Thor II

thordarkworld

***The first three paragraphs have details of a few Indian superhero movies; skip if you are not interested – I had to say this before the review as it was something I owed to real movies and true movie fans; I was asked to write about a ridiculous Hindi movie, not something I am ready for. Well, as I begin here, I dedicate this review to all of my friends who suffered with a painful poison which was sent into the theatres of India packed inside a horrible catastrophe which is commonly called Krrish 3. There were too many of them to be named here, and I am glad that most of my friends are sensible ones. But that was more of a movie for Hritik Roshan fans and little kids which is the only reason it could be forgiven despite of copying from too many Hollywood movies and adding horrible melodrama and pathetic graphics to it. From my friends and the internet, I could collect the names of a number of movies from which it copied. X-Men, Man of Steel, The Avengers, Iron Man and The Matrix are the major ones. Toad, Mystique, Sabretooth, Professor X – Magneto Hybrid they are all there; and Jean Grey you are always there! Okay, do copy; I have known a good number of nice copied movies in Hindi, but this kind of copying is absurd. Why lift from this many movies and why even copy when you have so much scope for great ideas right in our nation!

Now the others, who will never be my friends – the ones who liked this movie, and coming up with the typical lie that “they at least they tried” – to be frank, they didn’t try; they copied and instead of concentrating on what is Indian, and on the values and traditions that the nation has, they concentrated on style, glamour and pathetic graphics, to make it interesting for no sensible person. Don’t try what you can’t do right and show off your weaknesses, stick to the strengths instead! These people who come up with such pathetic excuses of “trying” for a third movie of a cent percent copied series, don’t deserve to be talked to. Please don’t like a movie just because your favourite actor is in there or the characters talk your language or as it is from your state or nation, but look at the merits. Ever heard about a romantic comedy in Malayalam called Amen? See how CGI is used to perfection in that low budget movie which could have done fine without it, but it contributed immensely and really well. May be the movie makers could learn from Shaktimaan, India’s only real superhero who is rooted in its rich traditions and teaches something good to its citizens and children. There was actually a lot original about it, even as it is not a flawless or a pure innovation. It was a great thing for its age, but Krrish 3 is outdated for this age just like its two predecessors which copied from E.T. and Superman. Please, my dear movie makers, stop making bad movies just because you need to make a lot of money – you owe something to the viewers, or come up with a notice “stupid, retarded movie”.

Krrish 3 has succeeded though, with high scores at the box-office, and it shows our inability to accept the good and reject the bad, and I have decided to skip all the Hritik Roshan movies until there is redemption. I actually had enough of him with that horrible Agneepath itself, and it is a shame that the talent is wasted. His first movie, Kaho Naa Pyar Hai will always be his best. Even as some of my friends said that Shaktimaan was better, the rest told me about the stories in some of the Malayalam books for children, Balarama, Poombaatta and Balamangalam were better. There were a few superheroes there – two of them were monkeys, one of them a little devil and another a rat. All of these were better superheroes in heart and also in the brain. My question is about why people go for movies which has trailers like this one? This movie is a curse on the Indian movie industry and I shall not watch such nonsense even for bashing it. I shall stick to those movies which doesn’t bring shame when there is a lot of potential for greatness. See innovation in the form of Go Goa Gone and Madras Cafe. They could have made a good innovative sequel to Krrish, but they spoiled it, and congratulations to all who are making it a blockbuster, and thanks to the paid reviews. Just don’t copy from Thor for Krrish 4 – it is a humble request.***

So we know that why the world is going to end and why my hope in humanity is fading. Now lets leave the movie of kids and fans which came to existence to destroy good movies. Lets get to the movie which has become my second favourite Marvel movie ever, and also become my favourite superhero movie of the year 2013. Yes, lets back to this wonderful sequel of Thor which has restored our hope in superhero movies. Let me deal with the first question that comes to the mind of any viewer. Is it better than its predecessor? The answer is surely yes. There is a lot about this movie which does a great job in fitting not only into the Norse mythology, but also into the Marvel universe. There is a lot of great graphics and special effects which beautify this movie which is a treat to watch in 3D even as the 3D possibilities could have been developed even further. Its visual beauty is comparable to not many movies. There is a little more needed from the story-line too, but not much. There is a good flow of the plot, and there is nothing lost, and Thor: The Dark World is a real good addition to the Marvel cinematic universe. The only good Avenger hero movie I like better would be Captain America: The First Avenger.

The story beings with talks about the legendary story of Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), the leader of the Dark Elves who are on a mission to destroy the world with a weapon known as the Aether, but were defeated by Odin (Anthony Hopkins)’s father, Bor. But our leader and a group of Dark Elves escape from their home world of Svartalfheim, and knowing not about the same, Bor hides the weapon deep in an unknown world. During the present day, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is imprisoned for his crimes on humans, and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is on a mission to restore peace in the nine realms with his friends, and is haunted by the memories of the one human he loved, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Meanwhile, Jane makes attempts to contact Thor and in the process, gets teleported to another world where Aether was hidden, and is infected with the same. Seeing the trouble, Thor takes her to Asgard, but doesn’t succeed in taking the thing out of her as it defends itself and the story of Aether and Dark Elves were too long forgotten too.

