This month, lucky readers, you get TWO, count ’em, TWO movies from the old Cougs. One documentary and one, well, not documentary.
The Ambassador [Not Rated]
This documentary by Danish journalist (and great name-haver) Mads Brügger is frankly pretty insane. Brügger poses as a Danish businessman who buys diplomatic credentials from a shady organization and flies into the Central African Republic under the guise of a diplomat opening a match factory. Wait, it gets wilder. His real goal is to attempt to buy and smuggle out blood diamonds. Along the way, he runs into corrupt politicians, smugglers, mercenaries and there’s a good old fashion real-life murder thrown in for good measure.
How he manages to stay in control of his faculties during the situations that follow is beyond me. Brügger deliberately puts himself in an extraordinarily dangerous position and walks a tightrope for the audience. It’s really an amazing feat. Watching this movie is sort of like watching Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat until you realize that this guy is serious and could die at any moment. After you’ve watched the movie, read some of the online interviews with him! It is mind-blowing that he made it out of the situation unharmed. Well, apart from being deported and arrested by the government of Liberia.
Why you should see it: With any luck, you’ll never experience what this guy experiences.
7.5 Paws out of 10
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter [Rated R]
Now, I know what you are thinking. “Collin,” you say, “you should have totally read the book first. It’s way better!” You may be right.
But that’s not how I roll.
I went into this not having any idea what the movie was about outside of the name and the name of the director, Timor Bekmambetov (yeah, I checked the spelling on IMDB before I typed that, so what). You may have seen his previous US released movie Wanted with Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman. If you’re really adventurous, you may have seen some of his Russian releases, like Night Watch and Day Watch. If you have already seen any of those, you know what you are in for. If not, re-read the title of the movie and try not to think so hard when you watch it.
After watching the movie, I read a bunch of the reviews from The Washington Post, New Yorker, etc. complaining about how inconsistent with history it is. Folks, it’s called Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. It’s not a biography. Apparently, it is also not an exact screen retelling of the novel on which it is based on (despite the screenplay being written by the same author, Seth Grahame-Smith).
What Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter actually is, is a non-stop, over-the-top, rollicking good time. I don’t care that it isn’t historically accurate. I don’t care that it breaks with canonical vampire mythology. It’s just fun to watch. And frankly, that’s all I was hoping for. Show me a movie that has a more exciting sequence then the train ambush scene in Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter and, well, I’d probably really enjoy that too.
Why you should see it: There is a fight scene where a live horse is thrown at a guy, knocks him over, gets up and joins in a stampede.
7 Paws out of 10