This is a film as remote and unyielding as an untouched textbook. Since the story revolves around Stonewall Jackson it will obviously give his point of view on the subject also. | Full of windy speeches about honor, god, fealty, and so on, the movie comes to a literal standstill whenever one of these noble addresses is about to be delivered. I give it ten stars. Not very much blood. A labour of love with special interest to history buffs, this epic film is extraordinary in many ways. The period detail is impressive and clearly most effort went into its creation, and the actors make what they can of it, but it is far too long, not enough action and sickly sentimental. Gods and Generals (despite the ravages of many critics) is a very good film. The battle scenes are weak and not very exciting either. By. Jeff Shaara (son of Michael Shaara, author of The Killer Angels) wrote the prequel. The critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes reads, "Filled with two-dimensional characters and pompous self-righteousness, Gods and Generals is a long, tedious sit. Unlike most, I did not read the book, and when first viewing the film, was not aware there was one. Yep. Highly recommended; don't listen to the critics. And Gen. Robert E. Lee (Robert Duvall) who led the Confederate army, was a man who was forced to choose between his loyalty to the United States and his love of the Southern states where he was born and raised. Bad Bad Bad, I watched this thinking I might get a handle on the Civil War - Wrong only religious sentimental claptrap, Bad script, badly acted bad CGI and awful beards. On the other hand were reviews from Roger Ebert and others critics who I respected that said it wasn't very good. Characters quote poetry from memory and sometimes speak in almost biblical cadences, in the same way that Lincoln's speeches were deeply influenced by the language of the King James Bible. By Phil Boatwright, posted February 19, 2003 in . Billy Crystal once said, "We know where we would be without the critics, but where would they be without us?" For one, all the foot soldiers are old men who are so obviously re-enacters that the action scenes have no weight. I highly recommend this book. Its not that I can't watch a long movie as all three Lord of the Rings were pretty good. Stirring, well-acted, and intelligent film about the war. The rise and fall of confederate general Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, as he meets with military success against the Union from 1861 to 1863, when he is accidentally killed by his own soldiers. Personally, I was once again impressed—as I was with Gettysburg— that war is ugly on and off the battlefield. As someone said, just as you do not judge a person by what they think of themselves, you cannot judge an age by its consciousness. Grueling and plodding, the film is almost the antithesis of `Gone With the Wind,' in that while both films are epic tales told from the viewpoint of the defeated South, `Gods and Generals' (unlike the earlier film) has been essentially drained of all emotion, drama and characterization. With Stephen Lang, Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, Donzaleigh Abernathy. Read GameSpot player reviews and contribute your own! The best scenes were those with Stephen Lang who deserved top-billing(which instead was given to Robert Duvall in a smaller role) and an Oscar-nomination for his well-rounded excellent portrayal of Thomas `Stonewall' Jackson as a religious man with an un-moveable focus on his fight for independence for the South. Review: Gods and Generals. I don't recall seeing one fit, young man among the foot soldiers. If you knew absolutely nothing about the American Civil War you might come away from Gods and Generals believing something like this: A sociopath named Lincoln decides one day in 1861 to raise an army to invade the south because he just feels like doing that. FeDe's Review of Gods and Generals. Some critics condemn it as being sympathetic with the Southern cause. The acting was below average which is surprising give the talent involved. All I should have to tell you about this film is that Ted Turner plays George Patton's grandfather. When a group of people who are obviously senior citizens are "Charging" (more like hobbling) into the breach well...let's just say it doesn't float. And, IMHO, the General Lee in Gettysburg is a much more real character than the one in G&G (who, however, gets little screen time). The people of these south, having absolutely nothing to deserve any of this, start their own country to defend themselves and a polite, bearded, General named Lee leads them and this other polite, bearded, General named Jackson is his second in command. The films running time is 231 minutes long and that includes an intermission. It simply requires talent, a quality abundantly deficient in Gods and General. Full Review | Original Score: 1/4 Page 1 of 7 Thinks it is grand without ever being so. The costumes and sets were very believeable and historically accurate. Regarding the lack of maps just go to Wikipedia and look up the battles. Gods and Generals for PC game reviews & Metacritic score: The action and drama of the American Civil War comes to life in this new game from the creators of "Gods & Generals… I recently read Shelby Footes 3 volume narrative, which I found compelling, excellently written and fairly authoritative. This film is about as interesting as a history class except it lasts a lot longer. Gods and Generals is an over the top movie about historical characters who, for the past near 150 years have been portrayed in every media form as larger than life and nearly God-like. This review is based on the movie and the quality of the movie not the historical accuracy or inaccuracy. Seriously, if you have no idea who Sandy Pendleton is then you have no business seeing this movie. Simply put, the movie was poor at best in all aspects of production. Why does American cinema keep failing to produce decent historical drama (John Adams excepted)? Shop Gods and Generals [Director's Cut] [2 Discs] [Blu-ray] [2003] at Best Buy. Critics hate it because it doesn't kowtow to the conventional thought. It did present the extent to which public figures at the time were motivated in their own conscious mind by religion, including