The Long Halloween II

Vampire Owl: So, the long Halloween continues.

Vampire Bat: A Halloween can go on as much as one full year.

Vampire Owl: If so, what is the significance of the celebration?

Vampire Bat: An year long celebration can still be a good enough one.

Vampire Owl: You just cannot celebrate at all times.

Vampire Bat: The undead life requires something like this all the time.

Vampire Owl: So, it is like we are having Halloween now too?

Vampire Bat: Yes, it will only boost our undead skills and abilities.

Vampire Owl: Halloween, with an extension, can provide that boost?

Vampire Bat: Why don’t you ask your favourite doctors, Mr Frankenstein?

[Gets a vegetable pizza and three cups of elaichi tea].

What is the movie about? :: The unknown killer continues hunting in Gotham City which makes Commissioner Gordon (Billy Burke) highly disappointed, while Poison Ivy (Katee Sackhoff) has taken control of Batman a.k.a. Bruce Wayne (Jensen Ackles) as Carmine Falcone (Titus Welliver) wishes to take advantage of his business to launder his money. With Bruce Wayne in her influence, taken to a fake romantic world where he signs away most of his assets to Carmine. Harvey Dent (Josh Duhamel) is as much disappointed as the Commissioner as Batman doesn’t shows up, due to the seduction of Ivy. Catwoman a.k.a. Selina Kyle (Naya Rivera) discovers that something is wrong, and pays a visit to the Wayne Manor, as she discovers a woman making him doing whatever she wanted him to do. Catwoman manages to defeat Poison Ivy after a long struggle, freeing Bruce Wayne from her floral toxins and mind-controlling pheromones. As he comes out of the feeling, he understands that he has ben so for months.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: Bruce contacts his lawyers, and as Batman, he gets back to action, trying to stop the Scarecrow (Robin Atkin Downes), only to get injected with a fear-inducing toxin, leaving him to relive the night of his parents’ murder. Catwoman finds him looking for his mother in the streets, and gets him home. Sofia Falcone (Laila Berzins), Carmine’s daughter looks forward to a seat at the family table, but he refuses. Gordon and Harvey puts Bruce in their list of suspects, as he was the only one who was part of that programme, but didn’t give a statement. But it seems that Bruce has already paid for enough of alibis, and he assures them that his only connection with the Falcone family was because of his father saving the life of Carmine once and building hospitals together for the people of the city. For every other connection, he assures them that he was manipulated. On Father’s Day, when Carmine’s enemy gang’s most senior member is murdered, they join Harvey.

And what more is to happen with the superheroes here? :: Harvey is glad that as he is able to get a chance to finally put Carmine in prison. Batman fights Scarecrow as the latter goes on to rob a bank for Carmine, but with the help of the Mad Hatter (John DiMaggio), he manages to capture him. At the same time, Catwoman saves Harvey and wife from being shot by a stranger, who hits her on the head hard enough to render her unconscious. As this stranger, who is supposed to be a hitman of Carmine is also murdered, Harvey continues to be in the suspect list for being the serial killer, while others including Batman and the villains out of Arkham Asylum are also part of the list of suspects. Solomon Grundy (Fred Tatasciore) might also want to say something about it. As Harvey’s obsession with the Falcone family continues, his wife Gilda Dent (Julie Nathanson) begins to hope for a counselling and even a divorce. Can things get any more complicated for Batman and the Commissioner? How many killings are to follow now?

The defence of Batman: Long Halloween: Part Two :: The second part does take the mystery to a stronger level. As it gets closer to the big revelation, there are some nice moments which serve as subplots, and we also have some nice red herrings along with those clues which seem to point to the right direction. The dark elements of the first movie are carried over well, and the animation looks as good as the previous one, and the addition of two great villains, Poison Ivy and Scarecrow serves as the perfect boost to the movie – they have been my favourites for long, as nature and fear are two things which truly belong to this world. The movie also leaves something for the continuation of this story as we see something more after the credits. The Bat and the Cat moments are among the best, and we know where this year’s Batman gets the strength from. We also understand the characters better in this part, and can also realize the reasons behind all that are happening here. The conclusion is to be enjoyed better than the beginning.

