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Executive Decision VHS
VHS FORMAT. 1996, Warner Brothers, 133 minutes, color. One of the better action flicks of the time period. Kurt Russell stars, along with Halle Berry, Steven Seagal, David Suchet, and an all-star cast. A 747 airplane is hijacked and Kurt Russell has a plan. All he has to do is to somehow board the troubled airliner, unseen and unnoticed. Lots of suspense and action.
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To begin with, around 10½ minutes into the film, the appearance of the terrorist in the restaurant has been censored to remove the sight of him holding the Qur'an along with a necklace. These items have been digitally removed, so he now appears to not be holding anything, and standing with his hand formed into an awkwardly-shaped fist.
Around 65 minutes into the film, footage of Nagi (David Suchet) gesturing towards- and handling the Qur'an as he states, "it will all be over very soon" has been replaced with footage where he is simply holding the book as he speaks, thus removing the implication of religion and violence going hand in hand.
At 97 minutes, the sight of Nagi praying has been removed, along with -- bizarrely -- two innocent shots of the airplane pilots. A few seconds later, when the airplane telephone rings, we do not see Nagi rising from a prayer position before answering the call.
It may not amount to much, but true fans of cinema will always prefer to see an uncut version of any film. Warner Bros. have dropped the ball on this one, and as a result I can only recommend the original 1997 US DVD version for fans wanting the original and complete cut of the film (the 2010 re-release in a keepcase features the censored version as well). The UK DVD was cut for violence at the beginning of the film to remove knife play, but also removed footage of Nagi praying. Other DVDs (including the Australian version) used the cut UK master, and cannot be recommended. So although the A/V quality will not be up to par with current HD technology, the original 1997 US DVD pressing is the only version of the film I can recommend, as I strongly oppose censorship of the arts in any form - particularly when they are motivated by political correctness.
Just a good ole' fashion thriller populated with good performances.
And if you can "check your brain" at the door, it's good entertainment.
And it's nice to see Kurt Russell with a clean cut appearance instead of
the "Escape from New York" look.
As a side note; Why do these businesses keep insisting on using these cheap
"eco friendly" cases! The first DVD I got was utterly destroyed because they cut
out so much of the plastic cover it just gets crushed in transit.
This is NOT a "use once and throw away" item....so make the DVD case
durable to protect the disc!!!!!
A commercial airline is taken over by Islamic extremist; the main terrorist is Nagi Hassan, at first it seem that his demands is that the U.S. must release a man named Jaffa or they will suffer the consequences. But an analyst named Dr. Grant (Kurt Russell) believes different, his belief is that Hassan doesn't really want Jaffa's release; instead Grant believes the plane is carrying DZ-5 (an extremely dangerous explosive) and that he will detonate the plane killing millions of Americans.
Grant, Colonel Travis (Steven Seagal) and a group of trained soldiers are planning now to take control of the plane with a special stealth plane that can attach to its commercial airliner. At first when I heard there plan it didn't feel realistic, but they do it just right, making it quite believable.
For Seagal fans like me, let me tell you that this is not a Seagal movie. This is a Kurt Russell movie. Seagal is in the movie for tops 20 minutes. It seems that Seagal had some issues with the producers and his role was minimized. Funny though you can tell in some instances that Seagal doesn't want to be in it; he does give a good supporting role but we have seen better. Anyhow the movie is fantastic, a bit dated in some areas, but overall good. The major problem I have is with the DVD, it's horrible, the picture quality is crappy; Warner needs to re-release this remastered
MY PERSONAL RATING: 4 OUT OF 5
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