1. skizzerflake Audioholic Field Marshall

    skizzerflake
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    As a history geek and a movie geek, this was quite a moment. Finally a fully fleshed out movie about Lincoln. I can't imagine an actor wanting to take on such an iconic character, a person who has had so much written about him. If anybody was going to do it, Daniel Day Lewis might be the one. A few observations ---

    The whole cast is excellent. Lewis seems like a certain Oscar winner IMO. Other icons of the era, including David Strathairn as Seward, Bruce McGill as Edwin Stanton, Sally Field as the high-strung Mary Lincoln and a special note for Tommy Lee Jones as the eccentric, crusty, bewigged and profane abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens; these characters are all writ large. Lewis completely nails Lincoln, including his fairly high, wiry drawl, as near as anybody can know in the absence of a recording.

    The movie is very talky, only a few, short, bloody scenes of battle and its aftermath. Lincoln and his debates with his staff and the epic debate in the House over ratification of the 13th Amendment that freed the slaves have about equal time. At 2 1/2 hours, it's not a short movie, but it is intellectually dense and very much condensed. There's enough content to make a 10 hour movie.

    To fully appreciate this movie, it's helpful to NOT go in ignorant. The dialog doesn't suffer idiots or the historically uninformed. These guys were living with epic issues in a historic time where the way forward was anything but clear. Big issues are flying around for the whole 2 1/2 hours. It will help if you know the cast of characters before you see the movie; you will recognize most of them if you have ever seen all those old photos from the era.

    The movie hints at, but doesn't do much with Lincoln's well documented depressions, but it does definitely illustrate the physical effect of the stress of the war on the man.

    The movie stays pretty close to history, so I don't have to tell you what Lincoln's fate is at the end, nor what happened to Seward. The finale is very reverent and it's obvious that Speilberg treated this story with high respect. There are light moments (especially the back-room arm twisting by Lincoln's political operatives getting votes in the House), but you can't avoid getting the feeling that Speilberg knew he had a responsibility to do movie right and really tell the story.

    My one reservation about authenticity... as a Chesapeake Bay person…there's a scene where crabs are being eaten and it's obvious that whoever shot that scene has not the slightest idea how to pick a crab.

    I'll have to see this one again.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
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  2. brianedm Audioholic General

    brianedm
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    I was looking forward to seeing this one but your review gave me pause. Sure, I know who Lincoln is, but no clue about all those other guys. Seems like this one may go right over my head. Shame since I'm a very big DDL fan.
  3. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    I haven't seen it yet, but I already knew Lewis would be a great choice. If you've seen My Left Foot, he already looked like Lincoln at the end of that one as Christy Brown.
  4. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    Try to search those other characters on Google as I am in the middle of and get an idea who they were. Certainly not an in depth knowledge but probably enough to understand the movie better?
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  5. brianedm Audioholic General

    brianedm
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    Good idea! Damn this laziness of mine!
  6. skizzerflake Audioholic Field Marshall

    skizzerflake
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    It doesn't have to know very much. You will recognize Lincoln, be able to figure out who his wife is and and there's only a few other characters you really need to know. Just check up the Wikipedia articles on cabinet members Edwin Stanton (he of the big beard) and William Seward (beeky nose) and congressman Thaddeus Stevens (a very profane Tommy Lee Jones) and read a couple paragraphs so you know their role. The rest of the characters can be caught up with in the movie. I'm a history fan of that era so just about everybody in the movie was interesting to me, but you only really need to know the main characters to enjoy the movie.
  7. GO-NAD! Audioholic Ninja

    GO-NAD!
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    Alex knows how.....or were you referring to seafood...?

    :D
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  8. skizzerflake Audioholic Field Marshall

    skizzerflake
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    The crustacean commonly eaten in these parts accompanied by large quantities of beer. It's been that way since way before 1865.

    When a tray of crabs arrives, the character in the movie smashes the heck out of body of one with an outsized mallet. For time immemorial around here, people have only used small wooden hammers to carefully break claws. Body meat is dissected out with a knife, so as to avoid smashing guts, gills, mustard (the term for crab fat) and meat into one disgusting mass of muck.

    As for the other sort of crabs...no opinion on how to pick those, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't do it with a hammer.
  9. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    I thought it was a solid film, excellent performance as expected from Lewis. I think the OP's review sums it up very well - dialogue intensive and almost documentary like history lesson. I wasn't expecting an action movie, but it was quite slow and dry except for his "stories". I do like the way it was shot and how it seemed to try to show him as a human as opposed to some kind of mythical being, even though they showed that the common man truly did look up to him as an inspiration and a leader and respected him. Whether accurate or not, I feel as though I do have a better sense of the man and not just his deeds. The only faults I could say would be 1)the makeup - it was obvious too many times and was occasionally distracting 2) I do and don't understand why they showed only this short period because it tells that part of the story well though at the same time made me want more of it.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  10. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    Watched a lot of the extras on the bonus disc of the 4 disc set. The majority of the bonus stuff is not about Lincoln himself but rather the movie. The interviews with the actors, Spielberg and the crew are very interesting. They pointed out one interesting thing on the audio track that I was wondering about - the clock ticking in the background in his office. The first time I noticed it, it bugged me so I stopped the film to see what the sound was LOL. Then I noticed it came back when I started the movie back up and only in scenes in his office. A nice little detail.
  11. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    I haven't seen it yet, but I was thinking a HBO series would have been awesome. :D


    Even a 3 hr movie couldn't do it justice. :D
  12. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
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    He goes off to kill vampires???
  13. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    Yeah. John Adams was a great series. Would have been cool to see this one get that treatment too.
  14. mike c Audioholic Warlord

    mike c
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    that's the common misconception.

    [​IMG]
  15. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    That's the wrong one Mike. This one was the good one:
    [​IMG]

    It was surprisingly very entertaining and well done. "Good" is another story :) It was directed by the guy who did Wanted.
  16. mike c Audioholic Warlord

    mike c
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    yes i know about the more famous one :D

    i like the scythe better

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