Vivarium

Vampire Owl: I have heard that Vive la France is an expression used in France to show patriotism. Does the title have anything to do with it?

Vampire Bat: Well, I think that they have chosen an interesting name. It means an enclosure made for keeping animals in semi-natural conditions for observation or study.

Vampire Owl: It is strange, but I will agree to it. The name does catch one’s attention.

Vampire Bat: Do you wish to rename your vampires quarters with this name?

Vampire Owl: I haven’t even come close to renaming it. The present one is a highly intellectual one.

Vampire Bat: There is nothing intellectual about naming a home as mansion.

Vampire Owl: You will not understand. I have always wanted to have a mansion.

Vampire Bat: I will not understand such foolishness, ever.

Vampire Owl: I would rather be anywhere other than a vivarium.

Vampire Bat: Well, lets see where our main characters here happens to be.

[Gets a chocolate cake and three cups of iced tea].

What is the movie about? :: A young couple, Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) and Gemma (Imogen Poots) want to purchase a house and move in. Both are not married, but looks forward to start a new life together soon. For the same, they visit an estate agent, Martin (Jonathan Aris), who seems to be acting strange, but comes up with a special offer for them. According to him, a new development known as Yonder might be perfect for a young couple who is trying to begin a new life far away from the busy city life. The place which as a series of homes looking almost the same, seems to be beautiful, and at the same time, silent, empty with no house seemingly occupied, and also giving the feeling of being out of the world. Martin shows the couple around house number nine and then they cannot find him around. Gemma and Tom try to leave Yonder, but however they keep moving, they end up in front of the same house. The car eventually runs out of fuel and they are forced to stay in house number nine.

So, what happens with the events here? :: They try to go up to the roof of the building and see if they can have a better look, but there is only an unlimited of series of similar houses to be seen, and nothing else. All houses seem so perfectly identical, and even the sky looks the same everywhere, with the clouds also being perfectly shaped. As they looked towards infinity, they decide to follow the perfect sun-like thing by jumping over walls of the houses, going in a straight line. But that also leaves them at the same place. Then at home, they find food items and groceries being delivered. But soon, they find a little boy being delivered – “Raise the child and be released” – the message written on the delivery box said so, and they begin to think that it is their only way to escape. At the same time, Tom also begins to dig of a pit hoping to escape underground, as there is no other way to go. Can the couple escape from this seemingly impossible situation? Or will they be stuck there forever? What is with this child who seems to be growing up faster than normal?

The defence of Vivarium :: The movie keeps its mystery elements strong, and it arouses the curiosity of the audience with ease, and as it gets into such an environment very early, we are also into it guessing soon enough. This time, it is a kid who is at the centre of everything, and you remember the other kids who were indeed dangerous, including Orphan and The Prodigy. Lord of the Flies proved it with a group of kids, while The Room had another kind of child, with The Influence having a child becoming a nightmare. The movie shows the dream of buying a villa, and shows how the protagonists are trapped by it. There are many points in the movie which become classic, and its idea of the aliens is nicely divergent. The creepiness here is not in frightening people, and the maze-like structure which the villa becomes, is going to make even a Minotaur proud. After all, we are in such a structure, with no chance to escape, as each and every day brings the same routine, while we are caught in it.

The claws of flaw :: There are areas where Vivarium goes unexplained, and even though it does try to live up to its name, there is not really an attempt to go into that further, or give a stronger feeling about it. The aliens seem to be a little bit clueless about what they are doing too, at a time when all these could have had better explanation that showing a cuckoo growing up – this doesn’t exactly become the same. As the two protagonists have been alone for a long time, there were more that they could have done, and further methods of escape could have also been attempted. The boy here could have also been a little bit threatening rather than remaining annoying all the time – you remember the boy of The Room who was surely developing into a genuine threat. More additions could have been done within the neighbourhood to make it further creepy or rather scary.

Performers of the soul :: Imogen Poots is a highly underrated actress, and she proves to be fantastic yet again in this movie. The audience from this part of the world might know her from Need for Speed, the game-based movie which had her as heroine, looking kind of like Anushka Sharma from an angle or two. There has been many movies with her name with it, but I don’t think that any of them had a theatre release around here, except for, maybe the A-1 cities with big malls, like Chennai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad – maybe cities like Pune and Ahmedabad had them too, but that wouldn’t have attracted much of the audience. The British actress takes this role to perfection, and you can see many situations reflecting the same. Jesse Eisenberg will be known for the audience here for Now You See Me and its sequel as well as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice which were the last big movies of him widely released here, and he also does a fine job. The rest of the cast just gives some good support.

How it finishes :: At a time when people got caught in their homes, or at times the neighbourhood with nowhere to escape, Vivarium becomes a fine reflection, as the protagonists are also facing the same situation. They are left with a house in the neighbourhood, and they can’t go into any other houses around there, and are to spend their time inside with whatever food is being delivered from outside. It does feel like a certain kind of quarantine, but this is the kind from where there is no escape. There is no network coverage on the mobile phone, and the television only shows some strange lines and grains all around. Vivarium doesn’t seem to reach that greatness that it intended, but it is so much close to it. The movie makes us feel our emotions, and make us think about the usual themes about humanity and other species well enough. It is a movie that we should watch, and will like more or a little less according to our tastes. You can feel an experiment, even though not exactly in the form of The Belko Experiment or The Platform.

Release date: 18th May 2019
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Lorcan Finnegan
Starring: Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg, Danielle Ryan, Jonathan Aris, Molly McCann, Senan Jennings, Eanna Hardwicke, Come Thiry

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Replicas

Vampire Owl: Do you think that there will be people like us forming replicas?

Vampire Bat: Yes, I am sure that there will be at least a few, but not with the same vampiric characteristics and skills.

Vampire Owl: Do you think that a vampire can be cloned?

Vampire Bat: Yes, but the resulting person can only be a human, because vampiric traits cannot be taken into a clone.

Vampire Owl: So, you are saying that a vampire when cloned, becomes human?

Vampire Bat: I would think so. It is what Doctor Frankenstein said.

Vampire Owl: I wouldn’t listen to the mad doctor in this particular case.

Vampire Bat: Maybe, you can see what happens in this movie.

Vampire Owl: Keanu Reeves is back with another science fiction movie?

Vampire Bat: Yes, it hasn’t managed to have many positive opinions, but I have a feeling that we are going to like it. After all, there are more people like our Frankenstein.

[Gets a paper roast and three glasses of pineapple juice].

What is the movie about? :: William Foster (Keanu Reeves) and Ed Whittle (Thomas Middleditch) are scientists working for a a rich and influential American company set in Puerto Rico. This research firm known as Bionyne Corporation has been known for trying the impossible, with the amount of money they have put in to the scientific research which would help many people in the United States of America, and all around the world. Their attempt to transfer the mind of dead soldiers into a robot codenamed 345 keeps failing, and with the last attempt, it shows self-destructive behaviour, and the scientists are forced to stop the experiment until they find the missing link which would help them to connect the brain with the new robotic body. William and Ed tries to find a solution using their skills in defining neural pathways and human cloning respectively.

