Rogue One

Vampire Owl: The title of this movie has already made me think about Rogue Two.

Vampire Bat: It is the problem due to thinking too much about sequels. I don’t think that there will be another Rogue, as this is supposed to be a spin-off standing alone.

Vampire Owl: Some movies have too many sequels anyway. I can’t even remember when I first heard about Star Wars. Maybe we should see the rings and live only for seven days, so that the memory works better.

Vampire Bat: It is something that goes beyond centuries for humans, so I have heard.

Vampire Owl: But it hasn’t been that much known throughout the world, I wonder why.

Vampire Bat: Well, even Star Trek became popular only in the last few years – before that they had copied the same to make Captain Vyom.

Vampire Owl: Yes, I remember that it had such an uncomfortable timing that I ended up missing the food provided for many wedding, betrothal and house warming functions for watching it.

Vampire Bat: But, during those times, we never knew the original.

Vampire Owl: Star Wars was more popular than Star Trek during those days.

Vampire Bat: Now, there is the twist – everyone we love around here loves Star Trek more.

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

What is the movie about? :: Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen), an expert in weapons research is hiding on a planet, away from the dictatorship called Empire and its sinister motives which include but are not limited to enslavement of people. Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), who is in charge of the weapons research for the Imperial Military Force finds him and forces him to build a superweapon called the Death Star, which is capable of destroying planets from a long distance away, thus giving supreme power to the Empire. While his daughter is saved by the wanted rebel and an extremist Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), his wife is killed by the Empire in the conflict. Galen is left with no other way, and is forced to go with Orson to provide his expertise, while Saw and his forces continue to resist the Empire which only grows stronger and stronger with time, while the rebels focused on newer methods to take down the Empire.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: Years later, a cargo pilot of the Empire, Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) turns to the side of the rebels, as he brings a message from Galen to Saw, and he is captured by the extremist rebels. Meanwhile, Jyn Esro (Felicity Jones) who is a prisoner of the Empire, gets rescued by a rebel officer, Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) who takes her to the rest of the rebels, and there, they convince her to find more about her father and the Death Star so that they can make good use of the information; their true intention is to kill him though. They will be joined by a re-programmed droid from the Empire, a blind but skilled warrior Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) and his fighter friend Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) who would have more than what they could handle on a normal day. Can they figure out Galen’s message, find him and stop the Death Star before it begins destroying the rebel bases, or even the planets on which they stand? Is there hope against the Empire which stands so strong?

The defence of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story :: Despite it not becoming that much of a popular thing here, this movie continues in the path set by its predecessors in the franchise, and does the same thing again, and provides the entertainment beyond the known world. Well, Star Wars is something that doesn’t age, and can go on to make more and more sequels, and shall continue to become success for many years to come. The message about rebellion continues, as the dictatorship also continues to do what it has been doing. The nostalgic feeling should work for those who had grown up watching Star Wars – those VCR and VCP days had more than one cassette of this franchise, with the first Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi; these used to be the special movies which looked too good, but not many people had watched them. The visuals and the special effects are too good, and you are going to love the final battle scene for sure, with all the splendour. Well, a stand-alone spin-off Star Wars movie is good to keep you strong while waiting for the next flick.

The claws of flaw :: The lack of popularity of Star Wars around here has hurt the possibilities with a lot of people no aware of how this series is progressing; about where it all began, where everything is going, and who all are these people, you wonder – well, not many people who have watched those earlier Star Wars movies are there to watch the newer flicks in the theatres, you know, and a stand-alone spin-off will only confuse them. Well, if people are confused about this, you can’t blame them, and they can only enjoy parts of this one in that case. Also, the one point to note is that there is not much of a change or variety in proceedings in this movie, as this becomes more Star Wars, rather than bringing a new special element. Star Wars: Force Awakens was certainly a better movie than this, and it seemed to try to be something by itself unlike this one which goes on and on with its usual stuff. Also, its attempt to work on the nostalgia that we have for this movie works not that much with the audience here. The emotional side is rather weak.

