Nick and the other boys (and Vicki Lewis) working the hotspot of air traffic control in New York are impressed with themselves, to say the least. They thrive on the no-room-for-error, fast-paced job and let it infect their lives. The undisputed king of pushing tin, "The Zone" Falzone, rules his workplace and his wedded life with the same short-attention span that gets planes where they need to be in the nick of time. That is, until Russell Bell, a new transfer with a reputation for recklessness but a record of pure perfection shatters the tensely-held status quo. The game of one-upmanship between the two flies so high as to lead Nick into Russell's bed with his wife. His sanity slipping just as fast as his hold on #1, Cusack's controller is thrown out-of-control when Thornton's wanderer quietly leaves town. Nick must now find a way to regain his sanity and repair his marriage before he breaks down completely. Written by
Billy Bob Thornton's character (Russell Bell) states in the movie that he is half Irish (his father) and half Choctaw Indian (his mother). In real life, Mr. Thornton's father is of Irish ancestry, while his mother is half Choctaw Indian and half Italian. See more »
In the scene with the kids visiting the TRACON where they all work, a plane departs that doesn't call the controller and this ends up causing a near collision. The airport image on the radar scope is of Newark Liberty International (you can tell by the two lines running essentially North/South that represent the two parallel N/S runways 4L/22R and 4R/22L). However, when the scene changes to the actual plane on an actual runway departing North, you see it pass over simply the number "4" and then immediately over water. This can only be LaGuardia Airport as it is the only airport of the three in New York (JFK, LaGuardia, Newark) that has only one N/S runway (4/22 - both Newark and Kennedy have 4L/22R and 4R/22L and are marked with the "R" and "L" on them) and has water immediately to the north of it. See more »
At first glance, this movie is one big romp. A real scream - Billy Bob Thornton is one of those guys who can be hilarious (and kinda scare you at the same time) without ever opening his mouth. His eyes are silent movies. John Cusack is funny in a cute, desperate sort of way that makes you totally relate to what he's feeling. Cate Blanchett amuses us yet again with her chameleon-like ability to completely become a character you've never seen her as before, complete with appropriate accent, effortlessly carried.
Watch it a second time, though, and you'll realize that this movie portrays how completely a person can screw up their own life by the attitudes they decide to adopt, and the way they react to the people around them. Cusack's character, "The Zone" Falzone, would like to think that his life is falling apart because of the new guy at work, but in reality every problem he's got is his own damn fault... a good lesson for all of us to chew on.
Interesting note: The guy who plays Cusack's work buddy is currently starring as Patricia Arquette's husband on the TV series "Medium". He's very cute, now that he's lost the 80's "stache" and grown his hair out. He kinda reminds me of Steve Perry, with lighter hair. Not a bad thing.
As always, the presence of Angelina Jolie in a movie adds a whole lot of sexual tension, and a little bit of insanity. I love, love, love her. I want to bite her lips off, chew them, and blow bubbles. I'm pretty sure they're strawberry flavored.
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