Transformers IV

transformers extinction (3)

Vampire Owl :: Isn’t this the movie in which your Chevrolet Beat transforms?

Vampire Bat :: No, it doesn’t. The best it can do is to transform into a Titanic on on our roads on a monsoon season giving company to the other cars.

Vampire Owl :: Shouldn’t the movie at least feature you?

Vampire Bat :: Why me? When was the last time I transformed?

Vampire Owl :: It is named Age of Extinction. I think Vampire Bats are going extinct. Nobody really likes you. Even Poe prefers a raven at night.

Vampire Bat :: No, that is not true. There are people who like me, like Count Dracula, Batman, the cute zombie girl next door and twelve thousand two hundred and fifty three normal vampires. I might even have a candlelight dinner with Countess Dracula.

Vampire Owl :: I hope you take this lightly, but Countess Dracula is dead.

Vampire Bat :: What? When?

Vampire Owl :: I am not sure, but that should be about four hundred years ago or so?

Vampire Bat :: It is difficult being immortal; you have to watch good people suffering and bad people thriving.

[Enters the movie hall].

What is it about? :: Years have passed since the last battle between autobots and decepticons which left the city in ruins and so many people dead, making it difficult for the government to rebuild it again, and as a result, all the aliens were declared fugitives and there was not going to be any combined efforts between humans and the autobots anymore. Another transformer called Lockdown who belongs to neither of the two factions is shown to help the government in doing the same, with a promise of something in return for the capture of the autobot leader, Optimus Prime. Meanwhile, the human research on dead transformers is progressing, and there was the discovery of transformium, a metal which is unstable and can transform, creating more of such robots which can replace human soldiers in the case of a war. With the help of a captured Brains, they are slowly using this metal to build transformers which accept command from the humans, including Galvatron, Stinger and Junkheap. At the same time, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) and his friend Lucas Flannery (T. J. Miller) purchase an old truck in hope of helping Tessa Yeager (Nicola Peltz) in her studies with the money they can get from selling the parts. But that truck would be Optimus Prime in hiding and things will take a turn.

The defence of Transformers: Age of Extinction :: The movie has great battles, as robots collide and fight against each other in a war which lets sparks fly and makes things come towards you in 3D which is a nice visual extravaganza. The special effects nicely compliment the action sequences, and the chaotic world is nice to watch with transformations to come with the same. There are the nice cars to which the robots transform which look better than ever. The best scene is that which involves the huge spaceship which wanders in the sky, and also uses its powers with all the possible awesomeness as far as a movie like this is concerned. The destruction is also taken to another level. The transformations also take a twist, with dinobots having robots transforming into giant dinosaurs as well as the human constructed transformers having their own way of changing, all of them contributing in a different manner. The three machines which are better than the others are the Optimus Prime and Galvatron (Pacific Rim‘s Gypsy Danger’s evil twin) trucks along with the cars of Lockdown and Stinger. There is a lot for the Transformers fans to cheer about, as the awesome heroes once again go on their mission to save planet Earth with the support of a very few human allies. The human greed and the inherent evil are also nicely shown.

The claws of flaw :: The movie suffers from the usual problems with the plot which we can associate with all the Transformers movies which try to follow the path of the original with one villain at a time, Megatron, Fallen and Sentinel Prime who were in the previous movies make way for Lockdown, and Megatron is once again here being the secondary villain, just in another form. There is also the old truck Optimus Prime who refuses to stay in the grave and comes back from the dead as the metallic zombie which I have always hoped to have stayed dead or refusing to die at all. Bumblebee continues to be overrated and lives, while the kill off the last interesting robot from the first movie, Ratchet, something which they already did to Jazz and Ironhide. The robot design is also more complicated, but at the same time, horribly flawed, as we no longer see the usual robot faces, but creatures with face of Japanese Samurai and those with beard and smoking cigars, something which looks so dumb in the detail. The plot gets predictable by the second half, and the addition of dinobots is nice variety, but the way in which they are introduced is lame. The movie is also too long and has too many repetitive fights which often makes the viewers wonder if they had already seen all these. The characterization is another case for downfall.

Performances of the soul :: Mark Wahlberg is rock solid in this movie, and it is good to see him instead of the usual cast that we had, because he is always one of those nice action stars who are suitable to play this kind of role which involves being the hero and yet not being the strongest one around. Here he is, being the mechanic, father and action hero all at the same time, and makes it work even as his character is not without flaws. Nicola Peltz is more about being the beauty among the population which are mostly robots or action heroes, and being the one with teenage girl problems and having problems with her father. She looks great and proves that one thing. Sophia Myles and Li Bingbing also contributes to the overall beauty, having nothing too much with their characters. T. J. Miller provides some comic side which is there only for some time. Stanley Tucci’s partially villainous character also provides some comic relief during the intense action, but it only works partially – not something which the Transformers franchise haven’t tried before and often succeeded; other times proving the inherent dumbness. Jack Reynor has a nice presence, as what can be called the supporting actor, but as a need for our girlfriend to have a love interest. Kelsey Grammer is a nice villain, but not fully utilized and forced to come second. Titus Welliver also comes up with a strong performance.

Soul exploration :: The movie leaves with hope for a sequel, but the question remains if it has a soul to work on. It had the always-ready-to-die Optimus Prime with an ideal, but that is actually less worked on now. The autobot-decepticon enmity has also gone the wrong way. At the same time, the movie has given us an idea about how bad the effects of science and technology can be, and there are secrets that should be left alone, for there are other things that humanity should focus on, as they are that species which are infested by greed, hatred, lust and envy. The technology is rarely safe in the hands of man, as they are incapable of handling the same due to the presence of their inherent evil nature. When the movie goes on to be a massive success story at the box-office, the one thing we have to think about is how well it has portrayed humanity and the problems caused by its pride. Even a robot knows better than humans who are blessed with better teachers throughout the centuries, and even with all the knowledge that they have gathered, man fails to be good, and it is a case of shame. Then in finding the creators, they are indeed Prometheus infested.

How it finishes :: I had considered Transformers: Dark of the Moon as the worst Transformers movie of all time, and I will stick to the same, but I would still think that our movie here has got more problems in its story-line than the others, but it does make up with the better special effects and action sequences, plus Mark Wahlberg who looks very well suited for this kind of role. Still, except for the first Transformers movie which I have watched so many times already, I wouldn’t dare to watch another one of this franchise again. I would suggest you watch the robots of Pacific Rim rather than watch the aliens of this movie if given a choice. But there is no denying that this movie is pure entertainment, except for the fact that its lack of brain and the repetition, along with the terrible length makes the situation a bit intolerable to a few. Transformers fans should like this movie a lot, and the new additions can impress a number of viewers. This is one of those non-superhero Hollywood movies which are running houseful right from the day it was released, and one can be sure that this is not the end for this franchise, and this sequel is going to collect a lot of money.

Release date: 27th June 2014
Running time: 165 minutes
Directed by: Michael Bay
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Kelsey Grammer, Stanley Tucci, Jack Reynor, Sophia Myles, Li Bingbing, Titus Welliver, T. J. Miller, Melanie Specht, Victoria Summer

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Naku Penta Naku Taka

nakupentanakutaka

Vampire Bat :: There is a problem with your tongue?

Vampire Owl :: No, its the title of the movie we are going to watch. I couldn’t say it at the ticket counter. So I said this time for Africa.

Vampire Bat :: Isn’t that title in Swahili?

Vampire Owl :: Yes, but if it was in Malayalam, it would include the tongue being at Penta Menaka.

