Lincoln: By the People, For the People

by Ethan Alter November 9, 2012 6:00 am
<i>Lincoln</i>: By the People, For the People

There are many different ways to approach a man who lived as monumental a life as Abraham Lincoln. You could, for instance, focus entirely on his early years as a lawyer as John Ford did in the 1939 classic, Young Mr. Lincoln. Or you could zero in on the Civil War, with Lincoln's life taking a backseat to the fighting. Or you could even turn him into a vampire hunter, using the supernatural as a metaphor for Lincoln's desire to see every individual freed from the bonds of slavery, be they property of plantation owners or bloodsuckers. In the case of Lincoln, Steven Spielberg's oh-so-prestigious entry in the awards season sweepstakes, the director telescopes his subject's life into roughly a single month: January 1865, when a newly re-elected Lincoln used his ferocious will and political capital to ensure the passage of the 13th Amendment, which officially outlawed slavery in the United States. That's right, in a way this is a live-action, feature-length version of that old Schoolhouse Rock ditty "I'm Just a Bill" (or it's even better Simpsons parody "Amendment to Be") where viewers are invited to watch the long, contentious and often ugly process of how the proverbial political sausage gets made in Washington.

<i>Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter</i>: Honest, Abe — Your Movie Sucks

When the movie you're going to see is called Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, you don't exactly head into the theater expecting great art. But you do hope for a rollicking genre mash-up that delivers on the goofy fun promised by the title. I'm sorry to say that, in this case, the finished product is plenty goofy, but not a lot of fun.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, March 26, 2013

by Ethan Alter March 26, 2013 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Forescore and one month ago, Lincoln lost the Best Picture Oscar to Argo.

Indie Snapshot: No

by Ethan Alter February 15, 2013 6:00 am
Indie Snapshot: <i>No</i>

Mad Men goes to Chile in the Oscar-nominated No. Also, our takes on Shanghai Calling and A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III.

Oscars 2013: Our Gut Reaction to the Nominations

by Ethan Alter January 10, 2013 10:26 am
Oscars 2013: Our Gut Reaction to the Nominations

We reflect on the just-announced 2013 Oscar nominations. Sorry DC Nation... Marvel Studios has kicked your butt one more time.

Walton Goggins Gets Medieval in Quentin Tarantino’s <i>Django Unchained</i>

Walton Goggins has been a force to be reckoned with on cable television for over a decade now, starting with his explosive turn as Shane Vendrell on FX's The Shield and continuing through that network's top-notch procedural Justified as Boyd Crowder, the frenemy of lawman Raylan Givens. This fall, Goggins has key roles in two major Oscar hopefuls as well, Steven Spielberg's Lincoln and Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, both of which deal with America's tortured history with slavery... albeit in dramatically different ways. In Lincoln, Goggins portrays Congressman Clay Hutchins, who wrestles with whether to support the passage of the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery. Django, meanwhile, casts him as Billy Crash, the appallingly racist henchman of plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) -- a role that requires him to torture Jamie Foxx's titular hero in particularly memorable fashion. Goggins spoke with TWoP about making both movies back-to-back, what to expect from Justified's fourth season (which kicks off on January 8), and shares exclusive details about the TV project he has in the pipeline next.

Golden Globes 2013: Our Gut Reactions to the Movie Nominations

by Ethan Alter December 13, 2012 10:56 am
Golden Globes 2013: Our Gut Reactions to the Movie Nominations

Looks like it's Argo versus Zero Dark Thirty at the Golden Globes this year.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, October 23, 2012

by Ethan Alter October 23, 2012 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Uncle Sam urges you to do your patriotic duty and see Magic Mike.

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