Pushing Tin

By: Shaun

        Competition, sexual infidelity, corruption, deprivation, destruction, endurance, redemption, so what else is new at the movies? This movie tenaciously grasps you into a realm of these topics and makes it enjoyable, pulls off a concentrated subject such as the pressure and duty of being an air traffic controller. Well what works in this film is the enticing attraction from all four main actors, in particular Angelina Jolie, she is by far one of the worlds biggest sex haven beauty’s, I mean just watching her (in any role!) is time well spent. The cast here allures you into a world were staying on top is all that matters, while on your clock nothing can slip by you, it’s a think fast do fast situation. This is a movie about men whom save more people’s life in one day then surgeons do their whole lives, these are not the pilots flying the planes, these are the men in charge, the air traffic controllers. They have ingenious maneuvering skills that allow planes to land quickly and safely, the most decisive men society has, with so much stress on these workers I am astonished how not all suffer from serious nervous breakdowns. "Pushing Tin" is the highly amusing comedy from the director of "Donnie Brasco", Mike Newell, he sure does know how to take a relatively extreme topic and divert it into a circus of fun, the amusements here are escalated by the intensity of the men’s job and loyalty to both their wives and peers. The lurid and frightening subject of plane crashes is dealt with in both a lighthearted manner and a more serious one. The men abide by codes and carry honor to their name, these are the hard working people that live right next door and have barbecues on Sundays, east at diners, and drink at bars. Newell knows how to handle this material, very promptly organized and the comic relief is nicely executed, plus we get really involved in these characters marital situations and ego problems. This film prospers from it’s actors and intriguing story, everyone here has a problem or something pesky that is annoying them, what was a little strange is that there is no basic plot here, everything is a subplot. That is not necessarily bad, because the character’s chemistry together was exciting and just as enjoyable as a plot would be, this is a presentation of a modern human life tale. What happens when the environment you sustain is overtaken by someone better then you, your position in the chain is reduced, in order to get back on top you’ve got to….. Pushing tin.

        Pushing Tin apparently means you cram all the flights together so the planes make it back to destination on time, they don’t really care about the passengers lives, just as long as the plane’s reach database on time, after watching this film I am really reluctant to fly again. It freaks you out on how the controllers could lose control and let your life crash, along with 1,000 others to the left and right of you. We see planes just barely miss hitting each other, men relying on gut instincts to land planes precisely on time, but they are the best at what they do.

        One of these expert air traffic controllers is Nick "zone" Falzone (John Cusack), he is the wise cracking smart ass of this pact, never wrong and never misses, everyone likes him and he has an ego the size of a 747. After a hard day’s work Nick and his buddy’s stop off at the local diner, food, laughs, chicks, that is Nick’s triumphant heading, being immune to picking up young girls and getting them to have breakfast with him. It is nothing serious, it is just for him to know that his looks and charm are still functioning well, for Nick has a wife and two children at home, her name is Connie (Cate Blanchett), he is a faithful and loyal husband who after all these years is still in love with her. Connie is your average housewife, concerned with the children, cooking, recreational activities, anything to keep her busy. A very sentimental women. All is swell is Nick’s world until is overshadowed by a half cowboy half Indian man named Russell Bell (Billy Bob Thornton), and from the second these two lock eyes Nick knows he has to compete in every activity they do and strive to victory in each one. Their first tournament occurs in a bar where the group decides who pays the tip by everyone lighting a match and holding it in their hands, whoever drops it first pays the tip, after someone already dropped their match Nick and Russell were still holding theirs to compete with each other. Russell is all the time acting nonchalantly, calm and cool, no fear or anxiety towards anything, but it was not always like this. The fact is that Russell once stood on the runway under a 747-jet plane, we watch that tape and see him gets thrown to the air like a raggedy doll. Russell is wed to Mary (Angelina Jolie) who is a rabid alcoholic, she does love him but at times she gets a bit lonely.

         Matters begin to tighten between Nick and Russell as travesty’s and calamities occur, inside family issues that are a bit tough to watch, and we hate to see bad things happen to such good people. This film does get us involved with the characters and entertains us with their rivalries and great chemistry. Cusack’s acting is terrific, as is Jolie’s, the rest of the cast is descent and make their prescience felt. Overall a great movie, a bit slow moving, but your attention will be seized from the on screen prescience of Jolie, a fun ride that shows the side about flying which we would rather not get familiar with.


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