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Frenchie_2006
04-14-2006, 01:29 AM
No Retreat From Destiny * The Battle That Rescued Washington *

Too bad no one rescued this gobbler before it was released into the wild, because I see no hope for it to survive.

I got my copy today and popped it right in. I wanted to love it. I tried, and in the style of Martha Graham, really tried... and failed.

The good parts (yes, there are a few good parts) are drowned in a sea of mediocre-to-execrable screenwriting, casting, directing, acting and dialogue.

Aw, phooey. Never mind. This is just my one, lone opinion, but it's one I have no doubts about. This movie falls very short of its potential and my expectations of it. Oh, the humanity... :cry:

Julio C. Zangroniz
04-14-2006, 03:10 PM
Frenchie,
Can you provide this community with some specifics about the movie, please?
After all, it is more than likely that most of the people on this group reading your review have not seen this production.
What did you find that was good, what was bad, what in between?
Do you think "reenactor productions" like this one will ever reach a level of professionalism to become market successes?
Julio

Frenchie_2006
04-14-2006, 06:29 PM
Julio, how the heck are you, anyway? Good to hear from you. That's a fair question. Rather than type it all back in again, I'll copy my post from History-Forums.com at http://american-civil-war.org/forums/showthread.php?t=882

Review begins:

A great disappointment. In all seriousness, I believe I could have written a better screenplay and done a better job directing it, and this is with a very realistic idea of my many limitations.

I could go on and on about why I'm so disappointed in this movie. I'll just do highlights:

No narration giving the overall situation and events that led up to the battle, and it would help to have narration during the battle scenes.

A pard said the acting was "hokey", a term that fits it well, I think.

Much of the direction produced visual confusion and there was not enough "flow" to the story.

Poor camera work in some places.

Dull and repetitious in many places.

It's obvious that scenes of events in particular places but separated in time were filmed in close sequence - nothing wrong with that, that's the way it's done, but when you see U. S. Grant in three scenes that are days apart and he's holding the same cigar, wearing the same shirt, hasn't removed his hat, etc., well, it's too obvious.

Inappropriate actors and/or characteristics for some roles: Halleck is too young and informal; Mary Lincoln too calm; Abe Lincoln looks good (especially full-length), but his face is too animated; Stanton looks perfect but speaks with a smooth, high tenor, and he should be much more gruff; who picked that guy to be Lee (and since when would Lee not rise when another general enters the room)?; most of the Confederate leaders are pretty good except Jeff Davis, not cadaverous and formal enough; and so on.

Some of the battle scenes were pretty good, and a few were really great.

Good sound effects, but the dialogue could have been clearer.

Well, this is too long already. Thanks for putting up with it.

Review ends.

Yeah, it's too whiney. I was expecting much better, that's all.