Vampire Owl: Do you remember having played the game Diablo?

Vampire Bat: Yes, how can I forget that! But this movie is surely not based on that.

Vampire Owl: Yes, I can see that it is more based on car racing, and reminds us of Need For Speed and Fast and Furious.

Vampire Bat: There is no other RPG action game which had me immersed in it like Diablo.

Vampire Owl: I guess that it was Diablo 2 which our attention the most.

Vampire Bat: Until The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was released, I was still in Diablo 2.

Vampire Owl: And when Diablo 3 released a very long time later, we were very much out of the gaming world.

Vampire Bat: With Oblivion, one could be bitten by a vampire and become one, and it was optional to find a cure for that. Those were the best moments of my gaming life.

Vampire Owl: We still often like the sequels, the second games more than the first ones and third ones.

Vampire Bat: Yes, like Diablo 2, Warcraft 2, Disciples 2, Age of Wonders 2, Quake 2, Need For Speed 2 and Age of Empires 2.

[Gets a vancho cake and three cups of cardamom tea].

What is the movie about? :: Kuba (Tomasz Wlosok), a young man who has a seriously ill little sister to take care of, decides to take part in some illegal races to make some quick money, as it is not possible with his usual job by the day. He has to work at night with these races, and has to go through the darker corners, but he thinks that he can do it. But the racing world is not as easy for him go through, as there are many others who are looking forward to make quick money, and the experienced racers will always have a problem with someone new coming into the picture. The dealings are not always straight, and here, it is like you get everything or you will have nothing – it is the risk which he has to take. There is so much of money involved, and this race which is named after the devil himself will have more to be seen than what meets the eye. Still, nothing stops one from hoping against all kinds of hope in the world.

So, what happens with the events here? :: Kuba also comes across Ewa (Karolina Szymczak), another racer whom he beats in a race, and they are attracted to each other. Love for cars, bikes and racing are just a few of the things which keep going for them, but there is something about her family background which can cause deep trouble for that particular relationship. There are many other things happening along with the racing, as the background has more things written down with clarity. Behind racing, something illegal might be happening, and Kuba might not need to become a part of it cause further trouble. But as he desperately needs the money for his little sister’s heart operation, there are not many things that he wouldn’t do. As everything comes down to that final showdown, Kuba needs to make some tough decisions so that he can be successful, and get what he has always wanted to get. But can he do it? Can Kuba achieve what he intended to do or will he end up missing out here?

The defence of Diablo: The Race for Everything :: It is evident that this is one movie which wants to be like Fast and Furious, without focusing that much on action, keeping things rather simple, as we see it. There are not many other things happening in this movie, and as this is a short movie, and with some moments of racing added here and there, it won’t have many moments to slow things down, even though it does at times. The visuals are all nice, and we feel good to see Warsaw with all its beauty, and inspires us to make a visit to Poland – some of these nations which are not situated to the west of Europe are worth having some trips, and the Polish cities make it to the list along with Romania which brings the Dracula feeling, Estonia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Serbia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Hungary, Moldova, Latvia etc among the others. When we watch these movies from the area, we are more attached to the places which are less visited from the tourists from this part of the world. This movie even got a feel-good ending, and it is nice.

The claws of flaw :: Diablo: The Race for Everything doesn’t have any direct relationship with its title meaning the devil, and it is completely dependent on the races and a little bit of action with the guns and some punches which comes in between. More could have been done with the movie instead of focusing on the essentials, and keeping everything close to the usual, staying on the safe side. The romantic relationship here is also half-baked, not really getting to be something of interest, as Karolina Szymczak gets much less than she should have, as we see her beginning so well with her introduction into the movie. There is also certain amount of lack of speed displayed by this movie at times, which is not acceptable for this kind of movie, and there could have also been a better feeling of danger, with everything at stake – but the movie doesn’t try that much to make one feel for the characters despite having a severely ill kid as a motive for illegal car racing.

