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"John Adams"
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Very good but there is something about the look

7/10
Author: dmaboyer from Central PA
10 January 2009

I find it an excellent series as far as the story goes. I enjoy the glimpses in to history that this series gives. My favorite part is watching and listening to David Morse as George Washington. I think he is incredible. I wish that they would do a series on Washington with David Morse in the lead. I cannot add much to what the other people have said about the series but I want to add two observations.

First, I think that, in many places, they give a little more credit to Adams than he deserves. I know that he is regarded as the leader in the push for independence but I think this series even exaggerates that beyond the actual fact. Also, I am concerned about his leadership when he was president. I think that they make it much more powerful and important than it really was considering how history has looked at his presidency.

My second and hardest thing to get over in this series is the 'look'. I am reading a book called Max Quick: The Two Travelers. In this a couple of boys are transported in time back to 1912. One of the boys comments that the look of people in 1912 is different. He comments that if a few people from 1912 were transported to our time and mixed in with people from our time he could tell which ones were from 1912. This is the problem I have had with the John Adams Series from the beginning. There is something about the look of the people that just does not ring true. I cannot put my finger on it. I am not sure if it is the makeup or the dress or the language or the mannerisms but something is just not right. I think Paul Giamatti is the hardest to get get used to. I am not putting down his acting or his performance, it is just that there is something about his look that just does not sit right with me. The same seems to apply to most of the characters. They just do not seem like they live in the 18th century. As I mentioned above the only one that seems to pull it off is David Morse.

This is the only reason I am giving it 7 stars instead of something much higher. Otherwise it is a very good series. I recommend it to any fan early American history.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Humble look at a glorified part of US history

7/10
Author: paour from France
23 January 2012

The producers' self-evident intent with this series was to offer a nuanced look at a period of US history which has been so glorified as to occult anything controversial.

Here, the tug of war between Adams and Jefferson and their respective factions is well illustrated, complete with petty recriminations and back-stabbing (how quaint it now seems that the vice-president could have been the general election runner-up!).

Despite my appreciation for this more accurate rendition of history, I was frequently frustrated that the focus on the personal history of John Adams steered the series away of many of the important milestones of the revolutionary period; the Boston tea party is shown only as the tarring and feathering of the commissioner, none of the war of independence battles are more than alluded to, and the war of 1812 is not even mentioned.

The costumes are amazing and even more so the physical aging of the characters.

A few episodes resort to ridiculously crooked camera angles with annoying frequency, but for the most part the camera work is sedate and pleasing.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Read the Book

10/10
Author: pl73 from Arlington, Virginia
7 November 2008

Interesting adaptation of McCullough's excellent book. You need to read the book to fill in the gaps the miniseries does not have time to cover. For instance Adams did not spend his entire time in Washington City sitting in a dark corner of the newly built White House. He visited George Washington at Mount Vernon, and attended Congress at the new Capitol building.

Gripping dramatic interpretation, great computer effects, lavish wardrobe.

Excellent location shooting.

Read the book.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Excellent slice of American history with remarkable performances

10/10
Author: Indyrod from United States
20 October 2008

This many awards winning 7-part HBO series is one of the best ever mini-series concerning American history specifically the American Revolution era. I started watching this monumental achievement Saturday early evening, and except for the very last episode, pretty much finished it up including the documentaries. The last episode is about Adams life after his term as the second President of the United States. This takes the viewer all the way through the Continental Congress, the Declaration of Independence, the war with Britain, the formation of the American government, and the huge role of John Adams in all of that, and an amazing performance by Paul Giamatti as Adams. Also, Laura Linney as Abigail Adams is brilliant. One of the most stunning character performances is David Morse as George Washington. It knocked me out of my chair when I saw him on screen, because he looks almost identical to Washington. The character casting is absolutely sensational, with superb performances with all the legendary characters involved in those events. I love American history, and this brought to light many things I did not even know happened, and it is supposed to be as accurate as any movie ever on the subject. One of the most bizarre scenes, is John Adams meeting the creepy and probably crazy King George. It seems to me, except for a very few and not including the Queens that ruled Great Britain, that most of the Kings were creepy and mentally ill, to say it in a nice as I can way. Anyway, the long trip to Europe John Adams made to secure alliances, and a nice loan from Holland, and his keeping the US out of a War with France, when they turned from huge friends of ours in defeating the Brits in the Revolutionary war, to aggressors is brilliantly depicted. This is great stuff, and worthy of the many awards it won, and I hope more movies or mini-series about early America can be made with the quality as this one.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Mesmerizing

10/10
Author: dvd_tony from United States
15 October 2008

This series was a great reflection of the harsh times that were faced during this era. Sure John Adams was a flawed man but he was a strong, kind hearted man who made a major impact on this country. His ego was definitely at fault for his pompous attitude and even dislike by others, but he meant well and served his country to the fullest. I am completely mesmerized by the depth this mini series portrayed. His family life, his beliefs, and his efforts all contributed to the foundation that America was built on. I felt very much like I was right there with him during his times of turmoil and even ridicule. He was a good man and had a profound life. I am very happy this series was published, it has helped me to see things that history books couldn't quite explain and has left me wanting more.

