#1  
Old 11-07-2012, 02:24 AM
Lincoln





LINCOLN

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Written by Tony Kushner (Based on Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin)

Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, James Spader, Jared Harris, Hal Holbrook, John Hawkes, Jackie Earle Haley, Bruce McGill, Tim Blake Nelson, Lee Pace

Rated PG-13 for an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage and brief strong language

Running Time of 150 Minutes



As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

The film opens in select theatres on November 9th and wide on November 16th

The reviews are exceedingly positive and I can't wait to see it. I expect it to be quite good and a strong awards player this season.
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  #2  
Old 11-07-2012, 04:21 AM
It's Steven Spielberg so naturally I'm there. I'll watch anything by this man. No other filmmaker has made more of my all time favorites than this man and he continues to be awesome, having made 2 of last year's best movies!
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  #3  
Old 11-07-2012, 08:21 AM
Haven't really been impressed by the trailers, but early word is pretty positive and it sounds like it's Spielberg's best in a while. Apparently it's also quite comedic, which intrigues me.
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  #4  
Old 11-07-2012, 10:31 AM

I'm so there.....
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  #5  
Old 11-08-2012, 09:49 AM
Yup, the great buzz so far has me pretty excited for this. The cast is a goldmine of awesome as well.
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  #6  
Old 11-08-2012, 10:11 PM
My review:

Lincoln is not the film I was expecting. The biopic so often exists as a broad tableau of an individual’s entire life that attempts to shove as much as possible into a single film. That’s the safe and expected route. Although I remain an unabashed fan of Steven Spielberg, he has been known to occasionally take the safe route. There is a direction this film could have gone in that although likely would have been fine, it would not have compared to the brilliance that is Lincoln. Based “in part” on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner decide that instead of a typical tableau the film shall focus on a very specific and short period in Lincoln’s life. This allows Lincoln to achieve a level of intimacy and nuance rarely afforded in biographical filmmaking, and also renders the film far more lively, rich, and witty then one could possible imagine.

Although it perhaps extends itself a bit too far in its denouement, Lincoln focuses almost entirely on January 1865, shortly after the president won re-election. This was a volatile time in our country which existed as a war torn and divided nation. The Civil War was reaching its inevitable end, and Lincoln’s focus shifted to the passing of the 13th amendment to the constitution, which would abolish slavery. Guised under this framework, much of Lincoln is devoted to illustrating the behind the scenes dealings of our country’s political process, and in particular what it takes for the House to pass an amendment. What’s striking about the way Lincoln unfolds is how similar and relevant it still seems today. Politics can be shady business, and Lincoln does not shy away from showing the backwards dealings and scheming. Thusly, Kushner structures the film as a series of conversations in various rooms. A playwright at heart, this could have been portentous business. Instead, the film almost plays out like a heist. Lincoln and his team are the underdogs that must secure the necessary additional votes from the Democratic party that will allow the 13th to pass. The dialogue is rich and highly literate, filled with language and wordplay that extends beyond the norm and becomes its own sort of poetry. It is exceedingly dense and witty, and as delivered by the overwhelmingly large and accomplished cast it achieves a texture and rhythm that is almost unnaturally compelling. The outcome of Lincoln’s quest for the 13th is well known, yet the tension still builds considerably and with great fun. Yes, this historical film about the life of a President is great fun.

