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"World Trade Center" is easily one of the best pictures of 2006 - CinemaDave

Aug. 14th, 2006 07:21 pm "World Trade Center" is easily one of the best pictures of 2006

In 1992, Spike Lee encouraged students to skip school and go see his movie, “Malcolm X.” Fourteen years later, middle and high school teachers should arrange field trips for their students to go see “World Trade Center.” The film is excellent and it may present something that students have not seen from contemporary mass media, the heroic actions of police officers

“World Trade Center” opens with an alarm clock awaking New York Port Authority policeman, John McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage) at three in the morning. McLoughlin looks over his kids, drinks his coffee and drives to work during the sunrise of a beautiful morning. This poetic sequence performs an important frame of personal reference for the audience. We all know the evil that McLoughlin and his men will endure on the morning of September 11, 2001.

Along with Officer Will Jimeno (Michael Peña), McLoughlin and his volunteers enter one of the burning towers of the Worlde Trade Center. As the police and fire departments attempt to ascertain an evacuation for people trapped on the 30th floor, the officers hear sounds of the building buckling and creaking. With an instinct for danger, McLoughlin orders his men to run into the elevator shaft when the tower begins to crash down upon them.

The narrative henceforward elevates “World Trade Center” from a routine disaster flick or another political propaganda influenced Hollywood movie. The movie cross cuts from the peril of McLoughlin and his men to that of their families in waiting. Maria Bello and Maggie Gyllenhaal portray the wife of the police officers. These police wives are forced to deal with the task of explaining to their young children that their fathers are in trapped in a circle of hell.

“World Trade Center” is a rare modern Hollywood motion picture that presents a heroic
gung ho ex-Marine named Dave Karnes (Michael Shannon). Without authorization, save his old uniform, Master Sargent Karnes marches into hell for a heavenly cause. Thank God that America has a man like this in our time and thank God Oliver Stone acknowledged this individual who has completed two tours of duty in Iraq..

To his credit , director Oliver Stone arose above his own prejudice and created his masterpiece. Working from a script by Andrea Berloff, the focus of “World Trade Center” is on two men, their families and the event. Based on factual accounts, this film is epic in scope, but Stone manages to tell this gripping tale in two hours. Yet “World Trade Center” does not feel rushed.

Recently I met a fireman and I offered to write on an article about his memorial for the New York Firemen. When I mentioned I worked for a newspaper, the man would have nothing to do with me and any form of the media. He explained that he felt betrayed by a mass media that makes victims out of criminals. Given the preproduction publicity of “World Trade Center” and Hollywood's bleeding heart liberal tendencies; one expected another “George Bush-caused-9/11-conspiracy” flick. Instead Oliver Stone and Paramont Pictures have created a film that should be seen by today's middle, secondary and college students.

Check out the front page of "The Observer" this week at; http://www.deerfieldbeachobserver.com/f/FrontPage_8-17-06.pdf

11 comments - Leave a commentPrevious Entry Share Next Entry

Comments:

From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 15th, 2006 06:47 pm (UTC)

World Trade Center

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I'm with you with regard to your assessment of the film as a film.

However, regardless of the fact that I have issues with Stone relative to specific works, I think your bashing him is out of place in this review. You seem to be sorry that he didn't politicize the issue in line with his political leanings so you could have really slugged him. Also, the "bleeding heart" bit seems to be forced simply because you wanted to say it.

With respect to your paraphrase from your anonymous fireman, I think the point would be stronger if you supplied details, say, in the form of some movie titles. Might make for a good discussion.

Anyway, still agree with you about the film as film.

Martin
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 15th, 2006 09:22 pm (UTC)

Re: World Trade Center

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Thanks Martin!

I believe you have to acknowledge the riff between the media elite and the people who are frequently a victim of their attacks.

From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 15th, 2006 09:43 pm (UTC)

Re: World Trade Center

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Hey, Dave, I'm with you. But I hate generalizations. Always taught my students that you must support them with specifics. Concept of argumentation.
Martin
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 16th, 2006 12:14 am (UTC)

Re: World Trade Center

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I agree with you about generalizations, Martin, I just got rushed with my reply. Also, I try to keep my reviews to 7 paragraphs; so I had to cut some things down due to space.

From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 16th, 2006 12:20 am (UTC)

Re: World Trade Center

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I actually have more respect for Oliver Stone for his work on "World Trade Center" since "Platoon." I guess that did not come across in my review.


From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 16th, 2006 12:25 am (UTC)

Re: World Trade Center

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My conclusion was to provide some circle composition to the Spike Lee comment of 1992. I believe I will be meeting that fireman again and I intend to provide him a copy of my review. Hopefully it will lead to some healthy dialog between a fireman and a media guy.

From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 16th, 2006 01:27 am (UTC)

Re: World Trade Center

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Although many people were injured and killed at the WTC, Oliver Stone brings to light what it took to rescue the many who were saved.

North Star
From:cinemadave
Date:August 16th, 2006 02:02 am (UTC)

Re: World Trade Center

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That is why I feel that "World Trade Center" is one of the best movies of the year.

Accent on the positive!

Thanks for visiting North Star!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 13th, 2006 04:39 am (UTC)
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Best movie I've ever seen. It changed my life completely, and im only 13.
From:cinemadave
Date:September 13th, 2006 10:47 am (UTC)

World Trade Center

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Thank you for taking the time to read my review.

If you are only 13, do you remember your reaction to the 9/11 attacks when you were eight years old? I'll assume you were in 3rd grade?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 23rd, 2007 10:54 pm (UTC)

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