Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
20th Century Fox (2011)
Action, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
In Collection
#2456
7*
Seen ItYes
(10/15/2013)
024543826552
IMDB   6.0
105 mins USA / English
BLU-RAY 3D  Region 1   R
Mary Elizabeth Winstead Mary Todd Lincoln
Dominic Cooper Henry Sturgess
Rufus Sewell Adam
Alan Tudyk Stephen A. Douglas
Anthony Mackie William Johnson
Benjamin Walker Abraham Lincoln
Jimmi Simpson Joshua Speed
Jaqueline Fleming Harriet Tubman
Robin McLeavy Nancy Hanks Lincoln
Laura Cayouette Vadoma Maid
John Rothman Jefferson Davis
Alex Lombard Gabrielle
Teri Wyble Henry's Wife
Jared DePasquale Vampire soldier
Cameron M. Brown Willie Lincoln
Marton Csokas Jack Barts
Joseph Mawle Thomas Lincoln
Erin Wasson Vadoma
Frank Brennan Senator Jeb Nolan
Lux Haney-Jardine Young Abraham Lincoln
Curtis Harris Young Will
Director
Timur Bekmambetov
Mark Cotone
Producer Tim Burton
Timur Bekmambetov
Simon Kinberg
Writer Simon Kinberg
Seth Grahame-Smith
Simon
Cinematography Caleb Deschanel
Caleb
Musician Henry Jackman


The blood-pumping action and special effects in this edgy, action-packed thriller from filmmakers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov (director of Wanted) are even more spectacular on Blu-ray 3D! Included in this 3-disc set is an exclusive graphic novel prequel about the origins of vampires in America, a featurette about the axe-fighting choreography, and much more. Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) becomes history's greatest hunter of the undead as he sets out to pulverize the bloodthirsty killers one by one in an epic fight for vengeance and survival!
Edition Details
Edition (Blu-ray 3D Blu-ray DVD Digital Copy)
Distributor 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date 10/23/2012
Packaging HD Case
Screen Ratio 2.35:1
Subtitles English; French; Spanish
Audio Tracks DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Layers Single Side, Dual Layer
No. of Discs/Tapes 3
Personal Details
Purchase Date 10/25/2012
Owner Thomas Eisenmann
Store Amazon.US
Purchase Price $22.95
Condition Excellent
Links Amazon.com
Movie Collector Core
IMDB
TheMovieDb.org
Hi-Def Digest Reviewed
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter at Core for Movies

Features
Disc 01 3D
Anamophic
The Great Calamity Graphic Novel
The Making Of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Vampire Hunter: Fight Choreography
A Visual Feast: Timur Bekmambetov's Visual Style
Digital Copy Included
Disc 02 Anamophic
DVD
Disc 03 Anamophic
Digital Copy
User Defined
Anamophic Yes
Reviewed Hi-Def Digest Reviewed
Bit Rate 1509 KB
Digital UV Purchased
Digital Copy Claimed Yes
Digital Format HDX
Disk Type BLU-RAY-3D
VUDU Export Yes

High-Def Review
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - 3D (Blu-ray)
20th Century Fox / 2012 / 105 Minutes / Rated R
Street Date: October 23, 2012

Overall Grade
Bottom Line Get the 2D Blu-ray
Reviewed by Aaron Peck (film) and M. Enois Duarte (technical)
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Editor's Note:

Portions of this review also appear in our coverage of 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.'

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

The first thing I said to a colleague of mine when we walked out of the press screening for 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' was, "That was the best bad movie I've ever seen." I'm under no delusion that a movie about our revered 16th president fighting vampires is a "good" movie in the traditional sense. What I am advocating though, is that it's pretty damn fun to watch.

There are times where film broadens our horizons and brightens our understanding about the world around us. This isn't one of those times. 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' isn't afraid to take on its outwardly corny premise with as much gusto as one can muster when we're dealing with this sort of subject. A movie like this requires that the filmmakers go over the top, and boy do director Timur Bekmambetov and writer Seth Grahame-Smith (who also penned the novel) go way over the top.

