I knew when I posted the first part of this series that I'd soon revisit the topic.
The first of the two films I will look at today is one of those with subject matter too difficult to watch twice. United 93 is, as far as researchers can piece together, an accurate recreation of the hijacking of that particular 9/11 flight, up until the passengers fought back and the plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. The heroes on this plane saved the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. from a direct attack that would have ended countless lives and likely thrown our government into unprecedented chaos.
The film is directed by Paul Greengrass in his signature hand-held camera style. In his popular Bourne Identity films, the style and rapid-cutting is used to illustrate the fragmented nature of the protagonist's mind. In this film, it highlights the chaotic, terrifying nature of the events. My wife and I were not married at the time of United 93's release, and for some reason, we went to see this movie as a date. She spent half of the film in the bathroom, sick from the shaky camera and the traumatizing events on screen. I watched the entire thing, and I never will again. It is an incredible film, and witnessing the courage of these particular Americans was incredibly stirring, but viewing the film is a punishing experience, as I think it should be. It puts you in the passengers shoes.
The final scene, which features the passengers fighting to retake the plane, provides a sort of catharsis for those who have just witnessed two hours of United 93's passengers being bullied and terrified. The plane crashes, some of the passengers die before even reaching the cockpit, but as the score swells, and the passengers refuse to give up, even as the plane is spiraling to the Earth, the blackout as 93 makes impact feels like a note of victory, albeit the kind that makes you cry for the rest of the afternoon.
Clip number two comes from the exact opposite of United 93. Saving Silverman is about as dumb as dumb comedies get. It is pretty funny, I guess, but not funny enough to justify me ever sitting through it again. However, I'll watch the climactic wedding scene a thousand times, as it hilariously subverts the "two people in love running toward each other" trope, then bloodily embraces it. And Neil Diamond.