As the political dealings unfold, Kushner and Spielberg are able to explore Mr. Lincoln with great depth and nuance. Lincoln was a storyteller, a man of great warmth and power, and quite stubborn too. The decisions Lincoln had to make in order to achieve the 13th are morally ambiguous, and refreshingly the film paints Lincoln as a flawed man. In his relationship with his wife and the varying ways in which he treats his sons we see Lincoln as a family man but one that struggles with balance. None of this would be possible without the considerable talents of Daniel Day-Lewis. To say that Day-Lewis is a phenomenal actor is an understatement. He inhabits each of his carefully chosen roles with the utmost dedication to the point that he transforms himself entirely. Day-Lewis not only bares a striking physical resemblance to Abraham Lincoln, but within five minutes we forget that we are watching an actor. This is Abraham Lincoln, plainly and simply. From his historically accurate high and composed voice with a mild Kentucky tinge, to his posture, gait, and gestures we see not an actor or a character, but a miraculous portrayal of one of the most important and revered human beings in our history. Day-Lewis’ Lincoln has great strength and power yet he is also warm and fatherly, glancing directly into the eyes of the audience and making an indelible connection.

It would be easy for Day-Lewis to outshine any actor that works opposite him, yet Sally Field more than holds her own as Mary Todd Lincoln and excels as a no-nonsense woman that supports her husband yet also struggles with the recent loss of her son. Field brings a perfect balance of power and vulnerability. Even better is Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, who reveals himself to be the film’s beating heart. Jones is as passionate and compelling as he has ever been, both heartbreaking and curmudgeonly. As W.N. Bilbo, an operative hired to convince various Democrats to vote for the 13th, James Spader is hilarious and filled with life. It would be easy to single out any other number of terrific actors in this film, but it suffices to say that this is a committed and passionate ensemble that has come together to portray this important story of our nation’s history with conviction.

Spielberg resists all of his showier urges and instead deals in intimacy and restraint. This is as pulled back as I can recall Spielberg, and he allows the acting and the text to tell the story. This is a masterful feat because the film still has a rich tone and flawless flow. Spielberg’s touch is clear yet never oversteps. Collaborating with his usual technical team – composer John Williams, editor Michael Kahn, cinematographer Janusz Kaminski – the film is expectedly handsome. Instead of using a wealth of CG or grand establishing shots, Spielberg utilizes simple details and small moments to convey an accurate sense of time. This film feels wholly authentic, both in its time period and in its presentation of this great man and his quest to achieve his singular goal. What could have been claustrophobic is instead intimate and moving, as we see not only a portrait of a man but a display of the complexity, absurdity, and inspiring potential of our American political system. In the interest of the greater good, and perhaps with a little finagling, differences can be put aside in order to cooperate and make things happen. Thusly this film carries great relevance and importance in light of our staunchly divided political climate. We can look to it for inspiration, for food for thought, for affirmation that our political system can accomplish great things. Ah, the power of truly excellent filmmaking.

Last edited by SpikeDurden; 11-09-2012 at 02:32 AM..
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  #7  
Old 11-08-2012, 10:53 PM
probably see it..probably see it on turkey day
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  #8  
Old 11-09-2012, 01:52 AM
Just saw it. Day Lewis, Spader and Tommy Lee Jones are fantastic, others are annoying and distracting (Levitt in particular) and I was bored most of the time.

6/10
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  #9  
Old 11-09-2012, 04:34 PM
I'm really going into this with low expectations. I think DDL will obviously be amazing, and Tommy Lee Jones will be solid but the movie as a whole I'm scared will be a bore. I hope I'm wrong.
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  #10  
Old 11-10-2012, 09:10 PM
This looks good, I'll prolly check it out in theatres at some point. DDL is a fantastic actor indeed!
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  #11  
Old 11-21-2012, 03:16 PM
Following a film from conception to screen can be a taxing process. Besides the usual minefields of casting and director choices, there's the often intermidible wait to see the finished product. In the case of Lincoln, I have been waiting five years to see what Spielberg would bring to the screen. Now the question is: was it worth the wait?

Without a doubt, the answer is "absolutely!" Nearly every performance is pitch-perfect. Daniel Day-Lewis continues to amaze with his dead-on portrayal of Abe. Tommy Lee Jones gives what I think is his best performance in years as die-hard abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens. Nearly everywhere you turn in the movie is a supporting player who brings their A-game, ranging from David Straithairn as Lincoln's adviser William Seward to James Spader as a (literally) filthy lobbyist. Credit must also go to Tony Kushner for writing a screenplay with some of the wittiest lines I've heard all year and to the Beard himself for showing us that, yes, he still has it. I should note that the only issues I had were that JGL was under-utilized and that Sally Field went a little overboard in portraying Mary Tod's instability. Other than that, the film is nearly flawless.

