Spielberg's new movie, Lincoln, focuses just on the event of passing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, but, within that event, he manages to capture the essence of who Lincoln was so that we feel we are getting so much more of him. If it doesn't sweep the Oscars this year, it certainly deserves to. The screen writer certainly deserves the credit, as the script, the dialogue, was magnificent (and Tommy Lee Jones in particular took full advantage of his lines, stealing nearly every one of his scenes).
Daniel Day-Lewis also deserves an Oscar, for there was none of him in this movie. The man is amazing and frightening in his ability to assume a character. He completely disappears; only the character remains. This ability is such that he actually had to take a break from acting after his role in The Boxer, because he couldn't find himself again afterward. He spent a year in preparation for his role as Lincoln, and the result of that was that he became Lincoln. He's remarkable.
All of the acting was excellent. I already mentioned Tommy Lee Jones and how he had some of the best lines in the movie, but, really, everyone performed admirably. The performances given are a testament to the quality of director Spielberg is. I have to also specifically mention David Strathairn. He outdid himself as Secretary of State Seward. I like Strathairn, but I've never thought he was particularly great or anything, but he was great in Lincoln. As was James Spader. But I could just keep going on about the spectacular performances, so I'm going to stop. You'll have to trust me. Or go see the movie, which you should do anyway.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the movie, though, has to be one that was unplanned, because I don't see how you could plan for something like this unless you can see the future. The focus of the movie is the political landscape of the time, and, if you think things are bad now, and I'm not saying they're not, you should do some research about how things used to be. If you think our politicians take part in name calling, you haven't seen anything. Heck, they used to beat each other up or even have duels over their political positions. Anyway, the interesting bit is how the parties have changed. Abraham Lincoln made the Republican party into a viable entity, which they had not been before his election, and they were at the forefront of social justice. The Democrats were pro-slavery, anti-equality, everything the Republicans have come to be. It was interesting to see how the roles of those two parties have changed over time with, now, the Democrats at the forefront of social justice. However, it is still mostly the south that is anti-social justice. Yes, I can say that, because I came from there. I know how it is and what it's like. At any rate, it's interesting that we just had so many of the themes from the movie played out on the political stage during this past election, and it shows just how much more work we have to do as a civilization before we actually achieve social equality for all members of society.
This is a must see movie if there ever was one. It highlights just exactly why we consider Lincoln to have been our greatest president and the tragedy of his death. Go see it.
As an added bonus, I'm gonna toss in a second review, but this one is more of a warning.
I finally watched Prometheus (as a result of not having a computer), and, boy, am I glad I did not pay money to go see that in the theater. It might actually qualify as one of the 10 worst movies I've ever seen. What an incredibly lousy piece of film making, and I feel bad for some of the actors... okay, I feel bad for Fassbender and Theron for being in it. Fassbender had the only role, as David, that was worth anything, and he did a good job in the role; it's just too bad the movie was a total waste. And Theron was just there for her name in a completely worthless part.
The movie starts with a series of disjointed scenes that, in the end, have nothing to do with the movie. They're supposed to supply background, but each of them is completely useless. 15-20 minutes of movie that could have been replaced with something that actually made sense. Then, once the movie really starts, we're subjected to just about every sci-fi cliche in the book. Too many characters that have no purpose other than to be there to get killed. The scared crew members that get lost on the alien ship. The guy who is just plain stupid and tries to touch the cute little alien. The sudden storm that causes a disruption to what's going on. The dropped object while running from the storm that causes someone to almost lose her life. It was predictable and stupid. Every single bit of it.
In fact, it was so predictable and stupid that it made me not be able to stop watching it, because I kept thinking "surely, there must be something more to this." I mean, this was a big movie. It's Ridley Scott. There must be something more, right? No, there's not. The characters do things for absolutely no discernible reason and things happen because they are the things that happen in these kinds of movies. What a waste of two hours of my life.
And now for the news:
Item #1: Part 9 of Shadow Spinner will be available for FREE! on Friday, November 23.
Item #2: Happy Thanksgiving! Save me a piece of pie!
Item #3: The Merry Christmas To All (e)Book A Day
Did I get all the words in there? I think I did... Yeah, okay, they're all there. Mr. Briane Pagel is hosting a blogathon where he convinces us all to give away books. "But," I said, "I'm already giving away a bunch of FREE! stuff on Black Friday; isn't that good enough?"
"No!" he said, "You must give away more! Where's your Christmas Spirit?"
So I looked for my Christmas Spirit, and I couldn't find it. It's always crawling off and hiding, so I sent the cat off to look for it, because the cat likes to get into strange places. Like this:
At any rate, Briane is hosting this blogathon thing that is all about Christmas and giving stuff away, so you should all follow this link and go read about it and, maybe, get signed up. I think it's probably even okay if you don't have a book of your own to give away, because you could always give away someone else's book, and what a great Christmas type thing that would be, because you's be supporting one writer by giving his/her book to one reader. That's like Double Christmas!
I'll be hosting on November 26, December 10, and December 17, so make sure you drop by on those days, but, also, go check out the complete list of participants at that link and make notes to stop by. I already have Monday's post ready to go, and I think it's something you won't want to miss.