Rurouni Kenshin

Vampire Owl: Isn’t this the second Japanese movie that we are watching?

Vampire Bat: Yes, they were mostly overshadowed by Korean and Chinese films.

Vampire Owl: The name is quite tough here.

Vampire Bat: Your soul will get used to such names.

Vampire Owl: Do you know that Japan is my dream country?

Vampire Bat: Japan is everyone’s dream country.

Vampire Owl: Except for the common vampires of our times.

Vampire Bat: Are you talking about the never-ending need to go to Romania?

Vampire Owl: Yes, the holy land dedicated to Uncle Dracula, especially on Halloween.

Vampire Bat: That trend had come down since the Russia invaded its neighbouring country, Ukraine. We, vampires are supposed to stay kilometres away from any terrible war caused by human kind. We are not violent people.

[Gets a porotta roll and three cups of masala tea].

What is the movie about? :: The year is 1864, and Japan is now open to foreign trade. This means that a few people seek to end the rule of Shoguns and bring back the authority of the empire, with some of the being ambitious and the others filled with ideals. They are forced to face each other, and fighting goes on only to make the situation worse in the island nation which seeks progress with trade and commerce. Himura Kenshin (Takeru Satoh) who is also known as Hitokiri Battosai serves as a political assassin to overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate which would eventually lead to the Meji Restoration and the later rise of Imperial Japan, finally leading to their participation in the Second World War and fall with the American bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The history goes a long way, and this is more like a civil war which will begin the events which will finally lead to a detailed epoch in the Japanese history with no security or value for human life. The young man of concern here, who is a skilled fighter with swords, joins the clan of Choshu, and begins to work with Katsura Kogoro (Issey Takahashi), their leader.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: During one of the fights in which he kills all the men, a member of the opposite gang refuses to die, and despite being impaled by sword multiple times, gives the assassin a cut on his face. This has Himura clearly disturbed instead of being cold with all the killings. Katsura understands that even after so many years of killing hundreds of men, his assassin is still not comfortable with killing people, a process which he keeps repeating. He feels that the young man hasn’t really grown up yet, and remains pure at heart, which means that there is no peace at heart. He is still the best fighter that he has known in years, but that wouldn’t change the heart. When Himura had earlier joined the group in a bid to overthrow the Shoguns, he hadn’t killed anyone, but the promise that he had shown was immense, unlike anyone whom he had seen among their fighters. He would keep on wondering if the man has finally has had enough of the fights and the brutal killings.

And what can bring a change to world which has only gotten worse with the civil wars? :: Katsura feels that there is the need to find a solution, as there is the need to end this continuous war, for which he needs as many hands holding the swords with expertise. Himura is still haunted by the memories of the man who refused to die, citing the reason of love in his life. One night, he goes on to have a drink of his own, and interferes when a lone woman named Yukishiro Tomoe (Kasumi Arimura) is bothered by a group of men who demand that the woman treats them with respect, and consider them as their heroes. After leaving the tavern, he is almost attacked by two drunkards from the tavern who are killed by an assassin with a chain. He manages to kill the assassin, but finds Yukishiro who had come to thank him, drenched in the blood of assassin, and she soon faints as a result of the shock from what she had just witnessed. He takes her back to his hideout, a place for the revolutionaries. The girl who feel thankful, decides to stay, much to his surprise, as he wonders why.

The defence of Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning :: The stylish action sequences begin the film’s progress very soon. The fights with the swords remain memorable, as there seems to be so much of speed and control related to them – it is like you take your eyes away from the screen for less than a second, and still you end up missing something. You are going to find it difficult to follow the pace of the very thin and agile swords which keep moving in all directions, but you enjoy what happens around. The characters remain interesting, and there seems to be something about almost everyone out there. The performers seem to be chosen with care, and the way they come up with the action scenes makes one wonder if they are really that well trained in all of these. Takeru Satoh leads well, Kasumi Arimura does the job with integrity. The movie nicely takes the fictional world and combines it with history. The emotional side also gains strength at times. The visuals are nice, not just with the big towns, but also with the nice little villages and the small homes surrounded by nature.

The claws of flaw :: The movie might feel to be too violent for at least a few people who are expecting more fights on the scene with blood and gore being hidden, but this is not really that martial arts or superhero movie to go through that route. This is also a little bit too long, considering the fact that the story is very much a predictable one, with not that much of innovation added here by looking at the possibilities in history. When action becomes the first and the one great choice, the plot suffers – it is quite a natural thing as we have seen in other movies – you just can’t satisfy everyone, and then the makers would prefer to go with what the crowd would like to see here. It seems to be very much hesitant to take the risk in different areas, when the challenges were present. The romance, even though present there, feels somewhat forced, even though the performers make it work without any trouble – after all, a love affair changing people all of a sudden is a stereotype which has been used for too long that we don’t really care about that anymore; then the ending which we can feel good enough to make a guess.

How it finishes :: This is not the franchise that we are familiar with, even though people of Japan should be very much familiar with the same. It is also based upon the manga series of the same name, which means more Japanese familiarity for sure – films inspired by comics have its own space like the video-game based works of our times. The movie takes the old style sword-fighting action to the next level, within its own charming setting – there will be no shortage of such action here. This is supposed to the fifth and final installment of this particular franchise about a nineteenth century assassin. But as it is also a prequel, it serves as a stand-alone movie which can be watched first, in the middle or last, and there is the placing in history which makes things easier to understand. Historical setting serve well when used with clarity and skill. We do feel that this a usual tragic tale about friendship and love in a world of war and chaos, but as we have the same arranged really well with the setting, the idea works effectively.

Release date: 4th June 2021 (Japan); 30th July 2021 (Netflix)
Running time: 137 minutes
Directed by: Keishi Otomo
Starring: Takeru Satoh, Kasumi Arimura, Issey Takahashi, Nijiro Murakami, Masanobu Ando, Kazuki Kitamura Yosuke Eguchi

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Free Guy

Vampire Owl: We are all free vampires in a world of slavery.

Vampire Bat: This not really that much of a world of chains.

Vampire Owl: You are not understanding the power of our chains.

Vampire Bat: There are no chains in this realm which can hold a vampire.

Vampire Owl: I am not talking about the physical chains.

Vampire Bat: You mean to say that there is a telepath in the realm?

Vampire Owl: Yes, and she is stronger than any vampire mind reader.

Vampire Bat: You are talking about the legend of the witch-vampire.

Vampire Owl: It is actually the vampire-witch. She is mostly the witch.

Vampire Bat: Just because she knows how travel on a broom-stick, she is now a witch?

[Gets a paneer puffs and three glasses of blackcurrant shake].

What is the movie about? :: We are introduced to Free City where people who are wearing sunglasses are heroes, and run the city. They can do almost anything in the city, never really obeying the rules which are applicable to others. Among the many normal people in the city is Guy (Ryan Reynolds), who seems to live a usual kind of life, as he works as a bank teller, and considers his life as a part of a paradise where he lived from the time he can remember. His best friend is the bank’s securiy gurad, Buddy (Lil Rel Howery), who is not really bothered about the bank getting robbed frequently. Everyone out there seems to be very happy, and Guy feels that he has everything that he needs, except for a lover. He attempts to fall in love without success, and feels that he hasn’t really found the right person yet. Soon, he finds a mysterious girl wearing sunglasses, and as he goes after her, is run over by a train. It is soon revealed that the world they are living in is actually a game – a massively multiplayer online role-playing video game, which has Guy as a non-player character.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: The mysterious girl is Millie (Jodie Comer) in the avatar Molotov Girl, a player looking for source code to her original game, Life Itself which she wrote with Keys (Joe Keery). It was stolen by Antwan (Taika Waititi), the Soonami CEO who stole it and turned it into something else. Keys wants to help, but prefers to work with Antwan instead, and continue to have a job. At the same time, Guy has deviated from the programme after listening to that unintentional song from Millie. He starts off by asking the wrong coffee instead of the one programmed for the NPC. He also starts talking differently to many people, which leads to changes in the programming of other NPCs too. Soon, he decides to steal the sunglasses, as the girl was also wearing them. He gets one from a robber, and starts seeing things from the perspective of the players from the world outside. It makes him think deviate even further from his original programming.

