The Courier

Vampire Owl: Did you collect your parcel from the Vampire Courier Service?

Vampire Bat: No, I didn’t. What did it have?

Vampire Owl: How can I know? I was just notified that you had a courier.

Vampire Bat: Okay, so they don’t deliver at the vampire castle.

Vampire Owl: No, not after the Corona Virus crisis.

Vampire Bat: So, they think that the vampire castle is infected beyond redemption.

Vampire Owl: Yes, they think so because of the large number of human visitors who were at the castle last month.

Vampire Bat: Well, nobody trusts the humans these days.

Vampire Owl: I don’t remember the last time any of our people trusted them.

Vampire Bat: When we keep them away, things will get better, and the couriers will be delivering at home.

[Gets a chicken puffs and three cups of mixed tea].

What is the movie about? :: A young woman is tied to a chair at the middle of a parking lot and from the blood on her body, it seems that she was brutally tortured. As she struggles to breathe, she is about to be run down by an accelerating car when it goes to a flashback. Gary Oldman (Ezekiel Mannings) is one of the most powerful crime lords who has his business running in the United States of America and Europe, someone whom nobody dares to question or testify against, until Nick Murch (Amit Shah) makes the decision to go to the police, after witnessing a murder committed by him. For the interpol and the FBI, this is the first time that someone came forward to testify against the much feared crime lord, as usually only the dead bodies remain whenever someone tries to do something like that. The crime lord’s seductive, psychotic and manipulative daughter Alys Mannings (Calli Taylor) would not tolerate the fact that her father was arrested from a church, and was put on house arrest while he awaited trial.

So, what happens with the events here? :: The interpol officers lead by Agent Simmonds (Alicia Agneson) takes Nick to a safe house where they are supposed to stay and contact the court using the live stream video, but when a courier (Olga Kurylenko) rings a bell to deliver a package, things begin to go differently. The courier is the same lady who was tortured in the beginning of the movie, and it turns out that the parcel which she brought with her was something which would mean death. Simmonds shoots her, and turns rogue, trying to kill Nick, and blame it on the courier, who manages to attack her back, and almost kill the agent. Nick escapes from the floor with the help of the courier who seems to have some skill in fighting, but they are caught in the underground parking lot, surrounded by men who wants to kill them. They keep on running through different levels of the parking lot, as more and more men who seems to be mercenaries keep coming. Can Nick somehow manage to testify at the court with the help of the stranger?

The defence of The Courier :: A fine package of action can be seen in the form of The Courier which has all its fights set in just one place where the two protagonists as well as those who are trying to kill them are set – the movie keeps the three classical unities of place, time and action, with everything happening at the same place, and ending, with only one mission to save the witness. Olga Kurylenko is the one person who keeps the action at top level, and even after these many years, she remains a level apart from the other actresses, except for Rebecca Ferguson who is the perfect action impossible girl who also was the psychic vampire in Doctor Sleep. The action sequences are all made in a believable style, as we see her fighting – landing the punches, kicks, gunshots and bike stunts in a parking lot so well in this ride full of thrills. The stunts are all stylish and believable here, with no exaggeration at all.

The claws of flaw :: The Courier is a movie which always had a lot of scope, and could have had a better background tale for it too. There could have been more use of the motor-bike, and also something more about her past and her new life as a courier, which can be linked to The Transporter considering what she does, and to Die Hard considering the fact that they are locked in a building, and has to survive – Olga Kurylenko is Jason Statham, Bruce Willis and even Tom Cruise at some points, but it is good to see the lady action star coming up with more in a realistic way, as you are not supposed to look for something exaggerated around here, for that is not the kind of action which we have here. The dialogues could have been better, and with one of them, they could have explained the Kevlar jacket and a little more. Maybe it could have also had its antagonist to do more, and as it was quite a big building, possibilities were endless.

