Black Panther

What is the movie about? :: A long time ago, as a part of on-going tribal wars in a divided continent, five African tribes fought over a the control of a meteorite which was the source of an alien metal called vibranium, most commonly known to the Marvel fans as one of the materials used to construct Captain America’s shield. Vibranium which was first deposited on Earth by a meteorite about ten thousand years ago, had its variation in Wakanda, which absorbed sound waves, vibrations, and kinetic energy making the metal stronger. It was something that could do more than what the modern science could explain. This variety of vibranium is often referred to as a powerful mutagen, something that could change the genetic material, usually the DNA of an organism and thus would increase the frequency of mutations more than the usual background level. Vibranium exposure did the same to a number of Wakandan natives.

And what is to follow in this particular adventure? :: A warrior who ate a heart shaped herb which was affected by the metal gained special abilities and became the first Black Panther. He united the tribes to form the nation of Wakanda, but that had only four of them as the Jabari tribe chose not to follow this new rule, moving to the mountains. The result was that the Wakandans used the vibranium’s abilities to become highly advanced with their science and technology. But they also chose to isolate themselves from the rest of the world with their modernity hidden within forests. Even after so many years, the outside world thinks about Wakanda as a third world country which is very much short of resources, but doesn’t trade with the outsiders or ask for help because of their pride and inability to combine their older and darker world with the new one.

And what else is to come? :: Following the events of Captain America: Civil War and the death of his father, the king, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns to Wakanda to claim the throne as the eldest son. The commander-in-chief of the Wakandan army Okoye (Danai Gurira), T’Challa’s ex-lover Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), his mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and younger sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) are the happiest ones to see him as the new king. At the ceremony, the Jabari tribe’s leader M’Baku (Winston Duke), a mighty warrior challenges T’Challa for the throne of Wakanda, but is defeated in ritual combat – a battle in which he finally accepts defeat after T’Challa requests him to surrender lest the fight would only end with his death. But that would only begin trouble for T’Challa, for Wakanda needs more than just another king who kept continuing the tradition of the tribe for such a long time.

And then there is the case of trouble :: The first thing that he felt the need to accomplish after becoming the king was to find and bring to justice, Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis), a black-market arms dealer and smuggler who had access to vibranium and knows the secrets of Wakanda. But on their path stands CIA agent Everett K Ross (Martin Freeman), who takes Klaue into custody, much to the dismay of the new king and his team who need to fulfil their promise by bringing the man to Wakanda’s justice or death. Meanwhile, an American black-ops soldier named Erik Stevens (Michael B Jordan) is after the throne, and he has a twisted past with Wakanda. He would try to make T’Challa pay for what his father had done, and also to make sure that his race could become the rulers of the world. What can the new Black Panther to do stop the man who has had only one mission in his life since childhood?

The defence of Black Panther :: As one would have expected after watching Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, the big strength of this flick remains the action sequences. There are some nice visuals of the new world in here, and we get transported nicely there. The final one hour of the movie is where this one picks up to become something interesting, as in the beginning stages, there was a certain amount of struggle. The movie has a pretty good cast which gives enough for it to keep going, but the pick of them all are Michael B Jordan who plays the villain with a purpose, the nice moments from Martin Freeman and all that Winston Duke brings as M’Baku, even though he is not present throughout the flick. Then there is the idea about the oppressed becoming the oppressor, and trying to have revenge on the next generation of those who had oppressed them years ago – it is certainly not the way, as it is nicely shown in the movie.

The claws of flaw :: There is no denying the fact that the expectations were so high with this movie that it is quite difficult to satisfy almost anyone who is watching this movie. You also have to wonder which kind of superhero movie gets this many good reviews – you will notice that this one is certainly not better than the last Marvel movie, Thor: Ragnarok. Sometimes, you feel that the reasons why this movie is often praised are not really what should be used as the positives regarding the flick. It could have dealt with the theme better, without doubt – the scope was more with this one compared to any other superhero flick. The story also has nothing new as it goes through the expected path, and even though there was the chance, there is absolutely no surprise here. Some of the costumes are rather strange, and the world itself could have used better attention. The funny side as well as the thrills are not able to get hold here either. The romantic side is certainly bad.

