Three Movies Watched: for the War Through the Generations - Civil War Challenge 2011.
The time has come for us to play “mad catch-up” for all our challenges.
As part of a challenge ~ War Through the Generations (badge links to host’s site), we watched several movies which are US Civil War related. Here are short reviews for three of them - Seraphim Falls, Gettysburg, and Amistad. Also included is a related update on a possible upcoming Steampunk/Civil War movie based upon a book published by Tor.
Seraphim Falls ~ (2006); R; Action|Drama|Thriller; Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Liam Neeson and Anjelica Huston
An action packed movie with a somewhat surreal ending. We are thinking that it perhaps depicts the disassociation with reality soldiers experience after they are no longer in battle? It definitely is a decent flick with great visuals and a good cast. Set after the civil war it is about two men who fought against one another and were involved in an accidental atrocity. Now one of them is out for revenge and he will stop at nothing as he remorselessly tracks down his old enemy.
We enjoyed this movie. It depicts the actual horrors of war only in several short parts, and it’s main them is the aftermath, a battle of wills and survival in a harsh environment. We rated this at 3.5 stars.
Gettysburg ~ (1993); PG; Drama|History; Stars: Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen and Stephen Lang
This is a long movie about the significant battle of Gettysburg, which was a turning point in the war. It is based upon the novel The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara (links to John’s review). What is interesting is that you can see some of the reasons why the Union won and the Confederacy lost; while some of it was based upon luck you can see how the personalities of some of the leaders played a big part. You also get to see in great details what the battle was like for some of the troops.
We really enjoyed this detailed movie – it had a very realistic feel to it. On the downside we thought the beards on the actors looked a bit hokey and the music should have been actual songs from the Civil War era instead of the lilting dramatic score. John did prefer the novel but we still give this flick 4 stars. It felt historically accurate and did portray both factions without any preferential treatment.
Amistad (1997) TV Drama; History|Mystery; directed by Stephen Spielberg; Stars: Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey, Morgan Freeman, and Anthony Hopkins
A good movie based around the emancipation of a group of slaves abducted from Africa and then transported on the ship Amistad. These abductees take over the ship in an act that is considered piracy. Once they are captured and brought back to a Northern US port, a legal battle ensues. The slaves ownership becomes a key issue and a fight for their freedom evolves into a courtroom drama. Set prior to the Civil War when tensions were building, the North allowed the legal drama since it did not want to incite antagonism from the South.
We enjoyed this movie and were particularly impressed by the main African “slave” actor. He was an absolute star in this movie, in our opinion. It’s a 3.5 stars as it became slightly too drawn out and somewhat silly in parts.
Interesting News: The steam punk fantasy novel Boneshaker (which is set during the US Civil War) may be made into a movie. We are vey excited about this since the special effects and costumes could be so much fun. For more information on the book: http://us.macmillan.com/boneshaker/CheriePriest
For more information about this potential movie: http://www.earlyword.com/2011/12/01/boneshaker-to-movies/
As always thanks for reading.