Frozen II

Vampire Owl: Everyone is frozen at home due to COVID-19, and we are watching the second part of this movie.

Vampire Bat: COVID-19 has been a serious crisis in the vampire world too.

Vampire Owl: Yes, the last world vampire conference was held in twenty five districts because they had to keep the distance.

Vampire Bat: For the undead, it wouldn’t show any symptoms. We would just die.

Vampire Owl: Death after death is a highly disappointing thing.

Vampire Bat: Yes, we become immortal, and then we die. It is ridiculous.

Vampire Owl: The vampire doctors including Mr. Frankenstein are saying that this was spread by werewolves.

Vampire Bat: This could have been the result of a pure evil magic potion prepared by the Northern Witches.

Vampire Owl: Or maybe spread by a zombie bat?

Vampire Bat: Bats becoming zombies are abominations. I wouldn’t discuss them.

[Gets some banana chips and three cups of cardamom tea].

What is the movie about? :: King Runeard (Jeremy Sisto), long ago, had established a treaty between the people of the kingdom and those of the forest, by building a dam for the better utilization of resources by the forest tribe. But all of a sudden, a fight breaks out between the soldiers of the kingdom and the fighters of the forest tribe, leading to the death of Runeard and also that of the tribe leader, leading to a division between the two, and the forest being engulfed in an enchanted fog created by the spirits of nature, letting nobody inside and allowed nobody to go out. The enraged elemental spirits of Earth, Fire, Water, and Air of the forest had only one person escaping to the kingdom of Arendelle, Agnarr (Alfred Molina) who later became the king after the death of his father with Iduna (Evan Rachel Wood) as his queen. The tale go only this far for Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell).

So, what happens with the events here? :: Years after her coronation, Anna and Elsa are having some good time during the autumn season with Olaf the snowman (Josh Gad), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), and Kristoff’s reindeer Sven along with the subjects in the kingdom. Elsa has been listening to a mysterious calling, and her response to the same awakens the four elemental spirits, Earth, Water, Air and Fire. With these spirits threatening the kingdom, Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven set off to find the problem’s root cause, leaving the people with Pabbie (Ciaran Hinds), the leader of the Rock Trolls. The team is taken in by the enchanted forest, but are trapped in there with no chance for exit. There they meet the air spirit first, followed by two groups of soldiers from both sides who are still in conflict with each other.

And what else follows with the happenings? :: Elsa and Anna manage to make peace between the two groups of soliders as they realized that the queen of the kingdom is from their tribe, and she was the one who saved the king and escaped with him from the enchanted forest years ago. Meanwhile, Kristoff keeps thinking about proposing to Anna, but doesn’t succeed in the same for which asks for her from Ryder (Jason Ritter) who shares his interest in reindeers. They come up against earth spirits, a group of giants made out of rocks, but manage to evade them. They find their parents’ destroyed ship and a map with a route to Ahtohallan, a mythical river which could answer all their questions. Elsa decides to go there alone, and with Kristoff and Sven already left behind, leaves Anna and Olaf to float down in a boat made of ice as she decides to take on the water spirit on her way through water. But there is a long way to go, and can she do it alone?

The defence of Frozen II :: The animation remains the strong point of the movie. There are also the special effects – what you see on the screen is nothing less than spectacular, getting you right into that world, and frost just gets to you if you are sitting in a theatre, especially a newer multiplex. The visual effects do the job like not many animated movies can do, and in a world of magic, it asserts the strength of the same. The characters are lovable, and we feel very close to them, even though they are part of that fantasy world only. They become part of us as much as the technical skill on display. The songs are pretty good too, and the messages are once again clear, with family bonding, not just between the sisters, but going further. Frozen will continue to have advantage over the other so called big animated movies like How to Train Your Dragon, Rio, Despicable Me, Finding Nemo, Cars, Ice Age, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and the others which have turned into successful franchises.

Positives and negatives in a world of enchantment :: The case of repetition could be there up to an extent. Frozen had already established a “happily ever after”, and due to the same, this could have been a reverse fantasy on another day. People might have the opinion that a sequel was not needed, considering how perfect the first movie seemed to be. A certain amount of deviation can be declared too. Finding fault with this sequel is more of a process which can be done in relation with the first movie, and not as a stand-alone flick, and it is something which a person who hasn’t watched the first film will understand with ease. We can also move on without finding any fault in this case, as this movie has no shortage of entertainment, with action, adventure and even a funny side – the cuteness factor is also at the highest with this movie in comparison with any other animated movie that strives to do the same for the audience.

How it finishes :: Frozen 2 might not be able to claim that much of a splendour as its predecessor which held the title of the highest grossing animated movie of all-time, even though the sequel has overtaken Frozen, but it has to be noted that the first position is no longer there to be taken. The two Frozen movies are now on second and third positions in that list. But that wouldn’t take away this movie’s claim as a worthy successor because the first movie had set a level which was almost impossible to meet, and this one had to stay close to what was established. The spectacular world which has been created in this film is sure to catch our attention, and the soul of the first movie is carried on, which will make this an interesting watch, and something to feel happy during the time when Corona virus is making its way through nations. Frozen 2 has the beauty of snow, hues and magic brought in style yet again for your eyes.

Release date: 22nd November 2019
Running time: 103 minutes
Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Evan Rachel Wood, Sterling K Brown, Alfred Molina, Martha Plimpton, Rachel Matthews, Jason Ritter, Jeremy Sisto, Ciaran Hinds, Aurora

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Boss Baby

Vampire Owl: More bosses and more babies? I thought we were done with them as Storks finished.

Vampire Bat: Well, the boss is a baby, and the baby is a boss. There is no more to add to it.

Vampire Owl: I have a feeling that this could be about Mavis. You remember our time with her earlier.

Vampire Bat: She is not a boss. And the baby here is human.

Vampire Owl: Dude, every human is just a simple bite away from not being human.

Vampire Bat: What? You bite babies and kids these days? When did you start doing it?

Vampire Owl: No! I was referring to the werewolves and zombies.

Vampire Bat: There has been no zombie infection since last redmoon, when the witches threw that beach party.
Werewolves are just too angry to go out of their territory. You will find no chance of humans getting bitten.

Vampire Owl: Doctor Frankenstein had informed us that humans were developing new vaccines leading to zombie outbreaks.

Vampire Bat: Even Frankenstein can’t stop humans and their perpetual greed. I am sure that he knows about that too ever since he turned undead.

[Gets some jackfruit chips and three cups of cardamom tea].

What is the movie about? :: Templeton (Tobey Maguire) tells the story of his childhood, from the time when he was seven years old, living with his parents, Ted (Jimmy Kimmel) and Janice (Lisa Kudrow). He lives a happy life as their only son, getting all their love, and is not ready to share the same with a brother or sister. He keeps an imaginary world with himself, where he goes on missions, mostly saving the day all by himself, and this fictional world is a significant part of his existence. It is due to the same that he is not able to believe when a baby arrives there dressed in a black suit. He feels that his new brother, the baby (Alec Baldwin) receives rather too much attention while he is ignored by his parents. They keep dealing with the baby’s needs and Templeton gets almost nothing. He is frustrated and envious of this new person who has stolen his world, and the love which only he is to receive.

So, what happens next? :: Templeton also feels that the baby is acting strange, but the parents are not ready to check that due to their love for the new arrival into their family. He is also shocked to know that the baby can talk like an adult. One day, he listens to the baby talking to the other babies of the neighbourhood and understands that they are on a mission. He tries to get the evidence, but gets grounded. So this baby, who turns out to the the boss of the rest of the babies in the neighbourhood, the Boss Baby, after their confrontations, decides to tell Templeton the truth. He makes Templeton suck on a pacifier which takes them to Baby Corp, a place where babies are doing business, sending infant love right after the babies are produced. Only a selected group of babies are chosen into business there, and there they try to keep the love for babies active. But now, they are facing a crisis, with puppy love overtaking the love for babies.

And what is to follow with this adventure? :: It has been a global phenomenon, as puppies having been taking over everything, more than doubling the love humans have for babies, leaving very little for cats, birds and the others. If the Boss Baby doesn’t succeed in finding the secret files regarding what Puppy Co, the big puppy supplying organization is planning to do as a surprise which will completely eliminate all others including babies from the love list of humans. The Boss Baby is at the house because Templeton’s parents work at the Puppy Co, and he says that he will go back to business at Baby Corp after his mission is accomplished. But if he fails to do what he is assigned to do, he won’t be taken back into business, and will have to settle in with Templeton as his brother, his memories about Baby Corp gone. Templeton, wanting the Boss Baby to go away, decides to help him. But with puppies dominating further, can babies finally get the love the deserve?

The defence of The Boss Baby :: The visuals are really good, and the cuteness is clearly visible throughout this one. The kids are going to love this one from the beginning itself. It doesn’t matter how much close to reality this one has intended to get, the truth is that a lot of people these days love puppies more than babies. There are people who even make the public statement about the same, and don’t want to have babies – it makes this movie even more relevant to our world. How some people manage to hate babies, and still love puppies is a surprise to many, but we know how people are, and what they are capable of. The funny side remains mostly strong with this one – how the baby works with his suit and suitcase is so much fun to watch. The message is to spread love, and not to keep it inside, or limited to someone – there is always more than one person who deserve the love, which only multiplies and comes back when given.

The claws of flaw :: There is the certainty of strangeness concerning this movie which has a baby as the boss – it is rather the next level of having something that doesn’t really come together. It keeps itself far away from reality all the time, and it never even tries to come back and be normal for a second. We have already seen the baby factories in Storks too. There are moments when the comedy doesn’t work too, and the world of imagination shown within this movie is rather a little too stretched and not needed. By the end, The Boss Baby gets rather predictable though, and its surprise regarding the villain is not that much of a shocker either. Well, this much was set, and we wonder why not some more here. It is the world of wonderful animated movies, and here they have a baby as the main character, and there should have been more, I am sure that a lot of people will agree to getting more with the movie’s little protagonist brothers.

How it finishes :: The Boss Baby will also have a sequel coming up, and it will be interesting to see how this tale of baby business magnet will go on. Based on the 2010 picture book of the same name, which was written and illustrated by the American author Marla Frazee, this one surely has developed a lot from the material. The looks of The Boss Baby is of the level of big animated movies like Zootopia, Moana, Frozen, Epic, How to Train Your Dragon, Big Hero 6, Inside Out and Kung Fu Panda, but is never close to getting around that level in its content. This is the kind of world in which the lost fish as well as martial arts expert Panda gets sequels, and so whatever the baby gets is a bonus – after all, we don’t want fishes and pandas taking over the place of babies like those puppies did. This one doesn’t seem to be going for the Academy Awards with this, but with the entertainment side, The Boss Baby is a leader.

