Night at the Museum III

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A flashback :: Merry Christmas, everyone. The Vampire Bat is back flying in the theatres again. I haven’t watched a movie in the theatre since the eighth of December which had me watching the movie Seconds, and the reasons are specified here at my other, and nowadays the more active blog (http://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/the-loss-of-power/). The period of eighteen or nineteen days is a long time for me – like a part of an eternity. So on this day of the return to theatre, or most specifically, the multiplex, lets start with the flashback for this third movie of one of my favourite franchises – I am sure that a lot of people from India can use this. This is the story of Larry Daley (Ben Stiller), who has been the night guard for the Museum of Natural History, and it is where history comes alive, or rather the museum exhibits comes to life at night, and all of them show the characteristics of the respective historical person as if this is the same person who had lived and died years or centuries ago. Our protagonist, with his museum friends have saved the day (or night) twice already.

What is it about? :: We go back to the discovery of the tablet of Ahkmenrah in Egypt, and then come back to the present, which has our protagonist working for an event which is lead by Theodore Roosevelt (Robin Williams), and followed by a few of his other favourite exhibits. But there is corrosion in the tablet, and as it gets worse, it affects the exhibits. This leads to the failure of the event, as all of them goes out of control and causes destruction, making the visitors flee in fear. Larry decides to take things seriously, and learns that they should ask for further details from the father Pharaoh who is in the British Museum of Natural History. As Larry makes his way to the museum with the tablet and the son Pharoah and friend Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek), a number of other exhibits have also sneaked in to help him and have a share in the adventure. With time running out and everyone getting weaker, can Larry lead his team to the aim, unsure of what has awaken at the new place?

The defence of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb :: Here is your history teacher of the week, or a reminder of the subject. The movie assures you of lots of fun, and a little more knowledge of history – something that India needs desperately, to have its residents know its history and respect its years long culture instead of going for the money machine. You are in no way going to sleep through this history class, and that is a guarantee – not a first for me though, because I have always enjoyed those classes. The Pompeii scene, the inside the picture shots as well as the theatre moments are very nice. There is some fine use of effects too. Rebel Wilson also has some very nice moments which are not to be missed, and Robin Williams continues to touch you as Teddy, with this one last performance. Here is something for the perfect Christmas family weekend, as long as too much thoughts are not there and a heavy judgement is not passed.

Claws of flaw :: This one stays in the shadows of its predecessors, refusing to come out of it and innovate. A lot of it seems recreated from its predecessors. There was actually not much of a need for this movie, as the previous movie had a nice, happily ever after ending to it, and it was something that we could think about and have a certain amount of joy. Instead, here it is forced to an end which is mixed happy, and there is not even a powerful villain – it was what made the second movie the best of the series; it had one great villain and some nice support for him. Instead, we are taken to the “Save tablet” campaign and some jokes fired at us don’t even come close to working. This is also more childish than the previous movies, especially with the new Neanderthal’s relationships and the repetitions. The family drama doesn’t have the power that it needed, even as we do get the father-son problems and message in the end. May be, with the loss of power of tablet, some energy was also lost.

Performers of the soul :: Ben Stiller makes things work and it seems incredibly easy for him as he once again takes over that one memorable night guard. He also has another role which is less impressive, still stupid and funny. The movie also has Robin Williams and Mickey Rooney in one of their last performances, and the former once again has that nice and interesting role of Theodore Roosevelt which he does to perfection. The team of Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan works fine, but not as much as the previous movies. Dan Stevens makes a good beginning, not that much in the final scenes. Rebel Wilson does a very good job, but is restricted by the less amount of time she has on the screen. Mizuo Peck once again does her character making a good impression, and Rami Malek with Patrick Gallagher completes the team. There are moments of almost every character, and the Hugh Jackman + Alice Eve cameo was also nice.

