Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Friday, April 28, 2006

Movie Review: United 93

"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." -- John 15:13

I just got back from seeing United 93 tonight, and I'll answer the question that I'm sure is on most of your minds right away -- yes, I did cry. I cried like a pussy. I cried from a mixture of sadness, rage, and pride -- all these emotions and more. I cried because so many had to unfairly face death, and I cried because they faced it so bravely, fighting to survive. And I wasn't alone...

The theater was about 15% full here in Meridian, Idaho, for the early evening show. The movie itself started out slowly -- it was showing that the day began as just another day. People doing what they always do when they're getting ready to fly. Then the tension started to build; without revealing too much, the film did a really good job of accurately portraying the "fog of war". The action shifts between the airplane and the control centers on the ground, showing everyone trying to act on what little information they had. Rumors would be repeated as facts, vital information would be lost -- just like it happens in the real world.

Obviously, there's no way to know exactly what happened in the last minutes of the doomed, heroic flight. The writers had the evidence of calls made from the planes, and the reports of what the cockpit voice recorder said from family member who had heard it. Submariners, I think, have a better idea than most of the importance of assigning a believable narrative to the last moments of our heroes -- lost submarines almost never have survivors to tell the tale. It helps us to come to grips with the loss of someone you admire if you can imagine the bravery with which the met their fate. This, I think, is what United 93 does for us.

I was fascinated by the way the director showed both the passengers and hijackers praying -- asking for help from the same God for completely different outcomes. I found myself strangely satisfied when the passengers took retribution on the terrorists they caught outside the cockpit; I've always imagined the feeling of fear and hopelessness in the jihadi's hearts when they realized that they wouldn't reach their goal, that the Americans wouldn't sit back and take it. It was something completely foreign to their experience, people fighting back. Even now, in Iraq, we read reports all the time of men shot, execution-style, with their hands tied behind their backs. This has been going on for two years -- why do they let someone tie their hands when they know they're going to be killed? The Arab mindset leads them to put up with it for two years; Americans learned to fight back in two hours. That's the difference between us, and the reason we will ultimately prevail.

When the movie ended, some in the crowd applauded, and then we filed out of the theater -- in total silence. We all had a lot to think about...

Update 2314 29 April: Anna also saw the movie...

Bell-ringer 2233 01 May: Kevin from The Amboy Times has a compilation of reviews from the blogosphere.

6 Comments:

Blogger Anna said...

Methinks I will goeth and see this moving picture. Thank you for the review.

4/29/2006 7:09 AM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

I'll be interested to hear what you thought of it...

4/29/2006 9:40 AM

 
Blogger ninme said...

I (with trepidation in my heart) want to see it, but Peter's opposed to it. I plan on working on him all weekend...

4/29/2006 10:27 AM

 
Blogger Anna said...

My thoughts are very lucid. My feelings on the other hand, well I said some rude words on my blog.

4/29/2006 10:28 PM

 
Anonymous Rueful Red said...

Thanks for this review.

5/01/2006 2:58 AM

 
Blogger kevin said...

This review is featured in a round up of reviews on my blog.

http://amboytimes.blogspot.com/2006/04/united-93-review-round-up.html

5/01/2006 9:34 PM

 

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