Release date: 31st March 2017
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Tom McGrath
Starring: Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Miles Bakshi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire, Lisa Kudrow, Conrad Vernon, James McGrath, David Soren, Nina Zoe Bakshi, Tom McGrath, Walt Dohrn, James Ryan Eric Bell Jr, ViviAnn Yee, Edie Mirman, James McGrath, James Izzo

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Lost Village

Vampire Owl: I was looking for blue creatures in our realm. There has been none.

Vampire Bat: After orcs had chosen green and goblins also choosing the same, the popularity for blue has been decreasing.

Vampire Owl: And these werewolves always come in black.

Vampire Bat: Just like those Batman gadgets.

Vampire Owl: Even Mr. Luttappi is just red, you know.

Vampire Bat: Do you even remember having watched these Smurfs movies?

Vampire Owl: Yes, I can clearly remember that I have watched them both.

Vampire Bat: Okay, then talk about something that you remember more than the rest.

Vampire Owl: I don’t think that there was anything in particular – there was the village, blue people, bad wizard with a cat…

Vampire Bat: It was the main problem. They were not at all memorable.

[Gets three cups of strong tea with Mariegold biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: In the secret Smurf Village, the Smurfs continue to live a happy life, hidden from the evil that await in the outside world. Papa Smurf (Mandy Patinkin), their leader takes care of them as a fatherly figure, and things go on quite normally through times. Among those Smurfs who are given names according to their character or purpose are Clumsy Smurf (Jack McBrayer), Brainy Smurf (Danny Pudi), Hefty Smurf (Joe Manganiello) and many others, with even the strangest of names. It is only Smurfette (Demi Lovato) whom, despite being admired by all other smurfs as the only girl smurf around, seems to have no sense of purpose. As she was created by the evil remorseless wizard Gargamel (Rainn Wilson) from a lump of clay to use as the means to catch other smurfs, now she has no meaning of life, transformed into one of them, and out of the evil ways. It keeps bothering her most of the time.

So, what happens next in the adventure? :: With Gargamel on a mission to capture the Smurfs, steal their blue essence, and become the strongest wizard in the world, Smurfette and her friends sneak out of their village. Gargamel’s pet cat Azrael (Frank Welker) and his pet vulture Monty (Dee Bradley Baker) are also on the look out for any sign of a smurf in the woods. Smurfette comes up against a blue creature hidden by leaves, which runs away into the Forbidden Forest, and leaves a hat behind. She as well as the hat is taken by Garamel, who uses it to discover the location of a new group of smurfs with his magic. She is rescued by her friends, and all of them get grounded by Papa Smurf for disobeying him. But she is determined to save these lost smurfs from the evil wizard, and with her friends, set out for Forbidden Village, no matter how forbidden it is for her people. At the same time, Gargamel, Azrael and Monty also set out in search for the new village.

And what is to follow with the blue people against a wizard and his minions? :: The smurfs are attacked by Gargamel and his team, and is presumed dead by the evil wizard, but they escape with the help of a few bunnies. It is quite the dangerous mission that they are up against, as they have no idea what dangers lie ahead in a world which has been forbidden to them for such a long time. There they come up against animals and plants which are not normal, and soon they would be on a race against Gargamel, Azrael and Monty who are also traveling on the same route. Surprised to find each other again, they race, only to have Gargamel drowning in the river. After Hefty and Smurfette support the idea of saving him, he throws the smurfs down the waterfalls instead of thanking them. But they survive, and travel on land. They are soon trapped by the blue creatures under the leaves. They are supposed to be smurfs aren’t they? If they are smurfs, they are surely in danger, right?

The defence of Smurfs: The Lost Village :: There are good visuals for this one, that is for sure, and we get to see some nice animation not just with the characters, but also with the world. There is no more the mixture of the real world and the animated world, which is also a nice thing – also, there are no humans in this one except for the big evil wizard; it is another positive thing, as the mixture can have big problems with working. This is indeed cute and sweet too, and with all the colours around, the kids are going to enjoy it without doubt, and everyone else is going to have their childish side awakened. There are occasions when you feel that this is the kind of movie which you would have loved to watch during your early childhood, but wasn’t there; we are always happy that we had those Doordarshan cartoons like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Ducktales, Talespin and Tom and Jerry, but we imagine ourselves having such a treat, but childhood is long gone, a sad thing indeed.

The claws of flaw :: The movie is without doubt, predictable from the first moment itself. It is not like the same becomes a big problem in an animated feature film which is prone to the same. But you know that there have been exceptions like Moana, Zootopia, Frozen, Inside Out and others which have deviated from the expected path during the journey more than once. Smurfs: The Lost Village never really stands a chance against the animated movies of our times, with How to Train Your Dragon 2, Finding Dory and Kung Fu Panda 3, all being pretty cool sequels inheriting the original’s qualities. Just like its predecessors, this one has predictability written into it. The movie also has too much focus on one character whose search for her purpose gets rather repetitive. There is also the inability to capitalize on a funny side which always had the chance to be better. It even has a villain who is not even half smart as his cat, and that is not used to bring enough laughter. Better and smarter story in also not on cards.

How it finishes :: Smurfs: The Lost Village can be seen not to deviate, not inside the movie, and also not within the franchise. But it surely manages to be one of the most appropriate movies for the kids, with not much left to ponder about except for finding one’s purpose in life, and it leaves the message that being good will bring that meaning of life on this day, or at some other point – there is only the need to wait for the same. During these time when the life as well as the movies are so complicated, this kind of cuteness becomes rather necessary, and let the simplicity of this one save us from the complex evil of a world which is slowly and steadily being taken over by those who have no heart. The Smurfs franchise is becoming more interested in being the brand which has movies to add to it rather than flicks with big tales. Well, there is more than one than one way to go around with things, and cute little creatures are more than just fair for children.

Release date: 7th April 2017
Running time: 91 minutes
Directed by: Kelly Asbury
Starring: Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson, Joe Manganiello, Jack McBrayer, Danny Pudi, Michelle Rodriguez, Ellie Kemper, Ariel Winter, Meghan Trainor, Jake Johnson, Mandy Patinkin, Julia Roberts, Gordon Ramsay, Tituss Burgess, Gabriel Iglesias, Jeff Dunham, Kelly Asbury, Bret Marnell, Melissa Sturm, Frank Welker, Dee Bradley Baker

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Resident Evil: Vendetta

Vampire Owl: I see that evil even got some vendetta to go with it.

Vampire Bat: Animated Resident Evil will make sure that there was no real final chapter with the Resident Evil franchise.

Vampire Owl: What is final with a virus outbreak and zombie infection? The same will only keep happening.

Vampire Bat: Yes, it is just that we already undead that the zombie bites are not affecting us.

Vampire Owl: What? You got bitten by a zombie? When and where?

Vampire Bat: It was exactly two years and three months ago. It was one of your zombie minions – I threw him into the sea. He is now serving as an underwater undead pirate.

Vampire Owl: Now I know that I counted it correctly; one of my minions really missing!

Vampire Bat: Yes, you are good at Mathematics. It is as evil as you are.

Vampire Owl: Do you know how difficult it is to get a good zombie minion during these times when Lich Queen controls so many of them?

Vampire Bat: Dude, even Gru has better minions for his evil plans.

[Gets three cups of cardamom tea with Hide and Seek biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: Glenn Arias (John DeMita) is the kind of person whom almost everyone is after, lead by the United States government. He is the typical death dealer with no remorse, and has nothing good in mind. He used to be an arms dealer who had his wedding ceremony bombed by the United States drones, after which only an arm of his wife in a few minutes lasting marriage, was left for him. The only two people survived that drone assualt were Maria Gomez (Cristina Vee) and Diego Gomez (Fred Tatasciore), both now working for him to teach governments and people a valuable lesson that they would never forget. For the same, it is not guns, bombs or drugs which he intends to use, as his hate goes further deep down – his idea is on biological warfare, and to avenge his terrible wedding day, he plans to go to any end.

So, what happens next? :: It is this death merchant who has Chris Redfield (Kevin Dorman) on his trail, as the one who was acting as their informer at Glenn’s organization had gone missing. As the special agents try to get into the mansion, they are welcomed by the undead as well as traps, with only Chris surviving in the end, despite being shot at by Glenn, and chased by an army of zombies which is destroyed by the reinforcements. At the same time, Rebecca Chambers (Erin Cahill) is working as a professor at a university, developing vaccines againt possible infections. Now dedicating her time for this cause only, she studies a new virus known as Animality virus or the A-virus which is more than anything which has been witnessed before. This particular virus has the ability to stay dormant inside human body, and can respond to a trigger and start spreading.

And what is to follow with this adventure? :: The facility conducting the experiments is soon attacked by a team sent by Glenn, lead by Maria. The virus is spread through the air turning everyone there into zombies, while Maria collects details of the research. Only Rebecca survives with the help of a vaccine which she had developed, and Chris arrives in time with his team to save her from the remaining undead. It is a battle that they can’t win by themselves, and for further information and support, they contact Leon S. Kennedy (Matthew Mercer) who is considered to be an expert in the matter. But they soon realize that nothing really happens without Glenn, Maria or their wide-spread well-wishers knowing, and they will have an army after them. Can the three figure out what the death merchant is planning before time runs out for them, their city, their country and humanity as well as all life on Earth?

The defence of Resident Evil: Vendetta :: Here is a boon for the Resident Evil fans who had thought that the movie franchise had ended too early with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, as we have this animated movie to bring back a few memories from some time ago, and develop a few others. The thing about these animated versions of the games is that they are closer to those survival horror adventures on your computer or gaming device. This one, therefore becomes the movie that you didn’t watch from the series as well as the game that you didn’t play from the franchise. As this animated movie joins the list, there is a lot of action in store, and some nice animated creatures to go with it. We get to have our heroes battling an evil villain looking forward to use the zombies to end everything, and there are some stylish moments and a few good dialogues to go with it, Resident Evil style! This one makes things about not Alice as the centre of everything, but more.

