Customer Reviews for

Gods and Generals

Average Rating 3.5
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(8)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 7 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Editing Can Win A War But It Might Improve This Movie

    In the film 'Gettysburg' Colonel Joshua Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels) utters 'there's nothing so much like a god on earth as a general on a battlefield.' Based on Jeff Shaara's novel of the same title 'Gods and Generals' is the prequel to 'Gettysburg,' which itself was based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, 'The Killer Angels,' written by Shaara's father, Michael. Directed and adapted for the screen by Ron Maxwell (as was its predecessor) 'Gods and Generals' presents the first two years of the American Civil War as the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia struggle against each other in the battles of First Bull Run, Fredricksburg and Chancelorsville. Much has been made of the film¿s historical accuracy but, little of the gore and carnage of war can been seen in its sanitized battle scenes filled with smoke, explosions, and men falling to the ground. Though the battle scenes themselves are expertly choreographed, hardly any thought seems to have gone into the cinematography of these scenes as they lack imagination in their framing and execution. Yet, I found the battle scenes alone worth the price of admission. I cannot say the same for Maxwell¿s bloated screenplay which is filled with flowery dialogue, long-winded speeches, and droning soliloquies. Yes, citizens of the nineteenth century spoke differently than we do today, but the dialogue is so jarring to the modern ear that it is nearly impossible for an audience to maintain a willingness to suspend its disbelief. The narrative in Mr. Shaara¿s novel is nearly equally split between four major characters: Colonel Joshua Chamberlain and General Winfield Scott Hancock on the side of the Union and Generals Robert E. Lee and Jonathan ¿Stonewall¿ Jackson on the Confederate side, while Mr. Maxwell¿s adaptation can nearly be considered as a Stonewall Jackson bio-pic with the other characters merely as supporting players. Shaara¿s book maintains a balance of viewpoints of both North and South but, Maxwell¿s film tilts the majority of screen time to the Confederate side. Stephen Lang does an admirable job as the highly religious Stonewall Jackson. Indeed, the film¿s shining glory is that Maxwell¿s screenplay and Lang¿s performance come closest to capturing the man that Jonathan Jackson was in reality as anything yet set forth on film. Though it is hard to separate Lang from his earlier portrayal of General George Picket in ¿Gettysburg.¿ Jeff Daniels competently reprises his role as Chamberlain, though he lacks screen time and is saddled with reciting Lucanus¿ ¿The Crossing of the Rubicon¿ as he watches elements the Union Army crossing the Rappahanock River into Fredericksburg, Virginia. The films greatest disappointment was Robert Duvall in his lackluster performance as General Robert E. Lee. Randy Edelman¿s sentimental score is adequate to the task at hand, and though pleasurable to listen to it does not rise to meet the challenge of the material presented. Mary Fahl¿s contribution, ¿Going Home,¿ played over the opening credits of windblown battle flags, in a movie which the director well knows is going to come in at 3 ½ hours, should have fallen to the cutting room floor, though I love every note of it. And Bob Dylan is as raspy as ever in his ¿Cross the Green Mountain¿ played over the end credits. Is ¿Gods and Generals¿ the greatest movie ever made about the American Civil War? No. Is it the most accurate movie about the Civil War? Quite possibly. But accuracy could not save this movie. Editing could. Edit the screenplay. Edit the dialogue and speeches. Edit the opening credits. Edit. Edit. Edit.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not as good as Gettysburg, but still a great movie!

    Gods and Generals, Ron Maxwell's latest addition to his Civil War trilogy, is not as good as its predecessor, Gettysburg. It spends a lot of time on unneccessary details and its running time of nearly four hours makes it a little unconventional. However, it is a groundbreaking film for those who have wanted a movie to portray the War Between the States the way it really happened. Its cinematography is terrific, its music is outstanding (especially the choral parts!) and the acting is wonderful. A real historical tear-jerker!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    It's not Gettysburg.

    What? This isn't really what I expected. Gettysburg was much better than this! Gods and Generals is simply lacking the drama, magic, and heart of the first one. Martin Sheen played Robert E. Lee better than Robert Duvall did (sorry Duvall, I am truly a big fan of yours). Maybe Ron Maxwell could've used some caffeine for this film.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    As Prequel to Gettysburg, G&G Sets Right Tone

    By itself, G&G is a bit much--in time and sentiment. But as a setup for the earlier made but later historical epic Gettysburg, it is just right. As to length of the film, why chop out Antietam--what's another hour or so if you are filling in the transition from glory to reality? Tonally, the film is too ''Southern'' but purposefully. The excesses of that sentiment will be pared away at Gettysburg. One hopes the third segment, Last Full Measure, gets made despite the negative criticism of G&G, so the whole epic of our Civil War gets a worthy treatment ... and here's betting the 3rd piece will find the right balance in points of view and demeanor. Visually, however, this film is 5-star all the way and remarkably displays the awesome foolishness of the union advance at Fredericksburg and something of the brilliance and suddenness of Jackson's end run at Chancellorsville. Take the day and run this one and immediately follow up with Gettysburg--you might even find some ironic brilliance in the transferral of Stephen Lang from his Jackson in G&G to his Pickett in Gettysburg, rather emphasizing further what was lost in Jackson's death. Finally, maybe the unused Antietam material will be the basis for a focused film on that battle--I'd use Moreau's novelization as the basis for the screenplay if so.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1