The Dark Elves come to know about it and attacks the city both from inside and outside in an effort to get to Jane and get their dark material. They end up killing Thor’s mother, Frigga (Rene Russo) and escape before help arrives. Asgard is left without its shields, most of its soldiers and a good number of turrets after the surprise attack by the Dark Elves who used brutal dark energy as well as stealth as their weapons. But striken by grief over the death of his wife, Odin decides to wait for the Darl Elves at Asgard and strike with all he got and fight until death. But seeing the devastation of their capital city, Thor decides to take the attack to the Dark Elves with the help of Loki who also agrees in order to avenge their mother. They decide to take Jane with them and get rid of the Aether, even as Odin had completely prohibited it and it would be treason. It is obvious that the Dark Elves would also target Earth, and as Jane found signs of it in London, it would surely be there. Can Thor and Loki work together to save more than one world or will the trickster take his own side? Now there are some good surprises in wait right there. The talks about them not being gods, and still living five thousand years is interesting.

Chris Hemsworth saves the day again as Thor, as if he is custom made for that role. We love this character, and we see the man again in good form after that great performance in Rush. Natalie Portman contributes significantly, and I would wonder if I can resist any of her movies. Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is as good as ever, but needed more screentime. Anthony Hopkins is good as usual, and Jaimie Alexander could have had more to do. I have to say that I loved the comic releief Kat Dennings and her intern provided when Loki is not around. Christopher Eccleston’s villain is also a wonderful pure evil creature, who will come to our minds, every time we play a computer game involving mythical creatures and races. I used to choose Dark Elves in most of them. Another thing I loved was the way they showed the hypocrisy of the people who had chosen not to believe the man who spoke the truth – it is true, for science has indeed become the modern man’s superstition, and we will be force fed by many things which are supposed to have proven, but are actually not. Actually, what all are really experimented and proven, is something that common man will never know. They will tell us that they landed on Moon, Mars and everything, and we will just believe them because scientists are the new kings and clergy of the medieval ages, and the only thing we will know for sure is that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

Release date: 8th November 2013
Running time: 112 minutes
Directed by: Alan Taylor
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo

thor02 copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.

Epic

epics

Epic is said to be based on William Joyce’s book for children, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs. It is produced by Blue Sky Studios, the makers of the Ice Age series, Robots, Horton Hears a Who! and Rio. It is directed by Chris Wedge who was the director of Ice Age and Robots. The movie shows the battle in the woods between the forces of good and evil, to know if life or decay, whichever overcomes the other. The most interesting thing is that as their world is saved, ours is saved too. As the will premiere in the United States only on May 24th 2013, we know that this has come here early. It should be because it might collide with Fast & Furious 6 otherwise, but there is also another thing about it. It is not of logic, but of impulse, that is the pollution of the natural environment which is a serious challenge in this part of the world. Remember these lines from The Matrix – they are not to be forgotten as the movie ends; “Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with their surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, You move to an area and you multiply, and multiply until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague, and we are the cure”. The truth in these words are not to be considered unseen before we move into this movie.

When Epic begins, we understand that there is a battle between good and evil, life and decay, green woods and the dark woods, the right and wrong going on in the forest. The two sides are always inter-locked in a never-ending battle for supremacy, one for keeping the balance of nature and the other to extend their borders and make their side weigh more. But they exist invisible to the normal human eye. The forest world is actually preparing for a great moment, the selection of the successor to the queen of the woods, which is looked at with anger and hatred by the forces of evil who wishes or a dark prince instead, who can change the green woods into dark woods, with darkness all around. In the middle of all these, young girl named Mary Katherine (preferring to be called M.K), visits her father Professor Bomba who lives in an old house near some thick woods with his dog, Ozzie and never ending hope of finding a group of little elf-like warriors who live in the woods and protect their world as well as that of humans as the guardians of the good – represented by leaves. He has cameras set everywhere in the woods and also wanders around a lot, hoping to find them some day. It is evident that it has been a long time since he had any contact with the outside world. He is too busy with his job and neglects his daughter just like he had done to his wife years earlier, leading to Mary putting a note for him to see and leaving the place as she feels she will never get her father back to normal life.

As she is leaving, Ozzie finds a chance to go out of the monotonous world which is the house, and runs into the woods. Mary goes into the woods to look out for him, but as she catches one of the glowing leaves which seemed to fall from the sky, she suddenly shrinks in size. Then she discovers the group of warriors her father was looking out for, and find them as the Leafmen. To her surprise, she is soon forced to assist them in a war against the forces of evil known as the Boggans and their powerful leader Mandrake, along with trying to find a way to become big again as well as to return home. The situation is such that the queen of the woods has been murdered and to find the successor who planned by her before death, Mary and her friends, who include a slug, a snail, and two leafmen – one being the leader of the leafmen and the other being the aggressive and arrogant rookie, have to see the keeper of the scrolls, and with his advice, go on to find the new queen from among the flowers and leaves of the woods. But Mandrake is filled with anger and vengeance due to the death of his son by the leaf-men commander Ronin, and would stop at nothing other than a forest without life. He has already transformed a good part of the woods into his world of death and decay. The team has to fight an almost impossible battle in an enchanted world which seems to belong to the dark forces now.

