Avengers: Infinity War

What is the movie about? :: Following the events of Thor: Ragnarok which ended with the destruction of Asgard, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Heimdall (Idris Elba) faces Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his Black Order, a group of ruthless aliens that work for him, referring to themselves as his children in space. With the support of Cull Obsidian (Terry Notary), Ebony Maw (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor), Proxima Midnight (Carrie Coon) and Corvus Glaive (Michael James Shaw), Thanos has no problem in overpowering his opponents, even the Hulk with his bare hands. Along with the brutal murder of Asgardians, Loki and Heimdall are also killed, while Hulk is transported to Earth at the last moment. Thor is left to die, while Thanos sends his minions to Earth seeking the two infinity stones, the Time Stone in the hands of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Mind Stone possessed by Vision (Paul Bettany) – the possession of them all would make him a god.

So, what happens with the events to follow? :: There is no delay in Thanos’ minions reaching Earth, as Doctor Strange and Wong (Benedict Wong) team up with Iron-Man (Robert Downey Jr) to defend the artifact, later joined by Spider-Man. But Strange is captured and taken into the spaceship, with both Iron-Man and Spider-Man on the trail. Their plan is to take the battle to the world of Thanos, which is located on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. Meanwhile, Vision who is spending some free time with the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) in Scotland is attacked by the two other minions of Thanos, who almost kills the two before Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) interferes. They decide to retreat to Black Panther‘s (Chadwick Boseman) territory with War Machine (Don Cheadle) and the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), where they hope to safely separate the Mind Stone from Vision and destroy it.

And what is follow with the events? :: As Shuri (Letitia Wright) looks forward to remove the stone safely from Vision, Thor is discovered by the Guardians of the Galaxy, as they respond to a distress call from the Asgardian spaceship. As the god of thunder and lightning awakes, he enlists Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) to accompany him to Nidavellir to retrieve a powerful weapon strong enough to kill Thanos. Meanwhile, Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) travels to Knowhere to find the titan of chaos himself and try to stop him while looking for the Reality Stone. Even with two infinity stones, his own brutal strength, and deadly minions, Thanos is a force that seems unstoppable, and being close to gaining the Reality Stone and Soul Stone from other planets and Mind Stone and Time Stone from Earth, can anyone stop the juggernaut of Thanos?

The defence of Avengers: Infinity War :: The movie is very quick to get into action, and there is no shortage of the same in this one, as each character gets a lot to fight for. The battle sequences are as grand as they can get, in different locations, different continents and different planets. Unlike the usual superhero stuff from Marvel, this one can also boast of a strong emotional side, but we can also see that it never really losses its funny side in between all these involving dead superheroes and a possible end of the world. The balance that this movie has managed is marvelous, and we will have to applaud the same many times with what is reflected on the big screen. Even the villain here has such an idea which resembles that of Ra’s al Ghul, a plan which can seem noble to more than one person – having a strong villain is one thing that we all wished for, with superhero movies.

Positives and negatives :: Well, Avengers: Infinity War had a task like never before, to bring all those superheroes as well as heroes together for one battle in which even all of them won’t be enough against one mighty supervillain – we remember what the small team of Avengers did in the first two movies, and what an even smaller team of Justice League did earlier. But this has so many heroes, and we have so much to notice, that some people who are not aware of the franchise’s stars might have trouble keeping up, but they will also enjoy this tale of infinite heroes, as much as it is a story of infinity stones. The movie can be considered quite long for a superhero movies, but considering its grand scale and the number of memorable characters and moments, it is well justified. There is also something which is not to be missed after all of the long credits go off in the end, and you might want to keep your eyes on the big screen for longer.

The performers of the soul :: The heroes are all here, strong and determined, as Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr never really meets up after Captain America: Civil War – they never even calls each other, but the characters remain the same, providing the same for us – the former’s entry is grand. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange remains one divergent superhero here, and Chris Hemsworth as Thor remains a strong point as usual. While we talk about how good the superheroes are, the movie is dependent on the supervillain to do the trick better, as we enjoy the moments with him on the big screen like never before for any Marvel villain. Josh Brolin’s Thanos is not just a villain for the heroes to fight, as he is a death-bringer and a man of chaos, but with order written all over his ideology, thus making him a strange as well as difficult character to show on the screen, but there never really is a problem here – another rare case of the villain getting the claps when between superheroes desperately trying to save the world.