9.5/10
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  #12  
Old 11-24-2012, 12:25 AM
To me, this film has a Shakespearian feel in its delivery and presentation. There is lots of flowery language and itís rhetorically ornate. Thereís a fine line between being elaborate when being true to Lincolnís legend or being excessive by using his speech rhetoric and style to craft his every sentence in a long film. This movie is marked by intricate detail but it never feels excessive. So, it juggles everything perfectly in my opinion. The behind the scenes look at a complex issue and a complex man really works if youíre in the mood for a film where you need to focus and pay attention all the way through. As everyone has noted, the performances from what is an all-star cast are all wonderful and compelling. A special shout out to James Spader who just shines in a small part.

9/10

For those that saw it...
Spoiler:
Anyone else feel that they should have ended the film right after his superb last line "I'd really like to stay but it's time to go" and then that exceptional shot of his silhouette as he walked away down the stairs??? They should have faded to the credits RIGHT THERE! That shot is almost as good as the last shot of John Wayne's character that ended The Searchers. Why the need to see anything else? We all know what happens next. We didn't need to see his kid freak out or him on his death bed. Even that last speech did nothing that could match the impact of the silhouette shot.
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  #13  
Old 11-24-2012, 05:02 PM
Enjoyed it, but about 30 minutes should have been cut and holy hell was that ending mishandled. Should have ended with him walking down the hallway. The misleading scene that followed was pathetic.
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  #14  
Old 11-24-2012, 05:36 PM
Hey Bourne, I was really unimpressed by the trailer (like you) so now that you've watched I'm wondering what you think: Is it worth it to shell out the time and money (not insignificant for me these days) to see it? Or did the trailers not do it justice? Your post seemed sort of iffy, like it could go either way.
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  #15  
Old 11-24-2012, 06:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
Hey Bourne, I was really unimpressed by the trailer (like you) so now that you've watched I'm wondering what you think: Is it worth it to shell out the time and money (not insignificant for me these days) to see it? Or did the trailers not do it justice? Your post seemed sort of iffy, like it could go either way.
It was definitely better than the trailers suggest. I dug the political scheming, Tommy Lee Jones stealing scenes, and some great minor supporting performances from guys like Michael Stuhlbarg and Adam Driver (Gale from Breaking Bad even makes an appearance). It's also impeccably crafted and lit and, save for a few scenes, is pretty restrained overall (the John Williams cues are actually kept to a minimum). One of the big issues I have with it is the familial drama. I am a fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and he's fine here, but that aspect of the story just feels so out of place. I also found that it got a bit repetitive in that it seemed like every few scenes Lincoln would tell a story in an attempt to make a profound analogy. I guess this was a trait of his and they do poke fun at it, but I thought it became a bit much after a while. The really good stuff is with Tommy Lee Jones, who steals the movie. DDL is great, but how he is the frontrunner over Joaquin for the Oscar can only be explained by Joaquin's chilliness in interviews and the fact that The Master was relatively polarizing. DDL keeps it restrained, which I appreciated, but I think he has done much better work.

And then the ending, man was I pissed. It had an absolutely perfect note to end on that would have made up for some of the flaws, but the fact that it continued beyond that point (in a way that I found kind of insulting) just made the rest of the film's flaws that much more evident. I would recommend giving it a watch, but your money may be better spent on some of the other upcoming offerings.

