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Alex Diaz-Granados | Miami, FL United States | 08/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Air Force One, the 1997 summer hit directed by Wolfgang Petersen (The Boat/Das Boot, In The Line of Fire) and starring Harrison Ford as President James Marshall, stretches the term "willing suspension of disbelief" to its limits, yet, incredibly, it works.Co-starring Gary Oldman, Glenn Close, Wendy Crewson, Liesel Matthews, William H. Macy, and Dean Stockwell, Air Force One's premise is simple: Russian ultra-Communist terrorists take over the President's plane on its way back to the U.S. from Moscow. Marshall, who by happenstance is separated from his family and staff during the takeover, must use his military training (he's a former Air Force pilot) and his wits to regain control of Air Force One and rescue the hostages before the terrorists achieve their aims.The terrorists, led by Ivan Korshunov (Oldman), are seeking the immediate release of General Alexander Radek (Jurgen Prochnow), who was snatched from his palace in Kazakhstan by a joint team of Russian and American Special Forces. Radek and his followers believe in the restoration of the old Soviet Union, and until both Russia and the U.S. intervened, had ruled Kazakhstan with as much regard for human life as the Taliban exhibited when they ruled Afghanistan. After a ceremony hosted by the grateful Russian President in which Marshall warns rogue nations and terrorists that "we will no longer be afraid. It's your turn to be afraid," the American delegation heads to one of Moscow's main airports to board the Presidential plane.Little do they know that Korshunov and his team, using falsified press credentials, have passed through both Russian and American security and are aboard. Ironically, they are given a tour of Air Force One by the unsuspecting assistant press secretary, Melanie Mitchell (Donna Bullock). And why not? To the Secret Service agents and the Air Force Security detachment, Korshunov and his people are reporters, harmless and unarmed. So how in the world are these guys going to storm Air Force One, "the most secure aircraft in the world?" Hmmm....and why do Korshunov and Secret Service agent Gibbs (Xander Berkeley) exchange that glance as they pass each other, eh?Petersen and screenwriter Andrew W. Marlowe never do explain Gibbs' motivations for his subsequent actions (as the director admits in the audio commentary track), but by the time audiences start asking those "real life" questions about plausibility, the sheer adrenaline rush provided by this action-packed film suppresses the "yeah, right" response to its premise. The Air Force (which willingly participated in the production of this film) says there is no escape pod in Air Force One's list of defensive measures, and viewers know that no sane person, whether terrorist or not, is going to fire automatic weapons inside an airborne plane unless he or she knew the mission was going to fail anyway.Mixed in with the gunfire and explosions that punctuate the film, Petersen and Marlowe endow their characters with depth and believability. Petersen makes viewers care about each person being held hostage, warts and all, so that when one is lost, it feels real. Even Korshunov is played in such way that his motivations feel true and heartfelt, even if his cause is not just.Yet Petersen and his cast and crew make audiences forget these dull real life facts. By the time the credits roll to Jerry Goldsmith's rousing End Title Suite, the viewer will wish the current occupant of the Oval Office were replaced by Harrison Ford's President Marshall, who is not only a man of political integrity but also a man of action."
Get Off of my plane
Gunner | Bethlehem,Georgia | 02/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Air Force One DVD
Air Force One starring Harrison Ford is one of my favorite movies for all the wrong reasons.
First it shows you what an U. S. President ought to be: - An Honorably discharged veteran (in the movie he had won the Congressional Medal of Honor) - Brave ( he chose to stay behind and fight the terrorist who had hijacked the plane) - A man of action, not just words. Glenn Close plays a superb Vice-President. In the movie the President's family on the surface mirrors Bill Clinton's, wife with a teenage , blonde headed daughter. Too bad reality is so different.
Anyhow as Bill Clinton recently said it's all a fairy tale.
Highly recommended for people who want to know how a President is suppose to be and for fans of Harrison Ford.