How it finishes :: We have loved our heroes, and we have wished for more and more of them, and this movie might be something which makes that wish come true, and also has us waiting for more with a second part. The one year wait is quite long though, but we will have movies like Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel in between. As they arrive, Avengers: Infinity War is indeed the biggest superhero movie until now, and its scope is as infinite as its title suggests. It will be difficult for Justice League to go over the bar left by this Avengers movie, as they have only begun, and with Marvel having reached this far, there will be struggle to meet the expectations – we can only try to imagine how grand the second part of Avengers: Infinity War can be, as this one already calls for a second watch with its magnificent world that goes far beyond expectations. These heroes have been part of us for so long, and we will keep watching them on the big screen in grand fashion, as we need them and their world for the best of entertainment.

Release date: 27th April 2018
Running time: 149 minutes
Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Peter Dinklage, Terry Notary, Michael James Shaw, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Carrie Coon, Benedict Wong, Gwyneth Paltrow, Benicio del Toro, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Captain America: Civil War

captainamerica.

Vampire Owl :: We have missed too many big Hollywood movies this year. It is a case of heavy disappointment.

Vampire Bat :: You are talking about missing The Jungle Book more than any other.

Vampire Owl :: Yes, we missed the nostalgia. There was the same thing in Malayalam too.

Vampire Bat :: But we won’t miss this one at all. The Captain is here at the local theatres this time. Captain America movies have always been among the best superhero flicks, and you know how Avengers come up with the big action all the time!

[Gets the tickets with some cheese popcorn].

✠ This was recently posted by me at Kiagia.com: http://www.kiagia.com/index.php/current-film-releases-movie/1398-captain-america-civil-war

The two movies which constituted The Avengers series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe had managed to be special treat for the fans. There is no chance for questioning Marvel this time either, with another action-packed movie here which features most of the superheroes excluding the Incredible Hulk and the hammer-wielding Thor. With the Avengers supposed to be grouped into two teams under Captain America and Iron Man, the expectations were set high, and this movie delivers too, following the path of the two earlier Avengers movies as well as the two Captain America flicks, as the story continues from where it had left things, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

As the Avengers are going through one of their routine missions, things don’t really go on as planned and an explosion occurs, killing a number of Wakandans. Later, the U.S. Secretary of State, Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) tells them about the United Nations plan to come up with the Sokovia Accords signed by 117 nations, which will bring a certain amount of control in the functioning of Avengers to avoid loss of human life and property. Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) who is saddened by his own creation of Ultron, destruction of Sokovia and isolation from Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) comes up with the decision that they have to sign the Accords, and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) supports him on this, along with Vision (Paul Bettany).

But Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) has no faith in the government or an international organization, as Captain America turns from being the patriot to the insurgent while trying to protect his old friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan) who is once again termed as “the Winter Soldier” and is blamed for an explosion which follows. A revenge-seeking T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) also joins Tony Stark’s team which also has James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and he recruits a young Peter Parker (Tom Holland). But the truth about Bucky is more than what meets the eye, and to defend the same, Captain America will need the support of his other allies which will include Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner).

Among all the superheroes that Marvel has created, Captain America has remained the most interesting one; the two movies of the Captain has been among the best movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and with Captain America: Civil War, the three movies make a fine trilogy of action thrillers. As it has been in the previous titles, Chris Evans makes an amazing Captain America. Just as the title suggests, this one easily becomes his movie. Elizabeth Olsen once again has a special charm as the Scarlet Witch while Paul Rudd brings more entertainment even though he arrives late. Robert Downey remains solid as Iron Man. The next two characters we notice the most are nicely played by Anthony Mackie and Chadwick Boseman.

Even though The Hulk and Thor are not present here, this movie brings more superheroes, some whom the fans might already know and the others being mostly unfamiliar to most of the audience outside North America and Europe. The new additions include the Black Panther and Spider-Man, while Ant-Man, Falcon and Vision get to be part of some full Avenger action. Ant-Man adds some nice fun as the movie nears the end while the young Spider-Man and all the jokes related to this version of the superhero remains just irritating. There have been many versions of Spider-Man before, and this one here remains the least impressive of them all. The Black Panther remains special though, and the character is a smart addition.

