Blu-ray Review “The Vampire Diaries: The Eighth and Final Season”

Actors: Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Kat Graham, Candice King, Zach Roerig
Producers: Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec, Leslie Morgenstein, Caroline Dries
Number of discs: 3
Studio: Warner Brothers
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Run Time: 704 minutes

Season: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

When Nina Dobrev left “The Vampire Diaries” after season six, I had a feeling this show would die off quick. Well kudos to them for lasting eight seasons. This final season is luckily the last and not the greatest either. I felt like these characters lost me personally after the fifth season when Dobrev was even still in the show. They try and end all open stories well but honestly wasn’t a grand finale. Unfortunately, the worse spin-off, “The Originals” is still going and has been renewed again. Guess New Orleans is cooler.

Official Premise: In Season Eight, we find Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Enzo (Michael Malarkey) continuing on their killing spree, both following the commands of a sinister and unnatural force. While Bonnie (Kat Graham), Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Caroline (Candice King) are grieving their loss, they team up to investigate who or what may be the cause of their disappearance at the end of season seven. Alaric (Matt Davis) joins the search and continues to look for clues on how they escaped the Armory vault, and Matt’s (Zach Roerig) family history will reveal a deeper connection to Mystic Falls and how he may be able to save the town from destruction.

Warner Brothers delivers this film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + UltraViolet digital copy incliuded. “The Vampire Diaries: The Eighth and Final Season” Blu-ray features solid audio and video as it has with the previous seasons as well. The 1080p transfer with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track works great with the season and the television series.

The special features are a letdown for sure, especially for the final Blu-ray release. (Unless they are planning a big box set with all eight in the future, I am sure they are). There are three featurettes and some deleted scenes. Included are “Last Days As A Vampire”, “The Vampire Diaries: Forever Yours” which is a retrospective special as well as the 2016 Comic-Con Panel. No commentary tracks for the final season.

Vampire Stories That Are More Romantic Than Twilight

Vampires are one of the most iconic figures in the horror realm and whether they’re showing off their bloodsucking prowess on film, on TV or in literature they’ve always been the popular subject matter for many writers and filmmakers who are keen to show audiences their softer sides.

There has always been a certain alluring amorousness surrounding these vampiric figures and when fiction author Stephanie Meyer unleashed her ‘Twilight’ franchise onto the world we were introduced to a whole new level of undead loving.

But whilst fans of the series still mourn the absence of Edward and Bella in their lives you may be surprised to discover that there are still plenty of other romance-filled vampire experiences out there to have.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES

This popular TV series has been the perfect alternative for lovelorn teenagers ever since the demise of the ‘Twilight’ saga.

The show is now in the middle of its 8th season and still going strong. There’s plenty of action and twists and turns throughout the series which has helped keep its characters interesting and flip-flopping each and every season. At the heart of the series is a trio of characters all mixed up in an enviable love triangle which includes two brothers who just happen to be vampires. The show itself is based on the popular series of books of the same name penned by L.J. Smith.

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN

This unique entry deals with love in a very different way and is an expertly crafted horror film where the characters and interactions are the key to the whole experience more so than the premise.

This beautiful and memorable romantic horror movie exported from Sweden has already had the US remake treatment however it’s the original that managed to expertly provide a special story of childhood romance blossoming between a young boy named Oskar and his strange nocturnal neighbour who turns out to be a bloodsucker.

THIRST

This South Korean offering revolves around a Catholic priest who ends up turning into a vampire following a failed medical experiment when a potential procedure to help eradicate a known virus results in the priest receiving a transfusion of vampire blood.

There’s plenty of passion and lust on show here and it’s cleverly weaved in around the themes of vampirism. It features a love triangle between the main characters and sticks with you long after the credits roll.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

Whilst fictional vampires were the perfect fodder years back in order to scare audiences they have very much become a once classic Hollywood type monster that has gone through a number of significant changes over the years.

Now even games such as Immortal Romance are being influenced by these monsters newly found romantic side. But even back in 1997 there were even complicated romantic entanglements occurring around vampires on the small screen.

