Wednesday, July 09, 2008

In which we watch it again

Mom and I are just back from the grocery store. We picked up a Gettysburg/God's and Generals DVD. We have seen both already but as there isn't anything else to watch to date, we're going to watch Gettysburg again. We have a copy of God's and Generals already and I watched it the night before last with Andrea. It is one of my favorite movies. I am impressed and convicted every time I am witness of the portrayal of unique and inspiring union of General Jackson and his wife Anna.

(As an aside, I highly recommend Beloved Bride The Letters of Stonewall Jackson to His Wife. Please see the forward by Stephen Lang, the actor portraying Gen. Stonewall Jackson here.)

We were in the checkout line and a young man with a bad attitude was "putting in his time at the job" by throwing our groceries from one end of the check out to the other while barking orders at my mother for her "store card" and "push this button" and "that button" when in the midst of his flurry and rudeness he grabbed hold of the DVD we wanted to purchase and paused. He read half the title aloud, "God and Generals" and then tossed it into the pile of mangled groceries at the end of the counter.

I like to give people a chance and I was thinking of what I could say to brighten his day and maybe even spare our groceries since we were the ones paying for them.

But before I could ask him about how he was doing and if the store was busier than usual, we received a commentary on God's and Generals. "That is the longest, most boring film. You watch it to the end and nothing ever happens, all they do is talk and talk and talk." I pondered whether I should mention to him that there were war scenes, canon balls and even a bloody arm stump, (the scene where I say to myself, "It's fake, it's fake, it's fake, it's a movie, it doesn't look real....hurry on with it....okay, it's gone) since boys seem to like those but then considered he'd think I was being sarcastic. My silence seemed to convict him. He said, "Well I guess if you like history and the civil war you might like the movie."

I was thankful for his consenting to be kind to the womenfolk on the other side of his counter even if it was temporary, but I was equally sorry to see that his review was reduced to "The movie is for history nerds." But how can one say differently without a biblical worldview?

Excerpts from reviews I appreciate and whole-heartily agree with:

From Doug Phillips review, "MTV-generation Christians who cannot sit through a symphony, a forty-five-minute sermon, or read a book without pictures will struggle greatly with this four-hour film. This film is not the typical mindless escapism we have been trained to crave. This is a “change your life” film. One critic complained that the film is a non-stop sermon. I think that’s a bit overstated, but let me be plain. I want the sermon. I need the sermon."

And from Bill Potter's review:

"the feel of the 1860s permeates this film through the characters, the costumes, the settings, and the dialogue. The battle scenes are artfully done, for we could not bear the reality of the carnage of that war, nor do we wish to. If through the use of Civil War re-enactors, a sense of the honor, heroism, and sacrifice of American men and women is successfully conveyed, that alone makes the four hours spent at the theater worth the time. Americans who are notoriously oblivious of who they are and what sacrifices their ancestors endured, will come face to face with men, saints and sinners, in the most compelling and historically accurate film yet produced for the big screen. Gods and Generals should challenge the historical imagination of this generation and send people running to the library to learn more of their own past."

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Thank you for this post,we just came back from Gettysburg last week, such an experience.
Re: the grocery boy... it's not easy being intellectual in our world today.
I look forward to getting this movie.
God bless,Mrs S.
p.s. Your blog is such a delightful place to visit!