Raccoon City

Vampire Owl: We have all been the fans of Resident Evil franchise, right?

Vampire Bat: Yes, the franchise about zombies coming over.

Vampire Owl: Well, these are surely not the zombies that we know well.

Vampire Bat: The zombies of science, not the kind of our realm.

Vampire Owl: I am sure that the zombies of science might be even stronger.

Vampire Bat: Yes, they have the technology to make zombies that strong.

Vampire Owl: Yet, they are will never be as strong as vampires.

Vampire Bat: But, you have never really battled a pure undead zombie.

Vampire Owl: The pure bloods have been dead and buried for centuries.

Vampire Bat: You don’t see them that often. They are like the vampire elders.

[Gets a vegetable pizza and three glasses of oreo shake].

What is the movie about? :: Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario) returns to Raccoon City in 1998, where she and her older brother Chris Redfield (Robbie Amell) lived in an orphanage there which was run by the Umbrella Corporation. William Birkin (Neal McDonough) who ran the institute was using the children for his experimental research at the Umbrella Corporation, and Claire had noted a disfigured little girl in particular. Claire has returned to the city to find her brother, but Raccoon City which used to be the home of the Umbrella Corporation, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company had turned into a ghost town with the company moving to a new location. Only a small crew of the last few employees remained there. As Claire returns by hitchhiking in a truck, which accidently hits a woman in the middle of the road. But as the two argue over what is to be done with the body, the woman stands up and disappears without a trace. The woman seems to be walking strange, as if affected by some strange disease, and the trucker’s dog does drink some of the blood on the road and begins to act strange and bites him later.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: Leon S Kennedy (Avan Jogia), a Raccoon City Police Department rookie officer who just got there visits a diner and finds the waiter having blood coming out of her eyes. The waiter dismisses is as nothing of significance, and is also not ready to see a doctor. She finds her brother Chris Redfield (Robbie Amell), who is a member of the STARS Alpha Team along with Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen) and Albert Wesker (Tom Hopper). Claire feels that there is something wrong with the city, and asks Chris to get out of there, but he feels that he owes to the Umbrella Corporation which looked after him after she had run away. Claire tries to convince him that there are many theories about what is going to happen to the city which has been abandoned by the corporation on purpose, but there is nothing that can make him change his mind, as he is also not happy about her leaving her as a child. Chris leaves for the police station after an alarm is activated by the Umbrella Corporation.

And what more is to happen in this world of some strange chaos? :: Claire is attacked by a strange woman who keeps saying “Itchy Tasty”. She manages to keep her away and escape on Chris’ motorcycle. At the police station, it is said that an earlier team had gone missing while investigating the Spencer Mansion which was owned by the head of the Umbrella Corporation – it is investigated by the team led by Chris. At the same time, the truck driver who was bitten by his dog is transformed into a zombie, and crashes his truck in front of the police station, soon dying. As the police chief tries to escape, Leon remains the only person in charge of the police station – he would also be forced to return to the police station as there seems to be no way out of the city now, with Umbrella Corporation guards trying to keep the people inside and contain what seems to be an outbreak. There is the zombie dog of the trucker and many zombie-like people outside the police station, and there seems to be no way out of there of the police station now. With the mansion also overrun by zombies, the team also struggles to find a way out.

The defence of Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City :: I have always been happy about video games made into movies. As I was a gamer since my childhood, I would always feel some nostalgia when my favourite games of the past become movies of the present – it makes me go through the journey again. It is the same reason why I was only happy to hear about a reboot of this big franchise of adaptation. The movie does start well, and it does focus on Claire and Jill in the beginning itself – they are two of my favourite characters. There are some interesting shots of zombie attacks here, and a lot of shooting follows. There are some good-looking camera shots with the help of darkness, and some of the music also manages to come up with effectiveness, even though you know that there was the chance to do things better as we remember the original. The scope for a sequel is pretty much there too, but one might feel the need to add some more of interesting characters and have a better horde of zombies, as the audience has already seen so much. The performances are not that much, but fine.

The claws of flaw :: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is not that heavy in action in comparison to the original movie franchise or the games. It is also not that scary as the movie which started the movie adaptations with a similar setting. The waking up of Alice in the bath tub and the lift scene are only a few of them. That movie had a lot of stylish and iconic moments which we continue to remember. There were also some memorable dialogues to add to it. Even the costumes of the main characters lets the fans down up to an extent. Releasing so many years after the first movie, this one could have had better special effects. Some more innovation to the tale and its presentation could have suited the present scenario better. There is not enough strength in the attempts made around here. There are movies in the earlier series which are worse than this one, but for a reboot which had all the chances to start again in style, this one lags – remember that the games were the kind which kept us so much immersed in them. One really seems to lose the way so much while trying to make adaptations of video games.

How it finishes :: We have already watched so many movies of Resident Evil, and have played so many games in the franchise. The games have been integral part of our childhood, and still brings us the nostalgia about those which CDs which we received with the computer magazines – those were the demo versions of interest. If we go back to the first movie of a very long franchise, it was also something of a lot of interest – things started to change only with the third movie, as the second one had also continued the proceedings of the world really well. The earlier Resident Evil franchise starring Milla Jovovich was indeed something of interest, even though losing its way with the story at times – yet, we are happy to have a reboot which can also come up with some interesting titles as it progress. Well, we know that we are all standing close to a biohazard created by human manufactured viruses, and corona virus might only have been the tip of the huge iceberg. As we heard in that original movie long ago, everyone is going to die down here.