Soul exploration :: Well, Star Wars has always been about the rebellion against the dictatorship, as we had felt a long time ago. But during those times, the need was not this strong, and with a lot of things forced on us for no meaningful reason, one has to wonder if we are all the rebels against that part of the society which steals our individuality from us, for which new rules are made; when rules are not really made for people, and it is just for a certain group of people, we wonder if this situation in Star Wars is not so different from what we have now. There is so much hate in the world that hope seems too far away, as far as the stars are. Star Wars also has the message of hope, and battling against all odds. But how strong is everyman against the troops which are controlled by fascism which threatens to destroy not just worlds, but also the idea from the minds of the people? Star Wars movies keep bringing that hope in one way or the other, against the mighty Empire which would call for fake patriotism and not rebellion, but revolution happens in one way or the other.

How it finishes :: As it is clear for many people, people in India are not really much of fans for the Star Wars franchise, even though I remember having watched the series, and becoming interested in the same – I was among a few people who did, for Star Wars surely had no takers in the schools, tuition classes or even among the cousins. The presence of some of the Star Wars games was what helped me further to keep the interest alive, and while those earlier games had the Jedi Knight hero, there was also Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds which provided the feeling of playing Age of Empires II: Age of Kings again. Even though it keeps making so much money in the United States, and maybe also in Europe as well as other English-speaking nations, it would have to try hard to make it work better in India for better collections – but you never get bored of watching a Star Wars movie as far as I am concerned, and I have enjoyed watching this one too. We await the real sequel of Star Wars: Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi releases with Daisy Ridley and John Boyega after this one from the director of Godzilla. So, may the force be with you.

Release date: 16th December 2016
Running time: 133 minutes
Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Jimmy Smits, Genevieve O’Reilly, Anthony Daniels

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Zootopia

Vampire Owl: And, here is our Academy Award Winner of the year, Zootopia.

Vampire Bat: It also won the Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice Movie Award and Annie Award for the Best Animated Feature Film.

Vampire Owl: I see that it had also received a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film.

Vampire Bat: But I still thought that Moana would get the award.

Vampire Owl: So did I, with The Rock also there for our entertainment.

Vampire Bat: The movies that we like the most rarely gets the award, does it?

Vampire Owl: Yes, I remember such occasions a lot.

Vampire Bat: Maybe we should get the chance to recommend a few ourselves.

Vampire Owl: We need the Vampire Academy Awards as soon as possible.

Vampire Bat: Still, I don’t think that there is that much of a difference between the Oscar nominated and won movies.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with sweet porotta].

What is the movie about? :: We are introduced to a world in which different kinds of animals thrive, as they live together without considering the differences that their species bring. The lifestyle is more like humans, and they are separated by their species and cuisines like we are by all those things beginning with race, there is a clear reflection of human life. The centre of all these is the place where everyone wishes to live in, the mega city of Zootopia where there is the chance for everyone to be what they want to be, and have a good life. So it is quite natural for a lot of animals to choose to go to this city and try their luck, as it is with many human cities. It is due to the same reason that a rabbit from a village called Bunnyburrow, Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) wishes to become a police officer in the city. But it is not that easy, because it is not a usual job for the rabbits.

So, what happens next? :: But Judy does manage to become a police officer, even though her father Stu Hopps (Don Lake) and her mother Bonnie Hopps (Bonnie Hunt) doesn’t believe that she can perform well enough. They believe that she will come back to her some day, and save herself from the dangerous criminal world. With every other person in the police department being a strong mammal, Chief Bogo (Idris Elba) doubts the abilities of her as a rabbit, and puts her in parking duty – her parents like it, but she doesn’t, as she performed so well during her training, and wanted to prove herself. But with other animals being bigger in size and strength, like buffaloes, leopards, tigers, lions along with others, it was always going to be a tough task for her to prove something physically. But she decides that she will prove everyone wrong.