Soul exploration :: I have always loved this franchise, and thought Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, the second entry was the best of them all, and this movie doesn’t change that idea. Yes, this could have been better, but the idea is still there, and history is once again alive. The three movies combined is a good history lessons which ends with this one. There have been a certain dislike for movies teaching history, and this seems to come from a few people who were sleeping during their history classes at school all the time. This doesn’t take a straight path as Mr. Peabody and Sherman did with sharing knowledge of history or the bonding between a father and son. But still, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb does a fair job in the same. All the history enthusiasts should make sure that they watch history come alive for the one last time, and for others, lets give something to history along with all the fun and entertainment.

How it finishes :: Along with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Penguins of Madagascar, Exodus: Gods and Kings and Interstellar, this one joins the show as the only Hollywood movie to release on the Christmas day here. One certain advantage that Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb has is that it has the Christmas spirits than any other movie. People might not want to cause further brain damage by watching the Christopher Nolan flick, especially with the family, and Penguins of Madagascar is just another animation movie. The final movie of The Hobbit franchise needs knowledge on that special world, and the Biblical Epic takes its liberties and also makes limited impact on a lot of people. So, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb has a bloody big chance here – light at its heart, but still powerful in its messages and the strong lesson about history. It might not break any records worldwide and might not do well in North America, but has the heart to thrive in this part of the world. You need this movie for Christmas, no matter what other movie has released with a bigger fame.

Release date: 25th December 2014 (India); 19th December 2014 (US).
Running time: 98 minutes
Directed by: Shawn Levy
Starring: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Dan Stevens, Ben Kingsley, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, Rebel Wilson, Skyler Gisondo, Rami Malek, Patrick Gallagher, Mizuo Peck, Dick Van Dyke as Cecil Fredericks, Percy Hynes-White, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs, Andrea Martin, Rachael Harris, Brennan Elliott, Kerry van der Griend, Matthew Harrison, Jody Racicot, Randy Lee, Darryl Quon, Paul Chih-Ping Cheng , Gerald Wong, Anjali Jay, Matty Finochio, Crystal the Monkey, Hugh Jackman (cameo), Alice Eve (cameo)

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Curse of Chucky

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Vampire Owl :: Chucky who?

Vampire Bat :: Chucky of Child’s Play? The doll that kills?

Vampire Owl :: Okay, I need one.

Vampire Bat :: It is not available in the market yet. That thing is just in the movie for now.

Vampire Owl :: This is unfair. I don’t even have an Annabelle doll yet.

Vampire Bat :: I shall tell the Lich Queen to gift you one for Halloween.

Vampire Owl :: Can I have her crocodilia animiatia spell with it? She likes me, right?

Vampire Bat :: I have to ask her for the Halloween offers, unless the day is re-located to the Valentine’s Day as both of them are the same in spirit.

Vampire Owl :: It is time they make such dolls locally available. I can’t even have a doll; this is why the world is going to end.

Vampire Bat :: Watch this and be prepared, then.

[Gives the DVD].

What is it about? :: Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif) suffers from paraplegia and lives with her mother Sarah Pierce (Chantal Quesnel) in a big house away from the busy life of the city. One day, the Chucky doll (Brad Dourif) arrives at home by mail, and there is no idea why it is there and who sent it. But they decide to keep it anyway as it is just a cute little toy. The next day, she finds her mother dead and it is thought to be a suicide. The very next day, her sister Barbie Pierce (Danielle Bisutti) arrives, accompanied by her husband Ian (Brennan Elliott), their daughter Alice (Summer H. Howell), the kid’s nanny Jill (Maitland McConnell) and a priest named Frank (A Martinez). Alice develops an instant liking for the doll, and Nica is happy that it could be use to someone. But strange things happen, as the poisoned priest dies as he goes back home driving his car, and Jill is electrocuted to death. Meanwhile, Nica finds some information about the doll from the internet which details the doll’s connections to murders and a serial killer. But will anyone believe her?

