Seventh Son

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Vampire Owl :: Why the seventh son? I mean who has seven sons these days, or even seven children in total?

Vampire Bat :: Nobody of this generation that I know.

Vampire Owl :: So, should we declare this movie invalid?

Vampire Bat :: After looking at the posters, I have the doubt if the effect of this one might be nullified soon enough.

Vampire Owl :: There is dragon, witch, people with swords, a dark feel – a lot should be there though.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, reminds of too many movies which released already.

Vampire Owl :: So, it is a yes or no?

Vampire Bat :: It is a yes. May be it is the seventh son who always saves the world. Almost nobody has seven sons these days, and so the world is not saved yet.

Vampire Owl :: I hope that watching this movie is not against the “We two, our two” campaign.

Vampire Bat :: Most of the people I know have only one child. So lets welcome the seventh son.

[Gets the tickets].

What is it about? :: John Gregory (Jeff Bridges) is one of the last of his kind, as a rare seventh son of a seventh son, and part of an ancient order of knights who battle the evil that exists in this world. His last apprentice dies while trying to capture the most demonic of all witches, the queen of them all, Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore) who returned to cast her shadow of evil all over the known lands. So he comes to Tom Ward (Ben Barnes) who is also the seventh son of a family. Tom is plagued by visions and also falls in love with a witch called Alice Deane (Alicia Vikander) which makes things further complicated. Her mother is also the sister of Malkin, which trouble the plans further. With the Blood Moon night fast approaching and witches getting more powerful, can the new apprentice be ready in such a short notice and having love around the corner?

The defence of Seventh Son :: The movie is loaded with stylish and beautiful visuals and thrives on the power of special effects with some nice moments of 3D mostly including dragons and witches. The visual splendour which was there on the poster comes alive. The environment is also nicely created, and the images as well as the backgrounds that are shown on the screen are sure to catch one’s attention. There are some nice custumes, and among the scenes, the best includes those which uses special effects. The first possession scene was very good otherwise too. All the fighting scenes are worthy of our attention. The final battle is nicely brought to the screen, and the setting for the same makes sure that the artistic beauty is maintained. There are lots of creatures, and magic is in abundance. For those who are missing such things as The Hobbit as well as Harry Potter, this is another chance to go into that world of magic.

The Claws of Flaw :: The movie is that experience which reminds us about so many other movies. There seemed to be nothing new in the story with an unlikely young hero managing to be a great fighter, but even that is not nicely shown. The characters and the supernatural stuff are here and there, with not much work done with them – we can’t have much thoughts about them as they are just everywhere without making us feel much about them. The romance as well as the revenge struggles to go ahead in the intended manner. The first half mostly drags while getting almost nowhere, even as things get better later. The idea of “Seventh son of a seventh son” is not explored enough, with things just made to exist as they are. The dialogues mostly don’t make the desired impact. There is no justice to what it has in the pocket, on what is shown on the screen.

Performers of the soul :: Performances haven’t been a strong point of this movie, as Jeff Bridges, even when making an impression at times, makes less impact than expected. There are many things having our attention in this movie, but the performances are not part of them. Julianne Moore also looks faded except for a few moments. A thought about Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman might have inspired that further thought; or may be even a little bit of Angelina Jolie being in Maleficent. Ben Barnes remains okay throughout the flick. Alicia Vikander play the lovable witch in a believable manner, and she surely looks suitable for that role which needs both the cuteness and a certain amount of the other darker side. But the creatures do overpower all of them, and that was not something unexpected.

Soul exploration :: Seventh Son has too many similarities with a number of movies, and the first one that comes to mind is Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, which had two witch-hunting protagonists with one good witch as the lover. There is also a little bit of Season of the Witch here with the possession and the skills of the protagonists. The lady villain here is more or less a reminder of Maleficent or Snow White and the Huntsman, and so even as it is based on a book which came up earlier, this one came too late to catch the interest of common movie goer. But for the rest of those viewers who are not used to such stuff can find them to be very interesting. After all, the movie comes after making the fans wait so much with the delays. We have been hearing about this one for such a long time, and it has been a painful wait with Seventh Son.

