt Russell was rumored to have coined the term "Air-Slamming," while doing press for the movie.
We all know Michael Bay loves to shoot at magic hour, and he got so jealous over this poster.
Nothing but good guys here. Also, check out the math problem next to Kurt's face. Jesus, I just want to see bad guys die, I don't need to know how fast the train leaving Chicago is going.
Still. Executive D was badass. Lots of future technology, War Room scenes, bomb diffusion and Steven Seagal is in it for about 22 frames in Act I. A lot of people never saw it and when they ask me how good it is, I tell them the same thing I tell everyone: look at the Scene Index. That's all you need to know about this.
Air Force One
President Han Solo's executive plane is hijacked by The Russians. Awesome. The production designers had a field day with this movie because they got to exploit the fact that no one has ever recorded the inside of Air Force One, so it was all a fantasy. I'm talking panic rooms, control centers with beep-boop light-up buttons, executive galleys with walk-in freezers, moveable floorboards for hiding from storm troopers. Even a master bedroom for executive air-slammin'.
Sometimes the AF1 interior looked like a high tech submarine and sometimes it looked like a cheap hotel in Montreal.
Sirius Black is totally obsessed with phones and when he's not on them himself, he's making other people talk on them, which is brillz because competent villains are so boring. Hans Gruber was so on his shit, the only interesting thing about him was his ego. But a crazy villain who wants you to call his ex's in the middle of the night from a cavernous house-jet? Scaredsville, USA. Population: President Indiana Jones.
But Executive Indy is like, "I hate terrorist snakes!" and he literally kills everyone sporting a mustache-goatee combo. Because:
Who cares about The White House on a plane? Give me Bad Southern Accents on a Plane.
Con Air is known primarily for two things: Nicolas Cage running from a wall of fire and Nicolas Cage standing in front of a wall of fire.
Here is the exact moment Nick Cage realized long hair was a good look for him.
So Con Air was wicked good because it was pretty much an ensemble comedy. It even had Dave Chapelle in it. The funny bits were good and the serious bits were funny so this movie had nothing to lose, which why they had total throw-away scenes like this:
Remember when this happened? This is known as Michael Bay humor. You punctuate a talking scene with an over-the-top display of violent destruction. Usually involving cars or machinery. For no reason. It makes little kids laugh and the parents in the theater see their kids laugh and realize that they should go see more movies. Bay Humor is a solid gold moneymaker.
Also, you thought Executive Decish was all about the orange? Look at this semiotic brain-splitter:
Nicolas Cage IS A WALL OF FIRE, they left Ving Rhames on the runway, Nicolas Cage is playing John Malkovich, John Cusack is playing Nick Cage, and Malkovich is playing the Cuse. But can I get a hell yeah, symmetry? Hell yeah, symmetry.