And what more is here in a world of chaos? :: The programmers think that a hacker from real life has taken over the NPC, and is playing the role differently, feeling that it is indeed a small glitch which will be resolved soon enough. As Millie comes against him, she also feels that he is a player and asks him to level up, so that he could be of more worth, an advice he takes into himself seriously. Unlike the others, he decides to level up by doing good things only, with minimum use of weapons. He begins to try to be like the heroes that he had witnessed on the streets, but with only the good side by helping people in need and fighting some evil. Soon, he becomes a top level player, and is also an internet sensation in the real world. He also saves Millie when she is on a mission to collect the evidence, and she falls in love with him feeling that he is actually a real person who is playing the game. Soon enough, they will understand the same, and so will Antwan. Now, the equations will be complicated. Can the makers find their code, and where does that leave Guy?

The defence of Free Guy :: The movie’s concept is really good, and is a pretty good addition to what we have seen before in different films before. Among the other more famous films, the one which I remember the most is The Thirteenth Floor, even though the world peculiarities also reminds us of the one most famous film, The Matrix. The main character also reminds us of the protagonist of The Lego Movie and the rest of the people like Nerve. We are reminded of the games like Grand Theft Auto, Mafia and The Godfather too. These reminders serve to provide some nostalgia too. The mixture made out of the combination of different interesting things continue to be engaging, and also has a certain amount of humour associated with it. At the same time, there is a strong emotional side which never brings the overdose. The world in the movie is indeed interesting, and there are some fine visuals which support this new universe. It is indeed a stylish and beautiful environment that we have here, and the connection with the original world is well-established.

Positives and negatives :: One might feel that the idea is not new, but the presentation does have some innovation about it, and it never really gets that dark or serious about the happenings around here. Due to the same reason, there can be some predictability here, which they have managed to hide at some points effectively. Ryan Reynolds is here with a fine performance, and a role which is very much more worth appreciation than Deadpool – here he plays one of the most lovable protagonists around, and he seems to do that with ease. As expected, he also excels in the action sequences. Jodie Comer excels in two worlds, and she strikes well with action sequences within the new world and also outside the game. There are some spectacular action scenes with the two around, and would be a case of grandeur on the big screen. Joe Keery also has a nice role to play which he manages well. Lil Rel Howery adds further to the comic side well. Taika Waititi also makes a good villain, the big rich one with only money in his mind.

How it finishes :: Free Guy is that kind of a movie which needs more attention in this part of the world, as it is appropriate for almost every kind of audience. The movie also deals with the idea of existence – maybe we are all in a video game too, and will never know. Maybe we are all programmed to, as there is something special about all of us – then, maybe life has no meaning; all these could be reminded by this one movie. What if we are not programmed to know the truth about our existence? Even in between all these people go for war, and most humans just hate each other. Maybe it would have been all better if this was a video game, for there is so much of hate, and the futility of one’s actions is disheartening. Those who work harder than others and the ones who are the most honest are the ones who suffer the most. You live a life with life-long learning and it might be some moron who gets the job for which you are best qualified – then there are the reservations which hands them the jobs. Maybe, our lives are also programmed – we might be in a video game.

Release date: 13th August 2021
Running time: 115 minutes
Directed by: Shawn Levy
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Joe Keery, Taika Waititi

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Dune

Vampire Owl: A movie set in the future is the need of the hour.

Vampire Bat: There is no future that Uncle Dracula hasn’t seen.

Vampire Owl: Yet, he decides not to share the vision of future with us.

Vampire Bat: There is no future that we need to know.

Vampire Owl: You are more afraid of the future than the past now?

Vampire Bat: Everything except the present is to be feared.

Vampire Owl: You feel the need to prepared for a future you don’t know.

Vampire Bat: I am always prepared for that fearful future.

Vampire Owl: You can never be enough prepared for the same.

Vampire Bat: Which is why you need to be afraid of the future.

[Gets a blueberry cake and three cups of ginger tea].

What is the movie about? :: The year is 10191, and in Caladan, the homeworld of House Atreides, Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac), the Duke of House Atreides is asked by the emperor of the Known Universe to replace House Harkonnen as the rulers of Arrakis, a desert planet which serves as the only source of spice, an incredibly valuable substance that improves human abilities and helps them to go on interstellar travel faster than light safely. But the brutal race of Harkonnens in their homeworld, Giedi Prime won’t be that happy about it as they had held the area for about eighty years. Beast Rabban Harkonnen (Dave Bautista), the leading fighter among them is certainly not happy, but it turns out that the emperor means something else with these actions. Leto does feel that there is something wrong about all of these, and that the emperor has some sinister motives, but decides to form an alliance with the native fighters known as Fremen instead of enslaving them, thus bringing a twist to the plans.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) is the heir to the throne of House Atreides, and is worried about the recent happenings, as he had also come up against many nightmares about the planet which his people were going to invade. Paul’s mother Lady Jessica Atreides (Rebecca Ferguson) is a part of the Bene Gesserit, a group meant only for women, whose members have advanced physical and mental abilities – the group is not happy about Jessica having a male child instead of the female one which she was supposed to have. They are hoping for a perfect messiah-like superhuman who can guide humanity to a better future, and wonders if Paul is the one, even though he surely has a long way to go. House Atreides takes control and arrives on Arrakis, and the people there seems to appreciate them, especially Jessica and Paul. The terrain and the buildings in the place seems to be completely different, and Paul feels that Bene Gesserit is planting unnecessary superstitions about a messiah there too.

And what more can we expect in this world which has so many secrets in store? :: Paul understands more and more about the planet, its deep-rooted trees, sandworms and strongly held strange beliefs. Dr Liet Kynes (Sharon Duncan-Brewster) who serves as the judge of the change and the imperial ecologist talks to them about the dangers which exist there. Leto has a talk with Stilgar (Javier Bardem), the leader of the Fremens, and it goes on well. During a flight above the sands, they come against one of the sandworms coming towards a spice harvester which had almost finished harvesting. The group rescues the crew members, as the sandworms take the harvesting machine. They understand that the equipment out there are not good enough, and will not help them to bring the spice production back strong – they feel that they are destined to fail, and then someone else will take over. Meanwhile, at Salusa Secundus, the Imperial Army Planet, certain preparations are going on, and certain terror awaits.

The defence of Dune :: This movie, as any other story in a future set in another planet would come up with, has a grand spectacle in store, as far as the visuals are concerned. These worlds become part of you as it would do each and every time in Star Trek, Alien or the computer games like Mass Effectspace exploration never gets old. The special effects are used very effectively and the world detailing is really good – the details do not stop at the world with its buildings and people as it goes further with so many things established in this first movie which seems to serve as the pillars to what is to come later. There are also lots of action sequences, and we have that feeling of Game of Thrones coming back here after such a long time – well, War of the Roses can keep showing up in many movies and series in style. Based on one of the world’s best selling and the most appreciated science fiction novels, you would have always known what this movie would be capable of, with the use of new technology. The movie also serves as a reminder that the wars are forever, as long as any humanoid is alive in this galaxy or the others.

Positives and negatives :: The movie does remind you of a few others, but that is understandable as the story of human greed for power has remained the same throughout years. The film is also long, and the run-time might not be acceptable to most people as there are many scenes which seems to slow down things much. The movie is also not an easy movie to follow if you keep your eyes off the screen during regular intervals – there are many characters who are to be remembered and there are so many dialogues coming not just in English. The movie feels like that kind of a movie which will require you to have a bigger screen. This is also like a few drops of water in an ocean, as the world here seems to be huge, and there are so many books in this series which can be made into spectacular movies. The movie did have its own adaptations earlier, but this one right here might be the biggest of them all, even though one does feel at times that things could have been more direct – Jupiter Ascending, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and John Carter, two highly underrated inter-planetary movies could do that.

How it finishes :: Dune begins the journey of an epic really well, and has us waiting for the next movie in the series. As it is based on a 1965 epic science fiction novel by the American author Frank Herbert, there will always be questions about how much the adaptation had done justice to the original work. As I haven’t read the book, that wouldn’t be on my list of things to do, but I am sure that this movie is indeed a remarkable work that one will remember and shall wait for a possible sequel. The book did have five sequels after the first one – Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune. The sequel to the first movie and featuring the second half of the first book, Dune: Part Two will be releasing next year. So, this is not the end, but the beginning, and we can always hope for the tale to be continued in a better way as the basic origin story has been established well. The same would be in theatres unless corona virus will have another ride on its pale horse.

Release date: 22nd October 2021; 25th March 2022 (Amazon Prime Video)
Running time: 156 minutes
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Charlotte Rampling, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Bloodshot

Vampire Owl: I am ready to take the bloodshot right now.

Vampire Bat: I am sure that this is not exactly a vaccine filled with blood.

Vampire Owl: I know that Doctor Frankenstein is developing such a vaccine.

