Ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot speaking. Please direct your attention to the attendants at the front of the site.
Of course, all of this just means that our wonderful host, Wanderer @ Wandering Through the Shelves has chosen Airplane Movies as our topic for this week's Thursday Movie Picks. We've already taxied down the runway, now let's take off.
The Concorde: Airport '79
(1979)What the hell is going on in that picture? Oh, we'll get to that in a minute. Let's start with some real life facts. If you grew up in the 80s or earlier, you are well aware that the Concorde was a real plane. It was the world's first commercially used supersonic jet. By supersonic, I mean it flew at twice the speed of sound. It made trans-Atlantic flights in less than half the time of other commercial airliners. If memory serves, it was also bigger than a 747. The few French and British companies that used them put them down in the early 2000s because they were losing tons of money on them due to the rising cost of fuel and lack of interest after 9/11. Now, onto the movie. It bears the word "Airport" because it is the fourth movie in that hugely successful franchise. They should have stopped at three. Here, an American company has just purchased a Concorde and sends it on its maiden flight. Of course, some arms dealer wants to blow it out the sky thanks to some Russian connections he has. Cold War stuff. And away we go on a nutty, inadvertently hilarious adventure. As proof, let's talk about that picture. You're not seeing it wrong. What's going in is the pilot, none other than disaster movie staple George Kennedy, is doing barrel rolls while evading a couple of fighter jets, and simultaneously firing a flare gun out the window of the cockpit to confuse the heat-seeking missiles fired by the fighter planes. All with a plane full of passengers. Seriously.
(1986)We follow a guy who can't cut it as a pilot thanks to his ridiculously poor eyesight. Since he still wants to fly he enrolls in Stewardess School. I have no idea if that's really thing, or if a guy could get into in the '80s. Anyhoo, once he gets there, he's part of a class of misfits that the lady who runs things wants to get rid of. Of course, they all graduate and are assigned to Stromboli Air where things go haywire on their first flight. So basically, it's a rip-off of Police Academy made for the late night cable crowd. So yeah, I've seen this a few times. Anything that happens is of much less importance than the numerous shots of Judy Landers in various stages of undress. As proof, check out the movie poster below featuring her draped across a motorcycle because that makes sense for a movie about stewardesses.
Airplane vs. Volcano
(2014)Just off the coast of Hawaii, or somewhere in the midst of its seven islands, it's not really clear to me, a circle of volcanoes has suddenly sprouted out of the ocean. When I suddenly, I really mean it, like, it happens in all of ten minutes. And these aren't just any volcanoes, these are constantly active ones spewing hot lava everywhere. By lava, I mean really horrible cgi orangey stuff. With that comes lots of smoke. By smoke, I mean super-duper billowy even more horrible cgi gray stuff that looks like it was made on a computer that was out of date in the early 90s. This movie is like live-action and animation mixed in the worst way possible. Anyhoo, a commercial airliner was minding its own business when it found itself directly over this newly formed ring of volcanoes. Superman...er...Dean Cain is one of the plane's passengers. Good thing because, as tends to happen in such movies, both pilots shortly find themselves dead. Cain and company try to keep the plane in the air and get out of harm's way. That's not so easy because before the pilots kicked the bucket they locked the auto-pilot and no one else knows the password to unlock it. It seems the best they can do is force it to fly in a circle above said volcanoes. Uh-huh. Sigh. The military gets involved trying to save them, and Robin Givens is the expert volcanologist they bring in to help them. If you reach back into the furthest recesses of your mind, you might remember a time when Dean Cain and Robin Givens were legitimate actors. This movie is proof that that time has long since passed. To point is so much wrong happens here, it's right. For instance, look at that pic again. Let me 'splain. One of the engines has gone out and some dude thinks he can fix it. So, the smart folks on board get every seat belt on the plane and tie it together somehow, wrap it around dude's waist and sends him out there in mid-flight. Mind you they are circling volcanoes and have been for quite some time. Lava is all over the damn place. If you know anything about lava you don't really have to be all that close to it to feel it. Not only doesn't this dude feel it, he doesn't have on any type of protective gear, not even gloves while he's out there messing with this engine. Last I checked, metal was a damn good conductor of heat. This dude doesn't even pretend the metal parts on the outside of a plane directly over lava spewing volcanoes could possibly be hot. Gotta love it. In other words, this and every movie in this post qualifies as so bad it's awesome!
Because This is What You Were Expecting...
Snakes on a Plane
(2006)If there's a movie that embodies the spirit of "so bad it's awesome," this is the one. The story, which I even forget, involves a witness in a high profile case against a gangster is being flown from Hawaii to California to testify. The important part of this is that one of those agents is, of course, played by Samuel L. Jackson. Instead of either blowing up the plane or sending in some of his goons to kill the witness, our gangster is a bit more creative. He sets it up so that a time-release crate full of poisonous snakes is placed on board the plane. When the crate opens, all hell breaks loose. By hell, I mean cheesy dialogue, bad special fx, and just pure nuttiness. And I dare you not to get pumped up when Jackson says THE iconic line. Yeah, the one where he tells us everything of which he's had enough.
Click below for more Thursday Movie Picks