How it finishes :: The Spook’s Apprentice by Joseph Delaney is the book on which the movie is based on, and the fans of the book may not be happy with the reception for this much awaited movie. The challenges of the week are from bigger movies, but none an entertainer like this, and that explains the large number of shows this one has, and those theatres and multiplexes which has this movie as the only Hollywood flick of the weekend. But still, it seems that the general audience of this part of the world hasn’t been able to connect with this movie, while it should be just okay for the rest. With Foxcatcher not being here, and with the rest finding trouble to have enough shows, this movie should get some good collection from this part of the world – after all, it is the only Hollywood movie available at almost every mall.

Release date: 30th January 2015 (India); 6th February 2015 (USA)
Running time: 103 minutes
Directed by: Sergei Bodrov
Starring: Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Alicia Vikander, Ben Barnes, Kit Harington, Olivia Williams, Antje Traue, Djimon Hounsou

seventhsonn

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Mili

mili (3)

What is it about? :: Mili Nair (Amala Paul) is a girl who has underachieved throughout her life and has developed a certain amount of inferiority complex about not living up-to the expectations. Being a high level introvert and never having even one real friend, Mili is disliked by her room mates in the hostel, the group of three lead by Renuka Menon (Shamna Kasim) who hates her, and the other two Shelly (Swapna Menon) and Raji (Sija Rose) who feel irritated by her behaviour. Her only two means of happiness are the day-care where she works and the sisterly relationship with Nancy (Praveena). But one day, she is forced to leave her job, and the guy whom she has a crush on, seems to be in a relationship with Renuka. She is highly disappointed and thinks about suicide, but Nancy’s brother Naveen (Nivin Pauly) helps her, and after bring introduced to the friends circle of Anupama (Sanusha Santhosh), her life gets a twist or two as she finds the strength within her.

The defence of Mili :: Here is a movie with so much strength to make you feel and directly go through that path of the protagonist who becomes a kind of answer to Bollywood’s Queen, even as this won’t have that much of good reviews, because three out of five is what awesome Malayalam movies can get from the critics here. I would actually consider this movie better than Queen and also Highway with its empowerment of the central female character. It is also better than the last year’s Malayalam flick How Old Are You are which was less realistic and had a protagonist was too talented that what she comes up with is no real surprise. Meanwhile, Mili has the rise of the real subaltern who comes out of her problems which go back to her childhood and rise like the real queen. Mili is a completely realistic movie, and its incidents and emotions connect directly to the audience. Cheers to Gopi Sunder and Shaan Rahman for the highly effective music too.

Positives and Negatives :: The movie is a straight take on its content, even as it is an ordinary story in its base. There are some silly moments in the beginning which might have been meant to bring some fun there. May be Mili should have been shown as “just another introvert” or with a further clear background. Well, the movie touches you and it shakes your heart with its emotional power. “Manpaatha Neettunna Mohangale” is a bloody good song, and when heard in relation to the movie is a wonderful experience, something that makes you feel the power of the journey of the protagonist, as long as you have a heart with enough of empathy. It is a stake through the heart, but is something of exhilaration on one end. The movie ends with a speech which is the soul of the movie, and it is up-to you to decide if you want it in the end. But the power of the final words cannot be questioned as it is incredibly strong and the return of that song in the end is a remarkable addition to the emotional strength of the movie.

Performers of the soul :: The movie is impressive in its characterization, and it is reflected in the performances of the actors. Mili’s character goes through a great path, right from the awesome child actor to the amazing performance from Amala Paul who has undoubtedly managed her best in Malayalam with this one protagonist. It is nothing other than inconceivable bliss to watch her as Mili. Here is she acting without make-up and making it work in an amazing way. Nivin Pauly gives a great support, and him doing this role in a heroine-centred role is worth an applause. Sai Kumar is also very good; the same can be said about Praveena. One thing that is to be noticed is the presence and the nice support of the young actresses in this movie, starting with Sanusha Santhosh about whom we are well aware of, and has already left her mark. The others including the better known Shamna Kasim and the rest of the list having Sija Rose, Swapna Menon and Soumya Sadanandan makes us realize that Malayalam movie industry has so much power in its core for years to come.

Soul exploration :: It is clear that some people are not able to be inspired by Mili and can’t like it. I can understand that. It is mainly because of their inability to connect with those who have problems in their life. May be they are hundred percent extroverts or some who were born with silver spoons in their mouth, or those who had a very easy path throughout their lives. They might be big genius people who knows everything. But for us others, who can connect easily with a person having troubles, this movie is a big thing. May be some people don’t need to be motivated because they are so awesome, but I am really motivated with this, as I know my weaknesses. It is okay that some people can’t connect with people having problems, but I can. May be it is because I am not that good, and the positive thing about that is that I can surely feel the power of motivation that is present in this movie. I am an introvert, a proud introvert – and I feel the pain and the abiding inspiration. Let me tell you something about Mili – she remains the introvert even in the end, but a confident one.