Last edited by Bourne101; 11-24-2012 at 06:47 PM..
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  #16  
Old 11-25-2012, 09:13 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by corran horn View Post
Following a film from conception to screen can be a taxing process. Besides the usual minefields of casting and director choices, there's the often intermidible wait to see the finished product. In the case of Lincoln, I have been waiting five years to see what Spielberg would bring to the screen. Now the question is: was it worth the wait?

Without a doubt, the answer is "absolutely!" Nearly every performance is pitch-perfect. Daniel Day-Lewis continues to amaze with his dead-on portrayal of Abe. Tommy Lee Jones gives what I think is his best performance in years as die-hard abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens. Nearly everywhere you turn in the movie is a supporting player who brings their A-game, ranging from David Straithairn as Lincoln's adviser William Seward to James Spader as a (literally) filthy lobbyist. Credit must also go to Tony Kushner for writing a screenplay with some of the wittiest lines I've heard all year and to the Beard himself for showing us that, yes, he still has it. I should note that the only issues I had were that JGL was under-utilized and that Sally Field went a little overboard in portraying Mary Tod's instability. Other than that, the film is nearly flawless.

9.5/10
This

As for the ending I think that Spielberg did a fine job.Everyone knows that Lincoln was assassinated and to have a film about Lincoln during this point of his life and not have that included would have been a disaster.I could see people's gripe if the film was about Lincoln's first term but it's not.In fact I think the assassination was handled pretty well.
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  #17  
Old 11-25-2012, 11:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beard_of_Meat View Post
This

As for the ending I think that Spielberg did a fine job.Everyone knows that Lincoln was assassinated and to have a film about Lincoln during this point of his life and not have that included would have been a disaster.I could see people's gripe if the film was about Lincoln's first term but it's not.In fact I think the assassination was handled pretty well.
It was handled terribly. You're right in that it shouldn't have been shown, but it should have ended with him walking down the hallway. The misleading scene that followed was pathetic.
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  #18  
Old 11-25-2012, 01:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bourne101 View Post
It was handled terribly. You're right in that it shouldn't have been shown, but it should have ended with him walking down the hallway. The misleading scene that followed was pathetic.
So, it wasn't just me that felt this way. I so agree. It's a shame that all they had to do was fade to the credits at the hallway scene and it would've been a 100% better ending. What followed is indeed pathetic and unworthy of what had come before it.
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  #19  
Old 11-25-2012, 09:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeChar4321 View Post
To me, this film has a Shakespearian feel in its delivery and presentation. There is lots of flowery language and itís rhetorically ornate. Thereís a fine line between being elaborate when being true to Lincolnís legend or being excessive by using his speech rhetoric and style to craft his every sentence in a long film. This movie is marked by intricate detail but it never feels excessive. So, it juggles everything perfectly in my opinion. The behind the scenes look at a complex issue and a complex man really works if youíre in the mood for a film where you need to focus and pay attention all the way through. As everyone has noted, the performances from what is an all-star cast are all wonderful and compelling. A special shout out to James Spader who just shines in a small part.

9/10

For those that saw it...
Spoiler:
Anyone else feel that they should have ended the film right after his superb last line "I'd really like to stay but it's time to go" and then that exceptional shot of his silhouette as he walked away down the stairs??? They should have faded to the credits RIGHT THERE! That shot is almost as good as the last shot of John Wayne's character that ended The Searchers. Why the need to see anything else? We all know what happens next. We didn't need to see his kid freak out or him on his death bed. Even that last speech did nothing that could match the impact of the silhouette shot.
I agree with your "spoiler" statement. I was thinking the same when I watched it. Other than that, fantastic film. I will have to see it at least one more time to catch the nuances.
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  #20  
Old 11-25-2012, 09:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bourne101 View Post
DDL is great, but how he is the frontrunner over Joaquin for the Oscar can only be explained by Joaquin's chilliness in interviews and the fact that The Master was relatively polarizing. DDL keeps it restrained, which I appreciated, but I think he has done much better work.

