Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Here we go again

When I went to see the new X-Men movie,I noticed at the multiplex a number of signs letting the patrons know that a trailer for the upcoming Oliver Stone 9/11 movie,World Trade Center,would be shown before The Da Vinci Code with scenes that might be upsetting to many viewers. First off,I was glad to see the sensitivity being taken by the theaters(someone learned from the United 93 trailer protest) and then,when I left,I decided to see if the WTC trailer was online and sure enough,it was.

I've seen it twice so far and I think it's more unsettling than the U93 one-I didn't see the other film but did think it was a good call on the filmmaker's part to not cast any Hollywood actors and to take a docudrama approach to the subject. Here,you have Nic Cage with a stylized mustache and stiffer than wood acting mode portraying a police officer who becomes trapped in the WTC(along with another officer)while saving citizens. There isn't a shot of the planes hitting the Towers but there is a scene where the shadow of a plane flashs by before impact and folks reacting to a thud in an office nearby.

Cage's character is then seen driving towards the area,saying things like"there's no plan for this...something this big" and then asking for volunteers to join him in getting people out of the building,with a slight pause before three guys step up. The worst part is seeing the lobby of the WTC collapse and people trapped under the rubble. I won't describe any more of it(there's a link to the trailer in the title above,if you want to check it out for yourself)but will say that there's tons of violin music used shamelessly to make emotional highpoints even more glaring.

The film is supposed to be based on the true story of two officers and I don't know what their families think about all of this but I don't trust Oliver Stone here at all. It looks to me as if to avoid the usual rap Stone gets about adding his own spin to any of his movies based on real life events,he might be bending over backwards to heap on plenty of Hollywood style "reverence" for the subject which is pretty damn condescending to me. I could be wrong but this is the impression that I'm getting from just this promotional peek at the movie.

I don't have a personal vendetta against Stone-he's made some great films. I do think,however,that alot of the prestige he recieved after Platoon went directly to his head and that he thinks he can do no wrong. A good book to read that showcases that attitude is Killer Instinct by Jane Hamsher,one of the producers of Natural Born Killers. Jane tells all about the craziness of making NBK(any film set where Robert Downey Jr. is the most well behaved person there gives you a clue as to what kind of atmosphere it was)with Stone whose idea of research for the film involved going on a peyote buying trip with the crew. Jane also doesn't paint a pretty picture about Quentin Tarantino either but she does point out her own mistakes and bad judgement calls so I'm willing to take her word here.

I do believe,as I've said before in an earlier post,that it's much too soon to have film versions of 9/11- a major part of the horror that day was seeing it live on TV and it's going to be a long time before anyone can look at those images and be able to not have an emotional reaction. People will see this movie out of curiosity and I just hope that it doesn't open any more wounds than it has to.


Jake McCafferty said...

Oliver Stone is a liar.

lady t said...

Yep,Ollie's got quite a rep for the untruthfullness there. He may have bitten off more than he can chew with this film.