The claws of flaw :: The movie does have its own predictable parts, and we can guess a number of things early enough. Once again one would want the Joker to given a bigger role to play in the scheme of things, and Penguin actually has even less to do. The whole thing also takes a little bit of time to get going after the initial fight with Poison Ivy. It doesn’t seem to have full control of things in the middle. The emotional side of the movie could have been used throughout its run rather than getting limited. Mad Hatter is also nothing, but serves as a little side-kick to Scarecrow. Just like the first one, this movie also required more of the superhero side, even though it is more than what we had seen in the earlier movie. Batman as a superhero without superpowers is still the force to reckon with – we need him to do what he has always done the best, more than anything else. Arksham Asylum also gets less of its due. The madness had a better chance to appear around here in full form, but the same is not taken.

How it finishes :: This movie, as well as the first part, also serves as a tribute to Naya Rivera, the actress who voiced the Catwoman, and died by drowning earlier. Then we have the mystery being solved in this movie, and the clues which were left in the first movie seems to be leading to a different space as everything comes together in the end. Among the animated movies, this one has a space, as much as it has among the superhero movies. This one, with two parts, won’t become Frozen, How to Train Your Dragon, Big Hero 6 or Inside Out, but it does have enough to add strength to the particular genre. This one is different, and is stronger than what we think about it as an animated movie similar to the television series which we used to watch on television during childhood. Do watch this conclusion after watching the first movie, and the journey is very much enjoyable – we also hope that more similar movies will be made and shall also arrive at Amazon Prime Video to make sure that we are into them.

Release date: 27th July 2021
Running time: 87 minutes
Directed by: Chris Palmer
Starring: Jensen Ackles, Josh Duhamel, Naya Rivera, Billy Burke, Alastair Duncan, Troy Baker, Amy Landecker, David Dastmalchian, Julie Nathanson, Gary LeRoi Gray, Fred Tatasciore, Jim Pirri, Titus Welliver, Katee Sackhoff, Robin Atkin Downes, Alyssa Diaz, Laila Berzins, John DiMaggio

<<< Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Long Halloween I

Vampire Owl: This reminds me of more than one Halloween.

Vampire Bat: You just cannot have enough of that festival.

Vampire Owl: It is not a festival, but life itself.

Vampire Bat: We are not even alive.

Vampire Owl: During Halloween, all the undead comes alive.

Vampire Bat: We come alive during the Night of the Dead.

Vampire Owl: I am not talking about that type of being alive.

Vampire Bat: So, you are talking about the life that Mr Frankenstein has.

Vampire Owl: You do not need to drag Doctor Frankenstein into this.

Vampire Bat: He doesn’t need to be dragged as he comes uninvited every time.

[Gets a vegetable puffs and three cups of white tea].

What is the movie about? :: When the nephew of a mob boss in Gotham City, Carmine Falcone (Titus Welliver), is murdered by an unknown figure who leaves a Halloween lantern at the crime scene, Commissioner Gordon (Billy Burke) seeks the help of both Batman a.k.a. Bruce Wayne (Jensen Ackles) and Harvey Dent (Josh Duhamel) for help with the investigation. Catwoman a.k.a. Selina Kyle (Naya Rivera) calls the Wayne Manor on Halloween, while the night only seems to get stranger, and Batman feels that the city has fallen without any hope for a return to its former glory. Harvey also feels that the place has turned into something like a ghost town, as it seems worse on the Halloween night. He feels that it was the uncle who arranged the murder because the dead man was going to help the police department, even though nobody was supposed to know about it. Falcone crime family was going to be taken down, and Harvey feels that their best chance has been missed due to the murder.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: Carmine feels that it was Harvey who killed his nephew, and thinks that there could be a right moment for them to strike. As there are other gangs after them, he also decides to move his assets to a more secure facility. Catwoman leads Batman to the cash stockpile owned by Carmine. After doing a coin flip, Harvey decides to burn the money, as it would take them a lot of time to move this much of cash. Carmine who understands the role of Harvey behind all of these, hires Mickey Chen (Greg Chun) to kill him and Gilda Dent (Julie Nathanson). They survive the bomb attack on the house, but are hospitalized, with Harvey getting the worst of it. Batman chases down Mickey, and both run into Solomon Grundy Fred Tatasciore) after a fight with Mickey’s friends. Solomon almost kills him, before being pursuaded by Batman to leave him. But without evidence, Mickey is to be left free. There is nothing to link him to the bombing, and Gordon feels that Batman should have done better.