generals, but given the fact that the South was fighting to maintain slavery, the message seemed confused. Those who have no idea, or interest, as to who this man was should probably stick to such heavyweight box-office competition such as "Agent Cody Banks," "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," or "Daredevil" instead. steven lang was screwed for not getting best actor consideration, particularly given his awesome overhaul from the flawless depiction of pickett in gettysburg a decade earlier. February 24, 2003. However for those who love history and have an open mind then this is the movie for you. I was surprised that they messed up this film so bad and there's still talk of another film. Billy Crystal once said, "We know where we would be without the critics, but where would they be without us?" I think a third movie would be in order to complete the Civil Story story. Good movie overall but Gettysburg was better. cinematography is incredible, and the scope of the film is extraordinarily ambitious. I liked Gettysburg and the novel "Gods and Generals" better. Gods and Generals (despite the ravages of many critics) is a very good film. I thought Gettysburg was a good movie so I went and saw this one. The battle scenes were probably the most realistic ever portrayed of the civil war and over-whelmingly long. Jeff Daniels and others give their side in eloquent dialogue for their feelings on the conflict. It may be just as well. First some background - I am from the UK, and have always had an interest in the US civil war. I use this as my basis for the history and narrative of the US civil war. Imagine watching half of Band of Brothers in one sitting, but with the story moving at a much slower pace. His religious zealotry is offered only as a deep and beautiful faith. I had heard great things about the new movie Gods and Generals. In one memorable scene, Col. Chamberlain [Jeff Daniels] sleeps on the nighttime battlefield using his fellow soldiers' corpses as bedding; come daylight, he uses those same corpses to absorb flying enemy bullets once the battle resumes anew. The direction is bad as Ronald F. Maxwell did a much better job with Gettysburg. Although Duvall resembles R.E. The portrait of Jackson is accurate from the big issues (his profound religious faith) down to the trivial (his fondness for lemonade). As a result, an otherwise talented ensemble actors portray an otherwise fascinating collection of historical figures, in a fashion lacking of anything remotely resembling a human personality. It is a beautiful film to look at, with great feeling for the often-wild landscape of the era; in this respect, it gains immeasurably from being seen on a full-scale theatrical screen. Gods and Generals is the second installment of the Michael/Jeff Shaara Civil War trilogy and the second to be filmed. Meticulous Civil War story runs a little long. Gettysburg concentrated more on the bravery of ordinary soldiers, and in some instances, their equivocal feelings, to better effect. The movie suggests that he rode with his hand raised only to stem the bleeding from a wound. Users wrote generally positive reviews of Gods and Generals (2003), giving it an average score of 73%. the guess here is that when the last full measure, the final film of the trilogy, comes out this group will score a ten regardless how poorly done simply because it will reflect northern rather than southern victories. Then again, a historical film doesn't require explicit blood and gore in order to feel authentic. Online reviewers have written 538 reviews, giving Gods and Generals (2003) an average rating of 56%. But this film makes him an angel such as he never really was. There is no sense of strategy or how the war is going, no feeling for the ebb and flow of battle, nothing but endless vignettes. Indeed, Gods and Generals does a fine job proving him right. And the moving scene with human emotions between Jackson and the little Corbin girl brings the human touch to the character. Though this movie does have it's flaws, it is one of the most moving war pictures I have ever seen. This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Swapping politics for crass platitudes, Gods and Generals is a monumental folly. I'm glad to have seen a different perspective but it seemed to be rather one-sided favoring the South. See it, and decide for yourself about this film. Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (Stephen Lang) was, like Chamberlain, a man of great religious faith who served in the defense of the Confederacy. Stephen Lang's performance of Stonewall Jackson should be remembered at Oscar time. Over-produced civil war movie with excellent portrayal of Stonewall... period detail, but overlong, sentimental, and unclear as to its message. Revisionist hooey! They say it is pro-slavery. Gods and Generals is an over the top movie about historical characters who, for the past near 150 years have been portrayed in every media form as larger than life and nearly God-like. If you are clueless about the Civil War and the 1860-65 period then it will seem downright weird and you won't like it. How you could make a movie about the greatest tactician of the War and not examine his strategies in depth is a mystery to me. External Reviews Actors carefully reciting lines obviously drawn from letters, and thus speaking like nobody ever speaks; long, boring scenes where nothing happens (we do not go to films to see T.J. Jackson in bed with his wife or Joshua Chamberlain lecturing his brother on 19th-Century politically-correct terminology for blacks); endless numbers of soldiers being hit by bullets and falling down...). (Many believe the Civil War might have gone differently had Jackson survived.) Jackson appears to be a monster, but was that what the director intended? Forgot your password? Actually, it is more of a character study than a war film, and appeals to many different audiences. I think the biggest mistake that people make when watching something like this is that they are thinking with 21st century minds. Because of a lackluster, sappy, script and horrible editing, this film wastes an absolutely top notch performance by Stephen Lang as Stonewall Jackson. The lulls are just too long for a film that goes over 3 1/2 hours. For all the effort, not half the film