The movie is a journey, just like The Croods, just four minutes longer and surely intellectually superior, still trailing in the 3D effects and the funny side. But emotionally, this one is as strong as the Colossus. Its social message of saving the trees and forest works for sure. This also another Alice in Wonderland, as the girl is thrown into another mysterious world, a land of magic; but this time, it is too connected with the external world. In that case, Arthur and the Minimoys a.k.a Arthur and the Invisibles might come into the picture in pictures of connected worlds, one a miniature place and the other, what we all live in. It is quite surprising that it was a movie which didn’t get that much an attention here. But, we know that little elf-like warriors, magical woods, fairy queens and a young girl or boy changing fate and destiny of two worlds are not exactly new concepts and with the high predictability might be a little let down. A background story on the good and evil might have given a little more support in the matter, but the two sides have already been painted black and white, evil and good; as this is more a fairy tale thing, there will be no questions asked either. But the world we live in has turned into more of the world of the grey, which is slightly more interested in evil, and it could affect the progress of this movie.

The alignment here is too obvious, unlike Age of Wonders, the game in which I first realized the importance of being aligned more or less to one side or being equi-distant from all. Highmen and Archons were pure good out there, Dwarves, Elves, Halflings and Syrons were good, Frostlings, Humans, Azracs, Lizardmen, Draconians, Tigrans and Nomads were the neutral ones, evil had Orcs, Goblins, Dark Elves and Shadow Demons and those of pure evil were called the Undead. Such was the division in that game series, and what we see is more of pure good and pure evil in this movie, and there is no further division. All these fairy tale characters seem to be good enough to make a powerful comeback these days, as the animated movies seems to be working better than the live-action usual thing, even as it is limited to Hollywood. Our movie here is strong enough to pave the way for the next animated ones which are to come, but there are times when some of these supposed to be pure good characters do nothing good; they can’t even preach well enough – at least that might have been expected of them. But the lost fun is recaptured by the main characters who make up for the less important ones. The 3D looks a little unnecessary, and here it was just another reason to take twenty five Rupees extra and increase the total time spent in the theatre.

Well, who doesn’t like a fairy tale though? One has to think that the kids would surely love it, even as the new generation has moved more to the video games and other stuff than books. Still, understanding them as movies is just a bonus for them. Here, the punch is solid and striking deep enough both on the brain and the heart. Its loyality to the genre can never be questioned, but a certain signs of evolution in the fantasy world is not to be ignored at any moment. Despite its loss in the 3D, it still has great visuals and wonderful CGI. The fairy tale of the girl who becomes lost in the forest and shortened by magic, uncovers a mysterious world of little people with its base on the enchanted woods. But other than being another Alice in a different wonderland of inferior quality, considering the way in which the movie progresses, supported by its stunning imagery & the “save environment” message, this becomes much better. It is surely going to appeal not only to kids, but also the adults. This is kind of a vacation season around, and this summer, this might be the right movie to watch as a family. Well, the woods grow over many years, but can be destroyed in a day – a message to the future generation. As the leafman says “We are individuals, but we are all connected”. There is a message for our selfish world; the world of humans who interrupt and cause devastation on nature. FernGully: The Last Rainforest might have already taught a few lessons though, and Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax surely succeeded in inspiring more than one person.

We have the major issues with water pollution, mostly due to untreated and illegal sewage disposal; we have another big issue as air pollution with vehicle emission and traffic congestion, and not to forget the disposal of garbage on land. The disasters should be much more than these, and the deterioration of the environment the destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of wildlife, something which starts basically from deforestation. There is no solution to greed for sure, and Agent Smith was partially right, and we are still trying to prove him completely correct. Well, that dialogue was a point when he had the sure upperhand in a world of reason. Extinction is not a limited thing for sure. Looking into Avatar, there is one particular dialogue “There’s no green there. They killed their Mother, and they’re gonna do the same here”. It doesn’t imply anything other than the destruction of the world of green by using their so called advanced technology. As most of the new discoveries have made life easier for man, they have surely made decay easier for nature. This predicament has another nemesis in Epic, as the movie comes against it strongly; it might be a little ordinary and quite predictable in its plot, but is still an inspiring story with a powerful message against the exploitation of nature and deforestation. There is the need for such movies with strong environmental theme.

Release date: 17th May 2013
Running time: 102 minutes
Directed by: Chris Wedge
Starring (voice): Amanda Seyfried, Colin Farrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Josh Hutcherson, Christoph Waltz, Aziz Ansari, Chris O’Dowd

epic copy


@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.