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RE: Bone-biting weariness...

 
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RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 2/2/2013 11:18:43 PM   
theoriginalcynic

 

Posts: 6521
Joined: 10/4/2007
quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation

I loved Tree of Life. But I also thought The Avengers was awesome and the shiznit. What am I?

OH MY GOD SO PERPLEXED

(btw, wonderful comebacks cynic, btw, I did not try to sell your own point at you, your point was that you're using twitter to form on what you are going to see just on people you don't know on twitter, we're calling that slightly stupid and we could use as much silly ways to offer a counter of similar if not more value, you starting calling people snobs, you sir, are a fool of the world and the netherworld)



Don't get me started! And the difference between people on twitter and film critics is?

Both are people's opinions. At this point I would rather take the word of people on twitter than Empire's, who are nearly always wrong.

Oh and did you just call me a fool? I'll let you work that one out on your own. AND ONCE AGAIN I SAID I WAS GONNA WAIT FOR DVD. But based on popular opinion it was probably gonna be BORING.

< Message edited by theoriginalcynic -- 2/2/2013 11:25:57 PM >

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 121
RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 2/2/2013 11:19:18 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27268
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
I love how you didn't even bother to defend yourself and at least claim me wrong, noooooo.... you went for forum dweller who always wants to be right.



_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to theoriginalcynic)
Post #: 122
RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 2/2/2013 11:19:26 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14446
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

Go ask on the SFX forum deserves to be up there with MY FACEBOOK PAGE. It just does.





_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze
Mattyb is a shining example of what the perfect Empire Forum member is.


(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 123
RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 2/2/2013 11:19:52 PM   
Hood_Man


Posts: 12121
Joined: 30/9/2005
http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_liffj8gIGe1qgnsnbo1_500.gif

< Message edited by Hood_Man -- 2/2/2013 11:20:32 PM >

(in reply to theoriginalcynic)
Post #: 124
RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 2/2/2013 11:20:02 PM   
theoriginalcynic

 

Posts: 6521
Joined: 10/4/2007

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation

I love how you didn't even bother to defend yourself and at least claim me wrong, noooooo.... you went for forum dweller who always wants to be right.




See above creampuff.

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 125
RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 2/2/2013 11:24:19 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27268
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
Why on Earth did you feel to qoute my post twice? Wasn't one qoute good enough for you?

quote:

ORIGINAL: theoriginalcynic
And the difference between people on twitter and film critics is? Both are people's opinions. At this point I would rather take the word of people on twitter than Empire's, who are nearly always wrong.


Like I don't know, A MORE FUCKING EXPERIENCED WELL WRITTEN ANALIZED PERSPECTIVE FROM PEOPLE WHOSE PEOPLE YOU TRUST (i'm not even saying critics or twitter here, but people who you know tend to go well with both from reading their opinions or simply knowing them).

There's a difference between "OMG SOMETHING SUCKS" and "I thought this was poor because of A, B and C and here's some explanation why".

Oh no wait, this is literally useless, you're just being a wind-up merchant. A boring one.

< Message edited by Deviation -- 2/2/2013 11:26:21 PM >


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to theoriginalcynic)
Post #: 126
RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 2/2/2013 11:26:32 PM   
MonsterCat


Posts: 7932
Joined: 24/3/2011
From: St. Albans, Hertfordshire

quote:

ORIGINAL: theoriginalcynic

Both are people's opinions. At this point I would rather take the word of people on twitter than Empire's, who are nearly always wrong.



Provided it's predicated on having actually seen the flick, there's no such thing as a wrong opinion.

_____________________________

"I am a writer, a doctor, a nuclear physicist and a theoretical philosopher. But above all, I am a man, a hopelessly inquisitive man, just like you."

Films watched in 2013

(in reply to theoriginalcynic)
Post #: 127
RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 2/2/2013 11:28:14 PM   
theoriginalcynic

 

Posts: 6521
Joined: 10/4/2007

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation

Why on Earth did you feel to qoute my post twice? Wasn't one qoute good enough for you?

quote:

ORIGINAL: theoriginalcynic
And the difference between people on twitter and film critics is? Both are people's opinions. At this point I would rather take the word of people on twitter than Empire's, who are nearly always wrong.


