Gods and Generals Reviews
Gods and Generals is a dry hollow epic thats boring and has woodern acting and camerea work thats nothing short of standered.
Some nice music but thats it this movie is crap lol
I'm not sure why? I would give this movie credit as being possibly the best Civil War movie ever made! It nails all the historical figures, the battles are awesome, and beyond that it has enough information about everyone too seriously keep your attention on the people - really want too keep watching, too see what happens, too see how they react. I think most Civil War movies lack that, and I rarley reccommend a movie about the Civil War too someone who is not a Civil War buff.
This one however to me, is an exception.
I think it's great for anyone!
It's one of my favorite movies, and Stephen Lang totally won me over, as a fan with his acting in this.
"Gettysburg" was made so entertaining because there was more wartime intrigue than politics, and with this being a much less intrigue-riddled period piece that runs close to three hours and forty minutes, or, in the case of the considerably extended director's cut that I watched, from beginning to end, in one sitting, approximately [b][u]four hours and forty minutes[/u][/b] (That's right y'all, I don't mess around), it's to be expected that this film drag its feet here and there and make it all the worse with a rather dry, dull tone, especially when you take into consideration to absurdly excessive padding (Having seen bits and piece of the theatrical cut, I can safely say that, ironically, it's that very padding in the extended version that makes it leaner and more organic, even if it does also make things more uneven and bloated); but regardless of how most make it sound, its slow spots are far and few between, and never terribly severe to begin with, so it's not that much of a problem, and yet, if it was, it would still be among the least of this film's problems, though certainly more of a problem than the "pro-evil-Confederate overtone" that everyone has a big problem with. Man, I almost have to give credit to this film for having the guts to glorify the Confederates, because after all these many generations of simplification, many people soley rest on the idea that the South was riddled with evil, racist traitors who fought the war for the sake of unjust vanity, and only that, when in reality, while the Confederate States of America was not at all morally spotless, so much so that I wouldn't consider myself all that big a fan, both sides of the battlefield were somewhat even in morality and motivation, as well as flaws, with people simply trying to get theirs, which was mostly freedom, yet in different regards. That being the case, I don't so much have a problem with the film's glorifying the Confederates as much as I have a problem with the film's making a dire mistake that's absence in "Gettysburg" did wonders for the comfort in the storytelling: glorifying a single prominent layer to the point of making it seem stand-alone, until we eventually make a jarring shift in focus to another layer, which isn't to say that there aren't forcibly tossed-in sublayers all over the place within these major layers, making the film not only ambivalent in its focus, but extremely convoluted, because for this film to be so unrelentingly uneven in the midst of such a mammoth, heavily layered cast and story, things are bound to get pretty convoluted, and it doesn't help that the film feels so very underdeveloped, which isn't to say that the gratuitously long, five minute opening credits sequence with a song that felt too sweeping - to the point of making you feel like we're looking at the closing credits - didn't hurt in letting you build up investment. Yeah, and if you think those are a lot of problems to simply lead back to merely glorification, then you don't know the half of it, because that glorification itself is only a piece of the massive puzzle of sentimentality that plagues this film through and through. The film is unrelentingly and often forcibly sentimental, so much so that it seems to be built on that sentimentality, so for the sentimentality to have hardly any versatility to it, that means that the film, by extension, gets wildly repetitive, something I could get over a little bit more - seeing as how "Gettysburg" suffered from a similar problem - were it not for the fact that the thing they're playing on a loop over and over again is, again, sentimentality that's so overbearingly saccharine that it only taints the dramatic waters. Whether it be the emotional resonance or - oh lord (so to speak) - the religious overtones, the dramatic angles of the film go heavily melodramatised by the sentimentality, occasionally on an amateur level, leaving this massive dramatic epic to go all but stripped of its dramatic subtlety and come off as somewhat, as put best by the consensus, "pompous", with a considerably more matter-of-fact overtone than the one found in "Gettysburg" exacerbating the arrogance. However, to call this film tedious, let alone bad, is something that I certainly can't get behind, because as wildly flawed as this film is, what it does get right, it nails so fabulously that, at times, it's easy to forget the missteps, for at the end of the day (No, seriously, this film will pretty much take up your day), in my opinion, this film delivers and rewards more often than it doesn't.
