Jeremy Lamberton and Todd Lincoln talk about their new documetary “Biker Fox”

I’ve spent a few weekend evenings in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the one thing that always catches my attention is the muscle-car atmosphere that takes over the city when the sun goes down. No matter where you drive, you can find parking lots full of car enthusiasts and their rides. Horror producer (and Tulsa native) Todd Lincoln and first time director Jeremy Lamberton have teamed up for the documentary “Biker Fox.”

The film tells the story of Frank P. DeLarzelere III, known to the good people of Tulsa as Biker Fox, a misunderstood motivational bicyclist, nature conservationist and muscle car guru. In helping spread the word about their new film, the two took time to answer some questions.

Mike Smith: How did you learn about Biker Fox?
Jeremy Lamberton: My first Biker Fox sighting was at a traffic light. He was on his bike, shaking his ass while staring at people in their cars. I pulled into a Taco Bueno parking lot next to an old bowling alley and he rode up next to my car and asked me if I was married. I told him I was (I wasn’t married at the time) and invited him to perform at Tulsa Overground. That night he told me about all the video he shot of wild life around his house and that I had to see it. Later that week he gave me an entire box of hi-8 and miniDV tapes. I watched everything. There were hundreds of hours of wild turkeys, coyotes, opossums, weed eaters, rabbits, lawn mowers, blue birds, bats and him hand feeding 50 raccoons. There were also tapes of him lecturing directly into the camera about the benefits of fitness and a healthy diet. Biker Fox and I started shooting together the next week.

MS: What made you decide to make a film about him?
JL: The footage he had already shot on his own was magical. He’s such a charismatic guy and it translated so well on video. But I didn’t think about it being a documentary until he started getting arrested. When trouble started swirling it grounded him and he became more genuine to his true character while shooting. And I thought it was funny that Biker Fox was continuing to preach his gospel of good health and happiness while at the same time his life was spinning out of control. He’s an indomitable being.

MS: Did you always intend to do the film as a documentary or did you consider doing a scripted feature film?
JL: “Biker Fox” was always meant to be a documentary. Or some kind of cross-genre film. Most of what happens in the movie you can’t make up. I don’t think his character would have the same impact if scripted. The spontaneity and what happened naturally is what made film special.

MS: Do you think that fans of your horror films will enjoy this film?
Todd Lincoln: Yes. Horror fans will definitely enjoy “Biker Fox.” Anyone who loves the unusual, the macabre, the dark arts and naturally occurring curiosities and oddities…. will appreciate the world of Biker Fox. While this is not at all a horror film in the traditional sense… it certainly could be seen as scarier than most. You will see blood. You will see violence. You will see killer raccoons.

MS: Jeremy, you’ve finally gone behind the camera. Was the experience what you expected?
JL: I’ve been making films for years but this was my toughest challenge. BIker Fox is a raw dog. I wanted the film to tap into Biker Fox’s psyche. Shooting with Biker Fox is like shooting a nature film. You can’t control it. You just hope to be rolling when something memorable happens. And Biker Fox has a tendency to perform in front of a camera. And he’s severely ADHD, so he’s constantly moving. He can’t sit still. The most effective way to show his true character – the character behind the character – was to make the film non-traditionally. So we set up cameras on tripods all over his house and in his shop and encouraged him to videotape himself. I would go to his house multiple times a week and pick up sometimes as many as 40 tapes at a time. He was shooting like crazy. Like video diarrhea.

MS: I’ve been to Tulsa and have observed their “muscle car culture” up close. What is your take on it?
JL: It’s crazy. The real collectors takes it very seriously. A lot of them too seriously. I’ve been to a few swap meets with Biker Fox. One time while looking at a guy’s 1967 GTO I put my hand on the car to look inside and he snapped his fingers and told me to never touch his car again. It doesn’t seem worth it. They spend all their time stressing over door dings and scratches. Seems like wasted energy.

MS: What do you have coming up?
JL: I’m working on a narrative script and producing a documentary called “Dreamland.” Also, Tulsa Overground make its return this August after a 7 year hiatus.


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“Lincoln” Blu-ray Combo Pack Giveaway [ENDED]


To celebrate the Blu-ray release of “Lincoln”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway THREE Blu-ray Combo Packs of the film! If you would like to enter for your chance to win this great prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Steven Spielberg film. This giveaway will remain open until April 19th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to everyone in the whole world!! 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.

