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Monday, August 14, 2006

World Trade Center

Just got back from Oliver Stone's World Trade Center movie. I am not a movie critic at all but I thought I can have my personal say on this movie though.

Read the rest...

Posted by Winston on August 14, 2006 in Film | Permalink


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I wonder if we will read a review about it on the Iranian president’s new, personal website.


It's really slow. Me thinks the site runs on steam.

Posted by: No Spin Zone | 2006-08-14 6:29:43 AM

I saw "World Trade Center" on Friday and was blown away by it. The sets were phenomenal. Having been to the WTC several times - before and since - I can say that they looked very authentic. They even managed to make the fence at Trinity Church to look as if one was walking towards it. Their entrapment scenes were excellent, one could really get the claustrophia and the fear. It's really a miracle that anyone found them.

The acting was superb, particularly Michael Pena for whom this movie will make him a star. Nicholas Cage is good as always. Michael Shannon, who played Marine Dave Karnes, seemed rather one-note but I suspect that is what the real man was like. Maria Bello and Maggie Gyllenhall helped a lot too. It's sort of like watching "In Which We Serve", a 1942 Noel Coward movie about British sailors clinging to a liferaft, while the movie flashbacks to the past and their families.

Winston: Karnes spoke to his company on the phone saying how he wasn't coming in today because he felt "someone had to get some revenge for this". It was the only real political message in the whole movie. Indeed, I'd say the movie was too apolitical, but it works for me. It is a genuinely moving tribute to the emergency workers who rushed to the WTC to save as many people as they could - 9 of 10 people, some 25,000 in all, made it home alive that day. The heroism of 343 FDNY, 23 NYPD, 37 PAPD, and many others (EMT, Court Baliffs, etc), as well as those who carry on, is an inspiration to us all. I know I have my FDNY and NYPD hats.

This movie may not ask too many questions about the whole event, but it totally rebuts Michael Moore and his hackneyed, cliched, badly-researched conspiracy theories in "Fahrenheit 9/11" (which I haven't seen and never will). I haven't seen "United 93" yet but it comes on DVD on Sept 5. "WTC" is about heroes, and the audience will get a lot of that.

Of course, making a movie about 9/11 is a lot like making a movie about the Holocaust - there will be reverence and respect because the subject matter lends itself to sympathetic portrayals. In fact, the 1984 movie "The Wannsee Conference" and the excellent 2001 HBO remake "Conspiracy" tell the Holocaust story from the Nazi perspective - and guess what? - it turns out they were evil after all. I hope some Arab country doesn't try to make a movie celebrating the hijackers or Osama.

My rating: 4.5 of 5. This is as good as any 9/11 movie will ever be.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2006-08-14 8:13:26 AM

I happened to see the World Trade Centre event as it actually happened, having just returned to my overpriced Condo in Halifax NS, from the Post Office. Got a call from one of our partners who pointed out, "turn on the tube" some asshole is about to fly into the WTC. Saw the whole thing. Actually I am old enough to have lived through the first crash into a NY highrise, the 1944 crash of a USAAC B-25 into the Empire State Building. People are generally unaware that Bin Laden is a professional mechanical engineer from a Saudi Family who are the largest construction company in the Middle East. Bin Laden knew exactly where the aircraft should hit the WTC to accomplish maximum damage. Our partners are builders and developers. We were in the WTC some years ago an I remember observing that the buildings were built on the cheap. No surprise to us that they went down. Aside from that, it is virtually impossible to protect an excessive high rise from fire damage and disaster. The Royal Bank structure in Toronto the good is another el cheapo building, would not want to be on the top floor if it caught on fire. I am not going to see the film. I'm still pissed with Stone over JFK the Movie. MacLeod

Posted by: Jack MacLeod | 2006-08-14 9:37:35 AM


You can't compare the 1944 B-25 crash to 9/11. First of all, the B-25 is far smaller than the 767 and carries far less fuel. That meant there was less damage caused to the ESB than the WTC and the firefighters were able to put the fire out. Had the WTC not collapsed, the fire could have been contained and many lives could have been saved.

Second, who can say what effect flying a fully-fuelled airliner into a building will have - it's only happened three times on a single day. This is not the kind of thing structural engineers had contemplated. Their demolition of buildings usually comes from controlled demolitions and carefully dismantling the building, not blowing it up from the top with people trapped inside. What I do not see is an effort to replace these "cheaply made" skyscrapers with more robust structures. Cheaply-made or not, these buildings are here to stay. The odds of a terrorist attack are very low, especially now that the US and its allies are on the offensive against terrorists.

