Finding Dory

Vampire Owl: You remember what I had told you earlier, right?

Vampire Bat: You keep telling me so many things of no significance. Which of them are you mentioning here?

Vampire Owl: About finding Nemo the fish!

Vampire Bat: Yes, it was one of the best animated movies of that time.

Vampire Owl: Well, I am talking about us helping to find this Nemo boy.

Vampire Bat: You went to find a fictional fish out of an animated movie?

Vampire Owl: It was a competition in Finding Nemo Extended Vampire Edition.

Vampire Bat: And you found the fish in the end?

Vampire Owl: No, we found some Mackerel and Sardine instead. We had them for dinner.

Vampire Bat: So, the time was well spent. It is good to have happy endings.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with the Book of the Undead].

What is the movie about? :: We see the little fish, Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) with a short-term memory loss getting separated from her parents. She asks many other creatures of the sea about her parents, but due to her memory problems, she is not able to connect well enough to direct them to where she came from. This turns her into an orphan, and also recluse until she finds Marlin (Albert Brooks) and his son Nemo (Hayden Rolence) during an adventure to find the missing boy who was captured by scuba divers. After this long and successfuly journey, she has joined Marlin and Nemo, having forgotten about her past and the lost parents for some time. But at some point, she does have a certain flashback coming to her, and remembers something, which she decides to chase, in an attempt to get herself back to the family.

So, what happens next? :: In this journey, she doesn’t go alone. She is accompanied by her partners of the last adventure, Marlin and Nemo. But this journey not that much of a peaceful one, with them immediately being in danger. With Marlin blaming Dory, she swims to the surface, only to be caught by the staff members from the Marine Life Institute which is nearby. There, she is placed in the quarantine with a tag. There she meets an octopus named Hank (Ed O’Neill) who wish to go to an aquarium in Cleveland rather than live in the ocean, a life which he detests. Therefore, he decides to help Dory in exchange for the tag which would help him to live the life that he wished to. At the same time, Marlin and Nemo are planning to rescue Dory from outside, and for the same, they come up with a rather strange idea. With time running out, can Dory find her parents, and can Marlin and Nemo find Dory in the end?

The defence of Finding Dory :: There is nothing much being lost from the first movie in this second one. They have once again made a simple, touching movie with enough humour to keep you going. It is also an amazingly beautiful world under the sea, with so many creatures and plants; the life forms under water immediately catching our attention, and we want more and more. There is cuteness all around, and kids will love it more than anyone else, along with someone with a kid’s heart. With each character being remembered and loved for one thing or the other, the Finding Nemo effect is carried over to this movie – if you haven’t watched the first movie, there will be absolutely no repetitions, and there is the chance that you will love Finding Dory even more. Well, it has been so long, and there is more possibility of you having forgotten a lot of the first movie by now; still there is the certainty of the essence being always there in the mind – Finding Nemo was that good.

The claws of flaw :: One thing that this movie follows correctly without doing anything special is to do what Finding Nemo did, and up-to an extent, repeats the same, just like the title suggests. Maybe the fishes going missing and being found is quite natural in the sea community. This is surely a step down from Finding Nemo, because we were always expecting more, to have the sequel come up with new ideas and move forward, or maybe even make the franchise better with second one. Instead, this one chooses to have the blue fish being lost instead of the orange one, and therefore the short-term memory loss is with the lost fish rather than the saviours. This is certain to make one wonder if the next movie will be Finding Marlin – we see that there is a huge world under the sea with so many creatures around, and these immense possibilities need to be explored; otherwise the franchise can’t raise the bar.

Soul exploration :: Finding Dory is all about going on even with disabilities or whatever comes in between in your life. There is the need to find a way, and our protagonist here finds it despite always being on the back foot. Alone or with the help of her friends, she never backs down, and moves on to achieving her target – it is more of a risk in our world full of chaos compared to this little world of fish; but there is no success without trying. Finding Dory asks us to go on, forgetting our limitations, and achieve what seems impossible to many others in the society. With Dory being the protagonist, it is the kind of extra inspiration that we have here, and it is what makes this movie better. What we need is more of the motivation, and all the support that we can get, and not that which we keep asking for and not receiving. All these makes Finding Dory another inspirational movie with different characters in a different world.