The claws of flaw :: The one thing that you will notice is that the focus is all the time on certain characters, and even they were to have better moments in this one. Sometimes, you wonder if this is a collection of cutscenes coming from between the action in the games – well, that could be tried with these. The tale is also the rather predictable one with one villain and a lot of undead, which has become more of a stereotype with all being saved in the end by the heroes we know. There is also that moment of strange desire for wedding just because a girl looks like dead wife to someone – it just doesn’t suit around here surrounded by problems of life and death for people and survival or extinction for humanity. The movie has also decided not to use its big monster to its advantage from early on itself. It could have also used the shots bigger in scale, and scarier in essence to make things work more “evil” in a terrifying way.

How it finishes :: By this time, you should have understood that Resident Evil never ends – there will never be a real final chapter, and the zombies will only keep coming towards you for one eternity, and the next. It is surely a wonderful thing for us fans, as it was one game that has been with us for so long since we were playing those demo games from IT magazines – those were the days. Resident Evil is something that deserves to be part of our lives for long or for eternity, like Harry Potter is for some people, and Hunger Games or Divergent is for others. Getting itself another animated movie from Japan, Resident Evil is much more, even though there will always be a certain group of people who won’t know or prefer this – well, it is your decision, but I would go for Resident Evil, now and whenever possible, as it was a big part of my childhood.

Release date: 25th August 2016
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Takanori Tsujimoto
Starring: Kevin Dorman, Matthew Mercer, Erin Cahill, Kari Wahlgren, Arif S. Kinchen, Cristina Vee, Karen Strassman, Arnie Pantoja, John DeMita, Fred Tatasciore, Jason Faunt, Jason Hightower, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Tony Oliver, Matthew Mercer, Alexander Polinsky

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Ballerina

Vampire Owl: I thought that this movie was called Leap!.

Vampire Bat: Yes, but the original name of the flick is Ballerina.

Vampire Owl: It was the cooler name – they should have kept it. Leap could be part of rather too many things.

Vampire Bat: Yes, Ballerina is the name that suits the flick, considering the content too.

Vampire Owl: I wonder why it is that animated dance movies prove to be better than simple and usual dance movies these days.

Vampire Bat: Because animated is cute and safer option.

Vampire Owl: Do you know that I had participated in a dance programme once?

Vampire Bat: And you won something, at least a small prize?

Vampire Owl: They made sure that I would never dance again.

Vampire Bat: For some reason, I am not really surprised about that. You are going need a cure for wellness.

[Gets three cups of elaichi tea with a piece of tea cake].

What is the movie about? :: In this story set in the 1880s, a young girl who lives at an orphange, Felicie (Elle Fanning) wants to do nothing other than to dance all the time – it is more like her only love, but her future is rather bleak, considering the situation. Her best friend in the orphanage is a smart young boy named Victor (Dane DeHaan) who wants to be an inventor, and also creates a few memorable inventions by himself there. Their plan is to escape from the orphanage and reach Paris, where Felicie plans to be a ballerina and Victor wants to be an inventor. There they separate their ways, and Felecie joins Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen), the cleaner of the Paris Opera who also works for Regine Le Haut (Julie Khaner), an extremely rich lady who owns the city’s most popular restaurant. There she meets Regine’s daughter Camillle (Maddie Ziegler) who is practicing for ballet.

So, what happens next? :: Camille finds Felicie to be a good for nothing girl, who will never be anything other than a cleaner. As she insults her and throws Felicie’s favourite item, her music box out through the windown, breaking it. An angry and depressed Felicie, while going out, is given a letter which was intended for Camille, admitting her to the Paris Opera Ballet. She decides not to show it to Camille, and take her position in the opera, posing as her. She is successful in doing the same, but struggles as she has no experience. Meanwhile, Victor become an office assistant at Gustave Eiffel who is building both the Eiffel Tower, the big landmark of the city, as well as the Statue of Liberty to be gifted to the United States of America. Both struggle in their work, not really able to make the impact that they thought they could make when they left the orphanage.

And what is to follow with this adventure? :: Merante (Terrence Scammell), the teacher and choreographer at the opera tells the girls that one of them would be chosen to dance as Clara in The Nutcracker, and promises to make the selection quick by eliminating the worst performer of the group every day. Felicie is expected to be eliminated on the very first day, but escapes when someone else is injured and eliminated. Realizing that Odette used to be a ballerina during her time before getting injured, Felicie gets training from her, and hopes that she could improve herself well enough to keep surviving the elimination. But with so many things in her mind, it seems rather too difficult for her to keep focus, and her lie is also so close to being discovered. She realizes that she stands no chance if her identity is revealed, as she might be sent back to the orphanage, and also if she has to face someone as disciplined like Camille, there is not much chance. Against all odds, can she do it?

The defence of Ballerina :: The movie is more about achieving one’s dreams, none being too small. It calls for hard work, and not backing out, no matter how difficult or impossible the situation seems to be – it calls to do what we love, and keep loving the same. There are a few moments which bring the laughter, and the dance steps make one feel very good. The visuals of the city are also amazing. The movie also shows the usual attitude of the rich towards the poor, and how much the rich and the powerful tries to get their people all the opportunities, and talent don’t matter for them; there will always be the common people who do better. Still the attitude of the rich remains the same, as it has been shown in too many tales. It is strange that even after so many years, nothing has changed – the rich gets all the opportunities by birth, and the poor who gets rich becomes the oppressor at some other point. It is a strange world, but we should never stop trying to get to our dreams.

The claws of flaw :: One would have a feeling that achieving dreams of a higher level is only getting difficult these days, as only foul is fair in an evil world – every time we try to achieve something, there is more than one rich lady in front of us; there are thousands or millions of obstacles in the same place, and happy ending or happy continuation is more than just difficult in our world. We keep feeling that there could have been more of some stunning scenes of dance around here, as the scope was always there to make it bigger. It also takes some time to get itself to the ballet and serious dancing, and it is only balanced by the shorter run-time of the movie which leaves it with no dull moments – how can one find such a thing looking at such cute and wonderful animation? The boy’s tale could have also got a little bit more attention though, at least related to how far he has gone with his objective.

How it finishes :: Ballerina or The Leap! as it is known more, is another animated movie that you would love to add to that long list of interesting movies which ask you to go after your dreams without worrying about what would happen otherwise. It is the kind of inspiration that we have always wanted, and this movie gets to that fine list of animated movies, even though not that much there compared to those bigger flicks like Frozen, Moana, Zootopia, How to Train Your Dragon, Epic, Kung Fu Panda and many others which have gone on to become bigger names among all kinds of audience – Ballerina is also a movie which will work for everyone, and it is certain to appeal to children, as it is that cute. There are movies like Sing and Rock Dog which deals with the singing side, and Ballerina meets the dancing one – we see that all things get the needed inspiration. Well, no dream is to be left unattended.

Release date: 4th November 2016
Running time: 89 minutes
Directed by: Eric Summer, Eric Warin
Starring: Elle Fanning, Dane DeHaan, Maddie Ziegler, Carly Rae Jepsen, Terrence Scammell, Julie Khaner, Mel Brooks, Kate McKinnon, Elana Dunkelman, Shoshana Sperling, Joe Sheridan, Bronwen Mantel, Jamie Watson, Tamir Kapelian

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Rock Dog

Vampire Owl: Do you think that this dog is as emotional as a rock?

Vampire Bat: If it was so, the same wouldn’t have been part of an animated movie.

Vampire Owl: Okay, so the dog is as strong as a rock.

Vampire Bat: This is not really a supernatural movie. So leave that out of your mind.

Vampire Owl: Maybe, he is fan of The Rock?

Vampire Bat: Almost everyone is a fan of Dwayne Johnson. But not the animated cat.

Vampire Owl: At least tell me that he is a Rocky fan.

Vampire Bat: Dude, they are referring to the music.

Vampire Owl: Oh! My relationship with music is as bad as my friendship with the Vampire Crocodile.

Vampire Bat: I am sure that this movie would help a little.

[Gets three cups of ginger tea with a piece of ghee cake].

What is the movie about? :: In a village known only by the name Snow Mountain, a dog named Bodi (Luke Wilson) is supposed to be the next guard, guarding the sheep there from the wolves who wish to eat each and every one of them. His father Khampa (J. K. Simmons) hopes that some day, he will take over the place to become the tough guard whom every wolf will be afraid of. But Bodi doesn’t even come close to looking like a tough guard dog, and keeping the wolves out is rather something which seems impossible. But Khampa is sure that the bad wolves led by Linnux (Lewis Black) will return one day or the other, and orders everyone to be vigiliant if they are to stay alive. To avoid making any noise, he has banned music there, locking up every musical instrument, and also keeps some of the sheep disguised as dogs so that the wolves will think that there are many of them, and they are all alert.

So, what happens next? :: Bodi keeps failing the training, and even fails to work with his father’s special movie known as the Iron Paw that was to be the one thing which would give the dogs advantage over the wolves who are wild are huge in number. To add to it, Bodi also becomes interested in rock music, after listening to the rock legend Angus Scattergood (Eddie Izzard) through a radio which falls down from an airplane. As he steals something from all those musical instruments which were locked up by his father and starts playng, there is the realization among everyone that he is not going to listen, and he would never be the guard dog who is to save the village from the wolves. Even after trying many methods to change his son, he finds none of them working. The village elder Fleetwood Yak (Sam Elliott) asks Khampa to let Bodi become whatever he wants, and do whichever thing he finds comfortable in his life. Khampa lets him go on one condition that he will return for guard duty if he fails in becoming a popular musician.

And what is to follow with this adventure? :: Bodi leaves Snow Mountain, but is followed by a few wolves who wish to take him hostage so that they can use him as the key to attack Snow Mountain. But Bodi survives by luck and reaches the centre of city – There he finds a band which consists of a fox Darma (Mae Whitman), a goat named Germur (Jorge Garcia), and a snow leopard named Trey (Matt Dillon). He is humiliated by Trey, who defeats him in a guitar contest, and tells him to go and learn from him favourite rockstar who has a certain god effect among the music lovers. Bodi sets off to the rockstar’s house at the exact moment, but little does he realize that the man is not what he thought he was. Mr. Scatterhood is a Persian cat who lives a lonely life, having no companion other than a robot. He has a high security setup which is meant to keep everyone away. Can Bodi, chased by wolves, make the fan-hating rockstar at least look at him? And who will save the Snow Mountain?