Performers of the soul :: Olga Kurylenko is a name not unknown to us, as we have seen her in a lot of movies, and she has handled the action genre really well throughout the years – she is someone who means business as far as fighting is concerned. The last one of them was on the funny side with Johnny English Strikes Again, but she had movies like Hitman, Max Payne, Oblivion, November Man, Centurion and the James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. Age is showing on the Bond girl, and she is not that lean figure anymore, but her skills with action sequences have only gotten better here. Alicia Agneson looks fine as the special agent when she is there, but her stay is limited, leaving us with hope to see more of her another day. Meanwhile, Calli Taylor has some nice moments, and you cannot doubt her about not being a crime lord’s daughter here. Gary Oldman makes a solid crime lord, and we feel that he is capable of lots of evil, and can always find opportunities for evil with him around. Amit Shah also does a fine job, and adds some humour too, and nobody should be confused about the name.

How it finishes :: Happening at a place within a limited time with one motive, this movie which would make Aristotle happy with its unities, manages to be higher than the level of many other action movies of the same kind. The reviews about this movie hasn’t been that good, but after you watch this movie, you will understand that there is not much that this movie could have done to make them feel better, as this is one wonderful action fest full of thrills, and Olga Kurylenko is the one lady action star who could pull this off so easily. You can always trust Olga to do that, and for the same reason, you can go for this one without second thoughts like I did. I am sure that the audience from this part of the world would like it even more. Just forget those reviews, some of which are not even explaining why they didn’t like this flick, and enjoy The Courier like you would have enjoyed most of those action movies with a male lead.

Release date: 22nd November 2019
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Zackary Adler
Starring: Olga Kurylenko, Alicia Agneson, Gary Oldman, Amit Shah, Greg Orvis, Craig Conway, William Moseley, Dermot Mulroney

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Accountant

theaccountant-2

Vampire Owl: Yes, I have added the name to the list.

Vampire Bat: To which list? What kind of list have you made now?

Vampire Owl: Mr. Transporter, Mr. Mechanic and Mr. Codename 47.

Vampire Bat: You mean to say that they are all people “specialised” in one particular thing, and they lead us through those sequences of action and thrills.

Vampire Owl: It is exactly what my list about.

Vampire Bat: The Accountant actually has the most hair on the head among all these people.

Vampire Owl: Yes, I will add it to the comments section when I make the Excel sheet.

Vampire Bat: You are keeping an Excel sheet about this?

Vampire Owl: Yes, and I am also keeping a backup of the same on my external hard disc.

Vampire Bat: You really need better ways to spend free-time, don’t you?

[Gets three cups of masala tea with jackfruit chips].

What is the movie about? :: Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) works as a forensic accountant for a number of enterprises, most of them being criminal organizations or those with similar interests from all around the world. His only connection is a voice on his phone that comes from a restricted number, which helps him in getting work as well as disappear with another identity. After being a child with high-functioning autism when he was a child, he was trained by his father who was a special forces officer, to defend himself in a world of chaos where he would always be considered to be different and as an outsider. Christian has managed to work this in his favour, and use what all he had learnt during an intense training, as part of his work, which is not limited to being a normal accountant. He is known in many circles as simply “the accountant”, and he has been a rather anonymous force which people have found hard to tackle.

So, what happens next? :: Christian’s latest assignment includes auditing a robotics corporation known by the name Living Robotics, where the accountant at the place, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), has found something strange within the records which doesn’t really add up. As Christian finds out that things are more complicated than they thought, the CFO of the company, Ed Chilton (Andy Umberger) is murdered by an assassin (Jon Bernthal), and his death is declared as the result of an insulin overdose. The whole problem in the accounts is considered to be his doing, and the case is closed, but Christian is not happy with the same, as he suspects that a thicker plan is at work. Meanwhile, the Accountant is being pursued by Raymond King (J.K. Simmons) of the Treasury Department, and he asks data analyst Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) to find him, as a reward for not exposing her criminal past. Where will this game go for the Accountant?

