Stone's WTC: Is a Moving Movie Enough?

Yes, Paramount is showing 20 minutes of the film at the Cannes Film Festival. But you don’t have to be near the Croisette: I just saw Extra‘s exclusive and shorter preview tonight for Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center which opens wide on August 9th. I’m not much of a Stone fan because so many of his more recent movies have generally stunk. But I must say this preview was incredibly moving. I had tears in my eyes. Will there be more natural storytelling, more realistic characters and more subtle direction than Stone usually gives the public? Again, it’s only a preview, so who knows. But hopefully, Paramount’s kept him more reined in than Warner’s was able to do on recent flicks where Stone’s particular agendas were shoved down our throats (i.e. Gay Alexander). Question is, do I want to see this movie? Well, a lot more than I did before I saw the preview, but that’s not saying much: this will still be a box office-challenged pic. Not just because Stone has lost his directorial luster, not just because star Nic Cage has failed to connect with audiences for years now, but because of the 9/11 subject matter. After all, Universal’s United 93 was a critical success but only made $26.5 mil since it opened April 28, and cost only $15 mil. Stone’s movie, obvious even from this preview, looks like a full-frills big budget studio blowout, and I can’t imagine it’s going to be able to earn back.

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