The defence of Rock Dog :: There are not many other animated movies which have managed to pull something out with what seems to be so less in hand. We have our protagonist who tries to go beyond what he is supposed to be, chasing his dreams, as many other animated movie characters have done in the past. There is also one rockstar who reminds us of so many celebrities in our world. With the funny side as well as the inner messages, this one scores over many other animated movies which have got the appreciation of the critics, including the overrated Brave, happiness magnet Trolls and the last year’s nomination Kubo and the Two Strings. We see the main characters, the rock dog, the rock cat, the sheep and the wolves, and we enjoy watching what each of them do, and how everything turns out for all. It surely turns better than what the critics had told you, and you get to go searching for what you really need in your life – and most probably go against what society tells you.

The claws of flaw :: Just as expected, this one also doesn’t move that much away from its predictability, and it also takes too much time to get into the action – considering its extra short run-time which doesn’t even reach one and half hours, it makes the movie even shorter after that. It is based on the Chinese graphic novel named Tibetan Rock Dog by Zheng Jun, and one has to wonder if this lives up to that, and whether it could have done better with the material already in hand. The animation also seems a little strange considering how much it has developed – here, it seems to be animated in a rather lesser way when we look at some parts; it is more because of the quality which has been brought in animation with flicks like FrozenMoana, Zootopia, Despicable Me, How to Train Your Dragon, Inside Out, Kung Fu Panda and many others. Rock Dog is not really rocking when we consider that department deeper. Also, for most of us, rock works less.

How it finishes :: We keep seeing the animal world taking over, with them reigning all over with the animation – there is Sing, Zootopia, and others which has them all over as Cars have the vehicles power going on. Sing even has the music as do Rock Dog, and there is the presence of a few things common which you can search and find or ignore as you wish. The critics may not have been that lenient with Rock Dog as they have been with certain other movies, which rather surprises a lot of us, but everyone can surely watch this movie with the same feeling as they approach most of the other animated movies, as I can surely say that Rock Dog is not that far behind as you think, and when thinking about it from another angle, there is more than enough to keep this as interesting adventure with moments which are to be remembered – rocking at times, as a few people I know would describe it.

Release date: 24th February 2017
Running time: 80 minutes
Directed by: Ash Brannon
Starring: Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, J. K. Simmons, Lewis Black, Kenan Thompson, Mae Whitman, Jorge Garcia, Matt Dillon, Sam Elliott, Liza Richardson, Ash Brannon, Will Finn, Julie Craig, Deng Feng, Kellen Goff, Jennifer Hale, Matthew W. Taylor

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Lego Batman Movie

Vampire Owl: Are you sure that he is not your relative who left home many years ago?

Vampire Bat: No, Batman is not related to any of us. You can refer to any vampire code.

Vampire Owl: But bat is still the most popular thing in vampire mythology, and might link to all of us.

Vampire Bat: And Batman is the most popular superhero, thanks to Christopher Nolan.

Vampire Owl: I am rather surprised by the same. I had thought that humans never really liked the bats.

Vampire Bat: They are really not fond of the owls either.

Vampire Owl: It is their loss not to like the owls. I even have plans to save humans from extinction.

Vampire Bat: But your plans have always been about taking over the world.

Vampire Owl: Taking over the world is very significant as a part of saving the world.

Vampire Bat: Batman surely won’t like that.

[Gets three cups of black tea with a piece of marble cake].

What is the movie about? :: From the usual DC universe, we are taken to the Lego universe, where Batman (Will Arnett) continues to fight crime like no other, in the Gotham City, something which he seems to have been doing for an eternity and more to come. The caped crusader remains the city’s last hope against a large group of villains including the menacing king of them all, the Joker (Zach Galifianakis), his love interest and most faithful follower Harley Quinn (Jenny Slate), and the rest of them – a list having Two-Face (Billy Dee Williams), Poison Ivy (Riki Lindhome), Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Penguin (John Venzon), Killer Croc (Matt Villa), The Riddler (Conan O’Brien), Bane (Doug Benson), Mr. Freeze (David Burrows), Scarecrow (Jason Mantzoukas) and Clayface (Kate Micucci) among others. Batman also remains Gotham’s most loved figure, even though he doesn’t have a social life otherwise.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: During one of the Joker’s master-plans including a group of Gotham’s master-criminals, he faces Batman talking about himself as Batman’s greatest opponent of all-time, without whom the man with the bat symbol would have no purpose. He tells Batman that he is the reason why Gotham’s favourite superhero has to wake up every morning and be what he has been for many years. Having given the difficult option of catching him or saving the city, Batman chooses to let him go without second thoughts, telling him that he is not important, and even Superman (Channing Tatum) is more interesting than him. With his feelings hurt being not even as important as an alien who can’t be a bad guy, Joker decides to have the ultimate revenge on Batman, and make him as well as everyone in the city understand how significant a villain he is.

And what follows the same in the movie? :: Meanwhile, Batman leads a boring life as Bruce Wayne, having only his butler Alfred Pennyworth (Ralph Fiennes) as the one close to him. His only other big friend is the Batcomputer (Siri), and he spends his lonely time in the Batcave, doing everything by himself. Later, the city is having the programme of retirement of Commissioner Gordon (Héctor Elizondo) and the ascension of his daughter Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) as the new police commissioner of Gotham City. There, Barbara plans to have the police do the work, and not the vigilante Batman who hasn’t been that much successful as expected. It is then, that Joker also comes in with most of the other criminals, and they all surrender, leaving Batman with nothing to fight for. But both Batman and Barbara are doubtful about Joker’s real intention. What would that be?

The defence of The Lego Batman Movie :: The movie clearly follows the path of The Lego Movie, and the feeling of the same is maintained in this one. This also manages to be slightly better than the original movie. The jokes are very much working right from the beginning, and most of them nicely make fun of the superhero movies, especially Batman and Superman with those super-villains. It does manage to take the elements of a superhero movie, and nicely use them in the tale to create the humour. There are also villains from outside the DC, including Lord Voldemort, Sauron, King Kong, Witch of the West and Agent Smith. We can also consider this one was a sarcastic take on how the superhero movies are made, and how the characters are created in them. Batman’s attitude towards Superman, as well as to Iron Man, all becomes part of the fun, as the tale is rather re-written here, and this is also one of the best depictions of Batman and Joker relationship, even though funny.

The claws of flaw :: This one doesn’t become your usual animated movie, if you look at it closely. It can’t be associated with the beauty of the animated movies which have ruled our minds, like Moana, Zootopia, Frozen, Inside Out, Rise of the Guardians or anything similar. All jokes don’t come strong either. There will always be people who don’t like this kind of animation, and also those considering Batman as something bigger than everything else, who will find parody done in a cruel way when they look at this one. There is also quite a slow middle part for this one, and the childish ways also follow this movie. There is a certain exaggeration which is also there as we look further into each character. Also in the end, except for Batman, nobody else has really changed, which makes this movie something about him and him only, as the character talks about all the time. This could have surely been wider with its message, and also more focused on the world.

How it finishes :: There are a few lessons which the DC Extended Universe can take from this movie too, and can apply when they come up with another movie in the franchise. Even though The Lego Movie was a good movie without doubt, we have a pleasant surprise here as this movie manages to come up as a fine spin-off to the same. There are so many moments that will remain in your mind to come back again when watching a superhero movie again, like Batman keeping the password for his computer as “Iron Man sucks”, the never-ending hate between Batman and Joker, the strange friendship or the lack of the same between Batman and Superman, and many other things. We could have had many superheroes about whom a spin-off from The Lego Movie could have made, but it is about Batman because after The Dark Knight franchise, everything had deviated in his way, and most of the fans will find it easy to say that Iron Man sucks for Batman – even the coming of Wonder Woman won’t change much – Batman will always be Batman, and as the movie asks, we can only be ourselves, as we can’t be Batman.

Release date: 10th February 2017
Running time: 104 minutes
Directed by: Chris McKay
Starring: Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Jenny Slate, Siri, Héctor Elizondo, Lauren White, Mariah Carey, Eddie Izzard, Seth Green, Jemaine Clement, Billy Dee Williams, Riki Lindhome, Conan O’Brien, Jason Mantzoukas, Zoë Kravitz, Kate Micucci, Doug Benson, David Burrows, Matt Villa, John Venzon, Laura Kightlinger, Todd Hansen, Chris McKay, Richard Cheese, Channing Tatum, Ellie Kemper, Jonah Hill, Adam DeVine, Brent Musburger, Ralph Garman, Chris Hardwick

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Sing

Vampire Owl: I remember singing once as a part of group song competition; that was long time ago.

Vampire Bat: And what happened? Did you get a prize?

Vampire Owl: They told me never to sing again.

Vampire Bat: They have surely saved the whole vampire community by saying so.

Vampire Owl: Music has never been my field of interest. My relationship with it is truly bad.

Vampire Bat: Which is why nobody is asking you to sing anything again.

Vampire Owl: I still sing motivational songs for my minions.

Vampire Bat: You are motivating your brainless zombie minions with terrible music?

Vampire Owl: Yes, and I appreciate their brainless situation.

Vampire Bat: I believe that they appreciate you singing something they don’t understand too.

[Gets some jackfruit chips and three cups of cardamom tea].

What is the movie about? :: A koala bear named Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) owns a theatre in the middle of the city, catching everyone’s attention. It was bought by all the money his father had earned by washing cars, because father wanted only what his son wished for the most, a wish which is all about music show. Despite working so hard, none of his shows become success, and Judith (Rhea Perlman), the representative of the bank, is after him to pay back the loan which he had taken, without which they would be forced to take over the theatre. He comes up with one final idea to save his theatre, which is about hosting a singing competition. He intends to provide the winner with a prize money of one thousands dollars, but the iguana who works as his assistant, Miss Crawly (Garth Jennings) ends up adding two more zeroes to the end of the amount in the fliers before they are distributed.

So, what happens next? :: The extra zeroes bring the motivation for the animals in the city, as a long line is set in front of the theatre. Moon feels that this is going to be his first and the greatest success story, and he selects his group of contestants from the audience – There is Johnny (Taron Egerton), a teenage gorilla who wants to be a singer unlike his family which is full of criminals led by his own father (Peter Serafinowicz). Then we have Ash (Scarlett Johansson), a porcupine teenager who performes with her boyfriend Lance (Beck Bennett), but only the girl is selected for the programme. Mike (Seth MacFarlane), an arrogant white mouse who earns everyone’s appreciation and thinks that he will win the tournament easily, is also selected. Another selected contestant is a housewife and mother of twenty five piglets Rosita (Reese Witherspoon) who is paired with Gunter (Nick Kroll) who is more of an entertainer.

