World Trade Center
The preview trailer for this flick made me want to puke while looking up. The dude in the rubble tearily scratching "I (heart) You" on a piece of paper with friggin Coldplay's terrible 'Fix You' song was an absolute disgrace! Are f'in you kidding me!?!!? And Nicholas Cage doin his New Yawk tawk actor schtick!? The whole thing seemed disturbingly terriblified! It made me worry that if Alexander was a knockdown punch for Ollie Stone that 'World Trade Center' (even the title bothered me) was going to knock him out of the ring flying over the heads of the audience out through the double doors sailing across the street to the graveyard where there's an open grave and he lands face first in there and then someone dumps dirt on his butt and he ends up directing an episode of CSI: Atlantis for TNT.
Fortunately it seems Ollie will continue to be able to make movies because he did not disgrace himself like a greedy urine stained respect desperate drunk. But this movie might just be a stopover flight to that if he doesn't screw his head on straight again. For a guy who directed two of my top 20 all time movies (Wall Street, Natural Born Killers) this movie is still a cause for concern. Because it isn't an "Oliver Stone" film. It's an overly touchy feely slice of hell during 9/11 that really could have been directed by friggin Zach Braft. Two guys survive the towers coming down! Trapped in the rubble together and survive! Great story! What they went through is incredible! Totally! The story is amazing! The movie? Eh... it's just pretty good.
As for the 'too soon' thing, as far as I'm concerned nothing is 'too soon' (ok maybe an I survived 9-11 and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt would be a little too soon.) But I want to see it all! I want to remember! Entertain me always! Even if I'm crying! I'm a junkie! But while United 93 seemed like a movie that bubbled up and out of passion and need, this flick comes across as calculated and overthunked.
The good news is nothing really made me roll my eyes and get angry at this flick. I really did enjoy watching it straight thru even when I was bored. The idea of having the whole tower come down on your head and live- brewed up feelings of awe. I totally couldn't get over that- which kept things interesting. And the story was told well. And I even got memorial flashback stomach queasiness in the first 30 minutes. Nicolas Cage actually did a nice job playing a guy who seems relatively flat in general. And the other dude was totally very good.
But there were some things that bugged me too. The collapse of the building didn't look as 'big' as I'd hoped it would feel. And the Site (even though it might have looked very real) still looked a little like a staged set. When rubble pebbles would tumble down on their heads you could almost see the jerk lackey with the headset off screen above them dumping it down off a manila folder. And the backstory to see what the families went through at home was a schmaltzed up and the dialogue hoaky. I didn't care nearly enough about them (or frankly at all). I guess I have such burned feelings about 9-11, I just wanted to care about the whole thing more. I wanted the movie to intertwine with my own memories about that day and bubble stuff up. Instead I sat there watched a well told story about two guys who had an unbelievable incredible experience-- wishing it was something more.
Three Good Things About This Movie
- When the tower starts coming down and the
lobby starts crumbling it's amazing looking.
- The first 20 minutes captured confusion real well.
- It made me feel good about people.
Three Bad Things About This Movie
- It went long.
- It really could have been an NBC movie.
- I never forgot I was just watching a movie.
All in all, I guess this flick is worth seeing because it's a different experience, it was interesting, and I dug it. But really, after Ollie got his balls swatted for Alexander this felt like an oversafe bet. When I heard Ollie was working on a World Trade Center movie I thought he'd come out with guns blazing taking aim at our government failure on that day, hinting at conspiracy issues, and going for a giant statement for better or worse. Instead we got a reminder that Ollie is still a good filmmaker who remembered how to make a movie that isn't a total disaster.
BTW. This situation is a mumbly national and New York State disgrace. A billion dollars to litigate? Just give it to the guys! WTF WTC!