How it finishes :: You can read my earlier preview and expectations about this movie here: (https://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/introvert-queen). But I have a request; it is that if you can’t relate to the feelings of someone who has a behaviour problem and with people having any trouble with being “normal”, don’t watch this movie. If you think that people who are different are idiots and don’t deserve anything, please stay with your higher level of people. If you think that getting high scores in exams and getting a big job with a high salary are the only things that matter in your life, please stick to the great people who have managed to do so. Mili is for people who have empathy, and it is not for those who take pride only in one’s own achievements by degrading others. Mili has a few lessons for the parents, not to scold the children for the problems that they couldn’t solve in Mathematics or for the ten marks that they lost in Physics – love your children and teach them to be good, not scoring machines.

A few more words :: The movie ends with the lines from William Wordsworth’s The Rainbow: “the child is father of the man”, and you ask yourself; how can that not be true? The other name of the poem is My Heart Leaps Up – hope that gives you a clue. Romanticism never seems to leave me. Mili has a lot for women, introverts and all the subaltern, with a mighty message to rise. The modern world asks for winners and in the world of competition as the weaker ones are avoided, a good person is the true winner. Society provides us with labels, but it doesn’t reflect the real us. During the movie, I often wondered if Mili is a manifestation of the kindred of my soul’s unexplored side. There are those moments which tunnel through your brain and heart to send shock-waves right through. You have the right not to agree with me, but my rating stands, because I completely follow my mind and heart on this one. I will leave you with one awesome song from the movie.

Release date: 23rd January 2015
Running time: 113 minutes
Directed by: Rajesh Pillai
Starring: Amala Paul, Nivin Pauly, Shamna Kasim, Sanusha Santhosh, Sija Rose, Riya Saira, Praveena, Sai Kumar, Amol Parashar, Vanitha Krishnachandran, Idavela Babu, Anju Aravind, Ambika, Bindu Panicker, Devi Ajith, Baby Nandana, Master Neil Kaushik, Baby Ammu, Sangeetha Mohan, Soumya Sadanandan, Swapna Menon

mili

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Baby

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Vampire Owl :: I am so confused that I can’t make a decision which movie to watch this weekend.

Vampire Bat :: It is the calming time after the tsunami which was Vikram’s I. Every Malayalam movie was waiting to avoid a release competing with the big thing that was I, because they understood what the best possible result for their movies was.

Vampire Owl :: There are so many Malayalam movies and a Hindi movie in the local theatres – how can we choose this time?

Vampire Bat :: I say, we toss a coin.

Vampire Owl :: I say we look at the theatre list.

Vampire Bat :: The irony is that the best movie might not come to our nearby theatres. It is how things work.

Vampire Owl :: And these movies are going to be mutually destructive to each other, and it is a shame that they release together.

Vampire Bat :: I say, you drive the motor-bike straight; we will go through the path which has less traffic and reach any theatre and watch the movie there.

Vampire Owl :: Yes, let fate decide.

Vampire Bat :: Unless fate is like Uncle Dracula.

[Reaches a theatre].

What is it about? :: During a mission in Istambul, Indian special agent Ajay Singh Rajput (Akshay Kumar) manages to uncover details about a number of possible terrorist attacks against India from outside, which is from a few people who are part of a terrorist organization in the neighbouring country and also from the inside which includes a group of brainwashed people. As Maulana Mohammed Rahman (Rasheed Naz) plots about the same from outside the nation, Bilal Khan (Kay Kay Menon) escapes from prison and plans from inside the country. To stop these attacks, the team of Ajay Singh Rajput and Priya Suryavanshi (Taapsee Pannu) have to first go to Nepal and find the first link, and then Ajay and another team will have to go to Saudi Arabia in a more dangerous mission. Can the team go past all their obstacles and come out victorious using all their skills?