Vampire Bat :: I had first thought that it could be any non-English, non-Malayalam, non-Hindi movie.

Vampire Owl :: People do complain that Malayalam movies are using English titles. So, this should satisfy them.

Vampire Bat :: May be Swahili movies can use Malayalam titles.

Vampire Owl :: This was a big risk though, they were going to cancel the show stating there are not enough people.

Vampire Bat :: Happens with me for at least three out of every ten movies I watch.

[Enters the movie hall].

What is it about? :: Shubha (Bhama) is determined that she will marry only a man working in the United States of America. She and her father are so obsessed with the nation that her mother, uncle and the broker decides to present the next guy as an engineer working in America, instead of being the staff of a company in Africa. As Vinay (Indrajith Sukumaran) sends a visa to her right after their marriage, she can’t wait to get to America, but after told that they are going to the United States through Kenya, she arrives there only to be told that he works there and it was a plan spearheaded by her mother who was disgusted with her not getting an allience due to her need for a groom working in America. Even as he despises him in the beginning, she soon beings to get along. She also becomes friends with the Malayali neighbours who stay nearby, and even gets close to some natives. But then, a death will happen which will change their lives, and they will be on a run from police, gangsters and also a group of natives. At the same time, a man named Anton Kulasingam (Murali Gopy) also enters their lives, giving them no clue as to what is happening. They only know that they somehow need to get to India.

The defence of Naku Penta Naku Taka :: The name of the movie means “I Love You I Need You”, not the title which suits the movie the best, but still there is a nice song in there with the same lines, and it is beautifully done. The big advantage of this movie is that even when the thrill factor is low, the movie uses its ground advantage to work in its favour; with its power of variety, even when it is a little stupid, this one remains cool. The first half an hour of the movie remains really funny, with our leading characters taking control. Then the world goes the thrilling way, and it manages the transformation quite well and the suspense is maintained quite nicely, especially in the first half. Even as the three major incidents which change their lives are different, they are nicely managed and connected as one couldn’t have occurred without the previous one, and the highest points of tension are reached, but not without some amateurish weakness that can be mostly forgiven. The beauty of Kenya is nicely captured and the cinematography department needs some special applause, as Africa’s landscapes and wildlife becomes known to us through this piece of work. We need such movies which are not shot in the usual places like Europe, North America, Middle East and the South East Asia (Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore) – good to see this one going different.

The claws of flaw :: The name of the movie has undoubtedly kept people away from the theatres – even I was sure that this was no Malayalam movie until I was told. It hasn’t succeeded in making the fans believe that the poster is not of a dubbed movie, and only those who follow the films news regularly can know that this is a Malayalam movie with a Swahili name, even as the English name for the other African movie Escape from Uganda was not interesting either. Most of the theatres don’t have this movie being screened either, and that should mean missing lots of business in the local theatres. The movie doesn’t make full use of its resources, neither of the funny side that it begins to explore nor of the thriller side where it attempts to reach. Both areas could have been a lot stronger, considering how well it started and maintained the variety in its presentation. The villain also doesn’t become evil according to the day’s standard, and shooting people is not that bad these days since Joker made The Dark Knight appearance. The ending has no strength, and it is as if it was getting drainer of its power from a few minutes ago. The second half is also inferior to the first half and a few more minutes after the interval which keep us thriller and hoping for something huge. The thrill factor is often low in the latter parts of the movie.

Performances of the soul :: Indrajith Sukumaran, that name is oftten enough to watch a movie which promises variety. Amen and Left Right Left were his class acts last year, and when he comes up with the first big variety of this year (Masala Republic not included), we are indeed interested. He excels in the funny scenes and continues his form into the rest of the story in a nice way. His inherent acting skills is only matched by the cuteness of Bhama who gives a peaceful performance with all its beauty and her own. You have to love her a lot in the beginning stages when she comes to Africa and realizes that her husband lied to her about America. A little more of such stuff could have given her more opportunities, that is for sure. Anusree has just some screen time, and would disappear for a long time only to appear later for a few minutes. Murali Gopy looks stunning throughout the movie, and proves that he is the right option for being Hitman Codename 47 if the game is adapted into Malayalam – well, people copy anything and everything these days, so who knows? It would have been better if he had more evil deeds to commit rather than shooting people; he is menacing in his style and way of talking and acting, but that is all the character has.

Soul exploration :: Naku Penta Naku Taka is a story of love and survival, even as it doesn’t go deep into either of them. As Indrajith and Bhama forms a nice on-screen pair, and the latter is incredibly cute in her expressions, especially with anger and blushing, may be it didn’t feel the need to get them through terror which has even half the power of the hell’s abyss. But the main theme of the movie remains the same, something which it decides to keep away from the dark side up-to an extent. It is the struggle of a husband and wife to escape from the problems that they face in Africa, seemingly similar to Escape from Uganda, but still finding an identity of its own, and the character of Murali Gopy plays a major part in helping the movie to do so. The expectation that this will work out in the level of Left Right Left is clearly wrong, and with the same protagonist who impressed us in that movie as well as Amen, this movie is just the entertainer with variety, not something which one can ponder over for long – Amen and Left Right Left still remains in my mind, and the characters stay there and so do the situations. Naku Penta Naku Taka is not without ideas, but doesn’t make an attempt to try hard with it, or add fire to the same.

How it finishes :: The 2013 movie Escape from Uganda was the first Malayalam movie to be extensively shot in Africa, and may be the only Malayalam movie to be shot in Uganda. If we look at those reviews on the internet, it has received almost the same kind of reception from the internet critics as for this one, or may be worse if we include some specific reviews. If we go outside Malayalam, the one movie we can remember easily should be Maryan, but that is clearly a different story. Naku Penta Naku Taka has to be appreciated for the effort which it has taken, and its bravery to choose to be different. There is one other thing that I like, and that is that this movie is sponsored by tea, as we can see the logo of Gokulam Love Tea on some of the posters of the movie – yes, how can I not watch a movie which has tea advertisements? Tea is such a big part of the life of the Vampire Bat, and this one inspires to drink more; not the best occasion to say this, but what is life without tea? Indrajith fans and future Bhama fans, take this opportunity to check out this movie. This is the movie that you need, to take a break from the inferior work that superstars have been providing us with, and lets take time to appreciate such lesser known works without huge stars; it will only be good for the industry.

Release date: 13th June 2014
Running time: 120 minutes (estimate)
Directed by: Vayalar Madhavan Kutty
Starring: Indrajith Sukumaran, Bhama, Murali Gopy, Shankar, Anusree Nair, Sudheer Karamana, Sunil Sugada

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Angry Babies

angrybabies (1)

Vampire Bat :: Did you just say Angry Birds at the ticket counter?

Vampire Owl :: Yes, but he heard Angry Babies.

Vampire Bat :: How can you be so sure?

Vampire Owl :: Because he gave me tickets. Angry Babies sounds dumb. I am not going to say that with Angry Birds in my mobile.

Vampire Bat :: But what if there are real babies in it and justifies the title?

Vampire Owl :: I have watched the trailer. It didn’t seem like the protagonists were ever going to have a baby.

Vampire Bat :: It should have been Angry Babes then, unless they act like babies.

Vampire Owl :: I am afraid this will remind me of What Happens in Vegas.

Vampire Bat :: I think it will be like Just Married.

[Enters the movie hall].

