Film Friday… Week 86

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Nine years after his mother’s death at the hands of a vampire, young Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) plots his revenge. He’s spotted by vampire hunter, Henry (Dominic West) who recruits him, teaches him his secrets and sends him off to Illinois to dispatch some of the living dead. When Abe discovers that Henry is himself a vampire, he decides it’s time to pack in the vampire hunting and change the world through political means, at which point the vampires who are chasing him down, inexplicably leave him alone for about twenty-five years. Eventually Abe’s desire for the emancipation of all people regardless of race sparks a civil war, the vampires are fighting for the other side and Abe must once again pick up his trusty axe. Where do I even start with this one? There is zero character development, the film fails to live by its own mythology, there are huge plot holes and frankly, apart from the blistering action sequences, it was really, really boring. I really wouldn’t bother, especially in dire 3D. 1/5

The question I have to axe you is… do you feel lucky today punk? Well do you?

Magnolia

The seemingly unconnected lives of a series of characters come together on one rainy day in The San Fernando Valley, in this study of the nature of coincidence. From the failed child prodigy (William H Macy) wrestling with his sexuality to the sleazy “motivational” speaker (Tom Cruise) and the reformed gold digger (Julianne Moore) facing the death of her husband (Jason Robards), there is a lot to get your teeth into here and even with a running time of over three hours, it’s engrossing. Very highly recommended. 4/5

Fuck you… and the horse you road in on!

Dread

College student, Stephen (Jackson Rathbone) is surprised but pleased when charismatic classmate, Quaid (Shaun Evans) offers to assist him with his dissertation and suggests a study on fear. When Quaid volunteers to be part of the study, Stephen discovers that Quaid is plagued by terrible flashbacks from an incident in his childhood and it soon becomes evident that his obsession with fear goes far beyond the limits of their project. This film is in places brilliantly disturbing but it takes an eternity of self-conscious poncing about to get to the point and the acting from the male leads is sub-par. 2/5

What do you mean my hair looks like a badger died on my head…

Red Riding Hood

In a medieval village terrorised by a werewolf, a young woman named Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) is promised to a blacksmith (Max Irons, son of Jeremy, phwoar), despite the fact that she is in love with her childhood best friend (Shiloh Fernandez, sporting an unlikely boy band haircut), a lowly woodcutter. When the wolf kills Valerie’s sister, the local priest (Lukas Haas) calls in a sinister wolf hunter (Gary Oldman), who has the villagers turning on each other when he announces that the wolf lives amongst them. I get the feeling someone decided it would be a good idea to cash in on the new fashion for adapting fairy tales and shoehorned this script into the idea rather than the other way around, leaving it higgledy-piggeldy and often devoid of any logic. The acting and dialogue are dire and Seyfried is even more annoying than usual. Avoid. 1/5

Valerie was starting to wonder if taking all that acid before going for a walk in the snow was a good idea

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