Friday movie review

Back to regularly scheduled programming…

My pick this week is the 2003 Civil War movie Gods and Generals. It is a well-crafted, brilliant piece of work because it shows the complexity of the issues surrounding the Civil War. Unlike Glory (an equally good movie), Gods and Generals deals with both sides of the fence. It is not a single-note movie. Confederate generals and soldiers are shown as real people, fighting for a cause they believed in (states’ rights, NOT slavery), and the Union generals (some of which are shown to be the inept fools that they were) and soldiers are not all perfect, either. Brilliant acting makes this movie chillingly believable, especially Stephen Lang (Stonewall Jackson), Jeff Bridges (Chamberlain) and Robert Duvall (who I swear is channelling Robert E. Lee – and incidentally, is related to the Confederate mastermind, according to his bio on the Internet Movie Database).

It is rated PG-13, but it is pretty harsh and violent in spots. It is never as gory or intense as Saving Private Ryan, because there is plenty of exposition and side-storytelling involving the ancillary characters. No kid under 12 or 13 should see it. Truthfully, the movie can be very slow-moving, so it is most likely that no young teenager will really want to see it, unless they are big Civil War buffs. The movie is also 3 hours and 39 minutes long, and actually had an intermission during the theatrical run (which is an unheard of thing nowadays, but there is no intermission on the DVD.

Be prepared to cry and reflect and be impressed that a movie like this was made. It is truly a stand-out film.

Other things going on this weekend – Mariner game on Saturday with Friend and Doc (Munchkin gets to hang out with grandparents for the evening). I’m looking forward to seeing Lou Pinella again. Love the man, miss him as a coach, though I think Hargrove has a pretty good handle on things – much better than Melvin did. Still, no one throws bases like Lou. 🙂

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