In Joss Whedon’s highly influential supernatural drama series ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ there was plenty of loving, especially with so much teenage angst and hormones thrown into the mix.

So when a vampire slayer falls in love with a vampire there’s bound to be plenty of moral issues raised. With such a mixed relationship things obviously don’t run as smoothly as they would hope but we won’t spoil it for you. Buffy however is a great choice for those looking to tackle a weekend of box sets.

 

Blu-ray Review “The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Sixth Season”

Starring: Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder
Number of discs: 3
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: September 1, 2015

Season: 3 out of 5 stars
Season: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extra: 3 out of 5 stars

I have been a long time fan of “The Vampire Diaries” since the first episode but since season five, I feel like it is losing me quickly with each new episode. I am tired of how they keep killing people off and then immediately bringing them back (*cough Bonnie cough*). This season is a big one for the show though since it is the final season with Nina Dobrev, the lead of the show, who is not returning for season seven. Honestly, this season was a bit shocking and definitely an improvement from the last. I am very curious now for season seven, and how they are going to continue this show without her.

Official Premise: The Vampire Diaries continues for a sixth season with delicious drama to sink your teeth into. Last season, after a passionate summer with Damon, Elena headed to Whitmore College with Caroline, not knowing Bonnie sacrificed her life for Jeremy’s. Meanwhile, Stefan and Caroline’s friendship deepened as they stood up to the Travelers, a nomadic witch tribe driven to strip Mystic Falls of magic and cast out its supernatural residents. In the shocking season finale, Damon, fearing he would lose his loved ones on the crumbling Other Side, made a huge sacrifice to bring them all back – with catastrophic and heartbreaking results. Season six follows the characters’ journey back to each other as they explore the duality of good versus evil inside themselves.

The Blu-ray comes with a Digital HD copy. The 1080p transfers are solid and the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks work well with the show. The special features are decent and worth checking out if you enjoy the show. “The Vampire Diaries: Good Bite and Good Luck” is final farewell to Nina Dobrev. “The Vampire Diaries: Best.Reaction.Ever.” include fan reactions from social media to seasons important moments. There is also the “The Vampire Diaries: 2014 Comic-Con Panel” included. As well as a PSA “Come Visit Georgia”, some deleted scenes and a gag reel included.

Blu-ray Review “The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Fifth Season”

Starring: Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Kat Graham, Steven R. McQueen, Candice Accola
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Rated TV-14
Run Time: 968 minutes

Season: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Me and “The Vampire Diaries” kind of have a love/hate relationship for the last five seasons, I have been back and forth with it. I always say that I am done with this show yet we still find ourselves watching it. I blame Iam Somerhalder for being so damn cool! 😉 This fifth season is honestly starting the final approach for me. There is so much going on…there are too many doppelganger and the focus is just everywhere. I think this might be my last season…this time I mean it (I think…maybe…we’ll see). This show has definitely jumped the shark and but  it still has done better than its spin-off, “The Originals”, which flopped right from the first season. Still, if you love the show, season six is coming around the corner any day now, so get ready for more confusing vampire drama.

Official Premise: After a sizzling summer with Damon, Elena leaves Mystic Falls for Whitmore College and moves into a dorm with Caroline as her roomie, ready for new adventures and new friends. But dark thoughts gnaw at Elena, and soon familiar faces are back in the girls’ lives. There’s Stefan with his shadow self, Silas, plus Katherine, with a diabolical agenda and a jaw-dropping transformation. As the doppelgangers test destiny, pitting the Salvatore brothers against each other, the student body count rises — evidence of powerful forces on campus. The struggle later continues between the mysterious Travelers, new witches and our favorite vampires, fighting for their own survival and, ultimately, the fate of Mystic Falls.