Vampire Bat: Yes, but this is not it – and he is too crazy to be successful in it.

Vampire Owl: Doctor Frankenstein is a man of many skills. Madness is only one of them.

Vampire Bat: Yes, the result of his last experiment is now leading the zombie army against us.

Vampire Owl: You can’t blame a godly figure for giving his creations freewill.

Vampire Bat: Even Mary Shelley called him only as Modern Prometheus.

Vampire Owl: I am much older than anyone calling anybody by any name.

Vampire Bat: Okay, do take your Bloodshot vaccine when it is available in the goblin market.

[Gets a vegetable puffs and three cups of cardamom tea].

What is the movie about? :: Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is having his vacation somewhere on the coast of Southern Italy with his wife Gina Garrison (Talulah Riley) after a successful hostage rescue operation in Mombasa off the south east coast of Kenya. But they are captured by Martin Axe (Toby Kebbell) and a group of mercenaries who murder both his wife as he is not able to answer a question about their earlier mission. As Ray promises that he would have his vengeance, Martin kills him too. But he finds himself waking up elsewhere in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at the laboratory if Rising Spirit Tech (RST). Dr Emil Harting (Guy Pearce) and Miss KT (Eiza Gonzalez) explains to him that he was dead, and the United States military had transfered his body to their research facility. Ray had become the first successful human revival as part of the experimental Bloodshot program, as a new nanite technology has brought him back stronger than before and healed his injuries.

So, what happens with the events here? :: Ray has no memory of what has happened with his life though, and he is more or less of a blank slate. The company explains to him that his body was sent here because there was nobody to claim it, and the research focused on building, reconstructing and enhancing soldiers with different methods using exoskeletons and higher levels of regeneration. But when he comes up against his memory of his wife’s murder, he immediately leaves the place, and two other cybernetically enhanced soldiers, Jimmy Dalton (Sam Heughan) and Marcus Tibbs (Alex Hernandez) are sent after him. But as he runs through the security forces of who seems to be his enemy, there is more than what meets the eye, but he wouldn’t understand it. But the undercurrents will get to him sooner or later, as he is taken back to the company to recover. What is the secret that he needs to find out sooner or later, and how will it change his world?

The defence of Bloodshot :: As a superhero origins movie, Bloodshot does have enough to keep us interested. The action is all good, and there are some fine visuals as well as those computer generated stylish elements which all come together nicely as a superhero movie should have. It came at a time when we were desperately in need of some superheroes, not just because of COVID-19 pandemic, but also because of our good old Avengers no longer being in the scene with the final spectacle which finished some of its superheroes either by death or by retirement. Diesel’s fans are going to be really happy about this one, as he does things the way has been doing it for a long time, and it reminds one of his much earlier movies. The final action scene is a spectacle, and there were others of our interest earlier too. The movie’s sequel should also have immense possibilities, as there is one almost invincible superhero ready to save the world against all odds.

The claws of flaw :: Bloodshot is a film which could have brought some more twists instead of going the predictable path at times – the superhero movies tend to do that, but this one surely had better opportunities to do that in comparison to a usual movie of the kind, and yet it doesn’t take that chance to keep itself safe. As an origin story, this one keeps itself to the basics, and waits for a possible sequel to do the job better. People would have still expected more, and something which would keep them finding the extraordinary. It does give some of the clues about its twists a little early. For a superhero, there could have been more death defying scenes earlier too, after all, we have seen what our hero could do in the much bigger series with cars, and those bigger car-like things. There might also be those people who can be confused between this movie and Deadshot, and that is not surprising as we consider the number of superheroes we were familiar with, that too in such a short period of time.

Performers of the soul :: As expected, the movie is depending on Vin Diesel to keep the heavy impact going, just like he has done for a long time in his career. The superstars like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Vin Diesel are meant to be superheroes at some point of time, and out hero, the latter had given us that idea quite long time ago. Diesel has another action movie covered here, and he does that with ease, just like he has done with many other action franchises in the past. Eiza Gonzalez also comes in as an action star with this movie, as her skills can also be seen around here. Alex Hernandez and Sam Heughan also does well with those action sequences. At the same time, Guy Pearce makes a pretty good villain, even though the chances of some bigger and better sequences of the mastermind would have done much better. Lamorne Morris remains the most likable character in the movie, and the role seems to suit him really well.

How it finishes :: Bloodshot does seem to have managed its origins story right, and now it is to be seen about how a possible sequel would go. The movie could have surely grossed more if it was not for the COVID-19 pandemic which came in so quickly, and ended its run in the theatres. It did return into the television quickly enough though, and we have another superhero to follow into that gap which Avengers had left behind. Well, we never really have enough of the superheroes, and the sequel to this movie can bring something more special. According to the Corona infested world, we surely will have to wait a long time for such a possibility. Until then, we do have this version, which has the interesting adventure with action and thrills. You can surely give Bloodshot a chance, as Vin Diesel is someone who brings a minimum guarantee on the big screen.

Release date: 13th March 2020
Running time: 109 minutes
Directed by: David SF Wilson
Starring: Vin Diesel, Eiza Gonzalez, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell, Guy Pearce, Talulah Riley, Lamorne Morris, Johannes Haukur Johannesson, Alex Hernandez, Tamer Burjaq, Siddharth Dhananjay

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Shadow in the Cloud

Vampire Owl: I wonder what is stopping them from understanding this shadow?

Vampire Bat: You mean to say that you know this shadow?

Vampire Owl: Yes, it should be Uncle Dracula trying to get some moonlight.

Vampire Bat: I don’t think so. He prefers darkness over any light.

Vampire Owl: Well, he is now being lunar powered.

Vampire Bat: What? You mean, like those werewolves and witches?

Vampire Owl: Yes, the technology in the cells in now shared.

Vampire Bat: You mean to say that Doctor Frankenstein did another experiment.

Vampire Owl: Yes, now the advantage that the werewolves had over us is gone.

Vampire Bat: Advantage? The barbarians can make any empire fall at some point.

[Gets a vegetable cutlet and three cups of ginger tea].

What is the movie about? :: During the final stages of the Second World War, the Flight Officer Maude Garrett (Chloe Grace Moretz) finds herself assigned to a B-17 bomber named a The Fool’s Errand, but as she boards the airplane with her orders, nobody in the crew is happy to see a young woman being assigned to what seems to be a tough and dangerous journey which lies ahead. She feels that she saw something on the side of the flight, which resembled an unidentified creature, but people have a difficult time believing her as they had reached a lot of height. After being left in the turrey for takeoff, she is not able to get back to the flight, as the hatch is stuck and nobody is able to open the door. They keep trying from above and below, but as she begins demanding that she be taken out immediately, they cut off the communications to her, and goes on checking her credentials, if she is really a flight officer like she claims to be.

So, what happens with the events here? :: But it turns out that there is something else happening in the flight. After seeing a Japanese plane close to the flight, she is attacked by the creature, a gremlin, but somehow manages to fight it off. The crew finds out that nobody by her name exists in the force, and feels that she could be an imposter, or an enemy spy who boarded the flight with some sinister plans. There was a bag which she had brought with her, and the crew begins to wonder what its content could be. But Maude continues to try and make them believe what she had earlier said. It is then that the gremlin returns, and they are also attacked by Japanese fighter planes. Now, they have more than one thing to worry about, but the question remains if they can trust her enough to have her fight with them. As of now, it seems that only Staff Sergeant Walter Quaid (Taylor John Smith) seems to believe her up to an extent. Can the crew survive this?

The defence of Shadow in the Cloud :: The music in the beginning itself provides us with that fun feeling, and it comes right after a short animation video regarding the gremlins. The movie focuses on that kind of entertainment, which is not that much based on finding the reason behind everything. Without that much of thinking involved, this movie can be nicely set on that flight during the Second World War, which serves as a nice setting for the same, and it makes the whole thing feel divergent. It does the same by leaving all the accuracy behind, but gets to be fun enough even with that loss – criticism would find fault out of many things. The film is surely good looking, and the plane is also stylishly designed. The soundtrack is really good, and it provides a special feeling to the action. The title of Shadow in the Cloud is justified nicely too. It is the kind of movie which you watch when there is a lot of time to spare, and need quick entertainment.

