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Wild At Heart and "Lincoln" movie review

Wild Bill Ketelhut provides the "blog" to this anti-blog

Wild At Heart

I made it through Thanksgiving without gaining a pound which is always a nice thing to say after the holidays, esp when you get to be my age. Didn’t do much except watch sports (don’t get me started on the Detroit or Dallas games), watching Season 1 of “Teen Wolf” (this actually surprised be by being an actual good show despite being on MTV and nothing like the movies I grew up on) and eating some great turkey with all the homemade trimmings (and don’t forget those leftovers).

I did get an opportunity to see one first run film this weekend which I hadn’t planned on but the previews of “Lincoln” were just too interesting to pass up. Besides I have always loved Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis (ever since he blew me away in “My left Foot”). Day-Lewis has always been known for becoming the characters he portrays on the screen and I cannot think of a better presidential portrayal by an actor (and there have been some recent good ones). His Lincoln (I am so glad Liam Neeson dropped out) portays both his physical weekness and mental strength as a man who is up in years and weary of the struggles for the nation but still has the resolve to inspire men to his cause. It is an amazing performance that will surely get him at least a nod come Oscar time.

Equally intergral to the movie are impressive performances by Sally Field as First lady Mary Todd Lincoln and Tommy Lee Jones as the radical Republican Congressional leader Thaddeus Stevens. While I never think of Sally as a great actor, she is perfect here playing the somewhat complex Mrs Lincoln who has dealt with the loss of a son in the great war and a recent accident which left her at times emotionally fragile but with an underlying moments of strength (like when she goes after Stevens at a dinner party or later gives an emotional boost to her husband). Jones does a great job bringing forth a character who doesn’t always agree with the president but allows himself to be open to what it takes to further his cause on supporting abolition despite feeling that the president might not be truly on his side in this fight. Both actors deserve consideration for Oscar nominations here.

The film is also packed with a number of great performances , too numerous too mention, but not seem to fall on a false note in this epic. The only real battle footage is at the beginning where we see a Northern Black army fighting fiercely against a white Southern army mainly to showcase the main theme of equality of race. The rest of the focus is on the political struggles for the president to find the extra 20 Democratic votes needed in the House Of Representatives to pass the Emancipation Proclamation. Much like today, we see the fights between the two parties of separate ideas and what it sometimes takes men to do to sway the opposition from promised posts to other methods.

The plays between the two parties is very interesting and reminds me of the current election for the disrespect and annimocity the two sides seem to have for each other when they should be focusing on the common good. Maybe our "leaders" should make sure to see this while they are mucking about with the impending fiscal cliff. It is interesting to watch a film that makes politics almost exciting and it is a good primer to take students to go see and then talk about later.

This should be a big film around Oscar time and despite a few storylines that tend to drift, the main focus of Lincoln’s fight for this passage is just increible to behold. It is definitely my favorite Presidential film and should be seen on the big screen if for nothing other than Day-Lewis’ amazing performance. A big A+ in my book.

Catching topics, here is a list of some recommended shows for the week. Sunday seems to be the big rocking night though the California Guitar Trio is amazing (and you get to see some great art at the same time).

Wednesday (11/28) – Tragically Hip @ The Fillmore

Thursday (11/29) – Chaka Khan @ MotorCity Soundboard

Friday (11/30) – Macpodz @ Blind Pig

Saturday (12/01) – California Guitar Trio @ Detroit Institute of Arts, Billy Talent @ St Andrews Hall, Thornetta Davis @ Detroit Public Library (Downtown Branch)

Sunday (12/02) – Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band @ The Magic Bag, Robert Cray Band @ Royal Oak Music Theatre, New Found Glory @ Magic Stick

Monday (12/03) – Theory Of A Deadman w/Big Wreck @ WFCU Centre (Windsor), “Monster Energy Outbreak Tour” w/As I Lay Dying @ Royal Oak Music Theatre