FILM THREAT REVIEW: June 8th, 2014
Conspiracy theorists have long been disdained and discounted by the social majority as psychiatric troublemakers with an agenda all their own. But do such generalizations hold true in all cases, and if not, what are the deciding factors that separate fact from fabrication?
Filmmaker Eric Stacey focuses upon one such conspiracy theorist in his new feature film, UNTHINKABLE: An Airline Captain’s Story. In UNTHINKABLE, Marshall Philips, a commercial airline pilot with ties to the CIA, publishes a book claiming that the American government engineered the 9/11-attacks of 2001. Shortly thereafter, Philips is found shot to death in his home, along with his two adolescent children and the family dog. The county sheriff rules the crime a murder-suicide, has the house cleaned, and the bodies cremated. Case closed.
Stacey’s docu-drama is based upon the true case of former government contract pilot Philip Marshall, who published his thoughts about 9/11 in The Big Bamboozle: 9/11 and the War on Terror. Marshall also published Lakefront Airport, outlining his involvement in the 1980s as a covert operative for the DEA and CIA.
While I can certainly understand why Stacey was intrigued by the highly controversial life and death of Philip Marshall, I don’t think that UNTHINKABLE comes across as a strong and authentic rendition of Marshall’s personal life. While Stacey does outline to some degree Marshall’s domestic situation prior to the crime: estranged wife, partial custody of teenaged son and daughter, possible drug and alcohol issues, etc., I feel that more precise information about his marital status and relationship with his wife might have explained more in terms of Philips himself, and the alleged murder-suicide. For example: were the couple separated or divorced? What was Marshall’s wife really like, and how long was their marriage functional? In the film, all that we really learn about Sharon Philips is that she’s away on a business trip, and that her (ex?) spouse supports her independence. In other words, I would have liked to see all possibilities for a criminal motive, as opposed to just one.
Also, while I thought Randall Paul did a very decent job of portraying the mysterious Marshall Philips, and Shade Streeter was very believable as Mike, I felt that the remaining supporting cast came across too comically to be taken seriously in a truth-based movie. In addition, I found the overall tempo of the film very slow, many scenes way too dark to catch subtle details, and numerous audio inconsistencies. I also felt that the constant intercuts of news footage naming Philip Marshall, juxtaposed with Marshall’s character/doppelganger, Marshall Philips, about as confusing as it gets.
Still, I did find the cinematic concept of UNTHINKABLE somewhat provocative in terms of issues raised about so called, “conspiracy theorists,” and whether or not this is often just a label for freethinking men and women who happen to disagree with the norm. It is for that reason alone that I am most interested in seeing more work from Eric Stacey.
Eric Stacey and the cast of ‘Unthinkable’ are heroes and have done an amazing service to our nation by making this riveting independent film based on the TRUE story of the triple assassination of 9/11 whistle-blower and former Iran/Contra drug-and-arms-running pilot Philip Marshall AND his two children which the local, state and federal authorities have conspired to cover up by falsely claiming that he committed suicide after killing his own family…AND their beloved dog.
Think of this film as the ‘JFK’ of September 11th — see it, buy it, and spread the word !! — Barbara Honegger, former White House Policy Analyst and author of “October Surprise,” the first book to reveal the true deep story behind the Iran side of the Iran/Contra scandal.
Posted June 2, 2014 by Brian Morton – Rogue Cinema Reviews (http://www.roguecinema.com/article4442.html)
Conspiracy theories can be fun. There’s always someone who’s looking for Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, but we all know, ultimately that these things are largely BS! But, if you decide to venture into the world of one of these believers, it can be fun for a while, as long as you keep your perspective and your wits about you. Well, Unthinkable is a movie that wants to drag you into its world, the world of Marshall Phillips, a former pilot who has proof that the 9/11 attacks were not only a set up, but that the government was aware that it was coming!
Marshall’s beliefs have cost him his job, his marriage and a lot of his friends. But he keeps plugging away and he now has some proof that he believes will blow the lid off his case. It’s not long after this that Marshall and his children are found dead of an apparent murder/suicide…and it’s not long after that this their friends and other believers are investigating, believing that the government has finally killed Marshall to keep him quiet!
This movie is based on the story of Phillip Marshall, a 9/11 author who was assassinated, but how close it adheres to the real story, I’m not sure, since I’m not that familiar with the real Mr. Marshall. What I do know is that this movie is a bit slow, trying to drag me into the conspiracy in a sort of ham fisted way, it’s never explained what exactly Marshall has that the government wants and, when it’s handed off to a young friend of Marshall’s son, it’s still left hanging as to what exactly the bad guys are after…so I never felt really connected to what was going on. I felt more like I was watching a bunch of paranoid people who had all agreed to the same delusion.
I’m giving Unthinkable: An Airline Captain’s Story 2 out of 4 cigars, because it’s a conspiracy theory that never really reveals itself to us, and therefore become a sort of ‘who cares’ kind of thing. I would have loved to have seen this proof, or at least know what it was going to reveal. You can check this out for yourself by heading over to http://www.unthinkable-movie.com.
NOTE: What Morton seems not to realize is that no one other than Phil Marshall knew what he had that someone was willing to kill for. People somehow expect us to reveal facts that remain unknown… just like no one knows who really pulled the trigger that killed JFK, we don’t know what Phil Marshall had, and now that he’s gone and the house was stripped by mysterious men in black, it’s doubtful that anyone will ever know.