The claws of flaw :: The movie requires to focus on the entertainment and nothing the rest of the things around. When one searches for logic in this one, it won’t suit the movie much, as there are lots of things which seems to be out of it. There is World War, Japanese fighter planes and strange things happening at such a height – when the leading characters falls down from the flight, she gets blown up by an exploding plane and she falls into the plane, and she also beats up a gremlin with her own hands – I thought we were done fighting on the top of flights, but these people are still having that. The movie is also too short – even then, the movie takes a little too much time to get going in the first few minutes, which are full of dialogues. Talking about too many things might be one of the problems, as the movie does lack focus. It could have actually focused on being the monster movie in such a height, and there could have been some real terror being unleashed, but the same is certainly not the case here.

Performers of the soul :: There is absolutely no doubt about what Chloe Grace Moretz is capable of, as she has been showing the same in some of those big movies, most of them underrated due to no reason. Her performance is somewhat pulled back due to some bad dialogues and writing – if this was a better work in totality, the work would have been noted further. If this movie used more sense, the result would have been outstanding for her. Almost every movie which Chloe has acted in, you see her doing a fantastic job, and you find it difficult to not like the movie – it is certainly an advantage which the makers of her films have. When you have acted in such a young age, some of the acting skills are lost when you get old – we have seen the same in Malayalam movie industry, some child actors have become pain to watch when they became older. But Chloe is clearly an exception, as she is too good. The rest of the cast is only there to support her.

How it finishes :: Shadow in the Cloud makes a fine display of what fun movies can be, with an interesting setting added to it. It is a shorter movie of less than one and half hours which throws logic and accuracy out through the window, and seems to be very proud of such an action. Even if you are not too fond of this kind of movies, you can watch the film for Chloe Grace Moretz, the child actor who has been doing so well also as the leading lady in the last few years. If this movie had released before COVID-19 pandemic, may be a lot of people would have watched and enjoyed the movie – it would have ben such a nice time-pass thing. If you are supposed to remain in home for two to three months without break, you will watch anything, but entertainment like this is a mood booster – not that much of a thing for the brain though. Do give it a chance, and see how it will turn out to be, according to your preferences and demand.

Release date: 12th September 2020
Running time: 83 minutes
Directed by: Roseanne Liang
Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Taylor John Smith, Beulah Koale, Nick Robinson, Callan Mulvey, Benedict Wall, Byron Coll, Joe Witkowski

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Battle of Jangsari

Vampire Owl: I hope that it would be like the battle we had with the zombies.

Vampire Bat: We had a battle with the zombies last year?

Vampire Owl: Yes, the one which was fought near the meeting point of two rivers.

Vampire Bat: Wan’t that a battle with the werewolves?

Vampire Owl: Yes, they looked like wolves, but technically, they were zombies.

Vampire Bat: I do not understand the idea which you are talking about.

Vampire Owl: See, these werewolves were bitten by zombies. Therefore, the are former werewolves who are now zombies.

Vampire Bat: So, you are taking out the werewolf qualities out of them, and saying that the zombie characteristics will takeover.

Vampire Owl: Yes, if you are bitten by an undead, you are no longer alive. The werewolves will acquire the qualities of the undead which bit them.

Vampire Bat: Okay, I guess the only problem will be if a werewolf is bitten by a zombie and a vampire. One has to wonder which characteristics will be taken by the wolf.

[Gets a chocolate cake and three cups of masala tea].

What is the movie’s background about? :: As the Second World War ended, the Allies lead by the Soviet Union and the United States of America liberated Korea from Japanese control, days after the dropping of atom bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With two major powers set to on a Cold War for many years after the defeat of Germany and Italy as well as the weakening of Great Britain and France due to war, Korea was divided into two zones of occupation, as the Soviets were in control of the northern half while the Americans administered the southern half. As different governments having exactly opposite ideologies were established on both sides, there was continuous tension, and each group proclaimed ownership of the whole of Korean peninsula, but didn’t launch a full-scale attack until then. But on the 25th of June, 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea, it had marked the beginning of the Korean War, fought completely in the Korean peninsula.

So, what happens with the events here? :: North Korea, had the support of the major Communist nations of China and the Soviet Union while South Korea, had the support of the United States of America and its allies. The United Nations Security Council itself had approved the sending troops in support of South Korea against what was a full scale military invasion without provocation. A total of twenty one nations are supposed to have provided support to the United Nations defence of South Korea, but United States of America was the leader with ninety percent of the troops provided for the purpose. After the first two months of war, South Korean Army and the United States forces Korea were almost defeated. But in September 1950, an sea-based United Nations counter-offensive was to be launched at Incheon, to cut off many North Korean troops in South Korea. A group of seven hundred and seventy two student soldiers has the task of staging a diversionary mission at Jangsari Beach in South Korea.

And, what is to follow here, as this is war, and a case of final defence for the South Koreans :: This particular attempt at landing would trick the the North Korean forces into thinking that the opposition forces would be soon launching a decisive invasion there would distract the North Koreans from Incheon. But the waves are very high and there is a shortage of landing boats. The student soldiers have no idea what they are doing, and the only thing they has done since getting into the ship, is vomitting. This seems to be a strange and impossible mission on the beach for the students who are trained at nothing except a little boot camp time, while highly trained North Korean defence await on the shores. Can they succeed in this, or will they at least dare to try, as North Korea is very close to making its dreams of one Korean peninsula under them? How long can the South’s resistance at the Nakdong River in the southernmost region stand, and how good is the United Nations in stopping this?

The defence of The Battle of Jangsari :: As you might have expected, there is war written on it right from the beginning, as far as The Battle of Jangsari is concerned. With a thunderstorm seemingly around, we know that there will be no smooth sailing in the movie for the troops, and it is certainly a kind of foreshadowing. The movie is full of some nicely worked out scenes of war, with battle tanks, guns and landmines never ceasing to come up on the screen, as one battle follows the other. There are also those emotional sequences, as some of the soldiers even have a tale to tell, and we also come to know that this is a hopeless situation, from where an escape seems to be too distant. The area where the battles are fought is perfect to provide those nice visuals too. The performances are all good, especially considering the fact that we have a young cast here. Lee Ho-Jung plays the only female among the soldiers, and she does a fine job too.

The claws of flaw :: With a premise and an idea like this, the movie could have achieved a lot more for sure. As it gets near the end, things begin to get more and more predictable, even though there is no certainty about who all will be the ones to survive. The battles could have been more, and we needed to see more of the battles happening in other parts of Korea, at least as a quick reminder. Megan Fox’s character is underused, and there is not much being done to create a change there. The movie also suffers from the absence of female characters, both on the battlefield, and also outside. With Megan around, there could have been more, maybe even with the help of a flashback that goes far behind before the North Korean invasion started. For someone who is coming from outside countries like Korea, Russia, United States of America, Japan, United Kingdom and China, maybe people could use a little bit more of information on this war which hasn’t been known much at this part of the world.

How it finishes :: As far as The Battle of Jangsari as a war movie is concerned, there was lot more to be taken, but it doesn’t do that. It is still a fine film with a forgotten episode of war, which will always be something of interest. As we are not that familiar with this particular war in comparison to the World Wars and the Cold War, this could a fine new experience for us, as the Korean perspective only becomes more interesting. The war with some extraordinary deeds of courage, and an emotional touch which keeps getting stronger towards the end, makes The Battle of Jangsari a movie which needs to be watched. As we take a look at a movie on Korean War which might be the first film most us around here watch based on a war from that side, this might be a war movie you will recommend to many others. After all, there is some history around here, and most of the war movies teach you that, mostly from one side of the battling nations. They have surely kept this one simple and enjoyable.

Release date: 25th September 2019
Running time: 103 minutes
Directed by: Kwak Kyung-taek, Kim Tae-hoon
Starring: Kim Myung-min, Megan Fox, Choi Min-ho, Kim Sung-cheol, Kim In-kwon, Kwak Si-yang, Jang Ji-Gun, Lee Ho-Jung, Lee Jae-wook, Dong Bang-Woo, George Eads, Jeong Jong-Jun, Kim Min-Kyu

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Resident Evil VI

Vampire Owl: I am pretty much not in support of this franchise.

Vampire Bat: What? But you do like this kind of action, and praised the first movie.

Vampire Owl: Yes, but this is becoming a little too much. Too many zombies are being killed, and my team of zombie minions have given a petition.

Vampire Bat: And what was the petition about?

Vampire Owl: It was about saving the remaining zombies of the Resident Evil by an airlift.

Vampire Bat: But they are brainless zombies and this is a movie.

Vampire Owl: Yes, but killing so many zombies is nothing more than racism leading to genocide.

Vampire Bat: But they are just infected humans mutating into zombies.

Vampire Owl: In the end, there is no real difference, you know.