Release date: 24th November 2021
Running time: 107 minutes
Directed by: Johannes Roberts
Starring: Kaya Scodelario, Hannah John-Kamen, Robbie Amell, Tom Hopper, Avan Jogia, Donal Logue, Neal McDonough

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Escape Room II

Vampire Owl: I am not that fond of the rooms from where one can escape.

Vampire Bat: Yes, you want those rooms from which escape is impossible.

Vampire Owl: You know that vampires have always wanted to make the best use of their dungeons.

Vampire Bat: The dungeons from which there is no escape; I have heard about them.

Vampire Owl: Almost all those dungeons below the castle are like that.

Vampire Bat: There is one exception though.

Vampire Owl: You are saying that there is a dungeon in the castle which allows people to escape.

Vampire Bat: Well, I don’t see why there wouldn’t be a loop hole.

Vampire Owl: So, there is always a small chance to escape.

Vampire Bat: Yes, there is always that hand of God.

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

What is the movie about? :: It is shown that a woman is locked within a hot shower room of a huge mansion and is burnt to death as she expresses her desire to leave her husband. She was left with clues to escape while showering, but was too late to use them to her advantage, leading to a painful death. This husband is shown as the man who is responsible for the escape rooms, and is certainly obsessed with the same. Zoey Davis (Taylor Russell) and Ben Miller (Logan Miller) are the only survivors of these escape rooms which were built by the Minos Corporation, and they plany to confront them after finding the coordinates to its headquarters in New York City. Zoey is aeorphobic, and therefore decides to find the corporation by driving all the way to New York, thus getting rid of the uneasy encounter. They do have nightmares about being in escape rooms whenever they are in closed spaces. When they reach the place where the headquarters of the corporation is supposed to be, they don’t find any workers our there, and there is only a vagrant who manages to steal Zoey’s necklace.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: As they chase the thief, they end up in an underground train which has its doors locked and the vehicle on a journey to the next station. The thief manages to get down before the door closes though. Their train car separates from the rest, and finds themselves being redirected to a remote station, as the two along with a few others are trapped in the carriage. They meet the other passengers Rachel (Holland Roden), Brianna (Indya Moore), Nathan (Thomas Cocquerel), and Theo (Carlito Olivero) inside, and it turns out that they are all winners from previous games in escape rooms. As the passengers understand that they are in trouble again, being locked in the train car which also gets electrified, not allowing them to touch anywhere. Now, they are forced to find the subway tokens which will open one of the doors. They keep looking for clues until it almost gets too late, and Theo is killed by electrification. The others do manage to find the clues and the tokens to escape.

And what more is with another escape room or more around here? :: The team finds out that all these survivors were part of groups which had their own type of people, like full of influencers, priests etc. Their next level is a bank which has a deadly laser security system that almost kills Brianna. There is a vault in the end of the bank’s room which seems to be the only way out, but they have to go past the lasers. They do find a certain clues out there, but it seems that they won’t be enough. There are references to a person named Sonya, but none of them are able to find all the necessary clues. Nathan decides to make a walk of faith in between, but that doesn’t seem to work either. This won’t be anything close to the final escape rooms, and getting out of the room is only going to be a small problem in comparison to what is to come next, including some seemingly outdoor rooms well designed in 3D. They are all upset about not being to crack the codes, but that is not going to lead them anywhere in a complicated world of mazes. Can at least one or two of these people make out of these rooms in time? Can anyone if not Zoey can bring this corporation in front of the law?

The defence of Escape Room 2: Tournament of Champions :: There is the continuation of what we had witnessed in the first movie, and we all know that the levels of the first movie was never enough for the eyes. Here, we have some more interesting rooms to escape from, and there is some fine detail related to each of them. There are multiple endings to keep one interested in a sequel, as there is scope for one or two in both of those finishes. The close battles that the participants have with the rooms assigned to them remain engaging, and with the time limits, things only get more interesting. The setting is there for another movie to continue the franchise and the performances are pretty good too. Taylor Russell leads well to continue the franchise, while the others provide support nicely. The special effects are used effectively to add to the efficiency of the rooms too. There are some twists added here and there, and there are indeed some different ones with those multiple endings that we see here.

The claws of flaw :: The movie doesn’t feel that new as we have already seen the establishment of the escape rooms well in the first movie, and it was an interesting venture indeed. There is not that much of an improvement on the design of the escape rooms – the same could have helped better with further innovations; we know that even the computer games need better levels every time, especially those dealing with puzzles and traps like Prince of Persia and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider series. It doesn’t use the possibilities to the best advantage in that case. As this is the second movie in the franchise, we were expecting to see that one grand level design which couldn’t be easily copied. The puzzles of escape could have also been better planned, for some of them don’t really feel interesting, with too much of absurd calculations there – things can be made difficult without adding too much of mathematics, the thing that we all have hated since school days. There can always be some hidden trapdoor or item; even a thing from the past to replace it.

How it finishes :: Escape Room 2: Tournament of Champions does remind us of the world that we are in, with no escape – that is one a philosophical note, even though there is a lot of truth in such a statement which serves more as warning than anything else. The movie does have more than version, which leads to different endings and divergent possibilities which can come later in a possible sequel. It does feel difficult to wonder about the better ending without watching both of them. This also makes one wonder which sequel we are all going to have at some later point of time. If the corona virus is not going to come back that strong again, maybe we are going to see a sequel of this franchise in the theatres too – after this rush of movies looking for screens end at a later point. With the puzzles leading to and beyond danger with twists, this is the kind of franchise that we are all looking for. After all, there are lots of puzzles and riddles that we face in every day life, as humans are all creatures of their own dangerous rooms of the mind with intrusions.

