(ca) wrote: Movies that deal with real-life national tragedies can help to heal, but can also reopen old wounds. For the effect to be more the former than the latter, there usually has to be a significant amount of time between such painful events and their re-creation on screen. With just a few notable exceptions, there were hardly any movies made about the Vietnam War until about a dozen years after the U.S. military's withdrawal. After the attack on Pearl Harbor (except for 1940s propaganda films), the time frame was similar. After the Kennedy Assassination, it was 30 years (not counting documentaries). In light of this pattern, it's all the more remarkable that writer, co-producer and director Paul Greengrass was able to release such a powerful, yet respectful dramatization of the 9/11 terrorist attacks with his film "United 93" (R, 1:51) less than five years after the heartbreakingly momentous events that the film portrays. This film is a docudrama which focuses on the story of United Flight #93, which was the only of the four airplanes hijacked on September 11, 2001 that did not reach its destination - due to the heroic attempt by the passengers to take control of the plane away from its four hijackers. Greengrass took a number of extraordinary measures to make this film as accurate, authentic and respectful as possible. His script relies heavily on first-person accounts of 9/11, radio transmissions and phone calls from United 93's passengers and crew as the hijacking was happening. The filmmakers received the cooperation of most of the families of the innocent victims on that flight (including providing personal information about their loved ones), and representatives from many of those families attended the film's premiere in New York City on April 26, 2006. (A portion of the film's profits went towards the construction of a permanent 9/11 memorial in the rural southern Pennsylvania field where the plane crashed. The film eventually contributed over one million dollars to the Flight 93 National Memorial which was dedicated on September 10, 2011.)An especially remarkable aspect of this film's production is the effort put forth in the name of authenticity while casting the film and directing the performers. The filmmakers hired little-known professional actors (although some, such as Olivia Thirlby, have since become more recognizable to fans of movies and TV). During filming, the actors playing the passengers and those playing the hijackers were housed in separate hotels and were not allowed to eat meals together or socialize with each other off of the set. The pilots and flight attendants in the movie are played by actual airline pilots and flight attendants. The civilian air traffic controllers and airport tower staff, as well as some of the military personnel in the movie, are played by a combination of people who actually do those jobs and some who participated in the events depicted in the film. The largest role filled by someone playing himself was that of Ben Sliney, the FAA National Operations Manager on 9/11. It was his first day in his new job. After some brief introductory scenes, most of the story plays out in real time, from the perspective of that doomed United Airlines flight. As the terrorists make final preparations for their suicide mission, the crew and then the passengers board the plane and Sliney and others arrive at work, Greengrass pulls the camera back and lets the actors improvise dialog. This all gives us just enough of a sense of time and place, as well as who these people were, and reminds us that 9/11 started off as a very ordinary day.As the major events of 9/11 begin to unfold, we see normal activity in FAA and in military facilities, in an airport control tower in Newark and in air traffic control centers in New York, Boston and Cleveland - the center monitoring United 93 at the time that we now know it was being taken over and re-routed by the hijackers. The script keeps its focus on the ordinary people involved in these events, but, mostly on the individuals and events aboard United 93. We don't see any famous faces and the only airplane that we see from the inside is that of the film's title. We observe the major events of that day as they unfolded in each of these locations, with all the shock, horror, confusion and heroism from that day."United 93" is simply a tremendous achievement in filmmaking. The movie's script, cinematography and performances combine to create authenticity on screen and tension in the viewer, but the film never becomes exploitive. Greengrass and his cast seamlessly blend the performances to the extent that it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between the professional actors, those paying tribute to a variety of heroic individuals and the people recreating their own experiences from that horrible day. The viewer is made to feel as if he or she is right there - in the room or on the plane as these things are actually happening. As the story careens towards its horrifying real-life conclusion, many people watching the movie find themselves desperately hoping, even actively willing, that the story will end differently than how we know it does. THAT'S impressive filmmaking - and a fitting tribute to the nearly 2,000 innocent lives we lost on September 11, 2001. "United 93" is a film that I will never forget, depicting a day and a story that none of us should ever forget.
(kr) wrote: i liked this film, about a woman who is schizophrenic who finds her college sweetheart and tells him she had a son with him and gave him up for adoption because she wasnt well enough to take care of him, so they travel 2000 miles to find their son much to the dismay of his wife but it all works out in the end
(it) wrote: It may not be the strongest written movie, and the CGI has aged badly (and I don't even think it looked great back then), but it succeeds at being a bigger budgeted version of the TV show thanks to better production values and fight scenes.
(mx) wrote: This movie shares a wonderful story about Pai. She was named after her ancestor Paikea who was saved by a whale after his canoe capsized out in the ocean. The story has to do with her growing up in a tribe that believed in the first male born having a chance to become a chief for they're tribe. Her grandfather was the Chief and he searched very hard to find his new successor but never did he see it in his granddaughter because she was a girl and to him a girl's place is not to be a leader. It's to marry and make a family and take care of the home. He was the very meaning of keeping a thousand year old tradition alive and he made sure he worked hard to do that. In doing such, he tries his best to push Pai away from her beliefs because he didn't want her to do guy things. Pai was different though. She was strong and she showed it through the whole film by showing I'm not just a girl; I'm like you.... a human. She fought to be treated equally and not only for her but for the strength of the tribe. She also fought this while her father ran from his problems and responsibilities as a father.In this film it depicts the struggles of women and how similar it is to some religious beliefs like Buddhist's who are not able to reach enlightenment if you're a women (only men). In most societies women are still fighting for equal opportunity. To be looked at not as women but as a human being someone who can also provide the same support and as any man can do. So many religions and cultures focus on the power and righteousness of men, but not so much for women.