Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The redemption of Oliver Stone

I watched World Trade Center over the long weekend. If you can face reliving the emotions you felt on 9/11, this film, along with United 93, will do it. When I heard these films were being made I was unsure. There seemed to be a great potential for something really hackneyed an inappropriate to result. Knowing what cynicism exists among those who produce most of the films we see, it's encouraging to see that some sense of perspective remains.

After the dramatically over-dramatic stinker Alexander, (too bad to even be linked) I was not sure Oliver Stone would ever again make a movie worth watching, but he is redeemed with this effort. Nicholas Cage has improved his karma as well (although he can't seem to shake the tendency to make really bad choices sometimes, e.g. Ghost Rider.) I believe in the power of drama to improve the human condition, to give us insight into ourselves, to provide that transcendent moment of catharsis, and World Trade Center will give you that gift. It doesn't explain the strategy we've pursued in Iraq, but it provides a clear reminder of that feeling at the time that we've got to saddle up and ride out for vengeance.

And while we're on the subject, let it be known that the best show on television, bar none, is Rome. There is something pure and beautiful about the approach to this series, limiting it to two seasons, and ensuring it can never jump the shark. I think HBO learned it was possible to have too much of a good thing with The Sopranos. The drop off in quality has been well noted. This can never happen to Rome, and I will thank the many pagan gods for that. Sorry, a little carried away. I pity the fool without the HBO, but for those who eschew the tube (and you know who you are because you read a lot and actually have the word eschew in your vocabulary) you can get the first season on DVD. It may send you rushing to dust off your copy of Gibbon.

4 comments:

hillbilly deluxe said...

Though I haven't seen WTC, United 93 tied me up in knots. I thought it was well done - no cheese - and really showed the chaos of the day. Nobody knew what the hell was happening. The look into the air traffic control rooms was enlightening as well. May it never happen again!
As for the Sopranos, I'll never get enough of that show. Wadda u lookin' at? Don't forget the cannoli..

Anonymous said...

People are raving about The Wire. Why?

Anonymous said...

People are raving about The Wire. Why?

Barry Martin said...

I'm sure The Wire is good, since all the HBO series are good, but I tried it and couldn't get into it. Tried watching the first season on DVD and everything. No go. I feel like a failure.