Lincoln on Blu-ray, a review
Lincoln? A Dreamworks film being reviewed by two Disney nerds? This film has some special ties to Disney. First off, Disney has a distribution deal with Dreamworks in which Dreamworks’ films are marketed and distributed by Disney. Also, over 37,1000 junior and senior high schools received a copy of the film and a teaching guide called Stand Tall: Live Like Lincoln from Disney Educational Productions. There’s also Walt’s well-known fascination with Lincoln. Jeff and George reviewed this film during its initial blu-ray release on Communicore Weekly.
Jeff: Disney has had a long, storied history with Abraham Lincoln. From Walt’s fascination with the man, to the attractions at the 1964-65 World’s Fair and Disneyland, Lincoln has almost always had a home at Disney. And if seeing this film is the first exposure you’ve ever had with our former President (which, I hope it isn’t), then it isn’t hard to see why. Lincoln was an amazing man, who did amazing things…and now has an amazing movie to tell his story.
George: My fourteen-year-old saw this film as part of a school field trip. He came home and raved about it, which really surprised us. When the review copy of Lincoln came in, we sat down and lost ourselves in the film. It’s a very well done historical piece that evokes a realism that I was surprised by. You really gained a sense of how differently the world functioned then, yet there were still so many similarities. The political machinations and subterfuge really hit home because it seemed like the government hasn’t changed too much.
Jeff: I saw the film in theaters, as well. Usually, when a film has a long running time, I dread it. But despite the length, I actually found myself wanting more. As a historical buff, I was thoroughly engrossed in the story. I really liked how they focused on this very specific point in time in Lincoln’s life. The fight, and eventual passing, of the 13th Amendment is an important time in our nation’s history, and framing it around that made for a compelling film.
George: I really only had two issues with the film that centered around the actual characters. I would have loved a viewing guide that gave information about who some of the characters actually were. I’m a historian (even though most of my research is within the past 50 years) and I had trouble placing a lot of the major players. My other issue is that I wanted Daniel Day-Lewis to sound like Royal Dano! Daniel Day-Lewis did an amazing job, as did all of the other actors. So, what about the special features?
Jeff: As a film buff as well, I thought the special features were great. Though they are broken up into parts, each feature can really be considered part of a longer documentary. They follow the movie through each phase of production: pre-production, the actual production, and finally the editing process. I was actually really impressed with how in-depth each of these sections were. Especially notable was the one that discussed the writing of the script. Seeing the entire process, from beginning to end, was really a treat for me.
George: So, we both really loved the film and recommend it. We know it’s not the typical fair we review, but we felt that since Disney was distributing copies of the film and the study guide to the secondary schools in the United States, that it warranted some special attention. The film is outstanding in the hi-definition blu-ray format and it has a very real historical tapestry running throughout it. If you haven’t given Lincoln a chance, we urge you to add this film to your collection today!
Jeff: My only gripe is that you may want to restrict its viewing audience. If you child is on the younger side, and doesn’t quite understand the concept of slavery, or the Constitution yet, this may led to some questions you may not be ready to answer. However, if your kid has a thirst for knowledge about American history, I would definitely recommend letting them sit down and watch it with you!