P. S. Did you know Harrison Ford was a carpenter when discovered for the first Star Wars movie? "
Blu-ray: "AIR FORCE ONE" is an audiophile's dream! Incredib
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 06/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the Summer of 1997, audiences were treated with another action film from Harrison Ford. During the 1990's, Ford has made quite a number of successful action films but his performance in "AIR FORCE ONE" was truly an example that this Hollywood veteran still had what it takes to be an action star.
The film was directed by well-known action director Wolfgang Petersen ("The Perfect Storm", "Troy", "Outbreak", "Das Boot"), music by well-known composer Jerry Goldsmith ("Rambo", "Star Trek: First Contact", "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "Basic Instinct") and Director of Photography by Michael Ballhaus ("Gangs of New York", "The Departed", "Wild Wild West").
The film was received positively by critics and a success in the box office as it brought in over $315 million worldwide. "AIR FORCE ONE" even received attention from President Bill Clinton who enjoyed the film and watched it twice. The film would go on to receive two Academy Award nominations for "Best Film Editing" and "Best Sound".
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"AIR FORCE ONE" features a pretty solid transfer on Blu-ray. Video is presented in 1080p High Definition (aspect ration of 2:40:1) and one thing that I will make clear is that while many films featured in the 90's tend to have a DNR, clean, waxy or soft effect in terms of picture quality, the good news is that "AIR FORCE ONE" does not.
In fact, there are scenes where the detail comes out quite nicely. But if there was one thing that the Blu-ray High Definition transfer does happen to bring out is the amount of grain. But I would rather take a transfer full of grain than the soft, waxy DNR look any day. And I am so happy that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment decided to feature "AIR FORCE ONE" with a good HD transfer of the film.
As for the audio, I have one word and that is "magnificent".
"AIR FORCE ONE" has one of the most impressive soundtracks that I have heard from a 1990's film. The soundtrack just sounds absolutely wonderful on English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (the film is also featured in French Dolby TrueHD 5.1).
The film features a high number of action scenes and gunfire, music, mechanical sounds from the vehicles, jet engines flying, helicopter rotors spinning, it would seem that so much was put into the emphasis of having a wonderful soundtrack that "AIR FORCE ONE" truly delivers. And these are not short bursts of audio, there are plenty of scenes that utilize this explosive audio throughout the film.
I was absolutely in awe of how all the speakers were being utilized, especially my surround channels and I also noticed a few times where my subwoofer would utilize low frequency sounds. "AIR FORCE ONE" is an action thriller that truly delivers with its audio that I can say that this is one of the better sounding action thrillers from the 1990's that just shines on Blu-ray. And just to think that this film is 12 years old. I was absolutely thrilled by the audio quality of the film.
As for subtitles, the film is presented in English, English SDH and French.
"AIR FORCE ONE" features a commentary track by Director Wolfgang Petersen and Michael Coleman. This is the same commentary from the DVD release but there is good information from Petersen on scenes that were actual aerial shots and not CG and which parts were shot on a set and were CG'd. Also, learning about his feelings towards his cast members, Harrison Ford especially and how Ford did his own stunt work.
BD Live is also enabled and there are commercials in 1080p for upcoming releases from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
I am a big Harrison Ford fan and I watched this film immediately when it came out on theaters. My first impression was that Harrison Ford should definitely be President because it was like a combination of a President meets DIE HARD's John McClane. Well, not really but Harrison Ford's role as a President who fights back was definitely a highlight throughout the film.
One thing that I know is when a film is being directed by Wolfgang Petersen, the viewer is definitely going to be treated with an exceptional, action-packed film and "AIR FORCE ONE" is just that. Even 12 years later and this film still holds up quite well. Petersen and everyone involved in this film did a wonderful job and I have to say that this is my favorite Harrison Ford action thriller to come out in the 1990's. He manages to have the suave, charisma and that look and feel of an action star but in this case, he's the President of the United States.
But for those who own the DVD of "AIR FORCE ONE", you may be wondering if its worth the double dip? I have to answer with an extreme "YES!!!". The soundtrack of "AIR FORCE ONE" is top notch and I will say that its one of the most immersive soundtracks I have heard on Blu-ray. Also, bare in mind, this is not a new action film, this was a film released in the Summer of 1997 and it can compete with some of the recent, bigger releases on Blu-ray. That is how magnificent this film sounds on Blu-ray.
