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Movie Review – Lincoln

This isn’t normally what I go to the movies for, which if you’ve read my previous reviews, you could probably guess.  It’s not exactly comparable to The Avengers or Ponyo.  Still, Lincoln is a damn fine movie.  The main thrust of the movie examines Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) as he pushes to get the 13th amendment through the House of Representatives early in 1865.  Mixed with this is marriage strife, caused in part by Robert Todd Lincoln’s (Robin, er, Joseph Gordon-Levitt) desire to join the Union army.  Sally Field was excellent as Mary Todd Lincoln, as well.

The scene-stealer for me, was Tommy Lee Jones as Radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens.  He had the best lines, thanks in part to the fact that the debates in the House were as much rap battles with put-downs and sly remarks as they were stately debates.  You can add James Spader and Tim Blake Nelson to that list of scene-stealing too, as lobbyists employed to try and win over lame-duck Democrats to the Republican side on the amendment.

The Oscar buzz for this film is well-deserved.  I could listen to this version of Lincoln tell his stories for hours.  Definitely well worth seeing if you are in the mood for some more thoughtful fare before the big summer movie season.

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Featured Media Movies Review

The Dark Knight Rises

Spoilers, in case you still haven’t seen it yet.

I’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises twice now, and my head is still swirling.  After the first time, I agreed with the prevailing sentiment that it was a good finish to the trilogy, but The Dark Knight was better on its own, and left it at that.  But it kept popping up in my mind, making me think over the parts that worked and didn’t work, and I finally decided to see it again yesterday on the spur of the moment.  I might’ve enjoyed it more, then, especially since I was seeing it fresh vicariously through the people sitting behind me.  They’d obviously only seen the previous 2 movies and didn’t know much about Batman outside of that, as every new twist brought forth a gasp or an “oh SHIT” reaction.  I’d grin to myself as I knew one was coming (spoilers:  Bane breaking Batman’s back, Ra’s al Ghul’s “appearance”,  Talia knifing Batman, Bruce Wayne appearing at the end).  I also teared up a bit more, and the replaying of the scene of young Jim Gordon wrapping his coat around little Bruce Wayne slayed me.  The first time, only Alfred at the graves got me that hard.

I really enjoyed the way fear has been used as a theme through the trilogy.  Bruce learns to conquer fear itself and use it against his enemies, but finds that without the fear of dying, you lose the strength that comes from adrenaline, that gives even us normal, non-League of Shadows trained folks the ability to perform amazing feats when our lives depend on it.  It’s an interesting twist, to me, the idea that a crimefighter who is usually outnumbered and outgunned would actually NEED fear.

Unlike some, I loved many of the fan shout-outs (some mentioned above) and would swoon if they could somehow convince DC/WB/whoever to make a Batman Beyond-ish movie with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a new Batman, and Bruce Wayne in a mentor role.  But that’ll never happen, no matter how well they set it up.  Does anyone know if JGL can do a raspy voice?

Hey, Catwoman.  I’m surprised I got this far without mentioning her.  I thought Anne Hathaway did a fine job, and the counterpoint of someone trying to escape the coming danger versus someone who runs headlong into it (after she pushes his buttons with the heist) was quite interesting.

Let’s discuss this, guys.  I feel like I have a lot of thoughts just below the surface, waiting to come out.