The defence of Curse of Chucky:: This movie comes after nine years of wait by the fans of the genre, and only one movie within the fifteen years of two movies. It is the result of such a long wait which was finally fulfilled. This might be the best appearance of Chucky too, as he is back with a clear mission, something which he executes with so much focus and vigour. There is more creepiness with the doll this time, and there is not much for a funny side as he takes over the objective with seriousness. There is lot of blood out there and there is the much needed creepy atmosphere nicely worked out. The plot is nicely reinforced by the addition of a flashback and there is more logic in how this tale goes. The whole world of the group of people in a house in the middle of nowhere, fighting for survival from a doll which they don’t know as the villain – it is a treat. It is Chucky, and he will keep coming back for you until he gets your attention, because he wants to play 😀

The claws of flaw :: The long wait after the last movie of the series also works against the same, because not many people remembers about the previous one. The effect that The Conjuring 2 has, won’t be that much if the title is delayed for too much time. There is also a lot of stuff that you are familiar with, and this is after all, just another slasher movie at its core. There could have been more variety in the killings too, and a more suspense could have been used with the doll and the murders that it committed instead of letting the viewers know how it got into actin so early – but it won’t be a suspense in manner as we all know that Chucky is the one doing all, right? But that should work for the people new to the franchise. There was also the scope for Chucky to be more evil, and hope it is used better in the case of another sequel. Chucky should always do more, because he has that kind of a legacy to keep, as one of the first dolls ever to scare me during my childhood – it took me long to be interested in a doll again; and then there were little toy racing cars for me.

Performers of the soul :: It is impressive how well Fiona Dourif played the damsel in distress who fought back to be only damsel causing distress to Chucky. From her wheel chair, she causes more trouble to the doll than the others who claimed to be smarter, and she has done that role which so much power, and she carries that throughout the movie. Not many killer souls will be happy about being beaten up by such a girl, and here Fiona Dourif does that in such a convincing manner. She doesn’t do the same throughout though, as she varies in her situations, from the cute pretty girl on the wheel chair to the sad daughter and the frightened girl in trouble and finally to that lady fighting for survival against a serial killer doll. With the same, we also have one of the most frightening dolls of all time at work, and who needs humans when we have such awesome killing dolls? Sorry, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, for the latest slasher score goes to the doll character.

Soul exploration :: Curse of Chucky, just like most of the movies of the franchise, is horror right from the soul. There is the soul of serial killer in a doll, and there are not many better souls that a doll can have to create trouble. A person caught in a doll is pretty bad, and this one is a serial killer, not a regular ghost who would just be terrifying – but here the killer chooses to be his sadistic self, and this is where the movie has the potential to be so wonderful, and this is why Chucky is special. The only other movie which used the dolls so well was Dead Silence, and there it was the ventriloquist doll. Remember that it also had a doll coming by mail and nobody knowing where it came from. They might have been more of puppets, but they were dead scary, and no one can deny them that. Dolls might be cute gifts for the kids, but they can be nicely used in the horror genre, and lets hope that the upcoming movie Annabelle uses it well as the spin-off should be as good as The Conjuring itself. The real name of the heroine of that movie is also Annabelle – now that is strange 😀

How it finishes :: I have been a big fan of the Child’s Play franchise and its awesome doll. This franchise which has celebrated its silver jubilee and having six movies, all of them being fine, even as I don’t have that much high an opinion about the last two before this. It was going through a rather comic route at times, but here we have it back in the full horror. The movie had all the potential to be another bad horror movie hoping to have success by the name of the franchise itself. But Curse of Chucky brings it back up to the powerful horror side where it belongs. It is a case of happiness for the horror fans to have their favourite doll back in all its horror glory. It is the highest rated movie in the franchise by the critics, and it is well deserved, because it would have been easy to go the wrong way at this age, being just another horror movie which doesn’t scare. I am looking for the android game Chucky: Slash & Dash right now, hoping to get it some day 😀

Release date: 8th October 2013
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Don Mancini
Starring: Fiona Dourif, Danielle Bisutti, Brennan Elliott, Maitland McConnell, Chantal Quesnel, Summer H. Howell, Jennifer Tilly, A Martinez, Brad Dourif, Kally Berard, Anne Leveille, Kyle Nobess, Kevin Anderson, Alex Vincent

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.