Beyond Skyline

Vampire Owl :: What do you think awaits us beyond the skyline?

Vampire Bat :: The aliens. We know that from the first movie.

Vampire Owl :: Well, those creatures didn’t gain that much of a positive opinion that time.

Vampire Bat :: You know that all movies can’t be Alien Covenant or Prometheus.

Vampire Owl :: But movies certainly can be something in between them.

Vampire Bat :: An alien movie can still just be one, and not try for more.

Vampire Owl :: It is more or less like meeting the minimum requirements.

Vampire Bat :: Well, the minimum requirement for an alien movie is to have aliens.

Vampire Owl :: The need is more for having an alien invasion.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, that surely works better in most cases.

[Gets three cups of tea with paneer puffs].

A flashback to the first movie :: The first movie told the story of Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and Elaine (Scottie Thompson) who had flown to Los Angeles for Jarrod’s best friend Terry’s (Donald Faison) birthday party. Celebrating with Terry’s wife, Candice (Brittany Daniel), and his assistant, Denise (Crystal Reed), blue lights came down from the sky, hypnotizing anyone who looks at them, and the same had them immobilized as if they were zombies to be easily collected by the machines from the sky emitting the lights. After a series of events and attempts at survival, Jarrod and Elaine were sucked into the ship too. Inside the alien spacecraft, she saw that human brains were taken into machines to power them. Jarrod’s brain, inserted into a new alien body, gained control of the body instead of working otherwise, and came to the aid of a pregnant Elaine and their unborn child. This was were the first movie ended.

What is the movie about this time? :: Mark Corley (Frank Grillo), a police officer, gets his son, Trent Corley (Jonny Weston), out of the prison after he gets into trouble again. The two seems to be sorting things out in the underground metro when something strange seems to happen. It is then, at the same time that the alien invasion takes place. One after the other, people are mind-controlled and taken into their spaceships by the aliens. They seem to escape, but after a tactical nuclear attack by the aliens, Mark, Trent, a transit worker named Audrey (Bojana Novakovic) and a blind homeless man named Sarge (Antonio Fargas) are all taken by the aliens into their spaceship. The machines inside the spaceship seems to work hard with taking the brains out from the survivors, and Mark goes on searching for son, while being hunted by the creatures all around.

So what happens next with this tale of alien invasion? :: Going further into the ship’s closed area, he meets Elaine and her transformed boyfriend Jarrod from the first movie. It seems that even though Elaine is just three months pregnant, her pregnancy has reached its end as she gives birth to a daughter while she dies. Now, the destruction of the spaceship becomes the priority. As Jarrod fights the alien creatures, Mark rescues Audrey while Trent’s brain is taken and Sarge dies. Jarrod is killed when he fights the alien leader, but successfully crashes the ship in the forest area of Laos. There, Mark and Audrey with the child comes across Sua (Iko Uwais) and his sister Kanya (Pamelyn Chee), who are escaping from both aliens and local military men who are trying to take advantage of the situation. They take them to an underground lair full of survivors, and there they find out that this kid might be the key to their survival against aliens.

The defence of Beyond Skyline :: The visuals are good; they are not perfect as a big budget alien movie, but they are nice to watch. The creatures remind us of Predators, and the insides of the spaceship looks better than the outside. Some good action sequences are also there, and the final battle is nicely done. The cast is one big positive of this movie, as the man who played one of the villains in Marvel Universe, was Crossbones in Captain America: Civil War, and the one who was the spine of The Purge: Anarchy and The Purge: Election Year is at the top of the game here too. We saw that he could go through that action thriller with ease, and this is no different. Bojana Novakovic whom we had seen in The Devil, is not that far away here either. She is part of the action early itself.

The claws of flaw :: There is too much repetition in here, and there is no attempt to add something new here. The aliens could have had further detail, and something special could have added with an origin story. Some moments don’t really have the seriousness that they deserve, and there is a little bit more violence and gore than one would expect from a usual alien invasion movie. The energy as well as the feeling of danger and fear that an alien movie should display, is not always there either. It could have ended differently though, as the final scene predicting the next part seems to too usual – can’t people come up with something other than this to end a movie? Well, the plan seems to be to keep close to the usual alien stuff a little too much – it is surely the safer thing to do, but the question remains if we really need more and more movies doing the same?