What is it about? :: The rich and the poor love story begins in the highranges of Kerala as Sarah Thomas (Bhavana), daughter of a wealthy businessman and Jeevan Paul (Anoop Menon), a still photographer decides to run away on the day of the lady’s betrothal. They arrives in Mumbai and starts a Coffee Shop with name Sarah Jeevan by selling the ornaments she was wearing for her engagement function. As Sarah is more into the shop and Jeevan rarely goes there and attempting to get a job as a photographer, they slowly moves away from each other; his photographing beautiful models acting as a powerful catalyst for the same. They slowly begins to detest the presence of each other, and files a divorce only to be asked to wait for six months which seems longer to them than ever. After failing in an attempt to push the other person out of their flat, they decide to share the place until the legal separation, and their problems are mediated by Madhavan (P. Balachandran). Sarah attempts to take over things by appointing a servant Selvi (Anusree) and being close to Alex (Joju) much to Jeevan’s dismay. But as their friends who helped them elope comes to Mumbai, they decide to act like all is well so that they are not hurt.

The defence of Angry Babies :: The one thing which was guaranteed from the beginning and delivered with ease was the fun. The movie has clean entertainment and comedy, unlike the new generation comedy which laughs at things or use multiple double meaning words in an attempt to evoke laughter. This is where the has been quite an attention, and even if there is some loss of fun, such tidy status is to be managed if families are to watch this one, and the flick manages some security there. This is lots of fun right from the beginning to the end, but as it moved towards the climax, it doesn’t fail to give some message about adjustments in marriage, and the weaknesses that the love marriages will show sooner or later as long as there is no support from the families of the bride and groom. The blessings of one’s parents is always a major factor in marriage. There is difference between love and marriage and it is easier to talk stupid things about love and wander around together doing nothing, but wedding takes it to another level, and this one deals with the problems in Ivar Vivahitharayal in a funny and sometimes stupid manner – the same director handles this one too. There are lots of funny situations, and the beauty of Mumbai is nicely captured too.

The claws of flaw :: Angry Babies doesn’t have that much of an innovation, and the story is mostly predictable except for the smaller details. The story has is own dose of exaggeration, but nothing that thrives on inflammation to the wrong emotions like Bangalore Days had been trying; why do you need to over-think Angry Birds though, for it serves it purpose and do what it is supposed to do, with no unnecessary additions to make it something it is not. The ending is also a bit forced with the love returning to the life like a boomerang quickly remembering that it was actually supposed to come back – well, this was supposed to maintain that comic factor throughout the movie and the ending is no different as it ends up in another funny moment. This is not for the people who are not looking forward to such a movie, and if someone feels the need to inject anything other than just fun into this movie, it is their problem and needs to stop watching movies in the theatre. There is no denying that it could have created a few more funny moments, and the flashback story of love needn’t even exist – it never bores with such stuff, and then why not the creation of a little more funny moments like What Happens in Vegas and Just Married could come up with?

Performances of the soul :: Most of the screen time is reserved for Anoop Menon and Bhavana, and there is almost no moment which doesn’t include one of them and most of the time, they spend together. Anoop Menon shows his skill for comedy like never before, especially in the first half and in the end works well with the emotional stuff. Bhavana is a beauty; not just with the looks, but with her handling of both comic and emotional scenes. She plays a character which reminds one of Mamtha Mohandas in My Boss, and yet keeps so many good elements with her unlike that “boss”, and this middle path that she has taken for her character is rather a smart idea by the director not making her the more egotic person, and gives enough to Anoop’s character too. None of these characters preach though, and keeps things simple, fighting and getting over with it. Anusree’s character is a little overdose at times, but manages to funny throughout the movie, and she is one actress who can thrive in simplicity. The Vodafone Comedy Stars fame Noby was the funniest one in the second half, and it makes one extremely happy to see him coming up with so much to make us laugh, and Joju comes next in the comic contribution. Noby needs a lot more chances, for he has earned it. Meanwhile, Nishanth Sagar makes a nice come back looking so much younger, and Parvathy Nair looks beautiful in her short stay. Kalabhavan Shaju also contributes to the fun.

Soul exploration :: One thing is very clear about this movie, and it is the lack of pretending to be something. Unlike our most recent pretender to the throne of awesomeness called Bangalore Days, this movie knows where it stands and where the strengths lie. This one also doesn’t depend on a hufe starcast to hide its weaknesses, but it uses very good use of the resources available. The disadvantages of a multi-starrer cast has always been its special ability to hide its weaknesses; just like what was evident from the early opinions about Bangalore Days. The people would be staring at their favourite stars and it will be impossible for them to tell the truth that the movie had problems, and will say that the movie is awesome just because they are typical fanboys and fangirls. The real movies shouldn’t have too many superstars because it spoils its essence even as there will be a good amount of box-office collections, and there will no real review about it as nobody wishes to go against the fans because people only need to read what they want to read, and this case, they are intoxicated just because their favourite actor or actress looks great on the screen. When those involved with the movie other than the cast are also popular, the movie needs zero substance. This movie moves away from such lies, and that is a point for the soul.

How it finishes :: Coming from the director who has handles the funny side nicely, like in Ivar Vivahitharayal, Happy Husbands and Husbands in Goa, this was expected to be interesting stuff which is certain to make the audience laugh as long as it kept close to the genre. This is his sixth movie and the first one without Jayasurya being a part of the cast. This would be his first movie with Anoop Menon and the second with Bhavana as a part of it. In a weekend when movies like Koothara released, it was good to have this movie from Saji Surendran, with a movie that doesn’t think that the audience are stupid and the flick is too intellectual. As I was not a part of the Mermaid Welfare Association of India, I wasn’t happy at all with Koothara, but that is one story I am not going to talk about now. For now, what we need to remember is that Angry Babies is the movie which promises and delivers what it is supposed to come up with, as anything else would have been an unnecessary overdose which the superstar movies come up with, and not a movie which has an identity of its own rather than wearing a fake visage intended only for making money. Now, for the question about the title of the movie, the protagonists are indeed like babies in both love and hatred 😀

Release date: 14th June 2014
Running time: 130 minutes (estimate)
Directed by: Saji Surendran
Starring: Bhavana Menon, Anoop Menon, Noby Tharian, Joju George, Parvathy Nair, P. Balachandran, Kalabhavan Shaju, Nishanth Sagar, Anusree Nair

angrybabies copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

How to Train Your Dragon 2

howtotrainyourdragon (2)

Vampire Owl :: I have always preferred dinosaurs and Godzilla to dragons, wyverns and all kinds of flying machines.

Vampire Bat :: What about the Golden Dragon Restaurant?

Vampire Owl :: With that chicken and noodles which should not be named?

Vampire Bat :: Yes, that variety which we tested and tasted.

Vampire Owl :: In that case, I guess I will have to make an exception.

Vampire Bat :: Let’s train a dragon then.

Vampire Owl :: As long as it is not named Fernando Torres. I need it to score when opportunity comes.

Vampire Bat :: It is not easy to make the sequel to one of the best animated movies of all time. Still, the reviews are great and lets hope for the best. After all, there is no strong opposition this weekend.

[Reaches the multiplex].

The day of the dragon :: The past goes back to 2010 when the first movie was released, and at that time in the movie, vikings and dragons have been fighting each other. The battle was something which defined their lives and seemed to go on forever. The chief of the group is Stoick who is a firm hater of the dragons. The son of Stoick and the heir to the title, Hiccup is not having a good time with his Viking blood, but happens to capture a blue dragon whom he couldn’t make up the mind to kill. This rare Night Fury dragon and the boy becomes friends and is given the name Toothless for its retractable teeth. The boy would no longer find killing the dragons an option as he feels that it is not right. Even as it did infuriate his father and most of the other vikings, this would lead to a chain of events which will finally lead to the end of war between vikings and dragons. The first idea would be that this is the end of the story, as everything seemed to go on happily ever after. But the need for the sequel comes up and it takes off from here, as this had gone on to become one of the more popular animated movies at that time.

