how will we laugh just like before
when there's water rising up to our door
and we may never see each other again
my dear old friend
United 93 will probably be in my top five list in terms of all time emotional flicks right up until the day I die. I’ve never had such powerful emotions while watching any movie. Schindler’s List comes close but this movie was something else.
Let me give you a bit of a background of my thoughts leading up to the movie. I had a small feeling that a movie like this may be a bit premature coming out less than five years since 9-11, but I didn‘t feel too strongly about it. I didn’t have any friends or relatives that were affected (to my knowledge anyway) but I did think it was really stunning to know my Aunt was in the Twin Towers exactly one week before the…"what have you" happened.
Also, I’ve never seen the similar movie that was on A&E so I can’t compare the two.
So, in a nutshell, I picked this movie over “Friends With Money” because it had good reviews.
I smuggled in a can of pop and waited as the movie started. The movie starts with the terrorists going through their “checklist”. Immediately I had emotions of rage, my heart started pounding, and it was hard to focus on anything else. It was at that point I figured these antagonists (bad guys) would probably be the most effective antagonists in any movie I’ve ever watched (and perhaps will ever watch).
What I found really interesting was that there were a bunch of annoying teeny-boppers sitting behind me and as the opening credits were rolling they were eating their popcorn and talking rather loudly. Once the terrorists were shown, the theatre was silent. It was the best theatre crowd I have ever been around.
The movie basically has two settings: inside the plane and different control towers in each of the affecting cities. A lot of the actors and actresses actually worked as the occupation they were acting such as the stewardess and the workers in the control towers. Ben Sliney acts as the control tower commander (if that's he's called) and plays himself--he was playing the role he was in on September 11 and he does a damn good job too!
I don’t want to give much away--not that it’s a secret of what happened--but it is interesting the dynamics of the movie. Basically this movie is a docu-drama because character names are not even known--it’s pretty much just, ’ok there’s the guy with the hat and that’s the woman with the phone’. There are no sub-plots or any emotional mother-daughter-type relationship scenes. I was also expecting a sappy directorial message like in Spiderman where the “us New Yorkers stick together” comes in which is fine and all but it’s leaning too much on the corny side. Nah, this movie basically is just United 93 and nothing more.
It takes quite awhile for things to happen and as the time elapses I found myself going back to what I was doing on that day,
“okay now I’m biking to school”
“now I’m probably sitting in my botany lab”
There’s numerous scenes from inside the plane and each shot has you transfixed. The curiosity is unbearable.
Finally the end happens and, I must say, was the most eye popping and jaw dropping ending I have ever seen. I almost shouted out, “OH MY GOD!!” as things were happening because it almost feels like you’re in there with everyone.
Finally the credits come on and I just could not believe what I just watched! I even told a complete stranger how that was crazy!
Coming into the movie I was a little worried about the ending because I can be a bit of an emotional guy (aka: wuss) at some movies. I’ll shed a tear at movies like Schindler’ List and The Day After Tomorrow because they are either powerful or so completely stupid that I just want my money back. With United 93 I really didn’t shed a tear and it didn‘t find the ending that emotional. If anything the movie kinda, sorta ends on a decent note because you know the terrorists never reached their goal. The movie also shows how incredibly heroic those passengers were and the movie basically gives off the impression that everyone in the movie did what they needed to do. As it turns out, I forgot I smuggled my pop in the theatre and I had to chug the rest in a mad hurry.
I highly recommend this movie to say the least. Especially see this in the theatre because it’s a kind of movie where the audience feels connected to each other and the sound from the planes taking off is really cool!
I don’t know what this movie is considered “Oscar wise” but it should easily win some awards.