How it finishes :: Diablo: The Race for Everything does have enough to keep you engaged, despite not having much to raise it level, much to the dismay of the fans of the Fast and Furious franchise, and the admirers of racing fans. But when you need just what this movie brings, which is as much as a usual film with all these contents is supposed to bring, you can get yourself to enjoy it enough. This is also the first Polish movie which I had ever watched from a place which had reowned makers of cinema like Roman Polanski, Andrzej Munk, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Andrzej Wajda, Agnieszka Holland, Andrzej Zuławski and Jerzy Skolimowski. I hope to add a good number of Polish movies to the list, but this seems to be a good start to a procedure which is to last many years. Diablo: The Race for Everything can be considered as a poor man’s Fast and Furious, which stays somewhere around there, and manages to bring the entertainment.

[Gets some french fries along with another cup of tea].

Vampire Owl: So, the gaming life is going on well. Isn’t it?

Vampire Bat: Yes, even the dialogue about Diablo has inspired me to look at those older games which we tried when we were in school.

Vampire Owl: The game is the diablo that most of us PC gamers of late 1990s and early 2000s will never forget.

Vampire Bat: Also, El Diablo from Suicide Squad, the less appreciated movie.

Vampire Owl: Yes, how can I forget the DC metahuman with powers of flames?

Vampire Bat: Especially when DC has only started to bring their movies.

Vampire Owl: Justice League might never be the Avengers.

Vampire Bat: Well, Aquaman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman are already loved more than usual. So we can only wait and see.

Vampire Owl: The biggest disadvantage of the Corona Virus has been its attack on the movies, especially those like Black Widow which was supposed to be here in April.

Vampire Bat: Well, that virus will take the movie lovers’ curse.

[Vanishes into the shadows behind the teak tree].

Release date: 18th Jaunary 2019
Running time: 106 minutes
Directed by: Daniel Markowicz, Michal Otlowski
Starring: Karolina Szymczak, Tomasz Wlosok, Cezary Pazura, Agnieszka Wlodarczyk, Katarzyna Figura, Rafal Mohr, Jacek Beler, Cezary Zak, Karolina Pilarczyk, Cezary Lukaszewicz, Wojciech Bocianowski, Marcin Rozalski

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Cars 3

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

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

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

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

Vampire Owl: You mean mostly about the sequels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Need for Speed


* “Too much gaming details warning” for the first three paragraphs 😛

Games of the soul :: How much value does a movie based on video game have in this world? If we look at movies like Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, that should be zero both for the critics and the box-office, a fate which it never deserved – unlike DOA: Dead or Alive which was expected to have such fate. Then there are the Resident Evil and Silent Hill series which grosses a lot more than the critics see in them. Well, they don’t like my personal video game favourite Hitman, neither do they come close to being interested in Max Payne or Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time which were actually much better than what we are made to believe about them. If a movie based on a video game is somewhat like that game, can we blame the makers? Isn’t it how the movie is supposed to be? I am looking forward to the upcoming movies based on Mass Effect, Deus Ex, Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed. There is going to be a lot more to explore in them, especially the first one I mentioned. I have a feeling that it is that movie which will change the opinion about video game based movies.

NFS reloaded :: My first love for NFS series began with Need for Speed II SE which I came across at a time when I was actually playing more Road Rash than ever. I loved the game and decided not to retreat to the earlier version. I didn’t like Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit any better even as I spent quite a long time in it. Then came Need for Speed: High Stakes which I chose to hate, which made me take a small leap into Midtown Madness but that stayed only for a short time. Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed brought me back though. Then Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 made me realize that I was trailing in graphics card, and I had trouble with the speed of the game. After upgrading my system, I went directly into Need for Speed: Underground which remained my favourite until Need for Speed: Underground 2 made the whole thing awesome, with Brooke Burke around. From that moment, NFS remained my favourite racing game genre, and the stage was set for the greatest racing game I have ever played; Need for Speed: Most Wanted. I loved almost everything about it, and loved being chased by cops towards the beautiful sunset, except the fact that Josie Maran was no Brooke Burke.

The desire for speed :: Need for Speed: Most Wanted had set such a high level of racing game experience which was nearly impossible to overtake. It was one of the most interesting racing challenges ever, and it was that kind of a mission that you always wished to go for, or even more than was in our minds. The next game, Need for Speed: Carbon couldn’t match its predecessor in anything, and I decided to uninstall it soon enough. Need for Speed: ProStreet also came up with nothing special for me. Need for Speed: Undercover was last NFS game I ever played, and that was the end of my NFS life. Due to its alleged similarities with ProStreet, I decided against checking Need for Speed: Shift, and Need for Speed: Nitro was not made for PC which kept it completely out of the equation. Then there was the 2010 version of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed, Need for Speed: The Run, Need for Speed: World and Need for Speed: Rivals, not to forget the 2012 version of Need for Speed: Most Wanted. But I had got rid of my graphics card by then, and the only games left with me now are the older non-racing ones.

