There is a lot of speculation about whether America is ready for a movie about 9/11 with the impending release of Universal's United 93. Audiences in New York demanded that the trailer be pulled over the weekend.
People forget, though, that there is already a movie about 9/11. It's called DC 9/11: Time of Crisis, and it is probably one of the worst movies I have ever seen. It's actually a lot like watching the Left Behind movies; nothing is particularly accurate to reality and the acting is so over the top emotional, you would think Jerry Bruckheimer had a hand in directing it... except for the crappy production values.
The scene that irks me the most is the one where COS Andy Card informs the president that a second plane has hit the World Trade Center and that America is under attack. In real life, President George W. Bush sat in his chair looking very scared for 7 minutes. Seven f-ing minutes! In the movie, Bush is up and ready to kick some al Qaida ass himself.
This movie was literally made for one reason and one reason only, to counteract the impact of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. From what I understand, the script was written after interviewing White House staff, which in any other administration would give us great insight. Instead, the movie ends up being biased and slightly megalomaniacal with how great a job they did that day.
The only redeeming quality of the movie is who plays George W. Bush: Timothy Bottoms. You may remember him from a very nice TV show call That's My Bush! Yes, they got him to play the president in an over-the-top drama about 9/11 to help the president's re-election efforts. This movie was only tolerable because I kept slipping into fantasyworld where he just looks at Laura on the plane and says "One of these days Laura, I'm gonna punch you in the face!"
Then I snap back to reality and realize this is a God-awful movie.
How audiences will react when United93 is released is still up in the air. Most industry experts say that people will be too curious to resist seeing it and I think they are probably right. But how they feel about it later will probably be a mixed bag. Something so devoted to historical accuracy and portraying the events on-board Flight 93 cannot be something so easy to watch. Even in Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore used a black screen and just audio to portray the planes crashing into the WTC. Showing those images and recreating the images through the eyes and actions of passengers will hit even harder. America is tough, though, and it is time we really did face up to what happened.
We can't not discuss it, and we can't put it off forever. Maybe, without any political bias, we can look back and assess how we really feel about how well we were protected and the emotions that day represents, finally.