Release date: 16th July 2021 (Theatre); 20th September 2021 (Netflix)
Running time: 88 minutes
Directed by: Adam Robitel
Starring: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Holland Roden, Indya Moore, Thomas Cocquerel, Carlito Olivero, Isabelle Fuhrman, James Frain

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Free Guy

Vampire Owl: We are all free vampires in a world of slavery.

Vampire Bat: This not really that much of a world of chains.

Vampire Owl: You are not understanding the power of our chains.

Vampire Bat: There are no chains in this realm which can hold a vampire.

Vampire Owl: I am not talking about the physical chains.

Vampire Bat: You mean to say that there is a telepath in the realm?

Vampire Owl: Yes, and she is stronger than any vampire mind reader.

Vampire Bat: You are talking about the legend of the witch-vampire.

Vampire Owl: It is actually the vampire-witch. She is mostly the witch.

Vampire Bat: Just because she knows how travel on a broom-stick, she is now a witch?

[Gets a paneer puffs and three glasses of blackcurrant shake].

What is the movie about? :: We are introduced to Free City where people who are wearing sunglasses are heroes, and run the city. They can do almost anything in the city, never really obeying the rules which are applicable to others. Among the many normal people in the city is Guy (Ryan Reynolds), who seems to live a usual kind of life, as he works as a bank teller, and considers his life as a part of a paradise where he lived from the time he can remember. His best friend is the bank’s securiy gurad, Buddy (Lil Rel Howery), who is not really bothered about the bank getting robbed frequently. Everyone out there seems to be very happy, and Guy feels that he has everything that he needs, except for a lover. He attempts to fall in love without success, and feels that he hasn’t really found the right person yet. Soon, he finds a mysterious girl wearing sunglasses, and as he goes after her, is run over by a train. It is soon revealed that the world they are living in is actually a game – a massively multiplayer online role-playing video game, which has Guy as a non-player character.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: The mysterious girl is Millie (Jodie Comer) in the avatar Molotov Girl, a player looking for source code to her original game, Life Itself which she wrote with Keys (Joe Keery). It was stolen by Antwan (Taika Waititi), the Soonami CEO who stole it and turned it into something else. Keys wants to help, but prefers to work with Antwan instead, and continue to have a job. At the same time, Guy has deviated from the programme after listening to that unintentional song from Millie. He starts off by asking the wrong coffee instead of the one programmed for the NPC. He also starts talking differently to many people, which leads to changes in the programming of other NPCs too. Soon, he decides to steal the sunglasses, as the girl was also wearing them. He gets one from a robber, and starts seeing things from the perspective of the players from the world outside. It makes him think deviate even further from his original programming.

And what more is here in a world of chaos? :: The programmers think that a hacker from real life has taken over the NPC, and is playing the role differently, feeling that it is indeed a small glitch which will be resolved soon enough. As Millie comes against him, she also feels that he is a player and asks him to level up, so that he could be of more worth, an advice he takes into himself seriously. Unlike the others, he decides to level up by doing good things only, with minimum use of weapons. He begins to try to be like the heroes that he had witnessed on the streets, but with only the good side by helping people in need and fighting some evil. Soon, he becomes a top level player, and is also an internet sensation in the real world. He also saves Millie when she is on a mission to collect the evidence, and she falls in love with him feeling that he is actually a real person who is playing the game. Soon enough, they will understand the same, and so will Antwan. Now, the equations will be complicated. Can the makers find their code, and where does that leave Guy?

The defence of Free Guy :: The movie’s concept is really good, and is a pretty good addition to what we have seen before in different films before. Among the other more famous films, the one which I remember the most is The Thirteenth Floor, even though the world peculiarities also reminds us of the one most famous film, The Matrix. The main character also reminds us of the protagonist of The Lego Movie and the rest of the people like Nerve. We are reminded of the games like Grand Theft Auto, Mafia and The Godfather too. These reminders serve to provide some nostalgia too. The mixture made out of the combination of different interesting things continue to be engaging, and also has a certain amount of humour associated with it. At the same time, there is a strong emotional side which never brings the overdose. The world in the movie is indeed interesting, and there are some fine visuals which support this new universe. It is indeed a stylish and beautiful environment that we have here, and the connection with the original world is well-established.

Positives and negatives :: One might feel that the idea is not new, but the presentation does have some innovation about it, and it never really gets that dark or serious about the happenings around here. Due to the same reason, there can be some predictability here, which they have managed to hide at some points effectively. Ryan Reynolds is here with a fine performance, and a role which is very much more worth appreciation than Deadpool – here he plays one of the most lovable protagonists around, and he seems to do that with ease. As expected, he also excels in the action sequences. Jodie Comer excels in two worlds, and she strikes well with action sequences within the new world and also outside the game. There are some spectacular action scenes with the two around, and would be a case of grandeur on the big screen. Joe Keery also has a nice role to play which he manages well. Lil Rel Howery adds further to the comic side well. Taika Waititi also makes a good villain, the big rich one with only money in his mind.

How it finishes :: Free Guy is that kind of a movie which needs more attention in this part of the world, as it is appropriate for almost every kind of audience. The movie also deals with the idea of existence – maybe we are all in a video game too, and will never know. Maybe we are all programmed to, as there is something special about all of us – then, maybe life has no meaning; all these could be reminded by this one movie. What if we are not programmed to know the truth about our existence? Even in between all these people go for war, and most humans just hate each other. Maybe it would have been all better if this was a video game, for there is so much of hate, and the futility of one’s actions is disheartening. Those who work harder than others and the ones who are the most honest are the ones who suffer the most. You live a life with life-long learning and it might be some moron who gets the job for which you are best qualified – then there are the reservations which hands them the jobs. Maybe, our lives are also programmed – we might be in a video game.

