It’s a fair cop, Fox, you’ve caught me. I confess, there’s nothing I love to do more than to sneak into the cinema and film it on my camera. Because to me, the popcorn crackling, the ringing of mobile phones and the sounds of people talking just add to the movie experience and that’s exactly how I want to share it with my many terrorist friends.
Question: is Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter the final Fox movie I’ll watch in the cinema? Answer: maybe. Because when you’ve just paid nearly 9 euro to go and watch a film, there’s nothing you like better than a message accusing you of theft. Apparently to Fox, every moviegoer is a criminal. And honestly, in the past two months I’ve made up a tiny bit of my backlog and I’m getting horribly annoyed by the copyright message I have to endure every time. Of the more than 50 movies I’ve watched in July and August, there was literally one that thanked me for purchasing the film and supporting it. Now there’s a message. The others just put on a generic message that by my copying the film I’m doing a bad thing or even supporting terrorism. Luckily, the movies you rent on your digital tv don’t come with this message. On the other side of the scale, there’s series. You’re actually forced to watch every episode of a disc in one go or else you have to endure the same copyright nonsense again and again. That is why rather than buying Borgen, I watched it on BBC Four. I’ll repeat it and hope that all the copyright people are reading along: because you’re forcing me to watch a message that is not directed to me (as I have already purchased your bloody product) I buy fewer movies on DVD these days. And if, like Fox, you are now going to put up that same message in the cinema, I’ll be glad to send you my cinema card, so you can swallow on it. Oh, and while we’re at it, your statement consisted of only four sentences: is it too much to ask you not to make a grammatical error in four short sentences?
So after the almost faultless message of the copyright people, the people at Fox were kind enough to start the film. While your blood is still boiling from being accused of theft with a camera, there’s nothing you like to see more than a shoddy CGI effect. Fortunately, that’s exactly how Abraham Lincoln kicks off, but then again you can’t blame the product. After all, it’s not a movie. This is the brainchild of somebody who wanted to flog a lot of 3D television sets, but thought the store samples were too short. Oh, if only somebody would make a commercial of 100 minutes… and thus we get a tree being chopped with splinters scattering in every possible direction. Especially in the first five minutes, the 3D ad (sorry, movie) justs adds effect after effect, hoping nobody noticed the script editor was still missing on the first day of shooting. Even the film’s climax, which is set on a train, is nothing but a long commercial without any artistic value whatsoever.I can only hope it wasn’t made to look convincing. Say what you want about the 50s B-movies which also dabbled with 3D technology, but you’ll have a hard time trying to find one where the plot was basically as non-existant as here.
Speaking of artistic value, the director of this film (whom we shall only name as Timur B, for we believe we don’t have to name and shame the guilty people) and the post-production department must have understood how awful their mess was: they tried to make the movie look cool by blowing up the sound. By adding loud music and effects, you certainly get the feeling something is going on, but unfortunately, the entire thing was so loud I had to protect my ears from time to time. If those moments have taught me anything, it’s that a lot of the scenes lose their entertainment effect if you’re partially muting the sound.
Bad CGI effects, a shambolic effort to plug 3D and loudness to mask an inability to have a gripping scene… it doesn’t sound too positive, this review, now does it? Erm, not really, and it’s even worse because the premise looked promising. However, it all seems like the ‘product’ is only made to cash in: not just on the 3D hype, but also on Twilight and True Blood. Without a doubt, some cigar-smoking producer said: “You had me at 3D vampires.”
Vampires or not, if only the people in Hollywood forced themselves to look at the 2D version as well: you can add as many 3D effects if you like, but if there’s nothing substantial in the movie itself, people will feel cheated and the 3D rage will end sooner than they think. But they’re not worried about making a bad product, they worry about that one jerk who brings a camera to the theatre. Give people better movies and they’ll return to those expensive cinemas, some even after having watched it illegally (because it’s not the same as watching it on a giant screen). Or continue on this path and lose everyone. You are losing me, 3D. You have lost me, Fox. Do you get the message or do you want me to send it in 3D?
P.S. Finally some good news that I couldn’t seem to fit in the review… hrm, I couldn’t insert something positive into the review, isn’t that a sign of how abysmal a product is? Anyway, I did want to mention that Mary Elisabeth Winstead is very good in this film. She steals the film – not literally, Fox, you don’t want to accuse even your actresses of theft – and I hope for her that she can give a similar performance in a better movie.