How it finishes :: As a science fiction movie, Beyond Skyline will not contribute much to the scientific side or bring that much of a variety, but it is surely an improvement from its predecessor. We have better cast as well as a lot more action with this flick. It is that kind of a movie which provides you with a chance to use your willing suspension of disbelief again, and along with the same, it just keeps within the limit without going absurd. You might be able to find those bigger alien movies at higher budgets, but this one is not short of its fun and entertainment, with its aliens knowing where to head to, just like its humans. Maybe, with another movie in the franchise with higher budgets, we can have a lot more. It is what Beyond Skyline is about, to be bring the fun in between, with the resources that it possesses, never stepping back with the entertaining side.

Release date: 15th December 2017
Running time: 105 minutes
Directed by: Liam O’Donnell
Starring: Frank Grillo, Bojana Novakovic, Callan Mulvey, Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Pamelyn Chee, Betty Gabriel, Antonio Fargas, Lindsey Morgan, Valentine Payen, Samantha Jean, Jacob Vargas, Jonny Weston, Joanne Baron, Karen Glave, Tony Black

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Purge: Election Year

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Background to the movie :: This tale, at its background, has the group which is known as the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA), whom after taking control of the American government, establishes a new state. They go on to legalize what they called “The Purge” which would take place every year from seven in the evening of March the twenty first to seven in the morning of March the twenty second, during which all crime including murder and robbery becomes legal. With an emergency broadcast, the Purge begins, and with the same, unleashes the terror. Only the government officials with the authorization levels that are ten or higher are provided immunity from the Purge, and all police, fire, and emergency medical services remain unavailable for the twelve hours of time. There is only chaos in the streets, and people unleash themselves on others, and most of the time, it is the poor who suffers, with not enough money to pay for their security.

Flashbacks of the Purge :: The first movie was set in the year 2022, with James Sandin (Ethan Hawke), a seller of top security systems, returns home to spend the night of Purge locked inside his home with his wife, Mary (Lena Headey), and their two kids, Zoey (Adelaide Kane) and Charlie (Max Burkholder), but finds themselves in trouble from the purgers who are looking for a wounded man (Edwin Hodge) whom they had given asylum inside their home. The second movie, The Purge: Anarchy was set exactly an year later, with Sergeant Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) looking for vengeance against the man who killed his son, a married couple Shane and Liz (Zach Gilford and Kiele Sanchez) trying to escape from the purgers as their car breaks down during the beginning stages of the Purge and the mother and daughter duo of Eva and Cali (Carmen Ejogo and Zoë Soul), all whose paths cross at some point on that eventful night of chaos.

So, what is this particular movie about? :: In the year 2022, just after the events of the first movie, we see a family being tied up at their home by a group of purgers. Soon, we are led to a situation, eighteen years later, which is seventeen years after the events of the second movie. Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), the girl who was part of the family which was attacked by the purgers in the first sequence of the movie, has grown up to be a senator, and brings the fight against the Purge, as she seems to be the one predicted to win the next presidential elections. The common man has also started to believe that the Purge is part of the economic agenda of the New Founding Fathers who are looking forward to eliminate the poor in favour of the rich. The crowd believes that they are reducing unemployment and poverty, only by replacing the lower class with corpses, and she is only gaining more and more momentum when the next Purge is announced.

So, what is coming up after this situation? :: The NFFA, lead by Caleb Warrens (Raymond J. Barry) knows that she is a threat to their organization, and has to be eliminated, which is why they decide to revoke the Purge rule that protects the government officials above the ranking of 10, keeping nobody immune. Roan decides not to back away into a safe place and stays at home so that she could face the Purge just like common people much to the dismay of her head of security, former police officer Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo). They set up tight security at the house, but mercenaries sent by the NFFA manages to get through into the house, and both of them run away to the streets. Surrounded by purgers, they are saved by a convenience store, owner Joe Dixon (Mykelti Williamson) and his assistant at the place, Marcos (Joseph Julian Soria) who are out to guard their store. Together, they hope to stay alive.

The defence of The Purge: Election Year :: This one surely has the idea strong, and the strength in its core is without doubt. It surely has a lot in its mind and soul, which we can find if we look deeper into the movie. There is also the right use of thrills, and with its violence and twisted world makes one feel that it is more horror than any other genre, and it does look good. The action is good and the thrills feel real – the whole thing is extremely relevant to our current world too, as we see the ruling governments forcing things upon the people which benefit the rich who only gets richer. With such a situation, there is the worry about what the rulers won’t do for the rich and the influential, who power the political parties. A number of dead common people are of no concern to the government, and this is exactly what the idea of Purge talks about, except for the fact that it only happens brutally, and once in an year – in our world, it happens all the time and not many people care.