Despite the season itself, Warner Bros has been giving this series solid Blu-ray and this one is no different. It comes as a combo pack with Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet. The 1080p transfer work with the style of the show as does the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 with all its trendy Hot Topic style music. The special features are decent but nothing amazing at all. There is “Reinvention: To The Other Side and Back” shows fans about the mystery of the “other side”. “I Know What You Did …In the Last 100 Episodes” is a glorified pop quiz feature. “A Day in the Afterlife” does behind-the-scenes with Graham, but is nothing special. Lastly there is a gag reel and some deleted scenes included.

The Vampire Diaries: Official Convention Invades Florida this Weekend!

Returning to the great city of Orlando and the beautiful host hotel for our 2nd annual area convention devoted to the super-hot performers and amazing on-going story of the CW’s THE VAMPIRE DIARIES! Last year was an awesome time with Ian and Paul and the rest of our celebrity guests and was packed with sold out support of our fellow fans! As the only “official” event for The Vampire Diaries we are proud to be licensed by Warner Bros.TV and this allows us to provide YOU with the absolute best time and of course we can offer official exclusive souvenir merchandise that we know you will love.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA
Sat. & Sun
December 14-15, 2013

The Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
1751 Hotel Plaza Blvd.
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830


Scan this QR code, visit your smartphone’s app store, or click here: http://bloodhound.com/events/87749 to download the free Bloodhound App (iPhone, Android, HTML5). Click on the “The Vampire Diaries Orlando 2013”event to have mobile access to:

  • General convention information
  • The full schedule (uploaded the Wednesday before the event)
  • Map of the hotel
  • Social networking (sign-in through Facebook) and follow our Twitter stream
  • And much more!

Blu-ray Review "The Vampire Lovers"

Actors: Ingrid Pitt, Kate O’Mara, Peter Cushing
Directors: Roy Ward Baker
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Scream Factory
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Run Time: 91 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When you think of Hammer films you think of sexy and erotic horror. “The Vampire Lovers” was always one of my favorites and delivers that and much more with the lovely Ingrid Pitt in the lead role. This film is based on the J. Sheridan Le Fanu novella “Carmilla”. The Vampire Lovers” is the first part of the Karnstein Trilogy followed by “Lust for a Vampire” (1971) and “Twins of Evil” (1972). It is arriving on Blu-ray for the first time, thanks to Shout! Factory’s sister company Scream Factory. If you are a fan of Hammer, then you are going to love this release.

Ingrid has such a presence on the screen and you can’t take your eyes off her. And boy does she look amazing on this Blu-ray. She was known as the “The Queen of Scream”.  She not only survived a Nazi concentration camp as a child but who on to become one of the most well known faces of Hammer horror films and was billed as  “the most beautiful ghoul in the world”. Hammer legend Peter Cushing also pops in and is charmingly eerie as usual, especially delivering the film’s final blow.

Official Premise: A female vampire with lesbian tendencies ravages the young girls and townsfolk of a peaceful hamlet in eighteenth century Europe who, years earlier, killed off her fellow vampires. A rousing hunt for the vampiress ensues as a group of men follow her bloody trail of terror through the countryside. If you dare, come into a twilight world of unspeakable horror and taste the deadly passion of the blood-nymphs!

Scream Factory delivers a very nice 1080p widescreen presentation with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. There is some notable noise in the darker scenes but it doesn’t plague the transfer much. Overall it is a real treat to see this film presented in high-definition. The film also packs a nice DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 surround track.  It works perfectly with the nature of the film and carries the essence of Hammer very well.

The special features are all quite impressive for this release.  There is a great audio commentary track with the director Roy Ward Baker, writer Tudor Gates and of course Ingrid Pitt, which is moderated by Jonathan Sothcott. “Femme Fantasique: Resurrecting The Vampire Lovers” is a great look back on the film and its cult following. There are excerpts from the novella “Carmilla”, that inspired the film, which are read by Ingrid Pitt.  There are Original Theatrical Trailer and Original Radio Spot included.  There are two new Interviews, the first with Madeline Smith, who played Emma and the second is with Hammer Films Scholars.