Release date: 13th August 2021
Running time: 115 minutes
Directed by: Shawn Levy
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Joe Keery, Taika Waititi

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Monster Hunter

Vampire Owl: I know that humans call us the monsters.

Vampire Bat: Well, this is not about us, for sure.

Vampire Owl: I do know that humans are the monsters though.

Vampire Bat: That idea has been reiterated so many times.

Vampire Owl: We have seen the same clearly in the film, Kuruthi.

Vampire Bat: I am sure that there are many more examples outside the movies.

Vampire Owl: I had known the same from an alien in The Blackout too.

Vampire Bat: The aliens always know things better.

Vampire Owl: Yes, it is why the aliens won’t talk to humans.

Vampire Bat: I think that it is better for aliens to not talk to these humans. They are hopeless creatures living in hatred for their own kind.

[Gets a marble cake and three glasses of blackcurrant shake].

What is the movie about? :: In a parallel world, referred to as the New World, humans are fighting monsters all the time, and these creatures come from under the sands, while people use ships looking like galleys and galleons to travel on the sands of this particular world. There, one of the people (Tony Jaa), a skilled warrior against monsters is separated from the other crew members of their ship, as they are attached by Diablos, a huge, powerful subterranean monster. Back on Earth, United States Army soldiers led by Natalie Artemis (Milla Jovovich) and her United Nations team are searching for their missing team in a desert. They come across a huge storm with lightning which seems to activate some stones there having inscriptions. They are taken into a portal, and from there, they enter a space without gravity and then into the New World. There they find what remains of the missing soldiers and also their vehicles. The don’t figure out what happened, and the place looks like a different type of desert with so much of sand.

So, what happens with the events here? :: The map doesn’t match with what is seen at the map, and all the technology they have for guidance is messed up without any chance for a repair. They are relieved to find that at least their weapons and vehicles seem to work. But none of their weapons are even a little effective against the monster which seems to be protected against such weaponry with some kind of armour. Some of them are killed, and the remaining troops go into a cave, only to be attacked another type of monsters, spider-like, and crawling through the caves. There are many such monsters who fill up the cave, and they are all infected by the monsters, dead or almost all good as dead. Natalie manages to escape from their cocoons because she was only paralyzed earlier, and had overcome the same. She manages to escape the same, and it is still to found if she can survive in this world full of monsters, and it is to be seen what role Hunter has to play in her survival and a possible return to Earth. But with monsters everywhere, that is indeed doubtful.

The defence of Monster Hunter :: This is one full action film with the terrifying monsters adding nicely to it in style. The creatures are all terrifying and detailed enough to catch our attention, and the slaying methods entertaining as they should be. There are grand moments with such creatures all around and attacking with full strength, and you have dragons as well as sand-serpents along with crawlers. The new world with its elements are also a joy to watch. There are so much to be seen with the visual splendour, even thought it is not that colourful – the situation is rather dark when we look at it, seemingly a lost world. A new world created makes our escapist tendencies feel better every time. The film, as it is based on the video game of the same name, does remind us of a computer game with its features – the world itself is something which suits a high quality video game, but it is not a game which is popular around here, and I am yet to find someone from life to have played it. The sound effects and the music nicely adds to what is seen on the screen. It also has a special scene in between the credits, so do look forward to that.

The claws of flaw :: This doesn’t manage to move out of the video game feeling enough to create a full film effect. There is very less importance given to the characters, and we don’t really know much about what is happening in the new world or the old one. We just have the action, and so many characters from the original world are killed too early for our liking. As this is more or less like an origin story of a possible franchise, there should have been a better explanation for things in the beginning. Waiting for a sequel with only this much action done is a little too less for our liking. A few things also get repetitive at times, not just related to this film, but also about other movies. The focus is also only one two characters, and we have a few others in the beginning and the end, and nothing more. The game also happens to be Capcom’s second biggest seller after the Resident Evil franchise, and so one has to wonder if this film is enough for the game, and only those who have played one or two of the games in the franchise can tell us clearly about it.

Performances of the soul :: Milla Jovovich in an action film is always joy to watch, as she has shown the best in the Resident Evil films, which ended with Resident Evil: Retribution and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Whenever she is around, we can be sure that there can a lot of spectacular action sequences coming together, and this one is no exception. She is like the action heroine who is there for such sequences forever. It is the similar case of Tony Jaa who is also known for the same genre, even though Mila had some horror added to her films every time, mixing the genres rather than sticking to one thing. Other than these two, there is no other character who has anything significant to do here. They do make a good team, especially as action is all that they need to do here. Maybe, there could be a video game based on this film some day, rather than the other way around. The only other person whom I can think of, related to such action films is Kate Beckinsale, the lady vampire of Underworld and its sequels as well as Total Recall.

How it finishes :: Adapted from the video game of the same name, this film also maintains the effect of being inside a game, and even though it might not have received the positive reviews just like the other game adaptation, this is an effective one. I did find movies based on computer games to be better than what the critics said, and Hitman: Codename 47, Need for Speed, Doom: Annihilation, Prince of Persia and Max Payne are a few of them. There were surely the bad ones, like Assassin’s Creed, but movies based on games have a tendency different from the rest. Well, this one makes an interesting film in that list for sure. You are transported into a new world that reminds on of Avatar and John Carter, even though this is mostly a world of desert terrain, which means there is not that much to enjoy the colours. But with this one, you enjoy the action set in a new world with monsters all around, and watching such monster hunting is fun enough. You are never really short of some fine monsters around here, that is for sure.

