Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Glory (1989) Review:

I was introduced to this film when I was in middle school. Of course, our class did not watch it fully; we were only shown a piece of it. It never came back into my mind of watching it again until I graduated high school. It was when I looked back on what I remembered, and I thought to myself, "I need to watch that civil war movie again". So I did, and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Can't much here because it's such a powerful image
For its genre, which is drama, I can imagine it is hard to make something like the civil war so realistic and but no too overblown. What we have here is piece of cinema that digs down into America's past and gives the viewer an eye opening experience of what the civil war was like. Even more persuasive are the characters portrayed by the actors in this movie. Not many people recognize or even know of the African American Infantry who fought during the war and this is one of the best depictions of that. I didn't even know of any until I watched this film.

Matthew Broderick stars as Colonel Robert Shaw who is given the task of leading an African American division for the Union. Although Broderick has the voice of kid, he fits the part of Shaw well. Along side him is Cary Elwes who is Shaw's right hand man and good friend. As for the African American actors in this film, who are too many to list, make the movie have emotion in almost every scene. This is what makes the movie work. It shows the strife and the hard labor that the soldiers had to endure. The part I felt the worst about was when the Irish Commander was training them. There was no break with this guy.

Colonel Shaw (Broderick) commanding his troops
The reality of this movie is great too. Both big major budget films such as Gods and Generals (2003) and Gettysburg (1993) were not totally brutal with their killing scenes. On the other hand for this film, there is plenty of it. Soldiers with missing limbs, graphic stabbing and even heads blowing up are all in this. So if you want a civil war film that gives you blood and guts, this is that film.

Finally what makes this film so powerful is the soundtrack provided by the talented James Horner. If Horner had not composed the music for this film, I'm not sure if Glory would have become so popular as it is now. The way the music is inserted in certain scenes is so reflective. Horner's music brought me to reality of what military life was like back then. It almost brought a tear to my eye and that is hard to do. If you end up loving this movie, the soundtrack is the second best thing to have.

Glory is arguably the best American Civil War movie ever made. An amazing cast and distinguished musical score not only make this movie excel in its story but also makes the viewer understand what "glory" feels like.

Points Earned --> 10:10

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