“Lincoln” is mildly mistitled… It is not a Lincoln biopic.
Instead, the film specifically examines the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which permanently abolished slavery. Certainly Lincoln is the primary character, but the movie features an enormous cast and focuses not on the life of the man but on the action in Congress surrounding the passage of the surprisingly controversial amendment.
Regardless, Daniel Day-Lewis gives a biopic performance for the ages, completely bringing our common image of Lincoln to life. And for a movie revolving around legislative action, “Lincoln” manages to be intense, moving, spirited and surprisingly humorous.
This weekend’s premiere on Starz was last year’s “Straw Dogs”, the remake of Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 film.
Starring James Marsden and Kate Bosworth (both of whom I still hold grudges against for their complicity in “Superman Returns”), “Straw Dogs” is the story of a couple who return to the small Mississippi town she grew up in. Her father is recently deceased and they’ve inherited his home, but it’s suffered some damage in a recent hurricane. The crew that the couple hire to repair the home is comprised of men she knew from high school… unfortunately, they’re drunken, violent townies.
When the crew begins to lust after her, things get out of hand.
I don’t know if calling “Cowboys & Aliens” a disappointment is fair. I really didn’t have high expectations for it, so when I came out of it feeling like I saw a decent movie, what I should feel is pleasantly surprised.
But there’s a lot of talent surrounding this film. And after attending Favreau’s “Visionaries” panel, which he shared with Guillermo del Toro, I really wanted this film to be excellent.
Unfortunately, it’s not. It’s not bad, but it’s certainly not great, and in the end I wound up wishing they had just made a straight up Western instead.