So, what happens with the events here? :: Jones (John Ortiz), their boss warns them about stopping this project and firing them, because those who had invested in this project needed results, and not just progress. William decides to go to a boating trip with his wife Mona Foster (Alice Eve) and three children Sophie Foster (Emily Alyn Lind), Zoe Foster (Aria Leabu) and Matt Foster (Emjay Anthony). But the trip turns to be a disaster, as a tree falls on the car, and the vehicle which losses control crashes into a river, leading to the death of William’s wife and children. But William doesn’t want to give up, and he calls Ed with the necessary equipment, hoping to bring his family back again. But will that work out as he expect them to? Is he good enough to do what he had earlier tried, this time with his family? Will the returning members of his family be the same? What will the company think if they find out what he has beeing trying to do?

The defence of Replicas :: The idea that lies beneath is movie is really strong, and serves well enough to keep the movie going – we have seen the dead person’s mind being transferred to a robot before, in movies like RoboCop, a franchise which has had some interesting movies, and a not that interesting reboot. We had also seen similar elements in Ghost in the Shell, and therefore, the scope was surely there. The movie’s best moments include the scene in which the wife is taken out of the pod, the man taking the corpses of his family and placing it on the side of the river, the moment when the wife knows what is happening, and also the final moments of the movie which has an interesting twist. The movie does have its thrilling moments in between, and the last few minutes are even quicker in action. After all, you know what Keanu Reeves is capable of.

The claws of flaw :: The opinions about the movie hasn’t been that good, but it is mostly because people have been overthinking this idea. After all, this is science fiction, and we are not really bothered about the science part as much as fiction, because most of us leave it with the tenth standard of plus two. Most of us haven’t used most of the advanced science and mathematics which we learned during those later years of school in life, and having chosen another stream, frying the brain with such things are indeed useless. But, there is no denying the fact that Replicas could have been better if it had dealt with the problems of cloning – instead, everything seems to be too easy here, and finally, our protagonist has a fine solution to all of these, and it all seems to be custom made for him, with him getting all that he wanted. After all, he is not John Wick, at least for now.

Performers of the soul :: Keanu Reeves has been a man known for Speed and The Matrix, and recently, very much as the hitman in John Wick, as he kept on murdering people one after the other as the popular assassin. Other than the action thrillers, he has suited the best for science fiction movies, and we have already seen that some movies actually combined these genres to make the best out of his works. He has no problem in working with role either, as he remains solid. Alice Eve is the perfect choice to play the cloned wife, as she gets that kind of a look in her face perfectly, and we remember how well she had dealt with her role in Star Trek Into Darkness – she gets into science fiction very well. Thomas Middleditch played his role, just okay while John Ortiz makes a pretty good villain. Emily Alyn Lind who was seen in Doctor Sleep also does good with the other kids, even though they are not significant around here.

How it finishes :: Replicas is the kind of movie which we usually miss at the theatres because there are not many screens being assigned to it, and it is also the kind of movie which the critics tend to bash by trying to find some science in it, when what the usual audience wants from a science fiction is only a very minute amount of science – otherwise, it would be too boring for the common man. I found the movie to be an entertaining one, and the thrills felt real, as we wanted to know the consequences of the protagonist trying to play god like Frankenstein did in a novel, many years ago. The emotional sequences also connect very well, and Keanu Reeves could easily pull this off, but he couldn’t satisfy the critics enough, as it seems from the low rating the movie received. During this lock-down season, try giving Replicas a chance, and lets see how much you agree to the critical opinions.

Release date: 11th January 2019
Running time: 107 minutes
Directed by: Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alice Eve, Thomas Middleditch, John Ortiz, Emily Alyn Lind, Emjay Anthony, Aia Leabu, Nyasha Hatendi

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Platform

Vampire Owl: Have you walked through the platforms?

Vampire Bat: Which one are you talking about?

Vampire Owl: The moving platforms which have been introduced inside the castle.

Vampire Bat: Now we vampires have moving platforms? Why?

Vampire Owl: Come on. This is supposed to a haunted castle with many vampires. Such attractions are supposed to be there.

Vampire Bat: You mean to say that Uncle Dracula is planning to make Hotel Transylvania, a five star hotel with special attractions.

Vampire Owl: No, the castle a historical place. We can only add some attractions which supports its status as the monument.

Vampire Bat: They are going to destroy another historical monument. Do the vampire elders know about this?

Vampire Owl: They will know when the platforms are introduced. We are giving them a sweet little surprise.

Vampire Bat: They are so old that such a shocking surprise can make them former elders, and bury them in the vampire underworld.

[Gets a mango cake and three cups of mixed tea].

What is the movie about? :: Goreng (Ivan Massague) wakes up in a concrete room with another man on the bed opposite to his, and Trimagasi (Zorion Eguileor) is a man who seems to have different opinions on world compared to him. The room is marked by the number 48, and there is a hole in the centre through which he is able to look at a large number of similar rooms going up and also going down towards infinity. Trimagasi explains that they are in a tower-style building that goes a long way to the higher and lower levels, at which food is delivered through a platform that travels from the top, stopping for a fixed period on each floor – each floor below gets only the left over of what the higher floors eat, and the amount of food decreases as each floor passes. If they try to keep some food with them for later use, the room gets heated or cooled towards the extreme ends until the food is thrown down. Each month, the imprisoned people are randomly reassigned to a new level and it seems to happen randomly.

So, what happens with the events here? :: The prisoners at the building were allowed to take one item which they really loved, or wanted to keep, into this building, and Goreng had taken a copy of Don Quixote, one of the best known and the most influential novels in Spanish, something which has been an inspiration and part of syllabus in many colleges all around the world teaching English Language and Literature course. One day, a young woman named Miharu (Alexandra Masangkay) rides down on the platform with food, and Trimagasi tells Goreng that she goes down the hole every month searching for her lost child. Goreng sees that she is being attacked by two men, but is relieved to see that she manages to kill both of them using a knife she had with her, and she continues to go down with the food, seemingly searching for the child that she needed to find.

And what is to follow here as time passed in the pit? :: While Goreng had volunteered to spend six months in what was known as the Vertical Self-Management Center to earn a special diploma, Trimagasi is someone who is serving a one year sentence for manslaughter, and he is surprised to see that someone would volunteer to be part of such a programme just for earning a diploma degree. Even though Trimagasi is not someone who seems to be so friendly, the two somehow manages to be pretty good friends, but only until they are transferred to the next cell, which is numbered 171, a place which is on the lower side, and would get none of the food, because 170 levels above and 340 people in there would need a lot more than what is moved on a platform. So, this is up to the two friends to figure out how to survive in this terrifying situation with no food. Will they find a way to survive until the next change to a better space, or will they end up killing and eating one another? Os is there a way to go to another room or escape from this experiment?

The defence of The Platform :: There are some relevant ideas being discussed in this movie, some directly, and most them indirectly. There is some violence, and it is shown as part of human need, and we also have survival of the fittest, with the certain support of luck, as the residents of this building shows life itself in another way, but the core remains the same. There is a display of how higher social order, or people of a better economic status will look at others, even those who were at their same status earlier. The idea at the base goes like this – if you only take what you need, there will be enough for everyone else; it thrives on the need rather than the want, because the desire for more than you need is the root of all evil. It is not just the case of food, but also of other basic needs like clothing and water among others. Along with food, the one thing that people have more than they need is surely clothes, and water is the one thing which is wasted the most. The movie nicely touches these elements with action and thrills to go with them, and the performances from everyone is good.