One of the year’s most critically acclaimed and best reviewed motion picture dramas of the year, DreamWorks Pictures and Steven Spielberg’s “LINCOLN” arrives in North America on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Digital and On-Demand platforms on March 26, 2013 and Internationally on Digital HD beginning on April 24th and Blu-ray/ DVD on May 8th. With two Academy Award®-wins for “Best Performance By An Actor In A Leading Role” & “Best Achievement In Production Design”; a Golden Globe for “Best Performance by An Actor In A Motion Picture-Drama”; a BAFTA for “Leading Actor”; and AFI “Movie Of The Year,” “LINCOLN” is this year’s must-own motion picture to add to any collection!

4-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack Super Set (Blu-ray + Bonus Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)

Bonus Features Include:
• The Journey To Lincoln—Steven Spielberg and his collaborators discuss the challenges and excitement of bringing this story of a complex and very human president to the screen.
• A Historic Tapestry: Richmond, Virginia—Steven Spielberg and team discuss the historical significance of Richmond, Virginia, and why they chose to shoot the film there.
• In The Company Of Character—Delve into Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of Lincoln, and discover the authenticity and openness created by the actors and filmmakers on set.
• Crafting The Past—Examine the re-creation of Lincoln’s era through authentic period details in production design, costume and makeup.
• Living With Lincoln—Follow Steven Spielberg, the cast and crew through the shooting of the film, from the battle at Jenkins’ Ferry, through the epic 13th Amendment showdown in the House of Representatives, to Lincoln’s tragic end.
• In Lincoln’s Footsteps—Explore the film’s editing, sound design, and the subtle yet poignant musical score by John Williams, and discover how relevant and inspiring Lincoln still is today.

Mimoco’s Legends of MIMOBOT Series Giveaway: Abraham Lincoln & Elvis Aloha Hawaii [ENDED]


Media Mikes would like to giveaway the following TWO Designer USB Flash Drives from Mimco’s Legends of MIMOBOT series. 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 what “Legend” you would like to see Mimoco make into a MIMOBOT. This giveaway will remain open until April 19th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to all fans of Media Mikes, worldwide!! 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.

Abraham Lincoln’s MIMOBOT® form leaves the top hat to the imagination and showcases his famous Lincoln chin curtain-styled beard. He sports a bow-tie to accompany his classic mid-19th century theater-going duds. Just like the real thing, Lincoln MIMOBOT allows documents, music, photos, and data to be shared, transported and collected no matter capacity or the color of th

Elvis Aloha from Hawaii MIMOBOT® – Who can deny that outfit?! Styled after the now iconic garb worn at his historic 1973 satellite broadcast concert, Aloha Elvis MIMOBOT is ready for the big show. Red, gold and blue studs adorn Presley’s form-fitting suit, and a lei hangs around his neck, reinforcing the global welcome of his famous Aloha performance. Just looking at his slick coif and snared lip, you can tell that upon insertion to a computer, Elvis will start to croon.

Blu-ray Review "Lincoln"

Actors: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader
Directors: Steven Spielberg
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Dreamworks
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Run Time: 150 minutes

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

When it comes to Steven Spielberg, I have to admit his films are hit or miss. With his recent films I haven’t been a huge fan “The Terminal” was ah…ok, “Munich” was forgettable, as was “War Horse”. “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is not a fan favorite. “The Adventures of Tintin” though is brilliant. So “Lincoln”, I can say is easily one of his best film that he directed in recent years. The acting was beyond phenomenal from Daniel Day-Lewis’ wonderful portrayal of our 16th President (yes haters, even his voice). Sally Field’s role was very intense and well done. Tommy Lee Jones, who was also nominated for many awards, did a damn good job (despite his Golden Globe death stare). Do not miss this film for sure. It is two and half hours, yet I have watched it twice and it flies by fast and gets only better with each viewing.

Official Premise: Capturing the danger and excitement of political intrigue, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln chronicles the final four months in the life of the man regarded as America’s greatest President. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role, the untold story focuses on a defining moment in Abraham Lincoln’s life – as commander-in-chief of a country in chaos; as a husband and father afraid of losing his own son to the war; and as a man guided by his conscience to end slavery. With the Civil War nearing conclusion, President Lincoln fights to convince a fractious Congress to pass a Constitutional amendment that will change the course of history. Facing fierce opposition, he wages a battle of strategy, persuasion, and political muscle to build a coalition out of his team of rivals.

