The Lord Cage’s Prayer:
Our Father, which art in Snake Eyes,
Nicolas be thy name;
thy Face/Off come;
thy Con-Air be done,
on earth as it is in Deadfall.
Give us this day our daily Ghost Rider.
And forgive him for Trespass,
as we forgave him for Windtalkers.
And lead us not into Adaptation;
but deliver us from The Rock.
For thine is the Wicker Man,
the National Treasure,
for ever and ever.
Howdy all you Supercultists out there on the interwebz!
I’m Bad Movie Professor Cameron Coker (BS in “Bunnies” with a minor in “Boxes”) and I’ll be posting my hype-tacular speeches every week along with some long lost speeches from past Supercult Shows!
This week is the first part of our end-of-semester double feature! A Nicolas Cage classic at 30,000 feet: Con Air!
Army Ranger Cameron Poe had a perfect life, but when he accidentally kills a drunkard while protecting his pregnant wife he is sentenced to 7-10 years in prison for excessive force. Eight years later Poe is paroled on good conduct and is eager to see his wife Tricia and his daughter whom he has never met, but when the vicious inmates hijack the prisoner transport plane he is on, Poe realizes that he’s the only one on board who can stop them. Can Cameron Poe stop the other passengers and escape the newly dubbed ‘Con Air’ to the arms of his wife and daughter? Can he do it before the authorities on the ground decide the shoot the plane out of the sky!? Buckle up Supercultists! Nicolas Cage stars in Con Air!
Reportedly inspired by a newspaper article about a plane that transports convicts, Con Air (not to be confused with Comair a Delta Air Lines subsidiary, Conair personal care, health and beauty products, or Connair, formerly Connellan Airways) is a 1997 action/crime/thriller starring Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Ving Rhames, Danny Trejo, Dave Chappelle, Mykelti Williamson, and Steve Buscemi.
Jerry Bruckheimer and his partner in crime Don Simpson produced several explosive action, drama, and crime films over the years including Crimson Tide, Dangerous Minds, Enemy of the State, Nicolas Cage’s ‘The Rock’, and both Bad Boys films. Don Simpson reportedly hated the concept for Con Air and wanted nothing to do with it. When Simpson died in 1996 at the age of 52 it was found that he was spending over $60,000 a month in prescription medications. We must therefore assume that decades of overexposure to horrible acting, explosions, Nicolas Cage, and awesomeness forced him to take medical action until his death.
The tragedy of course did nothing to deter Jerry Bruckheimer and Con Air became the first film that featured the new ‘Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ logo in the opening credits.
Con Air was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer but for some reason the directing reins were passed to Simon West, a veteran of British music videos. Con Air was West’s directorial debut but he went on to direct other popcorn movies such as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Mechanic, and The Expendables 2. We look forward to the upcoming medical report after the death of Simon West.
Con Air was called “Les Ailes de l’Enfer” (The Wings of Hell) in France. “Con” in French is a slang word for a vagina and, as in most languages, is also used as a (very strong) derogatory epithet. Dave Chappelle revealed in the DVD commentary of the Chappelle Show and later on Inside the Actors Studio that he improvised most of his lines in the film.
Con Air employed several highly detailed models at 1/15th scale and a multitude of military and private aircraft. The film credits end with “In Memory of Phil Swartz”, a special effects technician who was crushed to death by one of the plane models at an airport. The original script called for the plane to crash-land at the White House, but the locale was changed to Las Vegas because it was more in keeping with the dichotomy of the convicts “cashing in.” Though I prefer to think that since the White House had been destroyed a year prior in the film ‘Independence Day’, Hollywood had simply met it’s national monument destruction quota for that decade.
Moreover, the Las Vegas scenes were filmed at the legendary Sands Hotel immediately prior to its demolition in late 1996. When the production team heard about the city’s intentions to raze the historic landmark, they immediately scheduled a multiple camera setup to take advantage of the rare event, which is what you actually see in the movie. Bruckheimer said, “We got very lucky … The Sands was going to be demolished anyway. They blew up the tower on their own. We arranged to blow up the front of the building.”
With a budget of $70 million and a worldwide gross of $224 million, Con air was nominated for an Oscar for Best Sound Mixing and featured the hit single “How Do I Live” performed by Trisha Yearwood which was nominated for both an Oscar for Best Original Song AND a Golden Raspberry for WORST Original Song. It didn’t win in any category. Con Air did, however, win a Razzie for the special category “Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property.”
This is for all my Homestuck Fanboys:
As you might’ve guessed, Con Air received decidedly mixed reviews. It has a 6.8 on IMDB and 55% on Rotten Tomatoes. Con Air has been praised for its special effects and ‘edge-of-your-seat’ action and criticized for it’s typecast, paper-thin characters and ludicrously mind-numbing second half. James Rocchi from Netflix says, “It’s slapped together childishly and has no real foundation to render it even vaguely capable of withstanding a lapping wave of intellect or logic,” and James Berardinelli from ReelViews likens it to “watching a dog running in circles chasing its tail – the amusement factor dies quickly as the situation becomes repetitive.”
BUT Roger Ebert gave Con Air a 3 out of 4 stars saying, ”The movie is essentially a series of quick setups, brisk dialogue and elaborate action sequences…less of the dogged seriousness of many action pictures and more of the self-kidding humor of ‘The Rock’. This is a movie that knows it is absurd and does little to deny it.”
That’s exactly what we Supercultists like to hear! Absurdity! Explosions! Death on set! Our Lord and Savior Nicolas Cage! The perfect part 1 of tonight’s Supercult Double Feature! Get your ‘screams’ ready and put the bunny back in the box!
The Supercult show is proud to present: Con Air!