Brightburn

Vampire Owl: Do you know that Superman is originally an evil entity from space?

Vampire Bat: Yes, I know that aliens are mostly bad, and this one also had to be evil.

Vampire Owl: Well, this movie seems to establish him as pure evil.

Vampire Bat: The movie of the usual alien invasion is to conquer or destroy Earth, and so we cannot be surprised about it.

Vampire Owl: I used to wonder how evil an alien can be. Can they be more evil than humans?

Vampire Bat: Why not? It is exactly why there are no vampire aliens. They are incapable of bringing the balance like the Earthlings.

Vampire Owl: I think that some aliens are immortal, like those myths.

Vampire Bat: They exhibit fake immortality, and will die soon enough.

Vampire Owl: Do you remember the portal which Doctor Frankenstein opened, so that we could cross over to the other planets and galaxies.

Vampire Bat: Yes, silly humans are still using those outdated spaceships. They will never learn, even after the lock-down. Let them walk through some tall grass to have sense.

[Gets a masala dosa and three glasses of mango juice].

What is the movie about? :: Tori Breyer (Elizabeth Banks) and Kyle Breyer (David Denman) do not have a child, and they are hoping for one, or at least adopt someone. It is then that the house shakes and they see a spaceship crashlanding in their yard. They find a child in the spaceship, and adopts him as their own son, without letting anyone else know. They hide the spaceship, locking it down in the barn so that nobody including the child finds it, letting this to be their own secret to keep for life. The couple just tells others that they had adopted a child, and everyone including the family and people of the small town of Brightburn accept him as their own. Everything goes smoothly for years, but it changes for a twelve year old Brandon Breyer (Jackson A Dunn) who are no longer the same, innocent child as he used to be – he is no longer the beloved son who loves his parents and obeys them, as he is called by the spaceship.

So, what happens with the events here? :: The spaceship which is locked inside a door within the barn keeps calling for him, and sends signals to him. Soon, he ends up finding his superhuman strength as he ends up throwing the lawnmower a long time away, while trying to start it, and finds his superhuman endurance as the motorized blades of the machine destroyed are by his hands which are not affected at all. His classmate Caitlyn Connor (Emmie Hunter) is the only who remains somewhat friendly to him, as everyone in the class and the whole school despised him due to his show of over-intelligence. But when he tries to enter her house at night, it causes a rift which leads to him breaking her hand, and also leading to Tori telling him the truth. This causes him to develop his next superpower, heat vision, and understands the message of the spaceship loud and clear while understanding the fact that he is special unlike the weaklings around him. Now, what will he do?

The defence of Brightburn:: There are some good scenes of horror in this movie, and the idea that Superman can be evil, always gets to scare us – especially when there is no Kryptonite to exploit his weakness. It uses some jump scares and there is that feeling of fear which is always there, as we are having an alien entity which cannot be stopped by anything that humans have. The idea of an evil child always works well enough, and we have inherent evil here, which is not of this world, but from another planet, from a far away galaxy. The child here becomes pure evil after the call of the spaceship, and there is not stopping this danger which is horrifyingly real. The superhero genre has its other dimensions here, and sets up for a sequel with what would have happened if Superman was really a threat in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, or how he was after he woke up from death as a different person.

The claws of flaw :: There is too much of blood and gore associated with Brightburn, and one often thinks if it was what required the focus around here. The focus should have been on the main character, the alien child’s character development, but the same is not there, as we see him change to become the slave of the spaceship, listening to all which is murmured to him. Even though the development of his superpowers can be seen, there is not much of a development in him as a person. There is that predictability which runs through the movie all the time. We know what is to happen next with this so called alien child from outer space, and in showing the same, the flick uses brutality the most, and depends on it rather than anything else, as if it is a certain kind of weakness it possesses. Within its short run-time, it shows very less of everything else.

Performers of the soul :: Jackson A Dunn plays the alien child, and he seems to be pretty good at it – the evil look comes to him well, and it will be interesting to see how he can work in a possible sequel, as this movie doesn’t explore his character that much expect for the being that evil alien child. Elizabeth Banks stays at the core of this movie, and she plays the lady with an extra dose of motherly love, which prevents her from understanding what kind of an evil demon her son was becoming. Even after so many years, she is someone whom we can always trust as long as horror movies are concerned – well, she was also there in The Hunger Games and its sequels and most of you do know her. David Denman is also pretty good as the husband and father. Emmie Hunter who plays the girl at school is also to be noted, as she has that Eva Mendez look, and does a good job.

How it finishes :: The idea of the alien who became the savior of Earth ending up bringing another idea that he became the exact opposite, is something worth thinking about. It is an interesting concept with the ant-superman super-villain finding his superpowers and using them against humanity, which has no defence against him at all. There are no superheroes, and only one terrifying villain who has not even grown up yet. The ending of this movie has enough to set up a sequel, and as of now, the movie works pretty well with its idea to set things for whatever is to come next. There is enough in this movie to keep the audience interested, as violent horror gets a thumbs up. Just like Corona virus these days, you know that evil always finds a way, and this alien creature does find the evil within, and maybe it is an advanced form of inherent evil in the child.

Release date: 24th May 2019
Running time: 90 minutes
Directed by: David Yarovesky
Starring: Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A Dunn, Matt Jones, Meredith Hagner, Emmie Hunter, Jennifer Holland, Christian Finlayson, Abraham Clinkscales, Becky Wahlstrom, Anne Humphrey, Steve Agee, Gregory Alan Williams, Stephen Blackehart

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Power Rangers

Vampire Owl: I don’t really know these people. Are they from the shooting range?