The defence of Baby :: This movie gives you no nonsense, and it is all about action, that too in a rather believable collection of events. There are no flying bodies here, and fighting and getting beaten up actually means that. The best thing is that this doesn’t go in the path of Holiday which was always trying to take itself down; here we don’t say our hero making fake speech about patriotism, because we get it from the way in which the movie progresses. There are some nice dialogues about being secular and being Indian, but patriotism is something that runs through this movie and preaching about it is never needed. There is no dumb romance as in the movie or any full song, and this one is bloody serious about how it goes. The only comparison that can be made is with Madras Cafe, but that one was more realistic and cent percent serious; striving towards perfection – this one has its own serious comedy here and there which works. The visuals of three abroad locations are nice too. The background music also works. The thrills are plenty.

The Claws of Flaw :: Our hero is still beyond mistakes except for a few, and his family life was something of not much need here, plus no other family is shown in the whole movie. This reminds us of Mission Impossible franchise too, especially with the first scene involving Tom Cruise’ Ethan Hunt saving Keri Russell’s character – Akshay Kumar does something similar here. There is also a certain amount of drag associated with this, but that is very rare and happening more due to the length of the movie and the effort to stretch the thrilling moments further more. There is also the lesser use of the female cast when they were actually doing good. There might be some loopholes here and there in the movie too, and considering the build-up, a bigger climax and ending would have been expected. Everything comes together too easily by the end and it is a “terrorist hunting happily ever after” finish.

Performers of the soul :: Akshay Kumar goes in and comes out strong in this movie, as he works his way to perfection with his character. I would believe that this is exactly how the character was supposed to be; mostly emotion-free, sharp and improvising. This is the type of Akshay Kumar who is awesome. After all, he is the khiladi as we know him, and this is one role in which he can play his best. Madhurima Tuli is one of the prettiest faces on the screen indeed, but she is restricted to a small role here which she manages with ease and lights up those moments. Taapsee Pannu, the other female lead gets more to do on the screen, but her role is also limited to one mission; still she manages to do some stunts and make an impact. Anupam Kher is very good there too, and he along with Rana Daggubati and our protagonist makes a nice, interesting, lethal and funny combination which makes the need for a sequel right there. All the villains are effective, but it is not against personalities or communities that the team goes – it is against evil.

Soul exploration :: Baby surely has a strong heart. There is also the application of the much needed intelligence which has been lacking in Bollywood. It is yet another symbol Bollywood growing up, away from the childishness of flicks like Dhoom 3 and Krrish 3. This is also what Holiday should have been instead of being a masala action thriller, but that was just a remake and stuck to the plans. The movie salutes those who tries and work hard to keep the nation as well as its citizens safe, and this is the one nice tribute to them, and the only one movie which I can consider as a better tribute was Tango Charlie. The movie also works to build on that “Indian” identity which beyond religion, caste, creed, language and colour. Lets give this movie the salute that it deserves, as it doesn’t degrade itself to a commercial flick and try something from the Ek Tha Tiger model either.

How it finishes :: Baby surely needs support, not just because it seems to be the best of the weekend from what I have heard so far, but also because only with such movies succeeding, can we keep the terrible mindless movies away from the big screen. There is an unbelievable amount of toughness in this movie, and this Mission Impossible of India actually settles for five percent of success with their “impossible” as our protagonists say in this movie. Lets make one thing clear; Baby is not Holiday, and it means that you have to take this one seriously. Romance is not mandatory; songs are not needed; villains flying on hero’s contact is a waste – this is Baby, and the movie means something beyond mindless action and thrills; it is above them both intellectually and straight from the heart. Thank you Neeraj Pandey for beginning the Bollywood side so well for me; the first Hindi movie of the year that I watch in the theatre raises my hopes high for the rest of the year.

Release date: 23rd January 2015
Running time: 159 minutes
Directed by: Neeraj Pandey
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Madhurima Tuli, Taapsee Pannu, Rana Daggubati, Anupam Kher, Danny Denzongpa, Kay Kay Menon, Sushant Singh, Mikaal Zulfiqar, Rasheed Naz, Rasheed Naz, Karan Wahi

baby

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

I

i (2)

*** I is not just another movie as some critics have judged in the form of the random revenge thing coming to the viewers again. We all know that it has received mixed responses from the audience and critics alike, but let’s not fall into that trap to think twice about watching the movie. I might not be as good as some other movies from Shankar, but it is different, and deserves to be seen and treated with respect that it deserves. It is nothing like we see in Indian Cinema, and the way in this one entertains is different and effective. I wouldn’t be surprised if this goes on to become the highest grossing Tamil movie in Kerala, considering the number of theatres where it has released and the number of shows present in each of the multiplexes.

