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Pushing Tin
cast: John Cusack, Cate Blanchett, Billy-Bob Thornton, and Angelina Jolie

director: Mike Newell

119 minutes (15) 2000
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
20th Century Fox DVD Region 2 retail
[released 7 October]

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Gary Couzens
Nick Falzone (John Cusack) is top dog at the New York City and New Jersey air traffic control. The opening scene, where he gets planes to line-up, shows you that he's very good at his job and he knows it. But his supremacy is challenged when a new controller joins, Russell Bell (Billy Bob Thornton). Nick, who is married to Connie (Cate Blanchett), finds himself attracted to Russell's wife Mary (Angelina Jolie).
   A romantic comedy about air traffic controllers doesn't sound much like fun, but Pushing Tin, though flawed, has quite a lot going for it. Mike Newell is not the showiest of directors, but as usual he brings considerable craftsmanship and the sharp observation of an outsider to this less-than-familiar milieu. In the end, despite the efforts of a strong cast, that background is more interesting than the macho strutting contest of the main plot, though Newell and his scriptwriters (Glen and Les Charles) do view this with not a little irony. There are some holes in the script, and some over-length, but Pushing Tin is certainly worth a look.
   DVD extras: Dolby digital 5.1 sound, plus a theatrical trailer.