And what more is to happen with the superheroes here? :: Mickey feels that the bombing was ordered as an act of vengeance for the murder of Carmine’s nephew. Carmine also looks down upon his son Alberto Falcone (Jack Quaid) whom he considers to be too weak to handle the family business, or anything of use. Harvey escapes from the hospital and during the same night, Mickey and his friends are killed by someone. Gordon had also left Harvey with a gun to protect himself. The murder had happened on another holiday after Halloween, and as Christmas approaches, another one might take place – Batman and Gordon tries everything that they can, including taking advice from the inmates of Arkham Asylum. Soon, they realize that Joker (Troy Baker) has escaped from the mental institution. Joker does visit Harvey, and threatens him as he is also a suspect in being a killer – he doesn’t want anyone else to be the leading homicidal maniac in the city. But finding the real killer on holidays, there is the need for more than one detective or vigilante.

The defence of Batman: Long Halloween: Part One :: There is a different kind of feeling with the atmosphere of this particular movie, as it is not the usual superhero movie that you see anywhere around. It seems to have kept itself close to the feeling of a comics, but is not far from the quality of an animated series. We all remember having watched some animated series about Batman on television, and those episodes were very much enjoyed by us. We are brought back to that feeling yet again, and the dark atmosphere and the visuals are rightly suitable for this world of Batman’s Gotham City. It is the world in which a vampire would thrive better than a man in a bat’s costume, and with the quality being maintained here, one won’t hesitate to be there. Batman, as the superhero without superpowers, is the man whom we would always be looking for, as more than just the superhero – he is one among us, and it is once again proven here as there so many mistakes that he seems to make, along with mostly capturing the criminals and saving the day. Also, the Catwoman gets her due.

The claws of flaw :: The superhero elements go missing around here, and the investigative thriller comes to the front, with the hero turning into a detective – not something that many fans would prefer over the man they know well. The investigation seems to have gone rather too slow, and unlike the superhero world with investigation, this chooses for a universe of investigation with some superhero elements which are often not visible at all. As it drags at times, and we do feel that some part of it could have been stronger and sharper. It required to have a quick and clear path of investigation. The fights are very less, and there seems to be focus on having more dialogues. Some of these dialogues do make us feel that there is something that has gone missing – maybe we didn’t catch something from a previous movie or the fully myth. Joker is not really given the appreciation that the character has demanded throughout the ages – we would have hoped for the better when we knew that he was there in the movie.

How it finishes :: Batman: Long Halloween: Part One begins a journey which is divided into two. The first part has managed to be interesting enough, and moved through the mood of a murder investigation, having a serial killer at work. With the movie stopping in the middle, one still has to watch the second film to understand how all of these will turn out to be. It is actually nice to have this movie divided into two, as a longer version of this would have turned out to be too much of a killer of time. As this one, as well as the second part are available on Amazon Prime Video, these can actually be watched together if one needs continuity. Some interesting animated movies have been the need for the time, for Frozen, How to Train Your Dragon, Big Hero 6, Inside Out and team have all seem to have disappeared too early, and the only ones we are left with, are those Hotel Transylvania movies and its sequel. Let us have this type of animated movies, for we can celebrate the divergence as long as the work is good.

Release date: 22nd June 2021
Running time: 85 minutes
Directed by: Chris Palmer
Starring: Jensen Ackles, Josh Duhamel, Naya Rivera, Billy Burke, Alastair Duncan, Troy Baker, Amy Landecker, David Dastmalchian, Julie Nathanson, Gary LeRoi Gray, Fred Tatasciore, Jim Pirri, Titus Welliver

<<< Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Annabelle: Creation

Vampire Owl: Did they confirm with Annabelle before making this movie?

Vampire Bat: I am sure that they don’t really believe that Annabelle is real; otherwise they wouldn’t have dared.

