Nov 122018

Air Force One is a strange film, a kind of film from simpler times I guess but after 20 years, for the most part the film holds up well, mainly for the performances by Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman more so than the dated visual effects.



Air Force One

Genre(s): Action, Thriller
Sony | R – 125 min. – $30.99 | November 6, 2018

Date Published: 11/12/2018 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen
Writer(s): Andrew W. Marlowe (written by)
Cast: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Wendy Crewson, Paul Guilfoyle, William H. Macy, Liesel Matthews, Dean Stockwell, Xander Berkeley, Andrew Divoff
Features: Commentary
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (Dolby Atmos), English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 2.40
Dynamic Range: HDR10
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 4.25/5

Plot Synopsis: After making a speech in Moscow vowing to never negotiate with terrorists, President James Marshall (HARRISON FORD) boards Air Force One with his family (WENDY CREWSON, LIESEL MATTHEWS) and advisers (PAUL GUILFOYLE, WILLIAM H. MACY). When a group of terrorists led by Ivan Korshunov (GARY OLDMAN) hijacks the flight, the President’s principles are put to the test. Feigning escape, ex-soldier Marshall stows away in the aircraft and must race against time to rescue his family and everyone else on board.

Review: Not quite sure if Air Force One is some modern action classic and as a patriotic movie, doesn’t get the same kind of play as Independence Day, for the obvious of the latter’s title. Beyond that, something that struck me was kind of how dated it felt. For one, you had a country united in seeing their President survive such a crisis (I cannot imagine that scenario for neither the previous administration nor the current) and secondly, the United States and Russia having glowing relations, to the point that the Russian president, on shaky grounds, allowing the release of a recently captured brutal dictator.

However, I could ignore those elements and just enjoy the film for some genuinely suspense-filled scenes, even taking the age-old suspension of disbelief, despite the throwaway line that President Marshall had combat experience. It’s absolute fun seeing Harrison Ford kicking ass and Gary “The Chameleon” Oldman once again showcases his great and intense talent, just playing a hard, give no f**k villain and once he and Ford are actually on screen together, which doesn’t happen until the third act, was a treat.

On the downside, and this is more on the technical front, the visual effects, while looked decent enough early such as the plan explosion sequence, the ending scene with Air Force One crashing into the ocean just looked ridiculous, even by 1997 standards as the plane looked weightless, skimming on the water, something today you’d probably find on a SyFy or Asylum movie. Now, this didn’t take away from my enjoyment, but it did give me a good chuckle. Not entirely sure if this was so obvious when I last watched the film (likely on DVD) or made more obvious in the 4K format, but it did somewhat take away from an otherwise well done finale.

The film was directed by Wolfgang Petersen who was kind of the ‘it’ director of the 1990s into the early 2000s, having worked on In the Line of Fire (a truly fantastic thriller), Outbreak and The Perfect Storm before stumbling with Troy and the unnecessary Poseidon remake, with his last film from 2016, a crime-comedy called Four Against the Bank.



This release comes with a glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. The only feature is an Audio Commentary with director Wolfgang Petersen.


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Sony releases Air Force One onto the 4K format, presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 2160p high-definition transfer (HEVC codec). Although I would not consider this a top notch 4K transfer, even compared with other catalogue titles but still offers some stark looking black levels and detail is sharp, certainly sharper compared to the Blu-ray version. There were no noticeable flaws such as banding, artifacting or aliasing, so at the very least it is clean.

AUDIO – 5.0/5

The movie has been given a good upgrade from the Blu-ray’s Dolby TrueHD 5.1 to the newer Dolby Atmos (or TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) and this does sound absolutely incredible. Along with the clear dialogue levels through mainly the center channel, this track does become absolutely robust during the action sequences, including the aforementioned tanker plane explosion which filled the room and with the aid of the bass, shook the floor with excellent intensity.


OVERALL – 4.25/5

Overall, Air Force One is a strange film, a kind of film from simpler times I guess but after 20 years, for the most part the film holds up well, mainly for the performances by Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman more so than the dated visual effects, in particular the finale. As for the 4K release, the video is solid but nothing amazing while the audio is remarkable. Sadly, the features are lacking.


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