Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Hijacked Flight 285|
Actors: James Brolin, Earle Hyman, Perry King, James Lancaster, Kim Miyori
Genres: Action & Adventure, Television, Mystery & Suspense
En route to a federal penitentary a diabolical murderer boards flight 285 to Dallas. With assistance from two on board they manage to hijack the plane and take innocent passangers as hostage..
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Robert I. Hedges | 03/10/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
""Hijacked Flight 285" is an ultra-cheap made-for-TV movie in ultra-cheap DVD packaging. Starring once popular Brat Pack staples Ally Sheedy and Anthony Michael Hall on opposite sides of the law, and James Brolin as a bearded airline pilot with love entanglements of his own, this is a stinky cinematic cheesefest that really should apologize to the audience.
The film opens with sleazy James Brolin (with the comical character name of Ron Showman) trying to pick up a girl, when his ex-girlfriend walks in. She, of course, is the Captain he will be flying with tonight, and tensions are high. She's a tough cookie, and amid the hours of inappropriate and highly inaccurate aviation-speak the writers crafted for them, she makes him call her "Captain" in the cockpit. (Note to writers: when you write an airplane movie, just call a pilot for five or ten minutes to get an idea of what we actually say in the cockpit; it will pay off in spades if you don't want the audience rolling their eyes continuously.)
We then meet the bad guys, led by Anthony Michael Hall (as Peter Cronin), who famously had a flare gun in his locker in "The Breakfast Club". Now he has deadlier ambitions, an accomplice girlfriend Shayna (Hudson Leick), and an unbelievably stereotyped ex-IRA bomber who has put plastic explosives inside a laptop to hold the plane full of people hostage. Hall is a convicted murderer in the custody of two FBI agents being transported from Phoenix to Dallas. His accomplices rendezvous with him on the plane.
Also joining the felons on the flight are a whole slew of characters right out of any "Airport" type movie you have ever seen, there's the adorable old couple, the husband and wife and cloying daughter who discover what it means to be a family again due to their trauma, there is a truly loathsome drunk guy with some of the worst lines in the film, and then there's my favorite, "Family Ties" father Michael Gross as wheelchair-bound Vietnam vet Ben Horn. It is truly a panorama from the "where are they now" file.
The film appears to have been made in the southwest US, I am going to guess at either Marana or Pinal Airpark, which are giant airliner graveyards. It was filmed on an old TWA L-1011 (the true Queen of the Skies), both interior and exteriors. The cockpit is a made up contraption with suggestions that it's a 737 or 767, or something sitting in a garage that is what prop men thought a cockpit looks like. It doesn't matter anyway, as the action that takes place in it is so lame that you will just want to fast forward.
After taking over the plane, Hall calls FBI nemesis Frank Layton (Perry King) at home and demands he and his other cuter former nemesis, gymnastic instructor, and Brat Pack co-star Deni Patton (Ally Sheedy) meet him in Dallas with $20 million in bonds, because cash can be traced. (Bonds can't?) Sheedy is an FBI hostage negotiator, and the last half of the movie revolves around her speaking to Hall about his murder of a girl in a previous crime spree, and about Hall's dislike for Layton. In an interesting move, the hijackers leave the cockpit intermittently to check on the bountiful and bad melodrama in the cabin.
It goes without saying that the Dallas airport is closed for thunderstorms and windshear, but Hall insists. There's lots of lines like "We're heading into some nasty weather, it's gonna' be dicey!" The inflight footage is a simply awful model of a 767 (think the plane from "Airplane" but less realistic). These inflight shots actually made me laugh out loud. Amid all this the Captain decides to move a lot of switches at random and do some aerobatics in the thunderstorm in an attempt to damage the plane and make them think it couldn't fly out of Dallas when they got there. Actually the screenwriters just wanted to add drama, and while aeronautically wholly implausible, impossible, and ridiculous, it pads the running time immensely. I just can't dignify the gross flying buffoonery further.
They prepare to land in Dallas, and due to their self-inflicted hydraulic emergency and associated bad dialogue ("I've got two hydraulic systems flatlining!") they may have an emergency landing with the nose landing gear up. (They don't.) Hall won't let crash trucks close to them, but I am confused as to how he planned to continue his reign of terror if the plane is on its belly and possibly on fire (like the Captain intimates).
During the negotiations Sheedy secures the release of the kindly old woman who had a heart attack, and a passenger secretes a tape and a picture of the hijackers he's made on her person; this proves crucial in the FBI's efforts to end the drama. The pilots say he wants a new plane to transport everyone including the crew and passengers. I have several questions here. First, how is he planning on maintaining control of 250 passengers on the ground during the transfer; second, the new plane they bring is a 747; how does he expect the crew to fly a completely different type of plane; third, we know he's super smart, but does he know that the power of bombs to destroy aircraft in flight is a function of their being pressurized, and that on the ground his pitiful little bomb is vastly less powerful, and would have very limited effect? All questions for the screenwriters which would have been better off answered before the writing started for the film.
The new plane is swarming with SWAT guys, so Hall orders the pilots of the allegedly semi-destroyed plane to get going after Sheedy joins the party as a special delegation from the FBI. There are romantic undertones in the plot from Hall about Sheedy and Layton, and more sordid and ponderous dialogue leading to the film's conclusion which involves an aborted takeoff because the FBI turned off the runway lights (harking back to Stephen Stucker in "Airplane"); the FBI storms aboard from below (lucky the L-1011 has those galley lifts!) and kills Hall and the mad bomber, while Shayna is taken into custody. In the last five minutes of the film the bogus romantic entanglements reveal themselves and the ludicrous dialogue gets cranked up past excruciating, as heroine Sheedy goes to the hospital and hero Gross goes to the morgue.
This is truly a trying experience for anybody, especially anyone who knows something about aviation. The plot, script, direction, acting, and special effects were all universally deplorable. There are some bonuses on the DVD, but they really amount to stills, cast information, and trivia about making the movie. I was most intrigued by the bizarre claim that the cast were held on a 737, but it was supposed to represent a 767. I have no idea why they claimed this, as the cast was clearly held on an L-1011. That's OK though, because the box art shows a 707, while through the miracle of stock footage it was also at times a 747. Most of the Boeing product line was represented at one point or another, but the standout performer in the film was the old reliable L-1011. As a longtime devotee of the L-1011 the presence of the old girl in the film justified one star by itself. The rest of the movie you can bury in a cat box."