What is to follow now? :: As she leaves the parking duty to arrest a thief Duke Weaselton (Alan Tudyk), Bogo is furious about her. As she even volunteers to solve a case related to Mrs. Otterton (Octavia Spencer) whose husband has gone missing, he decides that he will give the case to her, but she will have to quit if she fails to solve it. Dawn Bellwether (Jenny Slate) who is the assistant mayor of Zootopia, supports her, but she gets only forty eight hours to solve the case of this particular person and many other missing mammals. She makes a small-time con artist fox Nicholas P. Wilde (Jason Bateman) also join her, because he was the last one to see the missing person, and he also has many contacts in the city. Even though reluctant at first, he decides to join her in the end, and they go on a search deep into this problem – can they solve this or will Judy have to go back to her carrot farm in the village?

Zootopia as a tale with a fine core :: The movie has to be admired for how it uses its idea of different species to symbolise different people. There is difference in everyone whom we meet, and the idea of being different in many ways, is shown here too. It is up-to each one of us to go chasing that dream as a different person, and it is what everyone needs to do, no matter what problems come in between. At least the attempt has to be made here. The message against bullying is there, and we can also see that judging others is the worst thing that can be done against a person with an opinion on his own life. If someone wants to pursue something with all their hearts, the society just comes in between – what we want to do, we rarely gets to achieve; lets hope that Zootopia brings the inspiration for people who wish to be different with their lives.

What it says about the world :: Still, the other major idea in this movie is rather something which is so difficult to come true that it will work for almost nobody – you really can’t be anything that you want, and it is a fact; no matter how much one tries, he or she will be only become what the society wants them to be. There are so many people who are caught in this web from which there is no escape. We wonder why is the world so much interested in judging us, and eventually we fall into that trap. We are judged at home and we are further judged at the office if we have a job – we are judged by our relatives if we don’t have a job or are not married. The judgment is passed in such a way that we are good only for one thing, and people will rate us by what we earn – they will decide what we are capable of – it is a shameful thing, isn’t it?

How it finishes :: Zootopia is a movie that has so many messages in store, which makes this a movie for the adults as well as for the children. One has to wonder if this movie was preferred over the rest of the movies nominated for the Academy Awards due to the message against “racism” rather than the rest of the things including those nicely detailed characters and the extra messages that come into the picture – so, it got to follow Inside Out, Big Hero 6 and Frozen in that winning path. Everyone can hope to leave the theatres with questions as well as the messages that linger in the mind, and at the same time, with that feel-good effect. Well, the animated movies are the best whenever it comes to bringing some fine messages for the children and the adults alike. Zootopia follows the same path without giving its viewers a chance to complain, and there is a lot of fun in store without doubt.

Release date: 4th March 2016
Running time: 108 minutes
Directed by: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush (co-director)
Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Tommy Chong, J.K. Simmons, Octavia Spencer, Alan Tudyk, Shakira, Raymond S. Persi, Maurice LaMarche, Phil Johnston, John DiMaggio, Gita Reddy, Katie Lowes, Jesse Corti, Tom Lister Jr., Josh Dallas, Leah Latham, Rich Moore, Peter Mansbridge, Byron Howard, Jared Bush, Mark Smith, John Lavelle, Kristen Bell, Josie Trinidad

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Moana

Vampire Owl: I have heard that the name Moana means ocean.

Vampire Bat: This movie is all about ocean.

Vampire Owl: I have even heard that Moana is a Polynesian sea god.

Vampire Bat: What do you know about sea gods?

Vampire Owl: They do not interest me. I am no person of the sea.

Vampire Bat: But we will watch this Oscar nominated movie.

Vampire Owl: Yes, this is also for The Rock. I am looking forward to what he is cooking again.

Vampire Bat: He cooks really well, as we have seen in Hercules and The Fast and the Furious series.

Vampire Owl: Lets see if this one is worth the Vampire Oscars.

Vampire Bat: I am already prepared to nominate this one.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with sweet puffs].

What is the movie about? :: The famous demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) steals the heart of the island goddess Te Fiti, which seems to be the key to all life. But he is attacked on the way by a lava demon Te Ka, resulting in him losing his magical fish hook which gives him his powers, and the same also leaves him stranded at an unknown location. This is how the legend goes, and for the Polynesian island of Motunui, this is a common tale that the children are told. They are also forbidden from going beyond a certain point into the sea. Tui (Temuera Morrison), the chief of the island has the opinion that the island has all that they need, and that they should stick to the land. Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), the daughter of the chief is someone who really wants to explore, but she is also prevented from doing the same.