Win Tickets to Creation Entertainment’s “The Vampire Diaries” Official Convention in Orlando, FL [ENDED]

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED AND WINNERS HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EACH WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

Creation Entertainment’s The Vampire Diaries Official Convention will come to Orlando December 8 -9 at The Hilton Walt Disney World Resort, 1751 Hotel Plaza Blvd., Lake Buena Vista, 32830. Media Mikes is proud to be teaming up with Creation Entertainment in order to giveaway 10 pairs of GA tickets for the weekend. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email indicating your favorite Vampire Diaries character. This giveaway will remain open until December 5th at Noon, Eastern Time. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

The romantic and suspenseful drama of the giant CW hit series The Vampire Diaries has given television viewers fantastic new stars that have seductively garnered a worldwide following of passionate fans. For well over 40 years Creation Entertainment has been “on the road” presenting the very best in fan conventions. Founded in 1971 by two sci-fi and comic book fans, Creation Entertainment brings audiences the live excitement of meeting the performers we all love to watch to cities throughout North America. Following in the footsteps of Creation Conventions dedicated to Star Trek, The X-Files, Supernatural, Stargate, Star Wars, Xena, Lord of the Rings, Twilight, Supernatural and so many more, we are thrilled to add The Vampire Diaries to this prestigious list.

Make your plans NOW to be part of the action of The Vampire Diaries: The Official Convention Tour: we promise a professionally run event mixed with our fannish side as well. The perfect combination for providing YOU with the time of your life! And don’t forget the famous “Creation difference”: we do not sell ONE ticket above the amount of seating in the main theatre so EVERYONE who buys any admission ticket sees ALL THE STARS on stage! No waiting on line to get into the theatre, no worries, all at a price that beats all other forms of live entertainment!

And, as a special plus, we are selecting beautiful hotel venues in grand locations for these conventions since we know so many fans will be traveling in to enjoy the festivities! Orlando in December fits the bill perfectly so make sure to try to leave time to see all the sites and attractions of one of the world’s most fun locations! We’re virtually next door to Disney World…. join us to for a fabulous weekend!

Click here for the official press release for the event and future details including tickets

“The Vampire Diaries” Official Convention Comes to Orlando for the First Time December 8 and 9th

Creation Entertainment’s The Vampire Diaries Official Convention will come to Orlando December 8 -9 at The Hilton Walt Disney World Resort, 1751 Hotel Plaza Blvd., Lake Buena Vista, 32830.

The romantic and suspenseful storylines of The CW’s mega-hit series The Vampire Diaries (Thursdays 8/7c), from Warner Bros. Television, have introduced television viewers to fantastic breakout stars who have seductively attracted a worldwide following of passionate fans. This weekend event is dedicated to putting fans in the middle of all The Vampire Diaries action.

Throughout the weekend, on stage celebrity guests from The Vampire Diaries will include:  on Saturday, Michael Trevino (Tyler Lockwood), Steven R. McQueen (Jeremy Gilbert), Todd Williams (Connor Jordan) and Nathaniel Buzolic (Kol); on Sunday, Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore), Paul Wesley (Stefan Salvatore), Torrey DeVitto (Dr. Meredith Fell) and Robert Ri’chard (Jamie).

Hosting this weekend’s show will be Hannah and Hilly Hindi and guests from the The Hillywood Show, a YouTube hit who are known for their hilarious spoofs from various movies.  They will also be performing skits, posing for photos and adding to the weekend of fun!

The fun will be kicked up a notch with the Saturday Night The Vampire Diaries Decade Dance, Cocktail Party and Centerpiece Contest where attendee can have a night of fun featuring music, dancing, contest and celebrities. A separate ticket is required for this event.

In addition to celebrity appearances, the non-stop auditorium show will include costume and trivia contests, no minimum bid auctions of unique collectibles and one-of-a-kind items, and previews of upcoming sci-fi television shows and motion pictures.

Limited tickets are available in advance or at the door starting at $25 on Saturday and $45 on Sunday.  Tickets for the Saturday Night Cocktail Party are $79.  Show hours are Saturday, 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM and Sunday, 9:45 AM – 7:00 PM.