The claws of flaw :: The movie could have been more accurate with how it presented its ideas, because some are being lost here. There are also some repetitions, even when considering the fact that this is a movie which is just over one and half hours in total run-time. It is also to be noted that more elements could have been included in this movie in that run-time itself, or by adding a few more minutes, because the movie remains a short one considering the idea which it is trying to convey to the audience of our times. The characters could have also been more interesting, and the ambiguity regarding what was happening above could have been removed, especially with one of the people in the office also becoming a prisoner. The movie is also pretty much violent, and often makes some people feel disgust and shock – this is not really a movie for everyone, as the film doesn’t choose to go through that safe path to bring in the audience, making this a much lesser known Spanish flick.

How it finishes :: As The Platform asks some questions relevant during the time of Corona Virus, with COVID-19 spreading throughout the globe, and it is the time to help others, we cannot deny its significance against a world of chaos as well as selfishness. With only a few main characters, the movie manages to bring its point during the season of crisis, even though it did release much earlier, but not many people had heard about it then. It is the kind of movie which will come to the light during different types of similar problems in the world, and it can be considered as a movie standing on its own, with similarities more with its other elements, and not with its core idea. The Platform is the movie that you need to watch during the season of quarantines, isolation and lock-downs, so that as a part of humanity, you can ponder over whatever is happening in a world which has been taught to be the fittest to survive in a cruel world full of inherent evil that William Golding talked about in his novel, the much studied Lord of the Flies. You can also watch another similar lock-down social experiment with The Belko Experiment.

Release date: 6th March 2019
Running time: 94 minutes
Directed by: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Starring: Ivan Massague, Zorion Eguileor, Antonia San Juan, Emilio Buale Coka, Alexandra Masangkay

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The First Purge

Vampire Owl: Do you remember those moments when this was first implemented in the werewolf territory?

Vampire Bat: What are you talking about?

Vampire Owl: The day when werewolves brutally murdered each other.

Vampire Bat: How can I know? I am not spending my time looking at whatever happens in that territory.

Vampire Owl: Well, you should know that it was not that bloody as it would be if humans implemented it.

Vampire Bat: I know. Nobody I know is as blood-thirsty as an average human.

Vampire Owl: Because it is quite natural for them to be evil. They choose it with ease, while we are declared to be evil because we are undead.

Vampire Bat: I have never been that fond of their categorizations.

Vampire Owl: It is more or less, the divisions.

Vampire Bat: The divisions guide them towards eternal hate.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with Arrowroot Biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: We remember that the New Founding Fathers of America, a totalitarian political party, came into power after an economic collapse. There was the law that sanctioned an annual Purge for twelve hours each year, when all types of crime, including murder, would be legal, with emergency services being unavailable. It helped the United States to become nearly crime-free with the unemployment rate dropping to the lowest ever. Earlier movies had mentioned those families and people who struggled during these times to survive against the chaos which was unleashed. This movie goes a few years back from there, as there was the time when this was beginning to be attempted on a trial basis. This experiment would be taking place on Staten Island, which is the southernmost as well as the westernmost of the five boroughs of New York City.

So, what happens next? :: New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) members Arlo Sabian (Patch Darragh) and Dr. May Updale (Marisa Tomei) announce a social experiment which is to take place in the island. It proclaims the twelve hours of purge, an activity during which the residents could be involved in anything illegal, including, robbery, rape and murder. There is also the offer for the residents of the Island to have $5000 to stay in their homes during the experiment and also a suitable compensation for those who would be participating in the brutality. There would be no ambulance or police, and the criminals would be on the streets with those who wish to go illegal. The participants would have tracking devices and contact lenses with cameras, so that whatever activity they do, can be tracked, and some of them can be even shown in the television channels. There are also those drones which would be monitoring everything from the sky.

And, what is to follow next in the adventure? :: Among those who leads the purge is a drug addict known as Skeletor (Rotimi Paul) who also manages to draw the first blood with a brutal murder, and tries to follow up the same with raping women and murdering anyone whom he finds on the street. Nya (Lex Scott Davis), an anti-purge activist who fails to stop the experiment, joins her friends Dolores (Mugga), Luisa (Lauren Velez), and Selina (Kristen Solis) in a church which they find to be the safest place on the island. Most of the people in the church had decided to stay because they are very poor and the amount of 5000 meant that they could have three meals a day after a long time. Meanwhile, the purge keeps getting stronger on the streets, and Skeletor leads the kill count by randomly attacking purge parties held all around the island. It is then that the drug lord and Nya’s former boyfriend Dmitri (Y’lan Noel) finds out that there is something strange about the purge – then, things change.

The defence of The First Purge :: The human impulse to go towards savagery against civilization, continues to be shown in this purge movie too. We are reminded of humanity’s inherent evil, and the never-ending desire to be free by punishing and murdering others and having extreme joy out of it. The First Purge also boasts about a lot of action in store, and we can see the experiment in the lines of The Belko Experiment taking place here, with some bringing death and the others trying to survive. There is some intense action in the final stages of the movie, and there is he reflection of what the politicians and the government has always tried to achieve, to divide and rule people, as well as make sure that the poor are among the dead, more than any other category, thus lessening poverty, hunger and unemployment to a level which can be managed. The First Purge has that idea which has a lot of truth, and it meets our soul once again as it did with other Purge flicks.

The claws of flaw :: One might feel that this version of purge might be the weakest of all similar movies. With the idea already established, and three interesting movies already made, we would expect the franchise to do better this time, but it doesn’t, as long as this particular movie is concerned. The cast is also not that strong, even Lex Scott Davis stands above the rest, and Y’lan Noel does have his moments. With the purge, there is always the chance for further innovations, but this one stands behind in that case. There no further venturing into that idea which could gather a lot of appreciation if used in the best manner. As we have watched all other purge movies, this one has more of repetition rather than anything else. The atrocities committed with this purge could have portrayed further, with humanity’s nature being questioned in a stronger and shocking manner.

How it finishes :: The Purge franchise has made all of us think, and with The Purge, The Purge: Anarchy and The Purge: Election Year, we have all been thinking about its basic idea, and relate it to humanity, society and the inherent evil in man which forces one to achieve catharsis in one way or the other. In our world, we have bandhs and harthals were political goons try to destroy property and people stay at home fearing this. Further north, there have been communal violence and riots in the name of dead cows, and all of these are options for those who need to take law into their hand and commit all kinds of atrocities. The Purge has one tale to tell in a part of the world, and another somewhere else. The whole humanity is driven towards that idea which William Golding showed in the 1954 novel, Lord of the Flies – The inherent evil becomes the truth, and committing all kinds of atrocities can be done naturally by humans.

Release date: 4th July 2018
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Gerard McMurray
Starring: Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Steve Harris, Mugga, Christian Robinson, Lauren Velez, Kristen Solis, Marisa Tomei, Cindy Robinson, Patch Darragh, Maria Rivera, Chyna Layne, Siya, Melonie Diaz, Mo McRae, Rotimi Paul, Kevin Carrigan

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Hobbs and Shaw

What is the movie about? :: The movie begins in London, with a group of MI6 agents trying to recover a deadly virus, Snowflake, which is good enough to cause a global pandemic, bringing humanity closer to the sixth extinction. As they retrieve it from the global terrorist organization Eteon, Brixton Lore (Idris Elba), an Eteon soldier fitted with advanced cybernetic implants arrives and kills all agents except for their leader, Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby). She injects Snowflake into herself to keep it away from others’ reach and escapes from the scene. Brixton frames her as a traitor who killed her team and stole Snowflake, and it leads to her being on the run from more than one intelligence agency. Both Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson a.k.a. The Rock) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) are given the duty to track her down and find Snowflake before it gets to Eteon or some other terrorist group.