Vampire Owl: But she does, and I had tried to adopt her and failed because I didn’t meet the minimum requirements.

Vampire Bat: There are minimum requirements for adopting a doll? This is surely a new thing.

Vampire Owl: Yes, and the procedure is also not under vampire control. It is far beyond our reach.

Vampire Bat: That is pure nonsense. The Vampire World has fine diplomatic ties with each and every race in the realm, even with those we don’t like and have war with, at times.

Vampire Owl: But we are beyond many levels of realm now. Annabelle’s contact details is beyond.

Vampire Bat: You shouldn’t be venturing the world beyond, alone – unless it is also human world.

Vampire Owl: There is that red guy with long horns out there. He talks business very well, and I think that he is a very rich man from the human world.

Vampire Bat: Well, most of the human millionaires have to be demons at one point or the other; being too rich has its own side-effects.

[Gets three cups of iced tea with Arrowroot biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: A dollmaker in the countryside, Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) and his wife Esther (Miranda Otto) are living a happy life with their seven year old daughter Annabelle (Samara Lee). Things seem to be too perfect until one day, the child is run over by a car, which leaves the two into a state of grief from which they never seem to get away, finding the tragedy too terrible to escape from. A few years later, the Mullins open their home to provide a place to live for Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) and six girls who were left homeless after their orphanage closed. Among the girls, there are Janice (Talitha Bateman), a girl who can’t walk right, as well as her best friend from the orphanage, Linda (Lulu Wilson) who have agreed to the fact that if they are adopted by a family, they will go together as one, and not to separate houses.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: The other girls include the two elder ones, Carol (Grace Fulton) and Nancy (Philippa Coulthard), as well as the remaining two, Kate (Tayler Buck) and Tierney (Lou Lou Safran) who find their own ways to have fun in the huge house at the countryside which is nothing less than a palace or castle for them. There is a certain restriction imposed on the girls from entering Annabelle’s room though, and Samuel is very strict about the same. Despite such an instruction, Janice is awakened by a noise, and she enters the same room which is somehow unlocked despite being locked all the time, after she gets a note in front of the door which says “find me”. With curiosity getting the better of the girl who never really had the time or energy for an adventure, she gets into the room which has a lot of toys, but in the closet, there is a special one, the Annabelle doll, and as she uses the key to open the door leading to it, a demon is unleashed.

And what is to follow next in this adventure? :: The unleashed demon doesn’t wait in beginning to terrorize the girls, starting with the one who brought it into this world. Even though the other girls are reluctant to believe in the existence of such a demon, they are soon forced to have belief in the evil force inside the house. It reveals itself to Janice, and tells her that it needs her soul. The attacks get worse, and she is thrown down the stairs, leading her to be fully restricted to the wheelchair. Soon, she shows the signs of being possessed, and a scared Linda tells Samuel about the same. It is revealed that he and his wife had felt a presence a long time ago, which they believed was of their daughter Annabelle’s spirit, and gave it permission to pass through the dimensions and enter a doll which was made by him. But soon, they realize that they had attracted a demon looking for a host. They took the doll to Annabelle’s room and locked it in a closet with pages from the Holy Bible, and keep it away with the help of priests and prayers. It remained there for long, but not anymore!

The defence of Annabelle: Creation :: You will find Annabelle: Creation to be scary, and also better than the previous Annabelle movie, making the origins of something worth our attention, all the time. It has that kind of a setting, which will not only have the scary side to be stronger, but also having a fine emotional side, as we are more bothered about the characters than in most of the other horror movies. It is the setting that makes sure that it rises to The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 movies, even though not in totality. There is smartness in how the doll is used, and there is also the images of the scarecrow, and even the light is not capable of stopping our force of evil right here. The girls are all lovable, especially Talitha Bateman who plays the main character, who manages the fear and sadness before possession, and the change after the presence being inside her really well. Stephanie Sigman as Sister Charlotte is capable of carrying the whole thing too.