✠ I has got its plus points:
The awesomeness of Vikram: You are introduced into a pure Vikram show here, and personally I feel that I might never see another actor like him in Indian cinema during my age. Even as this is an entertainer with those masala elements, one can’t stop admiring how great a performer he is, in all roles – he keeps making us feel for his character even when the hero is more than a normal man, beating up too many people. Like the most common words which are used in this movie, one has to wonder what stands above everything; a long way above this movie – and it is Vikram. It is this one actor who raises the level of the movie along with himself, and imagining someone else in this role is nothing less than a crime and a sin of the highest level.

The beauty that is Amy Jackson: This lady makes an impression in her way, and there are times when the Magic Mirror chooses a less expected person as the fairest of them all (Tamannaah Bhatia is the one who comes to my mind whenever I hear that) – here it is Amy Jackson who is stunningly beautiful and even cute at times, redefining most of those occasions when the same words were used in the case of a few other actors. She gives aesthetics a new meaning. This is indeed a big role for her, and amazingly suitable; something that we realize very early. There is nothing special for her to do though, and that is understandable considering the nature of the movie and how much it is dependent on Vikram. Lets give some applause to Suresh Gopi too, who also has his moments.

The stunning visuals: The visuals of China’s outskirts are mesmerizing here, and almost everything happens in relation with the natural beauty during those shoots, and it is a big boost to the movie. This is even better with the visuals of songs. It is like another special world for the viewers brought with big splendour. The graphics are also advanced, and the make-up and costumes can be considered as an even bigger boost – they are so good that you will raise your expectation a lot for any other movie. The definition of an entertainer changes here, and you are are surely going to ask for more after this, instead of deciding to watch some random action and romance. These visuals on the screen increases the need to watch this on the big screen even more. The background score nicely supports the visuals.

Fairy tale and its narrative: The way of narrative is something that I enjoyed a lot. I have always enjoyed these non-linear narratives, and it rightly suits the movie here, even as I doubt how the usual audience would take it. The fairy tale elements also has the charm, and there is the song which seems to a clear tribute to The Beauty and the Beast, even as in totality, our hero is no beast, but someone deformed. That is one awesome song on the screen, just like the one in China. There is the certainty of love thriving against all adversities, and that bad guys getting their due as part of that poetic justice. I is that kind of a revenge-seeking fairy tale with its dark side, as you might be familiar with if you have watched Maleficent. It also has its hunchback of Victor Hugo who deserved to be treated better and in another way, its Frankenstein monster – another deformed person who looks for love.

✠ Where it misses:
It misses out in the second part of the first half, and once our hero and heroine reaches China and finishes their first song, it drags and goes on and on with the usual stuff. Yes, the plot itself is a revenge story, but the latter part of the first half can’t even present things in an interesting manner. Couldn’t some elements be less predictable? The movie is too long too, and they should have cut the romance a bit. There are also too many advertisements shown in the movie – yes, there was the need for a few, but here we see too many; still enjoyable ones there. The beast is also limited to the song, but then the question remains where it could come in when the movie plot is considered. But I had expected a lot more from the beast. The action scenes should have been lesser in number along with the songs. But this movie is beyond all these limitations, as the positives that I mentioned runs through with extraordinary power.

*** The movie becomes a very good lesson on how an entertainer can be made without being dumb and ridiculous. Bollywood can use this for ideas, and learn how not to make a Krrish 4 and Dhoom 4. Anniyan actually managed to be better, years ago, and therefore, I wouldn’t consider this movie as something which changes anything. But I is a movie that could be watched for great entertainment, as well as the great performance that Vikram has put into the movie here. The humour also works and there is a powerful emotional connection that is maintained, which strives to focus on the power of true love that is beyond appearance and money. Don’t go with the reviews, but go with Vikram on this one. Here is a big salute to the actor on how well he has tried and made his transformation, and how much strength he has brought to an ordinary revenge plot. I have given the movie a rating, but I cannot be judged by ratings, and the right method is to watch it in the theatres.

Release date: 14th January 2015.
Running time: 189 minutes
Directed by: Shankar
Starring: Vikram, Amy Jackson, Suresh Gopi, Upen Patel, Santhanam, Ramkumar Ganesan, Mohan Kapoor

I

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Taken 3

taken3 (1)

Uncle Dracula :: So do you believe that the Vampire Owl was taken?

