United 93

So I just got back from seeing this here flick. I know alot of people had mixed feelings about this movie existing at all but I never had doubts that I would see this movie as soon as it came out like as soon as possible. I simply can't resist the idea of seeing something different regardless of where it comes from or why. It is here. They did make it. And I'm wayyyy too much of an entertainment junkie to boycott any event flick. I understand the big fear is this flick exploits a national tragedy to help heat hollywood pools and buy more coke. I get it. But the good news is this movie vibe really didn't strike me as exploitation... if anything it felt much closer to documentation.

On the way to the theater I picked up twizz, peppermint patty and a plastic thing of watermelon chunks (I brought my water from home) and I got to the theater exactly at 10:40PM which was the starting time. And the movie actually started at 10:41. No previews. The last time I saw a movie with no previews was Passion of the Christ. I sort of rolled my eyes at the flimflammy attempt at hushed 'seriousness' but whatever. I guess they have no choice. What are they gonna do? Run a trailer for Just My Luck first? Anyway, the opening credits started rolling and I got seriously scared because there were a couple wise-ass loud talkers a few rows back. Right off the bat mocking way loud in the first minute. I got nervous they thought they were seeing a regular ol 'action movie. But by minute two they shut up for the rest of the movie. You simply can't talk through this flick regardless of your talkability. Because this flick is straight up undeniable rivetation.

My reservations about this movie were it would be all junky TV movie-ish with the 'Let's roll!' line said through a good looking squinty-eyed revenge seeker who then gives a macho nod to the people around him. This movie didn't do crap like that. In fact for the most part it did nearly everything right. It covers all the main bases with shakey cam goodness. Switching around from the air-traffic controllers, to the military guys, to the plane. The air-traffic people come off as together and on their toes. The military people also don't really come off bad either. For the most part it was them pathetically fighting for information and battling uphill to get approval for the obvious. The only people who come off really bad are the people on the other side of the phones. The non-decision makers who we never see. Which probably is for the best. Because I do get the feeling if we saw the other side of the phone they'd be doing the same thing as the people calling them. And calling other people for the same answers. And those people would be busy calling people. And onwards. And upwards. And on and up. All waiting for the headlit deers at the top to say go.

I barely moved while I sat and watched this movie (except to dig into my bag for more snacky snacks). I breathed in deep and inhaled with both nostrils the sad dread of this reality. This flick works for (and earns) the achievement of bringing you into the plane and giving you a seat. The chaos and confusion and terror and awfulicity is all there for the taking. And when the eventual rush to the cockpit happens, the knowledge that it's not going to work out (I pray that's not a spoiler to anyone) was an altogether different cinematic experience. That fact of the outcome simply drained the usual movie adrenaline away and replaced that with curdily bile. By the end my mouth was hanging open and I felt like I was gonna throw up. What more could you ask for from a movie like this?

Three Good Things About this Movie

- I know everyone is saying, 'It was done right.' But it actually really was. It was a very real movie.
- If 9/11 never happened this movie would still be good.
- It gave me some dark satisfaction to think about the idea that the last thought that went through the hijackers heads was they were disgraceful failures before the eyes of god.

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- Some of the acting was a bit stiff and off at times.
- On the way out I heard one guy say, 'Wait? I thought they shot down one of the planes. No?'
- The music (even though it was minimal) still struck me as borderline bad taste.

All in all, if you don't have serious reservations about seeing this movie. See it. It's the most intense experience I've had at the movies in a while. Yadda, I still wonder how this flick factors in to my personal 9/11 long-term lifetime experience. It doesn't add too much other than a bubbily reminder of my brain chemical emotional reaction to that day. But whatever, a dose of reality is refreshing these days. And if the question is, should they make more realistic 9/11 (and post 9/11) movies that get my blood racing and put tears on my face while spotlighting bureaucratic failures and honoring american heroes? My answer is....

bring them on.