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Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘CON AIR – Fly Hard’


Con Air is the perfect example of mid- to late-90s action cinema. It’s big, dumb, loud, boasts a script loaded with corny quips, and has a highly questionable sense of taste. Most important, though, it’s a hell of a fun ride.

It’s also part of the Nicolas Cage holy trinity of badass movies—The RockFace/Off, and this one—which were all mega hits, helping to cement his standing as the biggest star on the planet. His run from 1995 to 2000 is almost unparalleled. In 95, he won the Oscar for Best Actor. He then rattled off seven (nearly eight) $100+ million films in his next nine roles. The only outlier was the critically acclaimed and Thunderous Wizard approved Bringing Out the Dead.

Con Air; and, as mentioned above, it’s great for all the right reasons and a few wrong ones, as well. 

John Cusack, Nicolas Cage, and John Malkovich in Con Air

Its set pieces are devil may care master works of practical effects and a sheer disregard for their consequences. Casinos are plowed into by runaway planes; cars crash through air traffic control towers; and the villain, Cyrus “The Virus” played by John Malkovich, is put through literal hell just to die. At times, they are so manic that it’s difficult to believe they were framed by the eye that brought us the timeless Rick Astley hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

It doesn’t hurt, either, that the cast is perhaps the best ever assembled for a movie of this nature. From Steve Buscemi as a mass murderer to John Cusack as a wise-cracking fed, almost every major role is played by a recognizable face.

The explosions and stars, coupled with Cage’s just horrific Southern accent, are enough for you to ignore the elements that have not aged like the fine wine of the stunt work. Looking at you Johnny 23 (Danny Trejo). 

So with that, it’s time for the Jailbird to takeoff! So sit back, unshackle a Trejo’s Cervezafrom Lincoln Beer Company, and put the bunny back in the box! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, and Chumpzilla are here to spoil Cyrus’ barbecue!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – Tough guys don’t look at explosions, and Cameron Poe is no exception. (00:00)
  • Diamond Dog’s Twisted Trivia – I challenge Capt. Cash and Chumpzilla to trivia solely about this action masterpiece.(1:07:39)
  • Recommendations – Next up: We return to the perils of the wild with our second entry in the “When Animals Attack” series, Orca: The Killer Whale! (1:24:36)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—Nicolas Cage’s incredible box office run and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotifyAcastTuneIn, and iHeartRadio!


Thomas L. Kelly

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