Short Films for You! France Edition 

Today is Jour de la Bastille, which means, we should celebrate France. So, for this week’s crop of Short Films for You! we have 6 shorts that are either French or take place in France. These are all subtitled in English or shot in English. Without further ado, les voilà: 

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Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies (2012)

“Emancipate this!”

The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself. And of course, flesh eating Confederate zombies. Those things are always a bugger on countries and whatnot. Those dang confederate zombies. After a prologue showing young Mr. Lincoln beheading his undead father with an axe, he soon discovers years in to his presidency that Confederate soldiers are rising from their graves and are spreading along the country to wreak havoc on the living. Abraham Lincoln takes it upon himself to lead the charge and stop the siege of the undead with a secret mission, and soon must fight for his life against hordes of the walking dead, alongside his brethren of pistol shooting suited men. “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies” is basically “Night of the Living Dead” but with a very twisted historical context. Instead of a farm house there’s a military fort, and instead of a group of survivors, there’s Abe Lincoln, a young Teddy Roosevelt, and a bunch of other characters that double for cannon fodder for the zombies.

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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

Though I never actually had the opportunity to read Seth Grahame-Smith’s original novel, director Timur Bekmambetov’s treatment of the revisionist novel is one of the more interesting horror movies I’ve ever seen. Not only does the film skirt the edges of camp, but it accomplishes the wonderful sense of surrealism and whimsy that Bekmambetov’s “Night Watch” films held so proudly. “Vampire Hunter” carries with it a lot of prospects for future installments, and it’s a very clever and often exciting bit of action horror that delivers on exactly what its title promises. There is Abraham Lincoln, and he does indeed stalk and hunt vampires for a great portion of the film.

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Titanic (1997)


It’s not a surprise why “Titanic” ended up becoming one of the highest grossing movies of all time and was later de-throned by “Avatar” by the very same director that brought us the aforementioned movie. Both films are so utterly broadly written and vague in their mass appeal that they’re pretty much guaranteed to be massive hits. With his hand on the button of the latest special effects, and a script that can be as ho hum and derivative as possible without a single complaint from his audience, “Titanic” is one of the two major blockbusters from director James Cameron. And like his future massive hit “Avatar,” it is an immense crowd pleaser because it doesn’t challenge or push its audience to think. It merely offers up vague characters, hackneyed archetypes, and a bang up special effects presentation that is still the small highlight in a giant disappointment.

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300 (2006)

xnEMOD2“300” is really nothing more than a movie about war. It’s about a society that paints war as heroic, and beautiful, about a society that views death in battle as heroic, and unflinching loyalty to government as brave. And yet, we know better. But this was the society. This is society period. It’s not difficult to see what the subtext is if you look hard enough.”300” though is also a beautiful action film that stages every scene as a living painting. Frank Miller, in spite of my disagreement with his views, is a wonderful writer. And he without a doubt set the stage for many writers to explore new domains in the comic book world.

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Alexander Revisited: The Final Cut (DVD)

“Why a third version of Alexander? The best answer I can manage is, I couldn’t get it out of my system. It’s a film that’s been haunting me since the theatrical version first appeared in November 2004 in the U.S., followed by a Director’s Cut on DVD in July 2005.” Oliver Stone

Jesus Christ, Mr. Stone, why? Why can’t you just leave that gaping wound alone? Why can’t you just let it heal? Why can’t you just leave well enough alone and accept that you made a really bad movie? You made a bad movie! There was no homophobic conspiracy, no boycott against you. You made a neo-“Caligula,” a film that takes itself so seriously it can’t even realize it has a huge “Kick My Pompous Ass” sign on its back. While we chortle in the distance, you’re still hung up on this figment that we just can’t accept a film about a hero who is bisexual. So, you grace us with three cuts of the same crappy film. Stone, know when to stop breathing air in the infectious cavity. You win some, and you lose some. You lost big with “Alexander” and you only help increase the sentiment with this “final” cut. You’re off your game, face it. And worst of all, Stone wants to cater to his audiences rather than accept defeat. There was the original cut (175 min.), then the trimmed down cut which increased the action and pulled back on the homosexual overtones (167 min.), and now there’s this “Final Cut.”

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