Monday, March 18, 2013


***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Or we can emancipate some proclamations!

Lincoln – 5 out of 5

Lincoln has become one of the country’s most known Presidents of all time. His image is graced on the penny, some of that fancy paper money (I pay for everything is stolen Spanish treasure and sexual favors, not cash) and his ugly mug is forever carved into a mountain in a state that is only visited because of said mountain. Also he fought vampires and went on to have an excellent adventure with Wild Stallions.

Damn...these fashions need to come back.

This is what the Civil War looked like?  I pictured more
slapping and hadoukens.
 Steven Spielberg chose to ignore the awesomeness of his life (his time with Bill & Ted and his time hunting the undead—so much for accuracy, Spielberg!) and focus on something that had a minor impact on the history of our country. I don’t know if you heard of it or not but Lincoln helped to end slavery and bring the Civil War to a close. I’m sure Abe was modest about it too. He probably would have been like, “Yeah, I did it but whatevs, it’s cool. No biggie, just doing my thang.” I assume that’s how he talked.

Mr. Spielberg also overlooked the fact Lincoln clearly invented the "bed head" look.

Lincoln tells the story of our 17th president; Abe (Daniel Day-Lewis), as he tries to pass the 13th Amendment and completely eliminate slavery in the country and help to continue to inspire country music for the rest of our country’s existence and making sure that there will always be a smug, racist asshole who thinks he did something charitable and deserves credit for this move. The film follows the process of getting the votes needed to see this horrible reality of our past to an end, bring an conclusion to the war and get the country on the way to healing itself.

"Well, the country ain't going to heal itself.  Lincoln up in dis bitch." - he
said moments before simultaneously inventing and then dropping the mic.

The smoke says "mysterious" but the tie says "available
for kid's parties."
 Lincoln is truly, with every sense of the word, a majestic masterpiece of a historical film. The acting is incredible, Spielberg's work behind the camera makes the film look hauntingly beautiful and move smoothly and the sets and costumes look accurate (I say “look” because the only ones who truly know if they are accurate is Bill & Ted because they’ve been there) to the point you start to believe you are either watching a high budget History Channel re-enactment of the events (you know, when they are not showing shows about aliens and actual do some stuff about history like the complete accurate portrayal of Jesus being white) or you are actually there (of course that’s ridiculous because Bill & Ted have the phone booth time machine—okay, I promise that’s the last reference to Bill & Ted).

Look at those glasses (lay off, I'm fighting off a desire to make a Bill & Ted caption).

Other than the film’s attention to detail of making the movie look like the time period, the cast is one of the strongest aspects the film has going for it. Daniel Day-Lewis is captivating as Lincoln (even though we don’t get to see him slay some vampire ass) and Sally Field matched him step-for-step in the performance department as Abe’s better half; Mary Todd Lincoln. The rest of the film is filled with some of the best-of-the-best money can buy with the Hollywood elite as you have Tommy Lee Jones killing it as the Radical (and not radical in the TMNT sense) Republican (and not in the Radical Republican sense that is true today—read that as Fox News crazy) Thaddeus Stevens.  You also have David Strathairn as Secretary of State William Seward and Joseph “There’s No Part I Can’t Kill It In” Gordon-Levitt as Honest Abe’s son; Robert, really bringing their best to the movie.

Shown:  JGL preparing to murder yet another role.

"Can we bribe them with even more epic facial hair?"
 It’s hard to truly encompass the star power this movie is pouring into it because it seems like Spielberg either had a limitless budget for the film or just everyone of talent in Hollywood wanted a part of this project. Roles from large to small are filled with actors that have talent that can kill lesser men. James Spader, John Hawkes and Tim Blake Nelson steal the movie as W.N. Bilbo, Robert Latham and Richard Schell who are hired by William Seward to “bribe” some votes out of some Democrats.

"Yay!  We're going to the circus!"

"I'm sorry, I wasn't listening.  I was too busy being Southern
and hoping they invent Toby Keith one day."
 Even the smaller roles (small being relative here because the historical figures played a HUGE role in the real-life events) were cast by actors who presumably kicked the ass out of the Acting God (Emoticus is his name) and have been granted God-like prowess over the acting craft. Jackie Earle Haley plays the part of the Vice President of the Confederacy Alexander Stevens and Jared Harris comes in to play the historically epic General Ulysses S. Grant. These two men only have a paltry few minutes in this two-plus hour event that is called Lincoln but they play them phenomenally. However, this isn’t really a surprise because even the smallest role (most likely some background extras) are all playing their role to such a degree that the film quickly pulls you in and you feel that you are watching the actual events and not a movie about them.

Bruce McGill, shown here, was in another presidential picture...
with far less dignifying results.

Of course, like any historical drama, there are some inaccuracies thrown in. Hell, I even threw in my own inaccuracy within this review as an Easter Egg and you if you can find it you can leave a comment and win nothing except my admiration, respect and love because you are actually reading my review and paying somewhat close attention. As I’ve explained in other historical bio-pics and bio-dramas (but not Bio-Domes), historical inaccuracies are pretty much a given and liberties for the sake of drama are just something that comes with the territory (like Argo; great movie but most of it was just playing with history).  It could be worse, it could be a book by Bill O'Reilly about Honest Abe that is basically all fiction.  Liberties are just an expected part of any historical film done usually to increase tension and drama.  I mean it’s not like Steven Spielberg is doing something as audacious or as egotistical as giving out free copies of the DVD to schools in order to educate students—oh fuck, he is doing exactly that.

"Now let's not talk badly about Mr. Spielberg, Rev. Ron.  We would hate for you to
disappear and end up in a dump like all those Atari E.T. video games."

"Stop staring at me, can't you see I've been stabbed in both
shouders by American flags?"
 Lincoln is an incredible movie showing off an incredible time in our nation’s history. The acting is outstanding (Daniel Day-Lewis is pretty much what I would have imagined Abe Lincoln if I didn’t already know how he was thanks to Bill & Ted—okay, I lied about that last comment being my last reference to the time travelling duo) and the story is engaging and interesting. While the film is pretty much perfect it does have a single drawback: The replay value. The movie is fantastic but with its heavy dramatic story and dialogue-driven performance (and running time) it’s probably going to be some time (if ever) before I watch the film again.

There he to help Bill & Ted pass history...
(I have a problem...I'm addicted to Bill & Ted references)

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