And then the ending, man was I pissed. It had an absolutely perfect note to end on that would have made up for some of the flaws, but the fact that it continued beyond that point (in a way that I found kind of insulting) just made the rest of the film's flaws that much more evident. I would recommend giving it a watch, but your money may be better spent on some of the other upcoming offerings.
Fair point about the ending. It should have ended with
Spoiler:
Abe walking down the hallway
, but I was honestly not bothered by what followed. As for DDL vs Phoenix, I honestly prefer DDL's performance. Phoenix was strong, but the movie he was in was just not as great as advertised, in my judgment.

Gordon: I would strongly urge you to see it. I definitely found it to be worthwhile, and having seen it, I can say that the trailer was way more melodramatic than the film actually was.
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  #21  
Old 11-25-2012, 09:46 PM
Movie left me reflecting on the ongoing issue of race in the US~ how far we have come, and how things stand now. But that is probably a topic for another time and place.
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  #22  
Old 11-27-2012, 10:04 PM
Interesting story:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmb...niel-day-lewis
Quote:
How did Leonardo DiCaprio sell Lincoln to Daniel Day-Lewis?

A couple of incisive interviews with Steven Spielberg have done the rounds lately; one in EW.com, in which the director talks about addressing everyone by their character name on the set of Lincoln; another in USA Today, in which he reveals that Daniel Day-Lewis initially turned down his offer to play the 16th US president back in 2003. Then an unlikely go-between saved the day:

"Leo DiCaprio was at my house for dinner one night," Spielberg says. "It was just myself, my wife (Kate Capshaw) and Leo. And he says, 'Hey, what's going on with your Lincoln project?' I told him the sad story. I had one shot at Daniel and he had declined. And that was that. Leo just listened. And then the next morning he called me at my office. He said, 'Here's Daniel's cellphone number, he's expecting your call.'

"Leo has never told me to this day what he said to Daniel," says Spielberg, flashing a satisfied smile. "But that began this wonderful journey."

That DiCaprio can be quite so persuasive is an eye-opener. We know they worked together on Gangs of New York, but who knew the younger actor had such sway? Anyhow, what were those magic words, which might just have earned Day-Lewis his latest Oscar?
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  #23  
Old 11-28-2012, 12:40 AM
Okay, Dicaprio or Day Lewis better come out and say what exactly Leo told Day-Lewis that convinced him to do the movie. After reading that, I GOTTA know!
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  #24  
Old 11-28-2012, 01:46 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beard_of_Meat View Post
This

As for the ending I think that Spielberg did a fine job.Everyone knows that Lincoln was assassinated and to have a film about Lincoln during this point of his life and not have that included would have been a disaster.I could see people's gripe if the film was about Lincoln's first term but it's not.In fact I think the assassination was handled pretty well.
You've hit on the exact reason why they shouldn't have included the assassination. Everyone knows it happens. The moments leading up to him leaving for the theater was the absolute perfect set up for the end. His silhouetted signature walk, as it's been said, should have been the ending. That's not really new when it comes to Spielberg, it's like expecting Williams to introduce something new to his snoozing horns. So I didn't let it bother me so much. The dissolve from the lantern to Lincoln's figure was nicely done in the end, and at least it was only about 10 minutes or so that was useless (from my experience, he's gone half an hour at times without ending it when he should have).
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  #25  
Old 11-29-2012, 12:25 AM
This felt less like a movie and more like a string of scenes where instead of actually talking, people instead gave endless speeches of infinite gravitas regarding just how important everything everyone was doing. Tommy Lee Jones had some great insults, but he, like almost everyone else, felt one dimensional. The only person I really liked was James Spader.

Movie was too long and should have ended where everyone else said it should have ended.

All in all, pretty much what I expected.

6/10



Also: there wasn't even one single vampire killed in this movie.
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  #26  
Old 12-01-2012, 06:48 PM
Anyone else feel like there should be a modern film done on John Wilkes Booth that begins as he and his cronies are planning the kidnapping/killing Lincoln and then as Booth kills Lincoln he flees away and the film takes off in the recreation of those events.

