Tuesday, December 22, 2020

DVD Review - Grant: The Complete Miniseries

While cleaning off my desk, I stumbled upon Grant: The Complete Miniseries DVD, which Lionsgate Home Entertainment sent to me in October. As you can probably guess, I had forgotten about even having it. What can I say? I've been busy with non-blogging for the past two months, so I'm just now getting around to reviewing it.

From executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio, and based on 2017's Ulysses S. Grant biography by Ron Chernow, the 3-part miniseries first aired on History in May 2020. Unlike 2012's Hatfield's & McCoys miniseries, Grant intertwines big-budget reenactment with commentaries from historians, journalists, former CIA Director David Petraeus, and author Ron Chernow.

The miniseries is in three parts - Unlikely Hero, Lincoln's General, and Freedom's Champion. It chronicles Grant's early years as a quartermaster in the Mexican-American-War, his rise to General during the Civil War, and his years as the 18th President of the United States. 


Final Thoughts

I rarely watch History anymore, mostly because the channel airs way too many reality series. The Grant miniseries went under my radar until I received a press release about the DVD. I'm a Civil War buff, so naturally, I requested to review it.

The blending of reenactments and a documentary works well here. Justin Salinger plays Grant in the reenactment scenes, and he gives a good performance. I wish the filmmakers filled out the rest of the cast with better actors. Carel Nel is horrible as President Abraham Lincoln, and Brian Heydenrych's performance as General Robert E. Lee is a joke. The cinematography is comparable to Hollywood blockbusters, especially during the Civil War battle scenes. However, they should have spent less money on fancy camera shots and more on the makeup department. There were way too many cheap-looking fake beards and wigs.

There are two-discs with parts 1& 2 on the first disc and the final-part on the third. The video and sound qualities are decent. There are no special features or bonus extras.

Grant: The Complete Miniseries is an intriguing documentary, if you can get past a few lackluster performances and many laughable beards. The primary focus is mostly on the Civil War battles that Grant commanded, so if you're a Civil War buff, then you're going to be in heaven.

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