Like I don't know, A MORE FUCKING EXPERIENCED WELL WRITTEN ANALIZED PERSPECTIVE FROM PEOPLE WHOSE PEOPLE YOU TRUST (i'm not even saying critics or twitter here, but people who you know tend to go well with both from reading their opinions or simply knowing them).

There's a difference between "OMG SOMETHING SUCKS" and "I thought this was poor because of A, B and C and here's some explanation why".

Oh no wait, this is literally useless, you're just being a wind-up merchant. A boring one.


Finally. And a very good one I might add. So how might one expand upon boring, slow and tedious? Three hours at the cinema. Does that not cover it?

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 128
RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 2/2/2013 11:28:41 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27268
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
I know Zero Dark Thiry is overrated because I saw Bret Easton Ellis' tweets of it. He wrote American Psycho so he cannot be wrong.

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to MonsterCat)
Post #: 129
RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 2/2/2013 11:30:33 PM   
theoriginalcynic

 

Posts: 6521
Joined: 10/4/2007

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation

I know Zero Dark Thiry is overrated because I saw Bret Easton Ellis' tweets of it. He wrote American Psycho so he cannot be wrong.


Another film that's most likely terrible. Give me Point Break any day

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 130
RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 2/2/2013 11:30:54 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27268
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
quote:

ORIGINAL: theoriginalcynic


quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation

Why on Earth did you feel to qoute my post twice? Wasn't one qoute good enough for you?

quote:

ORIGINAL: theoriginalcynic
And the difference between people on twitter and film critics is? Both are people's opinions. At this point I would rather take the word of people on twitter than Empire's, who are nearly always wrong.


Like I don't know, A MORE FUCKING EXPERIENCED WELL WRITTEN ANALIZED PERSPECTIVE FROM PEOPLE WHOSE PEOPLE YOU TRUST (i'm not even saying critics or twitter here, but people who you know tend to go well with both from reading their opinions or simply knowing them).

There's a difference between "OMG SOMETHING SUCKS" and "I thought this was poor because of A, B and C and here's some explanation why".

Oh no wait, this is literally useless, you're just being a wind-up merchant. A boring one.


Finally. And a very good one I might add. So how might one expand upon boring, slow and tedious? Three hours at the cinema. Does that not cover it?



That literally offers nothing of the film. Long and slow (a word I've now seen abused, I've seen used on TDK, ON A TWEET TOO) are descriptions, boring is a very subjective emotion and doesn't really explain anything.



< Message edited by Deviation -- 2/2/2013 11:32:39 PM >


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to theoriginalcynic)
Post #: 131
RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 2/2/2013 11:31:55 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27268
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
quote:

ORIGINAL: theoriginalcynic


quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation

I know Zero Dark Thiry is overrated because I saw Bret Easton Ellis' tweets of it. He wrote American Psycho so he cannot be wrong.


Another film that's most likely terrible. Give me Point Break any day


I know right. I know because I saw tweets of it and now I'm the Buddha.

Btw, isn't admitting being a wind-up merchant a sure way to get you a warning or a temp-ban?

< Message edited by Deviation -- 2/2/2013 11:34:26 PM >


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to theoriginalcynic)
Post #: 132
[Awaiting Approval]
theoriginalcynic

 

Posts: 6521
Joined: 10/4/2007
[Awaiting Approval]
Post #: 133
RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 2/2/2013 11:34:59 PM   
theoriginalcynic

 

Posts: 6521
Joined: 10/4/2007
quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation

quote:

ORIGINAL: theoriginalcynic


quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation

I know Zero Dark Thiry is overrated because I saw Bret Easton Ellis' tweets of it. He wrote American Psycho so he cannot be wrong.


Another film that's most likely terrible. Give me Point Break any day


I know right. I know because I saw tweets of it and now I'm the Buddha.