Vampire Bat: Okay, you can accept the petition and decide to watch this movie only in parts.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with special dosa].

What is the movie about? :: Alice (Milla Jovovich) wakes up in the ruins of the White House, after being betrayed by Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) again. She is attacked by the Umbrella employees as well as giant flying creature which seemed to have taken the mutation to another level. Once again on the wrong side of success, it is The Red Queen (Ever Gabo Anderson) who appears in front of her and gives her the clue on how to save humanity, and build a future that seemed near impossible some time ago. It means that Alice has to returned to where it all started in the first movie of the franchise, to the Hive in Raccoon City within forty eight hours, as the Umbrella Corporation has successfully developed an airborne antivirus, which has the power to kill each and every organism infected by the T-virus – but there is only those two days left before the last human settlement is destroyed.

So, what happens next? :: Alice, despite the fear that this particular antidote will kill her too, decides to make this journey to end all of these, and after fighting through Dr. Alexander Isaacs (Iain Glen) and his team that captures her, goes through to reach a human settlement which has managed to keep the undead creatures away until now. There she is captured by the team of Doc (Eoin Macken), Abigail (Ruby Rose), Christian (William Levy), Cobalt (Rola) and Razor (Fraser James) who don’t believe her until her old friend Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) shows up as part of the group, once again alive and ready for battle. The group makes a stand against the group of armored vehicles and the army of undead lead by Alexander and defeats them, although Cobalt is killed and the man in charge of the Umbrella operations escape. Soon, more of similar groups seem to be coming in their direction.

What is to follow in this final chapter? :: With almost no defence left against the bigger horde which is to follow, Alice decides to go to the Hive, and the rest of the group decides to go with her. There they will face more horror, starting with the mutated dogs which kill Christian. It will be followed by more, and Red Queen will reveal something else to the group, a secret that will show the true nature of the Umbrella Corporation which has always wanted to play God, and deal with the people whom it considered to be below them. The Red Queen reveals that even though it could never hurt an Umbrella employee, it was also programmed to value and protect human lives, which is why it is helping Alice to get into the Hive and get her hands on the anti-virus; after all, she is the only who seems to have the skill and capability to do the same, as she has proven many time before. But with only a few minutes of time left, can Alice do what she needs to do?

The defence of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter :: This movie continues what the franchise has been doing for so long, with all the action going on, and those zombies hungry for more coming after the survivors. This movie is also the best reviewed one in this franchise by the critics, which do seems strange – maybe they considered the fact that this is the last movie of the franchise, and they will have to review the movies of the series no more; still this improved opinion can be taken in consideration for the defence of this movie, as this final flick is not that far behind in action at any point of time. Milla Jovovich is at her best with what she does, and as Kate Beckinsale does to the Underworld franchise, she makes things work so well, and seeing Ali Larter again adds to the happiness. This time, people have reason to fight, and so the battles go great. The world also remains really good, and the post-apocalyptic setting has us a lot interested, and the same can be said about the return to the underground facility where all started in the first movie.

The claws of flaw :: One would be surprised to see so much of repetition in this movie, as the whole thing just seems to go on and on rather than bringing something out of the box in a last movie, for which the franchise will be remembered for long – we can’t really say that this will stay the last movie for long though, considering that ending which doesn’t really end the whole thing, with scope always there for a new beginninng out of this. Those who have played the video games might have wanted more, and the same is the case of those people who were already planning to not like this movie. The character of Claire is underused, and some of the best characters from the franchise, Jill Valentine played by Sienna Guillory, Ada Wong played by Li Bingbing, Chris Redfield played by Wentworth Miller and Leon S. Kennedy played by Johann Urb were not there, and we could find no clue of what happened to them, which is real disappointment, as a movie fan as well as a gamer. It could have also used better twists in there.

How it finishes :: This is a franchise that has been entertaining us since 2002, and fifteen years later, with six movies to boast about, the whole thing is finally coming to an end. This series which started with Resident Evil went on to bring Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Resident Evil: Retribution and now, finally Resident Evil: The Final Chapter to finish off the big video game’s movie adaptations. The games have a total count that is going to touch thirty, sooner or later, and I am pretty sure that we are not done with that – I particularly remember Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, and along with Silent Hill, this is another survivor horror game adaptation that I have close to my heart; this might not be among the best movies of the franchise, but still, after Need for Speed, Hitman: Agent 47 and Warcraft in the last three years, another action-filled and interesting video game adaptation is here.

Release date: 27th January 2017
Running time: 106 minutes
Directed by: Paul W. S. Anderson
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Ruby Rose, Shawn Roberts, Eoin Macken, William Levy, Iain Glen, Lee Joon-gi, Fraser James, Rola, Ever Gabo Anderson, Matthew Santoro

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Mummy

Vampire Owl: It seems that finally the mummy has scope to be a real mummy.

Vampire Bat: What are you referring to, here?

Vampire Owl: Usually in the movies, the mummies are men, and so the mummy is usually a daddy.

Vampire Bat: And you are talking like a dummy, for which there is no need.

Vampire Owl: No, you should see the mummy lady in this one. She is cooler than most of the known mummies.

Vampire Bat: You know one mummy which is cooler. You just can’t pronounce his name.

Vampire Owl: Yes, why don’t they have simple names like Count Dracula?

Vampire Bat: Well, mummies are from very ancient Egypt, and going so long back, such names had to exist.

Vampire Owl: I am going to call them Mummy A to Mummy Z.

Vampire Bat: Yes, please do it, as long as they don’t hear the same.

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

What is the movie about? :: In ancient Egypt, Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) is an expert in almost everything, and is undoubtedly the best warrior, and the next in line for becoming the Pharoah of the lands. The Pharaoh, Menehptre (Selva Rasalingam) also sees his successor in her, strong, courageous and one who doesn’t give up. Things are all going smooth until the Pharoah has a son with a newer, younger wife, which angers her as she realises that all her work has been for nothing, with this young child taking over the kingdom as the Pharaoh of Egypt when he grows up. Frustrated with the situation, she decides to take the throne in one way or the other. Knowing that she can’t do it by himself against the extremely powerful Pharaoh, chooses to worship Set, the god of evil, chaos and war. This particular god who had even killed his own brother Osiris helps her in return for unleashing himself on Earth – but, after killing her father, his wife and the baby boy, she is captured by the guards and mummified.

So, what happens next? :: With the princess mummified, and buried in a land far away, the curse of Set remains, as the promise to him in unleashing the god was not kept. Years later, somewhere in the present Iraq, Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and his best friend Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) spend their time looking to gather what all antiques they can get from the area of the nation called Mesopotamia, which used to be the cradle of civilisation while having their own trouble with the locals as well as the terrorist organisations operating from there. It is during these times when they accidentally uncover a tomb, which seems to be Egyptian, much to the surprise of the archaeologist, Jennifer Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) who also lands there as part of her excavations. With the approval of Colonel Greenway (Courtney B. Vance), she goes into the tomb supported by Nick and Cris, ending up with a sarcophagus immersed in mercury, which they decide to take home.

And, what is to follow next in the adventure? :: Their trip is rather cut short as the flight is attacked by a huge group of crows, and Cris who was bitten by a spider inside the tomb also turns undead, and Nick has to kill him. The plane ends up crashing, and Nick manages to save Jennifer by using the parachute, but he as well as the others in the airplane are assumed to be killed. But Nick ends up waking up in the mortuary, with a vision of an undead Cris, and he also has visions about the princess. He begins having more and more visions of the princess and undead, and goes to the crash site only to escape from the princess and her newly resurrected undead. It is a secret society headed by Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russel Crowe) that helps them to escape, and after chaining the princess in such a way that there is no way to get away, explains to Nick that he is the key to her finishing the curse, which why he escaped without a scratch from the plane crash. Well, evil would always find a way, and so does the princess to escape and unleash herself – can anyone stop her in time?

The defence of The Mummy :: The movie does begin strongly, and there is certainly a nice beginning to the tale, with the interesting tale of the power-hungry princess of Egypt told and also with the mummy being unearthed, followed by the plane crash – there are also some nice visuals with everything, and the visual beauty is there throughout this movie no matter where things happen. Tom Cruise does a great job as the protagonist, and Sofia Boutella is amazing as the princess of Egypt returning as the mummy – the censor board seems to have worked very well to cover most of her tattooes; maybe they are against Indian culture more than we think they are, and it is not the movie makers who decide what we can watch, it is the current Chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification in India, after himself getting to watch everything because he can – we saw most of it in the trailer, seriously. Russell Crowe is sadly wasted in his role though, and so is Annabelle Wallis, both having characters going nowhere against a powerful, love-seeking mummy and an even more powerful human Cruise.

