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A not-too-civil look at war in ‘Gods and Generals’

Michael T. Giovanniello of Burbank is a freelance writer.

I found this highly anticipated film, although well executed,

directed and acted, to be tedious and repetitive. It failed to

develop a sense of reality for me. Then again, perhaps that is what

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war does to people.

The nearly four-hour presentation, divided by a brief intermission

and replete with agonizing battle scenes, seemed ponderous. This

storytelling, with its multiple captioning of events and strategic

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Civil War highlights, seemed more suited to a documentary. The first

half of the story centered on introductions and the early stages of

the Civil War, while the second half focused on the lives of the

people.

Told from a distinct Confederate point of view and depicting many

of the military leaders of the time, there is an emphasis on generals

Robert E. Lee and Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson, their dedication, sense

of duty, honor and the borderline sanctimonious religious beliefs

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that influenced their lives and times.

Unfortunately for me, the grinning face of Ted Turner in a cameo

appearance completely undermined the efforts and millions of dollars

spent on recreating this serious, authentic and remarkably accurate

depiction of the horrors of war in general and the Civil War in

particular.

‘Gods and Generals’ is rated PG-13 for sustained battle sequences.

* If you would like to become a Reel Critic and see a film on

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the newspaper’s tab, call entertainment editor JOYCE RUDOLPH at

637-3241.


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