Friday, June 22, 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Hey again.  I just returned from Martinsburg, W.V., where I saw the new movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.  Like any Civil War historian, how films and other media portray the war interests and concerns me. I must confess that I have not read Seth Graham-Smith's mash-up novel...yet.  I don't want to spoil the movie for anyone, but I recommend this movie to all.  It does take enormous liberties with Lincoln's life and career.  Most films do (I'm looking at you, Steven Spielberg).  My colleagues may cringe at them, yet there is much to like in the film.  The action scenes are first-rate, which is no surprise coming from Timur Bekmambetov, the director of Wanted (with Angelina Jolie and The Conspirator's James McAvoy.  The cast is a mixed bag.  Benjamin Walker is a good choice as the young and old Lincoln.  However, the stunning - and tall - Mary Elizabeth Winstead doesn't work as Mary Lincoln.  The same goes for Firefly's Alan Tyduk as Stephen Douglas.  Joshua Speed also appears.  Many scenes are CGI, which may distract from the rest of the film.  Cringe-worthy or not, the film is well-cut, moves along at a rapid pace, and is never dull, and nicely photographed by the always reliable Caleb Deschanel (he lensed one of my favorite movies, The Right Stuff, and the only passable thing in The Patriot.)  Remember that it's based on a novel, as was Gettysburg and Gods and Generals, and other films.  I think that my colleagues will enjoy it in spite of themselves.  Now I eagerly await Spielberg's Lincoln due out this Christmas.

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