May 17, 2006
So, of course, I had to see it.
Let me start off by saying that the original, "The Poseiden Adventure", is my all-time favorite 1970's-era disaster flick. And one of the biggest reasons is Gene Hackman. I even own a VHS copy. That being said, I had adjusted my expectations down in the hope that they would be exceeded.
May 01, 2006
1) The film answers a lot of questions about what happened that day. There isn't anything revealing in terms of new information but rather it presents these events in a way that shares the perspectives of everyone involved just as it happened. Even though what took place on the plane was pieced together mostly from transcripts of phone conversations between passengers and their loved ones as well as recordings from the cockpit, everything else that took place with the air traffic controllers, the FAA and NORAD are all painstakingly laid out so that we get a feel for what was going on behind the scenes while the rest of us could only watch and listen to news reports.
You cant underscore enough how different a situation it was back then. Today, the idea of this kind of attack is so ingrained in our psyche as a reality of the world we live in. But before that day, the concept of a commercial aircraft being used as a weapon was inconceivable. It was a true sucker punch. While I cant imagine something like that ever happening again knowing what we know now, no one could have dreamed of it happening in the first place up until after that moment.
2) The film was very well done. Presented in real time, it represents the last 90 minutes in the lives of everyone aboard that plane. Even though we all know the ending, since the editing is so tight and the information presented in the same way as it unfolded during those moments we, the audience, almost feel like there is a slight chance that the result will be different. It's completely free of politics or finger-pointing. It's practically a documentary.
3) This is an extremely important film. Because the result wasnt different. It was as horrible as we remember. And for those who see this movie, every emotion and memory you had from that day no matter how much they have receded into your brains long-term storage - will come back to you. You will relive that morning. As painful as it may be, its important that we all do that.
The greatest value "United 93" offers is not so much a reminder to those who lived through it of what happened or the kind of enemy we face. Rather, it will better serve those too young to remember or who were not yet born. Because we will still be fighting this enemy in the decades to come. And they need to understand what happened that day; not as a couple of paragraphs in a social studies text but as it actually happened and what it meant for this country.
If you have kids who are now teenagers and better prepared to handle the intensity of these events, I recommend that they see it as well. Be aware that there is some violence aboard the plane and some harsh language used by those on the ground who are trying to come to grips with what's going on (a few f-bombs were dropped out of frustration by folks at NORAD). You know you're own kids best. If they can handle "Saving Private Ryan" they can handle this.
"United 93" came in #2 at the box office this weekend. But as was the case with "The Passion", I think that word of mouth will keep this film in the top five for the next month or two. Anyway, thems my two cents.
Note - now that the "80's Crush Tournament" is over I will be featuring a weekly poll on whatever strikes my fancy in the sidebar. I'm leaving it where it is for now but I'll be moving it lower so keep an eye out for it.
Welcome "Blue Crab Boulevard" readers! The review is HERE.
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