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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Just watched UNITED 93

Tonight was the night that United 93 premiered on HBO. If you have HBO-W it'll be coming on again in another hour or so. We watched it in full glorious high-definition.

This one is going to be haunting me for the next few days, I just know it.

United 93 was the plane that was hijacked on 9-11, that the passengers fought back before it could hit its intended target (presumably this was going to be the Capitol building). Instead it spiralled into the ground in a field in rural Pennsylvania.

This was the first movie about 9-11 that I've ever seen. I'll almost certainly be picking up the DVD for this soon. United 93 is one of the finest historical movies that I've seen, and it captures the intensity of that horrible day... I don't want to say beautifully, but it does resonate strong if you were watching it happen, wherever you were that day. The reactions from the characters are made all the more authentic when you realize, during the credits, that most of the real-life air traffic control and military staff on duty that day played themselves in this film.

This was just... wow.

I don't know if I've seen any other films by Paul Greengrass before, but I'm definitely going to find out about what else he's done. I'll strongly recommend United 93, but be mindful that this is one of the more intense movies to come out lately.


Anonymous said...

I agree; United 93 was pretty "awesome" (in a poignant kind of way, not like an action or sci-fi kind of awesome).

The way Paul Greengrass directed it, you really felt like you were there. He cast some of the real-life ground control officials and military people who handled things on the real 9/11, as well as real-life pilots and flight attendants to play those roles. So, in a way, it was more like a re-enactment set to film, rather than a "movie".

Now, you may see why I thought he deserved the Oscar for Best Director, despite all the attention going to Scorsese and Eastwood.

According to IMDb, Greengrass really hasn't directed much, at least not much that's recognizable as mainstream and on the big screen. He's probably best known for U93, The Bourne Supremacy (2nd in the trilogy), and The Bourne Ultimatum (which comes out this summer).

I liked the story and action to Bourne Supremacy, but found the choppy editing and shaky cam distrasting and almost nauseating in the theater. Oddly, I both accepted and appreciated the directing & editing style more when watching it on TV.