Rocketboy and I watched “Gettysburg” over three nights. Mini-me was allowed to watch as well, but I kept normal bedtime rules in place. Mr. RFH missed the first night, which was the lead-up to the battle and the first day. I summed it up for him as “getting ready to fight on both sides and General Buford talking a lot about good ground.” (He’s not the one writing the report for extra credit.)
The kids were a lot more interested after I told them that at least one great-great-great-grandfather fought at Gettysburg. He was in the 40th New York.
Watching this also reminded me that I need to take the kids to Fort Sumter, Chickamauga, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Appomattox. They have been to Shiloh, Lookout Mountain (two ancestors there), and Antietam. I know we took Rocketboy to Gettysburg, but he doesn’t remember much of it.
I don’t know if this was historically accurate or part of the movie set-up, but the kids noticed that the Southerners mostly had full beards, and the Northerners had mustaches.
My memories of the battlefield would indicate the judicious use of wagons and tents to cover up battle monuments. I could be wrong, because I know they also filmed outside the park.
I didn’t think Lee was portrayed all that well. Mr. RFH said he was spacey. Martin Sheen was missing the charisma, or I was too distracted by the accent or something. On the other hand, I thought Jeff Daniels made an excellent Joshua Chamberlain.
We made some snarky comments about a lot of middle-aged fat men fighting, but really, I’d much rather have the re-enactors than CGI.
The kids loved the cannon scenes. (Me, too, especially the panning overhead shots.)
I can appreciate a good war movie like this that doesn’t end up like “Saving Private Ryan” with the gore. Yes, the gory one is more real, but I’d rather not show that to my 11-year-old.
There was a lot of “did that really happen?” “did he really say that?” from the kids, and usually the answer was yes.
Your thoughts on the movie or the battle, readers?