Vampire Bat :: I didn’t say that. I was talking about him not going for movies, and not being available for consideration even for watching the movie Taken 3.

Uncle Dracula :: But he could have been taken, nevertheless.

Vampire Bat :: Why are we even having this conversation?

Uncle Dracula :: Because I am giving you a substitute for the Vampire Owl here. Take Igor.

Vampire Bat :: What? Wasn’t he with Doctor Frankenstein?

Uncle Dracula :: Yes, but he was taken. You didn’t know? Even my brides know that.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, they will surely know that, because they have no other job. They don’t even brush their fangs. But taken by whom?

Uncle Dracula :: Taken by me. Who else? I am the only Bryan Mills around here. Now, take my new vampire chariot and leave. You are getting late and there is a chance that you might be taken by Doctor Frankenstein in retaliation.

Vampire Bat :: That is a fair point. And you stop abducting people after transforming into fog, mist, wolves, dogs, potato chips, Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Titanic DVD and all those other things. The age is different now. It is not cool anymore.

[Kick-starts the vampire chariot].

What is it about? :: The two major incidents seem to have cooled down, and nobody seems to be “taken” anymore. Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is once again trying to be good with his daughter Kim Mills (Maggie Grace) who is now living with her boyfriend and his ex-wife Lenore Mills (Famke Janssen) who is having problems with her current husband, Stuart St. John (Dougray Scott). But things get turned around as his wife is found murdered, and when he enters the house, he is framed for the murder. As he becomes the prime suspect here due to the evidence, he manages to flee from the scene using his special skills and uses the same to find a way to get to her murderer. The police is on his trail and asks him to surrender and let them investigate, leaving it for the court to decide, but Bryan knows that he can trust his skills better than anything else. Inspector Franck Dotzler (Forest Whitaker) is in charge of the case and decides to go after Bryan.

The defence of Taken 3 :: You know what to expect in a sequel to the kind of movies that the predecessors were. Even with a change in the basic plot as nobody is “taken”, this one tries to use the same protagonist to its advantage nicely. Yes, it chooses not to follow that idea and comes up with something different, even as it is not something which hasn’t been tried before. The action sequences involving our protagonist are once again good, even as not raising the level. This is also more of the action movie than thriller, even as some suspense is there trying to make smaller impacts. The stunts mostly involve some melee combat, more shoot-outs and a lot more car chase action. The fans might still love this one up-to an extent, and too much expectation will kill this one. Yes, the franchise ends here, and may be that will also work in favour of this in your mind, even as one his the last dialogues might make one feel otherwise.

The claws of flaw:: Taken 3 fails to give a great ending to the franchise which has to be satisfied with the average finish compared to how it has been going. There is no coming anywhere near the first movie, that is for sure. A comparison with the predecessors is going to devastate this movie, and the place of this one is below the previous two. This is not even that well edited, or even developed as something that brings the thrills to the viewers. It even hesitates to go full swing action, and one has to wonder why. The final scenes also lack the power, and the villains as well as the gang remains not just weak, but also uninteresting. Even the twist could have used more power. It needed more action and thrills, but Taken 3 tries to hang on to the power of the previous movies and bring this franchise to an end which neither Liam Neeson or the audience deserved. After watching this one, may be you will feel that this should have been a movie out of Taken franchise – like Non-Stop, Unknown and The Grey.

Performers of the soul :: You see a Liam Neeson movie here again, and he takes the avatar of one of his best known characters, even as I don’t consider his characters in Non-Stop, The Grey and Unknown with any less reverence – same goes to Hannibal of The A-Team. Being the action hero that everyone wants to see beating up the bad people, he once again doesn’t fail to deliver. There are signs of old age for sure, but he still got it as the man who got the special skills that he acquired. Here, he is bigger than the movie – no doubt about that. You know that Famke Janssen’s character gets killed early, but Maggie Grace is once again very good, but is left with not that much to do in this movie. Forest Whitaker was impressive during his stay, but the villains were too weak. The Russian villain idea never really came close to working, and the other villain twist was another weak addition. There could have been better ideas about it, but we find none here.