How it finishes :: The 3D didn’t have much to offer in this movie. But the movie becomes another interesting superhero movie with one more hero having the background origins story set. It doesn’t have its elements matching the previous Marvel movie, Thor: Ragnarok which was ahead in almost every department, from action and visuals to the funny side. Despite the critics being rather prejudiced in supporting this movie, it hasn’t created that much of an interest among the common audience like those Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, DeadpoolDoctor Strange & even Ant-Man movies would do for Marvel. But with that nice work in Captain America: Civil War, and with this tale of Wakanda already set and begun, we can expect to have more from Black Panther. With that nice finish in the end, there is surely more needed for us, and lets hope that the character would deliver more in the upcoming movies.

Release date: 16th February 2018
Running time: 134 minutes
Directed by: Ryan Coogler
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Dawn of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (1)

Vampire Owl :: You mean to say we are going for an ape movie.

Vampire Bat :: Or Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania.

Vampire Owl :: I would rather watch monkeys all day than watch a new Bollywood Romance.

Vampire Bat :: I already watched that Humpty Dumb though.

Vampire Owl :: This is why your choices are always bad.

Vampire Bat :: It was because the local theatres were showing it for a change.

Vampire Owl :: Still, you decided to commit suicide.

Vampire Bat :: Unless you are suicidal, it is impossible to watch a Bollywood movie these days. Movies like Madras Cafe and The Lunchbox comes once in a blue moon.

Vampire Owl :: I hope our current venture is not like that.

Vampire Bat :: Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania makes you strong enough to watch anything! It was that bad!

[Enters the movie hall].

What is it about? :: The human testing on the apes had resulted in them getting smarter and escaping from the human world creating another civilization of their own, based on some newly discovered values. Meanwhile, the virus which was developed by the humans has caused their own downfall and they are on the brink of extinction with cities destroyed and with the lack of resources, fighting one another as they have done for centuries. A group of genetically immune humans who have survived the virus are living in a guarded tower not too far away from the abode of the apes. As their power source seems to disappear, they hope to find enough power from the dam which is located in the lands of the apes, hoping to make the hydro-electric power plant work again. Even as they convince the apes and everything seems to work so well with the city ready to get enough power, we come to know that there are people on both sides who want a war due to the heavy distrust that exists of the other species, and it is only a matter of time till a war breaks out. The extinction of one race might soon begin.

The defence of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes :: The movie’s biggest point is its relationships, between apes and creatures of the same kind, humans and their own kind, apes and humans between each other and their attitude as a whole. The emotions are dealt with nicely in a believable manner as we would expect them to be. The movie also shows the evil of war and how it makes both sides dumb and thirsty for blood forgetting all the good things which can happen if there is peace. The story is a little bit more inclined to the ape side this time though. The visuals are impressive, especially that of the post-apocalyptic world and concerning the detail of the different types of apes. There are also some good action sequences related to the ape life. It successfully tests the loyalties of the the audience as it goes through the lives of apes and humans just come into it. The movie also talks about the fear of the unknown or the other, the rising hatred for the outsider just because he or she is just different.

Claws of flaw :: The incredibly long named Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is rather too slow a movie. It is never really in a hurry to progress through anything, whether it is the original story-line or the sub-plots. It takes its time and makes sure that the audience gets the feel of everything ape and post-apocalyptic human before getting things complicated and it is not a bad thing for the people who are watching a movie of the franchise for the first time, but not so much for the rest of the people. It does go along predictable lines at times, and the story of one ape trying to kill the leader of the pack to become the new chief was much expected, and a war was always on the cards, nothing out of the box with these species. The humans were always coming in for some reason, and there was always going to be the hatred for the other species. Other than the main characters, the human side is also weak and its civilization also on the losing side. James Franco and Freida Pinto are being missed here too in this continued world.

