Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Gods and Generals |
Actors: Stephen Lang, Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, Donzaleigh Abernathy, Mark Aldrich
Director: Ronald F. Maxwell
A sweeping epic charting the early years of the Civil War and how campaigns unfolded from Manassas to the Battle of Fredericksburg, this prequel to the film Gettysburg explores the motivations of the combatants and examine... more »
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They don't make movies like this anymore!
benbogali | Thiensville, WI United States | 06/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...The fact is that "Gods and Generals", which covers the first two years of the war and is the prequel to "Gettysburg", is a great movie. It is painstakingly accurate, wonderfully filmed and scripted, and the acting was suburb. Stephen Lang deserves an Oscar for his brilliant portrayal of Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson. Robert Duvall is also excellent as Gen. Robert E. Lee. Jeff Daniels, who played Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain in "Gettysburg", reprises his role in G&G, as do other actors from "Gettysburg".If you're expecting something like "Saving Private Ryan", you'll be disappointed. It's not that kind of a movie. "Gods and Generals" is part documentary, part drama, with the right mix of both to make it both highly entertaining and historically intriguing. As you listen to the characters, you almost believe that they're from the period and places in which the story is set.What stuck in the craw of the critics is that this movie didn't present the Confederates as fire-breathing, racist, slavery-defending apes, and the Federals as saintly freedom-fighters. It would be simplistic and wrong to characterize the war as a struggle between good and evil. The vast majority of the Confederate soldiers didn't own slaves and didn't fight for the right to keep slaves. A lot of the Union soldiers, probably most, weren't fighting to free the slaves. There were flawed men on both sides of the war, as well as deeply moral men.You can debate all you want about how much slavery was an issue in the Civil War, but as to this movie, all points of view were well represented through the characters: Lt. Col. Chamberlain of the 20th Maine, a professor-turned-soldier who was sympathetic to the plight of the black slaves; Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, a man of outstanding military service in the Federal army prior to the Civil War and a most beloved commander, who chose to defend his home state of Virginia against what he saw as an unlawful invasion by the North; Gen. Stonewall Jackson, a fearless and deeply religious man, devoted husband and a brilliant military tactician who loved the Union, but was fiercely loyal to Virginia; Martha, the house slave, who bravely turns away looting Union soldiers from her masters' home during the seige in Fredericksburg, but later takes in the Union's wounded, and who yearns to be free; Jim Lewis, Gen. Jackson's black cook, who prays that one day all of this family will be free. Unforgettable characters, all of them.If you are uncomfortable with religious overtones and poetic dialogue (sorry, but that's how people were back the), don't buy this DVD. If you don't care at all about American history, skip this one. If you can't watch any historical movie without the filter of 21st century values or political correctness, this movie isn't for you. If you have a short attention span, forget it. This movie clocks in at about 3:37.If you are interested in the Civil War, or just curious and want to learn about it, if you're tired of all the [stuff] coming out of Hollywood these days, and you're willing to let a movie make you think for a change, if you can put your 21st century frame of mind on hold, I think you'll enjoy this DVD. No matter what the critics are saying, "Gods and Generals" will stand the test of time."
A great civil war classic!!
John Murphy | USA | 03/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"God and generals is a very good and interesting movie which is part one of a trilogy based on the civil war. Stephan Lang did an excellent job as general Sonewall Jackson his performance gives me a better look as what the real Thomas Stonewall Jackson must have been as a leader of the confederate army. Robert Duvall made a great Robert E. Lee a better performance than Martin Sheen in Gettysburg. Jeff Daniels returns as Lt. Chamberlain a roll which stands out in Gettysburg and continues to shine in Gods and Generals. The battle scenes in this were a lot clearer and had more of a punch than the battles in the film Gettysburg. The battles that really stood out in this movie were Fredericksburg when the two Irish Birgades on opposing sides were shooting and killing each other. Between the music score and the way the battle was filmed it really has a powerful impact. The battle of Chancellorsville the films final battle really stood out when you see all these confederates coming out of the woods without making a sound made my heart race. I enjoyed Gettysburg and it makes a very good sequal to gods and generals but between the two Gods and Generals had the most impact on me. If you have an interest in the civil war these movies along with Glory opens your mind and gives you a strong image to what it was like actually being there. The things I wish they had in Gods and Generals is the battle of Antietam the bloodiest day in the civil war, and the rebel yell I've read that it was used by Stonewall Jackson just before he advanced his troops to attack. I look foward to seeing The Last Full Measure keeping Robert Duvall as Robert E. Lee and bringing Jeff Daniels, and Stephan Lang back. Overall an enjoyable historic experience."
A true story - not "based" on a true story
Ken Kressin | Cannon Falls, MN USA | 02/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is a rare movie made today this is not "based" on a true story - instead, that "IS a true story". I find it refreshing to see characters and history portrayed as they actually were - not a blur of reality and fiction. Though there are some imperfections, the historical accuracy is beyond what I have seen in years. The historical accuracy allows presenting issues normally risky, including issues of their time and ours - such as politics, race, and god. This is done even handedly...opening eyes and letting one individually consider them. This movie is a gem and I am thankful for its production."
Great Movie...Wish I could see the longer version
Andrew C. Tate | Ridge Farm, IL United States | 07/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gods and Generals is an excellent movie. Unfortunately, it doesn't fit the current demographic of target moviegoers (teenagers), and convinced Ted Turner to basically forget ever releasing the third part of the trilogy (The Last Full Measure). Also too bad is the fact that the supposed six hour cut might never be released, as I suspect some criticisms of the movie may be answered by this version. Contrary to many people's opinion, this movie is not Southern propoganda. No Dixie propaganda piece would have Chamberlain's discussion about the war with his brother in it. It is just telling the story from the point of view of southerners. As this movie is the story of Stonewall Jackson, the Last Full Measure would likely be the story of Ulysses S. Grant, and would amazingly seem too biased to the North.Despite this, I could have used a little more mention of why northerners joined the war. Showing men from Illinois and Massachusetts as well as Virginia going off to war would have been a nice addition to the movie. I suspect the six hour version has more Chamberlain and Hancock, which is why this version must be released. Please buy this movie, and buy it as a gift for someone else. Despite being almost four hours long, it is a very smooth flowing time. Hopefully, Shaara and Maxwell will convince Turner to move forward with "The Last Full Measure". Good sales returns on the DVD of "Gods and Generals" will definitely help."