Claws of flaw :: Unlike expected, this one doesn’t manage to be an improvement on its predecessor – there was the idea which could have powered it to that status, but we see that the movie decides to go on predictable lines on more than one occasion instead of developing completely on the big idea. This could have done more with its theme, as a lot of people were sure to have such an expectation. The movie is also violent and won’t suit the taste of everyone, even though one can be sure that an idea like this can be even more violent. The doubtful will also won’t like this movie that much, and the same is the case of people who are looking to move forward without thinking – I am sure that there are such people around in need of the action mayhem and lots of blood, but despite the bloody background of the idea, this movie holds on to the idea rather than its gore.

How it finishes :: Making its point just like its predecessors, this one also leaves an opening for a fourth movie despite having all in the story to end the franchise as a trilogy. Just like the previous movie, it is powered by the performance of Frank Grillo, and Elizabeth Mitchell is excellent as the other lead character. There is one thing that a person who watch this movie can admit with ease, and it is that there is enough evil in this world for humanity to go for a purge – so much is the hate that each and everyone got for the others. And there is the second thing, and it is that there is nothing that the politicians won’t do to oppress the poor, and provide the rich with all they need to make them richer – we see them all the time, and the always rising petrol and diesel prices are just one example of the same. The purge is always there, in one way or the other, and we are all suffering, going to suffer more.

Release date: 1st July 2016
Running time: 109 minutes
Directed by: James DeMonaco
Starring: Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson, Joseph Julian Soria, Betty Gabriel, Terry Serpico, Raymond J. Barry, Edwin Hodge, Kyle Secor, Liza Colón-Zayas, David Aaron Baker, Christopher James Baker, Brittany Mirabilé, Juani Feliz, Christy Coco, Roman Blat, Jamal Peters, J. Jewels, Matt Walton

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Captain America: Civil War

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

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

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

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

[Gets the tickets with some cheese popcorn].

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Purge: Anarchy

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Background to the franchise :: Most of you might have watched the first movie of this franchise, and other might have surely heard about it here or there. It is basically about the United States of America of another reality. Unemployment has been successfully brought to a new low. As the number of people below poverty line decreases every year, crime becomes something which is rather not known. All thanks to the Purge, which has made all crime legal with all police, fire and rescue, and hospital emergency services closed down for one night a year, for twelve hours, from seven pm to seven am – anything goes at that time period. This idea by a totalitarian party called The New Founding Fathers of America makes sure that there is catharsis, and also that there is a certain amount of population control of the poor, as the wealthy rarely become victims of the twelve hours of crime.

What is it about? :: We know from the last movie of the franchise that the most successful Purge happened in the year 2022. Here, we are in the very next year, as 2023 gets ready for the year’s big festival of brutality and chaos. It is March 21, 2023, and as the time comes closer, everyone wishes the other “Stay safe”. There are only two things to do for people, to go on a murder spree or hide themselves somewhere indoors with enough security added. At the same time, there is the anti-Purge revolutionaries hoping to strike back in defence of the poor. There is one armed police officer looking for revenge on the streets as he was denied justice by the law that he trusted, a husband and wife are left on the road with car trouble and a mother and a daughter are trying to escape from a group that captures them. The rest of the movie is what follows on the day of the Purge.

The defence of The Purge: Anarchy :: There is a lot more to this sequel than the predecessor. There is a certain expansion on what was there in the first movie, especially with the idea. The bloody images that the movie shows are extremely powerful, and this is also the first time that we get the clear view of what happens outside in the streets during the Purge instead of how it turns out to be inside one house and maximum, a neighbourhood. There is an even clearer picture what happens outside the rich neighbourhood and how the poor or even the middle class are treated during the Purge. and it moves out of the possibility of being caught in the stereotype. You can say that it better expresses what the first movie had in mind. The ending is really good too, and it is a real positive whichever way you look at it.

Positives and Negatives :: The true nature of people that The Purge: Anarchy brings is not going to be nice for all kinds of viewers. There is the loss of humanity, and the cruelty that is sponsored by the government as well as the corporates, as the wealthy also hopes to have their right to purge without risking that much. The right to life has been replaced by the right to kill – new fundamental right. So, one needs to prepare to be shocked. As things get further revealed, it is not just what is on the screen that brings the shock, but also what hides behind which is even more. It is how the whole thing is designed that has more power than what stays on the screen for the viewers to watch. It is about what might happen in many forms, and its brings that realization that all violence has a few bigger master plan that hides behind a mask. But the premise could have had even further development!

