Saturday, May 27, 2006

Flight 93 pushed the envelope; This New "Twin Tower" movie is taking it too far!

Ok. I was pretty vocal among my friends when Flight 93 came out; I intended to write a post about it, but finals got in the way. It is way too soon for Hollywood to be attempting to make money on a national tragedy. I would have been more concerned, but Flight 93 came and went so quickly in headlines and conversations that I almost forgot it existed. That is until my unexpected viewing of the trailer of the next theatrical attempt at capitalizing on 9/11.

My wife and I were at the movies, and the very first trailer to play was "Twin Towers". It basically runs like this:

Dramatic Music Starts playing.

Cops getting to work in the morning.

Cops seeing on TV that a plane hits the World Trade Center.

Cops driving to the scene.

Some cops to scared to go in, they take volunteers and a few step up.

Dramatic Music intensifies.

The Tower starts to fall down.

Cops trapped inside.

3 or 4 Shots of women crying while watching the Towers fall on TV.

Are you freakin kidding me!! Do we need to be reminded of all of the women that had to watch as the buildings their husbands worked in toppled to the ground? What sort of cheap stunt is that? Didn't it ever occur that maybe some 9/11 widow might go to watch a movie and have to sit there watching a dramatization of what they went through? I felt sick after seeing that.


At 5/28/2006 10:32:00 AM,

So, is your only objection that the movie is making money?

Other than the uncomfortable nature of dealing with sensitive issues, do you object from a moral or aesthetic standpoint? 

Posted by Dallas Robbins Dallas Robbins

At 5/29/2006 12:40:00 PM,

Frankly, I'm surprised that there weren't movies released immediately after... oh wait, there WERE:

* 11'09''01 - September 11 (2002)
* Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004?)
* Denial Stops Here: From 9/11 to Peak Oil and Beyond
* The Truth and Lies of 9/11
* 9/11 Citizens Commission (New York City 9/9/2004)
* The Great Conspiracy: the 9/11 News Special You Never Saw
* The Great Deception
* Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 9/11
* The Power of Nightmares (BBC)
* The Lone Gunmen (FOX)
* 911 In Plane Site
* Pentagon Strike

Not to mention the thousands of people utilizing various web sites to show what footage they personally captured of the tragedy. I checked into this on YouTube alone - don't know how many of them actually fit, but I got over 1200 hits.

My point - if it's a useful remembrance, than it doesn't seem to me like it's "way too soon" for either of these movies to come out. Granted, I am less inclined to be personally disturbed by depictions of 9/11 (I was in the Philippines when it occurred). And while I understand that some were closely and deeply affected (and still are), I believe that they have the choice whether or not they wish to view the movies and would certainly not pay to see them if it would trigger a dramatic and horrible experience for them.

I would suggest that this may be akin to the value which we place on places such as the Holocaust Museum. Those who wish to remember and internalize what happened, find it very useful. Those who may find it overtly disturbing (for example, victims of the Holocaust or their family members) would probably not wish to attend.

I understand that this hinges on the taste of the movie itself. Not having seen either (and having no real desire to), I won't make that call. Understandably, there are depictions which would cross the line (I would put such Hollywood-izations as Passion of the Christ into such categories, but that is merely my personal belief). On the other hand, we have many movies about tragic events which serve a useful purpose in society (WWII Pearl Harbor depictions, for example).

Please understand I am not meaning to disrespect the event in any manner, just attempting to make the following point:
A blanket discounting of such movies based merely on timeline doesn't seem adequate in this situation.

At 5/29/2006 05:19:00 PM,

Overall when I think about I tend to agree with siyadow, people can make movies about whatever they want and people can go see movies about whatever they want. If it is too soon or distasteful then the flick won't make money, if it does make money then the makers were right and there is interest. Basic supply and demand (no demand withme personally by the way, I don't want to see 'em).

However, my first reaction to these movies was just like Taylor's, it seems kind of tasteless to try to cash in on a tragedy like 9-11 so soon. Many of the movies about tragedies that I have seen and liked are about things that happened a long time ago, that my generation wasn't around to experience so it is kind of educational, a way to know your past. I don't have the same instinct against these movies about older events.

If these 9-11 movies are in bad taste, maybe it is more of a commentary on American society (demand) than on the movie makers (supply)

At 5/29/2006 07:42:00 PM,

what about cashing in on a tragedy BEFORE it happens? e.g. the ABC "bird flu" movie the other day.

Now that is capitalism at its best!

At 5/30/2006 03:07:00 PM,

Hmm... in that case, can I throw in 24 into this category as well?

Maybe we should just pass out Hoodies of Invincibility to every American citizen - then we'd all be safe... just like Jack.

At 5/30/2006 07:50:00 PM,

I guess in my mind, there is a difference between the "Hollywood" that produces the big blockbuster movies, and the "Smallywood" that produced the most of movies you listed. I hold Hollywood to a higher standard, I tolerate Smallywood because I want the 1st Amendment too. Every once and a while the line between the two is blurred, but I think that in this case it is clear that Flight 93 and Twin Towers are Hollywood movies.

At 5/30/2006 07:52:00 PM,

Holy cow, did I really just write that I hold Hollywood to a higher standard? I sound like Kerry!

At 5/30/2006 07:55:00 PM,

What would you articulate as being the two standards then?

And, yes, it's somewhat of a humorous concept to hold Hollywood to any type of standard.

At 5/30/2006 08:02:00 PM,

Ignoring the assumption of inapplicability with the First Amendment line of thought ...

(because we're talking about the choices of private entities and not government regulation of the industry... at least, I didn't read your comment to be advocating that position)

... what would make Hollywood any different from "Smallywood" that would entitle it to any less of a First Amendment protection?

Or more specifically - why do you feel that the above-listed portrayals of the tragedy are ethically acceptable; whereas, the two Hollywood-ized depictions are not?

There isn't much of a distinction in terms of economic profit - the two films are just on a larger scale. And all seem to be advocating at least some type of a political and/or cultural message (even if it's only for purposes of remembrance). Why the difference?

At 5/30/2006 08:49:00 PM,

Maybe the difference is that hollywood does it for the money, baby. the smallywood guys mostly just want to share a message. so, the hollywood pictures seem a little more, you know, sinister because they want to make $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ off of it.

but then, i keep getting mailers from the republican party requesting donations to help us fight "those 9/11 terrorists" so i suppose those mailers are like hollywood.

At 5/31/2006 12:09:00 AM,

Why are we upset that Hollywood is evoking emotions with displays of the most terrible terrorist act on American soil? Does the event being portrayed, in itself, not deserve any sentiment? Should Hollywood work pro bono on all projects relating to historical events?

Why are we not at least equally outraged that media providers are trying to force emotions out of us to be spent on far more meaningless events like American Idol? 

Posted by Mark Bentley

At 5/31/2006 10:19:00 AM,

Casablanca  (1942) and Twelve O'Clock High (1949) were great movies. Timely, too. 

Posted by John Mansfield




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