Performers of the soul :: Jason Clarke has a wonderful presence here, not something which matches James Franco, but rightly suitable for the situation of this movie. Keri Russell is also there, and it is surprising how good she looks after this many years, and she has done a wonderful job as the lady lead – liked her a lot since Bedtime Stories. Gary Oldman plays the typical human with the fear and hatred for the other and branding them as just animals who can be killed for the good of the humans. But nothing matches the strength of the ape characters as the focus is on them. Andy Serkis’ Caesar has more strength and emotions than any human or ape around as this character gets a lot better as a worthy leader of the gang. Toby Kebbell as Koba has the physical strength powered by his experiences, and Nick Thurston as Blue Eyes has a powerful emotional side like nobody else. Karin Konoval as Maurice, the orangutan is once again in the centre of things. This nice characterization of the apes make sure that there is something big coming up in the next sequel, like the 2001 version of Planet of the Apes which was huge in its ideas.

Soul exploration :: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes comes with a strict anti-war message which runs through its veins like blood. It is to be noted that it is the apes who don’t go to war like the humans even as they are less civilized. They value peace, but the twist is that it is them who starts the war which humans wanted. If we look into our world itself, we can see that it is not just side which is hungry for war, and if there is retaliation, it should mean that the colour of blood is not the same on all sides. As it is evident with almost all the people who talk about a war, the colour of blood changes according to which person they are supporting according to their religion, caste or race, and this is the same thing which is shown in this movie. Apes don’t kill apes as they would say, and humans want to kill apes because they are outsiders and a threat. Unfortunately this prejudice of “our people” exists among humans, and thanks to their influence, the same thing begins to exist in apes. A war is a war, and it causes the shedding of blood of the same colour on both sides, and if the deaths are less on one side, it wouldn’t mean that those who lost more men or buildings are better. There will always be someone who begins the war and innocents who suffer.

How it finishes :: I have always felt something special about the 2001 Planet of the Apes and it would remain my favourite movie of the series. I haven’t written on it yet, but it is still special for me. I would love to see a connection between that movie and this one, may be with General Thade traveling back in time to meet the apes of this franchise giving them the much needed advice which would indeed change the planet into something really of the apes – this could lead to the final situation in the end of that movie which can justify the ape planet. It would bring Mark Wahlberg back which would be pretty awesome. It was one movie which deserved a sequel with its potential. But other than that, our movie has nicely continued the story of the first movie, not failing like most of the sequels that we face. Compared to Rise of the Planet of the Apes which serve as an origin story, this works as a wonderful story of survival and that too not just for one kind of species. The movie is surely going to do well considering the opinion that it has generated and the lack of any big opponent challenging it. This is indeed the time of the apes.

Release date: 11th July 2014
Running time: 131 minutes
Directed by: Matt Reeves
Starring: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Judy Greer, Jocko Sims, Kirk Acevedo, Enrique Murciano as Kempt, Kevin Rankin, Keir O’Donnell, Terry Notary, Karin Konoval, Nick Thurston, Doc Shaw

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Hobbit

thehobbitt (4)

✠ This shall be the second review that features the major excerpts from the fictional interview with Count Dracula by the Vampire Bat during the last unreal full moon night. Any relation to any person living, dead, undead, going to die, half-dead, partially alive or those is not intentional, and if you are looking for an original review of serious nature, do not read. To add to it, I once again add that no vampires, werewolves, zombies, demons, monsters or aliens (both Avatar blue and general green) were harmed while this interview was going on. These are one of those movies about which Count Dracula should surely have a say considering its nature. The format of my earlier review of Hotel Transylvania (https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/hotel-transylvania/) is to be used here, but as the world has changed, both the Vampire Bat, Count Dracula and the nature of the dialogues between them are prone to undergo some changes. They are still brethren, and of the same race which have blood shake quite often.