Performers of the soul :: The second part has more characterization involved, and the limitations of the first one are overcome as the Purge goes wider and with more opportunities for terror. Frank Grillo is the one who leads the way with the performance just like he did with the Purge in the movie. He played Brock Rumlow (comic book character Crossbones) in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and will make the grand return in Captain America: Civil War. He reminds one of Eric Bana. Zoë Soul and Carmen Ejogo nicely plays the next significant characters in the movie. The rest of the cast including Kiele Sanchez and Zach Gilford also does fine in their respective roles, but the hero still remains the theme – with the support there in the performances.

Soul exploration :: The Purge: Anarchy has a dark soul. Even without the blood and gore as some other movies, it isjust brutality in store. It has a government which allows the same, and a media which celebrates it. The wishes are for the success of the Purge as if it is a need. There are also government officials granted immunity from the horror of the pledge. It doesn’t give humanity a place. There is class divide, and it is on the blood of the lesser privileged human that the Purge thrives. It is also a reflection of the truth that basically nobody likes the other. So the basic idea is to save oneself from the other or kill the other. In case of a communal riot, it is not so different in the present world too, isn’t it? There are occasions when people descend into so much of chaos, and Purge is just an example of the same. Things only get worse when people in power need this to happen.

How it finishes :: The Purge: Anarchy is more thriller with a message rather than the horror-slasher. It nicely explores the human nature and its tendency for violence even against their own people. It shows how government joins in to take advantage of the same, and use it to their political advantage and the ease of administration. Then there are the corporate rich who hopes to take advantage of the poor, making sure that their deaths happen to the rich Purge satisfaction, as it is also an opportunity for them to become richer through selling arms and ammunitions as well as the security systems to those who can afford them. When seeing wars, terrorists attacks and communal riots, there is question of who is to blame, and there are many answers in this movie, and no, you can’t blame religion, things are much bigger than that.

Release date: 18th July 2014
Running time: 103 minutes
Directed by: James DeMonaco
Starring: Frank Grillo, Zoë Soul, Carmen Ejogo, Kiele Sanchez, Zach Gilford, Michael K. Williams, Justina Machado, John Beasley, Jack Conley, Noel Gugliemi, Castulo Guerra, Edwin Hodge, Keith Stanfield, Roberta Valderrama, Brandon Keener

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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.

The Grey

thegrey (5)

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On The Grey :: This is a relatively unknown thriller movie starring Liam Neeson in a human battle against nature and its creatures. The movie can be further remembered for the poem which is recited in the movie: “Once more into the fray Into the last good fight I’ll ever know Live and die on this day Live and die on this day”. These are very strong lines according to the situation, and written by Joe Carnahan the director of the movie, this poem is more suitable to the age of civilization rather than that of world in the middle of nowhere. It is more of a man against nature stuff for sure, but on another level, we can see a survivor horror of another kind, this one being a thriller which involves man fighting against forces which are stronger and smarter than the average zombie in the survival horror movies. It is also an action-adventure movie where a group of men, especially one man is brought down into a world of chaos just as he thought he would be back to civilization. Yes, where there is no order or civilization, there is to be chaos, and the ultimate result is mostly death.

What is it about? :: John Ottway (Liam Neeson) is the hero of the story, who works in Alaska. He is an efficient shooter whose job is to kill gray wolves which regularly threaten an oil drilling camp. He has visions of his wife and lives with a desire to kill himself, something which he just cannot accomplish. He is kind of a loner, and does what he is supposed to. But all these have to change as their plane crash on a return trip home. The survivors of the plane crash is lead by John, but not everyone agrees to his leadership. Soon they find that they are in the territory of a gray wolf pack, and as long as they don’t get out of there, the creatures shall hunt them. As one of them (Ben Bray) is killed by the wolves at night, they decide that they have to keep moving, and it would be better for them to be away from the crash site as much as possible. With no idea of which way to go towards civilization, or at least away from the wolf territory, all of them have to depend on their own instincts to survive in the extreme climate. Are they into the last good fight they will ever know? Only time will tell.

