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Ghost Canyon

'Fire Birds' [Blu-ray]
(Nicolas Cage, Tommy Lee Jones, Sean Young, et al / Blu ray / PG-13 / (1990) 2015 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: The U.S. Government is willing to help any country that requires help in ridding themselves of drugs with support from the Army. Unfortunately, the drug cartels have countered that offer by hiring one of the best air-combat mercenaries and have armed him with a Scorpion attack helicopter. The army decides to send in its best people from its Apache Air Combat school. But first they have to be taught how to fly air-to-air combat missions.

Blu ray Verdict: Made at the tail end of 1990, and with a budget of an estimated $22,000,000, 'Fire Birds' was easily the successor to 'Top Gun.' The back of this re-released (now on Blu ray for the very first time) reads as if it were purposefully made four years later to capitalize on 'Top Gun's success, but I'm not too sure that is the exact truth. I think everyone fully expected a sequel to 'Top Gun' to come out before four years after the original, but as that never happened, well, 'Fire Birds' came out in it's stead.

Nicolas Cage, at 26, stars in this exciting Bush, Sr. era-based action movie involving the former president's promise to assist any and all countries who ask for help in battling drug lords and their business. In truth, Cage may have been the star of this film, but Tommy Lee Jones stole the limelight - completely and utterly! He shines throughout, and his co-starring role eclipses everyone else, including Cage. Fitting, all things considered, as Tommy Lee Jones was in his prime and already a seasoned actor at this time.

This film showcases some great action segments, awesome aerial sequences, and a solid story. I was thoroughly entertained, and miss the days of good, quality action movies like this. They are trapped in time, too much CGI ruling the screens these days. Originally titled 'Wings of the Apache,' this film is also very reminiscent of the 1955 gem 'The McConnell Story,' just without the action scenes! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.