Thu 6 Feb, 2003 10:36 am
I saw a sneak preview of Gods and Generals the other night. Unless you're a Civil War buff and/or list Gettysburg as one of your all-time favorite films, I can't recommend it.
My main issue is with the unbelievably long length of the film. It was announced just before the film started that the running time was three and a half hours, and that there would be an intermission inserted before the film opens, but we wouldn't have one. At approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes into the film - at what could have been the end - the film melted and burned in the projector. So I can't even say that I saw the whole thing! No credits anyway, and probably we didn't see the final images of the film.
I saw Gettysburg on TV years ago, and, as I recall, found it interesting enough to get quite caught up in it. But Gods & Generals (billed as a prequel to Gettysburg) seems quite indulgent - lots of long speeches and recitations, with entirely too many characters to keep track of, and points of the plot repeated too many times. Robert Duvall was quite good as Robert E. Lee, and Jeff Daniels did the best he could with Chamberlain. The main character is Stonewall Jackson, played by Steven Lang. He was also very good, but many of his long speeches and prayers could have been cut. Some of the supporting roles were cast with first-time actors and I found that quite painful to watch. The battle scenes were exciting, but the domestic scenes seemed especially slow-paced and uninteresting.
But the film does show the horrors of war, and pounds that home through many battles. Anyone who sees this will get their fill of blood and gore. I must say that the Civil War buffs around me seemed quite pleased with the film.
I'm interested to hear what anyone else thinks about Gods and Generals, when you get a chance to see it.
macsm...now that Ive heard more about it, Ill wait for it on video....Ill tell you then what I think if you're still interested.
Oh dear, I was afraid of this. <sigh> I saw Robert Duvall in an interview on Gods and Generals and he said he thought "the south"" thought of Lee as the second coming of Christ". This is silly. Perhaps they were trying to make something like Saving Private Ryan.
I won't wait for the video, I'll wait till one night it is on at 1 or 2 p.m., and I can't sleep.
You have a point max....but, I generally rent movies much too often so, eventually I run out and want something to nap to...this one would do that perhaps, from what Ive heard its not interesting enough not to....
sad, was looking forward to it.
glad to have heard the dirt though.
Perhaps more input will come from others visiting the show and we can be really sure about it.
You know what I would really like to see Quinn? An Adaptation of Been So Long In The Storm, written by Leon Litwack. A story about the deliverance of all the slaves and the social upheaval they dealt with.
Really, it is about more slavery. Litwack won a Pulitzer Prize. It was required reading at a course I took in College.
I havent read it max but, from what you say, Im sure its an interesting topic.
So many story lines, so many hollywood peeps getting glamours instead of truthful.
Or heck, doing their best to do the story justice and ending up so long those of us who actually would be interested, just arent.
Hmmm, there may still be some Southerners who would compare Lee to Christ. Not enough of them to make back the 54 million dollars that was spent on this movie, though!
54 million? Thats just silly.
This movie must be bad: Roeper and Ebert refused to say anything about it! They just put their thumbs down. I love Robert Duvall but the previews made him look like a high school boy in the senior play, cast because he was tall enough for the role, not because he has talent!
I couldn't wade through the first chapters of the book, so I darned sure ain't bothering with the movie.
Conversely, I loved "The Killer Angels," the book to which G&G is a prequel, and I enjoyed the film "Gettysburg" enough (yes, cheesy fake beards and all) as to actually purchase my own copy.
I'll wait until I can preview this one on cable.
I read a review in the Chicago Tribune when the movie came out. It said the focus of the movie was on the idea that the South fought the war to preserve the genteel southern culture and to defend states rights.
Slavery is downplayed as an issue. When it comes to slavery, I think the southern position is that everyone in the south, including the slaves, was happy with things the way they were.
I plan to give this one a pass.
Uggh! The one thing I have zero tolerance for is this historical revisionist view that the CW was all about everything BUT slavery. I have never understood Hollywood's apparent love affair with all things Confederate, either. What repugnant nonsense. Can you imagine the outrage if Gone With the Wind had been set in WWII Germany instead of the "romantic" South? I'll stick with "Gettysburg" to get my Civil War fix.