The defence of The Grey :: You might know that having Liam Neeson there is the biggest and the best thing for this movie. Let me tell you that this movie is not about wolves, and therefore lets not think about how they are acting in this one – for this movie is about courage and the humanity’s everlasting desire for survival. You already know that man can be destroyed, but can’t be defeated. It doesn’t matter how weak you are, it is the circumstance that makes you stand up and be tough. It has a powerful and yet never exaggerated depiction of a world which is cent percent against human existence, and ruthless instincts for survivals are asked for. Yes, people live and day on a day, and we are pushed into battles, sometimes you know that it is your last chance, and it is not an option to win. The Grey has beautifully captured all these scene by scene, with the acts and dialogues of the characters as well as the presence of snow and the wolves. The Grey is that thrilling movie which has nothing supernatural or extra-terrestrial and yet gives the feeling of something out of this world, and this success of the movie is a good sign for future.

Positives and Negatives :: There was a big chance that this movie was going to be set aside as just another movie which uses has a group of people trying to survive the snow and the wolves along with using Liam Neeson’s star value in attracting attention. But no, not with The Grey. It reminds us that movie is a craft and the director is the craftsman, and provided with someone of great caliber to support it from the inside, this is more than enough for making a fantastic movie. The first instinct of all of us might be to brand this movie as an action movie with Liam Neeson beating up wolves – partially right, and this one is also an adventure – there too somewhat right; but about all, this is a survival thriller, which keeps not only the wolves, but also ourselves in the hunt. There are no death-defying action – that should disappoint a few, and Liam Neeson is not right out of Taken or The A-Team, believe it. Instead, we have people who walk in the snow covered valley of shadow of death, with different beliefs, but hope for survival all the same. The movie’s snow world and repetitions might trouble a few, and it does have an unclear end and some drops of depression and pessimism at times.

Performers of the soul :: Liam Neeson activates the movie, runs the movie and ends it in style. The same director and actor comes together once again after The A-Team and unlike the strange modern world that our actor explored in the form of the thrillers Unknown and Taken, this one takes the viewers right back to an age where the animals and nature had the upper-hand. My favourite movie of his shall always be Schindler’s List, and I do feel that everyone would agree. His presence in Les Miserables would comes second best, in a role which involves selflessly saving the innocents yet again. I would say that his performance in The Grey stands next, as he plays a man who is himself a hunter, and becomes as much a predator as the wolf by the end. There are those moments of Ra’s al Ghul in Batman Begins that comes to the mind when this man who had made a great villain comes to the scene once again never to give up. Our character doesn’t lose hope, and neither does he loses his courage, and Liam Neeson makes sure that the character is awesome. I am looking forward to his A Walk Among the Tombstones, as it sounds interesting, and there is also the movie with an earlier release date – Non-Stop.

Soul exploration :: The wolves are more of the symbol of what attacks us in the real life, taking the individuality out of us, making us afraid and act like what we are expected to be. The nature has its fury and so do the wolves, but in our civilized world, we suffer from the same attacks, not just physical, but also of intellectual and spiritual nature, as we are forced to give away our beliefs due to many reasons – the wolves can be a lot of things, as our right to believe in something or the right to be someone is taken away. Yes, the future dystopia will be based on materialism alone, as art, literature and religion will be taken away. We already know how much the courses on arts are suffering and how the current society has taken away imagination in favour of logic. They have marked their territory, and wolves continues to take many new forms, and the support that most of them receives continues to increase. Obviously most of the society consider us students of arts as worthless, and they kill us like these wolves, with their teeth and claws supported by the climate which favours them. They try to make us believe that we have studied an inferior course – do survive, like Liam Neeson, for we struggle more than anyone else, caught between the community reservations after which we General category people get none.

How it finishes :: How well The Grey is taken, goes beyond comparisons. It doesn’t have that much inside it if you just watch it and leave it, and it will be basically a man – wolf battle against all odds. The wolf is often more than just a creature, and when the nemesis is also a philosophy, there comes the epic struggle. Beautifully shot with its visuals and sounds which produces depression as well as intensity, the movie will be a treat for most, and might not gather the attention of a few others. Liam Neeson is the catalyst that this movie needed, and anyone else would have not worked the movie in the same movie. The Grey is more of what the title suggests, it is more grey than anything else, with no black or white, just the struggle for survival as the humans face the sure mortality when they least expect it, and that too of a horrible kind. By the end, there is death, and still there is the courage to take the fight to the wolves as there is that last battle, to live and die rather than to live or die – for to live or to die is not an option, as people live and die and some part of us can always be dead and buried, even with immortality continued to be given that significance that it deserves.

Release date: 27th January 2012
Running time: 117 minutes
Directed by: Joe Carnahan
Starring: Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, Joe Anderson, Nonso Anozie, James Badge Dale, Jacob Blair, Ben Bray, Anne Openshaw

thegrey copy

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