American Sniper

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Vampire Owl :: Yes, I have heard that they are showing all those Oscar nominated movies there in the multiplex, or at least those which they have chosen.

Vampire Bat :: Some of the movies have made a return while the others have arrived for the very first time. Which one would you choose?

Vampire Owl :: I choose none. I shall not watch award movies. It has been a policy – an owlified policy.

Vampire Bat :: But some of them are certified good.

Vampire Owl :: I don’t fall for such certification. I have been a prey to such opinions for too long a time. And what is Guardians of the Galaxy and Interstellar doing there? They should have tried for those movies which didn’t release here instead.

Vampire Bat :: But most of the movies in that list never released here, and without the Oscar nominations, might have never even come near here.

Vampire Owl :: Still, I say no to any of those movies. I am a stubborn Vampire Owl. It is in my blood, my pure, centuries old bloodline.

Vampire Bat :: I shall go for American Sniper then.

Vampire Owl :: And make a pick for these Oscars. Lets see if your prediction powers work after centuries of experience.

Vampire Bat :: I have only watched The Grand Budapest Hotel among the movies which have received nomination for the best picture. Lets see how American Sniper adds to it.

[Goes to the theatre].

What is it about? :: The movie tells the real life story of a man from Texas, Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), who becomes sad and outraged at the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings and decides to join the United States Navy and be of service to his nation which has been a target of external terrorist forces. He undergoes the training and finally becomes a United States Navy SEAL sniper. After meeting Taya Renae (Sienna Miller) at a bar and falling into a relationship, he marries her, only to be posted at Iraq for the war against terrorism after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. Beginning with sniper shots on a woman and a child who were trying to attack the troops with grenades, he feels the pain, but continues to go on and become the most known sniper and the one with the most kills. The biggest challenge for him would be take out an expert enemy sniper who wanders around in the shadows – but there is also his family back home.

The defence of American Sniper :: I was skeptical about watching this movie, and I had wondered how it will go as an American war movie, and this one completely managed to rise above my expectations. The movie nicely combines so many elements of the war and successfully comes out as an anti-war movie. Everything is shown with so much passion and detail. The message is clear and against the ever-lasting devastation that the war causes and the darkness of nothingness that terrorism can lead to. Bradley Cooper is the man who steals the show with almost every second as this is a movie about his character and what he has done. He also has gained a lot of weight for the role as it seems and is known. He does deserve the Academy Award for the Best Actor, and an absence of nomination would have surprised me a lot. Sienna Miller joins in and does her job in so much of a believable manner.

Positives and Negatives :: The negatives are hard to find with American Sniper. May be you can find something if you have a problem with realistic depictions, or may be you can dig deeper than me find something else. May be for some of you, there was not enough entertainment. But it was there for me, and there might have been a very minute drag here and there, but I never felt that. If you need to create controversy out of something which is not there, I am not giving into it. You might have your bloody agenda, but for one second, think about it from the point of view of a soldier – it is what the movie is about. You can complain that the end was too soon, but the movie was never really about the end, but the soul of this flick itself was the world that it portrayed. As it takes us to the battlefield and the clear flow of emotions back home, one has to accept and admit that this was the best way things could have been linked and shown on the big screen in a realistic manner.

Soul exploration :: Well, the movie leaves the question about who can be blamed. Can you blame a soldier for doing what he is supposed to do to support his troops and help his fallen comrades? Do we even think about what goes through the mind of a trooper as he obeys an order from the top or when he has to make a choice between saving his people and humanity? What are those things that he has to live with in the end? With those things that he did or with those things that he couldn’t do? Forget this sniper being American, and think beyond the limits of nationality. What about an Indian soldier who gets killed by a terrorist at the border? What about our unsung heroes who deserves better than being shot at by a militant from the other side of the border? Lets forget all the politics behind this and the setting and think about it from the point of view of a soldier who sets off to serve his nation. They deserve the salute for keeping the nation and its citizens first, despite the nationality. It is on their blood that each nation stands, and for trauma that they face and for their selfless service, they should be treated the best, not some random cricketer.

