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A half-hour made-for-TV documentary with a fat budget.
This half-hour IMAX "movie" is what you get when you spend tens of millions on production values for a documentary dramatization written as if for the small screen. Good and gory special effects and convincing, if repetitious, catapult stunt work, competent photography, lightning editing, a thousand extras, seamless compositing, an ex-President reading Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, all set to stirring music by the London Symphany Orchestra. But there is little character or story development that might have made for a more emotional experience. Then again, what can you expect in 30 minutes? The film reduces the entire Battle of Gettysburg to Pickett's Charge, and focuses on the narratives of a stereotypic, aw-shucks Confederate private and a characterless Union officer with no memorable qualities for the audience. The script spends much of its time inserting needless historical details instead of evoking the bug-eyed terror that must have prevailed that day, but then most of the actors look more like re-enactors. It would've been more effective without any narration at all, observing the visceral behavior and experiences of the soldiers on both sides, but who would've ever thought of doing that? And why is it that the Yankees, staring west at 3:30 in the afternoon, have the sun behind them, just like the Rebels do?
- Big Al-12
- Jul 5, 2006
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