Skipping, and/or, replacing “Wisdom from History” today with something a little more fun…
Air Force One is a 1997 American action-thriller film written by Andrew W. Marlowe and directed by Wolfgang Petersen in which a group of terrorists hijack Air Force One.
It stars Harrison Ford as well as Gary Oldman, Glenn Close, Xander Berkeley, William H. Macy, Dean Stockwell and Paul Guilfoyle.
An American and Russian joint military operation results in the capture of General Ivan Radek (Jürgen Prochnow), the dictator of a rogue terrorist regime in Kazakhstan that had taken possession of former Soviet nuclear weapons.
Three weeks later, a diplomatic dinner is held in Moscow to celebrate the capture of the Kazakh dictator, at which Pres. of the United States James Marshall (Harrison Ford) …
Expresses his remorse that action had not been taken sooner to prevent the suffering that Radek caused. He also vows that his administration will take a firmer stance against despotism and that they will never negotiate with terrorists.
President Marshall, along with his wife Grace (Wendy Crewson), daughter Alice (Liesel Matthews), and several of his Cabinet and advisors, board Air Force One to return to the United States.
U.S. Secret Service agent Gibbs (Xander Berkeley), acting as a mole for a group of six Radek loyalists led by the sadistic Egor Korshunov (Gary Oldman), sneaks them onto the plane disguised as journalists.
Once in flight, Gibbs kills several Secret Service agents guarding the plane’s armory, allowing Korshunov and his men to seize control of the plane. When the attackers start a firefight, the pilots attempt to land the plane at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
However, the pilots are killed, and the terrorists take control, diverting the plane towards Kazakhstan. Secret Service agents take Marshall (Harrison) to an escape pod in the cargo hold, while the rest of the passengers are taken hostage by the hijackers. Believing the President has escaped, the hijackers plan to use his wife and daughter as leverage.
At the White House Situation Room, Korshunov contacts Vice President Kathryn Bennett (Glenn Close), threatening to kill a hostage every half hour until Radek is released.
Meanwhile, the U.S. military locates the escape pod but finds it empty. Unbeknownst to the hijackers, President Marshall, a retired military aviator, veteran of the Vietnam War, and Medal of Honor recipient, stayed aboard the plane to rescue everybody.
He contacts the White House via satellite phone, reminding Bennett not to negotiate with the terrorists. The hijackers request mid-air refueling after Marshall forces a fuel dump and secures the hostages. Marshall sends a fax to the White House, instructing the tanker to force the plane low enough for the hostages to parachute to safety.
When Korshunov discovers the deception, he forces the plane away from the refueling tanker, causing the fuel to ignite and destroy the tanker. He captures Marshall and the remaining advisors before they escape.
With Marshall and his family held hostage, Bennett is forced to contact Russian President Petrov to endorse Radek’s release. Korshunov and his men celebrate as the event is broadcast over the plane’s speakers, and Marshall escapes.
While Marshall’s advisers deal with the remaining terrorists, Korshunov takes Grace to the plane’s parachute ramp, and dumps the remaining parachutes. Marshall arrives, and the two fight. Korshunov loses his weapon, and is garrotted with the parachute chord. Marshall then belays his earlier request to release Radek, who is killed attempting to flee custody.
Marshall directs Air Force One towards friendly airspace unaware that MiG-29s piloted by Radek loyalists follow them. Escorting U.S. F-15s counterattack, but the shrapnel from explosions, and machine gun rounds, destroys Air Force One’s tail controls, rendering landing impossible. Marshall pilots Air Force One out toward the Caspian Sea to prevent civilian casualties, and a nearby patrolling U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command MC-130E Combat Talon is called in to rescue Marshall and the others via zip-line.
After his family and the injured Chief of Staff Lloyd Shepherd (Paul Guilfoyle) are evacuated, Marshall, Gibbs, and Major Caldwell (William H. Macy) remain on the plane, with time for only one to be rescued. Caldwell tells Marshall to go, but Gibbs, revealing that it was he who aided the terrorists in hijacking Air Force One, pulls a gun, kills Major Caldwell and a PJ, and attempts to save himself on the last remaining zip-line.
Marshall overpowers him (having once trusted Gibbs with his life), attaches himself to the line, and unhooks it from the plane before it crashes into the water. The MC-130E crew reel in the President, and Marshall is reunited with his family.
..and we have a happy Hollywood ending.
Independence Day is a 1996 American military science fiction film about an alien invasion of Earth.
The narrative focuses on a disparate group of people who converge in the Nevada desert and, along with the rest of the human population, in a last-chance counterattack on the 4th of July 4, ..and/or, Independence Day.
On July 2, a mammoth alien mothership enters orbit around Earth and deploys several dozen saucer-shaped “destroyer” spacecraft, each 15 miles (24 km) in width.
As the destroyers take positions over some of Earth’s major cities, David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), an MIT-graduate working for a cable company in New York City, discovers hidden satellite transmissions which he believes to be a timer counting down to a coordinated attack by the aliens.