Count Dracula: Welcome, brother bat. Its been a long time. I am still suffering from the effects of Twin-date, New Moan, Ellipsis and Breaking Teeth with a constant fear of a Midnight Bun which might release some day. Every time I think about those books and movies, I feel so weakened and depressed that I want to go and watch that recently released Bollywood movie Besharam and throw myself from the top of a cliff. It is a sad thing that I can fly and I might never reach the ground, otherwise it would have been an awesome idea.

Vampire Bat: I can see that you have gotten better as the Twilight movie series has ended. Your kind do have a small role to play in Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and it is a pathetic depiction for sure, but as the story itself is so bad, and there are too many creatures taken right out of nonsense, you might not be affected by that.

Count Dracula: Don’t talk about that, for it burns so much – just the name of that series itself. I was in good terms with the Shadow Demons until this series of novels came into existence. Now they won’t talk to me because orcs and goblins are laughing at them after watching the movie and reading the novels, and the demonic version is that it is my dirty plot against them to create a future unholy alliance with humanity.

Vampire Bat: I had to watch that movie City of Bones. Most of the people in the theatre wanted to get out and run for their lives, but just because the AC was good and most of them had already ordered food, they stayed. The others just wanted to make efficient use of their tickets and the rest just wanted to see the lovely Lily Collins. Did you just talk about orcs and goblins? That reminds me of something; even as this was actually supposed to be a secret talk about the Mortal Instruments: City of Bones which was not to come to light, why can’t this be a discussion about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, one of the best movies of the year 2012, even as I know that you find The Cabin in the Woods as the best of them all? Then, I can also publish this review rather than just keep it for further reference.

Count Dracula: I know why you are changing the topic. With The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug right around the corner, you wish to write about this movie so that you can remember that movie which you watched last year, and be prepared for this upcoming sequel. You can also make sure that you have written about the first movie before getting into this sequel, the same reason why you wrote about The Hunger Games earlier. I am such a bloody genius with awesome fangs, right?

Vampire Bat: That should be partially right. I watched The Hobbit just a few days ago in Sony Pix, as I missed it in the theatres due to reasons that I can’t remember. I had to miss a few parts of the movie due to frequent power cuts and some disturbing phone calls, and therefore I would like your help to fill the empty spaces; even if you use some random thing there, that should be okay.

Count Dracula: It doesn’t make any sense that you are asking me about this movie, as I am repelled by the existence of orcs, dwarves, hobbits (halflings), goblins, elves and dragons. But I have to tell you something, this is surely one of my favourite movies of the year too, and therefore you can add it to the list of Dracs Certified, or Certified by Dracula list. That shall give no credit to any non-vampire mythical creature though.

Vampire Bat: Talking about the non-mythical involvement, I was interested about the involvement of Guillermo del Toro, even as he didn’t direct the movie as planned. It was still great the same person who directed The Lord of the Rings trilogy had come back. But the fact remains that I can’t remember much about that series, as I watched it so long ago, at a time when I was less interested in English movies and I cared not much. But as I recollect them in parts and after I watched the second part of The Hobbit, I shall go and watch that much critically acclaimed and financial successful trilogy again.

Count Dracula: You have to watch them, for sure. I have always loved the types of mythical creatures in the series, and I know you can connect them with Age of Wonders, especially with the availables races in that game which includes Halflings (Hobbits) Orcs, Goblins, Elves, Humans, Dwarves and a lot more along with those dragon units and magical creatures. I would have loved to play that game, but I have no computer with me right now. I used to have a magical device which supports more realistic games which includes vampires drinking the blood of evil humans, but I am a little low in magic right now, and has to replenish it during the next time the Dark Elf merchants pass through this way.

Vampire Bat: The creatures are the major reason why I love the series, and The Hobbit is no different. It has our own gollum along with the goblins, orcs, dwarves, elves and of course the humans and our great little hobbit. I was actually quite suprised about Bilbo Baggins going on a dangerous journey with the great wizard Gandalf and thirteen dwarves, led by their king Thorin Oakenshield to reclaim the lost dwarf kingdom of Erebor, and its riches from a fire-breathing dragon. Actually it is a pleasant surprise, as the underdog gets another chance, and this time with the little fighters who are almost same as his size, but different in attitude and bravery plus ability to combat.