The claws of flaw :: There is a certain loss of direction regarding this movie – the same can’t be called as positive divergence, because it just goes on and on, even adding the elements of Jekyll and Hyde, and one has to wonder why it had to be done, when enough material is available from the tales of mummies; people end up wondering if they are going to add the Hulk next. It is as if the idea about making good blockbusters by reboot, is leaving Hollywood. Not sure why decided to bring the mummy from Egypt to Iraq and then to England, with not much of Egypt there in the picture – we would have preferred to see the Pyramids whenever the word mummy was associated, and not like what they did with the third of the mummy movies. It was Dracula who really had to come to England, a vampire, not a mummy. The humour is of no use, and the climax is of no strength, with weak twists, and the final sequence not interesting at all. Also, Tom Cruise’s character gets bigger than the mummy on whom the movie is really supposed to be about, and it is also a creature who can be captured with sharp weapons.

How it finishes :: The Mummy brings the tale of the undead creature from Egypt once again, and this time not exactly in the same path. This certainly won’t prove to be a match for the movie of 1999 and its sequel, The Mummy Returns. This is surely better than The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor though, and one has to wonder if this stands any chance against Wonder Woman, or even the still running Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. It will certainly not bring three sequels and four spin-offs unless there is a big improvement with a sequel. Even though not a bad movie as it has its interesting moments supported by visuals and thrills, the execution is not that much there, which should give it a disadvantage against the movies which released earlier – but with Tom Cruise around, this should do okay at the box-office. After all, it has been a long time since we saw a Mummy movie, and a female Mummy as the main villain brings more variety to the tale. But where we want Tom Cruise more is in movies like Edge of Tomorrow, Mission Impossible, Jack Reacher, Minority Report, Oblivion and many others. Underworld and Resident Evil franchises, despite being in confusion due to too many movies, could combine action and horror better.

Release date: 9th June 2017
Running time: 107 minutes
Directed by: Alex Kurtzman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Marwan Kenzari, Russell Crowe, Javier Botet, Selva Rasalingam, Dylan Smith, Rez Kempton, Chasty Ballesteros

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

NH10

nh10 (1)

Vampire Owl :: I heard you were not anywhere close to here, and just a few hours ago, you were watching a movie here?

Vampire Bat :: Yes, I was on a trip, but now I am here, and I am back after watching NH10.

Vampire Owl :: I saw the SMS and thought you were travelling through NH10.

Vampire Bat :: You make too many guesses. You even read conclave as con-cave, and delegate as Delhi Gate. You need to think about this seriously.

Vampire Owl :: Yes, we owls find our own meanings and spellings rather than be dominated by any bat community. Do you know what the werewolves are doing these days?

Vampire Bat :: Don’t you think that we are too divided instead of becoming one Night Creature nation?

Vampire Owl :: Yes, the werewolves were the first to invent the Wolfine tapioca chips maker, which is one of the reasons why they think they are a superior community.

Vampire Bat :: First to invent what?

Vampire Owl :: You won’t understand. It is a complete wolf thingy. I am still working on it with the experts.

Vampire Bat :: Can you just go and watch this movie which I recommend?

[Leaves for the tea shop].

What is it about? :: Meera (Anushka Sharma) and Arjun (Neil Bhoopalam) are part of the metropolis and have their lives among the skyscrapers. But after an incident involving a number of unknown men at night, Meera is traumatized and even gets a gun for protection. But as they go on a trip to make up for the trauma, things only get worse. As they stop at a restaurant, a woman asks Meera for help. But she refuses and the unidentified girl and her lover are soon taken away by a group of goons despite Arjun trying to interfere. As they continue on their trip, Arjun notices the car of these people and gets out of the car to follow them hoping to scare them with the gun and thus stop them, despite Meera’s protests. But things change as they witness a case of honour killing, and it is then they are the ones who are hunted, and there might not be enough bullets in the gun for all villains.

The defence of NH10 :: This is like the first full horror slasher movie of India with a message. The movie keeps asking the question if people are actually safe beyond the lands where law has a role to play – are women safe? Does the weak or the less privileged ones, both men and women has a role to play in a society which is becoming more violent and mindless even in a modern world? How long is the list of the modern age subaltern? Is there a certain kind of automatic mindwashing that goes on which makes one hate the other religion or community? Shouldn’t human life be the most valuable thing and not rules or community/religious beliefs? Yes, the questions are endless. What this movie also brings is some violence which mostly stays off the screen, which is actually a nice idea. The thrills are always present and the twists also arrive to make the desired impact. This is also realistic for most of the run-time.

The Claws of Flaw :: The movie’s ending is rather dull, with just some adrenaline rush and everything finishes with the revenge. I did feel that it should have been better thought out and executed in a more interesting manner than quickly going through it. There are also some dumb actions done by the characters, about which I won’t talk much to give too much of the idea out. The songs are ridiculous, and it is totally unnecessary in a movie like this – why would they even think about putting music in between is totally beyond my comprehension, and if those songs were at least good for something, we could have at least be happy to listen to them separately. The darkness doesn’t look that good too, and it could have been better handled with some of the camera shots.

Performers of the soul :: Anushka Sharma manages to come up with a fantastic job and this is the kind of role that I haven’t seen her playing before. She has that scared look on her face for most of the movie, and then there is the anger, frustration and the moment when she knows that she needs to have that revenge – she looks so good. I haven’t watched all her movies, but I find it easy to say that this might be her best performance, and that much is the mark that she leaves on us. Yes, I can’t claim perfection, because there are dumb things that her character does, just like the others – something that the horror slasher movies cannot live without; Hollywood has its horror character doing similar things. She is too good here, and the rest of the characters seem like those of lesser power.

Soul exploration :: The question asked here is about the difference between what is built as an utopia in the cities and the dystopia outside the boundaries of the metropolis, that we see as a universe of development. Are we looking to divide the known world into two, one of development and the other hardly seeing any? I have been thinking about the same during a number of visits that I have made around India – why is the gap too much? Shouldn’t the difference in development be not that much? Shouldn’t we strive to fly high above the differences? And honour killings in this century – it is a strange world, indeed as there is absolutely no honour in killing. Human life should be the most valuable thing of them all. There is no substitute for it; each person has the right to life, no matter how he lives his or her personal life.

How it finishes :: NH10 doesn’t seem to have attracted that many audience here, but that shouldn’t define the quality of this movie. That may be because this was not the kind that they had expected. It has been some time since I watched a movie at the theatre, and tomorrow, it is to be a month since I have reviewed a movie here – I couldn’t let that happen, and so here is the review. This is also the last day on which I can watch this movie because it will change here on Friday and no remains of this movie shall be left here. I would suggest that those who still have this movie at their nearby theatres do give it a try, because it shows that there is promise coming from this year, as we have already watched and were impressed by Baby. It is not flawless, but it is a good and interesting deviation from the regular Bollywood – you don’t get to watch movies like this too often.

Release date: 13th March 2015
Running time: 115 minutes
Directed by: Navdeep Singh
Starring: Anushka Sharma, Neil Bhoopalam, Darshan Kumar, Deepti Naval

nh10

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Godzilla

godzillaa

From W.B. Yeats’ The Second Coming
“The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”
The first thing that came to my mind while looking at that Godzilla poster was this poem, and not Pacific Rim or that movie of the same name from 1998. The same was rather justified by watching the movie, as there was something special about this creature this time, and the deviation from the master of destruction which it was supposed to be, is something which adds more mystery to the same. The mystery about the beast which is mentioned in this poem has kept me thinking throughout my studies of English Literature, and now there is the monster, Godzilla who comes up with the element of mystery and surprise.

What is it about? :: Getting out of that 1919 poem by the Irish poet and coming back to our present scenario, the movie begins with some film reels involving atomic explosion and a huge creature partially rising from under the water. The story belongs to Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) though, a military officer specialized in bomb disposal married to his beautiful wife and a nurse wife Elle (Elizabeth Olsen), having one son. When his father Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) is arrested in Japan for trespassing into a quarantined area, he travels there and gets him out of prison, only to join him in the mission to find how his mother died at the same place long ago. But as they get inside the area, they find out that there is actually nothing like the radiation at a place when a nuclear disaster had taken place, and it is not quarantined to save people, but to hide a huge secret which can change the future of mankind forever. The secret will soon be revealed inside a secret complex area, but as it comes to light, there might actually be no real hope for humanity. There will be chaos and destruction unleashed on the world as monsters awaken, and the beginning of all this was years ago.

