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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 »
Here's 1999's winner for the film least likely to be shown during an overseas flight. Cusack stars as a hotshot air traffic controller whose top dog status is threatened by the arrival of the equally gifted but enigmatic Billy Bob Thornton. Cusack's mounting rivalry with the inscrutable Thornton eventually consumes his personal life as he falls prey to Thornton's sexy wife (Angelina Jolie) and his marriage (to Cate Blanchett) gradually disintegrates. Director Mike Newell showed great flair in balancing comedy and drama in 1994's "Four Weddings And A Funeral", but here the mix is less assured and the extremes far too close together. Only fitfully amusing, "Pushing Tin" too rarely concentrates on its examination of air traffic controllers and their daily stresses, opting instead for a simple one-upmanship plotline with a superficial and sometimes flippant look at the men and women within whose hands we entrust our lives. The four leads are more than adequate in their roles, though the characters portrayed by Blanchett and Jolie (excellent during her brief appearances) are all but forgotten for long stretches at a time. As for rental possibilities, visibility should remain zero.
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