I think that would be pretty cool to watch.
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  #27  
Old 12-01-2012, 06:59 PM
Still haven't had time to get out and see this one. =(
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  #28  
Old 12-01-2012, 07:38 PM
Review of Lincoln: DDL is obviously in a class above all, I felt like the film was a bit preachy, too many speeches. Spader was my favorite part of the film he was just fun to watch. Seeing him and Hawkes run around trying to sway voters was great. Overall it was enjoyable, you know you were watching a good film but it wasn't wildly entertaining - http://wp.me/p2CCWq-2pi
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  #29  
Old 12-10-2012, 02:28 PM
After seeing this, I'm hardpressed to believe that Daniel Day-Lewis is the greatest actor of all time. This coupled with everything else he's done is proof enough for me that he is in a class of his own. The movie is well paced, has great performances all-around (including several scenes stolen by Tommy Lee Jones), and Spielberg delivers another great historical drama.

8/10
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  #30  
Old 12-23-2012, 09:56 PM
This is one of the most boring, pretentious pieces of shit I've ever had the mispleasure of trying to sit through. I say "trying" because I was falling asleep throughout the fucking thing! Absolutely terrible!
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  #31  
Old 12-27-2012, 12:26 AM
Well, I can see why audiences are so split on this.

As an accurate historical piece, it is nearly perfect. Everything from the sets, the costumes, the manner in which people spoke, every last detail was meticulously perfect. Daniel Day Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, David Strathairn, and the rest of the cast were exceptional. Everything about this movie screams "excellent film making".

So why do I feel disappointed?

Was it boring? I can see where some would feel that way. It certainly wasn't an action movie. But I have sat through many "talky dramas" that were enthralling. I personally never felt bored here. I would say I felt detached. Was it pretentious? I never got that feeling from the movie. I don't think Spielberg was screaming "look at me, how great and impressive I am" with this movie. Besides, why the fuck would Spielberg need to be pretentious? He has more money than god and is arguably the greatest film maker ever. He could make 15 flops in row and still get the green light on anything he wants. If anyone is in full on "I don't give a fuck what people think" mode, it's him. So no, it's not pretentious.

Where I feel this film failed is in the fact it didn't enlighten me on anything I didn't already know about the subject matter. This literally felt like the lesson from my high school history class. Perhaps there is no new ground here, perhaps every angle and every story about the subject has been told. It is Abraham Lincoln after all. I guess nothing more can be said. If that truly is the case, if there is nothing more than what we read in our history books, it begs the question, why make the movie?

All I know was in the end, I felt underwhelmed.
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  #32  
Old 12-27-2012, 02:45 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuncanIdaho View Post
Still haven't had time to get out and see this one. =(
What about now?
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  #33  
Old 12-29-2012, 08:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustysyringe View Post
Well, I can see why audiences are so split on this.

As an accurate historical piece, it is nearly perfect. Everything from the sets, the costumes, the manner in which people spoke, every last detail was meticulously perfect. Daniel Day Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, David Strathairn, and the rest of the cast were exceptional. Everything about this movie screams "excellent film making".

So why do I feel disappointed?

Was it boring? I can see where some would feel that way. It certainly wasn't an action movie. But I have sat through many "talky dramas" that were enthralling. I personally never felt bored here. I would say I felt detached. Was it pretentious? I never got that feeling from the movie. I don't think Spielberg was screaming "look at me, how great and impressive I am" with this movie. Besides, why the fuck would Spielberg need to be pretentious? He has more money than god and is arguably the greatest film maker ever. He could make 15 flops in row and still get the green light on anything he wants. If anyone is in full on "I don't give a fuck what people think" mode, it's him. So no, it's not pretentious.

