Wednesday, August 09, 2006


World Trade Center, the movie, opens today. And I, for one, will not be seeing it. Just like I did not see United 93.

It sickens me to know people are making money off of a movie about such a tragedy. What is wrong with people? Whatever happened to respectfulness? Sensitivity? Plain human decency?

Is it just me? Am I too sensitive?

All I know is, there is no part of me that has even the slightest desire or inkling of morbid curiosity to watch a movie about 9/11. Or to watch actors paid to play the part of real people who died and those who lived thru that worst of all days. Not now. Not yet.

I go to movies to be entertained. And there is nothing entertaining about what happened that day. Waking up and watching the horror unfold on television that morning was almost like a movie. But it wasn't. And shouldn't be. Not yet. It just feels too soon to me. Much too soon.

But Hollywood just couldn't wait. Not even five years. And if you think it has anything to do with something other than money...

I picture the producers and directors sitting around, fidgeting. Like a group of men waiting to ask out a beautiful young widow whose husband has just passed away. They want to wait a little while so that it doesn't appear tasteless beyond belief. But they all want to get to her first. To be the first to sleep with her. They don't care about her feelings, her grief. They don't care about her at all. Their motives are purely selfish.

I've read the reviews. It's supposed to be tastefully done. A story of heroes. It's supposed to be a feel-good movie. Well I, for one, don't want to feel good. It's not time to feel good. I want to hurt. And remember. And honor this hole inside me, inside each of us, created by that day. And never forget how I felt.

I don't need a movie to remind me. I can close my eyes and see the images on the TV screen as clearly as if it were yesterday. And if I want to see heroes, I want to see the real heroes themselves. I'd rather read about them. Or watch some television special with stories of and interviews with people who were actually there.

Finally, no matter how well or tastefully a movie is done, it's still a movie. And as such, will inevitably trivialize or lessen to some degree the reality of what occurred. Take Titanic, for example. What's the first thing you think of when you hear Titanic? The 1500-plus who lost their lives? Or Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslett, and that old lady?

Maybe this movie is done very well. That's not my point. My point is, it's much too soon. The pain and loss and emptiness are still far too fresh. Far too real.

The first Titanic movie didn't come out until forty years later. Tora! Tora! came thirty years after Pearl Harbor, which until 9/11 was widely considered the worst attack on America. They should have waited at least that long before doing a 9/11 movie.

At least a generation. Then it tells a story to those who weren't alive or weren't old enough to remember what happened. Then time has had a chance to heal us. Not completely. Not entirely. We'll never reach that point. We'll always hurt. We'll always remember.

A lot of people still remember Pearl Harbor.

I, for one, never saw it.

"I had a brother at Khe Sahn, fighting off the Viet Cong. They're still there. He's all gone..."


  1. Bone
    Thank you for saying what I as a New Yorker can't. It was truly beautiful, and often the posts come straight from the heart

  2. Yeah, I don't know if I'll ever be able to see these movies. I can still hear the military planes flying over when all the commercial planes were grounded and being scared that they weren't "ours". I can still see the Pentagon smoking.

    Hey, have you seen on my blog sidebar the 2996 - tribute to 9/11 victims? You'd be a good person to contribute a tribute, you and your poetic self. :) Click on my sidebar if you want to sign up for a tribute.

  3. Well said.
    It sickens me to my soul that they're prospering off such a tragedy.
    It's not entertaining, it's not memorializing - it's horrid.
    Have we lost all respect and pride in ourselves, our country and our tragedies.

    It astounds me that there are hordes of people who went to protest a purely fictional entertainment film such as The Da Vinci Code, yet no one is doing anything about this.

    If they were really doing this to help us remember and to honor those who lost their lives - then the actors would have worked for free.
    The proceeds of the film would go to the families of those that died, to the police and fire departments of New York and to the government for programs that would help us prevent anything like this from occurring again.

    Thank you for shedding light on a dark subject.

    And doing it so eloquently.