So, what happens next? :: Soon, the food becomes scarce, as the landscape seems to be dying. There is almost no good fruit to eat, and not much of fish to be caught. Still, sailing beyond the reef remains an act prevented from happening. But Moana’s grandmother Tala (Rachel House), who is supposed to be just a crazy old woman, leads her to a secret cave which shows them that they used to be explorers who traveled through the sea to find new islands. After Maui stole the heart of Te Fiti, the journeys had stopped though, with monsters wandering around the ocean. With Te Ka’s lava and ashes spreading through the islands, there is only one hope – to get the heart to where it really belongs, with the help of Maui. Can she find and persuade the demigod in time to save the islands from the darkness that is spreading?

The defence of Moana :: The big advantage of this movie is that how well it connects and works for both children and the adults. It is the main characters that steal the show in this movie too, with Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson creating the big impact – the latter is a lot funny, closely followed only by the pet that gets into the boat with Moana. The bond between the two leading characters is emotional as well as cute, as you will notice right from the first time they meet. Moana is surely one or more steps ahead of the other animated characters of the same type. The movie nicely uses the Polynesian myth, and it is great to see more and more gods who are parts of different culture, especially those rather unknown. The songs are interesting, just like the simple heroine who keeps making an impact along with her partner in sailing. All the characters and the world look really nice.

The claws of flaw :: There is nothing that is entirely new about its tale though, and with its source in the myth, we see the heroine who goes beyond the limitations that are imposed on her. The movie could have also used its beautiful world to an even better effect – we know that we love this world, and it is certain that we need more of it. After all, the scope is limitless with a world full of islands awaiting exploration. The message could have also been even more direct, with the wander lust and the need for adventure to be getting a better spot over mythology. The twist about the demon doesn’t go on to be that effective either. This one doesn’t have that much of flaws to make the viewer wonder, and there is nothing much to complain related to this adventure!

Soul exploration :: The movie’s main message is to search for the unknown, explore, and find new places. Moana goes through faith, belief and hope, and the courage and determination that is required to keep them all there. There is no longer the need for the heroine to chase love, and without romance, the focus is on all adventure and the clear objective that is to be gained for the common good. With sea making the call, and caught up on an island, there is always the need to go out there, and to be with the rest of the world. There are dangers that stay ahead, but it is up to us to go far beyond all of them with the strength that is gained from the experience that is added on the way. We are all caught with one thing or the other, and it seems so difficult in this world with the restrictions and the so called duties that come to us at one point or the other, but we need to go on.

How it finishes :: There is one thing that we can be sure about, after watching Moana. It is that the flick is surely better than the eventual winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature after being a tough contendor – Zootopia. I guess that the judgment went in favour of the cuter one this time; animals get to win over humans. I would consider this one to be better than the last two years’ winners Inside Out and Big Hero 6. The best animated movies of the year rarely get to be the best in the academy awards section, do they? There are only a few exceptions like Frozen. Toy Story 3 won when there was How to Train Your Dragon; Rango won when there was Kung Fu Panda 2; Big Hero 6 won when How to Train Your Dragon 2 was existing; Brave won when Rise of the Guardians was there. Well, Moana also has its list of accolades received – lets try watching it again and again!

Release date: 23rd November 2016
Running time: 107 minutes
Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker
Starring: Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, Alan Tudyk, Oscar Kightley, Troy Polamalu, Puanani Cravalho

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Scorch Trials

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Vampire Owl :: This is not really the maze runner, is it?

Vampire Bat :: There is no maze in this one; but it is still officially a maze runner movie.

Vampire Owl :: How can this be a maze runner movie without the protagonists running through the maze?

Vampire Bat :: Well, they don’t even walk through it, but the title demands so.

Vampire Owl :: I was hoping to see more of the maze.

Vampire Bat :: We all were; the maze part was so good in the first movie.

Vampire Owl :: They could use the same again, in some other way, like levels change in games.

Vampire Bat :: Well, they were out of the maze in the first movie itself, so I think that it was never going to be possible.

Vampire Owl :: The audience never gets what they want to have, right?