The story doesn’t have the strength here, but the action sequences and the visuals make up for it. Still, the previous Captain America and Avengers movies had better thrills, story-line and there were even bigger action sequences. But this one here has the biggest group of superheroes, and with so many of those interesting characters present, the movie becomes a treat to watch. Unlike the previous movies, the focus too shifts to the relationships between the main characters, from between Captain America and Iron Man to Vision and the Scarlet Witch, there is a powerful emotional side to this flick, and there is also the testing of loyalties as well as old friendships. The battle is not against the villain this time, but between themselves and their own people.

The movie is also thought-provoking to an extent, even though that side never really gets the spotlight. It has all the entertainment that one needs for the weekend, but adds a little bit too much that is not really needed, from Spider-Man who was just there for the sake of being present, to some of those emotional sequences which often seem a little bit too much. The movie never really needed to go childish with Spider-Man. It surely has an advantage over Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as expected, but could have still been an even better movie. The potential for this movie was so much, and just enough of the entertainment is delivered here. With two parts of Avengers: Infinity War to come, one has to wonder what all these events will mean for the team of superheroes. You need to be ready 😀

Release date: 6th May 2016
Running time: 147 minutes
Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, Daniel Brühl

captainamericacivilwarr

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Age of Ultron

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What is it about? :: The movie begins with the team of Avengers including Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) attacking a Hydra fort which is concentrated around a town in Eastern Europe. They manage to recover Loki’s Scepter and get out of there, even though they meet two enhanced humans, the Maximoff twins (Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who offer tough resistance with their special superpowers. But an attempt by the two part-time superhero scientists of the group to use the artificial intelligence within the artifact goes the wrong way as it unleashes what they called the Ultron and it takes over almost all the available information in the internet including the protected information. The new creation attempts to get stronger with one aim in mind – the extinction of mankind.

The defence of Avengers: Age of Ultron :: This second movie is a big improvement from the first movie, even though there will be big fan boys of the predecessor who will find it very difficult to accept the same. Here, we see more brains than any usual Marvel movie. There is improvement in almost every department, with the characters, special effects as well as the action sequences. The addition of the two new characters, Quick Sliver and the Scarlet Witch in the form of the Maximoff has powered the movie big time. Even the dialogues get better with this one as the funny as well as the thought-provoking moments work wonders, and there is more strength in each department added separately. The action and the dialogues are given so much attention that we feel that just the minimum plot is needed. This looks so good and works so good, and the defence says that you money will be well spent as sparks fly with maximum strength.

Positives and Negatives :: Some of these can give the feeling of being repetitive, and even with a small presence of this repetition, if you feel more than a small amount of the same, it is because you don’t see the big complete picture here. The plot about having the artificial intelligence seeking the destruction of mankind and the loading of consciousness happen to be too common these days, but this has managed to handle the same very well so that the feeling of having gone through this is minimal. It takes a big effort to improve from a movie which was so loved, and the success of Avengers: Age of Ultron comes as a lesson to many superhero movies which are waiting to be released. You can say that there was too much action and so many superheroes, but count them as positives. The only one thing which we miss from the previous movie is the presence of Tom Hiddleston as Loki – but considering how the Marvel Universe is progressing, he should come back only in another story.

Performers of the soul :: What you have to love here is that Jeremy Renner finally gets his due, as Hawkeye becomes that identity of the group who is more human that anybody else, and helps his team to come back together. To be frank, all the characters get some extra in this one, and the only person who might have got slightly lesser in significance might be the Iron Man itself, but then, he comes up with moments of his own – for he is Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans’ Captain America still remains the most likable character in movie and he is so much the man to admire. Mark Ruffalo’s Hulky side continues being the better one and the romantic elements are rather unnecessary, as it also makes Scarlett Johansson less Black Widow and more Natasha Romanoff when not needed. You also have to love how Cobie Smulders makes an impression in what seems to be a smaller role, and Samuel L. Jackson continues to make the big impact – well, he is the fury with all the fury!