Release date: 28th May 2020
Running time: 116 minutes
Directed by: Paul WS Anderson
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa, Meagan Good, Tip Harris, Diego Boneta, Josh Helman, Jin Au-Yeung, Ron Perlman

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Chehre

Vampire Owl: How many faces do we see here?

Vampire Bat: The faces of humans do not matter at all.

Vampire Owl: I am sure that it would matter to us more at some point.

Vampire Bat: The human identity is no longer significant in a world of chaos.

Vampire Owl: Well, at least we can know the lying faces early.

Vampire Bat: Well, it is the only thing that humans do throughout their lives.

Vampire Owl: I did trust too many humans, and that has made a mess. They are the true villains of all realms.

Vampire Bat: Humans are all about lying, cheating and stealing. Being the villains of the universe comes naturally to them.

Vampire Owl: Well, I would say that demons are better.

Vampire Bat: Let the zombies for eat their brains then.

[Gets an orange cake and three cups of cardamom tea].

What is the movie about? :: Sameer Mehra (Emraan Hashmi) is forced to travel through some strong winter in the mountains. He wishes to go to Delhi, but is forced to stop in the middle of nowhere, as the climate only gets worse, and his car is stuck, with trees right in the front. He searches for a hotel or a guest house to wait until the tree is removed by the authorities. He then comes across Paramjeet Singh Bhullar (Annu Kapoor) who asks him to join come to a friend’s place until things get any better, even though there are not signs of something like that happening. He is taken to the house of Jagdish Acharya (Dhritiman Chatterjee), and he also meets Hariya Jatav (Raghubir Yadav) there. Anna (Rhea Chakraborty) is already present there, helping everyone in the building, who are pretty much old. The mobile phones have no network connection out there, and the landlines also do not work, much to the dismay of Sameer who wishes to connect to his wife.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: The group of old men is also joined by Lateef Zaidi (Amitabh Bachchan), who reaches there despite the snowfall getting much worse. Sameer is surprised to see everything that happens around this house in the middle of nowhere, which is nothing less than a grand mansion of some older time period. They tell Sameer that they meet there and play a strange game in which these retired professionals of law conduct mock trials. They take some very old well known case and go on with the same. In the beginning, they talk about the case of Phoolan Devi, but later chooses Sameer as the accused. Sameer says that he hasn’t committed any crime, and is ready to face anything that is put in front of him. He is confident that he will win the game, and none of these people are good enough to pose any challenge to him. But there is more than what meets the eye to these people in the mansion.

The defence of Chehre :: What works really well for Chehre is its setting in the middle of nowhere, with snow all around, and the building is also a thing of visual splendour which we cannot avoid. Everything is perfectly suited for what is to happen next in the film. It also seems to come up with a message, even though it seems to be confused about where that is leading. But it never leaves the messages behind, that is for sure. The film does stand for the right judgment and the need for justice to be served, even though it seems almost impossible to be done when law has its loopholes. The cast is also nicely selected here, and we see the signs of the same at different moments. It does need some courage and skill to create something like this which go highly unconventional, and one cannot deny the fact that there is some good research done in the background – the risk does have its own effectiveness to go with it.

The claws of flaw :: The initial introductory dialogue by Amitabh Bachchan during the beginning itself is one of the least interesting starts to a film, and it keeps us wishing to fast forward throughout those dialogues. There are many other dialogues which were not necessary, and often goes out of the equation, seemingly just for the sake of bringing them. Too much speech here adds to the struggle, which also lengthens the film too much. When you keep talking too much without coming up with any action, people can only be confused. Preaching doesn’t always get you were you want. It also struggles to use most of its elements in the best possible manner, even though there were indeed the available opportunities. This could have been something like Pink, or something stranger than we could ever imagine, but the same is not done here. There was even scope for bringing something supernatural into the scene.

Performers of the soul :: Amitabh Bachchan controls things around here, and he makes things clear from the beginning itself. We have seen him doing this a lot, in different movies belonging to various decades. The rest of the support including Annu Kapoor, Dhritiman Chatterjee and Raghubir Yadav are very much suitable for how the game moves on. They are all different when we look at them, and have some interesting perspectives. Emraan Hashmi is also pretty much suitable for this kind of role. Siddhanth Kapoor plays a mute role, a notable one indeed. Rhea Chakraborty shows some promise, but the role is not carried on that much, even though the world could have had more for her. Krystle D’Souza makes a bigger impact, as she blends in very well to the character. There is a certain amount of mystery about her character, and even with some predictability, leaves one with more than what originally meets the eye.

How it finishes :: Chehre is a mystery thriller which can surely boast about its moments, and even though known as an uncredited adaptation of a German novel named A Dangerous Game by Friedrich Durrenmatt, makes its point well within its adapted environment. During the days of COVID-19, containment, quarantine and lockdown, we all love to watch movies set in remote worlds. It is a fine decision to release this movie on Amazon Prime Video, some days after its release in the theatres, as we are yet to see the theatres being opened here. We do know that the movie could have been much better, but for now, we adjust with what we have, and enjoy it in moments. After all, the world as we know it also has had its own limitations in the last one and half years. Nothing is the same any more, and we enjoy what we have here, with less than three months to go to end another year of virus and all kinds of terror to behold.

