Last night we rented Flight 93, about the passengers that took over control of the plane from the terrorists on September 11. I think it's one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Very moving, something with meat, something absolutely worth seeing.
The only problem was...it wasn't the movie I thought we were seeing, which is actually called United 93 ("aka Flight 93" - the working title). I'd read reviews of United 93, Rush Limbaugh wrote about it in his Limbaugh Letter, I saw the trailer and had heard the relatives of those involved in the flight had helped in the making of the movie. So I was eager to see the whole thing. We were in Blockbuster and there was Flight 93 on the shelf and we assumed that was it.
So we took Flight 93 home, watched it, and as I said I thought it was excellent. I haven't felt so satisfied and edified after watching a movie in a long time. I thought the way they shot it was excellent, the music was perfect and I loved the courage and heroism of the men -- and women -- involved. Loved seeing how it all came about, the conversations between the loved ones by cell phone, the slow realization on the part of those on the ground as to what was happening... Very worth while to see this. The box quotes from the New York Times ("Flight 93 is gripping from the very first scene") USA Today ("...a moving elegy...") and Daily Variety ("...a taut, grim thriller... convincing performances... a gripping pace..."). All true.
It was only afterward, as I went online to get a picture for this post that I discovered there are two versions. And that the one we just watched is not the United 93 aka "Flight 93" I'd heard about, but a movie made for TV. Even now as I'm studying the box, I don't know how I was supposed to tell this. None of the actors in either version are familiar, so I couldn't use that as a key. And unless you know that the theatrical release is directed by Paul Greengrass (who also did Bourne Supremacy), which I'd forgotten, and didn't even think to look for, it's going to seem like the right one.
The weird thing is, having written all this, and feeling somewhat cheated at having not seen what I thought I was seeing, when I think back on the movie itself, I don't feel cheated at all. So maybe it doesn't matter. I think I still want to see the other one... just not tonight!
Have a great weekend