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Old June 27 2012, 12:59 AM   #241
Trekker4747
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Re: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter produced by Tim Burton in the work

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

My Grade: B-

Of all of the summer movies this year this one is the one I was most perplexed about when it came to people's excitement and anticipation over it. The idea just sounded absurd to me and like something a couple of stoners would come up with while hopped up on shitty weed.

"What if you had, like, Abraham Lincoln, man. And he was hunting VAMPIRES! Dude?!"

But the way it was executed here... Wasn't too bad. The movie starts off with a young Abraham Lincoln witnessing his mother being turned one night -though she doesn't become a vampire and succumbs to whatever was put into her. He doesn't know it was a Vampire that killed his mother but he spends his adolescent years (post the death of his father) to get revenge for his mother and is startled to find out his actions did not kill the man. Luckily Honest Abe is saved at the last moment by a man who hunts vampires and recruits Abe as another vampire hunter. After training Lincoln goes to Springfield, Illinois, finds a job and attends law school all as a front to his vampire-hunting at night via post notes from his mentor. While working in a general store he manages to catch the eye of a young Mary Todd, posing a problem since as a vampire hunter he is to keep a low profile and have no personal relationships.

He courts Mary Todd anyway (SPOILERS!) while still seeking vengeance on the "man" who killed his mother so long ago, a man who leads a band of vampires living in the South.

The movie is interesting in that it follows this version from young-adulthood to his fateful night headed to Ford's Theater but at the same time the movie seems to missing a lot, a lot of stuff I can on presume can be filled in by the book. There's a couple large plot holes, dropped threads, and character changes that simply don't make much sense in the context of this movie.

The movie also is apparently way over-doing the 3D "throw things into the camera" thing, many scenes are filled with fine dust particles floating around and one action scene in particular involving a stampede of horses is particularly annoying to watch just in 2D, I can only imagine what it was like in 3D.

All of the actors turn in good performances (though I think the man who played a presidential Lincoln in "AL v Zombies" did a better job) especially Mary Elizabeth Winstead whom I didn't even recognize as Mary Todd, the movie also does old-age makeup light years better than what Prometheus did.

Overall it was a pretty decent, enjoyable movie. Better than I was expecting but sometimes full of itself in action pieces (in one scene in particular the image turns from vibrant colors, to dark muted tones, back to full color) with stuff flying all over and ridiculous action movies. I'll accept that a 20-something Abraham Lincoln can chop down a foot-thick tree with a single stroke of an ax. I cannot accept the way he was leaping around and keeping steady while jumping between a bunch of stampeding horses.

But, still, fun popcorn movie. Or queso blanco movie in my case.
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Old June 27 2012, 01:01 AM   #242
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Re: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter produced by Tim Burton in the work

Dorian Thompson wrote: View Post
I'm sure no film maker actually aims for a metacritic score of 40.
I'm sure most filmmakers don't give a shit about their Metacritic scores.
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Old June 27 2012, 03:05 AM   #243
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Re: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter produced by Tim Burton in the work

Kestrel wrote: View Post
^ Twas a joke.
I probably should have figured that out for myself, but the truth is that those ideas were so cool sounding that I was hoping they were true.

On a somewhat related note there are actual books (though not written by Seth Grahame-Smith) about Queen Victoria Demon Hunter and Henry VIII Wolfman.
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Old June 27 2012, 03:49 AM   #244
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Re: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter produced by Tim Burton in the work

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Gryffindorian wrote: View Post
I wanted to see this movie over the weekend, but to my surprise and disappointment, it had limited showtimes and locations in my area. I may either see it next week or just wait for the DVD.

Meanwhile ...
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter may not have been critically well received, taking in a less than impressive $16.3 million at the box office during its opening weekend, but its co-producer Tim Burton and writer Seth Grahame-Smith are already planning a series of sequels. Grahame-Smith is slated to write and publish at least five more books within the next five years, a project which he describes as the “American Presidents: Dark Anthology” series that began with his novel-turned-motion picture, Lincoln. Studio executives announced Monday that they have reached a tentative deal with Grahame-Smith to film the yet-to-be-penned anthology books, and Burton also agreed to co-produce at least two more films with the author.