The claws of flaw :: There is a certain amount of slowness with this movie in the beginning stages, establishing a lot about the characters and the setting. The movie could be termed as about twenty minutes longer than it should have been, as this could be the perfect one and half hours of horror being unleashed quick and smart. There are also those moments which could have been scarier, with further frightening things added. You will find that a few mysteries remain unsolved in this one. There is the reminder about The Woman in Black: Angel of Death which had a school’s headmistress and children being evacuated to Eel Marsh House, an isolated manor house on a certain island in the marshes, being safe from the German bombing offensive against Great Britain during the Second World War. But you will find Annabelle: Creation to be a better movie than that one, without doubt despite feeling that you have seen the setting before.

How it finishes :: Don’t miss the final post-credits scene set in the Abbey of Saint Carta, Romania, for there is the little teaser to the upcoming movie The Nun, as the demon Valak makes the next move. Valak was someones who had created a better impact than any other demon with a name at this part of the world, and we know here that something huge is still to come, and with its setting in Romania, one can be sure that it has the inner strength to overtake all movies in the franchise. Until then, you can watch Annabelle: Creation, an improvement on its predecessor, and one of the horror movies to watch from the year 2017. You have loved Chucky of Child’s Play, with seven movies in that franchise, and Annabelle is like more of serious and believable horror with its tale – why shouldn’t the dolls have all the fun? Even The Boy had one in there to bring the thrills as well as the twist; humans really need to watch out. We might have a Cinematic Universe of horror here which can rise above that of Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and team; better watch out, Avengers!

Release date: 11th August 2017
Running time: 110 minutes
Directed by: David F Sandberg
Starring: Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto, Lulu Wilson, Grace Fulton, Philippa Coulthard, Samara Lee,Tayler Buck as Kate, Lou Lou Safran, Mark Bramhall, Adam Bartley, Lotta Losten, Alicia Vela-Bailey, Tree O’Toole, Joseph Bishara, Fred Tatasciore, Brian Howe, Kerry O’Malley, Annabelle Wallis (cameo), Ward Horton (cameo), Bonnie Aarons (cameo)

<— 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.

Power Rangers

Vampire Owl: I don’t really know these people. Are they from the shooting range?

Vampire Bat: You mean to say that you haven’t watched the 1995 Power Rangers movie? I thought we all had.

Vampire Owl: I already have too many superheroes, and they all have better names.

Vampire Bat: You mean to say that you don’t remember Gabrielle Fitzpatrick as Dulcea.

Vampire Owl: Who in a ranger world is she?

Vampire Bat: I believe that you liked her a lot.

Vampire Owl: You talk about the girl in green.

Vampire Bat: Yes, she is the one. I see that you remember now.

Vampire Owl: You mean to say that she was no Poison Ivy of Batman.

Vampire Bat: Your superhero encyclopedia surely needs some special attention, and so does your memory.

[Gets three cups of special tea with Tiger biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: A high school football star Jason Scott (Dacre Montgomery) gets dismissed from the team and has to go for detention after a prank fails miserably. It disappoints his father Sam Scott (David Denman) that he wasted his opportunities and reached this miserable state of life. There he comes up against Billy Cranston (RJ Cyler), a nerd whom he saves from a bully. Billy asks for his help, and offers to deactivate his ankle monitor as well as lend him his van in return. Jason decides to help him even as he is doubtful about it. There, after providing some help to him at an old abandoned gold mine, he runs across Kimberly (Naomi Scott), his crush from the school, who is taking a bath in the nearby river – she tells him that she often goes through the place, as her home is on the other side. At the same time, Billy uses some explosives to break part of the rock in the quarry.

So, what happens next? :: The blast gets the attention of Jason and Kimberly, as well as two other students, Trini (Becky G) who is spending her lone time away from the family, and Zack (Ludi Lin) who lives nearby, taking care of his sick mother. There they pick up five pieces of rock, each having a different colour. They are chased by the mine’s security, and their car gets hit by a train, but they wake up at their houses, feeling different, and rather a lot powerful. They five teenagers return to the mine to find answers to what they are going through, and they find a space ship and inside, Alpha 5 (Bill Hader), a robot. He introduces them to the consciousness of the person known as Zordon (Bryan Cranston) who is supposed to have been a power ranger until he and his team of rangers were betrayed by another team member, the Green Ranger, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) who is also on Earth. He tells them that they are chosen.

