Ebert's movie answer man
September 23, 2001 1:36 PM   Subscribe

Ebert's movie answer man features this pretty sharp and dead-on letter from Derek Muller from Royal Oak, Michigan: "Here's an idea for a movie to be made in the year 2060: An epic about the attacks against the Twin Towers. Only let the three-hour film focus mainly on a love triangle stemming from a pair of friends as stock traders in New York and a young receptionist. When one of them is on a plane from Boston to L.A. and another is busy with a client in the Twin Towers, the men are suddenly thrust in the middle of a terrible plot where there is chaos and tragedy, but we completely disregard the 5,000 citizens dead and instead concern ourselves with the love lives of three whining yuppies. Or, we could just look at ''Pearl Harbor'' and think about how horrible it is to trivialize such a tragedy on the screen."
posted by adrober (14 comments total)
Heh. Well, over on alt.folklore.urban, we already figured out there'll be two people, one in each tower, who wave at each other every day, date, fall in love ... then tragedy, and one is lost forever. Of course, there'll be an objective correlative (like the necklace) -- perhaps a cell phone found in the rubble.

I don't think this is entirely fair, though. One generation's life-changing events are another's backdrop. From Here to Eternity turned Pearl Harbor into a potboiler; South Pacific made the war a musical.
posted by dhartung at 1:52 PM on September 23, 2001

If someone wants to start a "Fund To Print This On A Giant Billboard Right Across The Street From Bruckheimer's Home" I'll be the first to rush to paypal and donate...
posted by louie at 1:54 PM on September 23, 2001

Why does he think it's going to take until 2060? I'd guess Hollywood will crank it out by 2006.
posted by harmful at 3:02 PM on September 23, 2001 [1 favorite]

This is nothing. It's the comment further down the page that I find far more disturbing. Pulp Fiction on the 10 best-of-all-time list?
posted by aaron at 3:17 PM on September 23, 2001

i dunno about about pulp fiction, but decalogue rocked! mmmmmm... polish cinematography :)
posted by kliuless at 3:58 PM on September 23, 2001

skallas: but in the Titanic it was nature killing people, not other human beings killing people as it was in NYC and Pearl Harbor, which I think makes some small difference (though I can't put my finger on why and could probably be talked out of it.)
There is also definitely a question of impact: by the time Titanic was made, the number of even distant relatives still surviving from the Titanic tragedy was minimal- probably not more than dozens. There are still thousands of direct survivors of Pearl Harbor, not to mention the tens of millions who are still alive and lost friends and loved ones in the war that ensued.
posted by louie at 4:10 PM on September 23, 2001

Bruckheimer probably considers himself the greatest victim of this tragedy, in that his turd was flushed out of theaters too early for him to cash in on the current flag-waving mood of the nation.

Buck up, Jerry. You still have the DVD release to look forward to.
posted by Optamystic at 4:32 PM on September 23, 2001

If a WTC movie is made in 2060, the replacement WTC will at that point be twice as old as this WTC was on 9.11. That's a hell of a long time. I doubt even any of us will be offended by then, if only because we'll all be senile.
posted by aaron at 9:42 PM on September 23, 2001

There's no doubt that Bruckheimer is a big practical joke, and that Pearl Harbor is a bad film. But it's a time-tested truism that audiences respond more to the plights of specific characters than to the collective plight of the masses, for good or ill. Even Battleship Potemkin had to have the baby carriage scene.
posted by bingo at 10:28 PM on September 23, 2001

bingo: Bruckheimer's CSI is fabulous, especially in comparison with 98 percent of everything else that's on TV. So he does OK now and then. Just felt a need to take up for him there.
posted by raysmj at 11:00 PM on September 23, 2001

aaron, i thought you wrote I doubt even any of us will be offended by then, if only because we'll all be sterile.

i was all ready to write back "way to be optimistic..." and then i realized that i'm just senile already. move along.
posted by palegirl at 12:13 AM on September 24, 2001

raysmj: I admit to never having seen CSI. That being said, all weekly series (fiction) are really controlled by a "showrunner" who is also the head writer. I don't know who runs CSI, but I'm sure it isn't Bruckheimer, who has a reputation for treating writers like kleenex. He may have played a big role in setting up the tone, characters, concept, etc. but I doubt he has much to do with it on an ongoing basis.

Btw, hope you're including Buffy and The West Wing in that elite 2% as well. :)
posted by bingo at 7:27 AM on September 24, 2001

Well, for once Ebert et al put their cattiness to effective use.

harmful, he put it in 2060 because that would be the same interval as between Pearl Harbor and "Pearl Harbor." But you're right, we should be seeing an action-dramedy-with-a-romantic-twist in cineplexes before the decade is out. Only the targets will be the Global Commerce Towers and The Hexagon. And GWBush will be played by the esteemed Woody Harrelson.
posted by me3dia at 12:39 PM on September 24, 2001

bingo: Answer to question No. 2 is yes. Also, the way you can definitely tell CSI is a Bruckheimer production is that one member of the forensic team is a former stripper. Go figure. That's about all you need to know.
posted by raysmj at 1:19 PM on September 24, 2001

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