The defence of The Accountant :: An intelligent movie that entertains – The Accountant successfully becomes that; for we have the smarter side working well with the story, and the action scenes are very well done too. We do feel them to be realistic, and there is not much of an exaggerated style added here at any moment. Even though it begins slowly, it just keeps better and better to reach that nice finish – in between, the best thing is that there is no romance in between, which would have deviated things further here. In the beginning, you are unsure about how things are going to be, and how everything will come together in the end – well, things do finish well, there is no doubt about that. The presence of a strong emotional side comes as a boost too. You can be happy about having watched an action movie with quite a lot of brain behind it, which is reflected on the screen too – the performances add as more boost.

The claws of flaw :: The movie is a little too slow in its beginning, and it is only when the flick is near one hour mark that things begin to get interesting – the last one hour and fifteen minutes see steady rise in the overall entertainment factor of the movie, and we are sent on that thrilling ride that has a lot of action around. The complicated parts of this movie will also keep some people away, with the tale being told with so many flashbacks, some of them surely disrupting the overall flow of this movie – a number of people will be left with questions to ask after watching the flick, no matter how clear it will seem to the others. The movie is also so many things at the same time, and by going through more than one genre in the process, some people are certain to wonder if some focus was lost in between. The second plot involving the investigation on the Accountant was the one which needed something more of a boost.

Performers of the soul :: Ben Affleck as the Accountant leads the way here, and there are no surprises about how well he manages this complicated character who is more of a survivor and a man with his own ideas about doing the right thing, rather than anything else. He surely scores with this one, a lot more than what he did as Batman in Batman v Superman, with him being in control all the time – maybe this deserves to have a sequel before that superhero flick gets one. Anna Kendrick also makes a nice addition to this movie, and she looks more than just correct for this role – you will realize that she is really good, if you haven’t yet; she has a lot of moments to look out for. Cynthia Addai-Robinson doesn’t have much of expression going in her way though, as she has that face throughout the movie. It was so much about Ben Affleck’s character though, and so others matter less. Still, you are sure to like how Jon Bernthal gets on with his job.

How it finishes :: The Accountant is the action movie which doesn’t keep things simple, and it is one thing that anyone who is going to watch this movie needs to keep in mind. The presence of action sequences is certain, but they don’t come alone. This movie also leaves with a potential for further sequels, like The Transporter and Mechanic has already displayed, John Wick is on the process of displaying, and Hitman has been doing with the reebot. Among all these, The Accountant has the best potential, with its origin story already done, and its protagonist being someone different. As long as you can take those slow beginnings in this movie, there are those thrills and action sequences that await you – give The Accountant a try, and you are surely not going to be disappointed with the entertainment, as well as a smart side to go with it.

Release date: 14th October 2016
Running time: 128 minutes
Directed by: Gavin O’Connor
Starring: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J. K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jake Presley, Jeffrey Tambor, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, John Lithgow, Jean Smart, Andy Umberger, Alison Wright

theaccountant

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Big Hero 6

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Vampire Owl :: I am still suffering from a certain amount of brain damage after watching Interstellar.

Vampire Bat :: Nolan added Physics into that movie because he know that we have all hated our Physics teachers and it is almost everybody’s least favourite subject along with Mathematics. I do feel that the movie has added Physics to my list of degrees without telling me.

Vampire Owl :: Free degree, that is cool. Actually, do you even remember any of our Physics teachers?

Vampire Bat :: No, I don’t, and I shall never remember. Even after I tried harder for the same, I was always let down by it. But Chemistry has worked the other way around for me. I was so shocked by my scores for the subject that I wanted to faint and prove it.

Vampire Owl :: Do you think that this movie will have Physics?

Vampire Bat :: Not as much as Interstellar, I am sure. They will at least speak in English rather than in a nerd language this time.

Vampire Owl :: Thank God that we are partial nerds then.

Vampire Bat :: That should be why we enjoyed Interstellar, especially when our imaginations go to space as well as the other dimensions every day.

Vampire Owl :: Is it just an illusion or does it actually seem like a How to Train your Dragon: Robot Version?

Vampire Bat :: I think we should watch this and check. It has managed to gain so much of critical appreciation.