And, what is to follow next in the adventure? :: With the new power rangers being chosen, he tells them that it is only a matter of time until Rita finds her full strength, gets to the Zeo Crystal which will help her to destroy all life on Earth. The teenagers leave, but reluctantly come back as Jason convinces them that they need to try so that their powers don’t go wasted. They keep training with Alpha 5 and the simulations of Rita’s minions, but they are unable to morph, which means that they will have no power ranger suit or armour. Zordon is disappointed that the chosen ones are acting more like kids, and have no sense of purpose. Meanwhile, Rita awakens and goes on a killing spree, collecting all the gold that she can on the way, looting people and places, hoping to summon her favourite minion, the giant winged monster known as Goldar (Fred Tatasciore) made of gold. Can the rangers be good enough to stop her before she gets what she wants?

The defence of Power Rangers :: The new version is surely an improvement from the tales which have been going through, and with the improvement, this brings the nostalgia from the childhood, when we watched the rangers and felt that they were so good. The movie is light-hearted, and would appeal to kids more than anyone else. The movie does have the right cast at the top though, with Dacre Montgomery as the hero and leader, bringing the charm, while Naomi Scott, brings a beautiful presence supported by the right performance – we see more of Power Rangers in these two than anywhere else. RJ Cyler provides the comedy along with an emotional side. There are some nice action sequences, especially in the end, and we see another grand battle between the good and evil, with destruction all around. There are also some messages in the movie about superpowers and responsibilities, like the ones you find in an earlier Spider-Man, a later Iron Man, or even in the ideology book of Captain America.

The claws of flaw :: One has to admit that the nostalgia related to Power Rangers is applicable to less number of people. Not many people were qualified enough to get this deep into superhero stuff of Hollywood during that time, as some thought that it was for children, and other felt Hollywood to be clearly beyond them. This movie also has a tale which has been going on and on with not just this movie, but also with many others, whether it is of Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or that long list of superheroes from Marvel and DC – Power Rangers won’t sound that good, and will never be that effective with lesser known cast and teenagers there in the suits. When Avengers and Justice League will fight to save the world from alien trouble with better budget, one has to feel that this one will struggle forever – to go with it, the yellow and black rangers are not likable at all. The villain also seems to have replaced her fiery elements with something else – wonder what it is.

How it finishes :: The world has surely changed from those times when Power Rangers were there earlier. Now we have a long list of superheroes, and there is no shortage of people with superpowers wandering around on the screen – this would be the cause of Power Rangers no longer being an effective franchise at the box-office here. There is the nostalgia for sure, but this is just one of those lesser group of heroes to whom people have that feeling for. Power Rangers: The Movie of 1995 might be the one thing which would have gotten these superheroes those fans, especially considering the fact that this along with Starship Troopers, Waterworld and Vampires were a few of those Video CDs available during those times – also, a lot of the youth of that time liked Gabrielle Fitzpatrick more than the movie, as for some, she was more joy to watch. Therefore, Power Rangers had that less power here, but it is an entertainer, and can be watched without going too deep.

Release date: 24th March 2017 (US) 31st March 2017 (India)
Running time: 121 minutes
Directed by: Dean Israelite
Starring: Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, Becky G, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Elizabeth Banks, Bill Hader, Bryan Cranston, David Denman, Caroline Cave, Anjali Jay, Patrick Sabongui, Erica Cerra, Kayden Magnuson, Fiona Fu, Sarah Grey, Emily Maddison, Jaime Callica, Matt Shively, Garry Chalk, Fred Tatasciore

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Huntsman

thehuntsman (2)

What is it about? :: The movie begins a long time before the incidents which were depicted in Snow White and the Huntsman, as Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron), the dark sorceress finds out that her younger sister Freya (Emily Blunt) has an affair with Andrew (Colin Morgan), and is carrying her child. But the marriage doesn’t happen as Andrew is engaged to someone else, and after giving birth to a baby girl, Freya on a dark night, sees that he has murdered their child. This unleashes an uncontrolled fury in her which brings out the hidden powers of ice and snow from inside her, killing her lover and transforming her love into hate. She abandons her sister’s kingdom and comes up with a new kingdom in the north which is covered in ice and snow under her power.