And what is to follow with this adventure? :: Then there is Meena (Tori Kelly), an elephant teenager who has a stage fright, but gets in as contestants a giraffe and a group of frogs who were also selected, back out. Even though Buster understands that the flyers show a huge amount, he decides not to back out. He remains optimistic that he can somehow manage the money, and convinces his best friend, a sheep named Eddie (John C. Reilly) that there is a change that his grandmother and former opera singer who performed at same theatre, Nana Noodleman (Jennifer Saunders) could provide them the needed cash. Even though Eddie’s doubt remain, Moon gets word from Nana that she will come and see their performance. Now, it is up to Moon to get the best performances from a rather inexperienced and confused group of contestants who have their personal problems to deal with too. Can he do it? Can they do it?

The defence of Sing :: There are some nice visuals as you would expect, and there is the inspirational side, as the movie has protagonists with self-doubts, which are removed in the end, and everyone gets to show their skill on the big stage – something which rarely happens in our world, but we are happy that it turned happy for everyone at least in the animated version. The funny side is really good – for example, see a koala doing a car wash. The movie actually gets too good in the end, and we appreciate how things go in the final moments more than any other. The final message is indeed to believe in yourself, and to go for one’s dreams without second thoughts – no matter what the others think of you. Well, dreams got long legs and huge wings, which makes it easy for them to fly away, but we keep trying to grab them, and succeed at times. It is something which has been a common thing in the animated movies, but it works for sure, almost every time. We should get to do what we love, but do we?

The claws of flaw :: There are moments when you feel that this movie focuses a little too much on the much smaller audience. It is also not less depressing to see a reality show, as any programme like that only takes commonsense for a ride – we had too many of them in our televisions here, and we have wanted to get rid of each one of them at one moment or the other. There is not that much of a story here to make the big impact either. You will also see that this one doesn’t become a game changer, and falls behind the much appreciated flicks like Moana, Zootopia, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Inside Out, Despicable MeHow to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda. There was the sure chance to compete with all these movies with a bigger plot and a bigger message – Sing doesn’t really do that, or even try, despite being such an entertaining treat as a whole; maybe it took a few things for granted too easily.

How it finishes :: Sing is part of an year which had some smart movies with talking animals, and also had Zootopia winning the Academy Award for the best animated movie of the year. It seems that animals who talk bring the best out of animation, and gets appreciated by critics and judges better. With a colourful movie which touches the emotional side, and having some nice messages with the wonderful songs, Sing adds to that list, getting in there in style. Well, there is not much of a life without animated movies these days – there are so many of interesting movies of the genre, going through Frozen, Big Hero 6 and Inside Out; Sing actually makes sure that the possibilities always exist, and we can only have more and more. You get to watch them with all the glory on the screen, and you can’t help not getting a copy of such movies to keep for the next generation. An animated world is a beautiful world, and it feels eternal.

Release date: 21st December 2016
Running time: 108 minutes
Directed by: Garth Jennings
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly, Jennifer Saunders, Jennifer Hudson, Garth Jennings, Peter Serafinowicz, Asa Jennings, Nick Kroll as Gunter, Beck Bennett, Jay Pharoah, Nick Offerman, Caspar Jennings, Leslie Jones, Rhea Perlman, Leo Jennings, Laraine Newman, Adam Buxton, Brad Morris, Bill Farmer, Oscar Jennings

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Storks

Vampire Owl: Have you ever met the Vampire Stork?

Vampire Bat: What? There is no such thing as a Vampire Stork. It is not natural.

Vampire Owl: Well, a Vampire Panda is not natural, but we have one.

Vampire Bat: But we know that it is Kung Fu Panda in disguise.

Vampire Owl: Still, the Vampire Stork became a strange reality near Bermuda Triangle.

Vampire Bat: In that case, it could possibly be a Zombie Stork.

Vampire Owl: Well, the investigation teams are on their way.

Vampire Bat: What if the stork is to deliver a baby instead?

Vampire Owl: Storks don’t deliver babies!

Vampire Bat: Just watch the movie and find out!

[Gets three cups of lemon tea with 50-50 biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: It was quite natural for the storks of Stork Mountain to deliver babies to the families all around the world, and each one of them found extreme happiness in doing the same. They had delivered millions of babies to people until one stork named Jasper (Danny Trejo) attempted to keep a little baby girl for himself one day, which changed it all. The tracker which provided the location of the family to which the baby was to be delivered is lost, and Jasper goes away from there in shame and disgust. With no option left, the storks adopt the baby, and name the new orphan as Tulip (Katie Crown) who grows up within the company. The CEO of the company, Hunter (Kelsey Grammer) discontinued all baby delivery after that and replaced the same with package delivery going by the name Cornerstore.com. After doing the same, he has been focusing on the stocks only, and by being mean to everyone, made the firm a succesful company based on exploitation of its work force.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: Eighteen years after she was adopted, Tulip who is an adult now, is working with Cornerstore, and regularly messes up things. Hunter is not happy that Tulip keeps bringing the stocks down with whatever she s doing at the factory. As Hunter is the typical boss who doesn’t want to deal with the emotional side looking only for profits, he just wants to fire Tulip, and he assigns the task to Junior (Andy Samberg) who is to take his place after he becomes the chairman. Junior can’t get himself to fire the girl, and so he transfers her to the mail room which doesn’t really get any mail these days. While she spends all her time there alone, Junior hopes that he can finally get the promotion and be the boss to be in control of the operations.

And, what is to follow next in the animated adventure? :: At the same time, Nate Gardner (Anton Starkman) is a lone boy who is in need of some attention as his parents Henry Gardner (Ty Burrell) and Sarah Gardner (Jennifer Aniston) are always working, not even trying to spare five or ten minutes with their child. He sends a letter to the storks, hoping that he could get a baby brother to play with. This letter which reaches Cornerstone, has Tulip’s attention as she has the first letter in a long time. She immediately enters the baby factory and use the letter to make the baby-making machine work. The result is a pink-haired baby girl. Junior arrives at the machine to try and shut down the machine, and injures his wings. With him unable to fly after the injury to his wings, the two uses Tulip’s flying machine which she had invented to work while delivering for Cornerstone, and plans to get the baby home before anyone else finds out. But can they successfully do that?

The defence of Storks :: This movie might be the cutest that any animated flick can get, with babies as the centre of attraction. The kids are going to love this movie like no other, as the cuteness factor is at its best beginning from the birth of the first baby itself – then there are a lot of babies coming together in the end, and it is the explosion of cuteness on the screen, like happiness was for Trolls. Then the movie gets to another sweet level, and with its short run-time, never get go of that quality. Along with the same, there is a lot of fun in store here, along with the emotional side which tells us how important family is – spending time with children is that significant. The movie also talks about that cruel mindset of the corporate world, which is clearly against anything human or close to life. The profit-oriented society is killing so many families with all the focus on money-making, right? Well, loving humans is not that easy as loving money, isn’t it?

The claws of flaw :: One has to feel that Storks did rush through the proceedings, and everything happens rather too fast. We could have slowly and smoothly moved through all those sweet, cute moments, but this one was surely in a hurry – we also wanted to see more of the wolves and penguins in this flick; maybe there can be spin-offs. The basic idea about the storks might also be a little outdated, and the myth might also go over the head of more than one person or two. There is also the chance the main characters might feel irritating at times. One also wonders how cute the babies can remain, as the teenage fury seems to come and affect everyone a little too early these days; the age out of cuteness beginning too early too be exact, as we see in that Carnival Cinemas advertisement. We are also tend to wonder if this could have been even better on the lines of Moana, Zootopia, Frozen, Inside Out, Big Hero 6, Epic, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, or such kind, with an even better story.

How it finishes :: Nicholas Stoller had directed a movie which is often considered among the worst movies which were appreciated by the US critics, The Neighbors, but Storks is that kind of a movie from him and Doug Sweetland that everybody will love to keep falling in love with, again and again. Well, have you seen this kind of cuteness for a long time? The animated movies usually take themselves as cute, and don’t include any extra cuteness, but not with Storks, which adds the cuteness as the secret, special ingredient. When this cuteness is guaranteed with entertainment, it is nothing less than a crime not to get your little ones here. A colourful movie is what is needed to get some colour into your life, and Storks might be the perfect flick to do that – you will love babies more for sure, after watching Storks. I have myself found myself more cuteness and love after this one.

Release date: 23rd September 2016
Running time: 87 minutes
Directed by: Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland
Starring: Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammer, Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Danny Trejo, Chris Smith, Awkwafina, Ike Barinholtz, Amanda Lund, Jorma Taccone

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Despicable Me 3

Vampire Owl: I would like to use this particular title for myself too.

Vampire Bat: Why do you want to be called the vampire deserving hatred and contempt?

Vampire Owl: Because I am going to take over the world.

Vampire Bat: You have had that thought since you became a vampire apprentice for the first time. It is not real.

Vampire Owl: Doctor Frankenstein has always believed in alternate realities.

Vampire Bat: But you don’t believe in Mr. Frankenstein.

Vampire Owl: He is just not part of my reality. But his methods surely are.

Vampire Bat: You cannot pretend to put things into different realities, and speak as if you are from one reality in which is independent of the others when all of these is just one reality.

Vampire Owl: Do you know that with regular practice and with finding inner peace, we can create our own realities with our minds?

Vampire Bat: This is exactly why I feel that zombies without brains are awesome.

[Gets the tickets with masala tea and caramel popcorn].

What is the movie about? :: Felonious Gru (Steve Carell) is spending some nice time as a secret agent of the anti-villain league along with his newfound love, Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) who is also trying hard to be a loving mother to the three adopted kids, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Nev Scharrel). Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), a supervillain obsessed with the television character that he played, has become Gru’s biggest opponent, and even evades him and Lucy on so many occasions. After the last encounter between the two, Gru and Lucy end up being fired from the league by the new chief of the league. Now left without any job, the minions led by Mel (Pierre Coffin) wishes for him to go evil again, so that they will all have something to do. But Gru doesn’t want go back to be the villain again as it would be against all he had hoped for, and so the minions just decide to quit, except for two.

