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April 14, 2006

AICN Spy Reviews Screening of "United 93"

It sounds amazing, even if it is so horrific. It's a horror film, apparently, but it's far worse than that, because we know of course this horror actually happened.

And has happened again, in Bali, Madrid, and London. And daily in Iraq. And again, and again, and again.

There are certain seminal film going experiences in your life… movies that you never forget the first time you see them: “Psycho” or “Jaws,” “The Godfather” or “Star Wars.”

Depending on who you are, the experience of sitting in a darkened theater and seeing a classic unspool before your eyes becomes permanently engrained in your memory.

That’s the way I feel about a movie I've just seen: “United 93.”

We've all heard the controversy about the trailer. People complained and were upset by it. One theater quit showing it while at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood; patrons yelled “Too soon!” at the screen.

The events of 9/11 changed the course of our daily lives, yet you might not know it anymore. Time and everyone’s desire to “move on” tends to do that.

The fact that people wish to forget the events is one of the prime reasons the timing is right for this film.

No one screamed “Too soon!” at Michael Moore’s documentary, and it’s important to view the events depicted in Paul Greengrass’ movie in this objective prospective, as opposed to campaign ads seeking to use 9/11 to justify a variety of agendas.

That's an excellent point. I've noted no one said "Too soon!" about the pro-terrorist film Paradise Now, but Michael Moore's "documentary" also portrayed (using real footage) the horror of 9/11. Although, of course, he ham-handedly shifted responsibility for the outrage from the terrorists to George Bush. I suspect that's why this film is being greeted by cries of "Too soon!"

It's "Too soon!" to some people to display the viciousness of our enemeis, and it always will be "Too soon!"


Greengrass uses the same pseudo documentary style he employed in “Bloody Sunday” to place us directly into the day when life as we know it changed. The acting and camera work achieves total verisimilitude. Many times during the first half hour of the movie, which depicts air traffic controllers and government officials grappling with the escalating situations occurring in the sky, I literally forgot I was watching a film. It felt totally real. The dialogue is mostly improvised, overlapping, no "Hollywood" clever lines.


In this movie, you dread the inevitable that you know will take place. It’s painful to see a passenger running late and making the flight at the last minute, knowing he would have also avoided his own demise. What a difference one minute can make.

The fact that the actual highjacking takes place so late in the film (about one hour in) makes the tension all the more unbearable.

I don't get his bit at all:


[]Greengrass doesn't portray the terrorists as “evil” per se. They are definitely heinous. Seeing their panic at the passenger uprising when the tables are turned does satisfy our need for some small measure of payback, but the instigators are also shown as devout in their mission as well as quite frightened themselves.

Nothing in this film feels exploitative and is rendered with remarkable taste.

Perhaps he's just trying to make the film seem palatable to liberals, who reject the idea of "evil," because I have trouble understanding the difference between "evil" and "heinous."


[T]he moment when the passengers unite and charge the terrorists is rousing and heartfelt to witness, despite the tragedy that is inevitable. The guts and desire to live is overwhelming to watch.

We all have thought of what it must have been like to be on that plane and wondered what we'd do under the very same circumstances.

I have to be honest; I don't know if I could ever do what I saw in this reenactment. It’s certainly easy to say we would, but watch this film and be honest with yourself.


To anyone yelling “Too soon!” at the trailer for this film, I dare you to see the actual and say that.

To me, it's too soon to forget.

Thanks to RCL.

I have to admit, as much as I support this movie, I'm not sure I'll be eager to see it when it opens. It is simply too horrific to make me want to see it. I'll see it, just because I think I have to (as we all, perhaps, do), but the idea of watching such horror for two hours is not an appealling one.

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posted by Ace at 01:17 PM

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