You are correct in that Bin Laden picked these buildings for attack, but there is more. NYC is the most visible city on Earth with live TV coverage spreading worldwide instantly. It was ideal for one of OBL's simultaenous attacks. The attack on the first tower attracted attention of the media, the US government, and first responders. The attack on the second tower was a surprise to let everyone know what Al Qaeda was capable of. Their mission would have been accomplished even if the towers stood up after the attacks and later dismantled.

I recommend you see it if only to remind you of the heroes of that day - the FDNY, NYPD, PAPD, and many others who rushed to help.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2006-08-14 9:59:25 AM

I am well awareof the size of the North American B-25 Mitchell Bomber, flew them from time to time in the RCAF in the 1950's. I agree with the points you make about the structures and vulnerability, and of course no structural engineers could possibly have imagined that the unthinkable could become reality. I have thought from time to time how the Bin Laden crowd convinced the fools who actually flew the hijacked aircraft that they were going "paradise"

Posted by: jackmacleod | 2006-08-14 10:15:32 AM

Jack: he used something called the Koran to make them think they were going to Paradise. Something about 72 virgins was involved.

So, basically, Islamic terrorism is fuelled by the need to alleviate male sexual frustration, not to solve the world's problems. Well, it explains why they're so eager to die!

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2006-08-14 10:26:49 AM

When you have a moment go to DEBKA File today for the latest from Israel on the current war with Iran and their Surrogate Hezbollah. It appars that the Mullahs are very unhappy with the "waste" of over $1 billion in arms and munitions by Hezbollah,and the destruction of Lebanon
(the Lebanese support Hezbollah by a margin of 100% plus). Israel continued with it's strategic philosophy never to fight on their own land. But from the perspective of our Western World, Iran must be severly punished. US is considering a "first strike option" which I reported several weeks ago based on the current issue of Armed Forces Journal (AFJ) available only by subscription but on the Net. MacLeod

Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2006-08-14 11:04:05 AM

Jack I think you are right about Iran and it is starting to be more and more likely that they will be dealt with next.

Posted by: Canadian freedoms fan | 2006-08-14 11:24:12 AM

Zebulon Pike wrote: You can't compare the 1944 B-25 crash to 9/11. First of all, the B-25 is far smaller than the 767 and carries far less fuel. That meant there was less damage caused to the ESB than the WTC and the firefighters were able to put the fire out.

Not to mention that the ESB is built into bedrock, is constructed of steel, limestone, brick, marble and has an extensive system of steel and concrete interior support beams.

Zebulon Pike also wrote: Second, who can say what effect flying a fully-fuelled airliner into a building will have - it's only happened three times on a single day.

The engineers who designed the WTC did, they modeled the effects of a hit by the largest aircraft of the day, the Boeing 707-320, and calibrated their design to withstand it. Let’s see if the how much bigger the 767-200 is compared to the 707-320.

Parameter Boeing 707-320 Boeing 767-200
Fuel capacity 23,000 US gal 87,000 L 23,980 US gal 90,780 L
max takeoff weight 333,600 lb 151,300 kg 387,000 lb 175,500 kg
empty weight 146,400 lb66,400 kg 164,800 lb74,800 kg
wingspan 145.75 ft 44 m 156.08 ft 48 m
wing area 3010 ft² 280 m² 3050 ft² 283 m²
length 152.92 ft 47 m 159.17 ft 49 m
cruise speed 557 mph 896 km/h 530 mph 853 km/h

I’d say there isn’t much difference between the two.

Posted by: No Spin Zone | 2006-08-14 12:26:11 PM

NoSpinZone: I see your point about the size of the aircraft and the construction of the buildings. However, the truly important point is the fires in each building, which ultimately brought the towers down.

While a B-25 may not have carried enough fuel to take down the ESB in any case, the 707 could have. I think that engineers calculated that the towers could take an airplane hit if an international flight inbound to NYC became lost in the fog and accidentally hit the towers. However, I don't think they calculated that one of the aircraft would have been loaded with fuel when it struck the towers. The fire, not the aircraft hit, took the towers down by weakening the structure - and gravity took care of the rest. Engineers, as I understand it, are still amazed that the towers not only didn't fall over, but held up for up to an hour under such conditions.