Soul exploration :: Taken 3 has its heart at the family, and once again the father-daughter relationship gets a good chance in the middle. But if it was given better thoughts or at least shown with more humour, that would have actually worked in favour of this movie, considering how much this movie has struggled to keep up with its predecessors. Even in what has made this franchise such a big name, this one struggles to make the expected impact. I have actually heard my friends saying “does this guy’s family still have members who are to be kidnapped? How big a family is that?” – when they heard about the release of a third movie. Taken 3 is more like The Hangover III considering the fact that it had no hangover as this one had nobody being taken, but the after-effects of the earlier hangovers and those abductions in the earlier movies still stay.

How it finishes :: Taken 3 doesn’t seem to make much impact in the theatres, even as the initial crowd is there due to the fame of the previous movies, and it is only a matter of time until the advantage is lost. There is a long list of Hollywood movies from the previous weeks though, like Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death, Interstellar, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies and Penguins of Madagascar along with the other language movies, all of them with better opinions received than this one. The advice here would be not to go for Taken 3 with the expectation of another Taken. Think about it as another action movie coming from Liam Neeson, and the characters as just the reflections of the situation in the flick. Watch this one for Liam Neeson, and think not much about the franchise or the rest of the things.

Release date: 9th January 2015.
Running time: 108 minutes
Directed by: Olivier Megaton
Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Forest Whitaker, Dougray Scott, Sam Spruell, Leland Orser, Jon Gries, Jonny Weston, Dylan Bruno

takeniii

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

2014 in Review

Happy New Year everyone. This is the annual review time! Here are my choices for the year, not concerned with the opinion of the critics.

Best Malayalam movie: Iyobinte Pusthakam
We had to wait a long to have a Malayalam movie which could stand strong in comparison to so many good ones from last year. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/iyobinte-pusthakam/

Best Hindi movie: Mardaani
There is absolutely no doubt about this one, and even as I haven’t reviewed it yet, there is no shortage of some good opinions about this one. I was pretty late in realizing this movie’s abilities. I might write about it sometime later.

Best English movie: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Marvel’s most intelligent movie until now happens to be the best from Hollywood in the year, even as there are more movies missing a release here this year. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/captain-america-ii/

2014movies

Best Animated movie: Mr. Peabody and Sherman
Forget the fans of The Lego Movie and Big Hero 6, as this was undoubtedly the best animated movie of the year, and working for everyone. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/mr-peabody-sherman/

Best Action movie: Hercules
The Rock as Hercules – it delivers as it had promised; there is no doubt about who the super action star is right here. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/hercules/

Best Visual experience: Exodus: Gods and Kings
This visually superior movie, even without too much ciritcal appreciation, is that Biblical Epic that everyone has been waiting for. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/12/07/exodus/

Best Thrills: Gone Girl
This movie has that kind of thrills that not many people might have expected, and it surely holds on to that variety in its path to success. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/gone-girl/

Big Surprise: Asha Black
Not that inspiring from the name, and not at all hyped, this movie is strong in its theme, but didn’t run that well in the theatres. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/ashablack/

Righteous One: London Bridge
This movie is so simple and yet scores with its goodness and hidden boost of the morality tale’s seed which grows powerful every second. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/london-bridge/

Magical Movie: Iyobinte Pusthakam
This movie is magical with its visuals and the way in which it deals with its world and the situations, supported by history and fiction equally. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/iyobinte-pusthakam/

Powerful Experience: Apothecary
The power of the message and the strength of the depiction of events make this one a big, powerful experience despite the presence of flaws. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/apothecary/

Game Changer: Om Shanti Oshana
As this one twists the viewpoint, and progresses from the perspective of the girl child hoping to win her love all the time, we can be sure about the beginning of a change. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/om-shanti-oshana/

Personal Favourite: 300: Rise of an Empire
I have been waiting for this movie for a very long time, and with the visual style and Eva Green, I don’t see any reason why not. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/300-rise-of-an-empire/

Unnoticed One: Naku Penta Naku Taka
I had a tough time making sure that I got the tickets and the show was not cancelled, but this a lot better movie and deserved a better chance. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/nakupenta/

 

Worst Malayalam movie: Salaala Mobiles
This one has Dulquer Salman and Nazriya Nazim, and that star combination has somehow managed to bring so much boredom to the viewers that its success is only in being the worst movie of the decade.

