Lincoln vs. Lincoln

ALVH Lincoln-Poster2012 saw the release of 2 Abraham Lincoln movies: Lincoln, the Academy Awards darling directed by Steven Spielberg, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (ALVH), a goofy action film directed by Timur Bekmambetov. The films are not in the same league – comparing them is like reflecting on Schindler’s List to Hogan’s Heroes.

But I am going to anyway in a variety of totally made-up and subjective categories.

CAST – Lincoln (All-stars in Spielberg; no one is all that great in ALVH)

lincoln comparisonLINCOLN PORTRAYAL – Lincoln (So good, you totally forget it is Daniel Day-Lewis)

SURPRISING SMALL PART – Lincoln (The return of James Spader)

SURPRISING CAMEO – ALVH (Alan Tudyk uncredited as Stephen A. Douglas)

POLITICS – Lincoln (but could have used some Walk and Talk like The West Wing)

WEAPON OF CHOICE – ALVH (Axe beats words)

ROLE OF WOMEN – ALVH (Mary Todd Lincoln much more sympathetic here)

ROLE OF BLACK CHARACTERS – ALVH (In Lincoln, African Americans do very little. In ALVH, they are essential lead characters)

MORAL – Tied (Slavery is bad; Vampires are bad – both good lessons)

HISTORICAL VERACTIY – Tied (Both play a little fast and loose with history. Okay, one does it a little more)

TEACHING TOOL – Tied (ALVH does play well with much history that uncovering “fact” and “vampire hunter” might be fun)

ACTION – ALVH (The action sequences are well done. Lincoln needed a good giant boulder or a flying bicycle)

CIVIL WAR – ALVH (Much more battle footage)

FORD’s THEATER – Tied (both end with allusions to the inevitable, but don’t portray it)

AVLH Make UpMAKE-UP – Lincoln (In ALVH, the older age make up verges on J. Edgar bad)

FUNNY WIGS and HAIR – Lincoln (Men looked silly back then)

REVIEWS – Lincoln (Rotten Tomatoes has 25% positive from top critics for ALVH, 95% for Lincoln)

BOX OFFICE – Lincoln (Lincoln $109 million so far, ALVH $37 million)

Totals: Lincoln 8, ALVH 6, Tied 5

The films are very different genres, but both work within their mode. I wished Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was a bit more quality and bit more interesting. I wished Lincoln was at a slightly faster pace and worked a little more business and action into the extended politics.

That said, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter gets a mild thumbs up. Lincoln has a shot of making my top 10, will certainly get a ton of Oscar nominations, and Daniel Day-Lewis absolutely should win best actor.


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