So, what happens with the events to follow? :: It turns out that Hattie is the younger sister of Deckard, and after talking to their mother Magdalene Shaw (Helen Mirren) in prison, he finds it his duty to protect her. As expected, Luke and Deckard can’t get along, and that does cause problems as far as the mission is concerned. They do find her in the end, and even though she is taken to the CIA office, Brixton arrives with his team of mercenaries and captures her. Luke and Deckard manages to save her after trying to defeat Brixton in hand combat without any success. They manage to get away, and decide to find a way to get the virus out of Hattie who only seems to have a few days remaining. They figure out that she has to be killed needs to use an extraction device from the Eteon factory in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Brixton frames them as terrorists, and makes things further difficult.

And what more is to happen? :: For the same, they are helped by Madam M (Eiza Gonzalez), who is Deckard’s old flame, as well as a robber who lives in Russia – she also provides them with some special, powerful weapons. This leaves them with even lesser amount of time to get the virus out of Hattie. Brixton is also searching everywhere for the virus that he feels will change the world forever. With no option to save her, and after getting all the information from the creator of the virus, Professor Andreiko (Eddie Marsan) they decide to have her transferred to Brixton and then go after her in the factory where it was created, as it is the only place where it can be extracted. With time running out, they get their resources ready, while Andreiko is captured by Brixton. It is a tough task ahead for the two people who just don’t want to see each other – can they defeat Brixton, the man who is more like a superhuman with all the implants, or will death be unleashed on common people?

The defence of Hobbs and Shaw :: This is one movie in the Fast and Furious franchise that could do without its “FF” tag, as it has a story which can stand alone, and with its main characters and all the action around, has such great strength beyond the franchise. It is so good even without those scenes of racing in the streets, even though there are also present. The great action sequences go a long way beyond our expectations. The movie has the chases, hand to hand combat, a vertical walk and a grand final battle which has a group of cars against a helicopter. The best thing about the movie is that it knows where to draw the lines, and how to make things believable, helping the willing suspension of disbelief – it is something that some of those dumb masala Bollywood movies can never do. This one begins well and ends well, and in between has a lot to remember. The visuals are stunning, and the best is in store in the end, at Samoa.

Positives and negatives :: The movie has a certain amount of humour in there, and not all the comedy works here. Sometimes, the comic side tries to come in when not needed and the least expected – sometimes, we just love to avoid it as not being part of this grand adventure. All parts of the movie are also not at the same level, leaving us with ups and downs. The use of family idea gets repetitive, but is once again used effectively with the scene shifting to Samoa bring one more family together. Well, we know how much Fast and Furious 6, Fast and Furious 7 and Fast and Furious 8 talked about family, and that is one element which comes up in anything related to the franchise. There is also the talk about people being above technology, and regarding the final setting and The Rock who comes up with such a situation, it becomes believable. There are moments when we feel that it is this movie that needs the sequel and not the original series – Vanessa Kirby might be one strong reason for that.

The performers of the soul :: Fast and Furious franchise is known for its protagonists who have no hair on their head – this one does the job without Vin Diesel though. This is that kind of an occasion where it works perfectly without him – the contrasting styles of the two actors playing the two real different characters become perfect here. Dwayne Johnson brings the power of the Rock or rather Hercules in the last few scenes as we also have Roman Reigns joining in to give a reminder of that WWE world which we have loved for long. Jason Statham’s protagonist who comes with a different style of action has us asking for more. Vanessa Kirby is too good in the action sequences too, as she brings everything into the scene perfectly – Mission Impossible: Fallout had here doing less action, but not this time, as she has some fine sequences of action which we are going to remember. She can surely have a lot more action movies. Idris Alba does a great job playing the villain too. Elza Gonzalez has a small, but noticeable role.

How it finishes :: We have always wanted more of the Fast and Furious franchise, and this one makes sure that there is more, and that too with the two superstars who could be even bigger than the whole movie. With Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham launching the right punches, this one offers even more than what we thought it would deliver. A complete entertainer from the beginning to the end, Hobbs and Shaw is a movie that you shouldn’t miss, as far as you are looking for a grand action thriller. There will be more fast and furious movies coming up, but this one will be remembered for what has brought to the screen in a grand fashion. We are gladly past the boring street racing saga to aim at something higher. Creating a spin-off out of a successful franchise and making it as big as the original series requires some fine skills, and here the same is on display. Hobbs and Shaw will keep the expectations high until the next movie in the franchise arrives.

Release date: 2nd August 2019
Running time: 135 minutes
Directed by: David Leitch
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Vanessa Kirby, Idris Elba, Eiza Gonzalez, Eddie Marson, Helen Mirren, Cliff Curtis, Roman Reigns, Josh Mauga, John Tui, Lori Pelenise Tuisano

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Resident Evil: Vendetta

Vampire Owl: I see that evil even got some vendetta to go with it.

Vampire Bat: Animated Resident Evil will make sure that there was no real final chapter with the Resident Evil franchise.

Vampire Owl: What is final with a virus outbreak and zombie infection? The same will only keep happening.

Vampire Bat: Yes, it is just that we already undead that the zombie bites are not affecting us.

Vampire Owl: What? You got bitten by a zombie? When and where?

Vampire Bat: It was exactly two years and three months ago. It was one of your zombie minions – I threw him into the sea. He is now serving as an underwater undead pirate.

Vampire Owl: Now I know that I counted it correctly; one of my minions really missing!

Vampire Bat: Yes, you are good at Mathematics. It is as evil as you are.

Vampire Owl: Do you know how difficult it is to get a good zombie minion during these times when Lich Queen controls so many of them?

Vampire Bat: Dude, even Gru has better minions for his evil plans.

[Gets three cups of cardamom tea with Hide and Seek biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: Glenn Arias (John DeMita) is the kind of person whom almost everyone is after, lead by the United States government. He is the typical death dealer with no remorse, and has nothing good in mind. He used to be an arms dealer who had his wedding ceremony bombed by the United States drones, after which only an arm of his wife in a few minutes lasting marriage, was left for him. The only two people survived that drone assualt were Maria Gomez (Cristina Vee) and Diego Gomez (Fred Tatasciore), both now working for him to teach governments and people a valuable lesson that they would never forget. For the same, it is not guns, bombs or drugs which he intends to use, as his hate goes further deep down – his idea is on biological warfare, and to avenge his terrible wedding day, he plans to go to any end.

So, what happens next? :: It is this death merchant who has Chris Redfield (Kevin Dorman) on his trail, as the one who was acting as their informer at Glenn’s organization had gone missing. As the special agents try to get into the mansion, they are welcomed by the undead as well as traps, with only Chris surviving in the end, despite being shot at by Glenn, and chased by an army of zombies which is destroyed by the reinforcements. At the same time, Rebecca Chambers (Erin Cahill) is working as a professor at a university, developing vaccines againt possible infections. Now dedicating her time for this cause only, she studies a new virus known as Animality virus or the A-virus which is more than anything which has been witnessed before. This particular virus has the ability to stay dormant inside human body, and can respond to a trigger and start spreading.