How it finishes :: The level of Finding Nemo was so good that it surely deserved an even better sequel. But Finding Dory happens to be almost there, and will work for all kinds of audience with its simple tale and nice humour, as well as those lovely animations and a wonderful world. The level of animated movies have improved, and it no longer remains how it was when Finding Nemo released in 2003. If you consider the two movies which battled so hard for the Academy Award for the Best Animated Film, Moana and Zootopia, there is so little that differentiated the two, and we just can’t stop loving them both. Then you look at the years before, and see Inside Out, Big Hero 6 and Frozen, and you see the level – along with Kung Fu Panda and its sequels, this franchise also needs to make sure that there is no going the Ice Age way – there are five movies, and rather too many of them going a step down each time. Finding Nemo won the Oscar, and Finding Dory never came close.

Release date: 17th June 2016
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Idris Elba, Dominic West, Bob Peterson, Kate McKinnon, Bill Hader, Sigourney Weaver, Alexander Gould, Torbin Xan Bullock, Andrew Stanton, Katherine Ringgold, Bennett Dammann, John Ratzenberger, Angus MacLane, Willem Dafoe, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney, Austin Pendleton, Stephen Root, Vicki Lewis, Jerome Ranft



@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

John Carter

The story goes an year back, when I felt the horrible lack of respect to one movie which was better than another movie which was released in 2009. This better movie was John Carter and the inferior movie was Avatar. Even as the box office results and the critics say the other way around, the truth is not to be hidden. John Carter is superior to Avatar in each and every aspect, and unfortunately, the brainwashed audience go for movies reading the biased reviews of the so called critics. Well, how many times do someone have to tell these movie fans who read the fake paid reviews and look forward to to the hype, to listen to themselves and the less-hyped movies? For the same reason, I shall give this movie a little more in its ratings, for what it lost in its box office collection and the critical reviews. Seriously, why Avatar? What has it done other than building on the Pocahontas story and even becoming incredibly similar in theme to the Malayalam movie Vietnam Colony? Didn’t Avatar also get enough from this movie’s original story, A Princess of Mars, the science fantasy novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs? Still, it is hailed as the epic and became the highest-grossing film of all time, as well as of the United States and Canada; it is such a shame that there are two ways of treating the same material, the inferior one getting all the applause.

John Carter is more original than Avatar, being the right adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ 1917 novel, A Princess of Mars. It works as a perfect interplanetary adventure rather than a predictable world where one of the attackers get a candle lit in their brains and decide to get on the side of the helpless defenders. It has a dry and rather dark environment compared to Avatar which works very positively. Even the story is set in a more admirable world, with teleportation being the method rather than those giant space ships which repeats themselves in each and every movie, as the number of science fiction movies featuring space ships and the end of the Earth has reached a new record, as if they are too much interested in ending the Earth with that Voluntary Retirement Scheme which features the world’s most interesting voids which keeps creating more of themselves and call it science fiction, when they are actually confused what kind of creation they have actually given to the viewers. One has to wonder how much satisfaction they get by creating the same thing again and again.

After the sudden and unexpected death of John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), his nephew Edgar Rice Burroughs (Daryl Sabara), attends the funeral. As per Carter’s instructions, the body is put in a tomb that can be unlocked only from the inside, and Burroughs is left with his journal to read and know more about what has happened. It tells his epic story when he is accidently transported to what seems to be a dying planet, Barsoom, a name which is used by inhabitants for what is known to Earthlings as Mars – with a harsh desert environment deprived of vegetation and even water on most of the areas. Because of his variable bone density and the planet’s low gravity, Carter is able to jump very high. But he is captured by a group of Green Martian creatures, called the Tharks and their leader Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe). Meanwhile, the princess of the city of Helium, Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) escapes from a possible marriage to Sab Than (Dominic West), the leader of the city of Zodanga who is armed with a special weapon obtained from the Therns, the creatures who take the role of the gods of Mars and control the world through manipulation.