“Working with Seth on this [project] was a great collaborative experience, and I can’t wait to do it again,” said Burton during a recent interview with Access Hollywood.

The five historical fiction novels will again feature former U.S. presidents (and one incumbent) with the following working titles.

FDR: Werewolf Slayer– The wheelchair-bound and only four-term Commander-in-Chief who led the country from the Depression and through the last days of World War II will be packing silver bullets. And he’s out to get the Nazis and their lycanthropic allies! “The only thing we have to fear is not werewolves, but fear itself!”

JFK: Alien Terminator– The 1960s was a remarkable decade, and little was known to the American people that aliens indeed walked among us! And Schwarzenegger was not the first man in history to carry the title of “Terminator.” The charismatic president declares, “Ask not what aliens can do to you, but what you can do to aliens!”

Ronald Reagan: Ghostbuster– During the Cold War era of the 1980s, the U.S.S.R. employed nefarious ghosts to spy on the White House and the Pentagon to gather intelligence and scare the living daylights out of Americans. Says Reagan, “Mr. Gorbachev, I will bring down these spooks!”

Bill Clinton: Zombie Assassin– This Democratic president’s two terms in the White House were plagued with evil, flesh-eating reanimated dead people. Clinton declares, “I did not have relations with that zombie, Ms. Lewinsky …”

Barack Obama: Robot Destroyer – Unemployment, health care, Social Security: these are but a few issues that the Chief Executive must deal with during his administration. Yet terrorism has a new face as a group of militants build an army of robots to attack Washington, DC. Can President Obama overcome this cybernetic menace? “Yes I can!”
Out of curiosity, what is your source on this? I did a Google search on all those titles, and this thread was the top result in most cases. Likewise, a search for Seth Grahame-Smith didn't reveal anything either.

Although there is a surprisingly large amount of websites connecting FDR to werewolves.
OK, I 'fess up. I had too much time on my hands.
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Old June 27 2012, 04:33 AM   #245
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Re: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter produced by Tim Burton in the work

Didn't Mrs. Lincoln play the lead in the recent prequel to "The Thing"?
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Old June 27 2012, 05:09 AM   #246
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Re: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter produced by Tim Burton in the work

Slate did something similar...

The Secret Histories of Other U.S. Presidents
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Old June 27 2012, 11:21 AM   #247
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Re: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter produced by Tim Burton in the work

Dorian Thompson wrote: View Post
Didn't Mrs. Lincoln play the lead in the recent prequel to "The Thing"?
Yes, it was Mary Elizabeth Winstead the lead in the recent prequel to "The Thing" as well as playing John McClain's college-aged daughter in the fourth installment in the Die Hard movies.
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Old June 28 2012, 01:23 AM   #248
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Re: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter produced by Tim Burton in the work

I give it an "A." After all the crabby reviews, I fully expected some kind of witless splatterfest, but I think Bekmambetov and Burton did successfully convey the slavery = vampirism metaphor.

Those who are silly enough to take this topic literally and are avoiding the movie because of it, probably don't know enough about history to appreciate it anyway and would only be confused. (I also really wonder how it's playing in Southern states. )

I enjoyed the historically appropriate little touches interwoven amidst all the insanity, such as Harriet Tubman (spoiler in case anyone still hasn't seen it)
The end credits with blood outlining the shape of the states was also nice.

The reason this movie works is because there's some actual historical substance to the underlying metaphor. Trying to shoehorn FDR with werewolves or Obama with robots wouldn't work unless someone can come up with a real-life metaphor that justifies such things. It's gotta be more than President X + Monster Y. But I can't imagine there being more than one matchup like that, that just so happens to work, as a historical/cultural oddity. I'm happy if this is a total one-off, and all the Presidents are left alone forever after.