Here is a movie that rewrites history in such a way that it links Lincoln's fabled time as president directly to vampires. A movie that has no qualms with equating the origins of the Civil War and slavery directly with the myth of blood-sucking demons. It's a movie that isn't afraid to embrace the absurd and that's what makes it so amusing.

Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) was always headstrong, even as a child. In this tale Lincoln sees his young friend, who happens to be black, being whipped by an angry man. Lincoln steps in and ends up getting hurt as well. Then Lincoln's dad finally breaks up the whipping causing him to fall into disfavor with a powerful local businessman who also happens to be a vampire. Not soon after that, Lincoln witnesses a vampire steal into his mother's room and bite her. His mother dies, Lincoln seeks revenge.

During his course for revenge he runs across a man named Henry (Dominic Cooper) who knows an awful lot about vampires. Henry teaches Lincoln the art of hunting the undead in a short, hilarious montage where we witness Lincoln cut down a tree in a single blow. See, it's a completely ridiculous story and preposterous premise, but the movie doesn't care. It's fully committed to seeing it through, and it goes all out for the cause.

The key here is the movie's seriousness about the subject that Lincoln was indeed a vampire hunter. We get thoughtful commentary from Lincoln himself, through voiceovers, as he describes his time being a hunter and how it formed the man he became. Oftentimes we criticize movies for taking themselves far too seriously, however, in this case it's exactly what's called for. If these actors were playing every scene like they were about to laugh then the movie loses much of its all-in bet on a serious tone.

What caught me by surprise was how invested I became in these revisionist historical characters. Watching Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) fall in love with this lanky, awkward guy was sort of endearing in a way. Sure it was followed by Lincoln and a vampire hopping from horseback to horseback during an extended CGI action sequence where, at one point, a horse is used as a hurled projectile, but in the moment the movie does a great job at establishing their romance.

Sure Bekmambetov's slow-mo action scenes are fully of unnecessary whooshing 'Matrix' sounds as characters flip end over end, and of course the entire foundation of the film is patently absurd. Nevertheless, there's something joyful about this movie. Something that makes me smile and giggle at the way it embraces itself, warts and all. It's exciting and amusing, what else can you ask from a movie called 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'?

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment brings 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' to 3D Blu-ray as a three-disc combo pack. The first two are Region Free, BD50 discs while the third is a DVD-9/Digital Copy combo. All three are housed in a standard blue keepcase with a flipper in the middle, and the package comes with a shiny slipcover. At startup, the Blu-ray goes directly to a 3D animated menu with the standard options at the bottom and one exclusive extra in the top right corner of the screen.

Sucking the life out of Blu-ray is a 1080p/MVC MPEG-4 encode with numerous positives often outweighed by a few negatives. The post 3D conversion comes with several scenes that feel flat and stale with very little sense of space and dimensionality. Characters appear like cardboard cutouts for a good majority of the time and rarely seem to move independently of their surroundings.

These moments are offset, however, by many others of amazing depth, where that same cardboard cutout feel suddenly has a fun pop-up book quality. The background penetrates deep into the screen to create an immersive sense of distance and a variety of scenes display excellent separation in the foreground. It's clear Timur Bekmambetov filmed with 3D in mind because the movie comes with typical gimmick effects, like shards of wood flying everywhere or a bullet shot directly at the screen. Although far and few between, they are amusing nonetheless and add to the layered fun of the actions pieces.

Unfortunately, the movie also makes its high-def debut with some distracting artifacts. Contrast levels appear to have been boosted, possibly in an effort to compensate for viewers having to wear dark glasses. But whatever the case may be, this adjustment leaves behind an annoyingly ugly ringing around objects during very bright scenes, particularly daylight exteriors. It's also possible this could've been caused by a poor 3D-conversion process, but I have my doubts since even whites and highlights seem to run pretty hot. Low-lit interiors have discernible clarity in the shadows, but blacks range from milky and average to deep and accurate, depending on the scene. Added to that, we see hints of banding in many areas and aliasing, however minor, is a prevalent issue throughout.