So, what happens next? :: Meanwhile, Balthazar continues to have more and more success with his evil plans, stealing world’s most precious diamond without even having to think twice about it. It is during those times that Gru comes to know that he has a twin brother named Dru (again Steve Carell), who seems to be rather a successful businessman with his pig farms. They had separated when they were kids, as Gru was taken by his mother and Dru by his father, both not knowing about each other until now. When it is revealed, Dru does invite Gru and his family to his special place, where they are given a grand welcome. With golden hair on the head and being a more cheerful and successful man, Dru does make Gru jealous, but it is not the visit is more about. Dru reveals that Gru has always been a role-model in the form of a master villain, even with his failures – he claims that it is Gru who has kept the family tradition going.

And, what is to follow next in the adventure? :: Meanwhile, minions end up in prison, and come up with some special plans to get back with Gru due to the nostalgia keeping on troubling them. Dru wants Gru to go back to crime with him, as he feels that both of them could get the family crime legacy to the next level. Gru who is now married to his love and being the father of three adopted children, doesn’t really want to do the same, but wants to get even with Balthazar. He plans to get the diamond from the criminal, and get it to the anti-villain league along with the villain himself, so that he could find him and his wife back in the job. But his brother is interested in this because they could get their hands on the most valuable diamond in the world, and the heist would thus go down in history. But our evil villain does have other plans starting from Hollywood, and going on for mass destruction. Will Gru be able to stop him this time?

The defence of Despicable Me 3:: There is the focus on laughter here, and attempts are regularly made at the same. With the attempt to bring in more action sequences, and situations made for comedy, we are surely seeing an entertainment which finishes without taking that much of our time. It also leaves things open in the end which means that we can have something to go for with a fourth movie which will be something better if good imagination gets the right inspiration. Minions, even though out of the main tale, making almost no impact, are still fun to watch – there are some rare cases here that has repetition being fun. The kids are surely going to love this one a lot – there is no reason why they shouldn’t, as silliness is written again and again on screen with this movie around. Everyone from that age really wants to be Gru or at least with him in an animated world full of action and minions, don’t they? Well, be there early as this one released in India before it did in the United States of America.

The claws of flaw :: Well, Despicable Me 3 is just too childish – surely more childish than the first movie as well as Despicable Me 2. There is almost no thinking regarding the story-line here, as we get to know that quite early. We see not much happening here, and even the usual messages are not present. With what seems to be a random mixture of things, the emotional side is rather lost, something which can be rather catastrophic of an animated movie – the kids have almost no significance in the tale along with the minions who are just there for the laughter, and there are the two brothers whose story just seemed to have been brought for the sake of the adventure, and there is the villain who seems to have the appeal rather too much on the kids rather than anyone else. You would also realise that there have been two movies before this and a spin-off, and a better result still evades the makers and the fans alike. 3D is also not that much of a difference maker.

How it finishes :: Well, Despicable Me 3 is fun for sure, even though it seems to trail behind Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 without even trying well enough to make much of an impact. Maybe, everyone have already felt that this franchise is in an eternal safe zone, like Ice Age, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda series might have been thinking already. But, if we compare the number of screens and the number of viewers for Cars 3 and this one, it is clear that safe zone is slowly and steadily becoming a myth – there are always new movies which are not sequels made out of special creativity, like Moana, Zootopia, Frozen and Inside Out, ready to conquer the animated area. They will surely have to put the extra effort for the next movie, if people are going to continue believing in the same – this will work as of now with its comic side and how good it looks on the screen, but an animated movie is going to require more than that in order to have a long and better run.

Release date: 16th June 2017 (India); 30th June 2017 (USA)
Running time: 89 minutes
Directed by: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Nev Scharrel, Steve Coogan, Julie Andrews, Jenny Slate, Pierre Coffin

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Cars 3

Vampire Owl: An animated movie in a multiplex is always cool, you know.

Vampire Bat: And what makes it cooler than the rest?

Vampire Owl: Well, they have the best 3D for animated movies – its works the best for this genre.

Vampire Bat: Actually, the animated movies will need them these days, as a lot of them are not working as well as they used to be.

Vampire Owl: You mean mostly about the sequels.

Vampire Bat: This movie is a sequel too. They all maintain a certain level from which they don’t go down, but we actually expect more.

Vampire Owl: Disappointment due to high expectations – I have been there before.

Vampire Bat: But Despicable Me 3 will have the audience divided on deciding which one to watch.

Vampire Owl: Still, Cars 3 got more shows, which is rather surprising.

Vampire Bat: Well, this one surely seems less childish with its posters. But I am sure that this is not going to be Moana, Zootopia, Frozen or Inside Out.

[Gets the tickets with cardamom tea and cheese popcorn].

What is the movie about? :: Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is having some serious fun time racing with the veteran racers, competing well, and still being the fastest of them all. As he is so close to winning another race by a small margin, a stylish looking black car Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) just goes past him and finishes first, much to the surprise of everyone that an unknown rookie managed to sneak in. It is only the beginning, as more of the new generation cars keep coming in, and with the use of better technology and training, manages to do better than the veterans who just focus on running fast. Soon, all the other veterans have retired, leaving McQueen as the last of the old generation racers. Even with his best effort, McQueen can only become second to Jackson, and by trying too hard, blows one of his tyres and meets with an accident, leaving the younger generation of high-tech cars to rule the racing arena.

So, what happens next? :: McQueen has recovered, four months later, and he is staying back at his hometown. His well-wishers including his girlfriend Sally Carrera (Bonnie Hunt) and best friend Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) motivates him enough to get back to racing, even though everyone is not without doubts regarding his ability to even come close to beating a younger opponent who is certainly faster and is following high-tech methods. He also decides to change his approach towards racing so that the result could be different. Dusty (Ray Magliozzi) and Rusty (Tom Magliozzi), the owners of Rust-Eze, and the main sponsors, inform him of having sold the company to Sterling (Nathan Fillion), who currently runs the elite racing car training facility called Rust-eze Racing Center – McQueen gets to train with the new technology and facilities there.

And, what is to follow next in the adventure? :: Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), who is also a fan of McQueen is appointed as his trainer. But it doesn’t go as planned, as McQueen is unable to use the modern technology to his advantage, and even ends up crashing into the race simulator which was supposed to help him against Jackson. Sterling tells him that it is time that they build on the legacy of McQueen, as there is not much scope with him racing now, with younger cars with a better use of technology on the track. But McQueen asks him for one final chance to race, which Sterling agrees to provide him on the promise that he will retire if he losses, as the company can’t afford to keep losing the races. But it turns that no matter where and when he tries, he is unable to get anywhere near Jackson’s top speed, while Cruz has her own problems to deal with. Can Jackson be beaten by anyone, and can McQueen reclaim some of his lost glory on track?

The defence of Cars 3 :: There are some nice animated characters on the big screen in the form of cars, and as we expect, the emotional side is strong, and so is the colourful world inside the screen. There is also the inspirational message about the main character as well as the supporting cast that strives towards their objective, and our hero is someone who doesn’t give up – motivation is served by cars better than the usual human being does. His success is that we feel for the cars as if they are humans, even more than what animals in the animated movies sometimes fail to achieve. There is a fine world which is built here, and the cars look effective for sure. This is also an improvement from the second movie, even though, not better than the first movie – it would be even more difficult to repeat this with another movie, and we have a lot of its resources being already used. The three Cars movies releasing in 2006, 2011 and 2017 – well, we are made to wait so long for the sequels, and it is good to have them in the end.

The claws of flaw :: The safe route is taken once again by this franchise, and the humour content is surprisingly so less for a movie like this – Despicable Me 3 is certain to overtake this flick with that. There is also some struggle during the middle part, where we wonder what the movie is going to accomplish as we progress towards the end – that is a kind of drag there. There is that confusion that we feel in the middle, which can only be solved by having more popcorn or french fries with extra masala tea. It has also been a little too much time since Cars 2 had come and left, and that gap is really felt. The 3D could have also been better, as we look for more excitement with the racing stuff happening on the big screen. The twist in the end might not be that effective for everyone, as it brings down the possibility of having a good sequel, where the same could have tried more effectively, focusing on the same from the beginning itself.

How it finishes :: After a certain deviation which had happened with the previous movie, Cars 2, the movie has come back to bring the focus at the right side. After that unnecessary attention on a secondary character, we are back to the one who matters the most than any other – Lightning McQueen, and all things get back to track and everything is now related to racing. This weekend, Cars 3 actually go one on one against Despicable Me 3, a battle which seemed to be heading towards a draw, with the opinions from both the critics as well as the general audience. Compared to its current opponent, Cars 3 should appeal more to the youth, while Despicable Me 3 should be inclined towards the children, even though both should be basically for all ages, and a joy to watch in 3D. These two movies going against each other, will make this weekend a perfect day of animated 3D adventure, as we can choose to watch them both.

Release date: 16th June 2017
Running time: 109 minutes
Directed by: Brian Fee
Starring: Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Chris Cooper, Armie Hammer, Larry the Cable Guy, Nathan Fillion, Kerry Washington, Lea DeLaria, Lloyd Sherr, Paul Dooley, Jenifer Lewis, Katherine Helmond, Chris Cooper, Lewis Hamilton, Bob Costas, Bob Peterson, Cheech Marin, Michael Wallis, John Ratzenberger, Ray Magliozzi, Tom Magliozzi, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Junior Johnson, Margo Martindale

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Kubo and the Two Strings

Vampire Owl: I know this person, for I remember this name, but just can’t figure out from when and where.

Vampire Bat: Do you need to go through a memory recovery programme? It is a new method.

Vampire Owl: I know what Doctor Frankenstein does with his new series of programmes. So, let me figure it out myself.

Vampire Bat: It is a simple name, but certainly not common. You should have remembered the person if there was a chance.

Vampire Owl: Yes, I should have at least remembered the two strings.

Vampire Bat: Are you sure that you don’t need at least a memory vial?

Vampire Owl: Don’t ask me to have those chemicals made of dark matter.

Vampire Bat: Then, what would you need instead, to remember?

Vampire Owl: What about some inner peace?

Vampire Bat: The Kung Fu Panda has taken all of the same, after taking the form of the Vampire Panda.

[Gets three cups of ginger tea with a piece of ghee cake].