So what happens next? :: It is a new world of depression and sadness that she creates far north to the kingdom of her sister who unleashes her own evil. She gets children kidnapped so that they could be trained to become remorseless huntsmen, who were to become part of her army. She raises the group to become her soldiers who know no love and has no regret. All of them trains to become the elite group of huntsmen who are feared and fight her battles. Soon she finds the best of them in Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain), but they only fall in love many years later, something that she can never agree to. She successfully separates them, and the former lives in the grief of having watched the latter die.

And then to the present :: Then the scene shifts to many years later, after the incidents of the first movie, as Eric is wandering through the forest only to find that Snow White (Kristen Stewart) is ill and the magic mirror has gone missing. Freya is having an eye on these lands, and the dark magic in the mirror threatens the kingdom. Now it is up-to Eric the Huntsman to save the day and he is joined by Nion (Nick Frost) and his half-brother Gryff (Rob Brydon). Two other dwarves Bromwyn (Sheridan Smith) and Doreena (Alexandra Roach) also join their team. There will be magic and there shall be goblins on their way. Freya has sent her own team of huntsmen, but another big surprise awaits them. What about true love? Does it go beyond death and devastation?

The defence of The Huntsman: Winter’s War :: There is one thing that a person can be sure about here, and it is that The Huntsman: Winter’s War is cent percent a better movie than its predecessor Snow White and the Huntsman which was so empty a movie with empty expressions from its heroine. We also have some of the most amazing visuals here, with all the magic around. The snow and ice on the screen never ceases to be interesting. With magical creatures added, there is the further scope for visual beauty an that is explored very well here. The final scene of battle is also a very good one, which means that the movie manages to finish off really well. It is mostly all that a fairy-tale should be, and is a clear improvement from the predecessor; the lower box-office collection should go to the credit of the terrible predecessor which had already ruined the opinion about what was to follow.

The claws of flaw :: There are those predictable lines going through this movie too. A number of things can be guessed, and there is no real attempt to try differently either. The journey from a prequel to sequel goes rather strange too – it could have been just the sequel with a very small flashback and that could have worked out perfectly. There is also the chance to make use of its potential, which is not fully taken. Charlize Theron is underused, and we needed more battles of magic like the final one. In a movie in which there are two evil sorceresses, we see a little too less use of powerful magic. There is also the case of the mirror which should have been better utilized. There are those times when the direction of the movie is a little doubtful and some of the jokes also go on without making the desired effect.

Performers of the soul :: Even though Charlize Theron is there only for a few minutes, she has that kind of a presence that is strong enough to steal the show. We are sure to ask for more of her. Meanwhile, Emily Blunt shines in her ice and snow avatar while Jessica Chastain remains just okay in her role as the huntswoman. Maybe these two could have switched their roles to bring a better effect as we all know what the former is capable of in such a role with her Rita Vrataski in Edge of Tomorrow. Chris Hemsworth continues the same thing as he did with the earlier movie, and that manages to be okay. The actors and actresses who played the dwarves bring some good fun. It is nice to have gotten rid of Kristen Stewart’s Snow White though, as that certainly made things a lot better.

How it finishes :: As many other fairy-tales, this one also focuses on that one special thing, which is true love. The main idea here itself is about the two main protagonists and the lost love even though the villains do steal the show in between. It is the usual battle between love and hate that goes on here, and the much awaited defeat of evil waiting to happen by the finish. As a whole, The Huntsman: Winter’s War is an entertaining movie which takes those usual elements of fairy-tales and deals them well enough with some interesting messages. It was just too much underrated by the audience and the critics judging it as a part of its predecessor. There are things that fairy-tales could do, and this one thankfully knows that well enough.

Release date: 22nd April 2016
Running time: 114 minutes
Directed by: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, Nick Frost, Sam Claflin, Rob Brydon, Alexandra Roach, Sheridan Smith, Sope Dirisu, Colin Morgan, Fred Tatasciore, Sam Hazeldine, Sophie Cookson, Madeleine Worrall, Kristen Stewart

thehuntsman

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.