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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

United 93.

Last week Ang and I finally managed to go see "United 93." I had wanted to go all week and ended up being really excited by the time the big night arrived. I can;t even say precisely why I was so excited; I knew it wouldn't;t be a laugh fest, and I knew I already knew the plot. I had read a lot of bloggers reviews and read both sides of the controversy that surrounded the movie. Would it be true to life? Would reality be "toned down" so that we didn't offend anyone? Would a particular bias slant the movie one way or the other? And what about the reports of dead silence at the movie's end, or of people sobbing in the theater or in the bathroom together? I had seen the Passion and I very well knew what it was like to see something that impacted people on a level much deeper than "art" usually does. I knew about tears and sorrow and a feeling of conviction. So what was I looking for with this movie?

The "action" of the movie almost solely comes from the fact that you already know the story. Or you think you know most of it. Suspense, rather than action, keeps you from leaving to go to the bathroom. I honestly don't think I've ever had my heart pound as hard during any movie as it did during this one. You know... But you still hope that maybe the outcome will be different. It isn't.

The movie itself is very finely done. My sole criticism of the production itself is that the director followed the trend (and that's all it is - a trend) of using hand held cams for a lot of the film. So you get shaky pictures and at the beginning for most of the establishing stuff, you feel grateful when they cut to a slow pan shot or motion control or anything but the shaky shots. I can't wait until this trend dies it's rightful, inevitable death. That aside, the production and casting and everything else are great. Even the score, though unmemorable, supported the film well. The first half of the film deals with the FAA and the tower controllers and the shocking realization of what was happening with American 11. After the towers are hit, the second part of the film focuses on the United 93, as it was the last to take off.

I read that "every high school student in the US should be required to see this film." I would certainly agree. I think though that every adult should go see this film. It shows some very important things very clearly; a few of which I'd like to touch on. First, Evil does exist. Despite the claims of the moral relativists and atheists, the is absolute truth. This film does a good job of showing Islam for what it is - an affront to civilization. The Koran does not teach Muslims to peacefully co-exist with Christians and Jews and Catholics etc. - it teaches that anyone who does not convert to Islam is an "infidel." There is no such thing as an innocent to a Muslim. And as such, the nearly 3000 people killed on Sept. 11, were a blessing to Islam. The "infidel West" had just suffered a blow that we thought was impossible. Evil does exist.

Second, bureaucracy is inefficient. Government is the worst manager of any program. Other than what was specifically called out as federal responsibilities in the Constitution, there is no program that the government can do better than the private sector. This movie shows point blank the cluelessness of the FAA and NORAD and the excessive red tape of the military and the irresponsibility of the politicians. Even when they did figure out what was going on, the agencies couldn't'; communicate or make effective decisions, much less make things happen. Turn something over the the government and you'll get a top heavy organization where no one wants to take responsibility and thus decisions are passed around as people cover for their careers.

Third, the is also "good" in the world. In stark contrast to the bureaucratic government agencies, the people aboard United 93 figured out what was going on and took action. You have to have leadership or nothing gets accomplished. Watching the passengers take down their captors was probably the most satisfying moment I have ever experienced from a film.

The movie doesn't hide the fact that Muslim terrorists took over United 93 to fly it into the White House and kill everyone onboard. They do a good job of factually presenting what happened without venturing too far into conjecture. Whoever you are, reading this right now, you should go see this film. It's not gory, it's not boring, and it's not something you'll easily forget. Comedies and Action film come around everyday; take a break and see something that will have an impact on your life. You'll be thankful that you did.


Blogger Heth said...

Great review.

I must be living in a cave because somehow I missed that this movie was released. We will definately make plans to see it.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Natalie Joy said...

Good review. We probably will go see it.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Adonai Jedi said...

It's on at 7 and 9:15 at Cedar Falls in a really cool huge nice theater!

1:12 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Very good review. The theater was AWESOME - I forgot how great stadium seating is for short people!

I would call it a must-see as well. Just not as eloquently as you did.

2:31 PM  
Blogger sRa said...

wow, i didn't realize people in the states WANTED to see this movie. I was disturbed by just the previews and really don't wish to see it - too real, too soon.

8:26 AM  

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