Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Suumer Movie Preview--World Trade Center

The "summer movie season" officially started this past weekend, although in reality it's been in full swing for a while with Mission: Impossible III in theaters for the better part of a month now. There are plenty of wanna-be blockbusters on the way, including Superman Returns; Cars; Pirates of the Caribbean II; a Garfield sequel; a remake of The Omen; the bizarrely, yet intriguingly, titled Snakes On A Plane and even a Miami Vice movie, but I want to talk about a couple of films coming up in the next few months that aren't your typical summer "popcorn movie."
A few weeks ago, prior to the release of United 93, many people were saying it might be too soon for a Hollywood treatment of 9/11, but the quality and power of the film has won over most critics. The next 9/11 film to hit theaters, World Trade Center, may be controversial for other reasons, and I suspect that many people will make judgments about it before having seen it based solely on the man in the director's chair, Oliver Stone.
Since he made JFK back in 1991, Stone has, perhaps undeservedly based on his overall body of work, aquired a reputation as a purveyor of paranoid conspiracy theories. However, from all I have heard and seen of WTC, including the trailer, it seems that this time out Stone has left the conspiracy theories on the cutting room floor and filmed a straightforward, respectful and emotional story of two police officers trapped in the wreckage of the Twin Towers and their families' nervous vigil awaiting word of their fate.
Paranoid or not, Stone is a master of cinematic storytelling and World Trade Center should actually be worth seeing.
Next time, I'll give you my advance take on Clerks II.

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