Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gettysburg (1993) Review:

I'm not a civil war buff but I've always had a fondness for the War Between the States. It's the point in time where America realizes on what their views should be for any race and not just the white Anglo Saxon individuals. I am proud to own this movie for multiple reasons. The first is that it is the longest in running time in the history of cinema, four hours! And that's not even the extended cut version, that one's even longer! I also love the performances, the music and the way everything was film at up-most accuracy. If I could give this film eleven stars out of ten, I definitely would.

The main cast for the Confederate Generals
(Richard Jordan is in front of the flag)
The cast for this movie is way too large for me to all name but there are many good actors in this film. Starring as one of the main characters is Tom Berenger as General Longstreet who has the beard almost as amazing as Albus Dumbledore's! Berenger is a fine actor and I enjoy watching how he acts and reacts to situations. He does a magnificent job and I only wished that he had reprised his role in Gods and Generals (2003). Along side Berenger is Martin Sheen, playing as General Lee. He too does a good job at his part. Whenever he talks, he gives his character the impression that he is gentle but also a strong leader who knows what he's talking about.

Jeff Daniels plays as Colonel Chamberlain. Whenever the camera is focused on him, I lose the sense that this is Jeff Daniels talking. That is how good Daniels acts out his role. It's almost like Chamberlain came back just for this movie. Even Sam Elliot has brief role in this film as General Buford. Although it is hard to picture Buford talking like Sam Elliot he's pretty convincing with his part. The last actor that I think does a superb job with his part is Richard Jordan who plays General Armistead. I've always enjoyed Richard Jordan's performances. He has a way of doing things that are just so believable. There were points in this film where I almost cried because of the way Jordan acted. And for me, it's not easy to make me cry. Although his part is not as major as the other roles, it's still just as powerful. And what a fine way for Jordan to end his career because not long after he passed away (unfortunately).

Jeff Daniels as Colonel Chamberlain leading his men
The music in this epic was composed and conducted by Randy Edelman. I love Edelman's work, I really do. The way the music starts out, and the way it ends is so noble and unforgettable. There is one song that I really enjoy listening to; that song is Kathleen Mavourneen. This song can be heard when Armistead and Longstreet have a heartfelt conversation. It was so beautiful to listen to that it is now one my most favorite soundtrack tunes.

One thing that I've heard some say about this film is that it is not a good war movie unless it has blood, guts, and body parts flying everywhere. I agree TO A POINT. Sure it would have been nice to see a little more bloodshed to make the film more realistic but isn't it realistic enough as it is? The film contains all the military movements of both armies; it shows the viewer how they were executed and the mistakes that were made. And its not like there AREN'T people shown getting shot or blown away by a cannon shell. Is blood and guts really necessary? That's just icing on the cake if the viewer can handle such graphic images. Plus that would restrict the age limit for this movie, which could have possibly lowered the amount of money it could have made. There is nothing wrong with a PG war movie, The Big Red One (1980) was like that too. Case closed.

Director Ronald F. Maxwell has created a fine piece of cinema for anyone to enjoy; even non civil war buffs will like it. Although it is long for a movie, Gettysburg sustains realistic images, great acting, and a memorable soundtrack.

Points Earned --> 10:10

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