Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies (2012)

“Emancipate this!”

The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself. And of course, flesh eating Confederate zombies. Those things are always a bugger on countries and whatnot. Those dang confederate zombies. After a prologue showing young Mr. Lincoln beheading his undead father with an axe, he soon discovers years in to his presidency that Confederate soldiers are rising from their graves and are spreading along the country to wreak havoc on the living. Abraham Lincoln takes it upon himself to lead the charge and stop the siege of the undead with a secret mission, and soon must fight for his life against hordes of the walking dead, alongside his brethren of pistol shooting suited men. “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies” is basically “Night of the Living Dead” but with a very twisted historical context. Instead of a farm house there’s a military fort, and instead of a group of survivors, there’s Abe Lincoln, a young Teddy Roosevelt, and a bunch of other characters that double for cannon fodder for the zombies.

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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

Though I never actually had the opportunity to read Seth Grahame-Smith’s original novel, director Timur Bekmambetov’s treatment of the revisionist novel is one of the more interesting horror movies I’ve ever seen. Not only does the film skirt the edges of camp, but it accomplishes the wonderful sense of surrealism and whimsy that Bekmambetov’s “Night Watch” films held so proudly. “Vampire Hunter” carries with it a lot of prospects for future installments, and it’s a very clever and often exciting bit of action horror that delivers on exactly what its title promises. There is Abraham Lincoln, and he does indeed stalk and hunt vampires for a great portion of the film.

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Titanic (1997)

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It’s not a surprise why “Titanic” ended up becoming one of the highest grossing movies of all time and was later de-throned by “Avatar” by the very same director that brought us the aforementioned movie. Both films are so utterly broadly written and vague in their mass appeal that they’re pretty much guaranteed to be massive hits. With his hand on the button of the latest special effects, and a script that can be as ho hum and derivative as possible without a single complaint from his audience, “Titanic” is one of the two major blockbusters from director James Cameron. And like his future massive hit “Avatar,” it is an immense crowd pleaser because it doesn’t challenge or push its audience to think. It merely offers up vague characters, hackneyed archetypes, and a bang up special effects presentation that is still the small highlight in a giant disappointment.

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300 (2006)

xnEMOD2“300” is really nothing more than a movie about war. It’s about a society that paints war as heroic, and beautiful, about a society that views death in battle as heroic, and unflinching loyalty to government as brave. And yet, we know better. But this was the society. This is society period. It’s not difficult to see what the subtext is if you look hard enough.”300” though is also a beautiful action film that stages every scene as a living painting. Frank Miller, in spite of my disagreement with his views, is a wonderful writer. And he without a doubt set the stage for many writers to explore new domains in the comic book world.

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Alexander Revisited: The Final Cut (DVD)

“Why a third version of Alexander? The best answer I can manage is, I couldn’t get it out of my system. It’s a film that’s been haunting me since the theatrical version first appeared in November 2004 in the U.S., followed by a Director’s Cut on DVD in July 2005.” Oliver Stone

Jesus Christ, Mr. Stone, why? Why can’t you just leave that gaping wound alone? Why can’t you just let it heal? Why can’t you just leave well enough alone and accept that you made a really bad movie? You made a bad movie! There was no homophobic conspiracy, no boycott against you. You made a neo-“Caligula,” a film that takes itself so seriously it can’t even realize it has a huge “Kick My Pompous Ass” sign on its back. While we chortle in the distance, you’re still hung up on this figment that we just can’t accept a film about a hero who is bisexual. So, you grace us with three cuts of the same crappy film. Stone, know when to stop breathing air in the infectious cavity. You win some, and you lose some. You lost big with “Alexander” and you only help increase the sentiment with this “final” cut. You’re off your game, face it. And worst of all, Stone wants to cater to his audiences rather than accept defeat. There was the original cut (175 min.), then the trimmed down cut which increased the action and pulled back on the homosexual overtones (167 min.), and now there’s this “Final Cut.”

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Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (Sophie Scholl – Die letzten Tage) (2005)

In 1943, German teens Sophie and Hans Scholl, and Christoph Probst along with many others, were convicted of crimes against their country during the end of the second world war. Sophie, Hans, and Christoph were convicted and executed after being caught distributing leaflets and pamphlets speaking out against Hitler and his army. What’s depicted in “Sophie Scholl” is the utterly heroic and courageous war fought by these three people to survive and send out their messages of impending defeat to the Nazi’s. “Sophie Scholl” is a brilliant and utterly magnificent exploration not only in to the battle of these freedom fighters, but also an insightful glance at the last breath of the Nazi regime. I insist I’ve yet to see an awful depiction of the holocaust, and I stand by it. “Sophie Scholl” can be added to that list as one of the best depictions of Nazi wrath, and defiance ever made. It’s a masterpiece, pure and simple.

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Alexander (2004)

After the failure of “Alexander”, Stone, always the conspiracy buff, used this excuse: “Alexander failed because of conservative opposition to homosexuality.” Which answers the question, what does a conspiracy theorist do when they fail? Make their failure in to a conspiracy. “No, it wasn’t my fault, it’s the government!” But if a heavily homosexually driven film like “Brokeback Mountain” could succeed why couldn’t a film with mild homosexual themes make it? Answer that one, Stoner. Did you ever think that perhaps your movie really sucks? Because it does. Never since “Caligula” have I seen such a cheesy, ridiculous, and utterly boring “epic” that fails to be as good as it tries to be. From Anthony Hopkins typical dramatic narration spelling the film out for us, right down to the sickeningly grandiose style it’s unashamed to flaunt, “Alexander” is a bad movie that will show all that the gladiator fad is over and done with. So quit it, y’hear?

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Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)

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Based on the book by Doris Pilkington, “Rabbit Proof Fence” follows the early nineteen hundreds when the government would take Aboriginal children from their villages and families supposedly for their own good where they would be placed in a concentration camp to be educated and trained to be civil. Three young girls are taken from their mother to be taken to the camp. After a while, the oldest daughter Molly decides to escape the camp with her sisters and trek over one-thousand miles to get back home to their mother and must dodge a skilled tracker who must take them back to the camp. What make this movie so heart-wrenching is the fact that these three children are willing to walk more than a thousand miles just to get back to their family.

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