The defence of Godzilla :: I can’t remember much from the 1998 movie, but from what I can recollect, this is surely a big improvement. Well, as I was a kid at that time, it wouldn’t have been of much use if I had an opinion at that time too. Well, this Godzilla is different, and a big change is that the humanity is not really fighting Godzilla this time, even as there is no denial of confrontations and rockets fired, with destruction caused. Now, that should be a surprise, and the number of monstrous entities should be more than you expect. Unlike Pacific Rim, the movie also has a dark style and there is the more powerful terror element at work. The creatures are designed to look terrifying, and they serve their purpose as they become harbingers of death and destruction with their size and lethal power. There is absolutely nothing funny about their presence or the whole movie as it keeps the seriousness and the atmosphere of horror throughout, between great action supported by the special effects and background score. It is a nice introduction that has been given to the younger audience about this monster who hasn’t graved the screen for sometime. They goes on with the story really well, and there is a lot of suspense built around what is happening around.

The claws of flaw :: Godzilla has released after Pacific Rim; it is not much of a flaw as both deals with the monsters in a different way, but that should hurt a bit for the audience. If this had come before Pacific Rim, that might have actually helped both movies. This should still gross more than the 2013 monster-robot extravaganza, thanks to the title referring to the king of monsters, already running houseful here. There is also no denying a certain amount of slow start to the things unlike Pacific Rim which pounces directly into the action scene. The human characters don’t really impress, and there is no dialogue which will cause an adrenaline rush. The nature-related theme is not fully explored, and this could have actually had a message about the need to preserve environment and get rid of the nuclear warheads. There is a certain amount of uncertainty on what the director was actually planning to bring to the audience; Pacific Rim was certain about it, but not this movie. If it had focused better on the human characters or kept the focus completely on the creatures, this surely would have worked even better. After all, everybody wants to see the giant creatures on the big screen.

Performers of the soul :: Our main hero is played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and it seems to work on most occasions except for a few when he turns wooden. One would still feel that the character has come alive just because there was the need for a hero in this movie. Elizabeth Olsen plays the less explored character of his wife and doesn’t get much attention; neither should be anything memorable. They will be seen together as siblings, or the super-powered evil twins in The Avengers 2 as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch; she played a character attracted to her father in Oldboy – she surely is having a strange combination of characters to play; but unlike Oldboy, she has almost nothing to do that actually affects the movie here, and that should be a let down. The rest of the cast also has very less to do, as this is the world of the monsters where humans become spectators most of the time, and even when they are doing something, the effects are minimal. Even as the monsters come quite late, this slow and steady sacrifice of human characters start very early in the movie and goes on to the end. Well, the monsters need to scare and kill a lot of people, so there is that purpose.

Soul exploration :: The movie shows Godzilla as a force of nature, something that is beyond humans to stop, but the same can also be said about the other creatures. The fact that these creatures feed on radiation is something to be noted. Thus the movie is indirectly a message against the problem that the nuclear power can cause, and the creatures of radiation are rather the symbols of the evil that can be brought upon the current society by the development of science and technology which have been used in such a manner that it makes things convenient, but not better. Godzilla is referred to as a force of nature (that reminds me of what an article called the cricketers Virender Sehwag, Adam Gilchrist and Shahid Afridi a long time ago), and he becomes that force of nature which will bring balance on Earth, whether its enemies are other creatures or the human beings themselves. Well, Godzilla is nothing like the other two creatures which belong to one species, one being the smaller male with wings and the other being the bigger female, stronger without wings. The force of nature is rather the great equalizer, which makes its own choices and takes sides. That is what makes this monster so different and gives the viewers so much to look forward to. Yes, men think that they can control nature with science, but it is indeed the other way around!

How it finishes :: We were given two Malayalam movies with big stars this weekend in the form of How Old Are You and Mr. Fraud and it is a big decision to choose this one over them, but that won’t be too difficult at many places as they would be already booked. The crowd for Godzilla assures the success of the movie, but also makes sure that the two movies I mentioned are already houseful. Godzilla might have lesser audience in the weekdays, but seems to be good enough to stay above par. If you liked Pacific Rim, you will surely like this one too, and the degree of the liking shall depend on what you need, a light action thriller with style or a dark horror thriller with action, Godzilla fitting to the latter detail. Lets take some time to spare some time for these creatures from the depths of Earth, not just the alpha predator which is Godzilla, but the other two mentioned as MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism)! Yet there is one more thing to remember, and that is about the minuteness of humanity against the universe and its secrets, and lets not consider science and technology as the greatest achievement of humanity; it is rather the respect of the fellow humans, environment and the other creatures that should interest us.

Release date: 16th May 2014
Running time: 123 minutes
Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, Bryan Cranston

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Carrie

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You will know her name :: Yes, the movie did finally release here this week, and the name is Chloë Grace Moretz, but the name you might want to remember should be Carrietta N White, or rather the young, strange but gifted girl whom most of the horror fans will know simply as Carrie. Now, that should go back to Stephen King’s first published novel of the same name, and also to the first adaptation of the same belonging to 1976. It was my next favourite novel from the man after Salem’s Lot, The Shining and The Running Man. The early adaptation also make it to the list of my favourite horror movies of all time, even as I would consider it more of a thriller. But talking about this movie, there was just limited hope, as the original was too brilliant. Another thing is that the incidents of the movie belongs to another time, and taking the plot and dragging it by its tail to this era was not going to work that well despite the fact that they got Chloë Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore at their best. So the question would be about how much they can make out of this limited scope.

What is it about? :: Margaret White (Julianne Moore) is a mentally unstable woman who tries to murder her child at birth, but decides to raise her as she is too fanatically religious in a strange and ridiculous manner. Later, her daughter Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz), grows up to become a shy, under-confident, introvert girl despite having some strange power over things around her. She is regularly teased by her schoolmates, especially Chris Hargensen (Portia Doubleday) who even uploads the video on youtube. Their gym teacher Miss Desjardin (Judy Greer) comforts Carrie and punishes the girls who trouble her, but Chris refuses to accept the punishment believing that Carrie has always been asking for it, and is banned from the prom. As she seeks revenge, Margaret continues to try to discipline Carrie in a ridiculous manner. Carrie learns about her power of telekenesis and tries to learn to control it. Another mate, Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde) regrets teasing Carrie and tries to make amends by asking her boyfriend, Tommy Ross (Ansel Elgort), to take Carrie to the prom which she accepts – but it will change the lives of many people, forever.

The defence of Carrie :: The story of Carrie has been brought into a new world with camera phones and the internet. But the essence of the story remains the same. It would have been difficult to keep up with the original which was so much loved, and a story which was so much read and admired, and this movie had to struggle to keep up. The movie scores with more pace and also by creating a creepy atmosphere. The thrills does work and it is successful in throwing surprises to keep it interesting. The best scene of the movie is indeed the climax, with a bloody Carrie standing on the stage with her arms stretched and the blood leaving her body upwards, and later in the middle of the road splitting the path. The final scene of destruction by telekinesis is the only real scene of gore, and it has been well created yet again. The scenes of Carrie being teased, and the moment of realizing her power are also well portrayed. The movie doesn’t try to stay with the original in speed, and it tries to rush, and there lies both the positives and negatives of it.

The claws of flaw :: The movie tries to rush through its plot as if to extend no more than one hundred minutes of length. The movie starts with Carrie being born, and she rushes to be the shy adult girl and quickly goes on to discover her powers and speeds up to the prom. There is not much characterization going on right there, as most of the characters remain predictable and one-dimensional. Everyone except Gabriella Wilde’s Sue Snell remains the same, and remains doing what they have been doing from the beginning. Carrie learns, but that doesn’t really change her either. She is also too X-Men type, and she is that Jean Grey which most of us might have been missing since she was turned into some strange creature in X-Men 3: The Last Stand. The movie is also somewhat outdated to be set in the present background, of belonging to 2013 – yes, there are the new gadgets added, and Carrie is humiliated with the help of a smartphone and youtube. But all the incidents seem to tell us that a setting much older would have been more suitable. To add to it, an ending which has Carrie rising is rather stupid, and she should have remained dead, to be awesome.