Btw, isn't admitting being a wind-up merchant a sure way to get you a warning or a temp-ban?



You should read Adam's reviews! YES! Now we're getting somewhere. That will allow you to decide whether to see the film or not.

Oh no! Don't ban me from a forum! What will I ever do? Well, we've proved one thing, mods aren't around on a Saturday night.


< Message edited by theoriginalcynic -- 2/2/2013 11:41:14 PM >

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 134
RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 2/2/2013 11:38:37 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27268
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
Such a great way to answer sir. My intellect is too low to handle such a wise intellect like yours, so I'll bow out.



_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to theoriginalcynic)
Post #: 135
RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 2/2/2013 11:40:20 PM   
theoriginalcynic

 

Posts: 6521
Joined: 10/4/2007
quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation

Such a great way to answer sir. My intellect is too low to handle such a wise intellect like yours, so I'll bow out.




Finally, I thought you were gonna bore me to death. No wonder you like Tree of Life. #filmsnob #pretentious

Btw, no idea what Adam is talking about below. Never heard of that website. And I don't actually have twitter...

< Message edited by theoriginalcynic -- 2/2/2013 11:47:37 PM >

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 136
RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 2/2/2013 11:40:57 PM   
adambatman82

 

Posts: 11156
Joined: 15/12/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: theoriginalcynic
You and Adam should start up another site that no one visits.


Granted, while it's no SCLeeonline.com, my site has consistently done well for a couple of years now. Our audience has always been a niche one, and that's clearly the intention, but we receive enough visitors per month to stand us in good stead with the distributors whose work we admire and support, and enough to keep the thing afloat financially.

I'm not quite sure what this has to do with this thread tho, but feel free to pop over to twitter if you want to continue this line of discussion.

Edit - Twitter = @adamhopelies - but you already knew that.

< Message edited by adambatman82 -- 2/2/2013 11:43:07 PM >

(in reply to theoriginalcynic)
Post #: 137
RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 2/2/2013 11:41:55 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54438
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: adambatman82


quote:

ORIGINAL: theoriginalcynic


quote:

ORIGINAL: adambatman82


quote:

ORIGINAL: theoriginalcynic


You're just being deliberately antagonistic now! Your twitter post was one person's opinion, and so I posed someone else's opinion. Anyway good night gentleman. Continue to be pretentious and enjoy snoozefest films that critics tell you to like. LOL! So easy to wind up.




You call me antagonistic and then admit that you're deliberately on the wind up. Brilliant.


Well, I wasn't. But I am now.



Quoted for the memories.


Quoted for happily admitting breaching forum rules.

And - end. Thank you. If you want to continue please find somewhere else.

Further posts on this specific argument will be removed.

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to adambatman82)
Post #: 138
RE: Lincoln - 2/2/2013 11:50:53 PM   
TheMightyBlackout


Posts: 199
Joined: 28/4/2012
From: Oxford, UK
All of the performances are outstanding, but the film loses much-needed power in dawdling. The second film this year with an engaging start, a spectacular end, and a dialogue-heavy mid-section that had willing the plot along.

That said, it's so worthy of my/your time that it's entirely forgivable.

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More reviews and rambling like that ^^^ at: >>>WorldOfBlackout.co.uk <<<

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Post #: 139
RE: Lincoln - 5/2/2013 11:18:02 AM   
Harry Tuttle


Posts: 7987
Joined: 12/11/2005
From: Sometime in the future.
I came across this in another thread last night.

quote:

ORIGINAL: theoriginalcynic

I have no idea who that is and citing twitter in any argument ever, isn't gonna earn you any points. I don't dislike Community like you dislike Who. I just think it's flawed. And Alison Brie is no Kelly Kapowski!

Anyway, moving on.


Self awareness fail .

_____________________________

Acting...Naturaaal

Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!