What is it about? :: As the peace has been established and the dragons live happily with Vikings, it seems that nothing bad can happen. Close to taking over as the new chief of his village, Hiccup goes on random adventures with his dragon and best friend, Toothless, as they discover and add to the map lots of unexplored lands and the water-bodies which surrounds their island, as the assistance of flying creatures have made things easier for them. On one such day of exploration, he encounters a dragon catcher and knows about his boss Drago Bludvist who is building a dragon army. Hiccup decides to get to the root of this and find the one who is taking the dragons for himself. Even as Stoick tells his son that the new villain is a mad man and it is impossible to prevent a war and their only possible defence was being inside the walls of the city, Hiccup continues on his path to find the enemy. But on the way, he will meet another dragon rider who will bring some changes to his plan. At the same time, he is chased by dragon catchers as well as his own people who are trying to bring him back. It is to be seen how things will go on.

The defence of How to Train Your Dragon 2 :: The movie takes us into the world of vikings and dragons again, and begins another saga of awesomeness which is a great continuation of the previous one. It is connected quite well to the first part. The story has nice new elements even as some part of it is undoubtedly predictable, but that is to be expected in an animated movie. There is some good 3D, nothing special though. There are moments when nothing special happens, but no boring moment. The Vikings are nice to watch and the dragons are glorious fun; for there are so many of them this time with even two alpha dragons fighting with each other. The villain characters is nice, and the father and mother characters are lots of fun along with our hero’s friends, girlfriend and the friend of the chief. But the best thing is still the relation between the hero and his dragon, followed by his relationship with his father and his mother. The environment of the movie is nothing less than a Avatar in animation as far as the whole visual splendor is concerned, and the dragon designs are nice even as some of them might seem a little too funny for some – well, this is a movie for the kids too and so such things were to exist somewhere.

The claws of flaw :: If we take the major characters out, the movie is centered around dragons and it is their existence that defines this movie, and vikings come only next. There is less about the lifestyle and more about exploration. The Vikings and their way of life takes second place and becomes something based on the existence and presence of the winged creatures. The only other creature which we see is the sheep in a world which seems to be shared by just two creatures. Some of the dragons are actually too cute even for the bigger kids. It was already cute with everything and this gets further. Even as the story is nicely done, there are some areas where it gets predictable. It will also be difficult for those who haven’t watched the original movie, as those incidents have quite a lot to do with this movie, and the characterization is also dependent on what happened earlier. Therefore, the connection will obviously be weak for them, even as the same can’t be said about the fun. The emotional and dramatic scenes often go out of hand, and they are rather far-fetched and still not that effective as Frozen or Mr. Peabody and Sherman. The talks about this being the movie of the year or the best animated sequel won’t work.

Soul exploration :: The movie’s most important theme is co-existence. The lack of tolerance has been something which has been hurting more than just one race of people. Well, if dragons can co-exist with a race like Vikings, anyone can do that. This is the age when hatred is spread through Facebook, as people come up with some random post which has no truth in it, and present it as fact just to degrade others and their political, social and religious beliefs. It is a shame that some of these are actually learned men with good status, and in that case they are able to make the fools share what they share. It is quite difficult to reason with people who pervert history for the same, and come out with nonsense to support their cause. In the outside world, there are always wars, but they are all the products of the hatred that is burning in the minds because of the greed or personal agenda of some people. The Vikings had their own purpose and the dragons think only of their major needs, but lets experience this movie and learn something about co-existence not only with other people and creatures, but also with the environment. Avatar did the same, and instead of the tree at the centre, we have the alpha dragons which controls them all.

How it finishes :: The original movie was a smart one, and it was surely not going to be easy to make a sequel to the same. But this movie has accomplished something which only movies like Kung-fu Panda 2 and Despicable Me 2 have achieved, and Rio 2 came pretty close to doing until losing its way. This one becomes a very good sequel to the first movie, and there are occasions when it seems to rise above the first movie. It has all the ingredients to rule the box-office; a strong base which is already constructed by its predecessor, the absence of any better movie in the theatre and some good developments of its own. The only remaining challenge is from what is left over by Edge of Tomorrow, but that should be no real problem considering the kind of audience targeted by the two. It is surely leading the weekend until now. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is the second best animated movie of the year after Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and the same can be said about the fun that it carries. There were expectations and this one meets them steadily. Watch this one on the big screen and nowhere else, and it won’t really matter if you are an young man, an older person or a kid, this one is going to make your one hundred minutes count.

Release date: 13th June 2014
Running time: 102 minutes
Directed by: Dean DeBlois
Starring (voice) : Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, Djimon Hounsou, Kit Harington

howtotrainyourdragon2 copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Bangalore Days

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Vampire Owl :: So we won’t watch Bangalore Days, right?

Vampire Bat :: We will watch it. There will be force from Nivin Pauly fans, Dulquer Salmaan fans, Nazriya fans and Fahad Faasil fans and even Anjali Menon fans who will force us to go for the movie no matter what is shown in the movie.

Vampire Owl :: You mean there is no escape. Won’t the monsoon calm them down?

Vampire Bat :: No, they constitute ninety five percent of the Keralite young population. Unless we hide ourselves in a bunker, there is no escape from the fan bombs.

Vampire Owl :: Let’s not listen to them who rate the movie high just because of the people involved, and hiding that fact, just say that movie is awesome.

Vampire Bat :: Let’s watch this soon enough but not falling to those extremely high fan ratings.

Vampire Owl :: So, can we order an extra plate of fried rice with more gravy?

Vampire Bat :: I guess I will need two cups of tea too.

Vampire Owl :: Why two? One for Count Dracula?

Vampire Bat :: One before finishing the food and the other after the grand finish.

[The food happens again].

What is it about? :: There are three cousins, Krishnan (Nivin Pauly), Arjun (Dulquer Salmaan) and Divya (Nazriya Nazim) who have been great friends since childhood and shared almost everything with each other. Divya is married to the busy executive Das (Fahadh Faasil) and that lands her in Bangalore. Krishnan who gets a new job in the IT sector also gets posted in Bangalore, and that comes as no surprise. Arjun, who has the habit of leaving his home and keeping his relatives worried, also comes to the same city and does a little mechanic job bringing the three cousins together again. Arjun falls in love with a physically disabled Radio Jokey, Sarah (Parvathy). Krishnan meets an airhostess who is half-Malayali, Meenakshi (Isha Talwar) and is instantly attracted to her even as the lady of his dreams is simple and having a Malayali character. Meanwhile, the relationship between Divya and Das becomes strained due to multiple reasons, and Krishnan’s mother comes to Bangalore after his father goes on a spiritual trip. Sarah has to go to Australia while her mother despises Arjun for his background and lifestyle, and Meenakshi is not serious in the relationship with Krishnan, making things further complicated.

The defence of Bangalore Days :: This one is a joy to watch in the beginning stages. There are three cousins, with lot of love for each other and enjoying life. There are many funny moments in the movie, mostly including Nivin Pauly, as he falls for the one true love he meets who is surely not a lady of his dreams. The jokes work throughout the movie, even as the second half takes them down. There is a lot of intelligence in bringing fun in the first half, and they have smartly used the Thattathin Marayathu stuff in this one which is a nice addition. The cast is as close to perfection as it can be, especially with three male leads, Nivin Pauly, Fahadh Faasil, and Dulquer Salmaan. Among the female leads, Parvathi shines the most, and this is a different avatar for her considering the roles we usually see her in. There might still be no better happiness than seeing all these stars together, seven in total, three male and four female, and all of them young and bringing their energy all the way to the screen. This leaves a lot of the young generation fans, and the fanboys as well as fangirls will love this stuff. This is the movie that they can celebrate by bunking classes and wasting time.