With the help of his ex-wife Constance Spano (Margaret Colin), a White House employee, he and his father Julius (Judd Hirsch) gain entrance into the Oval Office to warn President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman) of the impending attack.
The President immediately orders large-scale evacuations of the targeted cities, but the aliens attack with advanced directed energy weapons before these could occur. The President, portions of his staff, and the Levinsons narrowly escape aboard Air Force One as a destroyer lays waste to Washington D.C, New York, and Los Angeles, along with other major cities around the world.
On July 3, the United States conducts a coordinated counterattack; the movie follows the Black Knights, a squadron of Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornets, as they participate in an assault on a destroyer near the destroyed city of Los Angeles. Their weapons fail to penetrate the craft’s force field, and it responds by releasing scores of “attacker” ships which are similarly shielded and armed with directed-energy weapons, and a one-sided dogfight ensues.
Afterwards, their base at El Toro is destroyed, along with many American military installations, including NORAD.
Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) manages to survive the attack by luring a single attacker to the Grand Canyon.
There, he blinds the alien with the braking parachute on his jet and ejects just before running out of fuel, causing both to crash in the desert. Having parachuted to safety, he subdues the injured alien. Hiller is picked up by Russell Casse (Randy Quaid), who is traveling across the desert with a group of refugees in a convoy of RVs.
From there they take the captured alien to nearby Area 51, commanded by Major Mitchell (Adam Baldwin), where the President and his remaining staff have also landed.
Area 51 conceals a top secret facility housing a repaired attacker and three alien bodies recovered from Roswell in 1947.
When lead scientist Dr. Brackish Okun (Brent Spiner) attempts to remove the “bio-mechanical” suit from the alien, the specimen regains consciousness. It attempts escape and takes control of Okun’s mind, killing an examination crew in the process.
When questioned by President Whitmore, it reveals through a telepathic connection that its species travels from planet to planet, destroying all life and harvesting a planet’s natural resources before moving on.
The alien attempts a psychic attack against Whitmore but is killed by Major Mitchell. Whitmore orders a nuclear attack on all of the destroyers using B-2 Spirit bombers; the first one to be hit is the alien destroyer hovering over a deserted Houston, but this too fails to penetrate the craft’s shield and destroys a large part of the city instead; as a result, the remaining bombers are called back.
On July 4, Levinson devises a plan to use the repaired attacker to gain access to the interior of the alien mothership in space in order to introduce a computer virus and plant a nuclear missile on board.
This, it is hoped, will cause the shields of the Earth-based alien craft to fail long enough for the human resistance to eliminate them. Hiller volunteers to be the mission’s pilot, with Levinson accompanying him to upload the virus. With satellite communications knocked out, the Americans use Morse code to coordinate a massive counterattack with the remaining forces around the world, timed to occur when the invaders’ shields are set to fail. With not enough military pilots to man all available aircraft, the battle requires several volunteers, including President Whitmore and Russell Casse, who both have previous combat flight experience.
With the successful implantation of the virus, President Whitmore leads the American jet fighters against an alien destroyer on approach to Area 51. Although the aliens now lack shields, the fighters’ supply of missiles are quickly exhausted against the colossal craft and its large complement of assault ships.
The underside of the alien craft opens up as its directed energy weapon prepares to fire on the base. Russell possesses the last remaining missile, but his firing mechanism jams; changing his plan, he pilots his aircraft into the alien weapon in a kamikaze attack.
The ensuing explosion causes a chain reaction which annihilates the ship. Human resistance forces around the world use the same weak point to destroy the remainder of the alien ships, while the nuclear device planted by Hiller and Levinson destroys the alien mothership soon after the duo escape. Hiller and Levinson return unharmed, crash-landing their captured alien fighter in the desert close to Area 51.
The film ends as the main characters watch debris from the mothership enter the atmosphere like shooting stars.
..and another Happy Hollywood ending.
Deep Impact is a 1998 American science fiction disaster film. directed by Mimi Leder, written by Bruce Joel Rubin and Michael Tolkin, and starring Robert Duvall, Téa Leoni, Elijah Wood, Vanessa Redgrave, Maximilian Schell, and Morgan Freeman.
On May 10, 1998, teenage amateur astronomer Leo Biederman (Wood) discovers an unusual object near the stars Mizar and Alcor at a star party in Richmond, Virginia with his school’s astronomy club.
His teacher alerts astronomer Marcus Wolf (Smith), who realizes that the object is a comet on a collision course with Earth. Wolf tries to get the information out, but dies in a car accident before he can alert the world.
A year later, MSNBC reporter Jenny Lerner (Leoni) investigates the resignation of the Secretary of the Treasury (Cromwell) and his connection to “Ellie”. She discovers that Ellie is not a mistress but an acronym: “E.L.E.”, for “Extinction-Level Event”.