Vampire Bat :: That has always been the case.

[Gets three cups of tea with jackfruit chips].

A flashback to the first movie :: The first movie which had gathered some good opinions from the critics and viewers began this adventure in the area which was surrounded by stone walls, leaving only one escape route, through the maze. This maze has strange creatures wandering inside though, and it was more like suicide for someone to go out through that path, which made the people inside create a small civilisation of their own, and the numbers increased with more and more people send up through a lift from under, which goes down only when all the weight is removed from it. The residents of this area which they called “The Glade”, trained runners to go through the maze and find a way out. The movie ends with them finally finding a way out through the maze.

What is it about? :: Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and the other surviving youth from the maze, Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), Minho (Ki Hong Lee), Frypan (Dexter Darden) and Winston (Alexander Flores) are taken to what seems to be a safe place away from all the trouble – they are welcomed to a facility run by Janson (Aidan Gillen) who promises to make things better. It is all about one virus and finding a cure; all those who have escaped and reached the facility seems to be immune to the same. But things don’t seem to be normal with this particular facility. Soon, they find out that it belongs to World Catastrophe Killzone Department (WCKED) led by Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) who was supposed to be dead, but it is not the case.

So what happens next? :: As they understand that the WCKED is experimenting on the immunes, despite being warned of “The Scorch”, the deadly situation that prevails outside the facility, the group makes an escape, and goes on in search of hope. They look forward to meeting with a resistance group, “The Right Arm” who are supposed to be hiding somewhere in the mountains and are bringing the fight to the WCKED. Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito) and Brenda (Rosa Salazar) who leave their crew to help them in finding the resistance group. But the question remains if the resistance group really exist, and even if it does, are these people of any good when facing the WCKED who are armed with the best technology and weapons?

The defence of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials :: The movie does catch your attention very early, as the scene shifts from the maze to what seems to an entirely new world. The new world detail is really good if you have a nice look at everything. We are given the assumption that there is something huge coming up all the time, and with secrets left to be brought out, we keep hunting for the same with the protagonists. There is no real love story in here to slow things further than what has been going on then, and that is also a positive. There are some good action sequences around here too, and one really ends up thinking that there is the need to watch the next and the final movie of the franchise, Maze Runner: The Death Cure to get the best of it; the movie ends in such a way that we have to look for that sequel coming up on January 12th, 2018.

The claws of flaw :: The main trouble that this movie has to face is that it is a Maze Runner movie without the maze, and as that was the most important factor which made the first movie a success, this one was sure to trail. With the idea of rebellion not that well used as with Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games and Beatrice Prior of Divergent, Thomas doesn’t do the same that well – our protagonist doesn’t go on to develop that much as a character. The moments of big thrills and heavy emotions are also missing in this particular flick. Too many people as well as incidents are predictable here, and the story doesn’t have that big strength which it should have had with the idea of the scorch being introduced – it could have been a show stealer like the maze, but it just isn’t as the movie slowly moves through it to the expected end.

How it finishes :: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials could have surely been a better movie, and there is no doubt about it. It surely doesn’t get to be that good as its predecessor which had the maze and the creatures to keep things better. Still, this one manages to be there as the movie which keeps us interested in watching the final movie of the franchise. Maybe the movie could have tried not to be like many other movies, with so many elements from them coming together here, and not all of them having that much of an effect. It is more of a case of being confusing due to such additions, while the original Maze Runner was rather clear on what it was doing and proceeded through the path on which it was supposed to travel. It surely works, but not as much as it could have, with so many things within their reach, or rather too many of them! Expect no hunger games!