Release date: 30th September 2021 (Amazon), 21st August 2021 (Theatre)
Running time: 139 minutes
Directed by: Rumi Jaffery
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Emraan Hashmi, Krystle D’Souza, Rhea Chakraborty, Annu Kapoor, Raghubir Yadav, Alexx O’Nell, Sameer Soni, Dhritiman Chatterjee

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Mortal Kombat

Vampire Owl: Do you remember us watching Mortal Kombat on VCR a long time ago?

Vampire Bat: Yes, a long time ago for humans, just a little bit earlier for us.

Vampire Owl: Yes, immortality has an effect on the perception of time.

Vampire Bat: Yet, those were the days when humans had tapes instead of CDs.

Vampire Owl: Mortal Kombat had also inspired many grand stage fights between vampires and werewolves.

Vampire Bat: Yes, thanks to our special powers, we won most of them against brutal strength.

Vampire Owl: Our battles were more or less immortal combats though.

Vampire Bat: Yes, immortality makes sure that death is near impossible.

Vampire Owl: Actually, having such tournaments are good options in our realms too.

Vampire Bat: Well, tournaments no longer have value among elders.

[Gets a red velvet cake and three cups of white tea].

What is the movie about? :: In Japan during the seventeenth century, a group of assassins ruthlessly attack a family, and their leader Bi-Han (Joe Taslim) murders everyone except for their child, who is taken by the God of Thunder Lord Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) to safety. Back to the present, the terrifying realm of Outworld has defeated Earthrealm in nine out of ten competitions of Mortal Kombat, and with one more victory, they could claim and rule Earth. The Outworld has never felt that they have come so close to gaining the ultimate victory. But, an ancient prophecy says otherwise, asserting that the blood of the family which fell centuries earlier could unite a new group of warriors who can defeat the fighters of Outworld. Aware of this, Shang Tsung (Chin Han) sends his warriors to make sure that there are no warriors left to fight them, and Bi-Han who is now known as Sub-Zero is assigned the job to find certain people who have a certain mark to identify them.

So, what happens with the events here? :: The identification mark happens to be a dragon tattoo which has been on these people for a long time. A former professional MMA fighter called Cole Young (Lewis Tan) has such a mark, and a person named Jax (Mehcad Brooks) meets him and his family who are attached by Sub-Zero. Jax fights valiantly, but losses his arms to Sub-Zero’s cold, and is considered dead by the Outworld. Another person who is on the hunt is Mileena (Sisi Stringer) who wants Earth to be captured at any cost. Outworld is ready to break all the rules to make sure that they win this last battle. Cole searches for a woman named Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee) to whom Jax had pointed much earlier, and upon discovering her, he learns about something sinister which has been going on in the background. She talks about Mortal Kombat, which might be a reality soon, and assures him that they have been chosen to fight for Earth against some unknown species from another world. But that might not be all.

The defence of Mortal Kombat :: This film is nothing less than a return to nostalgia, not just as the adaptation of a game which we have been playing so much from the early days of Windows, as it also contributes as the reminder of that movie which came to the cassette shops, and had us cheering for each action move on display. Well, this film is not that much far away from what we had seen then, as far as action sequences are concerned – we also have the superior computer graphics and with the better cameras, we have some visual grandeur on the screen as expected; a case of higher quality return of childhood as we look at it. The locations are nicely shaped using the special effects. The final battle with Scorpion and Sub-Zero around brings some quality final moments. We can consider this as a beginning, and hope to see more of the fights, with some real tournaments happening in different worlds. The origins of the new age adaptation has been set well, and with one fine sequel, the level of the whole thing could be raised.

The claws of flaw :: There is no doubt about that fact that Mortal Kombat could have been better, especially with so many of options being available. There are so many characters in the game who could have been taken into this film, but only a few were used. Some of the very interesting characters are also killed too early. The individual battles could have actually lasted much more, and some special and unexpected moves could have been added around here. A little bit more of attention could be taken in the clothes of the characters too, and they could have stayed close to how they were in the game. GI Joe had also experienced similar problems, but that franchise never really had this much of variety and worlds to be displayed on the screen with grandeur. It is a shame that some of the battles finish too easily, when we know that there are so much to be done with fighters keeping on battling each other without holding back. You could have always added some game elements according to the requirements.

Performers of the soul :: Lewis Tan as Cole Young leads the way well, even though Jessica McNamee playing Sonya Blade seems to be the real leader around here throughout the first half of the film, as she nicely suits the role so well. Bridgette Wilson would still be the perfect Sonya, as we are all fans of that older version and go on to miss Kitana and Johnny Cage characters for now. Mehcad Brooks as Jax is another determined character who keeps his moments, and Josh Lawson as Kano adds to the same from the other side. The best looks still goes to Mel Jarnson playing Nitara, even though she is there for only a short period of time. We would have loved to see more of her around here, as the winged creature is a thing of Gothic beauty rather than anything else. Sisi Stringer as Mileena brings a side of horror very well. Joe Taslim as Sub-Zero makes the right antagonist, and the ice-filled moments of action are joy to watch. Chin Han and Tadanobu Asano leaves us something to look out for with another possible movie based on the same video game series. Ludi Lin and Max Huang are good additions as the trained warriors too.

How it finishes :: Mortal Kombat does have some special place in our hearts, as it was one of those earlier games which we played and continued to enjoy for a long time. Among these games, it was Mortal Kombat 4 which had our best attention, as it had high graphics requirements, and we actually had to go somewhere else to play the game. The characters of Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Quan-Chi and Raiden were among the favourites then, and it was only later that characters like Mileena were of interest. Among the games, this one does have a legendary status, even though just like the other game adaptations including Need for Speed, Hitman, Prince of Persia, Tomb Raider, Warcraft, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Doom, Blood Rayne, Max Payne, Assassin’s Creed and many others, this one also failed to gather much of critical appreciation. Yes, Resident Evil has grossed so much that nobody can question that particular franchise, but we know that adaptations require more.