What is the movie about? :: Kubo (Art Parkinson) is a one-eyed young boy who spends his time in a cave near a colourful village. Living with his ill mother Sariatu (Charlize Theron), he makes a living with art of paper folding known as origami, and music with a three-stringed, Japanese musical instrument known as shamisen, both which he uses to tell the tales of a samurai warrior who is supposed to be his father. They just manage to survive, with his mother’s mental state getting worse, and they having just enough to make a living. But Sariatu keeps warning him about her twin sisters Karasu and Washi (Rooney Mara), as well as her father, the Moon King (Ralph Fiennes) who would take his other eye, as they had killed her husband, the samurai warrior of the tales of bravery, Hanzo (Matthew McConaughey). She forbids him from going out at night, in the moonlight.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: One day, Kameyo (Brenda Vaccaro), an old widow who loves Kubo like her grandchild, tells him about a festival which occurs at night, that involves people talking to their loved ones who had died. So, for a change, Kubo decides to stay through the darkness, and try to find the soul of his dead father, and know more of the story about them. But even with the other villagers seemingly having success over talking to the souls of their beloved, he seems to have no success at all. As he forgets to return home before the sunset, he is found by Sariatu’s evil twin sisters, who waste no time in asking him for his one remaining eye. The realisation is also upon Sariatu though, as she is quick to appear and save the boy, sending him away, while trying to go on a final battle with her sisters who will stop at nothing to get their nephew’s one remaining eye.

And what follows the same in the movie? :: Kubo wakes up later, in a land far away, with only a snow monkey to give him company, which is the last piece of his mother’s magic, and has promised to keep the boy alive at any cost. They go on hoping to find Hanzo’s armour which becomes necessary for their survival as they face a force as strong and hateful as the Moon King. On the way, they also meet a beetle in human form, which believes that it used to be a follower of Hanzo, and had fought many battles with him, even as nothing remains of those memories. But the evil twin sisters are already on their trail, and even after finding the Sword Unbreakable, they are still at a disadvantage against the strongest forces of their world. There is a long way to go, there is danger ahead – can Kubo and his two strange friends be brave and strong enough to face the threat?

The defence of Kubo and the Two Strings :: This one certainly has the story that will appeal to people of all ages. There is the tale of courage, faith, hope and belief which runs right through this movie. The sadness in the movie is beautiful, and the evil twin sisters make some nice villains in the moonlight. There are battles which will remind us that we miss Kung Fu Panda, and all main characters remain lovable, and kids are going to love the Monkey and the Beetle without doubt. There is also that variety in this world, and the visuals make another path, which is also nothing less than beautiful in its own way. There is the quest in the centre of all these, and we have one boy’s tale of courage that will keep things moving. There is also the strength of love, and the ultimate power of memories that humans hold on to, which become significant in the story of Kubo too. As you go deep, this is another animated movie which is not just for kids. There is also some humour here and there, but it is mostly for kids.

The claws of flaw :: The animation doesn’t stand a chance when compared to the other big animated movies like Moana, Zootopia, Frozen, How to Train Your Dragon, Inside Out, Epic and the rest who have made the effect of a spectacle, and Kubo and the Two Strings never even tries to do the same. The tale of the relatives and creatives seems rather too comfortable with how they end up becoming what they are. We are not much interested in the tales with monkey and beetles as warriors in a human world these days, as the turtles had found it the hard way in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and its sequel. There is also that same programme, with everyone coming together and everything being brought together by the end, and there is something rather too comfortable around here. It can also be considered a little too dark for the liking of some people. Even with those strange twists, the movie is also very much predictable within its own tale, as the missing and gaining of parents doesn’t make one feel that much in such a darker animated flick – could have been more imaginative.

How it finishes :: Kubo and the Two Strings could have actually been better, with all the possibilities it has with the myth already there – not just with the story, but also with the rest of the elements, all making this a bigger visual experience. There is a lesson or two which this movie can take from Rise of the Guardians which looks similar with its characters, but is a better movie than this. We usually expect to connect to the main character more, and not as just a random kid who is special because his parents made the choice of a strange union. The movie seems to be more sincere to itself rather than its audience, and even the message sometimes feel strange – it tends to happen when there are talking monkeys and beetles who gets more importance than humans in a tale of a human child. But the importance of relationships with fellow human beings, memories, family and love are those things that come over the rest, it could be the main reason that won the flick, BAFTA for Best Animated Film and why it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film, which eventually went to Zootopia.

PS: Have you watched The Mummy, Wonder Woman and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, yet at the theatres?

Release date: 19th August 2016
Running time: 102 minutes
Directed by: Travis Knight
Starring: Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes, George Takei, Matthew McConaughey, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brenda Vaccaro, Meyrick Murphy, Minae Noji, Alpha Takahashi, Laura Miro, Ken Takemoto

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Kung Fu Panda 3

Vampire Owl: You remember the secret which I had told you earlier, don’t you?

Vampire Bat: Everything you talk about sounds like a secret. Which one exactly are we talking about here?

Vampire Owl: That the Vampire Panda is actually Kung Fu Panda?

Vampire Bat: It was not a case of secret being revealed. It made no sense.

Vampire Owl: Dude, they are both the same. You can see them do Kung Fu in the same way.

Vampire Bat: But the Kung Fu Panda has more fat.

Vampire Owl: He has hidden them all using Kung Fu magic.

Vampire Bat: You mean to say that he is a wizard who knows Kung Fu.

Vampire Owl: It is exactly what I am talking about. This movie should have even more clues about him.

Vampire Bat: I am having more clues about you.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with Kerala samosa].

What is the movie about? :: Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim), as he passes through the spiritual realm, meets Kai (J.K. Simmons) who had defeated all the Kung fu masters in the realm, and had taken their chi, or life force, making him stronger than he had ever been in the land of the living. Oogway also gives in, providing him with his chi, but does warns him that the great dragon warrior will stop him one day. Meanwhile, Po (Jack Black) is once again not having the best of times as the dragon warrior. Taking over the role of Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) with kung fu training go all wrong, and he decides to question himself as the one whom the world claims that he is. Master Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Master Mantis (Seth Rogen), Master Crane (David Cross), Master Viper (Lucy Liu) and Master Monkey (Jackie Chan) are all there, but Po is still disappointed.

So, what happens next? :: He once again returns home to find solace in noodles as well as his adoptive father, Mr. Ping (James Hong). There he finds out that another panda, Li Shan (Bryan Cranston) has broken his record of eating dumplings. This unexpected visitor is recognized as Po’s biological father, and there is the father-son re-union much to the dismay of Ping who becomes afraid of losing his son, the one person whom he held close to heart more than anyone else. But this re-union is troubled as they are attacked by zombies who resemble the dead kung fu masters. These masters sent by Kai awakens the need for the dragon warrior to master chi, and to do the same, he will have to go to the secret panda village, as they have always been the experts in healing using the power of chi. But a long time has passed, and the enemy is nearby – can Po master the same in time to save everyone?

The defence of Kung Fu Panda 3 :: Just like the previous two movies, this one is also a movie that will appeal to everyone, from the little kids to people of any age as far as one can watch a movie on the screen. It is undoubtedly the movie that the fans of the franchise will love to watch, and it is the animated movie that one can go for, without thinking twice as the minimum guarantee is still there. The visuals are once again great, and the characters continue to have an impact on the viewers. This continues the legacy of kung fu on the animated screen, and as it was for the earlier movies, there is nothing much that can prevent another sequel from coming up. Kung Fu Panda 3 is indeed fun as expected, and delivers the messages to everyone – a feel-good animated movie that can provide lessons for life might be what the family audience wants to have, not just now, but for many years to come, in a complex situation with new generation of chaotic kids.

The claws of flaw :: The one problem with this flick is that this is the third movie of the franchise, and the protagonist has to go through the same thing again and again, with failures and disbelief followed by all the belief and success in the end. Our hero is the dragon warrior, and he still can’t believe it after so much has been done – we have to wonder how many more movies it will take him to really believe and keep the belief within him; maybe another person would have cost less to make believe. This one doesn’t live up-to the high standards the first two movies had, which might be why the flick had to go to the spirit world to bring the dead ones back. It is surprising that such a creative and successfully franchise doesn’t try to bring something different and something less predictable – maybe they just know that this is going to be a success with these characters and people who love them; maybe they are not done providing tablets of belief yet.

Soul exploration :: The tale of the dragon warrior has always been about making the viewers believing in themselves – it was best shown with the realisation that there is no secret ingredient as it is about the person himself to have faith and make things work. As Alice thinks about six impossible things before breakfast, Po has already had three, all of which he has accomplished – it took him only three movies to do the same; so the lesson remains there for all of us that the dragon warrior is just about being ourselves, and working hard to achieving our dreams which might be closer than we think that they are. Still, the best of the franchise will always be the first movie, which had gone on to become the highest grossing animated film of the year worldwide, and also the one animated movie that everyone mentioned more than any other in the last decade, along with Ice Age, Madagascar and Finding Nemo.

How it finishes :: There is something about Kung Fu Panda that will keep having the viewers watch more and more of it. I was not able to write about the first two movies as this blog didn’t exist when the two flick released, in 2008 and in 2011. This third movie took rather too long to release, and this five year gap might have affected its chances to do even better at the box-office. It should also be one of the reasons why this flick didn’t get that much of the collection as the earlier movies of the franchise. Unlike the 2010 movie, The Karate Kid which had kung fu instead of karate, this one sticks to teaching what is in the title, and even though so many award winning animated movies have come to the front, from Frozen, Inside Out and Big Hero 6 to even Zootopia and Moana in the last one year, Kung Fu Panda is the franchise that everyone will want to watch – lets not have that much of a gap between two movies of the series though.

Release date: 29th January 2016 (USA); 1st April 2016 (India)
Running time: 95 minutes
Directed by: Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Alessandro Carloni
Starring: Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, J. K. Simmons, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen, David Cross, James Hong, Kate Hudson, Randall Duk Kim

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Ice Age V

Vampire Owl: Another Ice Age movie? This is like a trail of blood.

Vampire Bat: Well, this is not the end either. There will be more to follow.

Vampire Owl: What? Ice Age: Continental Drift itself had to go on struggles.

Vampire Bat: But they are all successful movies at the box-office, and so we have one more, with the rest to follow.

Vampire Owl: That could make it longer than the original time period of ice age.

Vampire Bat: Well, success brings more and more of the same thing, and the quality has to go down at some point.

Vampire Owl: But that too, should have limits.