What is it about? :: Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) is a street racer and a mechanic who struggles for money. He is interested in Anita Coleman (Dakota Johnson), but due to his financial condition, that is rather impossible for him as she becomes more and more of a former lover. Still, he is having a pretty good time with his friends, enjoying the little things of happiness. But as one of his friends and Anita’s brother Pete Coleman (Harrison Gilbertson) get killed in an illegal race event involving the three, and the third person disappears without evidence, he is sent to the prison. With the help of Julia Maddon (Imogen Poots) and a number of his friends who worked with him in the garage, he decides to take on Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), the man responsible for the death of his friend. But as Dino has announced a bounty on stopping him, and also with so many cops on his tail, the question remains if he can make it to the big race where he intends to defeat, humiliate and expose the lies of his enemy. Even as this one is indeed a big race, it doesn’t remain just another race, as it is personal.

The defence of Need for Speed :: It is nice that they decided against using computer-generated imagery. Aaron Paul is good as the protagonist and he remains solid in his character, but the more impressive one is the charming lady who accompanies him, Imogen Poots who has the best moments of the movie with her, as she seems to bring such beauty and energy into the sequences which is rarely seen, and not to forget the fun – the best lines are there when she is there, and the same is the case of the incidents. One has wonder if she actually stole them with an irresistible charm! I haven’t seen a more lovable performance from any female character in any racing movie before. The cars remains awesome, especially the Ford Mustang which we have all driven in the game. Each actor who plays any of the hero’s friends make sure that none of them lags behind. The villain is without surprises, but manages to be a typical villain of a movie like this. The nostalgia that this movie brings is priceless. As we know which kind of audience will go for this movie, what more can they ask for?

The Claws of flaw :: The one big problem with the movie is that this could have been anything else – a random racing movie rather than being that NFS movie which the fans have been waiting for. There is no real speed in the progress of the movie, especially in the first fourty five minutes or so. It is so slow that one comes to the early conclusion that this is neither fast or furious, and nothing can match Fast & Furious franchise. We can’t deny that after watching this movie. There is almost nothing about it that can make it different from the usual racing movies of the past, and there is no imagination as the game franchise had. The plot is ordinary, concerning the revenge of a former street driver who is sent to jail for the wrong reasons against the man who is responsible for the same. There is not enough car races either. Nobody is going to enjoy this one more than the wonderful games in the super-hit franchise. One might often wonder if this was made due to the need for a movie based on this video game rather than based on the need for some speed. Yes, this movie needs more speed and a better imagination in story.

How it finishes :: Now I only play three games, Age of Empires II: The Conquerers, Age of Wonders III: Shadow Magic and Unreal Tournament, that too once in a blue moon. But Need for Speed is that game which refuses to go out of memory, especially the flare of awesomeness which was Need for Speed: Most Wanted. It was never really just a game for most of us, as it was a wonderful racing life supported by another world which was inside the game. Yes, there were many others which were to become my favourites later, including the big three action-graphics extravaganza; Mass Effect, Oblivion and Prototype, but NFS always belong to a different world, and its strength has been its supporters, as there have been almost no gamer that I have known that have failed to play at least one NFS game with some interest. There is always the Prince of Persia, Hitman, Age of Empires, Unreal Tournamet, Tomb Raider, Max Payne, Resident Evil and such franchises which become the all-time favourites of some people, and then there is Need for Speed which is liked by all who likes the others too. Lets hope the same about this movie.

Release date: 21st March 2014 (India); 14th March 2014 (US)
Running time: 130 minutes
Directed by: Scott Waugh
Starring: Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots, Scott Mescudi, Dominic Cooper, Dakota Johnson, Ramón Rodríguez, Michael Keaton, Rami Malek, Michael Keaton, Harrison Gilbertson, Stevie Ray Dallimore

need4speed copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.