If there were faults in the Blu-ray transfer, its the fact that there are not many special features included. Just the audio commentary but no HD trailer and no making of featurette. The other thing is that although the film looks better than many 1990's film on Blu-ray and avoids the waxy, DNR look but with its HD transfer, grain is elevated. Though not too bad, it is noticeable and this may be a slight issue for some viewers but I tend to be on side of grain is part of film and high definition elevates the look of grain. And personally, I would rather take the grain than a transfer with a lot of DNR or edge enhancement.
Overall, "AIR FORCE ONE" is a magnificent action-packed thriller and a film that Harrison Ford truly shines in. And as for the Blu-ray, this is the definitive version of "AIR FORCE ONE" to own!"
Just saw it again. HAD TO REVIEW IT!
David Foskin | Waterford, Ireland | 05/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"``Air Force One'' is a thriller that taps into our secretly cherished associations with the presidency. It gives us the president of our dreams, a president of mythic virtues, and then shows him desperately at risk. The catch is that the audience must believe that it's watching the president of the United States. Buy it, and ``Air Force One,'' now out on video, is halfway home. Don't buy it, and the film becomes a preposterous thriller.
Fortunately, the film finds in Harrison Ford the one actor who can fully inhabit two kinds of grandeur -- action-movie bigness and the aura of the presidency. He has the ego and the intelligence for the job. He has the Gary Hart hair. He also has a quality that Americans perhaps are nostalgic for -- sincerity.
As President James Marshall, Ford is beyond sincere. He is an impassioned visionary. We meet him for the first time at a Kremlin banquet in his honor, giving a speech in which he's about to implode with rage and moral fervor. ``It's your turn to be afraid!'' he warns terrorists. By the time Gary Oldman, as an obsessed Kazak super-nationalist, and his band of Communist mal contents hijack the president's Boeing 747, the act seems like a chilling violation.
There's a violence to ``Air Force One'' that's simply not present in the more cartoonish action films. Bullets rip nasty holes into doors, and the sound of gunshots in the confined space of the presidential plane is a jolt. Oldman's enjoyment in murdering defenseless people makes the violence more personal and frightening. Director Wolfgang Petersen's action fantasy escalates into midair dogfights and elaborate stunts that have people dangling from the Air Force One parachute ramp and later trying to transfer via a cable to a rescue aircraft. There is a tone of confident military heroics and almost a reverence for the presidency that seem a throwback to World War II propaganda movies. ``Air Force One'' might not be the role of Ford's career, but it might be the ultimate role of his maturity. "
Good Action Adventure Film
drebbles | Arlington, MA USA | 11/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When Air Force One, carrying President James Marshall and his family, is taken over by terrorists, the President makes it to the escape pod on the plane, but he refuses to leave while his family is still on board. With all members of the Secret Service dead and the terrorists threatening to kill a hostage every half-hour until a prisoner is released from a Russian jail, it is up to Marshall to stop the terrorists. Will he be able to stop the terrorists and save his family?
Okay, in this type of film viewers know from the beginning that the good guys are going to win and the bad guys are going to lose, badly, but not before lots of people die. But, while somewhat predictable, and highly implausible, this is still a good thriller, with plenty of edge of your seat chills. There's just enough twist on the action adventure formula to keep the viewer from guessing what will happen next.
Director Wolfgang Petersen deserves most of the credit for making this film work as well as it does. There are plenty of thrilling action sequences, especially the one that closes out the movie. Harrison Ford is a bit stiff as the President at the beginning of the film, but loosens up and does fine once he gets into action hero mode. Gary Oldman is wonderfully creepy as the main terrorist. Glenn Close and Dean Stockwell do fine as the Vice President and Defense Secretary. William H. Macy is, as always, perfect in a supporting role. Wendy Crewson is also good as the First Lady.