A returning Randy Edelman's and a joining John Frizzell's score work is, at times, rather cliche, yet at least these musicians have a good taste in cliche, for although their score is often misused to supplement the emotional manipulation that only further distances resonance, it's still grand and spirited with a fine beauty about it, which is something to be said about the cinematography. Kees Van Oostrum's cinematography may not be as relatively impressive as his, albeit somewhat dated, yet still lush work in "Gettysburg", yet there is the occasional breathtakingly colorful shot, as well as many a shot boasting sweep to capture the scope of the world, with a fine production and authentic locations augmenting an immersive feel that may not be quite as sharp as it was in "Gettysburg", yet is still palpable enough for you to feel the world, no matter how much Ron Maxwell's (Still sounds like the lead in a bad '80s cop show) faulty storytelling, especially when we get to the action sequences. While you can expect more battles in this film than in "Gettysburg", still don't expect that many at all throughout this mammoth epic, and expect what action there is to be as overlong and over authentic as it was in "Gettysburg", yet most of all, expect the action to still engage with its scope and spectacle, with rarely seen yet worth waiting for genuine emotional resonance powering the action with substance and weight to enthrall as it breaks down the horror of wartime battle as much as it breaks down the explosiveness of it. With all of my endless waves of complaints - headed by criticism towards the shoddy emotional resonance and absurd bloating of the mammoth and convoluted story story - and the simple fact that this film is more certainly not as entertaining as its predecessor, the story remains a fascinating and worthy one that may go generally betrayed by overambition and, well, almost as many flaws as subplots (You cannot begin to imagine how much that's saying something), yet is on the whole powered through general triumphant intrigue, which would not come close ringing as true as it does were it not for the performances. I be struck down if the extended cut didn't crowbar in a subplot with John Wilkes Booth (Yeah, because the theatrical cut didn't have enough overemphasized subplots) that, outside of giving us further insight into how the war and political issues affected notable men a ways away from the battlefield, served no terribly organic purpose and was understandably omitted, yet its restoration is still enjoyable, thanks greatly to the previously unseen Chris Conner, whose involvingly charismatic and subtle portrayal of the legendary actor and assassin explores a degree of depth and layers within Booth at this pivotal time which helped in bringing him to the gruesome intentions that his fulfilling has become much more recognzied in him than his once famed acting (Speaking of forced, melodramatised history lessons), which isn't to say that the aspect of good acting was incorporated into the film with Conner. In all brutal honesty, a couple of performances go tainted by much overbearingly histrionic material and context portrayal, with a few simply being pretty bad by their own (If nothing else makes this film look old fashion, then it's the women's "acting" abilities), yet most every character is consistent in being one-note, and yet there are quite a deal of performances that drown that out through charisma and a degree of depth, with a few performances that generally transcend the faultiness. The underwritten and underused, yet well-cast Robert Duvall still engages quite a bit for the few and far between moments in which he's present with that classic sobering presence of pride, sternness and nobility that defined Robert E. Lee, both as a human and a great leader, while the also tremendously underwritten Stephen Lang steals the show by working very well with what material he has to work with, sharply portraying Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's unflinching faith and competence as what it truly was: the mere surface of a vulnerable and haunted human being who the writers and director betray greatly through severe under exploration, yet Lang pays justice to with an involving soulfulness that helps in making him a worthy leader and partial savior of this mammoth mess.
