Tim Burton certainly has good enough of credentials as a filmmaker, but two of his most recent films seem to be shooting all blanks. In DARK SHADOWS, Johnny Depp returns as yet another one of Tim Burton’s characters, but this time it almost seems like one Johnny Depp character too many. And in his newest film, ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER, one vital ingredient is surely missing, a great Abraham Lincoln. Recently, The Asylum, a budget conscious film company actually beat this bigger budget film to the marketplace with ABRAHAM LINCOLN Vs. ZOMBIES. And what made this a far more enjoyable film than the bigger budget Tim Burton film was Emmy Award nominated actor, Bill Oberst Jr., in the role of Lincoln.
The Asylum was so fortunate to land a character actor as great as Bill Oberst Jr. He was so serious about honoring Lincoln’s legacy that after he was done in the makeup chair he went out by himself and meditated and prayed to bring honor to the late president according to at least one interview. He meditated on the words of the Gettysburg Address as well, and then he went out and played Lincoln with a lot of heart and soul. He portrayed Lincoln with all of the great personal traits that you would expected of the late president. it was a home run Lincoln performance the likes just not seen in the Tim Burton film by comparison.
Certainly, the Tim Burton film took itself very seriously, which seemed strange for a silly premise. But, without a great actor like Bill Oberst Jr. at the helm of the Lincoln role, like in The Asylum release, the movie seemed to really lack something.
So there you have it. Among the two dueling Abraham Lincoln portrayals, one actor, Bill Oberst Jr. made the much lower budget film the far superior of the two films solely because of his great personal strength as an actor. Bill Oberst made you really climb into the heart and soul of Abraham Lincoln, even for a purely fictional script, and you walked away only admiring the president all that much more. And The Asylum film also included one of most deeply intelligent and melancholy endings as well compared to the better produced Tim Burton film.
For years, the definitive Abraham Lincoln portrayal was considered to be from Canadian actor Raymond Massey in the 1940 film based off the play, ABE LINCOLN FROM ILLINOIS. In modern times, no one has done Abraham Lincoln any better than Bill Oberst Jr., and the failure of the Tim Burton film on a few levels only illustrates that fact. Bill Obesrt Jr. is the greatest Abraham Lincoln actor in recent memory. Hands down!