The claws of flaw :: The movie has no interesting story to tell the viewers. It has just three people who are the centre of attraction, seemingly made even before the plot ever existed, and into their lives, the whole story is packed and sent. The twist that they bring for Fahadh’s character was possibly the worst thing they could do to the story as an ineffective turn-around. The bike racing stuff was quite unnecessary, as Dulquer was cool without it. But here, he will jump bike just because they can make him. He was nicely turning into a likable character from one of the worst young man in this story. May be because even non-racing fans liked Rush and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikhander had such an awesome climax, they should have thought this was the way to go. The scene after the final marriage is equally worse, and Nivin Pauly character’s “happily ever after” is ended in such a poor manner. There is a lot of drag in this movie which was supposed to be a lot of fun. The major point of this flick was to be entertainment, but this movie forgets that in the second half, making this more of a soap opera, and tries hard to make audience cry, but without substance. The ending leaves us needing more and emptiness in this movie is mostly filled by unnecessary songs. Well, this is a fire-breathing dragon which decided to breath cliches for a change, and each character seems to contribute to it when they go through the story.

Performers of the soul :: Nivin Pauly and Nazriya Nazim has been the hit pair, but here the latter is paired with her real life future husband, Fahadh Faasil, and Nivin repeats the hit pair of his first big lead movie Thattathin Marayathu with Isha Talwar. Nazriya is fine, but still not that awesome as we saw in Om Shanti Oshaana. Meanwhile, Fahadh Faasil is brilliant in a role which makes him only the fourth significant person in the movie, but an admired one for sure. He remains strong, and it is something we expect from him no matter what happens around him. Nivin Pauly is awesome, and is the best of them all, especially in the funny scenes. He should have had a little more presence in the whole thing rather than being restricted. Dulquer Salmaan hasn’t impressed me since Ustadh Hostel, and everything that came after that had me uninterested, and felt that he was choosing the wrong movies for whatever reason. But he certainly scores in this one, even as his character deserves a lot of hatred for the first half – he comes up with a memorable performance especially in the second half. Nithya Menon and Parvathi haven’t been around for some time, and it was good to see them. While Nithya has only a small role, Parvathi is very nice as the love interest of Dulquer’s character.

Soul exploration :: Everyone loves the city of Bangalore, and it is one of the cities of the South which I visited at an early age, and also that city which has most of my relatives and friends. I might just go there and find at least one person I know every day just by walking around, almost all of them engineers. Well, none of my friends who are staying there or have worked there has rated this movie high, and that is a negative for this one. I have actually found that most of the people whose opinions I care about have given this movie around average rating. But does this movie has more of a soul? Yes, it has the cousin friendship love stuff mixed and boiled in a bowl full of water, but how good is it? They are all there, but not presented in such a way that we can feel or connect. Even the most touching moments are rather dull because not enough care has been put in how the story progresses. It might be meant to make the viewers feel good, but that should require staying with the audience, but this one moves on and on, and in the presence degrading itself from being an awesome movie. Sooner or later, the question will be more about us deserving better than just expecting better.

How it finishes :: Bangalore Days has been one of the most anticipated movies by the fans of different actors. There are Nazriya Nazim fans who know that their favourite actress is going to get married and coming back to acting is not a sure thing. There are Nivin Pauly fans who have been standing tall since his two huge hits in the form of Om Shanti Oshaana, and those Dulquer Salmaan fans who are hoping for at least one good movie from him for a very long time. Then there the more intellectual ones, the fans of Fahadh Faasil who will be a calm force here. People also want to watch Nithya Menon and Isha Talwar so much, and Parvathy is also a bonus. Then there are people who keep praising Anjali Menon – all these people are going to force so many Keralites into the theatre that more records are going to be broken – there have been quite a few already. The movie is showing what the advantage of having young and good-looking actors, actresses and director is. There are too many fans who just look for that, and the days are bright for Bangalore Days, no matter how much the monsoon stays strong with the hope for thunderstorms with Koothara.

Release date: 30th May 2014
Running time: 172 minutes
Directed by: Anjali Menon
Starring: Nivin Pauly, Nazriya Nazim, Parvathy Kottuvata, Isha Talwar, Fahadh Faasil, Nithya Menon, Dulquer Salmaan, Prathap Pothen, Vijayaraghavan, Maniyanpilla Raju, Kalpana, Praveena, Vinaya Prasad, Rekha

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Edge of Tomorrow

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Vampire Owl :: So it is about going to the past again and again, right?

Vampire Bat :: No, there is also the thing about changing past and thus alter the present. Ask Wolverine.

Vampire Owl :: What about planting an idea in a dream which also alters the present? Or try it the H.G. Wells way?

Vampire Bat :: That would need scientific equipment. For now, I think the driver of this bus also thinks that he can go back to the past and start it over when he dies. This is too fast.

Vampire Owl :: As there is no alien invasion yet, we should be safe; unless the aliens started with his house this time instead of the United States of America.

Vampire Bat :: I can only hope that aliens look like mutated vampire bats.

Vampire Owl :: I would prefer demons.

[Reaches the destination].

What is it about? :: The humans and the alien forces called Mimics have been in war for quite a long time now. United Defence Forces (UDF) has been created for the same purpose, and with new inventions and some inspired leadership, the humans have been able to score some victories. William Cage (Tom Cruise) is also asked to join the fight, but when he disagrees and tried to get himself out of it, is deprived of his current military rank and is sent to the military base of the Heathrow Airport to take part in the upcoming battle against the aliens. But when the attack begins, he realizes that the creatures know about the attacks and the plans of the human opponents. He is also killed, but not before destroying a Mimic and getting coated in its blood. Then he wakes up at Heathrow Airport yet again and goes though the same things again. He goes through the same things and gets killed again only to wake up again at the same time. He tries to tell the soldiers that the invasion will be failure, and also tries to save a few of them, but the restart continues until he saves the life of Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) who knows about it and asks him to find her when he wakes up. From here, he is turned into a weapon, and the objectives change.

The defence of Edge of Tomorrow :: The movie has absolutely no drag, as it keeps itself to action throughout. The action sequences are impressive, and so are the special effects. The aliens are nice creatures and are mostly a form of spider-octopus hybrid, closer to the creature from the water. The first few attempts in this reset are actually funny, and there are some indirect comedy that the movie has. The movie never losses its power to entertain and never does it get much emotional. The absence of the horrible emotions which comes in each and every alien movie actually becomes a plus point here. The movie has awesome electronic devices, not only with the stylish gadgets including weapons, but also the sight of the airbase which has lots of interesting stuff around. The movie also reminds us of the flick called Source Code, but in a nice way. Edge of Tomorrow has an idea, and it might not have been the most original ones, but it is surely interesting and the way in which they have presented it needs a lot of appreciation. This is a science fiction and an action thriller and remains so throughout, and now that is often more than enough.