Worst Hindi movie: Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania
Thinking that this is Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, and coming up with cheap jokes and stupid imitations, this movie has two dumb protagonists falling in love with each other, and the good guy getting nothing while the shameless pseudo-hero gets the girl.

Worst English movie: Noah
Noah’s horrible drag supports only the bloody nonsense that it shows on screen and despite the deviation from the Bible, it hasn’t found anything interesting for Christians or Non-Christians. My friends get scared of the name “Noah” because of this movie.

Most Undeserving Hit: 1983
This movie’s unnecessary glorification of cricket and its players is rather boring, repetitive and should be an invisible hope for match-fixing as well as a purely money based sport which is beyond the common man’s grasp.

Worst Drift: Dedh Ishqiya
This is the biggest collection of meaningless drag becoming rather a drift with unbelievable amount of ridiculous stuff which has only Hima Qureshi and a nice twist; everything else is complete waste of time.

Worst Drag: 2 States
As it keeps dragging, the movie has nothing that invokes interest except for its silliness which is beyond the borders of the horizon, and its dumb, fake love is glorified like that of Twilight and similar nonsense stuff.

Worst Emptiness: Gunday
As the one movie which seems to have Priyanka Chopra forcing the viewers to hope for the death of her character, but goes on only to reach the much expected end which is not much different from the beginning of the movie – not worth it.

Worst Lie: Hasee Toh Phasee
This movie becomes a big love lie with a strange beginning involving Parineeti Chopra who rarely manages to be not irritating in her new avatar which ends up glorifying the process of stealing at home and also brings up pseudo-love supported by stupid comic scenes.

Worst Stupidity: Main Tera Hero
Here comes Besharam’s evil twin which is so stupid that its collective dumbness makes the equal of foolishness that Ranbir Kapoor’s character had come up with . A more appropriate title would be Main Tera Zero: Irritating Version. Yaariyan almost took this title away.

Unbearable One: Gangster
As one of those movies which makes the viewers suffer so much, this can have the title of being the worst movie of Mammootty, Aashiq Abu and the worst gangster movie of this century, a record which might not be broken for a long time.

Clueless One: Yaariyan
Yaariyan wanders here and there, exhibiting stupidity all the way from India to Australia with a rather racist tone in targeting another race, nation and continent glorifying one culture over the other and proclaims its cluelessness.

Worst Hype: Transcendence
Coming to the theatres with such huge hype, what it delivers can be considered as terribly boring and never anywhere close to being good. Its central idea itself doesn’t work, and there is no point in anything else.

Special Consideration from the Soul:
Best Actor/Actress who made a difference: Shailene Woodley (Divergent / The Fault in Our Stars)
Best Actor/Actress with a surprise: Imogen Poots (Need for Speed)
Best Actor/Actress in a dumb movie: Zoey Deutch (Vampire Academy)
Best Actor/Actress with heroism: Chris Evans (Captain America II)
Best Actor/Actress on villainy: Eva Green (300 II)
*This is only based on the movies I have watched.

Most read movie reviews of the year:
1. Om Shanti Oshana (https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/om-shanti-oshana/) {All-time 1st}
2. Saptamasree Thaskaraha (https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/sapthamashree-thaskaraha/) {All-time 3rd following Drishyam}
3. Hate Story II (https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/hate-story-ii/) {All-time 5th following Oru Indian Pranaya Katha}
4. London Bridge (https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/london-bridge/)
5. Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal (https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/mosa/)

2014 Theatre Status:
**89 movies watched on the big screen this year, with 66 of them reviewed. There were 44 English movies, 32 Malayalam movies, 10 Hindi movies and 3 Tamil movies. Total Reviews including honorary ones = 73.
Movies inspiring more than one theatre visit: 1: Om Shanti Oshana {2 times} (https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/om-shanti-oshana/)

2013 Theatre Status:
**103 movies watched on the big screen last year, with 71 of them reviewed. There were 44 English movies, 43 Malayalam movies, 12 Hindi movies and 4 Tamil movies. Total Reviews including honorary ones = 109.

Most visits from outside India in 2014
1. United States :: 2. United Arab Emirates :: 3. United Kingdom :: 4. Canada :: 5. Pakistan :: 6. Australia :: 7. Singapore :: 8. Saudi Arabia :: 9. Qatar :: 10. Spain

For what to begin the year with, read https://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/introvert-queen/
For my earlier take on what is to come in 2015 for Hollywood, check https://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/brightfuture/