On a more positive note, the 2.40:1 image displays a variety of vivid, lavish colors with an overall palette that leans towards teal and steely blues. Primaries are cleanly rendered and vivid, providing the picture with a terrific pop and energy, while secondary hues and some soft sepia tones give the presentation warmth and a charming antiquated appeal. Overlooking the troubled spots, the video is quite detailed with razor-sharp definition in several areas. Close-ups reveal pores and lifelike textures; hair and threading on costumes are distinct; and small specifics in the 19th Century architecture is plainly visible. But all things considered, we've seen far better on 3D Blu-ray.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

The real crowning achievement in this silly cartoonish fantasy is a magnificent DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack which makes the movie all the more enjoyable. It's pretty much what you'd expect or want from a mindless production such as this one.

Filling the room with endless activity, the rears are employed for a good majority of the runtime, enveloping the listener with the rages of war, the guttural screeches of vampires or the praising cheers of the crowd. Ambient effects further enhance the soundfield while also panning from one channel to the next with flawless effort. The shards and shrapnel during battles scenes fly in all directions and create a terrifically immersive environment. However, when speakers are not in use, even for the slightest hint of ambience in moments of private conversations, their absence is very noticeable, which made it a tad distracting.

But aside from that personal gripe, the rest of the lossless mix remains fantastic with a wide and expansive soundstage that feels like just one giant wall of sound. Dynamic range is sharply defined with wonderfully distinct acoustics and flawless separation between the various high-pitched noises, which happens frequently in action sequences. The real shocker comes from a powerfully commanding and authoritative LFE that packs a wallop to every gunshot, cannon fire and explosion. There are also a few great moments of amusing ultra-low frequencies that rattle the room. Amid all the noise and chaos, vocals remain intelligible and detailed in the center of the screen, making this high-rez track a great deal of fun.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

Audio Commentary - Writer of the original graphic novel Seth Grahame-Smith, who also wrote the screenplay, provides an interesting and somewhat worthwhile commentary. Although it would have been nice to also hear from director Timur Bekmambetov, the author's perspective to the production makes an intriguing take. On the other hand, the track also comes with several pockets of silence which take from the discussion's overall enjoyment. Fans won't mind giving it a listen, but others will be fine in skipping it.

The Making of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (HD, 75 min) - Broken into five categories which can be watched separately, the doc is fairly exhaustive and touches on pretty much everything you could ever want to know about the production. With a variety of cast & crew interviews, clips and BTS footage, the piece starts with adapting the novel for the screen, followed by a few minutes on shooting locations and the stunt choreography. It finishes with an insightful look at the special make-up effects and a discussion on Bekmambetov's creative style.

"The Great Calamity" Graphic Novel (HD, 8 min) - A prologue of sorts briefly explaining how bloodsuckers made their way to the New World.

Music Video (HD) - Linkin Park performs "Powerless."

Trailer (HD) - The original theatrical preview.

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

For this 3D Blu-ray edition, Fox offers two very minor and ultimately forgettable high-def exclusives along with a separate 3D disc, DVD Copy and a D-Box Motion Code. In the top right corner of the main menu screen, a small blue banner reads "Continue Your 3D Journey." When clicking on it, viewers are given two short preview clips from 'Prometheus' (1 min) and 'I, Robot' (1 min). Both are presented in 3D with DTS-HD MA soundtracks and subtitles.

Easter Eggs

No easter eggs reported for 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - 3D' yet. Found an egg? Please use our tips form to let us know, and we'll credit you with the find.

Final Thoughts

Promising nothing more than pure mindless popcorn fun, 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' delivers with an outlandishly silly and colorful bravado. Director Timur Bekmambetov not only brings the fun, humor, and excitement to an outrageous plot about our 16th President battling the undead, but he does it with wild showmanship and absurdly creative flair. The 3D Blu-ray arrives with a disappointing video presentation but the lossless audio more than make-ups for it. Supplements are not very extensive but easy to get through, making this package something only the most avid 3D fanatic will risk purchasing. We think the 2D version is the way to go.