The claws of flaw :: The movie is based on the Japanese All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka about which I know less about. I might just try to read a translated version some day, so as to know if it is any better than the movie itself. The movie has a better first half than the second, but the latter is not far behind. The climax fails to be special as the movie though, but that is mostly because the expectations were too high considering what kind of a ride the movie had provided us with. The ending is also less interesting, and it also leaves room for ambiguity. There is another awakening that happens in the end, and we are not sure why it actually happens or why it happens that way, but the bigger question will be about the state of aliens which is also kept in the dark. It was indeed on the weaker side, and the weakness of the movie comes in the end. There is a certain amount of laziness that comes in the end and leaves with a little less satisfaction. Didn’t this movie deserve more? A better ending could have made sure that the movie had started well and finished nicely too, but this one wants to win in a super over and lets see if they have made it so hoping to make a possible sequel in future. But that is just a minor thing.

Performers of the soul :: Tom Cruise comes up with a great performance right here. Well, he is surely the reason why most of the people actually decided to go into the theatre, and it is a fact that he is one of the popular Hollywood stars around here. We remember seeing him in the other alien invasion movie which was Oblivion, going back to 2013. It was rather emotional and slow while this one rarely has the time to work to work on such stuff as it goes on with all the action right from the beginning to end, and it is safe to say that he excels in both. He still seems to have the energy that he always had. The more interesting character here should be Emily Blunt as Sergeant Rita Vrataski or “the Angel of Verdun” and “the Full Metal Bitch” as she plays a very special soldier, a heroic figure in this one. Her character is not just strong, but also smart and selfless as the super-soldier who massacred a huge number of aliens and brought her people close to victory. She doesn’t just look like a beautiful soldier who goes on destroying the aliens, as she steals the show when she gets into the act. From that shot when she is taking push-ups, we can be sure that she means business.

Soul exploration :: Live; Die; Repeat – now that is something that reminds me of my golden age of computer gaming. It is what we all do, in a game as we load the saved game and go back to where we had that opportunity to save our progress. We can see the parallel in this movie also, as the protagonist go back to a certain point instead of a long way back, and he tries again and again to alter the situation doing different things or rather doing things in a different way. He is desperate to change the fate of the world each time he goes into battle only to die again, as we gamers attempt to clear a stage of the game. The one game which this movie reminds me of, should be Crysis and its expansion Crysis Warhead. It was the game in which I lived, killed aliens, died, came back and killed aliens more than any other. I can also recollect a certain amount of similarities in the looks of the aliens, especially of the alpha creature. So, it is indeed the game mode revisited without control over anything on screen. For me, it was Crysis, and even when it was not it, still there was the game element in it. Not everyone has a life to loss to regain it again, only a gamer does; unless you are one mythical creature.

How it finishes :: Edge of Tomorrow has already managed to get some nice opinion from the critics and the audience – I shall also agree to the same. This should also be a great time to release this one, with Maleficent weakening significantly, and the multiplexes having The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla and X-Men: Says of the Future Past giving the competition. Bollywood’s Holiday doesn’t seem to impress much, and the Malayalam flick Bangalore Days is not for the same kind of people. May be this is the science fiction movie you have been waiting for, and I have heard a lot of positive opinions about this one from the sources which I consider to be of great value. There is Tom Cruise who can bring a lot of audience to the theatres without playing a superhero or fairy tale character, and this support that he has, will be significant in its success here. I would recommend it as the movie of the weekend, as well as the second best of 2014 after Captain America II: The Winter Soldier. With a better climax and ending, Edge of Tomorrow could have got a clear lead.

Release date: 6th June 2014
Running time: 113 minutes
Directed by: Doug Liman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Riley, Kick Gurry, Dragomir Mrsic, Jonas Armstrong, Franz Drameh, Masayoshi Haneda, Tony Way, Noah Taylor

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Byzantium

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The vampires who keep coming :: Ever since Byzantium released, I have been looking forward to watching the same, and it is only much later that I had a chance. May be Byzantium is not a movie for everyone or most of the normal people, and the multiplex owners seems to have realized it even before the movie had any chance to grace the theatres – I guess they would have done the same with Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles if released in this decade without Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. My desire for a good vampire movies has rarely been given wings and neither did any possible werewolf love, thanks to the pathetic creations like Twilight and Mortal Instruments which have used the supernatural beings in a terrible manner, forcing me to abandon any thoughts of watching movies with vampires in it – saying no to vampire stuff was never that easy before. There was also Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters which seriously contributed to the same (it at least had the stunningly beautiful Zoey Deutch, unlike the Twilight series), only turning itself to a funny movie whenever it was really serious. Then I had to watch Byzantium, and that made me come up with a few points why I loved this wonderful movie.

1. Byzantium is the best vampire movie after Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles of 1994, belonging to the same class as the 2010 movie Let Me In (or Let the Right One In) and slightly better than the less appreciated movie of 1997 – Vampire Journals.

2. Byzantium is a good thing to have if you did accidentally put your head into Twilight or Mortal Instruments, as it has that ability to bring you back to love the supernatural and the vampire yet again; thus the antidote you will need.

3. The movie stands right between Let Me In and Twilight, with a romance that has a teenager falling for the very old teenage vampire girl, but with all the creepiness of the former, and no bloody exaggerated romance like Bella vomits on Edward Cullen.

4. The bloodsucking is given a new dimension with the use of nails, while we have been looking at bites all the time – coming from the same director who gave us Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, I was expecting something new like that.

5. The story has two female protagonists, a mother and daughter who are vampires who are always on the run, and mystery that surrounds them if unfolds in such a beautiful manner that you can’t stop thinking about it.

6. There is a code among these two vampires, as one of them only feeds from the weak and the dying, sending them to eternal joy from the world of pain, and the other one feeds on those who attempts to take advantage of the weak.

7. There is no turning the other into vampire by biting, and the vampirism of this movie is something that is gained by being prepared to sacrifice one’s life – only by being ready for death can one achieve eternal life – now that is no usual evil vampire stuff.

8. The use of flashbacks is beautiful, and they come up with something every now and then as the story of the present moves on. It is never without its captivating ability, and the background story is a big boon for this one.

9. Saoirse Ronan is an awesome young vampire who has complications with her mother who never ages, and makes them go around the world. Her words and the pain that she narrates with it, are striking; and then there are her eyes and the way she stares.

10. Gemma Arterton as Clara Webb is wonderful with her ability to survive, from being the subaltern among all due to one bad decision of her life, she keeps making the right decision, and supported by her beauty and charms, she thrives; looks more beautiful than ever.

11. Jonny Lee Miller’s Captain Ruthven is a as close to a dreadful villain as possible, one who unfortunately for the viewers, is not seen in the present, but with those flashbacks, he is responsible for all that the mother and daughter are now, a man of pure evil.

12. Sam Riley’s Midshipman Darvell also has a certain amount of charm, being the man who could have avoided this plight, but was not given the opportunity by the young lady. This depiction shows him as a man in pain and helplessness which he tries to hide.

13. The movie has a haunting atmosphere right from the beginning to the end, and there is no real happy side to it. There is some brutal telling of the story which is dark and with abiding sadness, but still not that horror or tragedy that one would expect.

14. Byzantium is incredibly powerful in its dealings with the supernatural as well as the human side. It has a huge darkness element in each of its characters, which is surely more than any sign of goodness we see in this movie.

15. There is a river of blood which flows down through a waterfall and meets the sea, while birds make strange sounds a fly away, as dark clouds fill the sky – that moment of transformation which is an awesome moment of visual splendor.

16. The movie has successfully captured the feeling of being alone and different with the daugher, and that of being mistreated and punished for no crime of oneself with the mother, and there is so much beauty in how it is shown.

17. There is a certain amount of contrast being made, with the humans and the vampires, with all the humans in the movie being either good and weak or evil and strong, just the vampires being in the middle of all these with no specific side.

