Saturday, December 26, 2009

Movies! - "They are not going to land this plane."

I started thinking about United 93 for a couple of reasons. The first is when I read about the recent attempted terrorist attack. The second is that in yesterday's Movie-A-Day post, I wrote more about my experience when I saw the film than the film itself. Whenever I think about United 93, I can't help but think of when I saw it in the theater. I have a feeling that I've written about this before. I know that I've told a lot of people this story, but I'm going to go ahead and write about it for today's post anyway. Maybe I can actually say something new about it.

Anyway, for those who don't know, United 93 tells the story of the passengers on September 11, 2001 who rose up against the hijackers and fought back. They didn't succeed in saving themselves, but they did prevent the terrorists from hitting their intended target; which very likely resulted in saving at least the lives of those who were at the target. The movie plays out like a documentary in a way. It gives the feeling like you're watching everything as it happens. There is no dramatic music, no powerful speeches or anything like that. Basically, there is very little in there to remind you that you're watching a movie. It all feels very real.

When I saw it, there was some dumb woman with her dumb boyfriend sitting up at the front. I normally hate talkers with a vicious passion as it is, and I've told a few people to stop talking in my time. This woman was particularly obnoxious though. She was sitting on the other side of the theater, and she kept yapping throughout the ENTIRE movie. I don't remember what she was talking about, but it was all just stupid, annoying small talk. Why the hell would she even bother going to the movie if she just planned on talking the whole time?

I put up with it as best as I could, but when she was still blathering on at the film's climactic moment - when the passengers started to fight back - I couldn't take it anymore. I shouted across the theater, "Can you not shut up for five minutes? Jesus Christ!" She was absolutely dead silent at that point, and when the credits began to roll, she got the hell out of there. I have a bit of a booming, loud voice, and she may have worried that I was going to eviscerate her.

That sort of a thing is bad enough, but this movie came out in 2006 - just five years after the attacks. Look, I'm no Toby Keith "angry American" jingoist, but aren't some things sacred? These people, at the cost of their own lives, thwarted the terrorists that day. There isn't anything that's happened since that better illustrates to Al Quaeda that they can't beat us. (Want proof? Read about the recent terror attack. Who stopped the guy? A passenger!)

Hopefully you get the point lest I start quoting the lyrics to "Proud to be an American." At the very least, a person should have the decency to respect the fact that this was all very real, and it was very recent. Imagine how a person who had loved ones die that day would feel if they were sitting in that theater? I suspect that my reaction would be considered to be pretty tame by comparison.

The one last thing I'll say is that if you own or rent the DVD, I can't give a greater recommendation for viewing the bonus features. Oftentimes, that sort of a thing is pure fluff. With this documentary, however, it really adds to the experience of the film. In it, they have the actors meet the loved ones and families of the characters that they're playing. I will once again admit to crying like a small child after having watched that. It's simultaneously uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time. Even if you've already seen the film, rent or buy it for that alone.


Anonymous said...

Opulently I assent to but I about the collection should have more info then it has.

Nolan said...

Too soon.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

The movie or my blog post about it?

Nolan said...

Both. You can't make a movie about 9/11 or comment about it. Ever.

Anonymous has it right. What he said.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Good point. As you can see, I have deleted the post and all of these comments. If you're reading it, then it's all in your head.