I saw United 93 Friday night. Not surprisingly, I have a few thoughts on it.
First and foremost, go see it. Twice. Yesterday. It's definitely not too soon.
Secondly, the movie itself is very well acted, directed, and produced. I would have to agree with the general consensus of the reviews thus far. I don't pretend to be a movie critic, but, as movies go, this one is well worth the price of admission.
As for the gut response, I can't speak for those who were personally affected by the events of 9/11. I was affected in a very small way -- I was supposed to fly home from St. Louis that day, but I found myself stranded in a hotel room, instead, flipping through the TV channels, strangely awestruck that every channel -- even MTV-- was carrying coverage of 9/11. At any rate, that pales in comparison to the horror that the flight passengers and crew, WTC office-dwellers, emergency personnel, Pentagon personnel, and everyone connected to them must have experienced. For that reason, it would be rather myopic of me to tell someone more profoundly affected than I -- and more reluctant to take that trip down memory lane -- to "get over it" and go see the movie.
On the other hand, I am one of some 300 million American citizens who watched in horror that autumn day, as 19 foreigners hijacked 4 of our commercial planes and crashed them into 3 American icons and a field in the middle of Nowhere, USA. All in the name of a very twisted and misguided religious devotion. I would be lying if I said that the movie does not rekindle some of the horror and anger I felt that day. As it's meant to do, and as it should. But by no means should you let that stop you from seeing the movie.
It will be interesting to see what the weekend box office take is for United 93. A strong opening weekend would emphatically dispel the notion that it's "too soon" or too insensitive of us to revisit such an ugly scar on the American psyche. There are those (most of them left-leaning types) who would rather we forget that terrible day -- not because they don't themselves believe the terror attacks to have been an abomination. Rather, if we opt to "Never Forget," as the saying goes, then we're more likely to remember and appreciate why we're putting our troops in harm's way on the other side of the globe. For the Left, that translates into a greater likelihood that their quest for power will continue to elude them. And for many of them, they would rather fight that battle than engage the very real enemy that wants to enslave us and obliterate our way of life.
We can't let that happen. Ever.
UPDATE, at 1:16 pm PDT on 4/30/06: For those keeping track, the early box office estimates are in, and United 93 opened in 2nd place with $11.6M. These are not "blockbuster" numbers by Hollywood standards; considering the difficult subject matter, however, and its $15M budget (unheard of in Hollywood in these days), the weekend box office estimates are pretty impressive. Also of note is the average gross per theater -- United 93 opened in approximately 1800 theaters nationwide and averaged a gross of approximately $6,500 per theater. By comparison, the weekend's top-grossing movie, RV, opened in approximately 3,700 theaters and averaged approximately $4,500 per theater. Not bad for a movie that many deemed "too soon" to be released.
(Hat tip: Drudge)