On the Academy Awards :: ***These are my hopes on the 87th Academy Awards which you can avoid, if you want to! As the date for the Academy Awards is coming near, The Grand Budapest Hotel remains the only other movie amond the list of nominations for Best Picture that I have watched, and even as I haven’t finalized on a rating, I would give a 92/100 for that, and consider American Sniper a well-ahead movie. I was hoping to watch The Imitation Game the most among those movies which were in the list, but missed that. I couldn’t come close to being interested in Whiplash, and I have decided against an overdose with the other movies which do provide me with a good timing. May be I don’t want to destroy that good experience that American Sniper has given me. I am afraid in that case, because my taste often creates a case of wonder for myself.

The Waiting Continues :: I do hope that Bradley Cooper does win the Best Actor Award for this movie, and Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl because I have that feeling that those were the performances which can’t be easily matched. I also hope that How to Train Your Dragon 2 win the Best Animated Feature Film Award instead of the overrated Big Hero 6 which thinks that it is Frozen with some irritating hero fans. Captain America: The Winter Soldier should also win something for the Best Visual Effects compared to the other overrated nominations – that is my hope. Well, American Sniper does deserve a lot more than just some nominations and a few winnings, as it deserves big – and that something that I would surely like to see after watching this movie. May this movie has more people with brain and heart watching at the multiplexes rather than the narrow minded ones! India needs a movie like this, and the only one which I can remember that stays strong is Tango Charlie.

Release date: 16th January 2015
Running time: 132 minutes
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Max Charles, Luke Grimes, Kyle Gallner, Sam, Jake McDorman, Cory Hardrict, Navid Negahban, Eric Close, Eric Ladin, Rey Gallegos, Brian Hallisay, Ben Reed, Elise Robertson, Keir O’Donnell, Marnette Patterson, Leonard Roberts, Sammy Sheik, Mido Hamada


@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.


Warm Bodies


Welcome to Zombieland – not as the name of the movie, but as a world with is not only a “zomcom” like Go Goa Gone, or “romcom” like all those pathetic movies which have eaten the brains of Bollywood and still continues to do so; for this one from Hollywood is everything at once, “zomcom”, “romcom”, “zomrom”, or even “zomromcom”.  This movie is a pleasant surprise, in a world where teenagers wish to lose their humanity and be the Twilight vampires, this one comes up with something different. It is the story of a zombie who reclaims his humanity, and leads to a transformation among his own zombie people. The first question that should come to one’s mind is about how much it would work in a world of movies and literature where the vampires are glorified, and the werewolves are also given their due with the cross-connections (thanks Underworld and Twilight), and zombies are still shot on the heads with no hesitation. As the question remains about this prejudice, this movie comes with a pleasant surprise which reverses both the zombie situation as well as the supernatural glorification giving the world back to humans. There might still be no zombie wishing for a human to bite them and turn them human, but as we have seen in Daybreakers, there is always the scope to try the reverse transformation.

There is the direct, secure packing and sending of the viewers into a post-apocalyptic world instead of any explanation of what caused the same, which is actually a good movie, as there are always the logic-seekers who would find something wrong in turning these zombies into human. The human survivors who keeps getting lesser in numbers have retreated and have barricaded themselves inside a walled area surrounded by our dear little protagonist zombie and his friends. Most of them are still in comparatively human phase compared to the horrid skeletal structures called Boneys attacking anything that lives, which they become after they lose all hopes (another moment of reminder about Daybreakers, where vampires degenerate into subsiders, the psychotic bat-like creatures). So when the zombies increase in population to infect most of the world and the human supplies get low; Julie Grigio (Teresa Palmer) and her trained friends go out to the zombie world to get something from the abandoned buildings. They are attacked by a group of zombies, but she is saved by R (Nicholas Hoult), a zombie who narrates to us, and from whose angle we see the world (not before he eats her boyfriend’s brain though).

So, this R who has been trying quite hard to seem more and more human, has now a girl with brain for company; a brain he doesn’t want to chew on. He keeps her safe in a permanently grounded airplane and the bond makes him move even further towards humanity. Affected by the fact that R killed her boyfriend, the girl of brain leaves the brain eater and manages to reach home safely. But the problem remains that the whole thing has caused such a chain reaction in the zombie society that more of them seem to show the signs of humanity including R’s best zombie friend M. But the Boneys seem to detect this life and is all set to attack both the remaining zombies with their superior strength, agility and the lack of humanity. It is up-to R to get to the human world and find the girl, along with using all the memories from that brain of her boyfriend which he has been chewing on for quite a while. As vampires and zombies are practically the same, and there has been quite a lot of popularity for Twilight, this should have been received better, but these coffin-less, fang-less poor corpses haven’t got the attention they deserved in this part of the world, and it is our supernatural duty to give it to them. I would believe that there are many different ways to read this movie. [Preachy-philosophical stuff ahead: Uninterested people are expected to skip to the third-last line of the last paragraph after the next].