Release date: 23rd April 2021 (USA), 11th September 2021 (Amazon)
Running time: 113 minutes
Directed by: Simon McQuoid
Starring: Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Tadanobu Asano, Mehcad Brooks, Ludi Lin, Chin Han, Joe Taslim, Hiroyuki Sanada, Matilda Kimber, Laura Brent, Sisi Stringer, Mel Jarnson, Nathan Jones, Daniel Nelson, Angus Sampson, Damon Herriman

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Doom: Annihilation

Vampire Owl: Do you remember Doom? The only and only Doom?

Vampire Bat: Doom is not one and only. There are many Dooms.

Vampire Owl: What do you mean? How many do you know as of now?

Vampire Bat: I played the video game named Doom, in the 1990s.

Vampire Owl: Okay, the game which you played before you had Unreal Tournament, Warcraft, Age of Empires, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Hitman and Need for Speed.

Vampire Bat: Yes, and then I had a little bit of Doom II until it was replaced by Unreal Tournament and later adding some Quake 3 Arena.

Vampire Owl: I remember you having said something about Quake and Quake II. You had quite a metamorphosis with the computer games then.

Vampire Bat: There were others from the same video game developers, id Software including Wolfenstein, Heretic and Hexen.

Vampire Owl: So, your memories go beyond The Rock starrer movie of the same name.

Vampire Bat: Yes, those PC gaming memories are beautiful, and there was no reason why I wouldn’t watch this particular movie. Doom is like a legendary game during those days when I first had a computer. It was first love.

[Gets some french fries and three cups of masala tea].

What is the movie about? :: United Aerospace Corporation (UAC) has established a base on Phobos, the innermost and the larger one among the two natural satellites of Mars. Dr. Malcolm Betruger (Dominic Mafham), after years of research, tries to teleport a volunteer from a UAC lab in Nevada to their lab on Phobos by using teleporters. Even though the experiment seems to be successful in the begining, with the subject travelling all the way to Phobos and returning in one piece, there seems to be some problem with him – there are some deformities with him, not just outside, but also inside, with nothing much normal about him. Against the wishes of the other scientists inclduing the senior Ahmed Kahn (Hari Dhillon), Malcolm decides to make one more teleportation, this time with himself on the portal. But things don’t go as planned, and there is a problem with the power supply, and things don’t go as planned.

So, what happens with the events here? :: On a UAC transport vessel, a group of Marines on a mission to guard the Phobos base wakes up from cryo-sleep. Joan Dark (Amy Manson), a disgraced lieutenant is among the first to wake up and go through the procedures. She is someone whom nobody in the team wants to work with, except for her former boyfriend Bennett Stone (Luke Allen-Gale), a scientist who is excited to be sent to that high tech facility on a moon far away from Earth. The team is led by Hector Savage (James Weber Brown) who is not happy about the fighting going on inside the team, and hopes that they will work together well during their next mission on Phobos, which could be more or less about making sure that nobody steals from the high-tech facility, as almost everything in there is supposed to be worth millions of dollars. Unable to communicate with the base, they enter through the emergency entrance only to find trouble. Can they survive the horror inside the facility and restore it, or will they perish?

The defence of Doom: Annihilation :: This movie brings that long gone video game feeling back, as it is something that we fans of the first person shooters have always wanted, getting that much needed nostalgia too. Even with a low budget, the movie has brought the looks of a moon and space station into believable mode. With the usual first person shooter look written into it, there are maps in the helmets of the marines which they can access, and the characters move accordingly – they also have different access cards, and entering some areas are prohibited just like in those good old video games. This movie is more or less deserving a gamer’s love rather than of the others. Still, you can’t deny its quality shooting sequences, creatures attacking all of a sudden and continuing to create a world of terror, simple but effective work of a facility in space, a hell being designed and looking pretty effective and above all, the idea which we know from the game itself. The movie also has its heart and soul at the right place, while it also adds some humour and hope for an even better sequel.

The claws of flaw :: Doom: Annihilation does suffer from the low budget, and the signs can be seen here, and with some of the demons and places showing missing links in the design. It could have actually had more demons, with some more locations inside the facility – each creature and space could have been different, with one grand antagonist in the end. But the movie doesn’t try that, and neither does it have as many weapons as the game, only trying to get one big gun before the ending moments. They could have brought some fine effects into place here with variety in demons and also the action sequences. Instead the movie chooses to go the straight path, which was too easy, considering the fact that a good number of games established the path a long time ago. It also has to be noted that some people had already declared this to be a bad movie because they didn’t like the previous movie, and because this is based on a video game, especially a first person shooter – that seems to have affected the number of people watching this.

Performers of the soul :: When a movie tries to live by the name of the highly successful, magnificent, nostalgic first person shooter gaming franchise, it would provide more action, thrills and even horror than dialogues, and we have the same here. The Scottish actress Amy Manson is in the lead here, and she has undoubtedly done a fantastic job here, as the marine punished for disobeying a direct order from the higher authorities. From the moment she gets out of the cryo-sleep chamber, we know that she is to play the determined marine is a very much believable manner – she keeps that level throughout the movie’s run. She has an emotional side, and is perfectly suited to action, making us hope that the movie’s possible sequel would also have her in the lead. After Amy, Jemma Moore is the next one we see early, among those marines, but she is not there to stay, while most of the marines follow the same pattern, except three who stays further, and you know who has to survive till the end, as it is no surprise. Dominic Mafham reminds one of Event Horizon, and does well.

