The Prodigy

What is the movie about? :: In the countryside of Ohio, a serial killer with roots in Hungary, Edward Scarka (Paul Fauteux) has been murdering young girls after cutting off their hands which he kept as souvenir. Hands have always been his weakness, looking at them before selecting the victims. He has a wonderful time, as the number of victims increase every day, leaving no clue for the police to follow. But things take a turn when due to one small mistake, one of the girls, Margaret James (Brittany Allen) escapes from captivity after he takes away her right hand, and alerts the cops. The police conducts a raid at his farmhouse, and he gets shot to death. At the exact same time, a couple in Pennsylvania, Sarah Blume (Taylor Schilling) and John Blume (Peter Mooney) have their first child. Sarah is excited to finally have her first child, as the couple have been waiting for this moment for a long time after getting rid of their family problems.

So, what happens with the events here? :: Miles Blume (Jackson Robert Scott) grows up to be more intelligent than the usual kids of his age, making people feel that he is a certain kind of child prodigy. He has no trouble in solving mathematics problems and mastering language after learning to speak much earlier. He is someone who could start pre-school early, and even skip those earlier batches considering how good he was proving himself to be. Even those all these things point to one positive side, there are changes in the boy’s behaviour as he grows up. He almost kills his bab-sitter Zoe (Elisa Moolecherry) while playing hide-and-seek by setting sharp piece of glass on the steps to the basement, and also beats up other kids at the school because he didn’t get the space which he wanted using whatever he could manage to find from a hand tools kit.

And what else follows with the happenings? :: Miles seems to be a threat to everyone around, as violence follows him to places. Sarah brings Miles to a psychiatrist Dr Elaine Strasser (Paula Boudreau) who refers them to Arthur Jacobson (Colm Feore), an expert on rebirth and reincarnation. He tells Sarah about the possibility of rebirth in Miles’ case because the language which he was speaking in sleep, and was recorded and given to him by her, is a very rare dialect of Hungarian. There are not many people who know this language, and Sarah and her husband knew only one foreign language which they had mostly forgotten – Spanish. With Miles not being exposed to any other language, Arthur tells her that it could be another soul trying to be born again, replacing the soul of the boy, thus getting hold of the body to do something it had left unfinished in earlier birth. But this soul would need something more which Sarah won’t guess.

The defence of The Prodigy :: The movie maintains a good amount of creepy feeling, which only gets better with the serial killer soul taking further control, often making one think of Chucky of Child’s Play which nicely changes into the brutal murderer. There are some nice scary moments, most of them being creepier if you consider them with clarity. The creepy undercurrents drive this movie forward, as there are so many things that an evil genius can plot, even though not all of them are done. We are kept in the perpetual fear of some terrifying evil coming up, and the feeling of hope is rather bleak in this one. The movie has so much of nice foreshadowing which we can appreciate, as we do get some feeling regarding what is to come. There are not many things spookier than having an evil kid that acts like a vessel of pure evil. As we have heard on many occasions, evil comes in many forms, and always finds a way.

The claws of flaw :: Some years ago, in 2009, Orphan had a poster saying there is something wrong with Esther – Isabelle Fuhrman who later bagged a role in the dystopian thriller The Hunger Games made that movie one which everyone loved. Ten years later, in 2019, this movie comes with the tagline, what is wrong with Miles? Well, there is no difficulty in understanding where this is pointing to. There was the plan to make something like Orphan, and this time, they added rebirth to the plan. This could be even considered similar to a sequel, even though it is not. In comparison to Esther, The Prodigy struggles at times, and the effect of the twist is also not that much to be seen. The fear element is also not that real as Orphan which also had even better performances, and a past which was so mysterious and a twist which was heavy. The Prodigy could have had the evil manifestation doing more to people too, and the serial killer’s past could have been better shown too.

Performers of the soul :: As this is not the usual horror movie like The Conjuring, Annabelle, The Nun and Insidious, performance was always going to matter much. Taylor Schilling makes a perfect, confused mother here, as someone who thinks that one or the other action can save her child, but ends up being foolish in her motherly love. Peter Mooney who plays the father figure almost does the same, even though not that much. Jackson Robert Scott who plays the child comes with a fine performance – it won’t be that creepy as what we had seen in Orphan, but it is still something that we will remember in acceptance of another evil kid on screen. Colm Feore is solid as the man who tries to help, but knows that he has to be careful when standing on thin ice. Paul Fauteux who plays the serial killer needed to have more space, and his actions with the kidnapped girls are never really shown, except for those hands being hung there.