After Carter and Dejah unite in the Thark camp, they escape with the leader’s daughter, Sola (Samantha Morton) after being sentenced to death for entering their sacred temple. They decide to get to the end of a river sacred to the Martians in an attempt to find a way for Carter to get back to Earth. Instead they obtain information about the ninth ray, a source of poweful, infinite energy which only the Therns can use to their advantage in a variety of ways, the same thing which they used to strengthen Sab Than, so that Helium would be taken over and may be even destroyed, as Dejah herself was so close to unlocking its secrets; something which would have threatened their own existence as gods, knowing, controlling and manipulating everything on Mars. But before they realize anything else, But they are attacked by the Tharks who are manipulated by the Therns. After Helium troops arrive for help, Dejah agrees to marry Sab Than. So, it is upto the Earthling to save the day, but he is captured by the Thern who tells him how he has manipulated civilizations around the world for centuries in what he calls restoring balance in the world is theirs to control. This leaves Carter with more to deal with other than just a cruel, mindless ruler.

He was very good as Remy LeBeau a.k.a Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but this one is undoubtedly his best role ever. It is with amazing skill that he has changed from the former soldier to the defender of Mars; from John Carter of Earth to John Carter of Mars, from John Carter of Virginia to John Carter of Helium, from just a cavalryman on Earth to the saviour, redeemeer, hero and the prince on Mars. Adding Daryl Sabara as Edgar Rice Burroughs seemed like another brilliant idea which helped the movie to become a complete whole, both as a film and a literary adaptation. Lynn Collins looks incredible, outdoing the Kayla Silverfox of X-Men Origins: Wolverine; the two has united for good in this movie, it seems. If there is any doubt if she isn’t a princess of Mars, that would be a clear case of blasphemy in its purest form as long as all the concepts of a princess are concerned. She looked so immersed in that character, and if someone says there is no Helium nor Barsoom, she would be surprised. Strong in will and strong in combat, and surely not trailing in beauty to any other soul around her. It is good to see James Purefoy after watching two of his great movies, Solomon Kane and Ironclad, even as it is in a minor role.

John Carter has the advantage over Avatar in its pacing and characterization, and its environment, even if not too bright and heavy with so much unwanted elements of nature, gives a good effect on the screen – it looks real, unlike the all-time box office topper. Just like a university topper, college topper or class topper is not the best or not even near the best, Avatar can bow down to this movie in that alternate reality which would never come to existence in this world. Well, people are slowly coming to know about this one and how awesome it is, and thus John Carter will be hailed much later at least by a few sensible people. The lack of mechanized warfare, and the absence of blue people can be added as that advantage, but still there are the green ones who live a similar subaltern life as the human-like creatures fight each other and cause collateral damage. If we look closely, it is the species looking closer to humans that are always causing trouble – not really a thing to be proud about, I guess.

John Carter is actually a movie of a revolutionary in many ways – and that man is Carter himself who fights for the people to whom he doesn’t belong, the land to which he is not part of, and brings justice and equality not only to the human-like Martians, but also the oppressed subaltern in the form Tharks. The enslavement by the Therns will be also almost over with his success. He is that Earthling who changes a world for good, thus becoming a man of the cause. If there is any story that can inspire one, this is it. With that ending which the movie has got, there is no reason why one wouldn’t watch it on Star Movies, every time it makes an entrance. On a parallel Earth, this would have been a grand success, but in this world of prejudice and the love for nonsense movies, one has to ask an impaled dead body for truth and the right facts about a movie; for there is not much that one can gain by reading the reviews – never to believe what is written out there, as they misguide you and lead you to the wrong movie, which is why every movie missed is a grand tragedy!

Release date: 9th March 2012
Running time: 132 minutes
Directed by: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Ciarán Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Willem Dafoe, Daryl Sabara, James Purefoy, Thomas Haden Church

johncarter copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.