Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cinema Babble: Who Knew

The Flick: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

The Peeps: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Anthony Mackie, Rufus Sewell, Maron Csokas, Jimmi Simpson, Erin Wasson, etc.

The Dealio: A.Lincoln (Walker), our 16th prez apparently had quite a backstory. As a young boy, witnessing several NQR (not quite right) events, a turning point came when he realised that he couldn't simply pass his time  felling trees, studying  into the night and desperately searching for a meaningful way to support  and to better himself. A chance meeting- in a bar, of all places- offers him a tempting alternative: get a little bit back on those who 'done him wrong' and, at the same time, cull the apparent herd of vampires currently aprowl amongst unsuspecting non-vamps. Under the tutelege of Henry Sturgess, Lincoln enters  a sort of vampire-slayer bootcamp and, eschewing the more trad anti-vamp weaps, modifies his trusty axe to do the trick. One draw-back to this master plan: Sturgess gets to pick the  targets (in a plot device reminiscent of TV's Person of Interest) and only when Sturgess okays it, may he exact his ultimate revewnge. All the rest is basic-if revisionist-history.

The Grading Session: 4.83 pengies out of 5. Newcomer Walker is remarkably apt in his portrayal of younger and not-so-young Lincoln, who is played as, first, a wide-eyed idealist, and later, as a heavy-hearted, hyper-stressed dignitary. What you also get to see is A. Lincoln's evolution into a bona fide bad ass. But, more on that later.
 As always, I felt  compelled to shave off a few scraps of pengie-points to reflect on the unnecessary length of the film. What is this trend? Is it that film makers are unable to leave a shred of film on the floor? Or is it a consistent lack of confidence in their product? Whichever, it certainly is both universal, and tedious.
Except for Sewell (and a more consistent Bad Hat I have yet to meet cinematically) and Mackie, most of the other players are, to me, at least, recognisable by face, although not necessarily by name and rep. Grand job, though, throughout, in the casting.

Lessons Learned: First: much of what I thought I knew about vampires- and Lincoln!- was vastly over-estimated by yours truly. Next, to cop a phrase from Juno: 'Who knew he had it in him?' ' I know...right?' Lastly this: apparently Lincoln had only one child-Willie. Gee, I guess that means no Presidential Death Mascot, (see Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation for both a great read and the source of this last reference. Lincoln, of course, had three sons. See any history book or biography to source this statement).

Notable Quotables (that should have appeared in this flick, but  didn't) :
A Lincoln: 'I'm gonna need my wallet back, too.'
Bad Guy: 'Okay. Which one is it?'
A. Lincoln: 'It's the one that says Bee Ay Em Eff on it.'

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