May 18, 2006

"I think it's an intense recreation of what happened that day and that might be disturbing for people."

Trailers for Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center" begin in theaters this weekend and the report is that the movie's producers have warned theater owners that some people might find the images upsetting.
Co-producer Stacey Sher told CBS News, "They wanted the theatre owners to know that people might inquire at the box office whether or not the trailer would be shown and then it would be their decision whether they wanted to see it or not." Michael Shamberg, another producer of the film, said, "I think it's an intense recreation of what happened that day and that might be disturbing for people."
Presumably, they're trying to drum up interest in their movie. You can watch the trailer here. Do you see disturbingly "intense," gritty realism or disturbingly saccharine melodrama? From the slow-moving, over-clean cops getting up the gumption to volunteer to rescue people to the woman smelling the extra-white sheets of her missing loved one to the trapped man scrawling "I [heart] U" on a scrap of paper it is old-fashioned, maudlin dreck. Appalling.

IN THE COMMENTS: Troy expresses puzzlement: "maudlin and sentimental don't seem [Stone's] style...." I offer this explanation:
I believe that in this case "maudlin and sentimental" is an expression of Stone's low opinion of the intelligence and sensibility of Americans. He's talking down to us and thinks 9/11 has turned us into simple-minded sentimentalists. He may also have that attitude that Americans were admirable right after 9/11, in the immediate pain of the events, when we concentrated on grief and helping victims, but that we subsequently lost our way (by fighting back). The sentimentalism thus essentially expresses opposition to the war on terrorism.

UPDATE: Chris simulblogs the trailer. A taste:
"Okay, listen up. We've got to evacuate the tower." The police stand still; there is a moment of them silently looking at him and pouting. Finally, one officer breaks the silence, saying, "I got it, Sarge." He then steps forward--much like the scene in Jerry Maguire, where the office sits in silence after Tom Cruise's speech, and Renee Zellweger eventually gets up, and says, "I will go with you!"

25 comments:

Ruth Anne Adams said...

"United 93" stands in stark contrast to Stone's trailer. No major stars, no saccharine.

Can't say I'm as interested in seeing Stone's version of real-life heroes.

Patrick Martin said...

I just came from seeing United 93, a gripping, realistic, honest film. I would love to see more films like it about 9/11. There are many more stories to be told about that day.

But Oliver Stone long ago lost all credibility. He's a tin-foil-hat wearing conspiracy theorist. I will not give him the satisfaction of going to this movie of his.

Palladian said...

Ugh, you're right, dreck. Every one of us remembers the emotions we experienced that day and can easily contrast them with the cheesy garbage presented in the trailer.

Why was this movie made? Why do we need to have the real, still tangible emotions of that day pickled, primped, canned and sold back to us? Should there (God forbid) ever be a nuclear war, I bet they'll be a dramatization of it a couple of years later, for the 16 people left. I've always been disgusted with the need to turn real tragedies (still in living memory) into entertainment, whatever "lofty" goals are claimed to motivate it. Documentaries are different. When we have "The Sorrow and the Pity" why do we need "Schindler's List"?

And with Oliver Stone at the helm (in the cockpit?) I dread to imagine what grand conspiracy he's tacked onto his tacky movie. I wonder if hes been putting up the "9/11 was an inside job" stickers that are everywhere in New York? A fitting promotional stunt.

Simon said...

I honestly don't have the nerve to click that link. I've been trying to pluck up the intestinal fortitude to do so for several minutes, and I just can't do it.

You might say that makes me a pussy, but I say it means I know what kind of movie Oliver Stone's going to make.

Tim Sisk said...

Ann, you write this as if you expected better from Stone. Granted he's not known for saccharine melodrama, but he clearly has lost whatever insight he once had.

MadisonMan said...

I didn't look at the trailer, but I did go over to imdb.com to see who's in the movie -- Nicholas Cage I guess is the big star. I'll pass on it.

I noticed that two actors play Wisconsin Cop #1 and Wisconsin Cop #2. It's tempting to get this from the library in a couple years to see how Hollywood characterizes Wisconsin Cops in NYC.

downtownlad said...

That film looks bad. Really bad. I was in New York on 9/11 and that trailer does not bring out one ounce of emotion in me. He's obviously making a movie about 9/11 but it would have helped if he had actually talked to at least one person who was there that day.

And how he portrays the cops is insulting. Cops face danger every day. I doubt many of them were intimidated by going into the World Trade Center. They were probably in disbelief about the attack (as most New Yorkers were), but nobody thought the buildings were going to fall. They felt that they were just doing their job, and if he had actually filmed the movie like that, it would have been a hell of a lot more realistic.

Medopine said...

Maggie Gylenhaal, WHY!!! Why are you in this movie?

Sigh.

And if anyone didn't already know, Nicholas Cage will be in any movie. Ever.

amba said...