Vampire Bat: Well, this still can’t be that bad.

Vampire Owl: It can still be my least favourite Ice Age movie.

Vampire Bat: Yes, that is a real possibility, if you look from the outside itself.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with banana fry].

What is the movie about? :: Scrat (Chris Wedge), the sabretooth squirrel has been going on with his affectionate adventure with acorn for more time than anybody has ever spent for anyone they have loved. It is once again him who was trying to bury his acorn, that ends up activating an abandoned alien space ship on Earth. This action takes him into deep space, and there, his attempt to get to the acorn sends asteroids on course to Earth, with a grand collision expected. There is no shortage of worry for him about the acorn, but there is even bigger worries on Earth on the family level. Manny might be the most tensed parent on the surface of Earth at that time, as he is extremely worried about the upcoming marriage between his daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) and her lover, Julian (Adam DeVine). Ellie (Queen Latifah) is also not that less worried about the same, especially with them possibly going to live separately.

So, what happens next? :: But the mammoths are not the only ones having family problems, as Diego (Denis Leary) and his wife Shira (Jennifer Lopez) wish to begin a family, but their scary appearance doesn’t seem to go well with the kids, which has them in doubt about future. Sid (John Leguizamo) is living a life of depression and sadness after being dumped by his girlfriend, Francine (Melissa Rauch) just before he proposes to her. There is no happiness around, with things not getting any better. But they hope to lighten things up with the wedding anniversary celebrations of Manny and Ellie, but it is when the asteroids set on course by Scat finally hits Earth, and things turn more serious and even more messed up. With end of all life in the forest staring at them along with a possible case of extinction on the cards, the team decides to escape, until their old friend Buck (Simon Pegg) comes up with an idea that could stop the asteroids from hitting the same place again.

And where does things go from there? :: But a trio of dromaeosaurs named Gavin (Nick Offerman), Gertie (Stephanie Beatriz), and Roger (Max Greenfield) have planned to have revenge on Buck by messing up this plan. They think that they could just fly away when the asteroids hit the surface of the planet, while all mammals die, establishing their dominion over the whole place. Roger is confused about the same, and doesn’t believe that it is the right way, but decide to do what the rest of the family does. They follow the team hoping to mess up anything that they plan to do. The group discovers that the asteroids possess electro-magnetic properties. Buck theorizes that if a huge quantity of smaller asteroids could be launched into the orbit, they could deviate the path of the asteroid and keep it from falling on the surface. But can they do that before the time runs out, and will their enemies let them succeed in this seemingly impossible mission to save all life on the planet?

The defence of Ice Age: Collision Course :: There are enough funny scenes in this movie to make sure that you are interested in the happenings around. This is sure to appeal to the kids more than anybody else, and those who haven’t watched the earlier movies of the franchise might love this one even more. The funniest moments here are from the sloths and the weasel, and the rest just seems to follow the fun rather than create more of the same. The beautiful animation and the amazing world which is around, will catch your attention for sure – a pre-historic setting might be among the best choices for animated movies, as The Croods has also proven. The big thing about this movie is that it has managed to be lovable even after so many years of the first movie being released, and the level not getting much of a higher – there is something about this one that keeps people attracted to it, and you will feel that despite the predictability, there will be good box-office collections for any movie in this franchise – maybe they were in too much of a hurry to release this one to earn more at the box-office?

The claws of flaw :: A case of repetition is here, with the team of animals once again going to save themselves from a possible natural disaster, and finding more than one thing through this adventure. The case of insecurity from parents often gets too irritating, and so do the two young mammoths – we are again made sure that even though the mammoths are the main characters, we don’t really like them as much as the others. Scrat also keeps doing the same thing again and again, there seems to be no change coming up there. For a franchise that has given four better movies before this, could have done more in a world which has been transformed with smarter animated movies like Frozen, Inside Out, Big Hero 6, Moana and Zootopia, which have all been nice single titles, and another point to note is that the other animated franchise with animals, Madagascar has always kept the level high, and never did it drop down; the competition is so much bigger, and this franchise should realise that sooner or later, saving itself from a possible extinction.

How it finishes :: There is no doubt that the Ice Age franchise is trying to make more and more out of its early popularity, and while doing the same, is losing some of its fans – there is not that much of a creativity in this movie which could have built well on what is also there, a franchise which had begun so strong. Following those footsteps, if this franchise can’t stay good enough, it will be a case of disappointment. I would say that this one has managed to stay afloat, but there are too many signs that this is going nowhere to raise the level of the whole thing, and there were so many chances of trouble here. When there is so much to do with a pre-historic environment which might even bring magic if the best of creativity is used, this fifth movie of the franchise is not the movie that the whole series can be proud of, with the least score, but can choose to improve from here for sure. Watch this one without too much expectations, and place your hopes on the next.

Release date: 22nd July 2016 (USA); 15th July 2016 (India)
Running time: 94 minutes
Directed by: Mike Thurmeier
Starring: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Josh Peck, Simon Pegg, Seann William Scott, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah, Stephanie Beatriz, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Lilly Singh, Melissa Rauch, Chris Wedge

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Finding Dory

Vampire Owl: You remember what I had told you earlier, right?

Vampire Bat: You keep telling me so many things of no significance. Which of them are you mentioning here?

Vampire Owl: About finding Nemo the fish!

Vampire Bat: Yes, it was one of the best animated movies of that time.

Vampire Owl: Well, I am talking about us helping to find this Nemo boy.

Vampire Bat: You went to find a fictional fish out of an animated movie?

Vampire Owl: It was a competition in Finding Nemo Extended Vampire Edition.

Vampire Bat: And you found the fish in the end?

Vampire Owl: No, we found some Mackerel and Sardine instead. We had them for dinner.

Vampire Bat: So, the time was well spent. It is good to have happy endings.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with the Book of the Undead].

What is the movie about? :: We see the little fish, Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) with a short-term memory loss getting separated from her parents. She asks many other creatures of the sea about her parents, but due to her memory problems, she is not able to connect well enough to direct them to where she came from. This turns her into an orphan, and also recluse until she finds Marlin (Albert Brooks) and his son Nemo (Hayden Rolence) during an adventure to find the missing boy who was captured by scuba divers. After this long and successfuly journey, she has joined Marlin and Nemo, having forgotten about her past and the lost parents for some time. But at some point, she does have a certain flashback coming to her, and remembers something, which she decides to chase, in an attempt to get herself back to the family.

So, what happens next? :: In this journey, she doesn’t go alone. She is accompanied by her partners of the last adventure, Marlin and Nemo. But this journey not that much of a peaceful one, with them immediately being in danger. With Marlin blaming Dory, she swims to the surface, only to be caught by the staff members from the Marine Life Institute which is nearby. There, she is placed in the quarantine with a tag. There she meets an octopus named Hank (Ed O’Neill) who wish to go to an aquarium in Cleveland rather than live in the ocean, a life which he detests. Therefore, he decides to help Dory in exchange for the tag which would help him to live the life that he wished to. At the same time, Marlin and Nemo are planning to rescue Dory from outside, and for the same, they come up with a rather strange idea. With time running out, can Dory find her parents, and can Marlin and Nemo find Dory in the end?

The defence of Finding Dory :: There is nothing much being lost from the first movie in this second one. They have once again made a simple, touching movie with enough humour to keep you going. It is also an amazingly beautiful world under the sea, with so many creatures and plants; the life forms under water immediately catching our attention, and we want more and more. There is cuteness all around, and kids will love it more than anyone else, along with someone with a kid’s heart. With each character being remembered and loved for one thing or the other, the Finding Nemo effect is carried over to this movie – if you haven’t watched the first movie, there will be absolutely no repetitions, and there is the chance that you will love Finding Dory even more. Well, it has been so long, and there is more possibility of you having forgotten a lot of the first movie by now; still there is the certainty of the essence being always there in the mind – Finding Nemo was that good.

The claws of flaw :: One thing that this movie follows correctly without doing anything special is to do what Finding Nemo did, and up-to an extent, repeats the same, just like the title suggests. Maybe the fishes going missing and being found is quite natural in the sea community. This is surely a step down from Finding Nemo, because we were always expecting more, to have the sequel come up with new ideas and move forward, or maybe even make the franchise better with second one. Instead, this one chooses to have the blue fish being lost instead of the orange one, and therefore the short-term memory loss is with the lost fish rather than the saviours. This is certain to make one wonder if the next movie will be Finding Marlin – we see that there is a huge world under the sea with so many creatures around, and these immense possibilities need to be explored; otherwise the franchise can’t raise the bar.

Soul exploration :: Finding Dory is all about going on even with disabilities or whatever comes in between in your life. There is the need to find a way, and our protagonist here finds it despite always being on the back foot. Alone or with the help of her friends, she never backs down, and moves on to achieving her target – it is more of a risk in our world full of chaos compared to this little world of fish; but there is no success without trying. Finding Dory asks us to go on, forgetting our limitations, and achieve what seems impossible to many others in the society. With Dory being the protagonist, it is the kind of extra inspiration that we have here, and it is what makes this movie better. What we need is more of the motivation, and all the support that we can get, and not that which we keep asking for and not receiving. All these makes Finding Dory another inspirational movie with different characters in a different world.

How it finishes :: The level of Finding Nemo was so good that it surely deserved an even better sequel. But Finding Dory happens to be almost there, and will work for all kinds of audience with its simple tale and nice humour, as well as those lovely animations and a wonderful world. The level of animated movies have improved, and it no longer remains how it was when Finding Nemo released in 2003. If you consider the two movies which battled so hard for the Academy Award for the Best Animated Film, Moana and Zootopia, there is so little that differentiated the two, and we just can’t stop loving them both. Then you look at the years before, and see Inside Out, Big Hero 6 and Frozen, and you see the level – along with Kung Fu Panda and its sequels, this franchise also needs to make sure that there is no going the Ice Age way – there are five movies, and rather too many of them going a step down each time. Finding Nemo won the Oscar, and Finding Dory never came close.

Release date: 17th June 2016
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Idris Elba, Dominic West, Bob Peterson, Kate McKinnon, Bill Hader, Sigourney Weaver, Alexander Gould, Torbin Xan Bullock, Andrew Stanton, Katherine Ringgold, Bennett Dammann, John Ratzenberger, Angus MacLane, Willem Dafoe, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney, Austin Pendleton, Stephen Root, Vicki Lewis, Jerome Ranft



@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.