Movie Review: A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT

One Great War has watched and reviewed the movie A Very Long Engagement for the WWI Reading Challenge in 2012.  Here’s a snippet:

A Very Long Engagement, a 2004 film based on a 1991 book about a French girl named Mathilde, whose fiancé was declared MIA in WWI. The film opens with the last known movements of Manech, who, with four others has been convicted of self-mutilation to escape military service, and is to be sent “over the top” into No Man’s Land to find whatever death awaits him there. From early in the film we are told that all five perished in a subsequent battle, and although multiple witnesses confirm this, Mathilde keeps investigating and discovers that this may not be the case. This is a decent film, with a good cast, interesting characters, and a convoluted, clever mystery plot.

Read the full review.

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Movie Review: MY BOY JACK

One Great War recently watched and reviewed My Boy Jack a television movie based on a true story of Rudyard Kipling’s family, particularly his son who fought in WWI, for the WWI Reading challenge in 2012.  Here’s a snippet:

A 2007 telemovie based on a play, based on the true story of Rudyard Kipling’s family, particularly his son Jack, who fought in the first world war. Rudyard Kipling was a famous and well-established English poet by the outbreak of war, and along with various others, like Thomas Hardy, was involved in pro-war writing and poetry early in the war. His son Jack had very poor eyesight. Following the outbreak of war, he set his heart on a commission in an infantry regiment, and after failing a succession of medicals, Rudyard Kipling used his influence to get him a commission in the Irish Guards.

Read the full review.

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Movie Review: WAR HORSE

Victoria Janssen recently watched and reviewed War Horse, the movie, for the WWI Reading Challenge in 2012.  Here’s a sample:

I’ve never read the novel War Horse by Michael Morpurgo; all of my comments are based on the Spielberg movie. I imagine the novel is a much different experience, because it allows for narration from the horse’s point of view. In the movie, the horse is not given a voice.

As someone who’s done a lot of reading about World War One, I really enjoyed the visuals of this movie, particularly the trenches and No Man’s Land. Some of it looked so familiar, I suspect I’ve seen some of the research photos that were used. In particular, I liked how accurately the British and German trenches were differentiated. In general, the German trenches were larger, better-constructed, and more comfortable; this is clearly shown in a scene during the Somme offensive when the lead character, Albert, makes it into a German trench before being gassed.

Read the full review.

**Attention participants: Remember to email us a link to your reviews, and we’ll post them here so we can see what everyone is reading!**

Movie Review: BENEATH HILL 60

One Great War recently watched and reviewed Beneath Hill 60 for the WWI Reading Challenge in 2012. Here’s an excerpt:

Beneath Hill 60, a 2010 film based on the diary of Captain Oliver Woodward, commander of the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company. This film is essentially formula WWI – the tunnelling aspect would provide a novel element, if Birdsong hadn’t done it first. That said, it isn’t a bad film: well-written, well-acted, and with less than the usual dose of maudlin What’s-the-Point-of-it-All? meandering.

Read the full review.

**Attention participants: Remember to email us a link to your reviews, and we’ll post them here so we can see what everyone is reading!**

 

Civil War Movie Reviews: Seraphim Falls, Gettsyburg, and Amistad

Layers of Thought recently reviewed some movies for the U.S. Civil War Challenge.  Here is an excerpt:

An action packed movie with a somewhat surreal ending. We are thinking that it perhaps depicts the disassociation with reality soldiers experience after they are no longer in battle? It definitely is a decent flick with great visuals and a good cast.

It is based upon the novel The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara (links to John’s review). What is interesting is that you can see some of the reasons why the Union won and the Confederacy lost; while some of it was based upon luck you can see how the personalities of some of the leaders played a big part. You also get to see in great details what the battle was like for some of the troops.

Set prior to the Civil War when tensions were building, the North allowed the legal drama since it did not want to incite antagonism from the South.

We enjoyed this movie and were particularly impressed by the main African “slave” actor. He was an absolute star in this movie, in our opinion.

**Attention participants: Remember to email us a link to your reviews, and we’ll post them here so we can see what everyone is reading!**

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