Lincoln

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 2:30 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Lincoln
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Dreamworks Studios
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Kiddie Movie: A lot of talking. Probably boring for most kids.
Date Movie: More if she likes politics.
Gratuitous Sex: Nah.
Gratuitous Violence: There is some war violence.
Action: Not really.
Laughs: Abraham Lincoln has some great stories.
Memorable Scene: The scene in the theater when Lincoln gets shot.
Memorable Quote: Nothing stands out.
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Cool things on the Blu-ray: One of the better feature packages with the “Making of,” a nice look at the authenticity, and all of them about the right length without dragging out the uselessness.

First, an admission. When I heard there was going to be a movie called “Lincoln,” I have to admit that I thought it was going to be a biopic, kind of giving us a look into the entire life of Abraham Lincoln. I also admit that I didn’t pay too much attention to the movie, or press, when it was in the theaters, other than hearing it was a really good film, and that Daniel Day-Lewis was incredible in it. Then I watched the Blu-ray, and I finally understand what all of the hubbub was about.

Let’s get to the film.

Now, my first assumption about the movie was wrong – “Lincoln” is not a biopic, but rather a snapshot of a period of Abraham Lincoln’s life, concentrating on the end of his life, and his determination to get the 13th Amendment passed before the end of the Civil War would occur. This was important due to the reasoning for the war and the Emancipation Proclamation, and Lincoln’s fear that should the war end, any slaves that were free might have to go back to being slaves. It’s also not so much about Lincoln, but rather about the politics at the time, with the President being the focal point. Sure, there is some insight into his life, his relationship with Mary Todd (Sally Field), and his two sons, Tad (Gulliver McGrath) and Robert (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), but if you are a fan of political theater, this movie portrays it in all of its grandeur and bickering.

Yes, there is infighting and distrust among Lincoln’s cabinet; Yes, there is a real look at how blacks were pictured in the world at the time; Yes, politics hasn’t changed much in all of these years. And yes, “Lincoln” is a great film, with some of the best performances by all actors, and the brilliant thing Steven Spielberg did with the movie was keep the movie buttoned to the end period in Lincoln’s life so that the movie could stay focused and not lead the viewer in a variety of directions throughout Lincoln’s life that might confuse the end result.

The other brilliant thing – The scene in the theater when Lincoln gets shot. I’ll leave it at that.

If you are looking for an action-packed Civil War movie, this isn’t it, but if you are looking for acting at its finest (Tommy Lee Jones was also incredible), a sad look that politics hasn’t changed in all of this time, and a movie that deserves its accolades, “Lincoln” is it. I will warn you, however, that it is a movie about two and half hours long and there is a lot of talking, so just sit back and enjoy the goodness. It’s 4 ½ stars out of 5.

For a rental or purchase, if you are a fan of the movie, as I was, there is a good chance you will actually get sucked into the extras as part of the Blu-ray, especially on the combo pack. The extra features are nicely done, concise, and cover most everything you would want from how Steven Spielberg came about to making the movie, a well-done but not too technical look at how they kept things authentic, and as a fan of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, it was also a nice, little insight into the mastery of John Williams.

Of many of the Blu-ray packages I have seen, “Lincoln” is one of the best mostly because it doesn’t bog things down with deleted scenes that were best deleted, bad “outtakes” we don’t care about, or filler. A great film, well done extras, and oh hell, I’ll add the half a star and give the Blu-ray combo pack 5 stars out of 5.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipettes

DVD Rated – Unrated
It’s 1:05 Long
A Review by:
Stu Gotz

Alvin and the Chipmunks:
The Chipettes
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Avlin, Simon, Theodore, Brittany, Jeanette, Eleanor, and Dave
MPAA Rated: Unrated, but it’s for kids.
Released By: Paramount Home Entertainment
Kiddie Movie: It’s definitely for them.
Date Movie: Only if she’s the mother of your children.
Gratuitous Sex: Umm, no.
Gratuitous Violence: Cartoonish.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Mostly for the kids.
Memorable Scene: None.
Memorable Quote: None.
Cool Things About the DVD: It’s really just set for the six episodes which is actually probably perfect for kids anyway.

When The Dude on the Right handed me a copy of “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipettes” I gave him a raised eyebrow look. Before I could follow my look with a rude comment, the Dude cut me off and said, “Maybe have your kids watch it and tell me what they think?” So that is exactly what I did. Later that day I popped the movie into Mama Gotz’s in-headrest car DVD player (Hmm… How come she gets all the cool stuff, and I drive a truck?) and let the kids have at it on the way to and from Tae Kwon Do practice.

So what did the Little Gotz’s think of “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipettes?” I’ll get to that later. First let me tell you a little about the DVD. The DVD is 6 episodes of the mid-80’s TV show “Alvin and the Chipmunks.” For this special six-pack of special episodes, three female chipmunks mirror Alvin and the boys, with similar personality, dress, and body attributes. Brittany is like Alvin and Jeanette is… Well… Does anyone really know any of the chipmunks besides Alvin? There is a smart chipmunk chick and a chubbier one, the girl’s misadventures coincide with the boy’s misadventures, and if you’ve seen one episode, well, you’ve seen them all. Predictable mayhem occurs. Dave almost looses his wits and by episode’s end, all is well (just like in Star Trek).

So who the heck is this movie for, and why now? I think most people can recall the squeaky-voiced cartoon from the 80’s era of upturned-collared Polo shirts? For those who can’t, the Chipmunks have actually been around since the late 1950’s. Yes, they did exist before that Earl guy made the movie with them. Anyway, the squeaky boys are back (again), and this time they are joined by equally annoying-for-adults female chipmunks. Why? Personally I think it’s to cash in on the whole High School Musical, Hanna Montana, and iCarly craze. Right now kids, starting at far too young of an age in my opinion, are totally hooked on the High School Musical craze and such. This is all fine where and when it is age appropriate, but let me ask you, do you want your 6 or 7 year old coming home singing the Vacation song and wanting to dress like a tart? Not me! So maybe “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipettes” could be a more age appropriate DVD title to turn your youngerl kids on to.

They key to this though is will little kids like it?? The first day I had “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipettes” in Mama Gotz’s car DVD player our littlest one wanted to bring it into the house and keep on watching it when the car ride was over. I think that’s a good sign. After about a week I again asked the Gotz’ boys what they thought about “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipettes.” The 4 going on 5 year old gave me a double finger gesture. No he didn’t flip me the “bird.” He extended his thumbs, but I think that is a copyrighted gesture so I can’t quote him on that. Our oldest boy, now six, said he liked it a lot, though I did notice he tended to watch the episodes and pressed scene skip when the chipmunk music videos came on.

The bottom line, a.k.a. is it worth your money? As an adult I can deal with the chipmunks in small doses, such as I am. My 5 & 6 year olds both liked the episodes, but split their vote on the music videos with the younger Gotz liking everything. I think “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipettes” is a great age-appropriate alternative to the High School Musical and Montana stuff that is on TV, and in my opinion, also turning girls into tarts and boys into, well, not football players, so for me “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipettes” is money well spent. 4 stars out of 5.
I’m Stu Gotz. ‘nuff said.