Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sucking a$$: "Pushing Tin"

It's times like these that make me think second chances are for sh!t.

I saw "Pushing Tin" several years ago and thought, "You know, that wasn't very good." Alas, I never could shake that I liked the idea of the movie: a look at how air traffic controllers can be messed up people. So it was that I gave it another shot when stumbling across it on cable recently. Boy, was that dumb.

Our story centers around how the king of controllers (John "One Crazy Summer" Cusack) is thrown off-kilter by the arrival of a new hotshot (Billy Bob "For the Boys" Thornton). Cusack thinks he's the sh!t, but Billy Bob (a) doesn't care and (b) really is the sh!t. Oh, and his wife (Angelina "Cyborg 2" Jolie) is hot.

That's about it, and we get familiar faces among the other controllers: Kurt Fuller, Jake Weber, Vicki Lewis, Matt Ross. I know, the names don't mean much, but you've seen these people, and they're mildly amusing here. However, other than poor Cate Blanchett, the leads are not.

Blanchett does her best -- affecting yet another accent, working to show genuine emotion. It's far from her best work, but it's something. Cusack, Thornton and Jolie, though, are wasted. Wait ... that's not the right word. Each of them might have been able to do more with this. As it is, they're just annoying. Really annoying.

Cusack is something of an acquired taste in the best of situations. I like him, but I also recognize that he overdoes it some times, i.e. he can't shut up. This may be the movie in which I hated him the most, and I saw both "Serendipity" and "Must Love Dogs." (Damn, did I misplace my penis again?)

Thornton is slightly better but pretty much sleepwalks through "Tin." I know his character is supposed to be aloof and cool, but I just got a dipsh!t vibe. Worse, his whole schtick comes undone when he sort of does a 180 late in the movie, admitting that he does care. Way to stick to your guns, sling blade.

As you may know, this is where he met Jolie, starting the whole "wearing blood around our necks" thing. Family fun at its finest. Jolie not only doesn't get much to do here, but she doesn't even look all that great -- bad hair, lips even puffier than usual. Even the obligatory boob shot didn't do much for me. Of course, I hit rewind and watched it a few more times -- you know, just to make sure.


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