✠ As the reversal of situation: It is the reversal of the vampire addiction and the overdose of humanity in vampire fiction. As the zombies have been portrayed as the most mindless attackers even in the recent World War Z as well as in the collection of Resident Evil movies and games, this could inject an amount of thoughts which might make people value their human existence. Daybreakers couldn’t achieve this and there was no attempt either, as the vampires were more powerful, intelligent and also always winning. Teresa Palmer has looked more like a blonde Kristen Stewart throughout the movie and there are times when she sounded similar enough, but this is undoubtedly better characterization and a better performance in a well created movie. This character is surely one of brains, and not Bella, and can thus create a good replacement for her, and surely there are expressions – the character doesn’t fall for the supernatural like Bella did, as she is clever enough to value her humanity, and neither does she asks him to turn her into a zombie; may be she realizes how gorgeous she is too. Nicholas Hoult’s R is a more hardworking type of undead, even as this one also worries incredibly about keeping his girlfriend safe. When blood-drinking is replaced with brain-eating, there is another psychological impact which brings people back to their human nature.

✠ The old Shakespare and the Fairy Tale: The R should surely stand for Romeo and Julie for the one Juliet, with forbidden love set in motion. R just remembers the first letter of his name, and the lady can surely use a “T” if needed. They do see each other by the balcony, and trust me, there is no sad ending this time. In one way, it is the drama of the dead and in another way, this is the fairy tale of the dead/undead. There has been so much the need for the superman and the knight in shining armour that here, the need to be alive takes that place, and the need to have a beautiful girl with brains. This tale involves the brain used for thinking instead of satisfying the hunger, and the drams taking over the void initiated by one huge nightmare. It is up-to the zombies to connect with the human world, as the humans would do about the Supreme Being, and the ones who give up the hope and belief would be left with their skeletal structures, with no faith and no real life. There is always the hope for a better place, and for the zombies, humanity is one of them, and one man-zombie gets connected to that world by chance.

✠ When most of us are zombies: The middle group represents most of us, when we move on through life doing what the others, the zombie friends do; when we join the course they join, and when we study what we don’t want to study, and live a life of survival which everybody does. But when we choose to be different, we are the zombies for the others, and in our own point of view, we are the chosen ones to be alive. We are not them, and what they feel important can’t be of any significance to us, and vice versa. R became alive when he chose to be different, and one has to wonder if he is one of those people who had chosen to pursue arts instead of the professional courses, and made him realize how important it is to be different, and how much is there to know and understand instead of feeding on those brains symbolizing logic. He understood what creativity is, and its pure awesomeness above logic. It is choosing that good path to be different that matters, and for all the others who take that different evil path, there is the world of the walking skeletons. The advantage of this gained humanity is that one would know its value and it won’t be wasted on anything silly. It is our choice, and out of the knowledge of the Supreme Being, and the world would become more of truth and wisdom. The opportunity to reclaim the lost humanity is to be embraced.

✠ The value of humanity and faith: By the end of the movie, it is the human contact and never ending faith that saves the day. There is always the need to take that leap of faith at some point of life, and the strong belief in God and being humane are all that matters. If a zombie could go beyond his needs and prevent himself from devouring what he needed for diets, where does the humanity lie? Does the zombie’s need to feed strike lower than the human need for war and destruction? When an undead creature could come up with so much faith, why is it that humans fail miserably? This is where the questions begin and answers hide behind the bushes. The movie might not interest those who are looking for quick undead action, but this clever twist to the old myth of undead is a must watch for all those who feel like a zombie, or has the desire to see humanity in action at its base level in the most humane way. After watching this movie, some of you might surely hesitate a second before shooting an undead during the next zombie apocalypse. From what this movie has achieved, that much I am sure about; the rest is for you to decide.

Release date: 1st February 2013
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Jonathan Levine
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco, Cory Hardrict, John Malkovich

warmbodies copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.