It's not a coincidence that Oliver Stone's film World Trade Center was released on the anniversary of Fat Man's atomic destruction over and throughout Nagasaki. Both involved the death of thousands of innocent civilians. And that's about where the reasonable comparison ends.
Both events have caused countless repercussions that rippled out long after the kinetic energy had dissipated through sound, heat and fury. One ended a long world war where millions had died, the other was the deadly salvo in the War Against Terror that finally could not be ignored.
One significant difference between the two events, as it appears to me, is that there has never been a successful blockbuster film made about dropping the atomic bombs. Yesterday World Trade Center premiered with a media blitz.
I will not see WTC. I have no need. I've seen the real thing. And is it one of those films you have to watch just so you can say you've seen it? I'm not absolutely thrilled there's a soundtrack.
This arrogantly assumes I'm comfortable with my understanding of what happened. And I recognize that point, and counter with this one. The movie industry is one, not of portraying reality, but of exaggeration. It's a big screen and there are big emotions, and they have to be writ large for a mass audience.
Movies are designed to tug the emotions, and the producers and writers have decided what emotions need button-pushing. When done correctly "bigger than life" works and can make viewers wish that their lives could reach such heroics. Real actions are changed, hyped, and backgrounded with powerful orchestral maneuvers in the darkened theater.
When we're talking about reality, I'd rather that decision be mine and remain mine. When I don't have a close attachment to the subject such as Wyatt Earp or Billy the Kid, I can thrill at the exaggeration that is Young Guns. Billy the Kid was a legend anyway from the day he put on cowboy boots.