Monday, November 29, 2004

the Alamo

I saw the Alamo this last weekend. I really enjoyed it. I wanted to see it on the big screen back in march but I didn't have time. I know it didn't do well at the box office, dismal by current $$ standards, but I wasn't sure if it was because the movie was misunderstood or just plain bad. After watching it I have to say it was probably misunderstood. It may have been marketed as a patriotic film, but to me it was more of a character study of the three mythic heroes of the Texas Pantheon, Jim Bowie-Davey Crockett-William "Buck" Travis -Sam Houston (None of whom surprisingly, were Texans).
In the movie these guys were portrayed, as men of greatness who were as flawed as any of us would be. I appreciated that. I also appreciated the portrayals of the Tejano defenders and the slaves.
Once again the commentary on the DVD's added to my enjoyment of the film by providing some interesting insight that wouldn't have been available to me had I seen the movie in the theater. I took a look at the comment sections over at Amazon and at the IMDB site and I found quite a few negative reviews of the movie. Folks were posting that it was long and boring and that the fight at the end was just a chaotic mess Most of those comments I attribute to those folks who went to see it expecting something more in line with Braveheart, Gladiator, or the Patriot. There were even guys making fun of the clothing (which was historically accurate to the time). Once I started reading the posts I found that the few defenders of the movie were guys like me who had an interest in the historical points and had done a bit of reading of the period and the issues involved in the conflict. Given that, it was easy to dismiss the silly hat comments.
Overall my feeling is that the movie is good. But it must be taken as it is intended, a movie adaptation of the siege of the Alamo. Not historically by the book, but the closest in realism of the several movies that have been done on the subject.