In conclusion, the flaws are as mammoth as the film itself, with unrelenting bloating and excessive repetition that drive unevenness and a deal of aimlessness into the convoluted, unsubtle, often overly matter-of-fact and exorbitantly sentimenal, if not somewhat manipulative storyline being not much more than the highlights in a sea of the countless missteps that would render most any other film thoroughly unrewarding, yet the true magic behind this picture is how it phenomenally stands its grounds against all odds, supported by dashing style and a sweeping production, as well as quite a deal of genuine moments of actually effective resonance and intrigue to compliment a story that, despite its faults, remains worthy and fascinating, as well as further kept alive by a slew of charismatic, if not rather deep and distinctive performances that far outweight the problematic ones and help in ultimately leaving "Gods and Generals" to charge on... and on, and on, and on as a generally intriguing and ultimately rather satisfying mega-epic, regardless of its extreme faultiness.
3/5 - Good
Although shorter than Gettysburg, tedious and boring are a good description. The dialogue is stilted and filled with speechy platitudes that its near cousin Gettysburg avoided, for the most part. The conversations are as if they were lifted from a wordy book, and are completely unbelievable, even considering the way people expressed themselves in the 1860's.
This movie has a distinctly southern slant, and focuses on one of the most bizarre and brilliant generals on the Confederate side: Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. A weird eccentric in an era of picture book generals, his was a fascinating figure. Stephen Lang tries to make him interesting, but the awful dialogue leaves him no room for exploring the character. He should be the man you love to hate: it could ahve been a story like Patton. However, we're really not allowed to see inside his head. In the hands of another director, this could have been a fascinating study of how a complete nut job was good at one thing: Battle.
The action sequences are well done, but they can't keep the momentum going. The film is badly fragmented and disjointed, and at 3 and a half hours, its horrible to endure. While some of the favorites from Gettysburg are in this (earlier period in the war) film, they have no chance to shine. I can't help thinking they ought to have spent more time with Robert Duvall's portrayal of Lee. Too bad.
It's incredible how many things are just wrong with this film. The awful romanticism of Jackson, and the lame dialogue defeated the armies in this film, not the opposing side.
This one you can leave on the shelf. watch Gettysburg instead.
This is a very bad movie. There really isn't any other way to put it. It's just bad. Historical accuracy doesn't make a film automatically good, in the same that making a film about the Civil War doesn't make it automatically interesting.
Gods and Generals heavily emphases that each was fighting for their home land not slavery.
Stonewall Jackson refers to the Civil War as a Second war of Independence and not as a Civil War.
General Burnside overestimated believing that their were no Confederates.
Not as decided units.
Cheesiest thing I've ever heard stone Wall Jackson's talk about Confederacy might free the slaves. And the prayer to God.
Gods and Generals ends with a sad emotional ending.
I thought that the film was better than Gettysburg from 1993 I thought. It was a stronger themes in this film. It brought up themes unseen in this film.
It was interesting how Jim Lewis was seen as a character seeking work as a cook because everyone was off to war.
I was glade that they changed the actor for Robert E. Lee in this film because I thought he did a much better Job portraying Robert E. Lee.
It is a story not well told the Confederate story.
I was glade they showed how they fought using bodies for protection and even hid behind the battles.
I thought it was interesting that many times they say that they fight for their own state and was not slavery.
I thought that it was great they brought the Maine cast from Gettysburg into this film.
This film presents the different types of loyalties that existed for the cause whether it is to state, home, cause, rights, freedoms duty.
This film also presented a strong religious references not seen as strong as this film.
I thought it was good that it showed the Irish fighting each other on both sides of the Civil War. That was rarely seen in Civil War films.
The filmmakers are obviously Civil War obsessed, but the only benefit to that is the play-by-play battle recreations, but that doesn't count for much if they're filmed so clinically and sanitized that they become mere textbook portrayals. The generals and officers are so very idolized here that they bare no interest at all as they mechanically spout such reverential and sober monologues of tremendous self-importance, not unlike the overall approach to the material by the filmmakers.