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Post #: 140
Lincoln - 5/2/2013 12:18:03 PM   
ajm1991

 

Posts: 22
Joined: 3/11/2012
'Lincoln' is a rare film where skillful narration, pithy writing & magnetic performance resonates on each and other raise the film as well as the audience to a high level of energy.Read my detailed review here:http://www.filmwaves.in/2013/02/lincoln.html

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Post #: 141
Fine movie - 5/2/2013 3:16:46 PM   
sephiroth7

 

Posts: 152
Joined: 14/10/2009
Confident film making from Spielberg. Another amazing performance from Lewis. Lovely score from Williams. Enjoyed it.

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Post #: 142
RE: Fine movie - 7/2/2013 11:25:23 AM   
CRUNT

 

Posts: 23
Joined: 5/2/2013
Good film, good performance by Day Lewis, but whatever he said had some moral behind it, didnt he ever say "i fancy a shit" or something

(in reply to sephiroth7)
Post #: 143
JUST BRILLIANT - 13/2/2013 4:50:30 PM   
soulfood

 

Posts: 60
Joined: 6/10/2005
Steven Spielberg has done a Brilliant Masterpiece of a Movie,
And Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field are Just Brilliant

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Post #: 144
Superb acting but boring film - 18/2/2013 9:33:23 AM   
jamiemorrison2

 

Posts: 2
Joined: 7/1/2013
I think the acting is superb in this film, but ultimately the film itself is really boring. I think if you are a patriotic American this would be a great film, for someone else, i.e. me (English), watching it as a neutral to find out more about history, it is overlong and just too wordy.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 145
RE: Lincoln - 19/2/2013 2:44:31 PM   
GCH

 

Posts: 42
Joined: 25/8/2007
I don't really know if this is a good, bad or ugly film. Everything is just swept aside by Daniel Day Lewis. He is fantastic and worth the admission on his own. Everybody else is merely good, even Tommy Lee Jones and Joseph Gordon Levitt. (It seems to be compulsory to have three names to get in this film).
One major bugbear for me. The film ends twice. Once at a natural and elegant place, and then at the clunky SS ending. Somebody should teach him how to say 'its a wrap', as this is not his first film to spend what seems like hours trying to locate the off switch.
Not Oscar- winning material for me (apart from DDL obviously), as both Argo and Rust and Bone were better. So for that matter was Skyfall.

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Post #: 146
RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 22/2/2013 1:10:59 AM   
YouSeenThat.com

 

Posts: 3
Joined: 22/2/2013


”Not one for the Tammany Hall hucksters.”

We aren’t Yanks. We aren’t US history buffs. Heck, we haven’t even possessed a passing interest in purchasing an M60 machine gun and screaming “Yippiekiyay!” as we gun down a bunch of innocent college students milling around their lockers. Honestly, we couldn’t tell you the ins or outs of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency in any great detail, aside from what we’ve seen in popular culture and the occasional documentary. From what we’ve managed to piece together: Lincoln was well-revered, he abolished slavery, he’s on the penny, and his brain-matter got sprayed across the seats at Ford’s Theatre. So it’s safe to assume we know as much about US politics as your average Republican. With that in mind, we don’t want to get a raft of emails from poindexters declaring that Ulysses S. Grant didn’t actually wear Nike Jordan’s like he did at the 87 minute mark, or that Sally Field’s discrete Pac-Man tattoo just below her left breast was an anachronism, or whatever other historical inaccuracies you want to raise.

We don’t know and we don’t care. It’s a piece of entertainment. As long as Honest Abe doesn’t turn into a time-travelling cyborg and starts hunting vampires during the second act, we’ll be pretty keen to keep this as a straight-up movie review. Now on with the review…

Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg, is set during the midst of the American Civil War as Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to abolish slavery.