Release date: 18th September 2015
Running time: 131 minutes
Directed by: Wes Ball
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito, Aidan Gillen, Ki Hong Lee, Barry Pepper, Lili Taylor, Patricia Clarkson, Alan Tudyk, Rosa Salazar, Jacob Lofland, Alexander Flores

thescorchtrials

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Ice Age IV

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The Ice Age glory :: The Ice Age is that movie series which made me interested in animated movies, after an age which had only the action and horror movies. Its significance can’t be lessened by the fact that I would have started liking them with Kung-fu Panda or Finding Nemo and I would have reached its zenith with Megamind, and I have liked all the three movies, especially Ice Age: The Meltdown, even though I have to say that Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs had the best moments in the series. The first movie might be the one which I liked a little less, as the team wasn’t established and the better characters were yet to come, having that origin story problem. As far as the foreign revenue of the franchise is concerned, it has been on the increase – this fourth movie is the first time an Ice Age movie has been released here in a theatre, that too in a multiplex. The talking pre-historic creatures have never ceased to interest the viewers. Ice Age: Continental Drift, the first not to be directed by Carlos Saldanha would go on to become the highest grossing animated movie of 2012 and the second highest grossing Ice Age movie in total collection.

On Ice Age: Continental Drift :: The director has changed, but we will see more from him with Rio 2, and I have got a feeling that it is going to be awesome. The Rio franchise might be the one with more life than this, considering the continental drift has already occurred. Another movie in the Ice Age series might still occur, but how far they can go with this is a question worth asking. They have got the mammoth married and now has kid, and by the end of this movie, the sabretoothed tiger also has his love, so the story is moving through a path which needs more material. There is so much the predictable side working throughout this one, but they have hidden it well. Ice Age: Continental Drift is no different, but it has managed to keep high standards in what it showed on the screen. It has successfully managed to stay above its immediate challenger Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted as well as its unworthy challenger Brave as well as the non-challenge which was Hotel Transylvania to finish as the fifth highest grossing movie and the best grossing animated movie of the year.

What is it about? :: Manny (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah) faces problems as their unruly teenage daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) is going through social crisis. She seems to have inherited the stupidity of Sid (John Leguizamo), and has a crush on a mammoth named Ethan (Drake) despite the warnings of her molehog friend Louis (Josh Gad). Meanwhile Sid’s family abandons Granny (Wanda Sykes) with him. Manny gets separated from the herd along with Sid, Granny and Diego (Denis Leary), thanks to the effects of having an ungrateful and worthless kid like Peaches who even degrades her own friend, or rather her only friend. Meanwhile the continental drift is occurring, and Ellie, Louis, Peaches, Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck) have to make it to safe lands while our heroic team is caught floating towards nowhere until caught by pirates led by a gigantopithecus, Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage) who owns a giant floating iceberg which he calls his ship, from where they manage to escape. His crew includes Shira (Jennifer Lopez), a sabretoothed tigress whom Diego shall fall in love with. Chased by pirates and the continental drift, the question remains if Manny can get to his family and Diego can attain his true love.

The defence of Ice Age: Continental Drift :: The Ice Age movies are mostly easy to defend, more than any other animated movie, even as most of them can also come up against simple defence. This is another simple movie from the franchise, with the same characters, Manny, Sid and Diego going on another adventure (a forced one) joined by Granny only to later combine forces with the new-found member Shira. Ellie, Eddie and Crash are not part of the adventure this time, and it is surely for the good. To add to it, there is also Scrat, the squirrel who has his own adventures which is somehow indirectly connected to the lives of each and every creatures of that age. It is going to be very interesting for the kids, no doubt – its innovations and the use of the pre-historic setting will also interest the older ones. This movie lives up to the 3D added to the end of its name too, as it has its pre-historic creatures of awesomeness coming towards you from the screen along with some of other stuff which are not alive. They have indeed tried their best to put something nice and things of good standard into this movie which is part of a franchise that deserves attention.

Pre-historic positives and negatives :: Well, this isn’t the most creative and innovative movie of the series, and it follows the path of its predecessors, with another adventure which happens due to a dumb squirrel and an equally dumb teenage elephant. These characters are too familiar, and so the whole thing had to work perfectly, with the favourite characters on screen. The most loved character would be Sid’s grandma though, as Granny brings more fun than anybody else. The new creatures are well selected for their roles, and as they are close enough to their real pre-historic world in the first look, there won’t be any questions asked. Still, asking questions in a movie like this might be a little too cruel. We know what kind of audience it makes really happy, and as long as it has a lot for the rest of the viewers too, there is not much chance for complaints. At the end of the day, Ice Age will be Ice Age, and most of us will be fans of the series. If taken in the way it is to be taken, this one is a worthy world of snow and ice, next only to a few.

