Kurt Loder on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and To Rome with Love


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has the flat lighting of a TV soap opera, and its effects—brazenly fakey landscapes under highly unlikely skies—might have been devised by a small child with a birthday watercolor set, writes Kurt Loder. And while it's entertaining to see Union soldiers rearing back in horror as uniformed Confederate vampires attack, there's ultimately no saving this anemic muddle.

To Rome with Love, on the other hand, is an examination by director Woody Allen of, among other things, the phenomenon of fame and the shallows of celebrity. It's not a profound contemplation—Allen's touch is light and charmingly comic, and he's too sophisticated to pretend that even the most burdensome fame has no compensating pleasures. But as Loder observes, why lie?