Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Look away, Abraham.

This past Sunday I was out in the backyard playing with my wife and son. Though I really didn't want to, my wife convinced me to set up a Toy Story themed Slip N' Slide. It took all of five minutes, but there was a problem. No one would go down the damn thing. My son is only two, and he was content just running near it. My wife, in a bikini, could not be convinced (I was positive there was no way her top would stay on) despite my badgering. At just over six feet and woefully out of shape, I didn't think I could conquer it, um, logistically. I think the whole thing is maybe 12-15 feet long. What is probably a sign of things to come in fatherhood, I sucked it up (and in) and went for it. It hurt and really wasn't that much fun, but for a split second...it f--king ruled.

Not sure why that chair is out in the woods...
Hours later, I headed to the mall to  catch Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I know, I see some dumb shit, but this one genuinely interested me. Hold on, hold on. I actually read this book a few years back and found it to be an entertaining fictionalization of U.S history. Lincoln is arguably the most recognizable of our former presidents and mixing his incredible life story with vampire ass-kicking turned out to be a hell of a ride. A legitimate illegitimate brother of mine, Flem, had read the book as well (in probably an eighth of the time) and we both thought it would be a decent action flick. Fast forward three years and there we were, 3D glasses and all.

Turns out twirling an axe is mandatory in battle
Let's just get this over with: this movie sucks. Flem and I laughed and had a good time with it, sure, but at the end of the day it really wasn't good. At all. Our pre-show discussion had revealed that neither of us really remembered the specifics of the book, not that it was that important. Maybe my generally fond memory of the book is unfounded, but I kept thinking that they really destroyed a pretty cool story. I actually thought I wonder what the author thinks of this mess. Oh wait. He already knows. Trust me.

So, even in this silly instance, the old adage of the book is always better than the movie continues to be an indisputable fact. As I mentioned, it has its moments, it does. The lead, Benjiman Walker, delivers a pretty kickass Lincoln (the older version is incredible). In fact, he may help set a record for participating in the most ridiculous scene ever, and that's a good thing. All that said, it just doesn't get it done.

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, the Yays and Boos. Now we are engaged in a great breakdown, testing whether that an audience, or any audience so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure this film. 
Fact: Abraham Lincoln loved his Nimbus Two Thousand
  • The kills are initially, very cool. Knife-in-mouth throat slit was solid, but all my love is saved for Axe-gun.
  • I'm not sure how you practice it, but fighting in the dark seems like a worthwhile skill to go with the hours of baton twirling.
  • Discussing silver! How much of it do we need? (dramatic pause) All of it. I almost pissed myself.
  • I don't know why, but I love Anthony Mackie. 
  • The final scene actually gives me hope. Though it could be Mitt Romney: Vampire Hunter.
  • Okay, I'll save the best for last. Stampede Battle. Not only do they fight on top of the largest horse stampede ever, but there's a point where a horse is thrown at Mr. Lincoln. Read that again. Someone throws a horse! And that's only half of it. Lincoln sort of dodges it and then rides that horse. It actually doubles my current level of happiness whenever I think about it. He throws a horse! A f--king horse
Her death, as welcome as it was, was ludicrous.

  • Save your money. I mean, in all regards, but if you have to see the horse-throwing awesomeness, don't spring for the 3D. Wait. Unless you like embers. Then you might want to bring another pair of pants.
  • Henry Sturges. I thought you sucked. Cooper is a solid guy, but I hated him here. And c--kblocking the Pres? Not cool, bro.
  • Hope you like the sound of time slowing down. Make it with me: Wurrrrrrrrrrrr..... x 900.
  • Vampires are karate masters. Wait. So is everyone in the mid 1800's.
  • Mary Todd. Why do I hate you so? Is it that you don't age in the 40+ years depicted here (not aging in a vampire movie...hmm)? Is it that you actually stood on Abe's hat without incident? No. It's none of those. It's just that your character was the voice of reason in a movie with the words Vampire Hunter in the title. You don't belong here, Ms. Todd.
  • But you know what did belong in this type of movie? Nudity. We get none. Dead boob doesn't count. Never has. Well, except in Thir13en Ghosts. Goodness!
  • Hey, we're mulling the fate of the free world on a steamboat. You know what would really go good with this? Carrots.
  • NEW RULE of Vampire Lore: Vampires can't kill each other. Okay, fine. They can't shoot or stab each other. But they can spin kick the shit out of each other and bite each other. Hmm. About that...
  • And finally, was that Linkin Park? No, no. I must have heard wrong. Did they film this in 1999? What was Limp Bizkit unavailable?
Judging by the box office returns, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was just as popular in theaters as the Slip N' Slide was in my backyard. Women and children were uninterested in both it seems. Oh well, you could do worse on a hot summer day. Just not much worse.


  1. Agree with pretty much all of this.

  2. This one could have definitely been a lot more ridiculous and insane, like the premise seemed like it promised, but I still had fun with it. Surprised this actually did well at all at the box office. Totally thought that people weren't all that interested in the idea of Honest Abe, hacking up vamps. Good review M.

    1. @ The Movie Waffler - Yeah, our reviews had a very similar tone. Yours was actually well written and concise.

      @ Dan - With friends and the right mindset, there's a lot of fun to be had. I just felt like as I was laughing at it and not with it.

  3. I haven't seen the movie no I plan on doing so in the near future, but I'm certain reading this review is more fun than actually watching it. Even than watching a horse being thrown :)

    1. I swear the worse the movie the more fun I have with the review. Thanks for the kind words and the link.

      Seriously, though. Throwing any animal at a person is ludicrous enough, but one that ways 1,000 pounds? That's just great.

      "Pardon me, Mr. Lincoln. What did the assailant throw at you, again?"

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  5. I'm so glad I followed the link Lady Sati put on her links post, I LOVE your review! I quite enjoyed this one but no, can't exactly say this is a GOOD movie by all means but hey, it's got Vampire Hunter in the title, it's not meant to be a deep, meaningful movie. I think they would've been better off making this completely tongue in cheek instead of taking it too seriously but yet throw something SO ridiculously preposterous like that stampede, ahah. I'd rent it and just have fun with it, I'd say. I saw it in 2D and I didn't feel like it was a waste.

    1. ruth!

      Glad you liked the review! I completely agree with what you're saying here...they should have just WENT FOR IT. Full camp, yet badass.

      The book juggled the killing and the history much better. At least I think it did...