18. The cinematography is too beautiful in this movie, and every time we look at it, we see a beautiful world created with a suiting surrounding, and lovely looking people around, as the two leading ladies steal the show.

19. The past and present comes together, and when it is finished and the mosaic is complete, we have a finished product which is nothing less than a poetry which we were told to complete during our school days.

20. I quote from the movie: “My story can never be told. I write it over and over, wherever we find shelter. I write of what I cannot speak: the truth. I write all I know of it, then I throw the pages to the wind. Maybe the birds can read it“.

The final Vampire Bat touch :: I believe many of us might have thought that there is nothing new to come up with the vampires, unless Anne Rice gets younger and come up with some new book or Suzanne Collins moves into some kind of futuristic vampire science fiction story. But this movie proves otherwise. Even with slight drag and often lacking in big surprises, this exquisite movie successfully battles the popularity of stupid vampire romance for teenagers, and leaves us hoping that it had a better release around the world. Neil Jordan once again scores, this time, without the help of a novel. Well, how can one expect the Vampire Bat not to like a vampire movie which has some intellect and imagination associated with it? *Meanwhile, I have reached twenty posts of the story @ The Divine Epic (http://divineepic.wordpress.com/) and I hope you all can have a look my fiction work 😀 As I have separated the story into four separate timelines, I believe that it will be easy to follow if you click on each timeline and read the story instead of going ahead right from the beginning to last post 😉

Release date: 28th June 2013
Running time: 118 minutes
Directed by: Neil Jordan
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton, Sam Riley, Jonny Lee Miller, Daniel Mays, Caleb Landry Jones, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Warren Brown, Thure Lindhardt

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Maleficent

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The Sleeping Beauty :: There are not many of us who don’t know the Sleeping Beauty or Princess Aurora, being as famous as the little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Gretel and Rapunzel, may be a little more popular than Goldilocks – the heroines of the tales of our childhood, at least belonging to some of them. Red Riding Hood returned darker in 2011, Snow White in 2012 and Gretel in 2013. All these movie have been coming up with a darker version of the old fairy tales. I have felt that there is nobody like Amanda Seyfried to be a fairy tale character. I have found these re-imagining of stories pretty much interesting except for Kristen Stewart’s portrayal of Snow White which ruined it for me. There is always something about seeing a story which you have known in the childhood presented in another way, and with this movie coming from the perspective of the antagonist who features in the posters and impresses us, Maleficent was not going to be a movie to be missed. Well, it is not always about the princess; for there are so many things which are not royal, but is yet better than they are. Then, this movie has Angelina Jolie; a long time since she was last seen in a movie – I guess the last ones were two fine movies, The Tourist and Salt in 2010.

What is it about? :: Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) is a faeire living in the magical forests which the human kingdom has always wished to capture. Despite having no king or standing army, the forests have always managed to keep the armies of the greedy human king away. She actually serves a certain kind of leader to the creatures of the woods, being the only faerie of human size. Her only human acquaintance is Stefan (Sharlto Copley) whom she met when they were both kids and grew up together, falling in love. As the old friend and lover returns one day, she lets him in, only to have her wings taken away from her. Maleficent, in her state of sadness, pain and anger turns darker with her magic, and with that, turns the magical fairy kingdom darker, depriving it of the colours. With a shapeshifting raven Diaval (Sam Riley) for company, she decides to give the man who betrayed her what he deserves. The current situation is that the man is now the king of the human kingdom, and his wife has given birth to a baby girl. She finds that her window of opportunity to march to the castle and give the newborn baby a gift from her dark magic which will make sure that her former lover would remember her for a very long time.

The defence of Maleficent :: No matter what other movies might have, we have Angelina Jolie here, coming back to the big screen after a long time, except for her voice that we heard in in Kung-fu Panda. Maleficent has a lot of visual splendor, right from the beginning when we are introduced to the cute little protagonist faeire who sleeps on a tree at the top of a cliff, flying around and having her fun with the creatures of the magical woods. All these creatures are nicely created to give us a taste of the magical forest in such a way that we can feel that it is different from the human side as well as the darker side to which we are introduced later. The trees surrounding the faerie world as well as the mounted warriors of nature also needs some special mention. But what thrives is the awesomeness of her with those wings and the final dragon. The cute ones are rather those which you usually expect to see. The movie’s environmental theme is real good, but it could have been used in a more visible manner. The difference in the story is nicely worked out even if not fully utilizing the available resources. The 3D is effective at times. The kids are going to love this one, that is for sure.

The claws of flaw :: Maeficent reminds us of so many movies, including Red Riding Hood, Alice in Wonderland, Oz the great and Powerful, Jack the Giant Slayer, Hansal and Gretel: Witch Hunters and finally, Snow White and the Huntsman which had Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart instead of Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning here, even as this movie is surely better except for not having, may be Charlize Theron. There was the need for more imagination, which is why this movie struggles and drags at parts. It actually remains too predictable at times, and when it is not, it just manages to make its story good enough. With the classic story of the sleeping beauty in the pocket, they could have done better, may be with a better information about how this one big faerie came into existence as one of her kind, and how she mastered black magic getting so powerful. Another question would remain about the mental state of Princess Aurora whom we know is the one narrating. Some things just happen here, and even as there is the unreal atmosphere around, it needs to explain within that circle, but it doesn’t, and also fails to connect with the audience emotionally at times. The jokes and other dialogues are not memorable.

Performers of the soul :: Angelina Jolie has everything under control in this movie. Just like the poster, she has herself inscribed all around the movie; she is majestic as the defender of the magic realm when left with her wings, and magnificent as the sorceress who takes on the powers of dark magic when deprived of her wings. It is really a joy to watch her in such an avatar; I have always felt that she would make a great villain, an evil sorceress – this feeling of mine has actually come to screen with this one. The horns, the wings, the black dress and the wicked smile; then there are those cheekbones and the fury in the eyes, they are all perfect. The idea of sending the enemy’s daughter into eternal sleep on her sixteenth birthday – now she is indeed fit to give such a curse. Even the girl who plays her childhood was so good. The beautiful magical world indeed belongs to her! Elle Fanning, the sister of Dakota Fanning (Jane Volturi of the Twilight series) plays the role of Princess Aurora in the movie. She is the next best thing as she becomes one of the cutest princesses one has ever seen on screen, and wait until you see with a crown on the head in the end. Sam Riley’s human-raven hybrid avatar was nice. Sharlto Copley made a pretty good villain, but with not enough space and screen time.

Soul exploration :: Maleficent is not just a story of the past or unreality. It is in many ways parallel to what is happening in our world. They not only keeps the famous villain in the shades of grey and closer to white, they also divides its world into the human world of science and technology and the magical world where nature thrives. The humans are always motivated by that desire to destroy nature with their new scientific inventions after looting whatever wealth they can find from there. The human king and his subjects fear what they can’t understand, because it is beyond their scientific explanations, and it is the same reason why they feel that it should be destroyed. But the wealth of the forest in also too attractive, and thus they keeps making an attempt to take control of the territory and deprive it of the resources. On one side, there are the greedy humans, and on the other side, there are the creatures of the forest who live a happy life even with no control or rules imposed by the society. The enemies of the faeries are the products of new technologies, and in this case, iron. The movie is a battle between the righteous nature and the evil man’s scientific inventions, the same thing that happens in the present.

