ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter ★★★★
Unlikely to fall foul of the Trade Descriptions Act, this fantasy makes a virtue of its pounding preposterousness. Here the 16th President of the United States is played by Benjamin Walker (a stage star since cast in Ron Howard’s In the Heart of the Sea), who’s trained as a young man by Dominic Cooper to hunt vampires. Lincoln then uses those skills during his subsequent presidency, thanks to an audacious subplot involving the Civil War and slavery from writer Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies). A cut above the usual hokum, its appeal nonetheless rests upon visceral bombast, fight scenes, CGI, slo-mo, hordes of bloodsuckers and gravity-defying combat. Russian director Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted) rarely takes his foot off the pedal. Fantasy fans will be relieved that it’s unlikely to play on the History Channel.
Hope and Glory ★★★★★
4.55-7.05pm Movie Mix
There’s great warmth and charm about writer/director John Boorman’s film, a semi-autobiographical account of growing up during the Blitz.
Due Date ★★★
Buckle up! This comedy road trip sees the irascible Robert Downey Jr driven around the bend and the back roads of America by human fuzzball Zach Galifianakis.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service ★★★★
“This never happened to the other fella.” An exciting punch-up on the beach introduces George Lazenby as the successor to the original James Bond, Sean Connery. Leave your prejudice at the door and thrill to one of the best films in the series.
The Tree of Life ★★★★
Breathtaking, mindbending but brilliant. Who else but Terrence Malick could combine the origins of life on Earth with a young boy’s loss of innocence in 1950s Texas? Brad Pitt and Sean Penn do well to contend with the metaphysics.
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