"We're at war with somebody"

We went to see United 93 (imdb | rotten tomatoes) this afternoon. I’ll write more later, but I need some time to let it all sink in. It was one of the most powerful, moving, masterfully crafted films I’ve ever seen. But I can’t imagine that I’ll ever want to watch it again.


Speaking of important films, Cinematical pointed me to this Roger Ebert article about the 102 movies you must see in order “to have any sort of informed discussion about the movies.” To my embarassment I’ve seen only 40 of them.


Let’s say Via and Amtrak announce a joint plan to introduce a new super-highspeed train. It would reach from Goose Bay to San Diego, from Anchorage to Miami. It could get someone from Halifax to Vancouver in 3 hours, and passengers would travel in private rooms with stereos, comfortable chairs and great views. The trains could also be used to transport goods at high speed, reducing inventory costs for companies and improving the flow of trade across the border.

However, the VIA and Amtrak consortium warn that based on their projections approximately 45,000 passengers would die every year in derailments and other accidents. They also warn that the combustion of the special fuel used in the trains and maintenance of the tracks would cause substantial environmental damage. Further, maintenance of the rail system (which would break down very easily) would cost taxpayers several billion dollars every year.

Would the government allow something like this to go ahead? Would the public be interested in riding such a destructive and unsafe vehicle? Of course not.

So why do we still have cars?

It amazes me sometimes, the compromises we will make for our own convenience.


[tags] movies, united 93, ebert, cars [/tags]

0 thoughts on “"We're at war with somebody"

  1. Gack – At first I thought you meant “See them in order”… chronologically! It’s where you put the quotation marks that through me off.

    But I understand now. I think my count was 42, though 9 of them were directly or indirectly the result of taking Film 101 in University.

  2. […] Finally, as promised, I have more to say about United 93. As I said on Saturday, I found it very moving and powerful. It’s been quite a while since I need a few minutes at the end of a movie to compose myself, and I think Nellie and I had walked halfway home before either of us uttered a word. The tension starts in the first few seconds, and by the halfway point of the movie I could feel myself trembling a bit. I thought it was the cold (the Varsity is often freezing) but by the end — right around the time the passengers figure out what’s going on and start calling their families — I was practically shaking the chair. I realized it was my nerves. That was something I’ve never experienced before. […]

  3. I haven’t done much better on Ebert’s must-see list: I’ve seen only 44 (although I have two more recorded, but not yet watched, on my PVR!).

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