Friday, April 28, 2006

United 93

Today, a movie about "that one plane that fought back" on September 11, 2001, comes out. It is called United 93.

I saw the TV spot on it with all the praise from around the nation. Roger Ebert even said, "This is a masterful and heartbreaking film, and it does honor to the memory of the victims."

Is this the kind of movie that you are not allowed to dislike? If the critic lists anything actual cinematically negative, or maybe negative about the construction of the movie itself, will that be taken out of context and make the critic seem like a dick?

Ex: "This movie, while moving, is terribly paced and shot with bad angles, etc. etc."

Response: "You dick! Don't you know what those people lived through on that plane?"

This is a movie that will not have serious constructive criticism. I just looked at the critics's page of comments on Yahoo! and they all list it as an "A-", except one as a "B-". On the user reviews page, most list it as an "A" but a few list it as an "F". Unfortunately, those "F"s only berate what they perceive as "cashing in on a tragedy" and "didn't I already see this on A&E tv?"

I don't know. I haven't seen the movie yet. I just don't know where to get real criticism on it, cinematically, movie-wise.

Roger Ebert does end his piece with some real criticism: "The movie is deeply disturbing, and some people may have to leave the theater. But it would have been much more disturbing if Greengrass had made it in a conventional way. He does not exploit, he draws no conclusions, he points no fingers, he avoids "human interest" and "personal dramas" and just simply watches. The movie's point of view reminds me of the angels in "Wings of Desire." They see what people do and they are saddened, but they cannot intervene. " This is at least real criticism, and it is a comparison to other movies and perspectives out there.

I remember years ago watching Apollo 13 with my good buddies Brian and Jeremy. I thought it was just all right. I've never felt the need to watch it again and feel that it was so-so. Good to watch but that's about it. Jeremy was the only guy with guts to say, "So what did they accomplish? The mission failed! Why are we cheering when all they did was save their asses?"

Will anybody tell the real truth about this movie? Will we see real cinematical criticism? Remember this at Oscar time.

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