  4. I can't agree more. I didn't see the other movie and I won't see this one... of course it's hard to make much of a stand when the only movies I've seen in the theaters are "Madagascar" and "Lilo and Stitch" since 1998.

    I watched that day from MIL's upstairs landing the loop of the planes crashing into the WTC towers and then suddenly as the news reporters were saying how strong the buildings were, they fell. We watched the news so much that week, it seemed to be the only thing on and finally after 3 days or so we had to change the TV to something different. There was nothing more to learn and we had to go on.

    We had to explain all of this to a three year old... nothing prepares you for that.

  5. The part about the men asking the young widow out is amazing

    Part of the proceeds are going to the families, but not to the city agencies

  6. Pia: Thanks. I've been hesitant to even mention 9/11, as I don't live in NY or DC. But it affected us all.

    Carmen: Yeah, a couple of other people have mentioned the 2996. I plan to do it. Just worried I won't do a good enough job.

    Negreanu: "If they were really doing this to help us remember and to honor those who lost their lives - then the actors would have worked for free."

    Um, that would have fit in very well with my post. Wish I had thought of it :)

    Renee: Thanks for the comment. Glad I'm not alone in feeling this way. I liked how you put it. We watched so much news coverage, many of the same scenes over and over, there was nothing left to show.

    Genie: You're correct. After reading your comment, I looked it up. According to the article I read, ten percent of the proceeds from the movie's first five days in release are going to be divided among four charities/organizations.

  7. I will be seeing the movie.

    During 9/11 I was in Beijing, China. I was out of the country from August until Dec, and missed everything. I'm still trying to learn things from 9/11 that I missed.

    But I do agree with you. If there was a movie about the OKC Bombing I would not go see it because I don't need to see it...I lived through it and can remember it perfectly. But since I did not go through 9/11 with the rest of America I feel like I need to see what happened while I was gone.

  8. I agree 100% Bone. Everytime I see the commercial on TV, I say the movie shouldn't have been done, this soon, if at all. I will not go see it, I don't want to relive it either. I hope many more people say that so the movie is a flop. Makes you kind of wonder what kind of person Nick Cage really is?!?

  9. Camealian, It is quiet possible that in his eyes he is portraying an American hero--nothing more nothing less.

    Bone, I agree with you that it is too soon to release a film reliving this tragedy. It is sad that only 10% of that money will be going to the families or organizations. I certainly am happy to hear that none of it is going to the government. If anything should be in the theaters perhaps it should be this:

  10. Well I didn't see United 93 and will not be seeing World Trade Center not because it sickens me or anything, but because I already know what happens. And really, I'd just rather not relive it. It's the same reason for why I can't see Farenheit 911 again, because I already know the outcome and it's already hard to think about and digest, so why go through it again?

  11. I commented earlier. It didn't post. I hesitated to re-comment because I am so passionate about this topic.

    But it is how I feel.

    I had a good friend from school. After school he became an Army Ranger. He served in Somalia. He was killed in one of the helicopter crashes and ensuing riots and torture that followed the downing of his aircraft that became the movie "Black Hawk Down". A few of us, those who knew him from Kindergarten on up felt we owed it to him to see the movie to learn or to feel we were with him during those last few minutes of his life. I couldn't bear it. I just couldn't sit there and watch a recreation of the death of my friend while others ate popcorn and jujyfruits and drank enormous sodas. That's not the way to remember.

    9/11 is the same thing for me. It is the bastardization of a loss that is sacred to me. It changed me, my family, my whole world. It needs to be remembered reverently, especially since many of us are still healing. I realize there have been movies about all kinds of tragedies. I used to watch war movies about Vietnam because my father was a soldier there. But Platoon, or Full Metal Jacket, or Saving Private Ryan were made decades following to share a reality with a generation seeking to understand. We aren't there yet. I know I'm not.

  12. Beautifully done, sir.
    We've discussed this... you know how I feel.
    Though, after reading this, my opinions may have shifted slightly.

  13. Lindsy: I remember you telling me that. I guess I see your point. But I'd recommend you also google news articles about it. And watch when the History Channel or A&E or one of those channels has programs about it.