And what is to follow with this adventure? :: The facility conducting the experiments is soon attacked by a team sent by Glenn, lead by Maria. The virus is spread through the air turning everyone there into zombies, while Maria collects details of the research. Only Rebecca survives with the help of a vaccine which she had developed, and Chris arrives in time with his team to save her from the remaining undead. It is a battle that they can’t win by themselves, and for further information and support, they contact Leon S. Kennedy (Matthew Mercer) who is considered to be an expert in the matter. But they soon realize that nothing really happens without Glenn, Maria or their wide-spread well-wishers knowing, and they will have an army after them. Can the three figure out what the death merchant is planning before time runs out for them, their city, their country and humanity as well as all life on Earth?

The defence of Resident Evil: Vendetta :: Here is a boon for the Resident Evil fans who had thought that the movie franchise had ended too early with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, as we have this animated movie to bring back a few memories from some time ago, and develop a few others. The thing about these animated versions of the games is that they are closer to those survival horror adventures on your computer or gaming device. This one, therefore becomes the movie that you didn’t watch from the series as well as the game that you didn’t play from the franchise. As this animated movie joins the list, there is a lot of action in store, and some nice animated creatures to go with it. We get to have our heroes battling an evil villain looking forward to use the zombies to end everything, and there are some stylish moments and a few good dialogues to go with it, Resident Evil style! This one makes things about not Alice as the centre of everything, but more.

The claws of flaw :: The one thing that you will notice is that the focus is all the time on certain characters, and even they were to have better moments in this one. Sometimes, you wonder if this is a collection of cutscenes coming from between the action in the games – well, that could be tried with these. The tale is also the rather predictable one with one villain and a lot of undead, which has become more of a stereotype with all being saved in the end by the heroes we know. There is also that moment of strange desire for wedding just because a girl looks like dead wife to someone – it just doesn’t suit around here surrounded by problems of life and death for people and survival or extinction for humanity. The movie has also decided not to use its big monster to its advantage from early on itself. It could have also used the shots bigger in scale, and scarier in essence to make things work more “evil” in a terrifying way.

How it finishes :: By this time, you should have understood that Resident Evil never ends – there will never be a real final chapter, and the zombies will only keep coming towards you for one eternity, and the next. It is surely a wonderful thing for us fans, as it was one game that has been with us for so long since we were playing those demo games from IT magazines – those were the days. Resident Evil is something that deserves to be part of our lives for long or for eternity, like Harry Potter is for some people, and Hunger Games or Divergent is for others. Getting itself another animated movie from Japan, Resident Evil is much more, even though there will always be a certain group of people who won’t know or prefer this – well, it is your decision, but I would go for Resident Evil, now and whenever possible, as it was a big part of my childhood.

Release date: 25th August 2016
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Takanori Tsujimoto
Starring: Kevin Dorman, Matthew Mercer, Erin Cahill, Kari Wahlgren, Arif S. Kinchen, Cristina Vee, Karen Strassman, Arnie Pantoja, John DeMita, Fred Tatasciore, Jason Faunt, Jason Hightower, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Tony Oliver, Matthew Mercer, Alexander Polinsky

<– Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Tell Me How I Die

Vampire Owl: This looks more like one of those “death-star” experiments from Doctor Frankenstein.

Vampire Bat: Well, he doesn’t work with the humans anymore, and so this can’t be his work.

Vampire Owl: I never understand what he meant by “death-star” though. Isn’t that a Star Wars thing?

Vampire Bat: Well, he is the star and others die. That could be one of the reasons.

Vampire Owl: I certainly wish that it was the other way around.

Vampire Bat: A dead Frankenstein is surely not a good Frankenstein, especially when he returns again. So, you can stop thinking about it that way.

Vampire Owl: You mean to say that he has traveled beyond the boundaries of life already.

Vampire Bat: He has even told me how you die.

Vampire Owl: What? That is impossible. I would prove him wrong.

Vampire Bat: Which is why he mentioned only about Lady Death being involved.

[Gets three cups of self-made tea with Good Day biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: A group of youth from different parts of the state comes together at a medical facility for the drug trials, which turns out to be the easiest way to make some quick money. They get all the facilities until the trials end, but till then, they are not supposed to leave the facility or communicate through mobile phone to anyone. Anna (Virginia Gardner), a waitress looking for better options and more money also joins the team of young people at the facility. The other people participating in the experiment includes Den (Nathan Kress), Kristen (Kirby Bliss Blanton), Marcus (Mark Furze), Scratch (Ryan Higa) and others. They are told that they can choose to leave before taking the drug, but will not be allowed to leave the premises once they take the required dose. The officials confirm that this restriction is placed for their own safety because there is the possibility of some strange side-effects.

So, what happens next? :: This drug which could be unsafe, has some of the testers in doubt, but these experiments have already been done before, and people have walked out; there is also the presence of specialists, which meant that precautions were enough. So, everyone in the group decides to take the drug and enjoy the facilities provided there. Kristen and Marcus are the first two people to feel the effects of the drug, as they see the future, or rather go through it, to come back to the present again. They are confused, with their life repeating before them more than once. But they go and see those in charge, and are assured that this is quite normal and natural after taking the drugs. Only some people in the group are expected to have these effects on them, and so the two are told not to speak about this to anybody else, as they awaited more results.

And, what is to follow next in the adventure? :: Anna is the next one to see the future, but this goes further as she sees each and every person among them dying a horrible death. But the result is that she is sedated and tied up so that there is no panic among the others. Meanwhile, Den, Kristen, Marcus and Scratch plans and escapes from the facility, only for Den to make them come back for the others, especially Anna, who might all die inside there if the vision Anna had indeed was about future. Their worst fear comes true as the others are killed by a stranger. Anna manages to get herself free from the restraints and they unite, except for Scratch who never got back inside. Anna keeps having visions of them being killed, and Scratch finds something which he was not supposed to find. They discover that Dr. Jerrems (William Mapother) who is in charge had locked himself inside a bunker, and the serial killer on the loose is someone who was earlier experimented on, and now he wants revenge on everyone.

The defence of Tell Me How I Die :: We have another tale of people being used for testing drugs having unexpected effects on the volunteers. The idea is expanded cleverly here, and with the interesting developments in the first half, gets our attention right where it needs to be. We are given the license to expect the terror to be unleashed in one way or the other. With its limited resources, the movie has surely done well enough, one has to admit – there is nothing that big being tried here, and we notice the same easily. Even for a movie that is not known to have that much of a budget, this one does look good – there is nothing to blame visually here. The movie also has the potential to develop its main character in such a way as to make a big serial killer out of it with a possible sequel. Kirby Bliss Blanton whom we know from The Green Inferno, and the protagonist Virginia Gardner are the pick of the cast here.

The claws of flaw :: What we feel the first time after watching this movie is that it had so much scope with its idea, and the basic thing could have been explored further. There is even a serial killer, the villain who is on rampage, and he gets his kills so easily – but the movie doesn’t bring him as a scary figure or try to make him a character whom nobody is going to forget. There could have also been a better way of seeing future, and the same could be used to bring effectiveness to the cat and mouse game between the killer and his possible victims. There is also an ending which is not that effective, and we have a certain amount of confusion about how things turn out in the end. We demand more, without doubt, especially after everything is set up nicely with a sequence of events – we ask for scares, and big twists which can turn things upside down as the core is revealed, but the choice taken here is not to do anything special and just go on, which is rather surprising.

