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Could have been a lot better - and 1/3 the length
on 11 August 2004
Setting aside the obvious ageing of the actors since we first saw them in "Gettysburg", the interminable speeches and the "domestics"; for me this film tried to cover too much and too many events to be dramatic.
"Gettysburg" focussed on a relatively short span of time showing how events unfolded over three days to build up to the shattering conclusion of Pickett's charge. This film covers too much time, too many battles and can't make up its mind whether it is a documentary on the early part of the ACW or a biopic of "Stonewall" Jackson. Some parts are memorable - the tragic encounter between the Union and Confederate Irish Brigades at Jacksonville for example - but they are lost in lots and lots of boring detail.
Same applies to the books. The difference between the father's book "Killer Angels" and the son's sequel and prequel is that the latter are crammed so full of detail that the drama of the story gets swamped. They are an OK read if you're interested in the ACW but they lack the drama and interest that makes the first such a good read.