Con Air Extended Unrated Extended Edition

Cover Art and Menu: 5/10
I think we can all feel safe in our jimjams when we think of all those little DVD cover designers and how they are slaving away day and night to bring peace to the world and all of those wonderfully creative pieces of art for our DVD shelves. Oh wait, that’s a parallel universe I was thinking of, let me start again. I think we can all plan to feel like crap when we reach for DVD’s in the hopes of some kind of creativity and excitement to put on our shelves because we will be surely be disappointed about 93.7% of the time. ConAir is an older movie, yes. It’s hard to resell an older flick, yes. It’s impossible to rework images for a DVD cover to make it at least interesting, no.

Needless to say there’s nothing special about the menu either. Too bad they couldn’t take a few minutes to jazz up this DVD a bit more. I mean, it is a pretty action packed movie with colorful characters, bizarre visual images, and extreme circumstances. Why not give the whole package a little bit of that same personality?

Extras & Features: 1/10
No extras, but this is the extended unrated version. That only means that there are a few minutes added back into the final cut of the movie. If you’ve seen the movie before you will notice a few extra bits and pieces, but nothing that really changes anything. If you haven’t seen it, well, it really doesn’t matter what they add to it, now does it?

The Movie: 7/10
The first time I saw ConAir I was enthralled by the whole concept of the serial killer thing, the mass murders and hard core criminal minds all aboard one airplane. I was going through a phase. It was intense then and it’s intense now, but in a different way.

I appreciate the action, the tension, the emotional good guy vs. bad guy drama of it all, but after 10 years I guess the novelty wore off and all I had left to be wowed by was the sheer in-your-face outrageous story and characters and all the shit that goes down once this flight to nowhere gets off the ground. That’s not hard to do, wow me with big action. I mean, I’m not a sucker for explosions and random gunfire; I just like to let my mind go and get into the fantasy world of extremes.

A truly good man kills some jerk in a parking lot defending his wife’s honor and gets seven years in prison. The day he’s going home he ends up on a plane high jacked by the worst criminals you can imagine. It’s up to him and a token suit-and-tie guy in the ground (John Cusack) to save the day.

There are a few glitches in the matrix when it comes to character development and story, but hey, who’s counting? The movie tries to give us a background on our hero, letting us know through a couple of dialogue references that he’s had some trouble in his past, but it falls short. He’s not very interesting without a more complex back history, but his long hair and bizarre southern accent make up for all that. Cage has a way of being seriously corny and seriously serious at the same time. It’s a good thing when you are up against lines like, “Put the bunny in the box.” Followed by a deadly battle and subsequently the next line, “Why couldn’t you put the bunny in the box?” It’s not all very clever or complicated, but so what. We all chuckle and we all are endeared to this daddy trying to get home to his daughter he’s never seen in person.

Like I said, the character build up in this movie is just about as shallow as you can get. Yes, we get the creeps when we hear the run downs on all the wretched cons who have murdered, raped, and violently forged their ways through life and into their current incarceration predicament. Once you hear what they have done you already know how they will behave, with maybe one exception. There’s nothing very stimulating or thought provoking about their superficial roles they play in this tale of drama in the high skies. I’m old fashioned. I like movies like Silence of the Lambs where you are taken into the mind of the lovely guy wearing ladies’ skin and saying, “it puts the lotion in the basket”. ConAir is more about defeating the horrible villains and cheering for the good guys and not so much about giving a crap about why or how any of them are the way they are. Fair enough. I’m not always looking for a deep study of human behavior.

ConAir is one of those semi-classic 90’s action movies that followed in the footsteps of Die Hard and other hyper testosterone dipped big screen goodies. It’s good for a laugh and for even a cheer or two when evil bastards get squished, burned, blown up, shot, or other wise damaged severely. Don’t think to much about it or your brain will explode. Just sit back, eat your popcorn and enjoy the ride.

Value: 5/10
This DVD should be in the 4.99 bin at your local discount store, but for now it’s still around ten bucks. It’s got no extras, and while the picture is great it’s still just a movie on a disc. If you plan to watch it a few times, go for it, but if you want to just revisit the beginnings of Nicolas Cage’s career as the action star hero dude, rent it and spend the difference at the drive through on the way home.

Overall Score 6/10