Friday, April 28, 2006

"Not Recommended"?

A confusing review of Flight 93 from Jack Matthews in today's New York Daily News. He gives the movie 3 1/2 stars; and begins thusly:

If a movie had to be made about the Newark-to-San Francisco flight that crashed in Pennsylvania when passengers tried to retake it from 9/11 hijackers, British writer-director Paul Greengrass did it as well as it could possibly be done.
It is a docudrama done with great sensitivity, and with unerring judgment in the writing and in the depiction of the passengers and hijackers. The diciest part of this project was having to imagine - i.e, fictionalize - the final, horrifying minutes inside Flight 93.

But after prasing the script, direction, and cinematography, we get an odd conclusion:

But you can certainly question the point of making a movie that - when it ends at the moment of 93's impact - leaves us with the same sickening mix of loss and anger we felt at the time.

I wouldn't recommend the movie to anyone, but if the families of the victims take something positive from it, as their cooperation with Greengrass suggests they do, that's justification enough.

I'm a little at a loss here - was Mr. Matthews hoping for some kind of an uplifting ending to an event that started what will almost certainly become the Third World War? Or did he fail to see, perhaps, the most inspiring element was in fact the event itself - a group of strangers, knowing with absolute certainty they were about to die, fought together to save the structure of the United States government, and thousands of innocent lives along with it.

Any type of add-on "happy ending" would no doubt have seemed spurious in the context of these world-changing events. Can't our faithful reviewer accept that, and take deeper meaning out of the real-life drama that unfolded on that dreadful day?
Personally, I believe that United 93 is the event that defines the American people - a people who do not wait for orders, but act out of responsibility and duty when they, their families, or their nation is threatened. There were no worries among the passengers of Flight 93 about violating the civil rights of the hijackers, or understanding their root causes....they only understood what needed to be done, acted upon it, and died for it.

Which leads me to the most annoying line in the above review -" I wouldn't recommend the movie to anyone". Well, I am sorry if you think it is still "too soon"; or do not see the need for highlighting the historic bravery that took place on that horrific day. But I can think of plenty of people to recommend it to; this is only a short list:
- all of those overseas who believe that Americans are weak
-foreign nations who need a little lesson in understanding what American values are
-every 9/11 conspiracy nutjob who believes Zionist NeoCons were at the controls that day...
-and every person who seems to forget why we are fighting a war on terror, and who we are fighting against

Mr. Matthews, I seriously believe you should re-think your conclusion...

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