Tony

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Great miniseries. Very historically accurate.

10/10
Author: ccarlson1 from United States
5 April 2008

The people who made this miniseries did their history homework. David Morse portrays George Washington so well and looks just like the real George Washington just stepped off the one dollar bill and into reality. Paul Giamatti is one of the best acclaimed actors in the business. I recommend this miniseries to ALL schools so our children can learn something about the birth of our nation. The subtleties of the everyday items during that time period are portrayed near perfectly. King Louis is excellently portrayed as well as King George. You can almost feel yourself in this time period with the way the costuming is done and the mannerisms. GREAT MINISERIES.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Giamatti is God

10/10
Author: bobjohnson994 from United States
11 June 2008

OK, not specifically, but near enough. I have thought him an under-appreciated actor for year and years now, the equal of Anthony Hopkins or Al Pacino.

I also like David Morse, such a likable chap, if you have seen him in other roles like in The Green Mile.

I absolutely felt chills in the first two eps - Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, and Washington, meeting in the garden. The quiet scenes in the continental congress.

As an Objectivist, I am an ardent believer in the right to life, liberty and property. I hope the europeans, who harbor a mistrust of my country, can watch this and understand the magnificence of our founding, which can only be tarnished by unwise men, but not defeated.

America is the oldest functioning democracy in the world. The State encroaches here, as it has already swallowed Europe. Pray that we can turn the tide back to individual rights, end our stumbling towards socialism and brutality, before revolution becomes necessary again.

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Continuing pseudo-knowledge --

10/10
Author: jnagarya-1 from United States
4 August 2016

All the praise of this mini-series is deserved. But those who don't focus on John Adams rather miss the point: it is a biography of him.

And one reviewer writes, "For most of us the Declaration of Independence is taken for granted." I have no idea what the "Declaration" has to do with it, as it has never been law (it was a propaganda piece). The Constitution is law, and the model for it was the Massachusetts constitution, which was written by John Adams (except the section establishing a state religion, which was written by his cousin, propagandist Sam Adams).

For another view of John Adams, see the excellent "1776": he was "obnoxious and disliked"; but it was he who pushed for declaring independence from Britain, against opposition mostly from Southern slave-owning conservatives.

It's an injustice to write about this film and miss the point: it is a biography of John Adams, not of Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin, et al.

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Now I floss every single day

10/10
Author: rulz1000 from Brazil
5 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My interest on American History emerged when I first listened to "Hamilton", the Brodway musical by fantastic and genius Lin-Manuel Miranda; thus far, the only thing I knew for a fact was that America had declared independence on July 4th, 1776. Then, after listening to the album of Hamilton, I began to search for more information. I learned that John Adams had exchanged more than a thousand letters with his wife, and after reading some of them, I was surprised with how brilliant she was (in fact, in my opinion, she was a much better writer than him). Then, I discovered that HBO (my favorite channel ever) had produced a show about John Adams' life and, with a lot of expectation, I started to watch it. I'm very glad to say it didn't disappoint me in the least. The costumes, the writing (which employs a lot of words John and Abigail did use in their correspondence), the actors (!), the make-up; the whole setting of the show is spectacular. I actually felt transported to the time. I read a New York Times review saying that Paul Giametti wasn't a good choice for the main role, but I disagree, I think he managed to play the much complex, vain and brilliant Adams very well. Also, Laura Linney was wonderful as Abigail, a fantastic and intelligent woman. They very much deserved their Emmys. The story spans through some 50 years, and the make-up used to cover the aging of the characters is fantastic! A point for the teeth, that oh God were they disgusting, I don't know how upper-class people, like they were at the end of their lives, allowed their teeth to become so rotten. Anyway, another wonderful aspect of this show is that we get to learn a lot about the Revolution, the struggle to unite the colonies to sign the declaration, the war against Britain, the importance of the French aid etc. To see the almost mythological figures of Washington, Franklin and Jefferson was awesome! Which reminds me of the interesting choice of which Founding Father HBO chose to tell the story, it is much easier to film the great deeds of a brilliant General, or the almost impossible journey of the First American; but as the TV of this century requires, the story must be of an underdog, someone who has many faults, knows about them, and doesn't do a thing to change himself; someone like John Adams. I recommend this show to every one who has an interest in History, Politics and good productions in general; it is both entertaining and enlightening, and very effective in its purpose to demonstrate how difficult it was to conquer the liberty we so much undervalue today and that, despite being human, we can hope to achieve great things.

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Linney & production brilliant

10/10
Author: slat-11689 from Burbank, California
8 January 2016

This is a masterpiece of historical narrative film. It expresses perfectly the perspective of David McCullough's book, presenting the viewpoint of John, Abigail, and others as actors facing an uncertain future. Laura Linney was brilliantly cast as Abigail and her performance is magnificent. Her every scene bristles with energy and depth, bringing to life the powerful relationship of Abigail and John, which influenced the course of American history. Other characters were also well cast, especially Tom Wilkinson as Ben Franklin, David Morse as George Washington, and Stephen Dillane as Thomas Jefferson. Tom Hanks and his team did a great service in creating this film for posterity.

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