The Blu-ray comes in a combo pack with the Blu-ray disc and DVD disc included. There is also a digital copy included but it is only for iTunes. When is Disney going to get on the Ultraviolet digital copy-wagon already. I easily would prefer streaming digital to download digital. “Lincoln” looks absolutely amazing on Blu-ray. The 1080p transfer really feels very intimate and really compliments Janusz Kaminski’s amazing cinematography. “Lincoln” also received a very shocking DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track. The film really is 99% dialogue based, so a little bit is lost here with the 7.1 but it is still quite amazing. John Williams’ score really takes advantage of this the most and the dialogue also benefits quite a bit and is very sharp.

The special features on this 4-disc BD/DVD/Digital Copy Combo are good but lacking any commentary tracks. “The Journey to Lincoln” is a decent look into the production with Director/producer Steven Spielberg, producer Kathleen Kennedy (aka the head of Lucasfilm), screenwriter Tony Kushner, actor Daniel Day-Lewis, production designer Rick Carter, “Team of Rivals” author Doris Kearns Goodwin and a few more. “A Historic Tapestry: Richmond, Virginia” is a very short talk about shooting the film in Richmond. “In the Company of Character” is is a chat with key members of the film on the performances in the film. “Crafting the Past” looks into the production design and costume work. “Living with Lincoln” is the shows the team taking the production into full-immersion in order to get the right feel. “In Lincoln’s Footsteps” focuses on the narrative and score with Spielberg, Kennedy, editor Michael Kahn, composer John Williams and others.

"Lincoln," "Life of Pi" Lead Oscar Nominations

“Lincoln,” Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece about the last months of the 16th President of the United States, led all films this morning when nominations for the 85th Annual Academy Awards were announced. The film received 12 nominations including Best Picture, Best Director (Spielberg) and Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis). Right behind was Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi,” which received 11 nominations, among them one for Best Picture. Also racking up nominations: “Silver Linings Playbook” (8), “Argo” and “Les Miserables” (7 each), “Amour,” “Django Unchained” and “Zero Dark Thirty” (5 each). All of these films received Best Picture nominations. The final Best Picture nominee, the Sundance Festival fave “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” earned 4 nominations, including a nod for Best Actress for 9-year old Quvenzhane’ Wallis. The nomination makes Wallis, who was 6 when the film was made, the youngest nominee ever for an acting Oscar.

In the acting categories, there is a good mix of past winners and newcomers. Best Acting nominees include first time nominees Bradley Cooper for “Silver Linings Playbook” and Hugh Jackman for “Les Miserables.” A pair of two-time Oscar winners, Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln” and Denzel Washington for “Flight,” are also on the list as is two time nominee Joaquin Phoenix for “The Master.” Besides Wallis, nominees for Best Actress include Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty’), Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”) and Naomi Watts (“The Impossible.”

In what I’m pretty sure is a first, the Best Supporting Actor category is the first acting category ever in which all five nominees already have at least one acting Oscar on their mantle. The nominees are: Alan Arkin (Best Supporting Actor for “Little Miss Sunshine”) for “Argo,” Robert DeNiro (Best Supporting Actor for “The Godfather Part II” and Best Actor for “Raging Bull”) for “Silver Linings Playbook, Philip Seymour Hoffman (Best Actor for “Capote”) for “The Master,” Tommy Lee Jones (Best Supporting Actor for “The Fugitive”) for “Lincoln” and Christoph Waltz (Best Supporting Actor for “Inglorious Basterds”) for “Django Unchained.” Best Supporting Actress nominees are Amy Adams (“The Master”), Sally Field (“Lincoln”), Anne Hathaway (“Les Miserables”), Helen Hunt (“The Sessions”) and Jacki Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook”).

Besides Spielberg, the nominees for Best Director are: Michael Haneke for “Amour,” “Benh Zeitlin for “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” Ang Lee for “Life of Pi” and David O. Russell for “Silver Linings Playbooks.” A surprise non-nominee ( and I have to be honest I actually started this paragraph by listing him as a nominee) was Ben Affleck, the director of “Argo.” Affleck received a nomination from the Director’s Guild of America last week.

The 85th Annual Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 24th.

Film Review “Lincoln”

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 2 hours 29 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

January 1865. Having just won re-election to a second term as president, Abraham Lincoln is greeting soldiers, black and white, at an encampment. The black soldiers ask Lincoln if there will ever be a black soldier made an officer. Another asks him how tall he is. The white soldiers claim to have seen Lincoln that fateful day in Gettysburg. But what all of the soldiers have in common is that they all have memorized Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Proudly they recite it, line after line, making it quite clear that they know exactly what they’re fighting for. But no one knows the battles going on behind the battle.