Where I feel this film failed is in the fact it didn't enlighten me on anything I didn't already know about the subject matter. This literally felt like the lesson from my high school history class. Perhaps there is no new ground here, perhaps every angle and every story about the subject has been told. It is Abraham Lincoln after all. I guess nothing more can be said. If that truly is the case, if there is nothing more than what we read in our history books, it begs the question, why make the movie?

All I know was in the end, I felt underwhelmed.

I think it tried to feel much more "important" throughout then it should have. Not saying it wasn't an important time in American history, however it just seemed unnecessary (we totally agree on that).

I guess I say pretentious because it even fucking exists in the first place, I suppose. I think it's trying to be more revelatory than anything. Like we DIDN'T know anything about this president or period in time, but here's Spielberg to SHOW US how it all happened!

Blah.
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  #34  
Old 01-04-2013, 12:14 PM
The Social Studies classes that weíve have taken throughout our teenage lives have always brought the big moments in history in a concise and annotated manner. Who was the 16th President Abraham Lincoln? For some people, the answer was that he was the president who freed the slaves with the passing of thirteenth amendment during the height of the American Civil War. Thatís pretty much the basis of what some students can gather from in their Social Studies lesson in the past, but director Steven Spielberg wants to live through the details in his latest look at the 16th president, Lincoln. But, rather than do a typical biography of the manís life throughout the years, Spielberg focuses on the man when the fate of the United States was on his world shoulders, trying to end the Civil War while also putting an end to slavery.

There are some keen identifiers to what a Spielberg can bring to his cinematic audience, such as overtly saccharine moments that feel a bit eye rolling in regards to some of his previous films. But there is a ton of restraint in his look at Lincoln years during the Civil War. Heís more apt to give the hardships and difficulties that president Lincoln had to face when dealing with the 13th amendment. While Lincoln has the mythic appearance of being this tall, foreboding president that never stood down to his beliefs, Spielberg opts for a more human aspect to what made the president work. Heís more personable to his cabinet members and the people around him, always willing to tell a story to reinforce the point that heís trying to tell the audience surrounding him. Apart from one or to brief scenes that show Lincoln when heís making his speech to the public, the film feels more apt to making the film about ďLincoln: The PersonĒ, while every now and then show ďLincoln: The PresidentĒ.

This is, in part, due to Daniel Day Lewisís magnificent performance as Lincoln. Never once do you see Lewis playing Abraham Lincoln, just the character on screen. He brings such a nuanced, warm, and overwhelmed performance as the president with, literally and figuratively, the world on his shoulders. He brings the character of Lincoln as mostly a man who hold back the difficulties and struggles that heís currently faces, and instead tries to bring warmth and comfort to the people that begin to doubt him. But, itís when Lewis brings forth Lincolnís stand as a domineering and angry force that you know that, while Lincoln comes across as humble for the majority of the film, he still has moments of weakness that wears away his stoic, warm hearted faÁade.

But, while Lewis is rightfully excellent, the rest of the ensemble in Lincoln is more than up to the task to work right along side Lewis. The highlight being Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, a radical whose mind set is always toward the complete abolishment of slavery. Jonesís Stevens could be considered the beating moral heart in Lincoln, as he portrays a man who will not relinquish or taint his personal views on slavery, not matter if what he says makes him a mockery to the House of Representatives. Jones lives for these crotchety roles that he seems so excellent at portraying, and this is one that he simply knocks out of the park.

The rest of the cast ensemble, from Sally Field as Lincolnís wife Mary Todd to a hilarious James Spader as political operative W.N. Bilbo, are pretty much uniformly excellent with what they are given from Spielberg. Well-known actors are given minor roles that they completely chew into, even if certain moments donít pack the emotional punch that Spielberg anticipated. There are some well-directed scenes in this film, with Spielberg never trying to make the film as epic as a film of this caliber should appear to be, always allowing the characters add to the weight of the nicely done set pieces of the film.