Of course, who could have conceived of such an event until it actually happened? In the movie "Deep Impact", the Twin Towers survived the flood caused by the comet fragment that struck the Altantic and caused a tsumami. In "Armageddon", meteorites took large chunks out of the towers yet they still stood.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2006-08-14 12:58:43 PM

Well it sounds like Oliver stone may have made a good and factual movie here. I'll have to wait for it to come out on video, I can't stomach supporting this guy.

Lucky 911 happened a few years ago, because if it happened 2500 years ago, it would be a complete fictional story as his absolutely historically incorrect version of Alexander was.

I'm still pissed at the guy for making one of the most inaccurate movies ever, and attempting to make it sound like he had the inside scoop on these events.


Posted by: niv | 2006-08-14 2:07:21 PM

Zebulon Pike wrote: However, I don't think they calculated that one of the aircraft would have been loaded with fuel when it struck the towers.

This has been a point of contention between those who debate the reason the towers fell. The contentious issue was that the engineers actually did generate a model of what would happen if a fully fuelled 747-100 hit the towers. That aircraft is twice the size, double the weight and carries twice the fuel of the 767-200. Now this was in 1965 and the 747-100 wouldn’t fly for another 5 years. Subsequently, they decided to use the 707-320 data. Some say that had the 747 data been used the internal design would have been different and the towers would have stood a better chance of surviving.
BTW, did you know that there is about 700 lbs of depleted uranium used as ballast in early models of the 747?

Zebulon Pike also wrote: The fire, not the aircraft hit, took the towers down by weakening the structure - and gravity took care of the rest.

While heat undoubtedly caused both towers to fail, the two towers collapsed in markedly different ways, indicating that there were in fact two modes of failure. The north tower collapsed directly downwards, "pancaking" in on itself, while the south tower fell at an angle during which the top 20 or so stories of the building remained intact for the first few seconds of the collapse.

Posted by: No Spin Zone | 2006-08-14 4:28:06 PM

An excellent review of the Film at Military.Com today, a US Site. It appears that Stone focused on the ordeal of two NYC police officers, plus there is no political message. A new film to watch for is "Flags Of Our Father's' Produced by Clint Eastwood and Directed by Stephen Speilberg
is the retelling of the famous Flag Raising on Mount Surabachi, Iwo Jima 23 February 1945 by US Marine Corps and US Navy personnel. I think this film is going to have a profound effect on the US public and their view of the United States under attack and at war. "Flags Of Our Father's" is on the net today for a preview.The effect will spin off into Canada which hopefully will bode well for PM Harper and his commitments to Canada's participation in the war against terrorism. I don't think the left wing Canadian media will dare to attack a film about devotion to duty and courage under fire against a ruthless and determined enemy in World War II. Jack MacLeod

Posted by: Jack MacLeod | 2006-08-15 4:54:08 AM

Jack, I admire the optimism of you young fellas about the left not daring to attack a film that is about the need to fight for freedom. But by the time you get to be my age you’ll realize that the pacifist left will attack anything as long as they think it won’t retaliate.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-08-15 6:43:58 AM

Jack: remember the NFB's "documentary" "The Valor and the Horror" - that was a left-wing critique of the war against a ruthless and determined enemy. They compared our soldiers and airmen (no sailors, sorry) to the Nazis - and excusing Nazis war crimes like the massacre in Normandy. For this, the NFB and the CBC should be destroyed - not a trace to remain on this earth.

When the Canadian Senate investigated this film, one senator asked the McKenna brothers who produced it if they believed that the Holocaust happened. To my surprise, they gave an unqualified yes. But that was the only nod towards historical accuracy that they gave - and it's not enough. Had this been a production of a branch of the US government, Congress would have destroyed them.

How many additional teachers and hospital beds could be acquired if the CBC and NFB budgets were eliminated? There is no longer any social purpose to their continued existence. Get rid of the CBC and NFB now.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2006-08-15 8:34:38 AM


Oh, you heartless thing!

How dare you threaten the livelyhood of latte shops around Canada?

There will be no place left for these freeloaders to gather and bemoan how they are being controlled by ... whoever it is they imagine they are being controlled by.

What other reason could their be for propoganda films than to unshackle themselves from their repressions and fly, free as a bird, escaping to their freedom where they can to do whatever it is they wish to do?

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-08-15 8:45:11 AM

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