Because of Lerner’s investigation, President Tom Beck (Freeman) advances the announcement of the grim facts: the comet, named Wolf-Biederman, is 7 miles (11 km) long—large enough to cause a mass extinction, and possibly wipe out humanity, if it hits Earth.
The United States and Russia have been secretly constructing a spacecraft, called the Messiah, in orbit and they plan to use it to transport a team that includes Captain Spurgeon Tanner (Duvall) to the comet, so that its path toward Earth can be intercepted with nuclear weapons.
After landing on the comet, the crew members plant nuclear bombs 100 meters beneath the surface. When the bombs are detonated, the ship is damaged and loses contact with Earth. Instead of being knocked off-course, the comet splits into two smaller rocks nicknamed “Biederman” (1.5 miles (2.4 km) long) and “Wolf” (6 miles (9.7 km) long), both world-threatening.
Note; “Morgan Freeman does not have his feet on the desk.
Beck announces the Messiah crew’s failure, declares martial law, and reveals that governments worldwide have been building underground shelters. The United States’ shelter is in the limestone caves of Missouri. The US government conducts a lottery to select 800,000 ordinary Americans under age 50 to join 200,000 pre-selected scientists, engineers, teachers, artists, soldiers, and officials. Lerner and Leo’s families are pre-selected, but Leo’s girlfriend Sarah Hotchner (Sobieski) is not. Leo marries Sarah to save her family but the Hotchners are mistakenly left off the evacuee list; Sarah refuses to leave without them.
A last-ditch effort to use Earth’s missile-borne nuclear weapons to deflect the two chunks of the comet fails.
Leo returns home looking for Sarah, but her family has left for the Appalachian Mountains and is trapped in a traffic jam on the highway. Leo catches up to the family using a small motorcycle in the Hotchners’ garage. Sarah’s parents urge Leo to take Sarah and her baby brother to high ground; Sarah still does not want to abandon her parents, but they convince her to let them go.
Lerner gives up her seat in the last evacuation helicopter to her friend Beth, who has a young daughter. She instead joins her estranged father (Schell) at her childhood beach house where they reconcile and remember happier times.
The Biederman fragment impacts in the Atlantic Ocean near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, creating a megatsunami. Leo, Sarah, and her baby brother survive. Lerner, her father, Sarah’s parents, and millions of other people perish as the tsunami destroys the Atlantic coasts of North and South America, Europe, and Africa. The world braces for the impact of Wolf in western Canada, which will create a cloud of dust that will block out the sun for two years. This, in turn, will destroy most life on Earth. Low on fuel and life support, the crew of the Messiah decides to undertake a suicide mission with the remaining nuclear warheads.
After saying goodbye to their loved ones by video conference, the ship reaches the fragment and enters a fissure to blow itself up, which breaks Wolf into much smaller pieces that burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.
President Beck, speaking to a large crowd in front of the United States Capitol building, which is undergoing reconstruction, urges the nation and the world to continue their recovery.
..and another Happy Hollywood ending is enjoyed by an exhausted audience.
Speaking of exhausted audiences, I can’t speak for anyone else, however for myself, even as adept as I am at using the English language, finding the appropriate words to describe my disappointment in the first Barack Obama production is beyond my purview.
But then, beyond the scope of liberal ideology, negative connotation isn’t simply misunderstood, ..it is unequivocally rejected.
Independence Day for Barack and Michelle Obama arrived on January 20, 2008 and, (at least in my opinion) they have not wasted a minute, ..or a turn at milking America, ..and/or, more correctly, ..milking the citizens, ..from “every walk” of life, ..for every drop of personal gain at their disposal.
No president in the history of America, since the inception of the first Air Force one…
The decision to specifically designate an aircraft to transport the President arose in 1943, when officials of the United States Army Air Forces – the predecessor to the U.S. Air Force – became concerned with relying on commercial airlines to transport the President. A C-87 Liberator Express was reconfigured to transport then President Franklin D. Roosevelt, however it was rejected by the Secret Service amid concerns over the aircraft’s safety record. At which point, a C-54 Skymaster was converted for presidential use. The aircraft, dubbed the “Sacred Cow.”
..has used Air Force One more than Barack Obama.
Nor has any president since the inception of the office, made more bad decisions, …
Played more rounds of golf,…
..spent more time partying,
Question: Was Barack Obama elected as commander-in-chief, or master of ceremonies?
..more time on his “keister”,
(Libyans burning the American flag after Benghazi attack).
…been plagued by more scandals,
Statement of fact: In 1965, I personally put my life on the line for “our” flag in the Republic of South Vietnam, ..and I wasn’t making $400,000 a year.
..or brought this nation closer to economic ruin by elevating our national debt until it’s approaching $17 trillion faster than anyone can say Rumpelstiltskin.
As to just how deep the impact on America will be by the time Barack and Michelle go home to Chicago will be? ..remains to be seen.
Accordingly, I for one do not believe that the final act of the Barack and Michelle show can come to an end too soon.
Truth forges understanding, I’ll be back tomorrow