How it finishes :: If you have liked movies like Orphan, you are also going to like The Prodigy. The idea of a kid that acts strange and goes on a killing spree isn’t something new for us, but it will continue to catch our interest for a long time to come. After all, the idea of inherent evil being being present in children is something we haven’t been able to deny, and the works like William Golding’s Lord of the Flies had further strengthened the same. It had been working further in the movie world since The Omen. The idea of rebirth and reincarnation are used here instead of the usual haunting when the kids are shown to be evil. The idea here works in a more terrifying way because of what lies underneath, and by establishing that this is pure evil, and there is a master evil brain at work here, which is almost impossible to defeat.

Release date: 8th February 2019
Running time: 92 minutes
Directed by: Nicholas McCarthy
Starring: Taylor Schilling, Jackson Robert Scott, Colm Feore, Brittany Allen, Olunike Adeliyi, Elisa Moolecherry, Peter Mooney, Paula Boudreau, Olunike Adeliyi, Martin Roach, Ashley Back, Tristan Vasquez

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Amazing Spider-Man II

the amazing spidey

Vampire Owl: How can they release the movie on a Thursday? That too a Spider-Man movie which releases in the United States on Friday?

Vampire Bat: Because it is International Worker’s Day and Spider-Man is part of the working class, not the rich bourgeois class like Batman or Iron Man and neither is he an alien like He-Man, Superman or Thor. You remember he used to deliver pizza on an awesome moped when he was Tobey Maguire with Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson. And he is amazing as you can guess from the title.

Vampire Owl: So he thinks that he is amazing. I wonder how much? Does that make the movie automatically amazing? And that former trilogy of Spider-Man, it was not amazing enough?

Vampire Bat: He should think that he is more amazing than most of the other amazing superheroes, just like my dead cat, until it chose to go Neo and play Matrix in front of a Tata Safari. Let’s check for that “amazing” thingy right now, and make sure that he is not just a vain hybrid like many others. So we are having onion uthappam today?

Vampire Owl: That would call for lunch before or after movie?

Vampire Bat: Now, that is a clearly amazing question, as far as there is no spider in the lunch.

[Wing-rides to the multiplex].

What is it about? :: Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is trying to balance his life as both himself and Spider-Man as he tries to save the world, spend time with his girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) along with searching for the secret behind the death of his parents. As our hero keeps reminding himself of the promise he made to Gwen’s father, he keeps breaking up with her, sometimes she herself breaking up with him as he keeps talking about what her father said. Peter’s childhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) returns to the city to see his dying father Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper) who tells him that the disease is hereditary and he has been struggling to extend his life. As Harry takes over as the new CEO of his father’s business, OsCorp, he keeps trying to find a way to cure his disease. He finds that Spider-Man’s blood may give him a chance as he can heal himself pretty fast. He asks Peter to help him finding Spider-Man to which he says that he will try, but later shows up as Spider-Man to say no as he was unsure of what the results would be. Meanwhile Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), an employee of OsCorp falls into a tank of genetically modified electric eels making him a walking electric generator, but is captured by Spider-Man as he creates chaos in the city. It seems that both Harry and Max now has one spider enemy – and the battle begins.

The defence of The Amazing Spider-Man II :: The movie has Spider-Man on a mission to save the city as well as his love life. He does that in style here. The shots of Spider-Man swinging around the city and then his battle with Electro are breath-taking not just for the sequences, but also for the environment. The camera work is stunning and everything looks so awesome in 3D or truly amazing to fit the title. There is that scene when Electro uses his special power of electricity on everything around him, and Spider-Man goes on to make sure that everyone around remains safe by flying through the air and shooting webs all around him. There is also that battle against the fully powered Electro who uses his power in such a destructive manner that Spider-Man’s moves looks so impressive as the world of electricity around him which seems to recreate its own beauty beyond destruction on the screen in 3D. How often do you see such beautiful devastation and a battle which is so much electrifying not just in the sequence, but also visually? Where else can you get a superhero so selfless and gives so much hope unlike some of the others who seems to get the viewers further into darkness and the absence of hope?