As we made painfully clear earlier, we aren’t going to point out all of the perceived historical inaccuracies or debate whose pack of lying hucksters has a better club – we are only interested in judging Lincoln as a piece of entertainment. And was far as entertainment goes, we were thoroughly captivated. There is no denying that historical dramas can be incredibly heavy-going, especially ones which revolve around political figures or the machinations of politics in general, however as a person watching Lincoln with only a basic understanding of the turmoil faced by Abe in passing the Thirteenth Amendment, we were hooked by almost every minute of the two and a half hour running time. The incendiary issues of slavery and negro rights. The moral dilemma of prolonging a bloody war in order to bring about abolition. The race to secure the necessary two-thirds majority to pass the amendment, along with the political wrangling needed to keep everyone in line. Sure, some people with the attention spans of gnats might find the saga boring, especially those who were force-fed the events at school – but try and overlook this. As we often say, a movie is the sum of its parts. Even if you come into Lincoln completely sick to death of the subject, stick with it – the story may not wow you like it did us, however when you add the absolutely brilliant acting, as well as the seemingly authentic sets and masterful direction, Lincoln takes you from the pages of a history book and plonks you into an almost living, breathing world. It is as if you are watching the man himself making that very history… and when it comes to ‘the man’, few living actors could have portrayed the character better than Daniel Day-Lewis.

Day-Lewis is without doubt one of the greatest talents in Hollywood – there’s simply not enough time in the day to ever be able to string enough superlatives together to express what a revelation this Irish thespian is. We’ve admired his work in modern classics like Gangs of New York and our slow-burning favourite There Will Be Blood, however it is Day-Lewis’ performance as Lincoln that will surely go down in celluloid history as one of the greatest dramatic roles ever. It was a measured tour de force, if there can ever be such a thing. Day-Lewis embodies Lincoln: the onscreen presence, the aura, the look, even the perceived mannerisms of such a magnanimous yet fragile individual. When Lincoln opens his mouth and begins to spout one of his meandering anecdotes, you lean forward in your seat just to take it all in. We know that it seems bizarre to sit here in the present and pontificate about how a man such as Lincoln may sound, or stand, or laugh, yet every nuance and fibre of this character seems to feel ‘right’. Hell, we aren’t watching a man pretend to be Lincoln. There is no discernible point at which the actor starts and the character ends. There simply is the man. The myth. Day-Lewis’ performance is difficult to put into words without seeing him in action – if anything, watch Lincoln purely for his acting. It was mesmerising. If Daniel doesn’t win the Best Actor award at the Academy Awards, we’ll eat our stovepipe hats.

Our insane acclaim for Day-Lewis’ performance aside, we have to admit that the entire cast does a great job of their respective roles. That alone is considerable praise, especially given the multitude of characters throughout the story. If we were to nitpick, and we must say that we are slightly reluctant to do so, we would have to single-out Tommy Lee Jones and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as disappointments. The biggest letdown was the casting of Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens. With all due respect to such a veteran actor as Jones, we had this dreadful feeling in the pit of our stomachs that he was almost hamming it up in his role. Chances are that this was probably the the way that Spielberg wanted the character portrayed, although for the most part it was incredibly difficult to tell whether he was taking the piss. And as far as Joseph Gordon-Levitt, while we love the kid dearly, there was something that felt a little weak about his portrayal of Robert, Lincoln’s oldest son.

When directing a cast as stellar as that of Lincoln’s, a veteran like Steven Spielberg must have been in his element. The baseball capped wonder, who allegedly wore a suit and tie every day of filming so he wouldn’t break the authenticity on set, does an great job of bringing this important piece of 19th century history to the screen. Aside from wielding the camera with all of the finesse and authority that you would expect from a man with such a distinguished career, Spielberg has also ensured an amazing level of detail throughout the entire production, from the authentic sets, right down to the tick of the President’s pocket watch – sampled directly from Lincoln’s very own pocket watch housed at the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort. It is Spielberg’s attention to detail that makes Lincoln a pleasure to watch.

Overall, Lincoln is a powerhouse drama. The story of the events leading up to the drafting of the Thirteenth Amendment are compelling enough to keep your average punter captivated, the setting is amazing, the acting – especially from Day-Lewis – is absolutely sublime, and the direction is Spielberg doing what he has done best for the last three decades. It can be heavy-going at times, and in all honestly, it isn’t a movie we could watch over and over again, but it is still a great movie. Even if you fervently detest historical dramas, we implore you to at least consider watching it for Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of Abraham Lincoln. Yes, we implore you – and that’s something we don’t do very often.