But, there comes a point, especially near the end of the film, where the ball kind of gets dropped in regards to the conclusion of the film. One moment has the perfect ending, but there seems to be this need to continue going with the film that pretty much lacks the emotional punch that Spielberg thinks would work. If anything, the film comes across as rushed with these scenes in the end, never feeling as cohesive as most of the film appeared to be.

But, other than that slight misstep, Lincoln is still an amazing character piece on a president that helped changed the political landscape regarding the moral need, however the consequences, of having all men created equal in the eyes of the government. This is certainly a movie that middle and high school teachers should happily play in front of their students in order to gave a more layered account that a more annotated social studies textbook would probably leave out.

8/10
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  #35  
Old 01-10-2013, 01:21 AM
Finally saw this today

I really enjoyed the movie, but I really hope it doesn't win Best Picture over Argo same with Best Director (The final 20 minutes of Argo alone should earn Affleck the award)

As for Daniel Day Lewis, there is no denying the man is a genius, but I still think that Denzel Washington gave the performance of the year in Flight. Much like Day Lewis' performance in There Will Be Blood, Denzel's performance in FLight stuck with me for days/ weeks/ months after I saw it, and when that happens, it is special.

FOr Supporting actor, I will say Tommy Lee Jones is giving Alan Arkin a run for his money, those are 2 great performances and I will be okay with either winning the awards (I am still not sure who I will cast mine for!)

As a movie, it hits... to make a 2 and a half hour movie about the passing of a single constitutional amendment as entertaining as it was is an incredible feat.
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  #36  
Old 01-13-2013, 08:51 PM
4.5/5

splendid movie. I agree the ending was not handle well.
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  #37  
Old 01-15-2013, 02:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Badbird View Post
This felt less like a movie and more like a string of scenes where instead of actually talking, people instead gave endless speeches of infinite gravitas regarding just how important everything everyone was doing. Tommy Lee Jones had some great insults, but he, like almost everyone else, felt one dimensional. The only person I really liked was James Spader.

Movie was too long and should have ended where everyone else said it should have ended.

All in all, pretty much what I expected.

6/10
This word for word is pretty much my opinion as well. DDL is excellent as always, but rest of the film is meh. And it should have ended where it's been mentioned. But Spielberg is never happy until there are 3 or 4 additional and unnecessary endings (see AI)
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  #38  
Old 01-18-2013, 07:55 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by abishop View Post
This word for word is pretty much my opinion as well. DDL is excellent as always, but rest of the film is meh. And it should have ended where it's been mentioned. But Spielberg is never happy until there are 3 or 4 additional and unnecessary endings (see AI)
Yep. Too talky and preachy. Let's face it -- Spielberg is just not capable of making a multi-dimensional drama the way, say, Stanley Kubrick was and Paul Thomas Anderson is. He all too often falls back on sentimentality.

(P.S. At least the ending of "A.I." had an air of perversity to it; i.e. it ends with David going to bed with his mother... and Teddy getting up on the bed to watch. )
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  #39  
Old 01-18-2013, 08:48 AM
A.I.'s ending makes sense because of the ambiguity of it. Is it David's dream? Is it reality? Etc.

Much better than this.
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  #40  
Old 01-18-2013, 04:26 PM
Yeah, A.I.'s ending is great.

It just baffles me how Spielberg ended it the way he did. He literally had a perfect, profound ending right in front of him. But no, he has to go milking it a bit more. He's got to give us a pathetic bait and switch, a death bed scene, and another speech.

As I said in another thread, Spielberg has fucked endings up before, but I don't think he's ever had as perfect a moment to end a film as he did in Lincoln. I love the guy and love many of his films, but the flaws he has as a filmmaker are severely amplified in those last 5-10 minutes.

The family stuff is bad, but I can live with it because it serves a purpose. It shows everything that he was dealing with on top of the passing of the 13th Amendment. The ending, however, is inexcusable.
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