How it finishes :: There has been many experiments which have been the theme of movies like Ex Machina and Morgan, but both those movies were about creating something new, while this one is focused on enhancing human abilities. Once again, we have people trying do the strange and the unpredictable in the name of science, crossing some areas which were not supposed to be crossed. Tell Me How I Die is going to be just another one of those stories which will have our attention, and keep going through the same. It will be an interesting choice for some time-pass, and maybe it will have us watching more of similar movies again. After all, the world is never really that short of such ideas. There are always smaller movies which tries to get through with an interesting idea – you can surely add this one to that list of movies which try to do more with what it got.

Release date: 2nd September 2016
Running time: 107 minutes
Directed by: D.J. Viola
Starring: Virginia Gardner, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Nathan Kress, Ryan Higa, Mark Furze, Ethan Peck, William Mapother, Marnie Alexenburg, Mark Rolston, Katie Booth, Christopher Allen, Shaun Brown, Julia Ling, Daisun Cohn-Williams, Barry Habib

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

A Cure for Wellness

Vampire Owl: I hope that they are not trying to find a cure for vampirism.

Vampire Bat: There is no cure to vampirism – it is a one way procedure.

Vampire Owl: It is nice that you said that. I was afraid about the same after hearing about Doctor Frankenstein‘s latest experiments.

Vampire Bat: He is just finding the cure for coffin-o-phobia.

Vampire Owl: What? Who is afraid of coffins?

Vampire Bat: I think that it is the Vampire Panda. He is such a big Kung Fu Panda, and can’t get inside any coffin.

Vampire Owl: Then where does he rest when there is the need?

Vampire Bat: He has planted a noodles tree on the backyard.

Vampire Owl: What does that achieve?

Vampire Bat: Well, our vampire experts are working on the same, an on the possibility of a noodles coffin.

[Gets three cups of elaichi tea with a piece of tea cake].

What is the movie about? :: Lockhart (Dane DeHaan), an ambitious young employee takes the place of a man who had recently suffered a heart attack while working late at work, in a large financial services company, hoping to make a big impact as early as possible. The company board members sends him to Europe to bring back the company’s CEO, Roland Pembroke (Harry Groener), from a wellness centre where he is spending his life in peace, or it is what they believe that he is doing. With the need for his presence for an upcoming company merger, as well as having someone responsible for the recent problems which have occured in the firm. This particular wellness centre is located on the Swiss side of Alps, on a picturesque location supposed to bring peace of mind, and he also finds that the villagers are not really fond of the sanatorium, and the people who visit the place, which is on the top of a hill.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: There he meets Dr. Heinreich Volmer (Jason Isaacs) as well as the other staff there, all of them not that interested in letting him meet the man whom he wants to get home as quickly as possible. He decides to come back after resting at the hotel, at a time when Pembroke is not undergoing treatment. While going down the hill, his car meets with an accident, and he is forced to go back to the wellness centre and get the needed treatment. He does manage to meet Pembroke, but it doesn’t prove to be that useful a meeting, as they are both now in treatment, and are not going to leave soon as planned – you don’t get out that easily. There, he also meets a mysterious young girl named Hannah (Mia Goth) who acts more like a child, and seems to be under the influence of Volmer, keeping on wandering around the premises. She refers to herself as a special case, unlike everyone else who are undergoing treatment at the centre.

And what follows the same in the movie? :: There is a past to the wellness centre that Lockhart learns from the patients and the people of the village. They tell the story of a baron who lived in the castle which was there in the place of the centre many years ago. The particular baron was so proud of his bloodline, and in a desire to keep the pure blood run through the family, married his own sister, an act which didn’t go well with both the villagers and the church. After finding that his sister was infertile, and he won’t be getting his heir of pure blood, he began to experiment on the peasants of the village to find a cure. Even as he is believed to have found a cure, the peasants had risen in revolt, burning the castle down, and supposed to have killed everyone including him, his wife, and the unborn child. The ruins of the castle still lies beneath the wellness centre, and Lockhart finds the need to figure it out. But he is running out of time for sure.

The defence of A Cure for Wellness :: There is one thing absolutely clear about A Cure for Wellness, and it is that the movie stays away from the usual style, and makes no attempt to stay in the safe zone, as the confort is found further away. The viewers are kept guessing, and they will all be wondering what is to happen next, until the big twist finally arrives to make the impact. There is beauty in the way things are shown, and there is the creepy effect going all through this movie with its wellness centre, maybe not that much as Crimson Peak, but is there, in a different way. With the performances, Dane DeHaan who is known the best for the Green Goblin of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Mia Goth and Jason Isaacs compete with each other, and steal the show as a group of three. Mia Goth is just amazingly suitable for this role, which has her coming out the best way possible – those walks, and the cycle rides, and even that dance – something creepy beautiful about it. Some moments are just a lot creepy, including and more than having eels in the water and even mouth, and people suspended inside big glass containers.

The claws of flaw :: The movie certainly gets too slow in the middle, and it never really gets that pace until in the end, as there is the possibility of getting lost in the middle for those who don’t really have that much interest in this kind of a movie. There is also a certain amount of violence, which will make it not that interesting for some people. It could be disturbing for some people, but it is not that much, if you consider them as essential parts for the movie. Considering the kind of disturbing movies around, this wouldn’t come anywhere close, if you look closely. The length of the movie could have been reduced, and we can say that same about the chance for ambiguities – a two hour movie was the maximum which was needed to improve overall effectiveness. This movie was actually capable of becoming a huge horror thriller that would automatically cater to more of the viewers. Well, not everything on a divergent path is lovely, right? Watch this one, and come up with a conclusion rather than by reading reviews – for it feels personal.

How it finishes :: Along with being the interesting thriller, the movie also shows the hollowness of being rich, as those who has so much money are shown to pay even more to get better, something which even transcends foolishness at times – it is the case of humanity, isn’t it? It is easy to fool men and women who are always looking for something which is proclaimed to be better. Well, A Cure for Wellness in your usual movie, and having said that, we can also name it as one of those flicks which have a big possibility of becoming cult movies. This one is not a simple movie, and has similarities to The Institute starring James Franco and Allie Gallerani which released in the same year – there is the need for a certain kind of sense and thinking to like these kinds of movies, and as our common audience doesn’t possess the same, lets recommend it to all who are able to think differently, and let the others who decide not to think take the risk and watch the flick.

Release date: 17th February 2017
Running time: 146 minutes
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Mia Goth, Jason Isaacs, Adrian Schiller, Celia Imrie, Ashok Mandanna, Harry Groener, Godehard Giese, Tomas Norstrom, Magnus Krepper, Carl Lumbly, Lisa Banes, Tom Flynn, Johannes Krisch, Jason Babinsky, Angelina Hsntsch, Jeff Burrell, Annette Lober, Eric Todd, Christian Brauer, Thomas Richter, Chris Huszar, Marko Buzin

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Logan

Vampire Owl: He is quite the popular person, isn’t he?

Vampire Bat: Yes, he is the favourite mutant of almost everyone you meet.

Vampire Owl: I wish that the mutants in our worlds were not zombies.

Vampire Bat: They have to be considered separately, especially with a world of supernaturals and superheroes in waiting.

Vampire Owl: Well, we were the most popular supernatural creatures at a time, and it is sad that there are signs of the same changing.

Vampire Bat: I believe that we are still very much popular, and our side remains strong. The mutants have always been there as superheroes or supervillains.

Vampire Owl: I have watched the trailer of this one. It is strange, for I thought this one was at least partially immortal.

Vampire Bat: He is a product of science; they haven’t really understood immortality yet.