4/5

< Message edited by elab49 -- 22/2/2013 9:20:02 AM >

(in reply to Hood_Man)
Post #: 147
Just good - 25/2/2013 10:16:55 PM   
Normal Control


Posts: 82
Joined: 11/11/2012
So, it's not 5 stars - that would need a whole lot more Jackie Earle Haley screentime than given here. But it's never boring. It's not epic, but the narrative is a good old-fashioned race against time. The whole thing about getting the 13th amendment vote BEFORE ending the war was tricky to grasp, even with the legal explaination given. But that made it feel deeper. There was a bit more comedy from the supporting characters than expected, and JGL's son character seemed a bit crow-barred in, but overall the movie's well crafted, engaging, and DDL gets his hat-trick.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 148
RE: Lincoln - 28/2/2013 11:51:46 AM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1200
Joined: 31/3/2010
Wot, no vampires?

As a sequel to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Lincoln SUCKS! But as lovingly crafted, machine-tooled Oscar-bait, it’s a triumph. Even if it didn’t turn out to be quite the Oscar-hoover many expected – Argo’s good, but it’s not this good.

Based on Doris Kearns-Goodwin’s mighty Lincoln biography, Team of Rivals, at Spielberg’s insistence, Tony Kushner’s epic script focuses on the final months of Lincoln’s life which saw the end of the Civil War and the passing of the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery. (Kushner’s original script was even more epic with a much broader focus. God only knows how long that film would have been. Four score and seven hours, perhaps?)

Unlike previous biopics of America’s 16th President and greatest secular “saint,” Lincoln is a warts and all biography, not a hagiography. Lincoln celebrates The Great Emancipator but doesn’t venerate him. This Lincoln is a man not a monument, with all the human flaws and frailties that implies. Not least his notorious long-windedness. Lincoln is by far Spielberg’s talkiest film. But what talk! And is all the better for it.

Amusingly prone to circumlocutions and calculated yarn-spinning, Lincoln would never use two words when a homily (or soliloquy) would do. “I could make shorter sermons but once I get going I’m too lazy to stop.” I know what you mean, Abe! Lincoln was also prone to violent outbursts (“The fate of human dignity is in our hands!”) and bouts of brooding introspection if not downright depression, something which afflicts a lot of Great Men.

Nor was “Honest Abe” above a bit of political skulduggery in pursuit of a higher cause. The highest. Quite a lot of political skulduggery as it happens. Of course he wasn’t. He was a politician not a saint and a ruthless one at that. And it is to Spielberg’s credit that he doesn’t deify him. Lincoln’s greatest achievement depended on coercion, strong-arm tactics and good old-fashioned bribery – the end of slavery justifying any means necessary. Including, possibly, letting the Civil War continue longer than necessary. Lincoln’s critics called him a tyrant. They had a point.

Yet he was also humble, self-effacing (exemplified here in a lovely moment when Union Soldiers quote his already-iconic Gettysburg Address back at him) and, it is said, surprisingly softly-spoken: Daniel Day-Lewis sounds not unlike Clinton here. The Comeback Kid must be tickled pink. Pinker than usual, I mean.

Quiet, unassuming and dignified, Lincoln was also possessed of an iron will. He knew he was right: “Slavery, sir. It’s done.” Citing Euclid, Lincoln said that if slavery wasn’t wrong then nothing was wrong. A truth he held to be self-evident. Fairness. Justice. Equality. The heart of the whole film. Or political correctness GONE MAD in the parlance of our times. The first Republican President, the great irony is that Lincoln’s own party would probably oppose him at every turn these days, Democrats and Republicans having long since swapped roles. FOX News would crucify him for being * GASP! * a liberal.