[Starts the car].

The background :: Big Hero 6 comes from a group of superheroes which were part of Marvel Comics. But the differences are there, no doubt about that. This becomes the first movie to feature characters from Marvel comics and builds hype as from the makers of Frozen and Wreck it Ralph! – something which will draw in plenty of comparisons. This is also the sixth big animated movie released in this year at this part of the world after Mr. Peabody and Sherman, The Lego Movie, How to Train your Dragon, Rio 2 and Planes: Fire and Rescue – I have watched all except the last. People might think that this is not the right weekend to release an animated movie as it has to face the powerful Interstellar in a battle of David and Goliath, especially when in the modern world, David has very less chance to win. But it is not always about one thing or two when it comes to movies, isn’t it? Which is why Big Hero 6 could keep itself working well enough when facing such a big nemesis.

What is it about? :: Set in the fictional world of San Fransokyo (kind of like San Francisco and Tokyo in a combo), Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) spends his time attempting to participate in illegal robot fights. He is an expert in robotics, and his brother Tadashi Hamada (Daniel Tenney) feels that he is wasting his potential by doing such worthless things outside law. So, he shows his little brother his university and the robotics laboratory where he and his friends are achieving marvellous things under the experienced Professor Callaghan (James Cromwell). Hiro is highly impressed and is desperate to the get into the university, for which he invents something called microbots which can transform into anything, and can be controlled using telepathy. He is accepted into the university, but a fire breaks out and his brother is killed, which leaves him in permanent grief. But soon, with the help of his brother’s robot Baymax (Scott Adsit), he attempts to find the man who might be responsible for the death of his brother.

The defence of Big Hero 6 :: Here is what you expect from an animated movies in the right quantities, nothing too much and not really missing out anywhere. The comedy works most of the time, but is more limited to the main robot and less to the rest. The movie is all fun and entertainment too, visually looking very good and having some very nice action sequences which are overtaken by the emotional ones which are even better. The world is nicely detailed with different architectural combinations, and the characters are also nice and pretty much likable, with one extremely lovable robot at the centre of everything. The superheroes are nicely created and the supervillain also looks impressive. Well, this one is light, easy to follow and connect, as well as lovely to watch on the big screen, and what more would you need in an animated movie? Big Hero 6 surely scores here, and deserves the whole family in the theatre. Well, it isn’t accompanied by the hype such as Interstellar got, so it can only be a clear winner. I would expect a sequel to hit the theatres soon, as this origin story is now established.

The Claws of flaw :: It follows the usual animated movie policy and doesn’t try to innovate too much, may be due to the fear that it will repel the family audience which is supposed to be its strength. There is too much of a predictable plot, very unlike Mr. Peabody and Sherman which had its nice additions to bring twists to the story. Even the small suspense about the identity of the villain is also predictable up-to an extent, and we almost know most of the things that are going to happen before they do. May be the kids, and those who are new to the genre might not guess that well, but it is so. The usual things that happen include the loss of a loved one, revenge, team of superheroes and a big villain which is the setup too many movies that we have known in this genre. The humour is also not as good as some other animated movies in comparison, and the 3D not that much up-to the mark. Too many movies with similar factors have happened, and our hero with his robot is a lot like another hero with his dragon, and that also happened this year for the second time. May be the villain also could have taken up a better characterization and backstory?

Soul exploration :: Big Hero 6 is not better than Frozen, and it is a clear fact, expect for some irritating fan-boys and girls saying that it is so without any particular reason. It is not better than Mr. Peabody and Sherman which is the best animated movie of 2014 as it stands now, and stands below many other animated titles. But we cannot deny the emotional power of this movie, and its message of friendship and brotherhood, and the call to use one’s skills and abilities for others. The fact remains that the one non-human character in the movie, the robot is the one who spreads all these messages and by influencing the humans around it to heal and not to hurt, that brings out the truth that humans always need someone else to tell them what is right and what is wrong, as they are too much affected by the bad emotions and not that much by the right ones. Yes, this robot is one positive role-model for everyone, and the other movie at the theatres now, Interstellar has none even as it is superior in many ways. May be it is time to get a Baymax robot action figure for a change – we have had too many transforming robots already!

