United 93 [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
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It's an event that shook the world. Honest, unflinching and profoundly moving, United 93 tells the unforgettable story of the heroic passengers and crew members who prevented the terrorists from carrying out their plans for the fourth hijacked plane on September 11, 2001. As on-ground military and civilian teams scrambled to make sense of the unfolding events, forty people who sat down as strangers found the courage to stand up as one.
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The Director, Paul Greengrass, has done an outstanding job in bringing together all the disparate elements and peoples of this true story - the control towers, the military, and the passengers of this fateful flight. He weaves it all together in a gutwrenching patchwork of the shock and disbelief of the planes being hi-jacked, the twin towers in flames, and the passengers in the hands of merciless suicide terrorists. It pulls you in so much, that you feel again and again the utter, appalling shock and sadness of these occurrences. I found myself just as deeply effected as if 9/11 was happening all over again. I was so saddened that none of the passengers survived. I so wanted them to, even though we know that none did. The film has that effect on you as well; even though we know the outcome, it is as compelling as if we did not. And I admired their heroism so much. Would any of us be so brave?
The impact of this film is tremendous, and I highly recommend it be viewed. Lest we forget.
- Only the pilot knew English. The pilots in 9/11 were all chosen because of their education and knowledge of the West.
- They didn't have bombs; kind of hard to fly a plane into a building, the Capitol, when you blow it up on the way there. (Stupid!)
- Ziad Jarrah looked nothing like he did in the movie.
- The muscle hijackers were mostly Saudi (they look Pakistani in the movie) and spoke Arabic. They were trained in hand-to-hand combat and throat cutting.
Fail. If you want a real understanding of 9/11, watch National Geographic: Inside 9/11 (Two DVD documentary).
Besides the fact that no one calling their own mother direct would use his first AND last names: "Mom, this is Mark Bingham...you believe me, right??" Cell phones would not have worked from that altitude in 2001.
Also, it's been admitted that United Airlines #93 was shot down.
If you really want to know what happened on 9/11, buy the Alex Jones DVD "Terrorstorm."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Filmed in a style that seems to be a dreamy cinema verite (though every moment on film was carefully constructed), UNITED 93 tells the story about the one plane that went down on September 11th that didn't hit its target. United 93 was supposed to have crashed either into the White House or the Capitol Building, but because of the bravery and courage displayed by the men and women on board, the plane never reached that area and crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. No one alive can say exactly for sure what happened aboard the plane that day. However, UNITED 93 does an incredible job of recreating what possibly happened.
Paul Greengrass and the filmmakers spent an incredible amount of time talking with the family members of those who died. They listened intently to the tape recordings on board the plane and messages left behind. I'm sure that hundreds of hours of research went into creating the film and it shows on film. No big name actors were cast in the film and many of the smaller roles were played by people who had actually been involved somehow with United 93 on September 11th. It is an ensemble cast of the truest kind.
I was deeply moved while watching UNITED 93. The outcome is already known before even putting the film into the DVD player. Yet, the foreknowledge takes nothing away from the experience. The people on the plane reminded me of some of my own friends and family members and even though I knew they were going to die, their actions as portrayed in the film gave me hope. UNITED 93 is a powerful piece of cinema, testifying to what ordinary people can do when faced against extraordinary circumstances. The Academy might have ignored it, but UNITED 93 is the best picture of 2006 and a fitting tribute to the men and women who died that day.
The DVD includes a commentary with Director Paul Greengrass which I found much more interesting, intriguing, and thought-provoking than many other commentaries I have listened to. There's also a short documentary entitled "United 93: The Families and the Film" that interviews family members of those killed and their reactions to the film. Finally, there is a biography page that includes a small picture and a written biography about the 40 people on board (not including the hijackers) who died because of the hijacking.