Except, of course, for Calvin Coolidge vs. The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Time to go read the book now, and see how it compares. I'll probably start a thread on that topic in, oh, about a month.

The movie was pretty quirky and weird, but it was fun. I didn't go in expecting the gravity of Lawrence of Arabia. People enjoy superheroes and giant robots but they can't enjoy this? I just don't get it.
Bingo. But this movie was definitely more original than most Hollywood pablum, which simply isn't based on anything. Even the much-lauded Avengers is really nothing but fluff at its heart. This story is based on historical reality - that 150 years ago, Americans did feel like they were losing their nation to an insidious, evil plague that was dragging them down. That plague was slavery. I'm not making this up, it's described in many first-person accounts from the time that I've read. People then wouldn't have used vampirism as a metaphor, because it wasn't part of popular consciousness before Bram Stoker, but they used similar metaphors - diseases, parasitism, etc - they would have actually recognized the underlying metaphor here.

This movie's failing is that it expects the audience to know enough about history to actually appreciate that it's a lot more than President X meets Monster Y. Yet another example of a topic that simply goes over the audience's heads. Silly Hollywood, haven't you learned by now not to do that?
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Old June 28 2012, 04:46 AM   #249
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Re: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter produced by Tim Burton in the work

I agree with you, Temis. Some folks didn't even catch on to the fact that it was Harriet Tubman to whom the movie alluded with the aforementioned scenes. The more I think about this movie, the more I like it. I'd like to go see it again.

And Ben Walker was adorable.
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Old June 30 2012, 11:47 PM   #250
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Re: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter produced by Tim Burton in the work

Wife and I had a coin toss between this and Prometheus and this won. Not a bad flick, I give it a solid B. It seemed to be a bit rushed in places, something that I've noticed is common in movies today, but liked it well enough. I think my biggest issue when watching the movie was how much older Lincoln seemed to appear at the end compared to his companions. After reading some of the post here I was struck at just how much Benjamin Walker does indeed resemble a younger Liam Neeson. I kinda cringed at the whole Civil War for the sake of Vampires angle, but I guess it was as good as a way to move the movie along as any.
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Old July 1 2012, 07:52 PM   #251
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Re: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter produced by Tim Burton in the work

Box Office Mojo:
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which plummeted 71 percent to a meager $1.83 million. Through 10 days, the Timur Bekmambatov flick has earned $24.9 million.
The IGN Movies Keepin' It Reel podcast crew predict that, as a result, the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie will likely not happen.






... Incidentally, Honest Abe made a pretty funny appearance in the rather good Weird Science episode "Community Property", available for free Hulu streaming.
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Old July 1 2012, 08:14 PM   #252
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Re: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter produced by Tim Burton in the work

I saw it last night and I'll give it a C+.

I've never read the book, but this felt like a lazy adaptation of the much better novel. All the elements of a good film were there, but nothing was done with care or quality. The characters were underdeveloped, the writing was mediocre, and the action scenes were uninspired. It felt like the director was just going through a checklist of things taken from the novel rather than carefully crafting a quality movie. Fortunately, it was a very good checklist, so I did enjoy the movie. However, it should have been so much better than it was.
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Old July 1 2012, 08:23 PM   #253
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Re: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter produced by Tim Burton in the work

If he'd trusted the characters more and incorporated less action sequences I think that might have shored up the storyline. I really liked the actors in this film, especially Ben Walker in the lead. It's a shame it isn't doing better. It could have been a real hit with more careful adaptation, I think.
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Old July 1 2012, 08:53 PM   #254
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Re: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter produced by Tim Burton in the work

Well, at least it got made in the first place. Like Scott Pilgrim, underperforming /= bad by any means.
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Old July 1 2012, 09:31 PM   #255
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Re: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter produced by Tim Burton in the work

Kelthaz wrote: View Post
The characters were underdeveloped, the writing was mediocre, and the action scenes were uninspired.
You didn't think that scene with the horses was a little inspired?
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