This week: Bite-sized Reviews


Most of December consisted of me running around like a chicken with my head cut off during the day, driving a dark and cold hour to my house in the boondocks, and passing out on the couch for a few hours before starting it all again.

The first few days of January I didn’t move off the couch. When you’re already exhausted, a warm dog curled up on your legs makes moving to the fridge sound like a trip to the Antarctic.

So, finally, last week I emerged from my holiday season cocoon and started to live again, sort of. My house is at least looking cleaner, I’ve been showering somewhat regularly, and I’ve spent a lot of my time reading and watching movies rather than sleeping.

There are so many good movies out, I wish I could have seen them all, but here’s a couple of bite-sized reviews of the ones I have seen:

Lincoln

lincoln-movie-trailer

I make it my policy to never read reviews. I like to look at movies through my own eyes and experiences unclouded by ‘professional’ opinions. I heard that the Lincoln reviews were mixed and I’m very glad that my friend Mel  recommended Sara and I see it anyway. Like a lot of people, I was never aware of what the Emancipation Proclamation really was—an act of war seizing the South’s ‘property’—and that without the, at the time, controversial passage of the 13th amendment slavery probably would have been upheld after the war.

Daniel Day-Lewis’  portrayal of Lincoln was heartwarming, smart and reminded me a lot of my Texan grandfather. It made me hope that this Lincoln nearly hit the mark of the original. The interplay between members of the House of Representatives was also very well done and made politics more engaging than the usual C-SPAN portrayal. I echo Mel’s thought that the political scenes were far more exciting than the personal scenes between Lincoln and Mary Todd. Definitely worth seeing and I plan to see it again when it comes out on DVD.

 

Django Unchained

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On this one I couldn’t resist and took a brief peek at the controversy buzzing around this movie. Personally I think that the idea that filmmakers should treat slavery with 100% kid gloves is ridicules. There have been hundreds of movies made about every aspect of the holocaust, why are we still so squeamish about the brutalities of slavery? True, there are many scenes and characters in Django that make the average American squirm. But then, if a Tarantino movie plays and nobody squirms is it really a Tarantino movie?  Good question. I personally love Tarantino with the caveat that I have developed a six-sense for long blinks during the most gruesome scenes. While much of its historical accuracy is projected through a splintering, twisting amplifier, the story is a very good one and, like all of Tarantino’s films, Django one that has never been told before and is all the more powerful because of it.

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