Vampire Bat: You mean to say that you haven’t watched the 1995 Power Rangers movie? I thought we all had.

Vampire Owl: I already have too many superheroes, and they all have better names.

Vampire Bat: You mean to say that you don’t remember Gabrielle Fitzpatrick as Dulcea.

Vampire Owl: Who in a ranger world is she?

Vampire Bat: I believe that you liked her a lot.

Vampire Owl: You talk about the girl in green.

Vampire Bat: Yes, she is the one. I see that you remember now.

Vampire Owl: You mean to say that she was no Poison Ivy of Batman.

Vampire Bat: Your superhero encyclopedia surely needs some special attention, and so does your memory.

[Gets three cups of special tea with Tiger biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: A high school football star Jason Scott (Dacre Montgomery) gets dismissed from the team and has to go for detention after a prank fails miserably. It disappoints his father Sam Scott (David Denman) that he wasted his opportunities and reached this miserable state of life. There he comes up against Billy Cranston (RJ Cyler), a nerd whom he saves from a bully. Billy asks for his help, and offers to deactivate his ankle monitor as well as lend him his van in return. Jason decides to help him even as he is doubtful about it. There, after providing some help to him at an old abandoned gold mine, he runs across Kimberly (Naomi Scott), his crush from the school, who is taking a bath in the nearby river – she tells him that she often goes through the place, as her home is on the other side. At the same time, Billy uses some explosives to break part of the rock in the quarry.

So, what happens next? :: The blast gets the attention of Jason and Kimberly, as well as two other students, Trini (Becky G) who is spending her lone time away from the family, and Zack (Ludi Lin) who lives nearby, taking care of his sick mother. There they pick up five pieces of rock, each having a different colour. They are chased by the mine’s security, and their car gets hit by a train, but they wake up at their houses, feeling different, and rather a lot powerful. They five teenagers return to the mine to find answers to what they are going through, and they find a space ship and inside, Alpha 5 (Bill Hader), a robot. He introduces them to the consciousness of the person known as Zordon (Bryan Cranston) who is supposed to have been a power ranger until he and his team of rangers were betrayed by another team member, the Green Ranger, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) who is also on Earth. He tells them that they are chosen.

And, what is to follow next in the adventure? :: With the new power rangers being chosen, he tells them that it is only a matter of time until Rita finds her full strength, gets to the Zeo Crystal which will help her to destroy all life on Earth. The teenagers leave, but reluctantly come back as Jason convinces them that they need to try so that their powers don’t go wasted. They keep training with Alpha 5 and the simulations of Rita’s minions, but they are unable to morph, which means that they will have no power ranger suit or armour. Zordon is disappointed that the chosen ones are acting more like kids, and have no sense of purpose. Meanwhile, Rita awakens and goes on a killing spree, collecting all the gold that she can on the way, looting people and places, hoping to summon her favourite minion, the giant winged monster known as Goldar (Fred Tatasciore) made of gold. Can the rangers be good enough to stop her before she gets what she wants?

The defence of Power Rangers :: The new version is surely an improvement from the tales which have been going through, and with the improvement, this brings the nostalgia from the childhood, when we watched the rangers and felt that they were so good. The movie is light-hearted, and would appeal to kids more than anyone else. The movie does have the right cast at the top though, with Dacre Montgomery as the hero and leader, bringing the charm, while Naomi Scott, brings a beautiful presence supported by the right performance – we see more of Power Rangers in these two than anywhere else. RJ Cyler provides the comedy along with an emotional side. There are some nice action sequences, especially in the end, and we see another grand battle between the good and evil, with destruction all around. There are also some messages in the movie about superpowers and responsibilities, like the ones you find in an earlier Spider-Man, a later Iron Man, or even in the ideology book of Captain America.

The claws of flaw :: One has to admit that the nostalgia related to Power Rangers is applicable to less number of people. Not many people were qualified enough to get this deep into superhero stuff of Hollywood during that time, as some thought that it was for children, and other felt Hollywood to be clearly beyond them. This movie also has a tale which has been going on and on with not just this movie, but also with many others, whether it is of Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or that long list of superheroes from Marvel and DC – Power Rangers won’t sound that good, and will never be that effective with lesser known cast and teenagers there in the suits. When Avengers and Justice League will fight to save the world from alien trouble with better budget, one has to feel that this one will struggle forever – to go with it, the yellow and black rangers are not likable at all. The villain also seems to have replaced her fiery elements with something else – wonder what it is.

How it finishes :: The world has surely changed from those times when Power Rangers were there earlier. Now we have a long list of superheroes, and there is no shortage of people with superpowers wandering around on the screen – this would be the cause of Power Rangers no longer being an effective franchise at the box-office here. There is the nostalgia for sure, but this is just one of those lesser group of heroes to whom people have that feeling for. Power Rangers: The Movie of 1995 might be the one thing which would have gotten these superheroes those fans, especially considering the fact that this along with Starship Troopers, Waterworld and Vampires were a few of those Video CDs available during those times – also, a lot of the youth of that time liked Gabrielle Fitzpatrick more than the movie, as for some, she was more joy to watch. Therefore, Power Rangers had that less power here, but it is an entertainer, and can be watched without going too deep.

Release date: 24th March 2017 (US) 31st March 2017 (India)
Running time: 121 minutes
Directed by: Dean Israelite
Starring: Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, Becky G, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Elizabeth Banks, Bill Hader, Bryan Cranston, David Denman, Caroline Cave, Anjali Jay, Patrick Sabongui, Erica Cerra, Kayden Magnuson, Fiona Fu, Sarah Grey, Emily Maddison, Jaime Callica, Matt Shively, Garry Chalk, Fred Tatasciore

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.