Is there anything more obnoxious than a universally praised film starring an array of big-name actors flouncing about in period costumes?
How about if that film is also really, really, really boring? And really, really saccharine?
And filled with a swelling score over obvious dialogue? Yeah. That’s worse.
Lincoln, Steven Spielberg’s political drama (we’ll get to the usage of the word “drama” in a moment) about the 13th amendment, is that film.
Abraham Lincoln: Life Stealer
It’s not a film about the famous president. Even his assassination is kept off screen. His death even less dramatic.
The whole ending gave me assassination blue balls.
It’s clear that Spielberg was interested in delivering a lot of information and not a lot of dramatic tension.
With the outcome of the film common knowledge you’d like to think there would be more than exposition and middling dialogue. You’d be mistaken.
Lincoln was made with cheese. Spielberg should have cast 100 blocks of Velveeta instead of the capable actors he wasted here.
They certainly earned their paycheques by reciting paragraphs from an elementary school history text book
Praise Be to James Spader
If you're going to cast Daniel Day Lewis at least give him something to do besides thoughtfully tell anecdotes to the other men in the room. Or have doting black actors stare at him with reverence.
Praise be to James Spader for being a glimmering light, a character (not a person reading lines!) with some panache in the darkly lit world of Civil War politics.
We can all agree that slavery was the worst. We don’t have to pretend to be entertained by this boring, unentertaining film to confirm that simple fact.
Let’s just agree and move on and hope that in five years no one will be talking about this snoozefest outside of a classroom.
This might be a film about important subject matter, but that doesn’t mean it’s entertaining or even well done. It just means that it contains useful information that is presented in movie form.
Here are 5 films that aren’t perfect but are better and more entertaining than Abraham Lincoln: Life Stealer and they deliver on the promise of what they’re supposed to be.
Sure, you might not be someone that likes the Wes Anderson way of quirky filmmaking, but he set himself apart even from his own work with the luxurious, funny, tender and emotionally satisfying Moonrise Kingdom.
Moonrise Kingdom looks gorgeous, has a strong central story full of layered meaning and a dramatic throughline for all of the characters -- even the supporting ones.
These are all things kind of lacking in the aforementioned biopic that is actually an historical re-enactment.
The kid in the movie could grow up to be president and take on a big issue, like marriage equality, and the Wes Anderson movie about that president’s struggle would not be the bland claptrap of Spielberg.
It would also have lovely costumes and subtle moments and we would all rejoice.
That’s My Boy
No one knows how to deliver on the premise of a stupid comedy like Adam Sandler does.
And boy, does he ever deliver with this ridiculous tale of a student-teacher romance that leads to a teacher’s incarceration, a teenage boy raising a baby, a strip club, the Hamptons and incest.
This movie has everything! Especially drama! And jokes!
However, unlike the undramatic drama of Lincoln, That’s My Boy, a comedy, includes jokes, which though they might not be to everyone’s taste, were still jokes.
And yes, some of them were funny. And yes it’s stupid but I laughed and I knew it was stupid.
It did not disappoint me and my expectations.
Another Steven, this one Soderbergh, sought to make himself a big film starring a lot of dudes too.
His however, was not about the political struggles of a country full of old men, but the struggle of men to find new ways to whip off their chonies and choreograph sexy dance routines that incorporate body rolls and flexing their pecs.
This movie promised there would be sunny Miami beaches, dark nightclubs, good times and funny moments.
Also lots and lots of Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Joe Manganiello and Matthew McConaughey in various states of undress.
It delivered. Like a surprise stripper to a bachelorette party.
Queen of Versailles
If you want to watch a movie about the American experience, there is no better example than the documentary Queen of Versailles.
It follows the lives of a very wealthy family building an American Versailles who struggle through the economic collapse.
Sorry, Spielberg. Sorry, Lincoln.
This story is as universal as time and delivers with actual dramatic moments.
It also has people that have emotions and motivations that aren’t flat as cardboard cut-outs.
A "goon," in the world of hockey anyway, is a guy whose job is to police the ice with his fists.
Otherwise known as an enforcer, this is the teammate that responds to dirty play that the refs aren’t responding to by getting in mega fights and laying out big hits.
Goon stars Seann William Scott as just that. A dude who knows how to settle scores with punches and slams to the boards.
But guess what else? He’s got a soft, melty heart because this isn’t some one-dimensional comic book presidential policy grab.
This is hockey!
Again, Goon delivers on goonish, funny violence and hockey games and also a likeable yet kind of frustrating protagonist. Imagine that!