For further information, call Creation Entertainment,

818/409-0960, or visit our website at www.TheVampireDiariesConvention.com

About THE VAMPIRE DIARIES Television Series

Now in its third season, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is the story of two vampire brothers obsessed with the same beautiful girl, who are battling to control the fate of an entire town. Based on the best-selling book series by L.J. Smith, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES stars Nina Dobrev (upcoming The Killing Game), Paul Wesley (Fallen), Ian Somerhalder (Lost), Steven R. McQueen (Everwood), Kat Graham (Honey 2), Candice Accola (Juno), Zach Roerig (Friday Night Lights), Michael Trevino (Cane), Matt Davis (Blue Crush) and Joseph Morgan (Ben Hur). Produced by Bonanza Productions Inc., Outerbanks Entertainment and Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, the series was developed by Kevin Williamson (the Scream films, Dawson’s Creek) and Julie Plec (Kyle XY), who serve as executive producers along with Leslie Morgenstein (Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars) and Bob Levy (Gossip Girl).
About Warner Bros. Consumer Products

Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.
About Creation Entertainment, Inc.

Creation Entertainment produces events and merchandise for fans of genre films and television.  Founded in 1971 the company has promoted over 2,000 conventions for fans of popular properties including Twilight, The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars, The X-Files, and Stargate.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

 

Blu-ray Review “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”

Actors: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell
Directors: Timur Bekmambetov
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: October 23, 2012
Run Time: 105 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

If you are not aware of it, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is actually based on the New York Times Best Selling novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, author of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” (who also wrote this screenplay).  When I heard that the fantastically original book was being turned into a movie, I was thrilled.  Then I found that the people behind it were Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov, I could have done a back flip.  Well, then I saw the film.  It actually pains me to say but it was a little tough to watch. The vampires looked cool but the story was rather lame and empty. I am very generous with my rating since I really want to kick major ass.

The film was wasn’t some B-movie either. It carried a strong $69 million dollar budget and was even filmed in 3D.  The best parts that drew any attention was the stylized action, which was very sparce to begin with. Those scenes also would have looked the best in 3D but we were only able to review this in 2D, so some of the thrill was lost there as well.  I recommend seeing it but this could have been so much cooler.  I mean with a title like “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”, it just oozes coolness. Major missed opportunity here. Who knows maybe the 3D adds so much to this film that makes up for the lameness but I doubt it.

Official Premise: “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” explores the secret life of Abraham Lincoln before he became President, and the untold story that shaped our nation. Visionary filmmakers Tim Burton (Dark Shadows) and Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) bring a fresh and visceral voice to the bloodthirsty lore of the vampire, imagining Lincoln as history’s greatest hunter of the undead.

Fox delivered this release in a Blu-ray + DVD + UV Digital Copy combo pack.  The 2D Blu-ray transfer looks sharp but lacked the edge and depth the the 3D transfer would have delivered on.  The saving grave for the film though is the kick-ass DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track, which works with the three actual action scenes. The special features are damn impressive as well.  There is an audio commentary with the novelist and screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith, which is pretty cool! “The Great Calamity” is a  graphic novel CGI short film, definitely worth checking out! “The Making of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” runs a sweet 75 minutes and is a super in-depth five part making-of documentary.  This covers all aspects of the production from the book-to-screen. Lastly, there is a music video for “Powerless” by Linkin Park and the theatrical trailer.

Ian Somerhalder talks about his foundation and “The Vampire Diaries”

Ian Somerhalder is known best for his television roles on shows like “Lost” and “The Vampire Diaries”.  Ian also spends a lot of his time working with his foundation, Ian Somerhalder Foundation or ISF.  The foundation is participating Best Friends Animal Society’s annual Strut Your Mutt event at Park Sans Souci in Lafayette, Louisiana this year.  Media Mikes had a chance to ask Ian a few questions about his foundation and also about returning to season 4 of “The Vampire Diaries”.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us what made your start your foundation, ISF, and how did you come up with the mission of promoting love and interconnectedness?
Ian Somerhalder: After witnessing the devastation of the Oil spill in the Gulf, I had find a way to utilize my voice to make a change. I was not alone. I witnessed the compassion from others, equally as grief stricken, unite in determination. People of all ages gathered together to make a difference. I soon realized the immediate need for a platform for these amazing people to come together to have their voices heard. This launched the IS Foundation. As we come together more and more from all ages and walks of life, we celebrate our shared passions as well as our differences. With an understanding of the ultimate interconnectedness of the universe, we emphasize the unique strengths in all the different voices that make up the ISF Family.