How it finishes :: Big Hero 6 has been the surprise package of the weekend while Interstellar is just doing as it was expected to perform, and there are even some who had expected a lot more from that movie – Christpher Nolan is that kind of person. But our movie is the silent assassin here, coming up our of nowhere and making the impact, overtaking the expectations associated with it. What works against Interstellar is that none of the common man group has gone to space and there is no real idea about how it is, or if anybody has actually gone there or if it is just a conspiracy theory. So when in a science fiction, if science completely devours fiction, there will be a problem for people. If it had dealt with what actually happens with human lives, things would have been direct, but otherwise there was the need to make it less complicated. It is not bad to have things complicated, but it has alienated the family audience here, and that section has been taken over by Big Hero 6 which has one robot with better emotional connection than the whole cast of Interstellar combined, including that of the third rate ghost-contacting father-hating daughter.

Release date: 7th November 2014
Running time: 105 minutes
Directed by: Don Hall, Chris Williams
Starring (voice): Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney, T. J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Génesis Rodríguez, Damon Wayans Jr, Maya Rudolph, Stan Lee, James Cromwell

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Captain America II

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Our own superheroes :: Its been some time since the 2012 superhero movie The Avengers got so much more attention than it deserved and ended up being the highest grossing movie of the year and the third highest grossing film ever. Surprisingly, it even impressed the critics, and even as it was a well made fun ride, I wondered how it managed to do this much just by having some superheroes fighting aliens in the middle of the city. Unlike what some of the fan-boys might say, I have felt that Captain America: The First Avenger was the best superhero movie from Marvel, a title which it takes over from X2: X-Men United and to which Ghost Rider had a distant claim only to be devastated by the sequel. As Thor came so close and yet spoiled the opportunity to be the best, and so did X-Men: First Class and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I have to admit that Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier is my new favourite Marvel superhero movie, and that title should be safe unless The Amazing Spider-Man 2 comes up with something too good which is rather unlikely. So this sequel is better than the original and all the other movies in the franchise – that should inspire you to read this further!

What is it about? :: Captain America a.k.a Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is called to rescue the hostages from a SHIELD ship under the control of Algerian pirates in the Indian Ocean. There he notices that the mission of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is different from that of him, and she is collecting data from the ship’s computers. After telling Steve about the secret weapon of SHIELD to destroy its enemies and a failed attempt to decrypt the data, Fury is attacked, and dies after telling Steve not to trust anyone and giving him the USB data. Hunted by the SHIELD, Captain America and Black Widow got to join forces to find information about the data and stumbles upon a supercomputer which tells them that HYDRA still exists not as itself, but within SHIELD, like a parasite, and Captain had never put an end to it during the Second World War. As they say “if a head is cut off, two more will take its place”, and this time they are choosing a different path of war. With the help of Falcon (Anthony Mackie), they have to stop HYDRA from deploying their secret weapon through SHIELD, but the question remains if they can take on the Winter Soldier, a metal armed expert fighter who is more of a ghost entity coming out of nowhere.

The defence of Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier :: One of the best fights of the movie is in an elevator, and there are so many more to follow. There is Captain America taking on the advanced machines of SHIELD, and when the Winter Soldier comes up, it goes to a new level, and Black Widow joins the party at regular intervals to boost things up, and so does the new addition – Falcon. The action sequences continue to be strong, and the final battle is incredibly stylish for a movie which was turning into more of a thriller. But the movie doesn’t go on to become that action movie which is expected from any random superhero who possesses the skills that the normal human being lacks, and instead it becomes an espionage action thriller which keeps the viewers guessing, and you can see that the twists are delivered with great punch. The whole conspiracy thing is wonderfully managed, and there is a certain amount of skill involved in doing the same. The dialogues are also cleverly done, and the witty lines are sure to stay in our minds for a very long time. Well, Captain America often becomes self-defending, and you will know about it when you watch.

