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Monthly Archives: April 2013

“Lincoln” – A Piece of History All Should See

Let’s begin our journey of “Lincoln” with taking a moment to remember this is not “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” but the Steven Spielberg film.

Now that we have that out of the way, “Lincoln” is the story of the last few months of Lincoln’s life, focusing on the passing of the 13th Amendment to United States Constitution, that abolished slavery.  What we’re taught in elementary school in history class is not the story we see here.  Lincoln did what a politician does, politic and work to get the votes he needs to get his agenda moved forward.  And while some of the tactics weren’t what we’d expect from Honest Abe, the movie shows the politics necessary to pass this important Amendment.

Spielberg, as always, is an amazing film maker who really allows the audience to not only enjoy the movie, and is clean and precise in his executions.  But of course, the real star of this, is Daniel Day-Lewis, who plays Lincoln.  When watching this movie, I do not see Daniel Day-Lewis, I see Abraham Lincoln.  Put aside all of the awards that he received that signal the industry’s approval and acknowledgement of his ability to completely immerse himself as a character, and just look at his performance, it truly is amazing.  And to be honest, there wasn’t a performance by an actor or actress that I did not enjoy in this film.

While the acting and directing were excellent, keep in mind that this is not your popcorn flick of the summer.  This is a very heavily dialogued, historical drama, that I originally watched while slightly tired and had to pause half way through because of the extensive dialogue.  And while it has elements that do not follow history exactly as it occurred, “Lincoln” is a movie that shows a significant piece of history, that really all should, and need, to see.

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Roger Ebert – A Reviewer I Admired

“Siskel and Ebert give it two thumbs up.” 

These were words that movie goers would eagerly await for to often judge a movie.  And often there were differences of opinion, with one thumb going up, the other down, and any combination thereof.  I was one of those movie goers.  Granted, there are movies that we will often disagree with a critic’s view, but such an iconic phrase to hear, you have to respect the experience and ability that they held.  While Gene Siskel passed in 1999, Roger Ebert continued to do movie reviews with Richard Roeper for a number of years.

I’m not going to lie, I often tried to find my own little nifty catch phrase that wasn’t stealing the “Thumbs Up” that was made famous by the pair, but I never really could come up with something that didn’t just creep into the shadow and try to steal the light of what they had.  While all people eventually will die, a reality that we all must face-often with resistance-the death of someone iconic always hits us deeply.  In 20 years someone of this day and age will pass and we’ll be hit as hard as those we lose today.  And the names of people we have lost today and in years past will slowly begin to fade, hopefully though taught by someone to our future generations as a piece of history.  We must take the moment to honor those who have passed, and also pray for the family and friends of one of my favorite, if not my favorite, movie critic.

God Bless you and your family, Roger Ebert.

-Matthew the Movie Geek

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Zero Dark Thirty

Usually I would put a clever name or something to bring about what I’m going to write, but I think the title speaks for itself clearly.

One of the few questions that you can ask someone and they can give you a definite answer is, “Where were you on 9/11?”  My answer is two fold; I was first walking to Drama 3 class, when a friend told me a plane crashed into the World Trade Center.  I thought it was strange that a plan would crash there, but kept walking to class.  As I got into the room I saw the portable television was on and had been wheeled out.  As I got to my chair and set my bag down, I saw on the live stream on TV, the second tower was hit a plane.  I was shocked, scared and even now I can remember the emotions that ran through me as this event took place.  The school went on lock down, and with us being only a few miles from Randolph Air Force Base in Texas, all ROTC students on campus were required to change clothing for their protection.

The beginning for “Zero Dark Thirty” brought back those emotions with the recordings of victims and responders during those attacks, and immediately set the tone that this movie was not going to hold back.  Put aside the controversy and political commentary surrounding the film, you have a very real look at what is done to protect our freedoms.  It is not pretty, it is not clean, but it is done.  People are tortured, through beating, water boarding, and other tactics, but the interrogation methods again are not softened or held back, so the viewer definitely gets a feeling of what exactly is done.

The story of “Zero Dark Thirty” follows the nearly ten year hunt for Osama bin Laden, and the person who works so hard to hunt him down, Maya.  Amid all of the hunting, the red tape of politics and twists and turns of all those standing in their path, you also see the emotional toll it takes on a person to do the things they do.  Every person has a breaking point, and the question of how far would you go, really shines through in the ending.

Most movies, I will admit, often have filler, some scene that’s not needed, or some shot that could be cut down.  But every single shot, in my opinion, was necessary and appropriate for this film.  This is a movie that people need to see, for it is not only a well executed film that is worthy of its Oscar Nominations, but is a piece of history for the actions that occurred, but more importantly, the cost for such actions.

 
 

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