MG: Tell us about your participation in the Best Friends Animal Society’s annual Strut Your Mutt eventat Park Sans Souci in Lafayette, Louisiana?
IS: ISF has long been a fan and supporter of Best Friends Animal Society and their mission of “No More Homeless Pets”. As we developed the idea for our Animal Sanctuary, we were looking for opportunities to spread the word and raise funds for this ambitious project. The “Strut Your Mutt” event in my home state is a great opportunity to get out and do just that alongside some amazing people and animals. We hope you join us and participate in this fantastic event!

MG: How can people help that cannot attend the event?
IS: Understandably, not everyone will be able to attend. By spreading the work of ISF, especially our plans to build a sustainable animal sanctuary, you are still participating! We are tremendously grateful for donations from ISF family members who want to see this dream come true. If just 1,000 people donated $10 a month for a year, we could achieve our goal!

MG: How do find time to focus on your charity along with starring in the hit CW show “The Vampire Diaries”?
IS: Although it can appear overwhelming at times, it’s necessary. We all lead busy lives, but to see the changes we want for this world we have to make time to stay active with our ideas and continue to collaborate. We can’t do it alone. I wouldn’t be able to accomplish nearly as much as I do without the incredible ISF family. Together our voices weave a tapestry that serves as support for our array of initiatives. ISF has an amazing Executive Director, Kim Klingler, who brings a tremendous amount of passion and knowledge to the table. We are also fortunate to have talented and driven volunteers who commit countless hours contributing their time on projects, content for the website, event planning and much more.

MG: How is filming going so far for the upcoming 4th season?
IS: Great! Coming back for a new season is always reminiscent of the first day of school. The cast and crew are incredibly close, so rekindling bonds and positive energy encompasses the set. And from what we’ve seen so far, this season is bound to be excellent. Things are going to be very interesting for Damon…so I hope you stay tuned to see…

MG: What do you have planned next for ISF and where can people find out more information?
IS: ISF is currently working on several projects and initiatives. We are planning our very own Vampire Diaries Convention to be hosted in Canada early next year. We are also working on a youth development conference to held next year as well. To see information about any of our current projects like the Animal Sanctuary, you can visit isfoundation.com and follow us on twitter and facebook.

CD Review “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” Soundtrack

Composer: Henry Jackman
Label: Sony Classical
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Tracks: 22
Running Time: 41 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

When you watch the trailer to “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”, you find yourself with a nerdy smiling peaking out the whole time.  That is what I also found myself doing while listening to this score.  From the moment it starts it is super intense, scary and really thrilling.  Henry Jackman did a really amazing job on this score, easily one of my favorites from the entire year.  His score work is not the most notable featuring the likes of “X-Men: First Class” and “Puss in Boots” but it really packs a punch and delivers.  Honestly each track gets better and better as it progresses.

I am big fan of film scores, always have been.  I feel that the score is really the heart and soul of a film.  Especially for a film like this, if the score isn’t right the film will pay for it.  Jackson did just such an amazing job right from the opening track, which starts slow and gets haunting very quickly, all the way to the last track.  “Vampires”  is also a very interesting track, it really drags you in and doesn’t let go.  “The Horse Stampede” is also such a powerful track, I had to listen to it twice back-to-back. I am a huge fan of Hans Zimmer, who is also a mentor for Jackman,  you can hear his work come through here a little but that is not a bad thing at all.  Learning from the best is what I call that!