Positives and negatives :: The movie has turned so much into the thriller genre that the usual superhero fans might find it a little strange. Captain America has turned himself into more of a super soldier rather than a superhero, and it will please a lot as well as disappoint a few, such is this genre. But, yes he is super and there is no denying that. It has successfully become better than its predecessor too, something which only X2: X-Men United could achieve as far as Marvel is concerned. Its intelligence should upset a lot of people who are looking for mindless action too, but those who were looking for stupidity like Dhoom 3 and Krrish 3 are going to be too disappointed. Yes, bring your brains with you – don’t leave them at home like you did while watching some superstar Bollywood movies. Except for the Dark Knight series, I wonder if the viewers are ever expected to use their intellect much in a superhero movie, but now we know that superheroes have moved out of the world of children almost completely. Now they make us thinkers along with entertaining the crowd.

Performers of the Soul :: Chris Evans once again excels in the role of that superhero who is ideologically superior to any superhero of Hollywood. He has become part of the same character and most of us would tend to forget that he was once the Human Torch in Fantastic Four and its sequel – this would always be the role that he would be known for, and this movie gives him more possibilities, and he holds on and improves his performance as the super soldier. When surrounded, he asks “Before we get started, does anyone want to get out?”. Scarlett Johansson remains awesome as Black Widow, and she has a great role to play in this one – she even has some nicer lines like “I only pretend that I know everything” or “Was that your first kiss since 1945?”, and its time her character gets a movie of her own, may be with Hawkeye by her side. Sebastian Stan proves to a fantastic choice for the Winter Soldier too. Samuel L. Jackson is awesome as usual, and the one thing you will know about his car after taking a lot of hits is that the only thing that is left working is the air conditioning, so says the computer. Anthony Mackie’s Falcon comes as another boost to the movie. Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill and Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter comes up in small, yet significant roles which we can hope to be developed later.

Soul exploration :: Unlike the other superheroes, Captain America is not just a superman or any similar person. He is an idea, something which is more intellectual and not physical, standing for truth, justice and honour. His battles are not against the usual villains who come to take over the world or commit crimes with superpowers or manpower, as his enemies are ideologies, of hatred, fear and slavery; it used to be HYDRA earlier and it continues to be same opponent, but with an outer layer of coating. He is also different that he has to fight war in another age along with belong to that era. Thor and Superman belonged to other worlds, but one can always go back and the other has been here since childhood. But Captain America is a man from the past, frozen both physically and mentally to awaken in another age, nothing less than an alien world. But he adapts and maintains all that he had in the 1940s. The world he comes across as an alien is the same which we have now, as we are fed with lies as truth remains hidden. Forget the wars and the media response; forget the lies concerning politicians and elections; we are told that someone lands on moon or there is water on Mars – and we are forced to believe the same or we are labelled as inferior people – nobody needs proof of that.

How it finishes :: There have been two types of superhero movies, one from The Dark Knight side and the other from The Avengers side. This movie seems to be placed right between them, and at the same time, having a life of its own. This movie has brain, and a lot of it, as it keeps itself out of both the mindless action with the light side as well as the fear generation of the dark side, keeping a bit of both, but not enough to be labelled. The result here is that the latest movie from Marvel can take on both sides, even as I doubt if it can be as successful as any of the two. Captain America is not your typical superhero, and the only thing that should work in favour of him in coming up with a great box-office should be the fact that this is vacation time, both for schools and colleges – most of them to be exact. We watched the movie with a huge crowd and that world was almost full, something which was not visible in the case of the first outing of the same hero or the random wanderings of the rusty vain man in iron. You might want to watch the first movie too so that you can enjoy this without doubts, or may be keep someone who watched it on the next seat. And you may want to choose 2D if there is that option to skip 3D!

Release date: 4th April 2014
Running time: 136 minutes
Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell, Robert Redford, Hayley Atwell

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.