Soul exploration :: The movie tries too much to venture into the world of teenage problems of the new generation which doesn’t give a damn about the opinions of the parents. It is a theme which has been eaten to the core by many other movies without pre-historic creatures, but just this time, it is rather cute, and in the end, we love them all and no harm is done – they all had a great adventure and has returned with no bones broken or teeth fallen. Everybody is happy and feeling good. The end moment of Scrat is also worth a mention when he is told “rise above this base desire; be more than a rodent”, to which he answers by going for his most basic desire which deprives him of everything – he takes out the oak nut which lets the water in and sinks the island full of nuts and lands him in the Death Valley desert. Scrat has always been the symbol of the materialistic man, and here they have taken it to another level as he destroys his Garden of Eden and falls from the paradise. It is not direct, but it is a lesson for the present society after money, just like Peaches is a symbol of anti-family new generation which can end up losing them all.

How it finishes :: I was just wandering through the Hollywood movie channels until stopping at Star Movies the day before yesterday when this movie was showing. It is good to watch the movies you watched on the big screen on the television for a change. But Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is indeed better than this one in many ways despite the box-office results. I would also say that Rise of the Guardians is a much better animated movie of the year compared to this one. But which movie is more enjoyable could be rather left to the people, even as I have already recommended Rise of the Guardians as the animated movie of the year 2012, just like I felt that Frozen is the best animated film of 2013. Ice Age 4 is indeed a success, but it doesn’t come as an improvement to its predecessor. Its fun is still so undeniable that most of us would love to have it. As they say in the movie, “the spifeful ones live the longest”, we can hope that this franchise doesn’t go down in quality, as there surely are some signs around.

Release date: 13th July 2012
Running time: 88 minutes
Directed by: Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier
Starring (voice): Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Nicki Minaj, Keke Palmer, Drake, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, Chris Wedge, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Aziz Ansari, Nick Frost, Heather Morris, Alain Chabat, Joy Behar, Ester Dean, Rebel Wilson, Kunal Nayyar, Alan Tudyk

iceage4 copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.

Frozen

frzen

Ice and Snow :: Here is something from Robert Frost: “Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice” – I would remember those lines from the poet very often. It is only my second favourite from him after “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”. Lets leave the fire to any of the fire elementals and fire-breathing dragons as that would be another story. Let bring ice and snow; as the poet would love to watch the woods filling up with snow, and also talk about that destruction by ice, we were given those thoughts about snow and ice, not something people of this part of the world are too familiar with. Yes, the interest in snow was nicely built up to such an extent that I had winter wallpapers on my desktop for a very long time – that started when I was a kid, and we had the latter poem to study in the earlier classes, and the only thing which I liked slightly better was “Daffodils”.

What is Frozen? :: All that talk about ice and snow would take me back to the only one animated movie in the theatre right now. There is nothing repulsive about that feeling, as I am not talking about that 2010 movie when people get trapped in the snow and get eaten by wolves. Well, that was a good movie too, but that kind of atmosphere never comes to the picture this time. I have always felt something about snow, but I have never seen it with my eyes or felt it. I have felt the temperatures close enough to zero degree Celsius, but never snow. Then I decided to experience snow in 3D with a movie, and from the current situation, I am pretty sure that it is the closest to falling snow that I can get. To add to it, this one is also the next brilliant animated movie from Walt Disney after Tangled. Brave was not bad, it was of inferior standard compared to the other Disney movies. The rest didn’t interest me either. But, after a three year gap, Frozen has made me fall in love with Disney yet again. It came in 3D and with the AC in the theatre, it was a world of snow, and it was alive with all the emotions.

The Setting :: The movie is set in the kingdom of Arendelle, a world of magic. It is the story of two sisters, the princesses of the kingdom, Anna and Elsa, with the latter having the powers to manipulate and control the elements of frost. But as the latter’s powers accidently hits the former while playing in snow, her life is only saved by a group of trolls who erase the memory of Anna and warns Elsa of her powers becoming too powerful for her to control. As days pass, Elsa becomes more of a recluse, afraid of herself and unable to control her powers and thus transforming her room into a snow world and keeping away from Anna who doesn’t know what keeps them apart. The doors of the castle are kept closed so that nobody comes to know about the secret. Anna also keeps to herself and the world inside the castle. The king and the queen takes special care to the fact that the balance is not broken, and the world remains the same.