Oscars might be empty, meaningless baubles (Akiva Goldsman and Driving Miss Daisy won Oscars ferchrissakes!), but as empty, meaningless baubles go, they’re among the best. Just ask Daniel Day-Lewis! Now officially anointed by The Academy of Retired Actors as The Greatest Screen Ac-tor of All Time, and rightly so. Daniel Day-Lewis simply IS Lincoln. I used to think this remarkable actor was overrated. But following his towering performances in Gangs of New York, There Will Be Blood and now Lincoln, if anyone can legitimately be said to be "The Greatest," it’s him.

No-one inhabits a role, no-one becomes the character like he does. He’s more force of nature than actor. And unlike his Great Acting peers, Day-Lewis hasn’t descended into hammy self-parody (like Nicholson), sold his talent short in anything-for-the-money crap (like De Niro), or become mired in bloated self-loathing (like Brando). Although, like Brando, I think Day-Lewis can be ambivalent about his gift, hence his periodic long absences from the screen. Of this pantheon, only Pacino comes close but even he is notoriously prone to shouty, bug-eyed excess - Hoo-ha! Incredibly, D-Day can chew the scenery without being hammy.

Even at his most Oscar-friendly extreme (“DRAIN-AAAAAAAAAAGE!!!”), Day-Lewis doesn’t seem to be acting at all. Now that is great acting. Not that he shouts much here – speak softly and win another Oscar. Sure, it’s easy to mock his rumoured method excesses (which he himself now wryly mocks with self-effacing good humour), but just look at the results.

And D-Day is in very good company here, supported by one of the finest ensembles of character actors ever assembled: David Strathairn, Hal Holbrooke and Joseph Gordon-Levitt who has had a very good 2012 even if that ‘tache makes him look like Rupert Pupkin auditioning for Rhet Butler! (All the impressive period face fuzz on display here makes Lincoln look like a novelty sideburn convention. If there had been an Oscar awarded to Most Generous Moustache this year, Lincoln would have been a shoo-in!) It’s also good to see Jackie Earl Hailey continue to capitalise on his belated breakthrough role in Watchmen.

A team of rivals, indeed. But special mentions must go out to an almost unrecognisable James Spader and his fellow, scene-stealing lobbyists and bagmen, Tim Blake Nelson and Frank Zappa lookalike, John Hawkes, who’s been around forever and is fast approaching Kevin Spacey levels of ubiquity. The once-svelte Spader especially seems to be channelling the Falstafian spirit of his old Boston Legal sparring partner, William Shatner. He also gets the funniest, profanest line in what is a surprisingly funny film - the very idea of votes for women causes more uproar than the immediate prospect of votes for blacks. It’s telling that America had a black President before it had a female one!

I thought Sally Field was a shoo-in for another little gold fella too as Lincoln’s neurotic wife, Molly, haunted by the loss of their son and plagued by debilitating (psychosomatic?) headaches. It’s Sally Field’s finest screen performance. I like her. I really like her! Lincoln feared nothing it seems but this formidable woman. Which is understandable, I suppose. The sight of Burt Reynolds’ former onscreen arm-candy putting Tommy Lee Jones firmly in his place like a naughty schoolboy was worth the price of admission alone.

Yes, Tommy Lee Jones. At his curmudgeonly bulldog best here, he’s so monolithic he could play Mount Rushmore. The curmudgeon’s curmudgeon, Jones was simply born to play Thaddeus Stevens, abolitionist leader of the “demented radicals.” Unbending, unyielding and uncompromising (until he had to be - “There is almost nothing I won’t do”), from “interminable gabble” and “fatuous nincompoop” to “Mr Wood, you perfectly named, obstructive object,” Jones gets some of the best lines. And the best put-downs.

Lincoln is replete with soaring political rhetoric and fearsome, almost Biblical oaths like “pettifogging Tamanny Hall hucksters.” (What delicate online types nowadays call “ad hominem attacks.”) Such ornately baroque language, which sounds quaintly Coens-like to modern ears, was the norm back then. But that’s progress for you – LOLS!!! :) If only internet culture (for want of a better word) was more like this and not the shrieking madhouse of dull banality it so often is. It’s the sort of wonderful turn of phrase and soaring oratory modern politics so sorely lacks and which Obama has sought to revive.