I think that this score will not only resonate to horror fans but also action fans as well.  The score also captures the film’s period in some tracks put also puts a modern twist on it with some kick-ass guitar riffs and powerful percussion. The only downside to the album is that it is a little short just coming in over 40 minutes but there still is a lot packed in during that time.  If you enjoyed this stylish horror/action film then you are going to love this album and it really brings the film to life and delivers a very entertaining and thrilling experience. I will definitely be keeping this score on loop for a few weeks easy.

Track Listing:
1. Childhood Tragedy
2. Vampires
3. What Do You Hate?
4. Power Comes from Truth
5. You Are Full of Surprises
6. Mary Todd
7. The Horse Stampede
8. Henry Sturgess
9. Adam
10. Rescue Mission
11. Inauguration
12. All Slave to Something
13. Emancipation
14. Haunted by the Past
15. Battle at Gettysburg
16. Forging Silver
17. 80 Miles
18. The Burning Bridge
19. Not the Only Railroad
20. The Gettysburg Address
21. Late to the Theater

Film Review “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”

Starring: Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell and Dominic Cooper
Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hour 45 mins
20th Century Fox

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

History tells us that Abraham Lincoln was a great man. What it doesn’t tell us is that, long before he became President he had a little side job. Seems the old rail splitter put that handiness with an axe to good use and killed him some vampires! No, really.

While living with his parents in Indiana young Abe Lincoln (Lux-Haney Jardine) intervenes when a young black friend of his is being beaten. Abe gets a taste of the lash as well for interfering. After his father has words with the man with the whip, he is fired from his job. Later that night young Abe observes an odd sight but dismisses it. When he wakes up he learns that his mother has taken ill. She later dies and Abe realizes what he saw wasn’t imagined. He swears revenge on the man he holds responsible for his mother’s death but, after shooting him in the face is shocked to see the man keep coming at him. Something funny is going on here.

Told with a brilliant 3D canvas, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is one of the most original ideas to ever hit the big screen. What makes the film so good is that it takes its story seriously. This is not a spoof or a comedy. It’s history. When Abe (Walker) learns that his intended victim is a vampire, he enlists the aid of Henry Sturgess (Cooper), a vampire killer who hides secrets of his own. Henry tells Abe that he will help him learn to destroy the undead and begins a training regiment right out of “The Matrix.” Along the way, Abe meets Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who is currently dating Stephen Douglas (an unbilled Alan Tudyk – Pirate Steve from “Dodgeball”). True love blooms and Abe confesses his deeds. However, Mary thinks he’s pulling her leg and dismisses him. Of course, Abe eventually gets his law degree, runs for elected office and embarks on his journey to the White House. And that is where we find him when he learns of a planned vampire takeover of the United States. Not on his watch!

Thanks to a smart screenplay by Seth-Grahame Smith, who also wrote the original novel, the film never disappoints. If you allow yourself to get lost in the story you soon begin to believe that what you’re seeing on screen may have happened. Along with vampires Smith has peppered the film with other historical figures who play roles in the story, including Harriet Tubman and Jefferson Davis. Another plus is that the actors are truly immersed in their performances. No sly wink of the eye to the audience. Walker bears a strong resemblance to Liam Neeson who, ironically, was director Steven Spielberg’s initial choice to play the 16th President in his upcoming bio-flick (since replaced by Daniel-Day Lewis). As played by Walker, Abe is a 19th Century Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent, his mild demeanor a mask for a man of strength. Director Bekmambetov, who helmed not only the vampire flicks “Day Watch” and “Night Watch” but “Wanted,” gets to exhibit his skills as an action director. A scene where Abe fights a gang of vampires while jumping back and forth off of moving horses during a stampede is mind blowing, aided in a great way by the brilliant use of 3D. This is what 3D was made for! Couple the process with the outstanding cinematography of multiple Oscar nominee Caleb Deschanel (father of Zooey and Emily) and you’re on the edge of your seat. To be fair I should also note that, when the action stops, the film slows down noticeably. Towards the end it’s almost like a roller coaster, with occasional stops accompanying one hell of a ride. There is also a major continuity error at the beginning of the film that really bothered me. If you spot it please let me know.