Further Performers of the soul :: Anthony Mackie as Falcon has a small presence while Don Cheadle as War Machine gets more even though not anywhere close to the Avengers and the big newer additions to this movie. The two artificial intelligence creatures are well-portrayed, but if you ask me about the best addition to this sequel, I would go for the enhanced twins. I remember last seeing Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen together as husband and wife in Godzilla, and now we have them as the twins. Even though the former has some very nice moments of action, it is the latter who steals the show as the character we know in the comics as the Scarlet Witch. When the former depends on the slow motions sequences which are created to indicate his speed as the Quicksilver that he is in the comics, the latter has her much weirder skills as she goes on and makes the character a joy to watch – she is so perfect in this avatar; check her expressions and movements while in action, and you have to love this casting.

Soul exploration :: While it will be interesting to see what Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch will have to offer for the Avengers in the next movies, let’s get into this movie’s soul. The first movie was too simple, and it was like there is an alien invasion coming up and a superhero team has to save the world just like that – but here we have a movie which is more than just mindless superhero action – this one has space for thoughts, and an expansion of the movie’s ideas in our own way. The movie asks one major question about chaos and order, and where the truth and a perfect righteous situation lies – in the acceptance of order or in the chaos that comes with a revolution? Another question is if the human extinction is the only right way to peace. We all want a better world, are we prepared to change? There are times when you have to feel the mankind itself is too less worthy. Do we find peace these days? We haven’t even evolved out of religious, caste-based and ethnic hatred, and we always have new ones coming up.

How it finishes :: Avengers: Age of Ultron is a spectacle of a very high quality, may be matching that of the immortals of Asgard, and you need to watch this one at the theatre itself. I was not surprised by the houseful shows of this movie at the local theatre too, as this is that good, even in the non-3D version which was there. Yes, it is quite understandable that Fast and Furious 7 managed to be pretty much okay and for the love for the series and Paul Walker, we just can’t stop thinking about that movie. But after two weeks, the big one has released, and this might the highest grossing movie of 2015 if surprises won’t jump in. Well, it will be more of a shock to me if this one won’t end up as the movie which brought the most money for its makers. Avengers: Age of Ultron deserves your presence, and there is absolutely no need to wait for anything else right now. Mark my words, and don’t listen to the lesser mortals, for the Vampire Bat finds this one better than its predecessor, and this is like the heaviest action ever.

Release date: 24th April 2015 (India); 1st May 2015 (US)
Running time: 141 minutes
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Don Cheadle, Cobie Smulders, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Hayley Atwell, Paul Bettany, Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgård, James Spader

ageofultron

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Godzilla

godzillaa

From W.B. Yeats’ The Second Coming
“The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”
The first thing that came to my mind while looking at that Godzilla poster was this poem, and not Pacific Rim or that movie of the same name from 1998. The same was rather justified by watching the movie, as there was something special about this creature this time, and the deviation from the master of destruction which it was supposed to be, is something which adds more mystery to the same. The mystery about the beast which is mentioned in this poem has kept me thinking throughout my studies of English Literature, and now there is the monster, Godzilla who comes up with the element of mystery and surprise.

What is it about? :: Getting out of that 1919 poem by the Irish poet and coming back to our present scenario, the movie begins with some film reels involving atomic explosion and a huge creature partially rising from under the water. The story belongs to Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) though, a military officer specialized in bomb disposal married to his beautiful wife and a nurse wife Elle (Elizabeth Olsen), having one son. When his father Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) is arrested in Japan for trespassing into a quarantined area, he travels there and gets him out of prison, only to join him in the mission to find how his mother died at the same place long ago. But as they get inside the area, they find out that there is actually nothing like the radiation at a place when a nuclear disaster had taken place, and it is not quarantined to save people, but to hide a huge secret which can change the future of mankind forever. The secret will soon be revealed inside a secret complex area, but as it comes to light, there might actually be no real hope for humanity. There will be chaos and destruction unleashed on the world as monsters awaken, and the beginning of all this was years ago.

The defence of Godzilla :: I can’t remember much from the 1998 movie, but from what I can recollect, this is surely a big improvement. Well, as I was a kid at that time, it wouldn’t have been of much use if I had an opinion at that time too. Well, this Godzilla is different, and a big change is that the humanity is not really fighting Godzilla this time, even as there is no denial of confrontations and rockets fired, with destruction caused. Now, that should be a surprise, and the number of monstrous entities should be more than you expect. Unlike Pacific Rim, the movie also has a dark style and there is the more powerful terror element at work. The creatures are designed to look terrifying, and they serve their purpose as they become harbingers of death and destruction with their size and lethal power. There is absolutely nothing funny about their presence or the whole movie as it keeps the seriousness and the atmosphere of horror throughout, between great action supported by the special effects and background score. It is a nice introduction that has been given to the younger audience about this monster who hasn’t graved the screen for sometime. They goes on with the story really well, and there is a lot of suspense built around what is happening around.