Claws of flaw :: Despite being the best Spider-Man ever, the movie also deals with the usual stereotypes, as the villain falls into genetically mutated trouble yet again, and transforms into something special from the nobody that he used to be. He often reminds one of Megamind‘s Tighten with his desire to be noticed. He is too much of a Mr. Nobody in the beginning, a lot more than what can be taken. His powers are rather too much, and his evil side is a little half-baked. The Green Goblin gets very less screen time too, an Harry Osborn doesn’t shine and only leaves us with potential to be awesome in the sequel. OsCorp becomes more of the opposite of the Stark Industries here. The final scene also seems to have been forced for the inception of Mary Jane Watson into the franchise. The plot’s other side which involves Peter’s dead parents are also a little over-used. I won’t say that this affects the movie much, and the negative reviews only reflect the critics’ horrible inability to enjoy this movie, and one can never attribute it as the flaw of this movie. How can someone see the special effects and 3D of this movie and give a positive review with them only? The negative reviews are rather a case of shame.

Performers of the soul :: Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man and Peter Parker does a fantastic role in the multiple personalities, and let nobody fool you about this superhero’s two-sided coin of a world. I would say that no other superhero’s alter ego is that powerful as Spider-Man can claim. Nobody has this much conflicts in the real life, which should be why heroes like Iron Man can live without a secret identity, and money makes it easy for him and Batman. This is where someone like Andrew Garfield does so well to suit, and forms a nice pair with Emma Stone who is there stronger than in the first movie. She becomes Spidey’s first true love like nobody can deny it. She has quite much to do, and powerfully contributes in saving the day as well as the movie. I would have preferred her with black or brown hair, but Gwen was supposed to have the golden one. Jamie Foxx comes up in different avatars, as he transforms from a Spidey fan to an attention seeking villain who wishes to get rid of his competition on television. Dane DeHaan is no James Franco, but he has given us hope of coming up as the arch-nemesis of this Spidey, like Jim Moriarty is to Sherlock Holmes and Joker is to Batman. He might not get that many claps, but gives us enough hope to bring a lot in a possible sequel – for this one is evil, and evil mind has just began to work.

Soul exploration :: Among all the superheroes, Spider-Man has been the most human, despite Iron Man and Batman claiming to have no real superpowers except for the help of superior scientific equipment and remaining closer to humanity. But what does Spider-Man give us? He was that superhero who gave us the best line to quote from a superhero movie not bothering the situation – “With great power. comes great responsibility”. There is no denying that Batman as the Dark Knight took off with so much style, and even his villains, Ra’s al Ghul (Liam Neeson) and Joker (Heath Ledger) made that powerful impact that no other super-villains could make. But there is something about Spidey, and it is that his villains have always remained powerful than him, and even with his superpowers, he is at disadvantage, and being the younger of the group, he also has to deal with more troubles, as he struggles to make his living. There is no other superhero who has his alter ego in that much troubles as he would have as a superhero. Yet, his battles are more interesting to watch than that of any other superhero, and there is the success of Marvel. He is the common man’s superhero. Yes, the verdict is that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is amazing, no matter how fan-boys will try to degrade it.

How it finishes :: As Peter Parker says “Everyday I wake up knowing that no matter how many lives I protect, no matter how many people call me a hero, someone even more powerful could change everything”. But there is always another side to it, and for that, there is the graduation speech of Gwen Stacy. But some critics are still caught in the web of The Dark Knight, and refuses to come out. No disrespect to The Dark Knight, but it is a shame to think that it is the only great superhero movie, and there comes the fan-boys with an extra-terrestrial ability to overrate that franchise. It is high time they step out of it, or stupid Bollywood superhero movies like Krrish 3 will copy from Hollywood and make some complete retarded stuff, pay for positive reviews and create new record at the box-office. It is worthless to ask, but one has to wonder how someone can like Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 3 more than this one? That was proved again with the positive reviews for one of the dumbest movies of all time, Noah. Or may be they have a case of arachnophobia, but I would give them the advice to take this movie as something which can take that fear out of them, use this to bring some love for the creatures, at least the smaller ones with no venom. Now, if it will overtake Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier as the highest grossing movie of the year is a question worth asking.

Release date: 1st May 2014 (India); 2nd May 2014 (US)
Running time: 142 minutes
Directed by: Marc Webb
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Colm Feore, Felicity Jones, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Marton Csokas, Louis Cancelmi, Max Charles, Chris Cooper, B. J. Novak, Denis Leary

theamazngspiderman2 copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.