The only thing worse than having to see 9/11 again would be having to see it blasphemed, cheapened and melodramatized by sucky Oliver Stone. I hope people boycott the movie. I wouldn't go see it at gunpoint.

Troy said...

This movie, from the trailer, seems like Thomas Kinkade doing "Guernica".

It's odd because while Stone is "sucky" -- maudlin and sentimental don't seem his style (or perhaps he was hiding it behind kool-aid drinking bluster?).

bearbee said...

I suspect many as myself still find it difficult to look at actual footage of the events of September 11.

I did happen upon one of the 'news' programs showing a clip of the film and was revolted by the manipulative musical score.

Ugh, ugh, ugh........

Bissage said...

Amongst his other profanities, Stone should be drawn and quartered for what he did to the "Adagio for Strings."

Here, I suspect we'll have more of the same.

Verfication Word: "kpzbhfbb."

The sound of a juicy Bronx Cheer aimed right at Oliver Stone.

Ann Althouse said...

Bearbee: Sometimes the music in the trailer isn't the music in the actual film, but I definitely agree about the music.

Troy: "It's odd because while Stone is "sucky" -- maudlin and sentimental don't seem his style ..."

I believe that in this case "maudlin and sentimental" is an expression of Stone's low opinion of the intelligence and sensibility of Americans. He's talking down to us and thinks 9/11 has turned us into simple-minded sentimentalists. He may also have that attitude that Americans were admirable right after 9/11, in the immediate pain of the events, when we concentrated on grief and helping victims, but that we subsequently lost our way (by fighting back). The sentimentalism thus essentially expresses opposition to the war on terrorism.

knoxgirl said...

Yeah, the music alone is gag-inducing. AND JUST IN CASE YOU ARE UNSURE WHAT YOU SHOULD BE FEELING (insert bombastic score)

Oliver Stone is nothing if not heavy-handed. It makes me cringe to think that he was (is?) a respected director and received such accolades for "Platoon" and "JFK," two of the most gag-inducing movie of all time.

Biff said...

Prediction: If the movie fails to sell a lot of tickets, Stone will tell us about how Americans weren't ready for such a piercing, intense, and provocative portrayal of the events of 9/11, or some other such drivel, much as America wasn't ready to see Stone's previous fiasco, Alexander, because we were so homophobic.

The trailers for Alexander were so bad that they actively discouraged me from seeing a movie which featured Angelina Jolie scampering about in flimsy, silky, period costumes -- long before I had any idea about reputed homoeroticism. That, my friends, is a singular accomplishment which almost requires willful cinematic incompetence!

Sometimes the movie-going public shrugs at a film not for any larger cultural issues, but simply because the movie is not worth the price of a theater ticket.

Joe said...

To heavy-handed, I would add smug and condescending. Prediction: this movie will flop, and Stone's reaction will be the same as when Alexander flopped. That the American people are too stupid to appreciate his genius.

quietnorth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dawn said...

We lost two members of our family on 9/11, one of whom was FDNY. I have a pretty good idea of what happened that day, from what their wives told me, so why would I pay money to see a movie about 9/11 made by someone who is a legend in his own mind?

Stone doesn't just drink the kool-aid, he has an IV going at 100cc/hr. Continuous.

Goatwhacker said...

Yeccch. Considering the trailer usually shows the best parts of the movie, this film could be a flop of historic magnitude.

Pogo said...

Only through incompetence of the highest order could someone tell a story to a hometown crowd, a story the crowd wants to engage and wants to succeed, and yet fail so utterly.

And to have it fail even before it's released, well, that involves suckiness an order of magnitude achieved by few humans in history.

It begets the question, however, do movie studios have a death wish?

Troy said...

Ann,

Well put. Chris' use of the Jerry Maguire scene to the cops stepping forward is insightful too. It would be interesting to count the well-worn literary/film conventions contained in just the trailer. The wife staying at home... you mentioned the I heart U note. All that was missing was a 4-Ever.

Peter Weir should make a movie on 9/11.

Jenny D. said...

I wouldn't have thought it was possible, but Stone has fictionalized this very real event. The trailer makes it seem as though it's, oh, just a movie. Like with famous actors and sharp camera scenes.

It wasn't that. Not at all.

The Drill SGT said...

Bunker said...

Stone doesn't just drink the kool-aid, he has an IV going at 100cc/hr. Continuous.


I don't think so. Stone thinks he MAKES Kool-aid and we'll drink some more.

I think not.

Revenant said...

Oliver Stone may not be known for saccharine melodrama, but he's certainly known for heavy-handed melodrama. What's the last movie he wrote that wasn't entirely predicatable? Conan the Barbarian?

Dangerous Mind said...

They showed this preview before "The Da Vinci Code", which I went to see in a theater in the NYC metro area. I have to say, there was a lot of sobbing in the audience, and several people held their hands over their eyes to avoid watching.