How it finishes :: Maleficent is not a movie that you can avoid even in the presence of a number of regional movies which have gained positive reviews; in our case, those like How Old are You and Bangalore Days. It doesn’t have the power to make a huge impact in the presence of the other movies, but one can’t deny that it has its magnets to attract, starting from Angelina Jolie. The movie is short too, and thus making sure that it won’t lose its way moving towards the end that has quite the difference that is needed. Yes, there is no true love, and all that romance and stuff is a lie – this movie has such dialogues throughout, claiming that true love doesn’t exist, and even the breaking of curse is supposed to be by true love which everyone knows doesn’t exist. Now, I would say that it is a great step taken when the stories of dumb romance have been spreading through the air. This realization that human beings are inherently evil and there is no love between even the most seemingly romantic couple, is what contributes powerfully to the dark and powerful side of this movie, which has to be appreciated. Yes, this is that kind of a world when the prince gets drunk on the way to the castle, arrives late, and the sleeping beauty dies; end of the story.

Release date: 30th May 2014
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Robert Stromberg
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Miranda Richardson, Lesley Manville, Kenneth Cranham, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, Eleanor Worthington Cox, Janet McTeer, Ella Purnell, Isobelle Molloy, Toby Regbo

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Non-Stop

non-stop (2)

That prayer for release :: People have many reasons to pray for, but one thing that I have prayed for is the release of Non-Stop. We have known that it did release in India on a much later date than its United States release, and thanks to the PVR Cinemas website which thinks that I am from Bangalore and shows me the timings there (when not showing the Chennai timings), I know that it did release there and still not here, just like a number of other movies including I Frankenstein, Ender’s Game, Oldboy and Prisoners making one wonder what is wrong with these people. For a movie like Non-Stop which has someone like Liam Neeson doing what he does the best, one has to be surprised that it took so much time to grace the theatres here, and now it has come with Bangalore Days, and one is left to wonder how stupid is that. Well, it is there in not many theatres and so I guess it is not really another official release. It just proves that multiplex owners are lacking in common sense, and this absence hurts them in collections as well as the movie fans. Well, everyone has a reason to pray, and the prayers are answered now.

What is it about? :: William Marks (Liam Neeson) is an air marshal who is more of an alcoholic after the depression over the death of his daughter. As he travels from New York to London and with the flight travelling away from coast and over the Atlantic Ocean, he gets text messages from an unknown source stating that one person will die every twenty minutes unless a sum of one hundred and fifty dollars is transferred into a specified account. He attempts to find the truth with Jack Hammond (Anson Mount), the other air marshal on the plane, but that doesn’t go on well as Jack is killed. Now, with the help of the person sitting next to him, Jen Summers (Julianne Moore) and an air hostess Nancy Hoffman (Michelle Dockery), he goes on trying to find the person who is behind the threat. But the people in the flight gets suspicious as he doesn’t reveal anything, and those on the ground are pretty sure that he is hijacking the plane and not investigating anything. Between all these, and also with a bomb discovered in the middle, can the air marshall come up with enough to save one hundred and fifty passengers on the plane?

The defence of Non-Stop :: The best defence of the movie is Liam Neeson; while Arnold Schwarzenegger might have lost his touch because he is old, this man is getting better as he is getting old, which is why he doesn’t need to be in any of The Expendables. We are given one of the last action heroes that we will have, without martial arts flurry or special effects overdose, and he himself is a living defence. He takes us into the middle of the thrills just a few minutes after the flight takes off, with the stranger striking, and that too with a dual nature of being the investigator as well as the suspect. The thrills stay from then to the end, and even as it leaves us to make some guesses, it certain that the best guesses are not the result. There are so many suspects for us that we can start from one end and continue to the other, just like our protagonist is doing in the movie. It remains intense as well as entertaining, never ceasing to be the thriller that it is supposed to be. It has nicely used its setting to have an advantage over what would have happened if it wouldn’t have occurred anywhere else. The movie has managed that all that was expected of it, and with no denial of the same, comes its defence.

The claws of flaw :: Some people ask for logic, and it is a surprise that they would ask for it in this movie which has remained as close to the same as it could, under the circumstances and the environment. They are mostly the fanboys and fangirls who are actually more interested in seeing motor-bikes turning into bikes and huge super-bikes running on a small thread as in Dhoom 3 or complete nonsense as in Krrish 3. They make dumb Bollywood movies grand success by lending their eyes to stuff that could go straight into the garbage can, and when there are Hollywood movies which keeps its logic working according to the setup of the movie, they say that the movie is stupid, but it is not for the common viewer to pay any attention to such stuff. The climax and the ending are of lower quality, compared to the movie as a whole, especially the first half and the first part of the second. This one does remind the viewer of Die Hard and its sequel, with a man against all odds and a flight with hijackers involved. Flaw finders can run around this one, but can’t take away the quality that it has maintained throughout the movie.

Performers of the soul :: The man whom we loved in Schindler’s List is now one of those super action stars whose movies we can watch without bothering much about the entertainment factor. There were always Taken, Unknown, The Grey and The A-Team which defined the same. He was one star that we could trust with no doubts, and even the more complicated Chloe turned out to be pretty good. He has been Zeus, he fought the Nazis, secret organizations, terrorists, wolves in different movies and even manage to hold one Victor Hugo classic on his shoulder, now how can one doubt him? We never did, which is why we chose this one over Maleficent. Julianne Moore comes up with a character who helps our protagonist, but not without creating that needed shadow of doubt which follows her, and she has carried it with her not lacking in what is needed. Michelle Dockery has smaller, but quite important role as the air hostess, and happens to be the most beautiful person on that dangerous flight. These are actually the three people who we mostly notice, and talking about the villains who come out as a surprise would be a crime.

Soul exploration :: When we were there to watch the movie, it was going to be cancelled, with not enough audience for a show to run, which is eight according to them. But thankfully, some people who couldn’t get the tickets for another movie (Bangalore Days) did save the day, and it is thus evident that one movie helps the other, like the Malayalam movie Drishyam helped three movies in our local theatre during its run, Our Indian Pranayakatha, 1983 and London Bridge. Supported by the hopes of scoring at the expense of another movie, Non-Stop could have done much better with an earlier release, as it asks the viewers questions about how safe they are, and how true can the assurances of the government be. We already know how media goes after breaking news twisting the facts, and how the appearances can be deceiving no matter how close a view we can manage to get, and a further display of the same also comes with this movie. The questions that the movie asks may feel to be without answers, but I guess that is how it is supposed to be. No matter what changes, there are a few questions that we can never manage to answer, and there something that will never get better.

How it finishes :: Non-Stop won’t do that good here with its horribly late release and in the presence of Bangalore Days which is expected to be good and if it is not, will be hailed so by the fans and the youth; we know how fan-boys and fan-girls work. The challenge from its Hollywood opponent will also be high, especially as it has the power of being new. But it is certain that there will be a lot of people who really want to see Non-Stop and with the face of Liam Neeson on the poster, this should bring a few people in, that’s all. This weekend’s winner in Kerala will surely be Bangalore Days though, and questioning the same would be just madness. There are positive reviews out already, the lowest ones being around average or just above average. Non-Stop is that movie which I had missed, and was sure not to get an opportunity to watch again on the big screen, but I guess I can just be glad that I had this chance out of nowhere. Liam Neeson is made for the big screen, he is that good and I made sure its on th big screen.

Release date: 14th March 2014 (India); 28th February 2014 (US)
Running time: 106 minutes
Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy, Nate Parker, Jason Butler Harner, Anson Mount, Lupita Nyong’o, Omar Metwally, Jason Butler Harner, Corey Hawkins, Frank Deal, Shea Whigham, Bar Paly, Jon Abrahams, Quinn McColgan

non-stop copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.