For Obama casts a long shadow over Lincoln, albeit an invisible one. The 44th President is an unspoken presence throughout this film about the 16th. Every reference to negro rights, negro votes and negro representatives is pregnant with the prospect, unthinkable then and still highly unlikely just a decade ago, of a negro president. No Lincoln, no Obama. It’s as simple as that.

Long in development, surely it’s no coincidence that Spielberg finally chose to make his other dream project in an election year. This election year in particular. A love letter to Lincoln, it is also a subtle love letter to Obama too. And, at the start of his second term, maybe a challenge as well. So often compared to Lincoln (not least by himself), Spielberg’s film virtually challenges Obama to live up to his hero’s legacy. No pressure then.

But Obama’s shadow isn’t as big as the shadow cast by slavery itself, the violent long-term consequences of which America lives with to this day. Spielbergian used to mean Jaws, ET and Indiana Jones – masterful popcorn entertainment with a real sense of wonder, something his snobbish detractors and The Academy spectacularly failed to acknowledge. But now Spielbergian also means Schindler, Ryan and Lincoln – more mature, thoughtful entertainments, no less masterful but with greater maturity. He’ll still never top Jaws, though.

There can be no doubt now that Spielberg is one of The Greats. Assuming there ever was any doubt. Now in his fifth decade as a filmmaker, Spielberg remains at the top of his game creatively and only gets more interesting as an artist. Following the personal and professional watershed that was Schindler’s List, Spielberg continues to deftly juggle Schindler-like “importance” with Jurassic-style thrills (his next film was going to be Robopocalypse) while increasingly combining the two in “darker” thrills like Minority Report and War of the Worlds. By focusing so often on such serious themes as The Holocaust and, controversially, slavery (The Colour Purple, Amistad and Lincoln forming a loose trilogy of sorts) Spielberg is nothing less than the voice of Hollywood’s liberal conscience. Which isn’t anywhere near as worthy or dull as that sounds. Unlike other self-consciously “important” directors, Spielberg never forgets he is first and foremost an entertainer. Even at his most profound and serious, Spielberg is never ponderous or dull. Well, maybe Amistad.

And like Amistad, Lincoln is essentially a courtroom drama of sorts. The talk might be hi-fallutin’, but there’s no escaping this film is a lot of old men talking in darkened rooms illuminated by Spielbergian shafts of sunlight, all chiaroscuro silhouettes emulating the paintings of the time.

There are still visual flourishes though. Lincoln dreams that the abolition of slavery is an unstoppable ship sailing on the relentless tide of history with himself at the helm. The Civil War which killed more Americans than every other war combined is almost over before Lincoln begins and takes place largely off-screen, although we do get harrowing glimpses of its apocalyptic aftermath (inspired by the iconic civil war photography of Matthew Brady which also inspired Leone’s The Good, The Bad and The Ugly); most vividly, the unspoken horror of a burial pit full of freshly-amputated limbs.

And there is John Williams, of course, still going strong at 80. How many Spielberg scores is that now? I’ve lost count. His score is a virtual remix of stately Saving Private Ryan with hints of JFK but no less powerful for all that and used quite sparingly.

Spielberg can’t resist being Spielberg though. “I suppose it’s time to go, though I would rather stay,” is poignant if not exactly subtle as Lincoln’s iconic silhouette leaves the film and enters the history books – his assassination happens discretely off-screen. But he earns it. This isn’t usual. It is history. A film for the ages.


< Message edited by chris kilby -- 1/3/2013 3:25:47 AM >

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 149
RE: Bone-biting weariness... - 1/3/2013 3:17:41 AM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1200
Joined: 31/3/2010
quote:

ORIGINAL: UTB


quote:

ORIGINAL: matty_b

Of all the films to cause a forum meltdown, I really had Lincoln pegged as the least likely.

Bravo, everyone.



Imagine what would happen if Lincoln turned up in a Batman film...


Lincoln didn't even have the gunbarrel at the end!


< Message edited by chris kilby -- 1/3/2013 3:27:33 AM >

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