The claws of flaw :: Godzilla has released after Pacific Rim; it is not much of a flaw as both deals with the monsters in a different way, but that should hurt a bit for the audience. If this had come before Pacific Rim, that might have actually helped both movies. This should still gross more than the 2013 monster-robot extravaganza, thanks to the title referring to the king of monsters, already running houseful here. There is also no denying a certain amount of slow start to the things unlike Pacific Rim which pounces directly into the action scene. The human characters don’t really impress, and there is no dialogue which will cause an adrenaline rush. The nature-related theme is not fully explored, and this could have actually had a message about the need to preserve environment and get rid of the nuclear warheads. There is a certain amount of uncertainty on what the director was actually planning to bring to the audience; Pacific Rim was certain about it, but not this movie. If it had focused better on the human characters or kept the focus completely on the creatures, this surely would have worked even better. After all, everybody wants to see the giant creatures on the big screen.

Performers of the soul :: Our main hero is played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and it seems to work on most occasions except for a few when he turns wooden. One would still feel that the character has come alive just because there was the need for a hero in this movie. Elizabeth Olsen plays the less explored character of his wife and doesn’t get much attention; neither should be anything memorable. They will be seen together as siblings, or the super-powered evil twins in The Avengers 2 as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch; she played a character attracted to her father in Oldboy – she surely is having a strange combination of characters to play; but unlike Oldboy, she has almost nothing to do that actually affects the movie here, and that should be a let down. The rest of the cast also has very less to do, as this is the world of the monsters where humans become spectators most of the time, and even when they are doing something, the effects are minimal. Even as the monsters come quite late, this slow and steady sacrifice of human characters start very early in the movie and goes on to the end. Well, the monsters need to scare and kill a lot of people, so there is that purpose.

Soul exploration :: The movie shows Godzilla as a force of nature, something that is beyond humans to stop, but the same can also be said about the other creatures. The fact that these creatures feed on radiation is something to be noted. Thus the movie is indirectly a message against the problem that the nuclear power can cause, and the creatures of radiation are rather the symbols of the evil that can be brought upon the current society by the development of science and technology which have been used in such a manner that it makes things convenient, but not better. Godzilla is referred to as a force of nature (that reminds me of what an article called the cricketers Virender Sehwag, Adam Gilchrist and Shahid Afridi a long time ago), and he becomes that force of nature which will bring balance on Earth, whether its enemies are other creatures or the human beings themselves. Well, Godzilla is nothing like the other two creatures which belong to one species, one being the smaller male with wings and the other being the bigger female, stronger without wings. The force of nature is rather the great equalizer, which makes its own choices and takes sides. That is what makes this monster so different and gives the viewers so much to look forward to. Yes, men think that they can control nature with science, but it is indeed the other way around!

How it finishes :: We were given two Malayalam movies with big stars this weekend in the form of How Old Are You and Mr. Fraud and it is a big decision to choose this one over them, but that won’t be too difficult at many places as they would be already booked. The crowd for Godzilla assures the success of the movie, but also makes sure that the two movies I mentioned are already houseful. Godzilla might have lesser audience in the weekdays, but seems to be good enough to stay above par. If you liked Pacific Rim, you will surely like this one too, and the degree of the liking shall depend on what you need, a light action thriller with style or a dark horror thriller with action, Godzilla fitting to the latter detail. Lets take some time to spare some time for these creatures from the depths of Earth, not just the alpha predator which is Godzilla, but the other two mentioned as MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism)! Yet there is one more thing to remember, and that is about the minuteness of humanity against the universe and its secrets, and lets not consider science and technology as the greatest achievement of humanity; it is rather the respect of the fellow humans, environment and the other creatures that should interest us.

Release date: 16th May 2014
Running time: 123 minutes
Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, Bryan Cranston

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.