Friday, July 21, 2006

WTC   [John J. Miller]

Last night, I attended the same screening of World Trade Center as Cliff. Some initial thoughts: 1) Oliver Stone is a great filmmaker. Say what you will about JFK, taken on its own terms (i.e., deliberate falsehoods about the Kennedy assassination), it's a very good movie. And World Trade Center also succeeds as a piece of storytelling. 2) The movie did not especailly remind me of "what we are fighting against," as Cliff puts it. About the closest moviegoers actually come to seeing the terrorists is a shadow of a plane on a Manhattan building moments before the crash. As a result, I didn't feel any sense of renewed anger at the terrorists, except to the extent that the movie reminded me of a context that I already knew. It didn't really try to supply that context for me. 3) The central story involves a couple of Port Authority cops trapped beneath the rubble of the Twin Towers. A friend of mine pointed out that the movie seemed more like a disaster flick than a 9/11 film — it's basically a cops-and-firefighters rescue movie, with lots of scenes involving nervous wives and children waiting at homes and in hospitals. The cause of the destruction could have been an earthquake, and much of drama would be the same. 4) One of the most talked-about parts of the movie will be a pair of short scenes in which Jesus, holding a bottle of water, seems to comfort one of the cops: Some will interpret it as an acutal visitation, others will see it as a hallucination. It is, at the very least, a case of Hollywood taking faith seriously and respectfully. 5) When the movie ended, the theater was incredibly quiet; I think a lot of people will be affected by this film the way Cliff and Cal Thomas have been. 6) World Trade Center deserves a big box office. The release is August 9. Go see it.


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