Told with the touch of a master painter, “Lincoln” is an epic canvas on which our 16th president comes alive before our eyes. Played with great skill (and an almost uncanny resemblance) by Daniel Day-Lewis, Abraham Lincoln is shown to be a man of great compassion. While he and his wife Mary (Sally Field) continue to mourn the death of their young son, Willie, the president struggles to bring an end to the Civil War while at the same time trying to get a constitutional amendment passed outlawing slavery. And while he earns assurances that the Republican members of the House of Representatives will support the amendment he will also need the help of several Democrats. To this end he is not above making deals and promising jobs to the Democrats who will soon be out of work as the Republicans won a majority of seats in the last election. He may not always be “Honest Abe” but his goals are admirable.

As one of this generations greatest actors, two time Oscar winner Day-Lewis is a shoo-in for a chance at a third trophy. He has given Lincoln a soft, high pitched voice, though one that has been called quite accurate by historians. Gentle of disposition most of the time, Lincoln only wants to bring his country back together…but on his terms. Field, another double Oscar winner, breathes life into Mary Lincoln, making her more interesting then the way history has painted her (grieving mother needing institutionalization). And Gordon-Levitt bounces back from the mistake that was “Looper” to portray oldest Lincoln child Robert, who feels guilty he’s at school and not in the army fighting to bring his father’s dream to life. Director Spielberg has also filled the cast with some of the greatest character actors around including David Strathairn, Hal Holbrook, John Hawkes, James Spader, Tim Blake Nelson and Tommy Lee Jones.

Spielberg has won Oscars in the past for directing historical dramas like “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan.” Here he allows his camera to sit among the men of history and let the audience feel a part of the action. As usual, his long time musical collaborator John Williams sets the mood with another great score.


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CD Review “Lincoln: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”

Composer: John Williams
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Label: Sony Classical
Tracks: 17
Running Time: 55 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Lincoln” is composed and conducted by the legendary John Williams, also long time collaborator with Steven Spielberg. I feel that the album really captures the essence of the movie. It is also performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Overall the score itself is very simple, quiet and packs a hell of a finale running 11 minutes. Though within that quietness it has this very epic and inspiring feel. Of course there is also the classic call of music from the period like the drums and fiddle of the Civil War. I did feel like getting up saluting and marching throughout a few tracks.

This is actually the 40th anniversary of duo working together if you can believe it. I have been a fan of Williams’ score and his notable signature is found all over this score for sure. “The Race to the House” contains excerpts arranged and performed by Jim Talyor and is a fun track. “With Malice Toward None” is another great track but I really have a sweet spot for the last track, which is a very sharp piano solo of the track. In another plus, the booklet on the CD really tells a story in itself.  It comes stocked with wonderful shots from the film, as well as a really nice and informative foreword from Steven Spielberg. Overall “Lincoln” is yet another successful collaboration with Williams and Spielberg.  This one will surely spend a few months on my iPhone.

Track Listings
1. The People’s House
2. The Purpose of the Amendment
3. Getting Out the Vote
4. The American Process
5. The Blue and Grey
6. “With Malice Toward None”
7. Call to Muster and Battle Cry Of Freedom
8. The Southern Delegation and the Dream
9. Father and Son
10. The Race to the House
11. Equality Under the Law
12. Freedom’s Call
13. Elegy
14. Remembering Willie
15. Appomattox, April 9, 1865
16. The Peterson House and Finale
17. “With Malice Toward None”(Piano Solo)

Complimentary Passes to the Orlando, FL Screening for “Lincoln” [ENDED]


©2012 DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC

If you would like to enter for a chance to win tickets to the following advance screening, please leave a comment below with your favorite Spielberg film. Tickets are limited and will be chosen on a RANDOM BASIS on November 5th. ONLY ONE ENTRY PER PERSON PLEASE! OTHERWISE ALL ENTRIES WILL BE DISREGARDED. The winners will be will notified then via email and will be instructed how to pick up the tickets. Good luck and hope to see if you at the screening!

Theatre: Regal Winter Park
Date: November 7, 2012
Time: 7:00 PM


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Genre: Drama
Rating: PG-13
Release date: November 9, 2012 (exclusive); November 16, 2012 (expansion)
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook and Tommy Lee Jones
Director: Steven Spielberg
Producers: Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy
Executive Producers: Daniel Lupi, Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King
Screenplay by: Tony Kushner
Based in part on the book: “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Steven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln,” a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President’s tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.

During President Lincoln’s tumultuous final months in office, he pursues a course of action to end the Civil War, unite the country and abolish slavery.

Steven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln,” a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President’s tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.


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.

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.


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