    Carnealian: I kind of felt the same way. Fair or not, it took him down a notch in my mind. Not that he's ever been my favorite actor or anything.

    Liz: Yeah, that's 10% from the first five days. Can't afford to have any starving actors out there.

    Heather B: I completely agree. Again, I was beginning to think I was the only one who felt this way. Glad to know I'm not.

    Dorothy: I'm glad you re-commented. Thanks for sharing. You said it well in your last paragraph.

    Blondie: Thanks, dear. I think I've even changed my own opinion about seeing movies like this in the future.

  14. Bone, I agree with you about 10000%. I think that any "profits" that they make off this movie should be given to the families of those who were killed. That money is blood money.

  15. I agree with you. That was a HORRIBLE day and yes it is tasteless to do a big frickin' movie about it. A documentary, MAYBE. BUt not a mulit-million dollar movie.

    That whole event was a big trigger for me. My sister was killed by a drunk driver and the unexpected disaster of 9/11 triggered an intense grief that took me several months to work through.

    I can't imagine someone making a movie of my sister's death. I wouldn't allow it. I can't imagine how the survivors of 9/11 must feel, seeing that played out on the big screen. Like you said, why rehash that awful, awful day?

    I wonder if the survivors had any say in that movie? And I agree with Interstellar Lass's comment. THe money should go to the surivivors. Not the stars or producers. That's disgusting.

  16. I just read Genie's comment. 10% proceeds from the first 5 days isn't nearly enough. That's barely a drop in the bucket.

  17. I have to agree, Bone. I was appalled when I saw the trailers. Just appalled. I thought, is NOTHING sacred? And of course for Hollywood it isn't ever. And the widow analogy was right on the money. "How long must we wait without feeling too eager to exploit this huge tragedy?" TSK!

    "Feel good" my arse. If I went to this I would cry my eyes out just like I did for the real thing. I for one will not be spending money to fill the coffees of greedy bastards.

    So there!


  18. Couldn't agree with you more.

    Just seeing the trailer on Yahoo felt like getting slugged.


  19. Lass: Yeah. That's not happening though. And even if it did, it's still too soon.

    Chickadee: Tasteless, yes. Good word. Wish I'd thought of it.

    Very interesting to me to see how it affected each person differently, but also similarly.

    Circe: You or me, either! And you're right, it's Hollywood. Why would I even hope for some decency.

    Coffers. Gotcha. No one wants money in their lattes ;-)

    Bonnie: Yeah, I couldn't imagine sitting thru a whole movie about it. Thanks for stopping by.

  20. Okay. I had this very long post all ready to go and then realized that I should just keep my trap shut because everyone's entitled to his/her opinion.

    So, I will just say that I'm the lone dissenter here and that I will see this movie. Not in the theatre because I know I will be a big sobbing mess of tears and snot and no one but my dog really needs to be privy to that. But this will definitely be in my Netflix queue when it's on DVD.

  21. I second Xinh.

  22. PS Bone you know that I love this post--and every person in the world is entitled to an opionion

    The money should go to the city of New York, not the familes, they have been given their share

    Every person who lives in NY pays for 9/11 every day of the year. We have the highest cost of living in the country. Real income has gone down considerably as raises average 3 to if very lucky 5% while costs have gone up incredibly. It is no longer the city of my dreams, but I love it, and am a third generation NYer. It's the only home I have ever really known, but it is no longer home

    It is becoming a city for the very rich and the poor. A city without a middle class can't survive

  23. bHey Bone and friends,
    I'm having a blogwarming party. You're invited!

  24. I'm one of the few on here that plans on seeing the film. I know that living in East Tennessee is not near the event, but it hit me pretty hard. I don't know a single person that died that day, but cannot watch the footage with welling up. For a short time after the attacks, I went back and forth on enlisting. The only reason I decided against it was because I knew our government would not hit back at those that attacked us on that horrible day. I've got a lot more to say, but want to save it for after I see the film.