which Gettysburg was. Most of these people like Lee and Jackson loved the Union Army and were not seccesionists. Now Playing: Gods and Generals Video Review The game's music generally consists of the same four-to-five-second loop of phony, synthesized orchestral music that hiccups each time it … Perhaps an R-rated film, instead of an audience friendly PG-13 rated film, would have increased realism in a movie about one of the bloodiest chapters in our nation's history. Characters both Northern and Southern are portrayed even-handedly, and the historical and social aspects of the film are authentic. The dialoge between the Generals, Top civilians, and the foot soldier gives the viewer a good taste of the variety of sentiments of the day. Gods and Generals is the prequel to “The Killer Angels,” the novel on which the movie Gettysburg was based. A pause button will be helpful to stop the DVD and discuss some of the points with the kids is a good tactic to us. There is a certain flow and sprightliness to Jeff Shaara’s prose. Don't have an account? On the second score -- no one will ever walk away from this film eager to see war in real life. Chuck Rudolph. Major engagements are quickly glossed over with little explanation. There are plenty of great maps there to support the story. If you ask me, you're better off watching documentaries about the civil war. Susan LaFollette I started with Gods and Generals, am almost done, and then going to Killer Angels. Big mistake, Gods and Generals is the dullest film I have ever seen. William B. Feis earned a Ph.D in military history from The Ohio State University in 1997 and is currently an associate professor of history at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Also Jeff Daniels and Robert Duvall as General Lee. Gods and Generals was released in 2003 and has generally received mixed reviews. Jackson would be better represented by giving some idea of why he is considered a great soldier (the Valley campaign) rather than being shown as primarily a sentimental, but simultaneously bloodthirsty, religious crackpot ("hoist the black flag... kill everyone..."). Great Civil War film that DOES NOT WHITEWASH slavery. and the Terms and Policies, By creating an account, you agree to the Privacy Policy Cinafilm has collected 71 user reviews of Gods and Generals (2003) written by amateur reviewers - members of the cinema-going public. Sign up here. It IS too long if you have Attention Deficit Disorder or have been raised upon television sitcoms and the constant jump-cuts & meritricious visual razzle-dazzle of TV commercials and music videos. I have heard it said that history is written by the victors--- and that's probably true. Despite an apparent attention to historical accuracies including battle recreations from hundreds of professional Civil War reenactors, the film falls far short from achieving a feeling of historical authenticity. 'Gods and Generals' is a flawed piece that works better as an educational tool rather than as a feature film. Gods and Generals is the worst movie of 2003 and one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Metacritic Reviews. The third and final installment, The Last Full Measure, was in pre-production but lost financing and has been suspended indefinitely. The weird thing about the movie is that it drifted back-and-forth between sides allowing us to see the `realness' of the characters but halfway thru the Jeff Daniels' character started becoming God-fearing as well. These men were fighting for their homes and what they believed in. Everybody is so good and decent that it's hard to tell where the generals leave off and the gods start. However, this did not stop them from efficiently making war on their enemies. GODS AND GENERALS is a careful, meticulous, lovingly crafted three and a half hour chronicle of the Civil War. The problems this film has are myriad. The acting is top notch, most noteably Stephen Lang as Stonewall Jackson. Unfortunately, a re-enactment during a … Also other long films have been quite enjoyable. Metadata: Format(s): Text Articles Share this post: THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (BP)–The sweeping Civil War epic begins in early 1861 and continues through 1863, just prior to the Battle of Gettysburg. As a historian I was constantly baffled by how little military strategy is a part of the film. The religious overtones given by the characters of both sides conformed with the religious feelings of the times that is lacking today and as such it gives the critics something else to condemn. Wonderful classic 9/10 stars. The critics I've read seem to object to the piety, the length, and lack of political correctness. Gods & Generals wants desperately to be the ultimate Civil War epic, the film that defines the entire genre. Two criticisms of the movie have been made repeatedly: (1) it's "too long"; and (2) it doesn't accurately portray the horrors of war. This a decent movie and a wonderful tribute to a fine, fine man in General "Stonewall" Jackson, but I didn't rate it higher only because it's not a film I would watch many times. Ronald Maxwell, who wrote the screenplay, also directs in the same tune of exceptional inability. Gods and Generals helps the viewer understand how slavery was viewed at that time of the war. The acting, writing, cinematography are all of top quality. Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels) left behind a quiet life and a career as a college professor to become one of the Union's greatest military minds. Now he has taken his megalomania to new depths with "Gods and Generals"--- a thoroughly misleading and trite piece of revisionist crap. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes lists an 8% approval rating while Metacritic lists a score of 30, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Read some reviews to get the verdict from film fans! With Stephen Lang, Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, Donzaleigh Abernathy. For those who enjoyed the even-longer, but better "Gettysburg" this is must-viewing. Are we supposed to take their false moralizing at face value, or is this a satire? Yep. I suppose Gone With the Wind would be criticized the same if released today. Great film. Copyright © Fandango. 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