Monday, July 20, 2009

The Alamo - May 2004


"The Alamo" is a decent but not totally accurate representation of the events leading up to and following the famous 1836 siege. We have all the elements: an unsure military leader; a wizened anti-hero; a colorful sidekick and a villain who doesn’t speak English. Throw it all together and it’s quite an entertaining package.

Still, I’m getting less enthused about historical dramas these days. I prefer my history to come from books. All movies, even documentaries, are fictional. To make a historical drama, the film makers have to leave so much out and then juice up a few details to make it more palatable. Books don’t have this handicap, although just because it is in print doesn’t make it more accurate. I just think if I’m going to watch a battle scene, I’ll get more enjoyment out of a purely fictional movie like "The Last Samurai” or "Starship Troopers." I don’t want ask myself, “Did Davy Crockett really accompany Santa Anna’s military band on the fiddle one night?”

[2009: I didn't mention it in the review, but "The Alamo" was directed by Ron Howard. You want to kill a few hours sometime? Ask me how every Ron Howard film except for "Night Shift" contains a fatal flaw somewhere. I tend to go on and on about it.]

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