JFK said "We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth." After 9/11, many artists chose to respond to the horror and tragedy of the events in the way they knew best - through their craft. They drew their own line offering photographs, sculpture, paintings, poetry, and film that commemorate that day. Their work, good or bad, will forever be a part of those events. So timing and quality is important. At just under 5 years since the destruction of the Twin Towers in NYC, and the crash of United 93 in a Pennsylvania field, is the time right. Maybe, it will never be right. "the Flight of United 93," although approved by the familes of the passagers, might be a story not yet ready to be told, or more accurately it might be a story not ready to be heard and seen. With public opinion of the handling of the War down, maybe the time is right for a film that depicts the courageous actions of passengers on the fourth hijacked plane.
Director Paul Greengrass thoughtfully undertakes the unenviable task of telling this pivotal chapter in the events of that tragic day. Greengrass, director of THE BOURNE SUPREMACY shoots UNITED 93 almost virtually in realtime as all 40 passengers and crew gather the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 to board United's flight from Newark to San Francisco. Along with the 40, are 5 men planning to use the plane as a weapon against the U.S. Capitol. Once it "becomes clear" that a hijacking has occurred passengers begin to sneak mobile calls, saying their goodbyes, but also discovering that 2 planes have already been rammed into the World Trade Center, confirming their worst fears. The passengers see no other choice than to risk confronting the hijackers to gain control of the plane. Greengrass, along with his superb cast and crew, reconstruct the events from factual information gained from cell calls, flight recorders, the memories of families and ground controllers. Casting of mostly unknowns adds weight to the film, intensifying the haunting reality of the situation.
This is no TV movie of the week. It is urgent, edgy, moving and ultimately a fitting memorial for the heroic passengers of flight United 93.
Approved by the families of the passengers, a portion of proceeds goes to the FLIGHT 93 MEMORIAL FUND [...] The film was well received when it premiered at the Tribeca Film festival.
Rated R for language and scenes of terror and violence.
"United 93," for my money, was the best film of 2006. Sparse and powerful, this docudrama took about 90 minutes of real time to unfold one of the most matter-of-factly harrowing and heroic episodes put down on film. Far from being a political diatribe, the film documents a real humanity and the commonality that pulls ordinary people together in a time of crisis. Offering almost no commentary, "United 93" just presents the facts of situation about the ill-fated flight. Reconstructed largely from actual participants and phone records, this is about as close to reality as a narrative film can get.
In an audacious decision, director Paul Greenglass does not ask that we know the passengers or ground crew as individuals. You see them in brief, slice-of-life moments as they ready themselves for the day--but there is no backstory, no manufactured drama. It's just a cross section of regular men and women doing mundane things on what will become a most extraordinary day. You will start to know some of the individuals from their actions and their responses, but the film doesn't offer anything extraneous. This simplicity and lack of ordinary storytelling convention sets "United 93" apart.
By allowing an objective viewpoint, the film achieves a power that is more inherently real than 99% of scripted films. There is an honor and dignity at work here that's quite unexpected. Even though the film plays with a documentary feel, it ends up almost impossible not to envision yourself in the same situation. As such, "United 93" strikes a real and resonant emotional chord. It's easy to only accept this film as a poignant document of that day and a tribute to those involved. And that it is. It's also easy for those who wish to dismiss it as "too soon" or as a cover-up to conspiracy theories to do so. But what I don't want to get lost in any political debate is the fact that this is also great filmmaking.
I was more affected by this film emotionally than any other film of the year. And I have reflected on it more often than any other film this year. For those reasons, whatever happens at the awards, "United 93" is easily my choice for best film of the year. Heartbreaking, Intelligent, Horrifying, Uplifting--It's perfect. KGHarris, 12/06.
Let me assure you. You will not leave the film depressed. It is uplifting in a way. Because of the heroic actions of the Americans in the film. It makes you proud to be an American. I highly recommend seeing it. Even for the families of the people on the plane. The director turns each passenger into a hero. It won't be easy to watch. But you really shouldn't turn away from this film.
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