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DVD Talk review of 'Gods and Generals' (Blu-ray)

Old 12-10-07, 08:44 AM
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DVD Talk review of 'Gods and Generals' (Blu-ray)

I read Don Houston's DVD review of Gods and Generals at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=31580 and...

Nicely done, Don! Quick question, though: is the movie's theatrical intermission intact, or does the whole thing play out as one long piece?
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Old 12-23-07, 02:28 AM
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Thanks for the review, but:

(a) Was there really a reason to reference the war in Iraq? It seems that anybody with a keyboard or a pen that writes anything about ANY war from history these days needs to draw some parallel with a current war. It makes the review sound dated and a movie critic sound like he/she can't leave their unappreciated and undesired social opinions at the door. We want to read a review of the movie and the release--not hear about your personal feelings about other things. I don't know what your real feelings are about the war in Iraq, and I really don't care, either (just as I'm sure you don't really care about mine, either--we all know what opinions are like, right? and everybody's got one).

(b) The following reference sounds a bit foolish, and is one I've heard before from other people, but for someone putting something like this in writing, it seems like s/he should actually look up the reason for it instead of trying to make a clever quip, as it just results in a display of ignorance (or a poorly worded joke that results in the reader questioning the writer's actual understanding of it):

"One of the worst kinds of war is the weirdly named "civil" war (how many wars have been civil?!?)"

"Civil" comes from the same root as "civillian," and is an adjective used to refer to the citizenry of a country. A "civil war" is a war between the citizens of their own country. "Civil behavior" is the behavior of citizens toward each other in their own country. So "How many wars have been civil?" Every single one in history that ever occurred between the citizens of their own country.

There's usually a pretty good reason language is used the way it is. Trying to look smarter or more clever than the people that came before you that first used it doesn't usually work without doing some research first.

(c) When there is something as significant as the fact that the release doesn't contain the full movie, I think that needs to be more clearly stated, instead of a casual reference that makes the reader feel like s/he is late to the party ("at least until the full version is offered up as a future double dip" stated as the FINAL sentence in the actual review of the movie). My reaction upon reading that? "Thanks for wasting my time." If a more directly descriptive statement about the version on the disc were the FIRST sentence, it would have completely (and correctly, in my opinion) set the correct tone for the review and for the expectations of the reader. You then mentioned it more clearly in the Extras section. Since when is the movie itself an "extra?"

Don't assume the reader of your review knows the history of all the alternate version releases (or non-releases) of the movie. That is, quite possibly, the very reason they are reading your review, so these casual or misplaced references to those facts are just frustrating.
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