Vampire Owl: But immorality is there.

Vampire Bat: That is kind of an easy thing for humans these days.

[Gets three cups of cardamom tea with Hide and Seek biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: Going right into a distant future, mutants are almost extinct. There is no longer the need for fighting the other mutants lead by Magneto (Ian McKellen), and there is no battle between the humans and the mutants, with the mutant problem seemingly not there as a threat. During these times, James Logan Howlett a.k.a. the Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), drives a limo and takes care of Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease which has lead to the world’s most dangerous brain being not something of use, and the telepathic abilities no longer working. Logan remains only a shadow of what he has been earlier, with his healing factor leaving him with time making him age, and without the healing, the adamantium skeleton which is the unyieldingly hard material inside him, is slowly and steadily killing him from inside.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: The two mutants are given company by another mutant, Caliban (Stephen Merchant), who has the ability to sense the presence of other mutants and track them. These are not easy times for Logan, who does get into trouble at times. One day, Logan is approached by a woman named Gabriela Lopez (Elizabeth Rodriguez), who claims to have worked as a nurse for some biotechnology corporation. He keeps trying to avoid her, but after offering him some money, she requests him to escort her and an eleven year girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) to a place in North Dakota known only as Eden. After she gets murdered, Logan, Xavier and Laura manages to escape the people who pursue them, while Caliban is captured. They are chased by a group of men lead by the cybernetically-enhanced fighter, Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook).

And what follows the same in the movie? :: Laura also has adamantium skeleton bonded to her, and has claws not only in her hands, but also in her feet. They find out from Gabriela’s final video message that she is one of several mutant children the company was breeding and joining with the DNA from different mutants, thus transferring their powers to children whom they felt were easier to brainwash into the ultimate killing machines, but it was not that effective as it was planned. Dr. Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant) who was the head of the project, is now in pursuit of his lost assets, and is determined to capture them dead or alive. Logan doesn’t have an instant liking to Laura who was cloned from his own DNA, but things get better as they go on traveling together. But unknown to them, there is one more thing after them, the X-24 project, which is more of the killing machine than Logan and Laura combined – how do they fight the monsters on their tail?

The defence of Logan :: This is one superhero movie in a divergent mode, which makes most of the things different with this one’s protagonist. There is something good with a superhero movie trying things differently as this one, as we get something other than the usual thing. With the powerful action scenes, what we have here is an even stronger emotional side, and we go through the hero’s struggles to live up to the legend in order to save more than one life, rather than finding him achieve greatness with a fantastic display of powers – something which X-Men and Avengers have been focusing on, along with destroying quite a good amount of public and private property. A predictable side is present too. We feel the pain of the hero more than in any other superhero movie, and it is something that the character of Wolverine has so much scope in providing us, along with those big action sequences. This one surely shows that there is more than one way to go divergent than Deadpool, and maybe Logan shouldn’t have been a movie with just one part.

The claws of flaw :: One is certain to find this too violent a movie, something which the X-Men movies haven’t focused on. There was already one special child in Midnight Special, and we have a rather more violent one here. There is also too much of a length for this movie considering the material that is possesses and how things have been proceeding, and just as many Wolverine fans had said, this is not the movie that they wanted with their hero at the centre – the end might be too much for them who might have wished for their favourite mutant to steal the show and just continue for eternity. A lot of things in this movie are going to be feeling like tragedy for the fans, and the situation of the great Professor X goes with that of Wolverine. This one is a lot dark and depressing with its content, and with violent kids in there, this is the movie that you would want to avoid watching with the younger ones – even as the kids and youth of these ages are surely getting more violent.

How it finishes :: Logan is one superhero movie with a difference; it will not go on to become something like The Dark Knight franchise, but this divergent treatment is certain to make one think about how much better each superhero movie could be – an idea which even those Bollywood superhero movies stealing from Hollywood can also think about. It can also work beyond the genre, as not a superhero movie. One thing that you will love more than everything else is, as expected, Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine who once again gives it all, as the older man who is not the killing machine that he used to be – with a number of X-Men movies, we have been missing him, and we needed something like this which was all about him. There is also Dafne Keen who is also almost as good as the big man with her performance. There might be other movies with superheroes, mutants or X-Men, but Logan is a movie that walks the different path, and will have your attention with how well it manages to do the same.

PS: Also, look forward to this week’s movie, Tiyaan.

Release date: 3rd March 2017
Running time: 137 minutes
Directed by: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Dafne Keen, Eriq La Salle, Elise Neal, Elizabeth Rodriguez

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Criminal

criminal-2

Vampire Owl: I am suffering from a thriller overdose.

Vampire Bat: And also the science fiction overdose. This movie is both, just like many other flicks which we have been watching in the recent days.

Vampire Owl: Why is it that there are not enough of such movies made here, and we have to keep depending on the Hollywood all the time?

Vampire Bat: We are specialised in drama, aren’t we?

Vampire Owl: And the romance. You see the latest one, the sequel to Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania.

Vampire Bat: You mean Badrinath Ki Dulhania. Who makes sequels to a dumb movie?

Vampire Owl: A sequel to a super-hit dumb movie.

Vampire Bat: Which is the dumb movie which is not a super-hit in Bollywood?

Vampire Owl: I can only remember Besharam and Tamasha.

Vampire Bat: I am not letting them doing a science fiction thriller. It would mean the beginning of the end.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with biriyani rice and gravy].

What is the movie about? :: Xavier Heimdahl (Jordi Molla) is a newly turned anarchist, a former businessman looking forward to bringing the downfall of all world government and initiate a reign of chaos. For the same, a hacker known by the code name “the Dutchman”, Jan Strook (Michael Pitt) is forced to create a computer program that would be able to bypass all security features, and get to the nuclear defense codes of as many nations as possible. But fearing for what will happen afterwards, Jan panics and contacts Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) who is a CIA agent based in London. Even though Bill manages to get the money and also make the deal with Jan, he is unable to get the money to him, and also safely transport the hacker from the safehouse, as he is captured by the group of terrorists and murdered while trying to extract information.

So, what happens next? :: Now, the situation is that nobody knows where Jan is, and very much desperate to get to the hacker, the senior CIA agen Quaker Wells (Gary Oldman) contacts Dr. Micah Franks (Tommy Lee Jones) who has been running a number of experiments related to implanting memories on human brain. Micah agrees that theoretically speaking, he could transplant the memories of a dead man into the brain of a living person who volunteers for the experiment, but it has never been tested before, and nobody can figure out how it turns out to be for the receiver of these memories. A criminal Jerico Stewart (Kevin Costner) seems like the best option for the same for Micah, even though Quaker wants an agent to do the same. But an early childhood brain trauma makes Jerico the best choice according to Micah, and so they go forward with the same.

And what follows the transfer :: They bring a reluctant Jerico to the laboratory and conduct the experiment. In the beginning, it seems unsuccessful, and Jerico doesn’t respond to the questions asked related to Bill. But Jerico escapes the captivity, and memories of Bill begins to flash through his mind. As the memories keep coming to his mind, he keeps experiencing different emotions as well. Meanwhile, Jan decides to sell his program to the Russians believing that CIA is not ready to pay him, and has decided to back out of the deal. At the same time, Xavier and his henchwoman Elsa Mueller (Antje Traue) are looking forward to capture Jerico and find out where Jan is hiding, but it is the CIA who gets to him first. But the question remains if Jerico can remember the significant things, and even if he does, will he tell the CIA or the terrorists the truth?