    A note on the film, the budget on the film was $63,000,000. I cannot imagine with such a large cast, and such detailed special effects that Cage got his normal, $20,000,000-$30,000,000-a-pic, salary. There's a strong chance that he took scale, which is the base salary an actor is allowed to take. That's just my guess as a complete and utter movie geek.

  25. i didn't plan on seeing the film (united 93) but it surprised me by being really well done. of course i wasn't part of 9/11, only experienced from the "comfort" of my california home but what the film allowed me to see was some "behind the scenes" bravery. not just the people on the flight who decided to take matters in their own hands but all the people working in the confusion, fear, frustration and panic at the air traffic control towers. it was like finding a piece of a really big puzzle and the whole picture starting to come into view clearer.

    with that said, i agree with a lot of what you have said and definitely have mixed feelings about profitting from such loss.

  26. Xinh: Nothing wrong with a different opinion. I'd like to hear it.

    Crys: I've already heard yours :)

    Pia: As I said, I know it affects people in NY and DC much more than me. Which is why I hesitate to mention it.

    Carmen: I'll be sure to stop by.

    Big Man: Thanks for offering a different view. I think a lot of us thought about enlisting, and probably many didn't for the very reason you mentioned.

    One of the things I pictured in my mind as part of the trivialization of it all was movie buffs watching it and commenting on how great the special effects were.

    Ms. Sizzle: Thanks. It's just my opinion. And I'd still rather watch it retold by those who were there, rather than by actors and movie producers.

  27. Jawana and I went to see it last night. The theater was full. The movie itself was very respectfully done and there weren't a lot of special fx. It may not be the movie you want to see, but it's the movie everyone should see. As a nation we've forgotten what happened to us on that day, just 5 short years later.

    The movie does an excellent job of portraying how we came together as a nation immediately following the unprovoked terrorist attacks on us. It showed unwaivering courage of the first responders in the face of an unfathomable danger... the collapse of the towers.

    As I watched the movie, I realized it was a showcase for the unsung heros of the tradgey, the men and women of the police, fire dept, and paramedics. Risking life and limb to go in there to save the thousands that were trapped.

    When you watch it, you will be moved. There wasn't a dry eye in the theater.

  28. Being as I don't live in the States, some may believe that I don't have a say about it.
    I will put what I think in short form because you have inspired me Bone to write something about this on my own blog ;) thanks man...

    I did watch one of the shows they made about the plane that landed in PA (don't remember what it was called) but anyway. I did find that I sat there thru the entire show crying, because I knew what was going to happen to all those people on that plane.

    I understand the feelings you are having Bone because there is a movie that came out that was based on the Karla Homolka (, that I refuse to see because of the fact that it all took place in the city I live in and none of the funds will be going to the families.
    Now I know before anyone says anything that its a huge difference, I know it is. However, it is but it isn't, not as many affected.

    I don't blame anyone for not wanting to see it... but for those families it will always be too soon.
    But we as a society have this sick need to relive stuff over and over again, if we didn't then why are there so many Vietnam, WW2, WW1 and Titanic movies... and they end up being big hits. Someone said make a documentary about it...well the average person does not watch documentaries, at least they didn't until Columbine and Farenheit 911 came out.


  29. Kyle: As I think you can see from the comments here, no one has forgotten. You can scarcely pick up a paper or watch the news for five minutes without being reminded of the changed world we live in, and have since that day.

    If it takes a movie to remind you of that day and to move you to feel... I can't understand that.

    Rae: I tried watching something on the History Channel last night about it. Got about ten minutes into it, and I just couldn't. I know how it ends. And I don't want to see it.

    "A sick need..." I tend to agree.

  30. I agree Bone.

    I wont be seeing the movies in the theater or when they are released.

    My memory will never forget what I saw that day, and for days afterwards.

    My husband was there on the one year anniversary (secret service detail) and he came home and cried, said he saw things that he cannot even put into words.

  31. M: Thanks for your opinion. Clearly, a lot of people agree.

    I can't imagine having been there.