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Glory (1989)
Director: Edward Zwick



I thought I had seen this in high school but I mistook it for The Mission, I had never seen this film before 3 nights ago.

It's a fine movie. The action scenes of war are very powerful and visceral. One scene of extreme gore sets up the tone. At first I thought the character of Colonel Shaw was a coward because he layed down in the first battle scene, and then was found by Morgan Freeman's character, and then we see him at a dinner party and his confidence level seems very shaky, as if he just accidentally dropped acid and is having a bad trip. Soon enough I witnessed an incredible transformation of the character from limp and weak looking to affirmative and commanding, which took me by surprise because I honestly didn't think Matthew Broderick the actor had that in him. I was impressed.

I was also impressed with the acting of Denzel Washington, who rarely does a botch job of any role he takes. Add to the list Andre Braugher and of course Morgan Freeman, who basically can act in his sleep with his usual notes.

I was deeply touched at the whipping scene, not only because the company was opening up old wounds, but because of the words expressed on Shaw's face. Sublime characterizations here. I have a hard time discussing slavery, and an even harder time thinking about all of our brothers and sisters who were mistreated in the most vile of ways. I don't chalk my "white guilt" up as the reason. I believe a great debt is owed to the black people, and it starts with a hysterical apology, an apology that isn't just pent up gas from fear or family bloodlines. I feel I have a devastating understanding of what it's like and how it must feel to this day knowing that half or more of the world, at one time, was the devil to you and shamed you into a hellish prison of self doubt and pain, heartbreak and everything else that can come with that. I need to stop, I'm getting off track.

I was affected.

I don't have any real gripes with this movie. It was made in such a way to be an award winner, there's no doubt about it. War is dirty, no one wins, etc, etc. That was easy enough to take away. I did feel the score by James Horner bordered on cloying a few times, but I think that was the era in which this film was made. 1989. Nothing else would indicate this film is from that year. Not to me. It seems very modern. I had the luxury of spreading out the dialog, sound and music between 7.1 channels, and my roof almost blew off. It was a rich experience on blu ray, pumping though surround sound, but I still got the movie without it being colored from the superficial means in which I watched it. Superficial isn't the right word. Hell, I recommend everyone take film watching as serious as a home theater system. 35mm film print and original mix with an added bonus of more dimensional separation.

I'm getting off track again.