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SouthernJet Reviews: 'Lincoln' (5/5).. For the History Buffs


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I loved Lincoln. But be warned. There is basically zero 'action' per say. This is heavily laden verbal movie that could play out on a Broadway Stage. So if you are the type that falls asleep in a dark theater if there isnt battle scenes or car chases galore, then wait for the DVD.

Day-Lewis performance is through the roof and hopefully he was paid by the word, LOL

Tommy Lee Jones (Thaddeus Stevens, GOP Leader of House of Representatives) and David Strathairn's (William Seward, Lincoln's Secretary of State) supporting roles stood out for me.

It takes place over a very short period of time. It's honed in on the infighting of Lincolns Republican Party and the back room horse trading that was needed to abolish Slavery from a Amendment point of view against the Democrats who wanted to keep Slavery.

Very heavy on the History and the Politics of Washington wheeling and Dealing.

Great Great Movie.

lincoln_poster_gray.jpg

Edited by SouthernJet
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Posted · Report post

Filthy Dem scumbags.

I can't wait to see this. thanks for the review, brother.

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Posted · Report post

Sic semper tyrannis!

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I may have to see this before the DVD now... great review, thanks.

Edited by cindy
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Just saw this finally. Previous attempts were scuttled by hordes of seniors cramming theaters, and if there are two things I hate it's 1. Crowded theaters and 2. The elderly.

I thought it was good. I thought DDL was great, but the script held him back a little bit. Kushner's script contained too much speechifying in the place of actual dialogue--no doubt reflecting the available research materials available to him.

Overall, I'm glad I saw it, but I could have waited for the DVD.

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Posted · Report post

car chases galore, then wait for the DVD.

why would there be a car chase in the 1800s?

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I want to see this, thanks SJ.

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I hated basically everything about this movie. For starters, fast-forwarding to 1865 totally misses the point of the book. The passage of the 13th amendment definitely gets short shrift in the history books, but the main focus of the Goodwin book is how Abe played a bunch of really smart political cutthroats like so many fiddles. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to just skip to the part where they're all under his thumb already. I don't think DDL's approach really works for Lincoln either. No matter how faithfully you try to adhere to the historical record, you're still talking about a mythological figure here. You can't method Batman. Fields's performance was cheap hysterics, and Tommy Lee, Straithairn, McGill, etc. were all basically just playing themselves in period costume. Also don't think I've felt so bludgeoned by a director's lightning choices since the first Godfather. The whole thing is like a caricature of the Big Deal Movie blueprint. This is probably unfair, because Spielberg directing Day-Lewis in Game of Rivals is a total expectations trap, but I really did hate the movie.

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For starters, fast-forwarding to 1865 totally misses the point of the book.

This was my biggest problem. The central tension of Lincoln's life is his transformation from a minor partisan who personally detests slavery but isn't willing to commit politically to anything past boilerplate free-soilerism to a President who sees the total destruction of slavery as an end worth fighting a civil war over. Opening in medias res completely robs the movie of the possibility of exploring that tension; instead, Spielberg uses what's essentially a three-hour civics lesson to sanctify Lincoln as simultaneously righteous and pragmatic. That's not even getting into the movie's willful ignorance of Lincoln's complex (to put it gently) views on social equality or its treatment of Thaddeus Stevens, who's one of the great lost heroes of American history. Add that to the neon caption reading THIS SCENE REPRESENTS A HISTORICAL MOMENT FRAUGHT WITH SIGNIFICANCE affixed to every frame, and I'd have to admit I much more enjoyed the one where he kills vampires.

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This was my biggest problem. The central tension of Lincoln's life is his transformation from a minor partisan who personally detests slavery but isn't willing to commit politically to anything past boilerplate free-soilerism to a President who sees the total destruction of slavery as an end worth fighting a civil war over. Opening in medias res completely robs the movie of the possibility of exploring that tension; instead, Spielberg uses what's essentially a three-hour civics lesson to sanctify Lincoln as simultaneously righteous and pragmatic. That's not even getting into the movie's willful ignorance of Lincoln's complex (to put it gently) views on social equality or its treatment of Thaddeus Stevens, who's one of the great lost heroes of American history. Add that to the neon caption reading THIS SCENE REPRESENTS A HISTORICAL MOMENT FRAUGHT WITH SIGNIFICANCE affixed to every frame, and I'd have to admit I much more enjoyed the one where he kills vampires.

I think anyone who goes into a Hollywood movie expecting a fair, detailed, and temporally accurate representation of history deserves a swift kick in the taint.

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why would there be a car chase in the 1800s?

Because Doc Brown messed up his calculations?

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Thanks for the dark theater warning. I'll wait for the DVD. ;)

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I think anyone who goes into a Hollywood movie expecting a fair, detailed, and temporally accurate representation of history deserves a swift kick in the taint.

I stand by what I wrote. I also stand by my one-sentence review of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which is: The entire movie led up to, and down from, the moment they were fighting in a stampede of cattle and the vampire grabbed a full-grown bull by its hind legs and swung it at Lincoln like a baseball bat.

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I stand by what I wrote. I also stand by my one-sentence review of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which is: The entire movie led up to, and down from, the moment they were fighting in a stampede of cattle and the vampire grabbed a full-grown bull by its hind legs and swung it at Lincoln like a baseball bat.

That movie was pretty awesome.

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