What is it about? :: The action takes place three years after the death of their parents. The children have grown up, and despite the reclusive nature of Elsa, she becomes the default heir to the kingdom and has to fight her inner demons of frost to take over the throne. The gates of the castle are finally opened and people come in. Anna takes this as an opportunity to fall in love, as there would be celebration and she can search for her true love. She meets Prince Hans of the Southern Isles and falls for him. Elsa somehow manages to keep her powers inside until Anna tells her that she wants to marry the prince whom she just met. Elsa refuses to grant her blessings for her sister to marry someone whom she doesn’t really know much about, and as a result, there an argument which leads to the powers of Elsa coming out in the form of ice, and even reaching that extent that the whole kingdom is covered in snow and even the ships get stuck in the ice as she flees to the top of the mountains in the forest. But Elsa is feels herself responsible and is determined to bring her back with the help of a mountain man, a reindeer and a snowman.

The defence of Frozen :: It is the best use of snow and ice in a movie after Rise of the Guardians, and the best animated movie since the release of that one in December 2012. Well, that one had an ordinary box-office performance, but that won’t be the case of Frozen, one can say that. The movie’s most adorable part is its snowman. The movie’s treatment of the story and characters are interesting, as there is no big villain out there, and the snow queen doesn’t go the evil way. There are lesser evil people for sure, but none extreme. The act of true love is no longer romantic, and that is the best part- there should be sacrifice. There is also the stupidity for frail romance and the vain “love at first sight” theory mocked. The songs are beautiful and its visual treat is even more stunning. Frozen makes Brave looks like a little creature who can only say “precious”. How did that creature win the Academy Award for Best Animated Film is still a mystery for me – it was so empty with a lead character who makes people wonder if their sons and daughters are better as reckless, shameless children who defy their parents who know what is better? Well, our heroine here knows the importance of family.

Plus and minus :: There might be too much music for the elder people, even as the humour can keep them attached to the movie. It is also very loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen (similarities are to be created rather than found). The heroine reminds one of Rapunzel of Tangled, not used to going out of her world and being in love with a random person whom she meets on the way while pretending to be courageous and smart. Yes, there is that reindeer instead of the horse and our snowman is indeed better than that chameleon. You will love his ideas about summer, that is for sure. Its a little bit of doing the same thing under disguise, but the fact that it is enjoyable, and there are some good addition makes this fantastic. Elsa is more like X-Men‘s Rogue controlling her powers only with her gloves, and there are trolls who are more like dwarves – funny ones for sure. If Anna catches out attention, Elsa melts our heart! If you don’t like snow, then this movie will lose its awesomeness of 3D snowflakes and everything visual. Yes, it is better than Despicable Me 2, the overrated animated movie of the year which was also very good.

How it finishes :: Frozen comes up with so much goodness, and the message of sisterly love and affection, and it supports one’s right to be different (even as the variation in the character of the so called chivalrous prince was rather too much). Its assertion that love for beauty is so much flawed, and its call for the society to accept the people with differences and also asserts one’s right to choose to be alone. It is only family that can deny the same. It is a true musical fairy tale in the form of an animated movie. Even as there could have been more in store concerning the cold and darkness (as said by Boogeyman in Rise of the Guardians), and there could have been more concerning the frost powers. But for now, we can be satisfied with the power of true love and all that ends well, and as they all live happily ever after – not that much of a spoiler there, as you all know how these movies are to end; even our snowman gets his own snow cloud to follow him during summer. It is our movie of this weekend – The Hunger Games releases here next week!

Release date: 29h November 2013 (India); 27th November 2013 (US)
Running time: 108 minutes
Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Starring (voice): Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Alan Tudyk, Santino Fontana, Ciarán Hinds, Chris Williams, Jack Whitehall

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.