Movie Renter's Guide Number 154 - January, 2008 - Part III


"Con Air" (Blu-ray)


A prison parolee on his way to freedom faces impossible odds when the maximum security transport plane he's on is skyjacked by the most vicious criminals in the country ... led by the infamous murderer Cyrus "The Virus" Grissom.



  • Touchstone
    1997, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 55 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • English PCM 5.1
  • English/French/Spanish DD 5.1
  • Directed by Simon West
  • Starring: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Themes
  • Language: Bad


Producer Jerry Bruckheimer delivers another over the top action spectacle that spares nothing in terms of big summer spectacle. Unfortunately the film feels like a director doing everything he can to make a big Michael Bay film, without Bay in the helm. The plot has some serious holes in it but the production value is high making it at least a fun, yet completely unbelievable ride. If you can get past some of the trailer worthy lines there is some fun to be had here.


Con Air makes its HD debut in fine form with a solid presentation without only a few gripes. The image has plenty of detail and I was impressed with the level of depth you can find throughout. Unfortunately edge enhancement is noticed on occasion and at times gives the image a bit too much edginess. Colors are slightly subdued and contrast is slightly lacking. I was surprised how clean the image looked though with only minor film grain popping in on some of the darker shots. I would say the image has been noise reduced but it doesn’t look like detail has taken a hit at all. Far better looking than the DVD presentation and a nice catalog release from Buena Vista.

The soundtrack is exactly what you’d expect from a summer action film; plenty of explosions, gun shots and loudness. I couldn’t help feel that dynamics were compressed though. While there is plenty of bass, action sequences tend to sound limited in separation between the upper and lower end condensing the sound stage a bit and the overall experience. This is easy to spot if you compare it to a film with good range. The track does make great use of the surround environment though with plenty of panning effects and discrete channel use. Dialogue is balanced well with the rest of the track and timbre is natural. While not a reference soundtrack by any means, it still gets the job done.


Not much in terms of extras here. You get two production features including a look at some of the special effects shots and the trailer.