Performers of the soul :: Chloë Grace Moretz steals the show with a performance that makes this movie rise above where it is. It should be of no surprise as she did the same, at a much younger age in Kick-Ass, and in a much smaller role in Dark Shadows. With an acting career at the age of seven, she continues to strike gold, this time at the age of sixteen. Julianne Moore also makes a fine mentally troubled mother, but there could have been ever more dimensions to the character – this one is approached in a rather lazy manner by the writers. Portia Doubleday and Gabriella Wilde could have switched characters though, as the latter could have been a better nemesis to the lady in trouble, like Sara Paxton did as Rachel Witchburn in Sydney White, and what we had seen in Mean Girls with Rachel McAdams as Regina George. Meanwhile, the former tries to come up with pure evil, but ends up being just another bad girl trying to be so evil, and succeeds in the same only with her actions, and to be frank, she doesn’t have that evil aura. Gabriella could have nailed that role, but here she had to be the bad girl turned good due to conscience attacks.

Soul exploration :: The movie is a story of a girl who is bullied throughout her life, and in that manner, takes on a social cause. In another scenario, we could have thought about the Bollywood movie Table No.21 which had taken itself as a story against ragging. Carrie is nothing less, as for such a character who is rather nice and God-fearing, the whole world becomes a challenge. She becomes a misfit and a medium for the disgusting new generation to make fun of. The new generation has been moving further and further away from conscience and goodness, and Carrie is indeed a martyr of a new society which finds fun in being rude and evil. To add to it, she has a mentally unstable mother who pretends to be some kind of pure believer, something which is nothing less than a case deserving to be in mental asylum. She did become an alien for many, who could have done so well if they could have just left her alone rather than being bothered. Carrie tells its viewers to respect people for what they are, and sends a message against bullying and ragging.

How it finishes :: If one has not watched the original or read the books, this should be a very interesting Carrie White, and Chloë Grace Moretz might be the only Carrie they know, as well as their favourite one. Sissy Spacek is not going to be forgotten though, that is for sure. Carrie is going to be a more interesting source of telekinetic powers than the other superheroes who possess something similar. Being locked up under the stairs, Carrie becomes no Harry Potter, but gets something better than being invited to Hogwarts, something which doesn’t spawn sequels and a guy without nose. Moving things around is no magic, and our girl is no mutant – there is no background story about her or her mother, and that should make some people unhappy and the rest rather more joyful about the mystery. Even if we leave the superpower side behind, Carrie is the story of many students who have been bullied, and as long as ragging and all such stuff exist somewhere, Carrie’s tale of revenge is of extreme relevance.

Release date: 17th January 2014 (India); 18th October 2013 (USA)
Running time: 99 minutes
Directed by: Kimberly Peirce
Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Gabriella Wilde, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer, Portia Doubleday, Alex Russell, Ansel Elgort, Zoe Belkin, Karissa Strain, Katie Strain, Samantha Weinstein, Cynthia Preston

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.

Total Recall

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What is Total Recall? :: There is always a powerful tendency for remakes in Hollywood, and 2012 had some of the big remakes or reboots in the form of Dredd, The Amazing Spider-Man, John Carter and this one. This year we have Evil Dead, Carrie and Oldboy, while next year has Robocop and The Crow. There are many others which I have missed and more which I might miss. But one of the movie which I didn’t want to miss last year was Total Recall, a remake of the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger starrer movie of the same name, one of my all-time favourites indeed. Then about this 1966 short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale by Philip K. Dick on which the movie is based, I don’t know much. What I know is that the 1990 version of movie was far superior to most of the movies of the age, and great innovative science fiction stuff. The Terminator and Predator are the two famous Schwarzenegger movies and two of the most popular science fiction stories, but Total Recall is in many ways one of its kind. With this remake, where does it’s popularity stand?

The Setting :: The story goes to the end of the century when the Earth is mostly destroyed after a series of battles involving chemical and biological warfare and a possible nuclear attack on each other. What is left fit for supporting life is divided into the United Federation of Britain (UFB) and the Colony (Australia) connected by a gravity elevator which travels through the Earth forming the only connection between the two as the rest of the world remains not fit for traffic and this is one of the fastest means. Many residents of the Colony who are poor, travels to UFB for jobs, as their status as well as wealth depends on the same. The people of the Colony are forced into submission by the UFB as they are inferior in technology and lacks in money as well as an army. There is a consistent assertion of such control claiming that the Colony is home to terrorists. The colony inhabitants live in bad conditions compared to the superior world of UFB.

What is it about? :: Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) is a colony worker married to a beautiful young lady Lori (Kate Beckinsale), but he occasionally dreams about another woman, who would later identified in the movie as Melina (Jessica Biel). But the problem is that he doesn’t know that girl and doesn’t even remember seeing her once. But he is plagued by the dreams which seems to be part of an adventure. One day, he and his best friend Harry (Bokeem Woodbine) visits a facility called Rekall which is a virtual entertainment firm which implants artificial memories in the head of willing people for a price. One can choose to be a secret agent, ruler of an area, lover of many sexiest women alive, a super spy, the richest man on the planet, husband to the most beautiful woman ever known, the strongest man in the whole universe and so on. He asks the salesman, Bob McClane (John Cho) for memories of a secret agent, but it is identified that he already has artificial memories – then police comes in and starts hunting him identifying him as a rebel who is enslaved with false memories, and even his wife joins the hunt.

The defence of Total Recall :: Even as most of the people would not like it as there is no justice done to the original, this movie is still a very good watch. This will not be a classic, but it has great action sequences and very good design and CGI. The world is well detailed and when Kate Beckinsale is around one can rarely feel that there will be a shortage of action sequences. This is from the director the Underworld series – the husband of Kate Beckinsale; when they join forces, the husband-wife team comes up with some of the best action movies, even as there might not be good critical opinion. Doesn’t it remind one of Mila Jovovich and Paul W.S. Anderson with the Resident Evil series and The Three Musketeers? There are new additions to this movie, and some of them do keep us interested. The gravity elevator and the action around it are brilliant, and there are some good, and the stylish new gadgets and a wonderful creation of two worlds on Earth, along with its quick pace that makes it never boring makes this one worthy for defense.

The claws of flaw :: The movie doesn’t make the originial sci-fi classic feel any better. There are no memorable dialogues and has less funny side to it. The movie is also often predictable, and the change of location from Mars to the Colony might not impress a few. Its characters also doesn’t create more of a human effect, as they often move on like robots given a mission. The question would arise if this movie was needed, and one can say that if a movie is remade and can’t match the original or falls behind by quite a distance, there is no need to go for a remake. If this was something new, or they had tried a new science fiction story with a similar theme, it would have worked better. But for now, the fans of the original can only like this in a limited manner, even when there is not that many things which are wrong with this one. There have been talks about a possible sequel, and it can do this movie a lot of good if done properly.

Performers of the Soul :: Colin Farrell does a very good role as the protagonist without memory, with memory, with hidden memory and with an extra dose of memory. Does that make him Arnold Schwarzenegger? Not at all, and there comes tragic fall, but we can’t really blame him for that when he has done his part well – blame the comparisons instead. Kate Beckinsale is simply awesome – from being the lovely wife to the killing machine; she might seem to have the Underworld syndrome, but she is beyond comparison in such roles. Even as Mila Jovovich and Sienna Guillory from Resident Evil got enough sequences to object, there is nobody like Kate in an action role. Once again she makes her entrance in a black costume, a bit less tight compared to what Selene had in the Underworld series, and chases our hero and his girl as if her life depended on it – an out of control psychotic beauty indeed! Her desperation is powerful as well as funny at times, and her dialogues and action keeps the pace high. Jessica Biel pales in comparison, but her beautiful and pretty much cute presence is of pure joy, and her emotional sequences score rather than the fights.

How it finishes :: The biggest change in the storyline should be about the divisions being of UFB and Colony rather than of Earth and Mars. But what might have affected this movie more than anything else would be the absence of Arnold Schwarzenegger, just like Terminator: Salvation struggled, for it was not a bad movie either. We can do without Mars, but not without the legendary action hero, most of them would say. Even as Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel does better than the characters who did the roles in the original, and Colin Farrell’s performance is strong enough, there is no matching the powerful screen presence of Arnold Schwarzenegger. But who can step into the shoes of the man? The remake of Conan the Barbarian seemed to give the impression that there is none. I would not consider the flaws mentioned by the critics as big negatives though, and this movie, even as it is not that much of a great remake of the original like Dredd, this has enough inside which could have made people run to the theatres – I know the box-office collection might not seem enough for a movie like this, but the same happened with John Carter and it is just fate.

Release date: 3rd August 2012
Running time: 118 minutes
Directed by: Len Wiseman
Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, John Cho, Bill Nighy, Steve Byers

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.