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United 93: Hold the Popcorn

United932I’m not a movie popcorn kind of guy. It’s overpriced, the crunching’s distracting, and it’s hardly great nutritional value. Okay, I’m not so Puritanical with my dieting habits, but there are some places where I have better self control, and movie theaters happen to be such a place. Yet this time, the whole concept of watching a cinematic dramatization of United 93 called for popcorn – with a bit of movie theater butter, and a Coke.

As I was going to sleep last night, I watched A&E’s made-for-TV movie on the same topic as the big screen production. It wasn’t that bad, until seeing it done right on the big screen. It also felt more wrong, more silly on TV. It was hard to tell the difference between United 93 and a Joanna Kern movie on Lifetime. Maybe she even played a stewardess in the A&E version.

I’d have been pretty ticked off if someone else by me was munching on popcorn the entire movie. Yet for the first half of the film, I liked having the snack on-hand. It was comforting, and I needed something to hold on to, a distraction. It also felt positively ironic. Here I am watching the unfolding of a real terrorist plot and a number of ordinary people who save hundreds or potentially thousands of lives, and I’m munching and slurping away.

By the point in the movie where the second plane hit the World Trade Center and the film, for me, got really intense and emotional, I was done with the junk food, and it was just as well. I had to put the bag on the empty seat beside me – there was nothing I could let myself hold on to. There’s no security blanket for this one.

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