Count Dracula: I like that hobbit, much more than I like the guy in The Lord of the Rings. I got a feeling that I am going to love Smaug the dragon too, when the sequel comes. The orcs and goblins are pretty awesome too. It is just sad that so many of them got killed. I remember going to a goblin market to buy some mechanical devices and to the orc armouries to buy some defence for my castle. I liked their depiction though, and their nature is also rightly shown, in my opinion.

Vampire Bat: I would agree to what you said last. But I have to say that the major reason I like this one is because the whole thing is so clear. There are no ambiguities in the story or in the screen. The visuals are so beautiful and crystal clear. I can’t remember seeing such a visually magnificent movie for such a long time. I am quite sad that I missed it on the big screen. It was surely a great honour for my television, as the whole thing looked so good on it, not a usual thing for my normal LED TV and the local cable tv network. Glory be to its visual effects, make-up and the twin feelings of light and dark which the movie managed to portray.

Count Dracula: I am more in support of its darker side, as I feel that the lighter side was meant to keep the dark world within control, as they always do. It is the same thing that they try in my case too, for most of these human audience are not prepared to face all these darkness at once, especially the kind of people whom they target with this type of movies. So, such combination was a must, and they have done well in combining both.

Vampire Bat: We can do nothing other than admire J.R.R. Tolkien for what he has provided us with, unlike what kind of teenage nonsense which has taken over the literature and movie world these days. May be I should write some fiction myself; well I do write something, and it is still fair nonsense. I love this world which the man has created. There is so much in it, not only to see for its visual beauty, but also a lot to think about. We are all hobbits or halflings in this world run by the so called influential people of the higher race, I guess. Therefore, we are all both Frodo and Bilbo in one.

Count Dracula: Except for me, as I am rather that orc person living in an elvish world with my inherent undead qualities, and thus rather a kind of Undead Dark Elf rather than a Wood Elf or a High Elf. But as we consider The Hobbit, I suggest you heavily recommend it.

Vampire Bat: I shall do the same and have to watch it many more times in my immortal hours, Count. Now, it is the time to go home and have that cup of tea, and therefore until we collide on a hunt again, good bye, Count.

Count Dracula: Good bye, best of my winged brethren; for now.

Vampire Bat (to himself): It might have been sad for such a legendary Gothic horror character to live through something like Twilight, but The Hobbit is one of those movies which can cheer him up. He has that opportunity to remember those beautiful days of magic and sorcery and the telepathic connections to the mythical world before science took over and branded all of them as vague imaginations, thus ending the connection. The Hobbit is for all vampires and good humans, that is for sure.

✠ There a few things which are to be kept in mind while going for this movie. It has great visual imagery, and the way in which each person of different races is detailed needs special mention, especially the dwarves. As the beauty of worlds are considered, the elf world stays incredibly beautiful. The collision of the worlds of light and darkness, and the assertion of faith exists with strength in this movie. It can also be considered a fable for the modern world and its life, as a group goes to claim glory, or rather try to get back their nostalgia, whichever is more applicable. So do they go and steal the gold or do they claim what is rightfully theres? Such remains the moral questions of the movie. Yes, I am looking forward to the sequels, The Desolation of Smaug (2013) and There and Back Again (2014). There would still be the question if these movies can stand the horrible weight of expectations, or will those strengthen the movie to such a huge extent that there is awesomeness. I do wish that Guillermo del Toro comes back for the final movie, even if that would make revolutionary changes in the movie making that last one entirely different from the rest.

Release date: 14th December 2012
Running time: 169 minutes
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm,Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Graham McTavish, Manu Bennett, Barry Humphries, Sylvester McCoy, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis

thehobbit copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.