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Movie Guy: Abraham Lincoln and The Godfather Trilogy

By   /   November 26, 2012  /   Comments

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Now on DVD)

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to the theater over the Thanksgiving holidays, but instead I give you some turkey with a side of movie classics…

Let me see if I have this straight, Abraham Lincoln, ‘Honest Abe’ is an axe wielding, kung-fu using, vampire slaying serial killer with a secret identity as a politician? I can suspend my disbelief quite a bit when it comes to movies; I can buy guys dressing up in colorful costumes fighting crime, secret agents who really aren’t so secret blowing stuff up and wildly dressed drug dealers hocking their wares without fear of reprisals. But I have a problem with Abraham Lincoln being a vampire slayer; this movie has probably done more to get people interested in Abraham Lincoln than any school teacher could and that is a sad, sad fact.

So let’s get to the meat of the story: Abraham Lincoln discovers that vampires are real when he witnesses his mother killed by one. He swears vengeance and patiently waits until he is old enough to extract his revenge, stealing his courage with some whiskey he goes out to confront the vampire and nearly loses his life in the process. Saved by another vampire, Lincoln is taught the vampire slaying arts of kung-fu and a bizarre axe-kata. We are introduced to various historical figures that Lincoln knew over the course of his life and are told in explicit detail that it wasn’t the people of the United States who wanted slaves to work their fields and do their menial labor, but instead vampires who were looking for something to eat. The Civil War was fought in an effort to kill the vampires and stop the slave trade to cut off the food supplies of the vampires in question.

First off, let me say that I’m almost certain that the book that spawned this movie (also titled Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter…) has got to be better than this movie. Why does everyone in Hollywood automatically make all vampires, and their hunters, martial art using masters? Is it a prerequisite that you have to have studied the martial arts to become a member of the legions of the undead? And the Axe-kata thing with him spinning and flipping the axe, I feel like Donal Logue from ‘Blade’ describing the sword play in that movie…

Secondly, I know there is this trend in Hollywood where they seem to be apologizing or minimizing the horror and suffering committed by certain parties on minorities. For a while there, it was making movies about Nazis that tried to cast them in a more favorable light and now we have a movie that blames the slave trade not on one of the darkest periods of American history, but instead on vampires looking for a little take out. This offends me as much as the bit from ‘Dracula II: Ascension’ (Straight to video sequel of Dracula: 2000…) where they reveal that Jesus was a vampire.

This movie, to me, is Abraham Lincoln meets ‘Buffy the vampire slayer’ with a sprinkling of ‘Blade’ thrown in on top. It never somehow manages to elevate itself above its ‘b-movie’ origins and that is sad, even for a popcorn horror-action film like this one.

0 Stars out of 5, Serve this turkey up cold!

The Godfather Trilogy (The Coppola Restoration)

There are movies that talk to a certain part of Americana, a fragment of society or even a segment of the melting pot that has made America the great place we all know it is. The Godfather trilogy, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, is one of those series of movies where a segment of society is examined with a microscope and fine toothcomb. Immaculately filmed and casted, the trilogy is a work of art that was almost thirty years in the making.

Before the Godfather, both Coppola and Pacino, were at the start of their respective careers. Coppola had done little more than schlock films and Pacino had three things on his resume and one of them was a bit part in a television show. Paramount Pictures took a huge risk on a young director and even younger actor, sure it had Marlon Brando, James Cann and Robert Duvall in major parts but it’s the work of Coppola and Pacino that set the series in motion and get things moving.

The movies span the life of Michael Corleone, war veteran and ‘good’ son of Don Vito Corleone, as he goes from being just another son not wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps to the man his father once was as Godfather of the Corleone crime family. The series is frank and brutal with its depiction of violence between the various mob families as well as those who get in their way. Spanning from the turn of the twentieth century to the end of the 1970s, the trilogy is an examination of how a good man can become evil over time.

Coppola is meticulous in his attention to details with everything from the cars having wooden bumpers for the time period, to the neighborhoods of the turn of the century New York during the second movie from the trilogy. Hollywood simply doesn’t movies like these anymore, it’s simply cheaper to copy what has been updating and using C.G.I. to evoke an image rather than use the environment around us anymore. There is more character in the streets of New York in these movies than any studio back lot can ever hope to recreate.

If you have the chance, check these movies out, if you never seen them, they are worth the look and if you have seen them, then check them out again. They are certainly worth a second look.

5 stars out of 5, it’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse.

 

 

Keith Kilburn and his wife, Dawn, live in Leesburg with two cats and dog named Godzilla. He’s written for Herorealm.com before they were bought out by corporate interests and has written a novel that he’s working on publishing. It’s rumored that he’s seen more movies than Blockbuster rents in a year and knows more about comic books than Stan Lee himself!

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