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drama DVD reviews and previews from curledupdvd.com - curled up with a good dvd
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World Trade Center - drama DVD review
WORLD TRADE CENTER Rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 1/2 stars
Actors: Nicolas Cage, Maria Bello, Michael Peņa, Jay Hernandez
Director: Oliver Stone   Studio: Paramount Home Video
DVD release: 12 Dec. 2006   Runtime: 128 minutes (1 disc)
Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD Features: Audio Tracks (English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround; English, Dolby Digital 5.1; French, Dolby Digital 5.1), Subtitles (English, Spanish), Commentary by Oliver Stone, 9/11 survivor Will Jimeno & on-site rescue workers, Q&A w/ Oliver Stone, Deleted & extended scenes w/ option commentary by Oliver Stone

With almost any Oliver Stone movie, you know some sort controversy will be attached to it, and World Trade Center is no exception. There are so many factors involved with this movie that you could go on ad infinitum. But the biggest question is: Is it the appropriate time to make a movie a mere five years after the 9/11 tragedy? After Paul Greengrass's United 93, it seemed like Hollywood was ready whether the public outcry was there or not. The knee-jerk reaction for Oliver Stone making the film would be a political conspiracy angle a la JFK. Instead, whether it was good, bad, or indifferent, Stone took a more sentimental approach with his thematic vision: in the face of adversity, tragedy, and evil, the human spirit is capable of much good.

The story centers on Port Authority Police Officer Will Jimeno (Michael Pena) and John McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage), who, amid the confusion and chaos of lower Manhattan that day, go into the buildings to save whomever they can. Ultimately, they - and the other men in their unit - are caught in the collapse of buildings one and two, where the story shifts to their rescue. Obviously, it is difficult to compress twenty-four hours into a two-hour movie that tells a story with a specific arc, but Stone does a decent enough job of condensing time and characters.

Politics aside, World Trade Center probably won't be considered the definitive, all-encompassing theatrical story of 9/11, but it doesn't try to be. Its intention (flaws and all) is to pay tribute to the courage and sacrifices people made on that day. The film works as a gripping, emotional drama that brings a tear to your eye. The musical score is extremely effective and the CGI amazingly realistic. The DVD is light on extras: extended/deleted scenes and two commentaries, one from director Oliver Stone and the other with Will Jimeno and rescuers Scott Strauss, John Busching, and Paddy McGee, which is worth the price of the DVD alone - their personal insights are tremendous. A worthy effort from Oliver Stone (with his first PG-13 rated film) who is best known for his intense filmmaking style in movies like Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Natural Born Killers, and JFK.
reviewed by Bobby Blades
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