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Harrisburg Patriot-News Quote

Being the Media Whore that I am (and I even capitalized it) and that my wife says I am (and I agree), I am once again quoted in the Harrisburg Patriot-News. This is the second article this Summer that I have quotes in - and who says I'm not famous !!? The first article was about the AFI and can be read HERE. This article is about the release of Oliver Stone's World Trade Center.

It's a short quote (and it makes it seem as if I really liked the film instead of just being surprised at it not being all that bad), but here is the article anyway. So read on, I am about two thirds of the way down the article (and it's highlighted). The article is by fellow critics, Li Wang and Mary Klaus.

For 9/11 rescuers, 'World Trade Center' proves 'EMOTIONAL'
August 9, 2006
by Li Wang and Mary Klaus


Is it too soon for a 9/11 film set in New York? And who is going to go see it?

Those are questions surrounding Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center," opening today. Unlike "United 93," the first major studio movie about Sept. 11, 2001, Stone's film, starring Nicolas Cage, focuses on two Port Authority police officers who were among the first responders to the scene.

Three members of Pennsylvania Urban Search and Rescue Task Force, dispatched to New York City hours after the terrorist attacks, said it's not too soon for the film.

Harrisburg Bureau of Fire Lt. Donald Chesbro, Capt. Jeff Snyder and firefighter Nelson Powden II spent a week searching for survivors at the World Trade Center. They found only bodies.

Chesbro has seen the movie and called it "fairly realistic."

"It brought back a lot of memories," Chesbro said. "Ground zero looked like a war zone with a haze of thick dust, vehicles overturned, car alarms going off in crushed cars and steelworkers using torches to cut steel beams."

"The movie isn't as gory as people might expect," he said. "Some of it is very subtle. You hear people jumping out of the towers, but if you don't know what the noise is, you won't pick up on it."

Chesbro criticized the movie for "making it look like the Port Authority Police handled the whole thing. It doesn't show much of the firefighters." He said a part about a former Connecticut Marine donning his uniform, showing up at the World Trade Center and finding one of the trapped police officers seemed "far-fetched."

But he praised its depiction of the "human side" of the rescue attempts and the depiction of the families of the trapped police officers.

"For someone involved in the rescue, it's emotional," Chesbro said. "I think it will be a movie like 'Ladder 49,' something the general public may not latch onto, but firefighters and emergency workers will. I recommend it."

Snyder and Powden said they plan to see it. "I'd like to see how true they portrayed the event," Snyder said. "But I have a problem with any movie that makes a profit off of someone's loss."

Powden wants to see the movie "when I'm by myself. I think it will dredge up a lot of painful memories. I heard it's pretty true to life. I don't have nightmares, but it's very vivid, like it happened just yesterday."

"It's hard to believe that it's been five years," Snyder said.

Much is at stake for Viacom Inc.-owned Paramount with "World Trade Center," which cost $63 million to make. To break even, the studio needs the film to reach a broader audience than did Universal Pictures' lower-budget "United 93," which grossed $31.5 million at the box office.

An unconventional marketing effort has been launched to sell the film, such as multiple pre-release screenings, including five in the midstate. Local law enforcement, fire fighters and EMS teams were the primary invitees.

Local film critic Kevyn Knox of thecinematheque.com saw the film two weeks ago with his wife, Amy. The usually hard-to-please Knox was impressed. "I was surprised at how much restraint was used," he said.

Regular filmgoer Nathan DeMuro of Harrisburg said he was planning to stay away from "World Trade Center."

"I feel that we're in the midst of a war that was started by the events of that day and that there's so much turmoil in the world right now, the last thing we need to do is beat a dead horse," he said. "I know the movie is about the courage of the day, but I still think it's a little too early."

One of the film's producers, Michael Shamberg, said Paramount is targeting teens, an unusual tactic with a historical film, because many who are in their teens were children on 9/11. Teens also happen to have a heavy influence on box-office figures.

Efforts to connect with youths include TV ads with "Fix You" by the rock band Coldplay playing. A voiceover proclaims, "Every generation has a defining moment." The screen goes black and three words appear: "This was ours." The movie is also Stone's first PG-13 rated film.

The marketing efforts also emphasize the uplifting, emotional and inspirational aspects of the story. A film poster reads, "A True Story of Courage and Survival."

So far, the pre-release screenings have made a favorable impression with conservative groups, a sector that is usually at odds with the conspiratorial tone that has marked Stone's previous work, such as "JFK" and "Nixon." The conservative media watchdog group Media Research Center called the movie "a masterpiece."

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