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A few words about...™ Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter -- in Blu-ray & 3D

A Few Words About

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#1 of 8 Robert Harris

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Posted May 19 2013 - 06:19 PM

While I'm a huge fan of Ms Goodwin's writings, and thought very highly of Mr. Spielberg's Lincoln, with Mr. Day-Lewis in the pivotal role, facts are facts.

 

Originally to be a multi-book set, issued over four years, it appears that the first volume, known to exist as galley proofs, and which covered Lincoln's early years, the vampire problem of the 1830s and beyond, and the truth about the Civil War, was jettisoned.

 

Public pressure won out and Dreamworks gave us Lincoln as legend, passed down through generations of writers and "historians" too concerned about their own reputations to allow the truth to be heard.

 

I'm pleased that, while we have Mr. Spielberg's telling of the legend, that we finally have truth, history and accuracy, as brought to the screen by Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Day Watch) and Fox.  Interestingly, it was a Russian-born filmmaker that had the requisite love of this country, to work to see that the truth was finally heard.

 

The short version is that Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks, was infected by a vampire, and died in 1818.  This was the beginning of a life-long hatred of vampires by Lincoln.  What he didn't realize, was that all vampires were not bad.

 

In this wonderful 3D action epic, we learn that the Civil War, which began as a dispute between the north and south regarding slavery, actually turned into a battle of men vs. vampires, but for a single inexplicable reason.

 

While I can agree that the vampire responsible for the death of Lincoln's mother was not what might be considered the good undead in polite society, had Lincoln changed the fabric of the 13th amendment, not to simply guarantee the freedom of all living people, regardless of color, in the United States, but rather structured it -- as it was suggested at the time -- to protect both the living and the dead from mistreatment, the vampire problem as we now know it, might have been settled peacefully.

 

I enjoyed this film, not only as history, but as a very nicely crafted and shot 3D experience.  The wonderful Caleb Deschanel performed the cinematographic honors.  And his work here is magnificent.

 

The 7.1 DTS-HD MA track is terrific, with audio perfectly placed, and effects beautifully rendered.

 

From a purely historical perspective, looking back to three-strip Technicolor, the burning of the bridge sequence contains a number of original Technicolor background plates (the actual burning of the gate of Kong) as photographed for the burning of Atlanta sequence of Gone with the Wind in December of 1938.  A wonderful tip of the hat for their use.  Likewise, the homage to Citizen Kane, but without the newspapers at the dinner table.

 

While this film didn't receive great reviews, I found it an extremely enjoyable ride.  For those who love history -- real history, as opposed to Hollywood history -- it comes recommended from these quarters.

 

And for those who might ask, 3D and 7.1 make a difference here.

 

One final point.  I've become so weary over the years reading about Mary Todd Lincoln, as a dumpy little creature with bouts of depression.  Finally, we get the real Mary Todd, as beautifully portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Winstead -- all 5' 8" of her.  Much like the historical inaccuracies about a short T. E. Lawrence, we finally get the real picture of this famous lady.

 

RAH


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"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#2 of 8 revgen

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Posted May 19 2013 - 06:42 PM

I didn't care that much for the movie. The acting and dialogue was bland. The special effects were not convincing. If the actors and writers can't take the story seriously enough, then they should have produced the film as a comedy instead. A vampire hunting Lincoln could make for excellent comedic material if done correctly. I didn't see it in 3D, but I doubt that would have improved my experience.


Edited by revgen, May 19 2013 - 06:44 PM.


#3 of 8 Brian McP

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Posted May 19 2013 - 10:05 PM

I like your review RAH -- it contained the right amount of gravitas needed -- shall certainly check it out. I suspect one day I'll be sitting through the movie version of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" with the same amount of attention to what Jane Austen wrote and what really happened....?

 

In his later days, if only to keep himself going, the great Spike Milligan rewrote many classic books -- from "Frankenstein" through to most of "The Bible", as seen through his eyes -- I don't know if any of these books are filmable, but done as seriously as possible, with great attention to both detail and the worth of a funny line or situation, could be, in the right hands, pretty funny movies.



#4 of 8 Richard V

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Posted May 20 2013 - 05:46 AM

Glad to see RAH enjoyed the movie as much as I did, and to see he recommends the Bluray as well.


See you at the pah-ty, Richter.

#5 of 8 RolandL

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Posted May 20 2013 - 10:04 AM

Starz has this for free On Demand. Looked good even though it was side-by-side 3D

Roland Lataille
Cinerama web site

 


#6 of 8 Brandon Conway

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Posted May 20 2013 - 10:07 AM

Frankly, I thought the movie was quite terrible, but for those interested in it the presentation is very good.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#7 of 8 Brian Kidd

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Posted May 20 2013 - 11:50 AM

I enjoyed the heck out of this movie. It was exactly what I expected from a movie with that title. I found it entertaining from beginning to end. Sadly, I don't have a 3D television, but the 2D experience was just fine. Nice to hear there are other folks who can appreciate a film made just for fun.


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#8 of 8 andrew markworthy

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Posted June 02 2013 - 11:11 AM

I saw this movie on an hotel TV channel earlier this year. The only snag is that it was labelled simply as 'Lincoln' and I thought it was the Spielberg film. I spent the first twenty minutes or so trying to work out what the **** was going on. I figured it was just some sort of dream sequence with the vampires symbolising the slave traders and at some point the 'real' Abe Lincoln would wake up and we'd get an historically accurate account of his life. What is worse is that I was sober at the time.







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