The defence of Criminal :: There is a wonderful premise in store with Criminal, and it also finishes off well with a nice twist, and a fine ending which is going to appeal to most of the people. The pace is good, and we get into all the action very early, which makes sure that we are interested in what is to happen at the next moment, as things keep going out of control for the protagonists and the world almost ready to descend into chaos. Kevin Costner comes in a role which we are sure to remember more than any other in the recent past, as this one seems to suit him so well at all points. Gal Gadot has a nice emotional role to perform as we see her after all the action in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Antje Traue whom we had seen in Man of Steel and Pandorum gets another tough role to perform, and she might be the strongest of them all. There is also the strength of having Gary Oldman and Tommy Lee Jones in two major roles.

The claws of flaw :: With its tale, Criminal could have surely achieved much more – it is something that we can all be sure about without doubt. The story could have been further developed into something bigger, dealing with brain and memories as Hollywood find it fit. This is an idea which has survived enough to be capable of bringing more, and that could have been something under focus. This is the kind of idea which could even be rather scary when we look at it. To add to the same, most characters are not dealt with well enough either, and there the focus goes limited. It was also strange to see Ryan Reynolds who has been two Marvel superheroes, Deadpool and the Green Lantern being being used so less, with his character dying so early. Alice Eve whom we last saw in a big movie in Star Trek Into Darkness, also gets much less here.

How it finishes :: For some reason, Criminal is a lesser known science fiction thriller around here, but it could have given many other movies a fight at the box-office if it had gained some hype here. Yes, Criminal is a lot better than some of those movies which gained too many positive reviews than they should have. Most of these faults which seem to have been found are not really that much of a problem if you take a deeper look at it and feel what you are really looking for from this movie within its genre. At the same time, Criminal also asks some very interesting questions about what makes a person – is it his memories, his emotions, or what he or others think that he is? Well, maybe all of them along with the situations – but there is a chance that none of them well. Go and see how it is made with the main character in this movie.

Release date: 15th April 2016
Running time: 113 minutes
Directed by: Ariel Vromen
Starring: Kevin Costner, Gal Gadot, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Alice Eve, Michael Pitt, Jordi Molla, Antje Traue, Scott Adkins, Amaury Nolasco, Ryan Reynolds, Colin Salmon, Tommy Hatto, Robert Davi, Richard Reid, Natalie Burn, Lara Decaro

criminal

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Morgan

morgan-2

Vampire Owl: I thought that this title was Morgue.

Vampire Bat: From how you usually think, I am not surprised at all. You could have even thought “Graveyard”.

Vampire Owl: Well, I am the one who found this as the movie to watch.

Vampire Bat: You just made a random guess about it, nothing more.

Vampire Owl: I guess well, and I also do choose well.

Vampire Bat: What you need is a better choice of words.

Vampire Owl: I think that you could be the protagonist of this movie.

Vampire Bat: I am not even going to comment on that.

Vampire Owl: Well, after watching this movie, you will comment.

Vampire Bat: Lets see. I am in need of a science fiction movie right now.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with vegetable puffs].

What is the movie about? :: Lee Weathers (Kate Mara) works as a risk management specialist for a genetic engineering company. Firm in her actions and thoughts, she is given a new assignment, which she is expected to complete without giving any chance for errors. It is concerning the company’s latest experiment, with a genetically engineering human called Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy) who has displayed acts of aggression all of a sudden due to which injuries have happened. This person is a lot smarter than humans, and has an advanced growth rate, looking like an adult, but is only five years old in reality. This girl had suddenly become violent and stabbed a scientist Kathy Grieff (Jennifer Jason Leigh) in the left eye. It is revealed that there was another incident earlier at Helsinki which the main scientists Lui Cheng (Michelle Yeoh) and Simon Ziegler (Toby Jones) acknowledges.

So, what happens next? :: It is Amy Menser (Rose Leslie) who is considered to be closest to Morgan, as she used to take her outside. Morgan also considers her as her best friend, and the one whom she loves the most in the world. After the psychologist Alan Shapiro (Paul Giamatti) has an evaluation of Morgan and pushes her to the limits, she attacks and kills him, which leads to Lee taking the decision that Morgan as well as the whole experiment is a threat and need to be terminated. But most of the scientists don’t approve of the same due to their emotional attachment to the subject, and Morgan is certainly not keen to get killed by the humans who are both intellectually and physically inferior to her. Lee reasserts that it is her job to make sure that the subject is terminated, but others feel that she is fighting an unnecessary, lone battle. The question remains about what Morgan thinks about the same with her superior intellect.

The defence of Morgan :: There is one nice twist awaiting you at the end of Morgan, and it can also make way to bring another movie to follow this one – something which could be even better as a sequel, keeping that core idea alive to be explored further. Morgan does make sure that there is a lot of action in there too, as we see the close combat scenes to be very interesting, making it the science fiction action movie that a good number of people had missed. The second half of the movie is more intense, and we are left with a number of questions about being human – and it might be the emotions that make one more human, but what kind of emotions will make one really human? There is also that twist in the end which works well, and that also provides an answer which many people would have wanted while going through the movie.

The claws of flaw :: The most possible comparisons of this movie would be to Ex Machina, which will certainly leave Morgan at a disadvantage. As this one goes for action instead of developing its interesting core ideas into something amazing, the audience does doubt what all it could have achieved otherwise – maybe even with some scares, this could have gone through another path. More fights and less dialogues might be the key for more than one character here, and it is surely more than many people would have liked. There could have been more interesting moments in the beginning stages too, and the predictability in between should have also been shown the door to the outside. When the opportunity to be complex is there, I would say that all science fiction movies should take it, but Morgan just hesitates in doing so.

Performers of the soul :: Kate Mara looks really good as the determined character, and there are moments when you feel that things get even better – the hairstyle as well as the clothing supports the effectiveness of the character a lot. She has been one of my favourite actresses on a list which goes long, along with Rooney Mara too. Anya Taylor-Joy comes up with another impressive performance after The Witch, and here, we see her getting right into a character that shares not much in common with her work in that special horror movie. There is a certain amount of balance in her character, as we love this particular creation as well as hate it, and see it with sympathetic eyes while seeing the same thing as creepy and dangerous. Rose Leslie is there in a role that does her not much justice, but it is good to see her again.

How it finishes :: Morgan is directed by the son of Ridley Scott, Luke Scott. He has worked as the second unit director on Exodus: Gods and Kings and The Martian, both directed by his father. Even though he has directed a science fiction short film Loom, this is his directorial debut with a full-length movie, and it works very nicely indeed. There is even scope for a possible sequel with this one, as we look at how things finish. Morgan is the kind of movie which is thrilling, and at the same time delivers a message, despite not being fully an idea which is not seen before. With the twist right where it needs to be, Morgan might be the flick that most of you haven’t heard about much, but will need to give a try because it is smart science fiction, and there is more to it for thinking about; more than what immediately meets the eye. When you need more of smart entertainment, choose Morgan.

Release date: 2nd September 2016
Running time: 92 minutes
Directed by: Luke Scott
Starring: Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rose Leslie, Toby Jones, Boyd Holbrook, Michelle Yeoh, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Giamatti, Michael Yare, Chris Sullivan, Vinette Robinson, Crispian Belfrage, Luke Whoriskey, Jonathan Aris, Brian Cox, Courtney Caldwell, Amybeth McNulty

morgan

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.