How it finishes :: If you have played any of the games in the Doom franchise, there is a certain amount of nostalgia related to this particular movie. As far as I can remember, Doom was the first of the first person shooter games which I had played. There we fought our way through demons from the other world, playing the game which would be considered as a pioneer among the titles of the same kind. It had also inspired me to buy Quake, another video game built on the style of Doom. For all of us who have played computer games in the 1990s, this is a dose of nostalgia, and for others, there is that memory of the 2015 version – the one which had quite a star cast including The Rock, Karl Urban and Rosamund Pike. With the negative reviews all around, it was not quite a success, and even with a cast which is not that famous, this one manages to be a better adventure. It might have something to do with my love for the game franchise, but I did enjoy watching this movie very much.

Release date: 1st October 2019
Running time: 96 minutes
Directed by: Tony Giglio
Starring: Amy Manson, Dominic Mafham, Luke Allen-Gale, Nina Bergman, Katrina Nare, Clayton Adams, James Weber Brown, Jemma Moore, Gavin Brocker, Amer Chadha-Patel, Chidi Ajufo, Hari Dhillon, Arkie Reece, Louis Mandylor, Cassidy Little, Plamena Bozhilova, Lorina Kamburova, Nathan Cooper

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Escape Room

What is the movie about? :: Six people from different background, unrelated and unknown to each other are given puzzle cubes which they are supposed to open. The names include Zoey Davis (Taylor Russell), a Physics student who is an expert in her subject, and can’t stop talking about it even when she is not at the college, much to the dismay of the fun loving room mate who rarely understands anything that she says related to science and technology. Another name on the list is Ben Miller (Logan Miller) who is responsible for replenishing the stock at a shop, someone who is an introvert and has almost zero friends. Meanwhile, Amanda Harper (Deborah Ann Woll) is an Iraq war veteran, traumatised from her experiences there, but a perfect lady soldier who thinks she can go through anything. Jason Walker (Jay Ellis) is a stock trader who spends his time thinking about how to please his clients and make money. Mike Nolan (Tyler Labine) is a poor truck driver who wishes to earn some quick money.

So, what happens with the events here? :: The last one in the group is someone who is a gamer mad about the idea of escape rooms. Danny Khan (Nik Dodani), a man of South Asian descent, has gone through such experiences before and is excited to be part of this particular escape room game, which would provide the winners with ten thousand dollars, an amount which none of the group members would leave behind. They go to a floor at the top of the building and await further instructions from the game master. When Ben tries to open the door, the door knob falls off, seemingly showing that the game had already begin. They start looking for clues to escape from there, but the discovery of one clue only leads to the heat in the room to rise, and now they have to escape the place before they are fried alive in the first challenge itself. But this won’t be the toughest of their challenges, as many more rooms are to come.

And what else follows with the happenings? :: Even though they manage to find an opening to escape that particular room, there would be tougher challenges awaiting, and some of these tasks would have connections to their past, something which would come to their own mind at regular intervals while going through the escape procedure. There is no doubt about the fact that Amanda Harper, as an Iraq war veteran, would have a troubled past to remember from her time in the Middle East, but the question remains about what kind of past other participants would be hiding. What might be the reason why these six people who are not related to each other, and with nothing to connect them were given the puzzle cubes? Is it a game which itself has a past which had all of them together at a point? Are there some elements which make sure that these people have what it takes to survive, whether the brains or the muscles?

The defence of Escape Room :: The movie makes a fine treat within the genre, as there are puzzled to be solved, and very personal problems to be taken care of. The movie is a psychological as well as action thriller, and it also has the elements of drama with the characters’ past catching up quite fast. It can also be considered to be a part of a type, strangers-in-a-room subgenre, where only the toughest and the smartest can survive. We have seen such a situation before in The Belko Experiment, and during the times of Corona lockdown, this movie will surely catch one’s attention. There are some interesting rooms designed here even though we would have wanted even better ones. There are some nice situations being brought here for the protagonists too. We will also have some twists around here too, even though not that many of them.

The claws of flaw :: If you had watched the trailer, you would be expecting more from the movie. It does reveal a little too much of the movie, and as this one is of short run-time, there is less number of rooms. The movie could have started earlier with the action because here it starts twenty minutes in the film. There was scope for one more room to be squeezed in here with the same run-time, and with a slight increase in the same, another one could have been there. This idea has been tried and tested a lot, and it could have had something special as we see it being repeated here, but the same is not done. There is also some predictability which comes into the picture in the final stages, and the movie just tells us the names of the characters who are to survive towards the final stages – the three characters of whom we have had a few minutes of introduction, which was rather unnecessary addition to an unnecessary revelation. The ending is also ordinary.

The performers of the soul :: There is another movie in 2017 released with the same name, and what seems to be keeping this flick better could be the performances, as setting, puzzles and characters of the 2017 seems to be better from the trailer. In the 2019 version here, the one actress who looked perfectly suited for the role was Deborah Ann Woll, who played the Iraq war veteran in a very convincing way throughout the movie. The next one to make an impression is Taylor Russell who plays the character who has the most screen space, and it comes off without any difficulty. Logan Miller is natural in a usual person kind of role, and Jay Ellis suits here like Will Smith does in most occasions. Tyler Labine and Nik Dodani are the lesser players here, as we don’t get to notice them much except for the latter coming up with a funny side which is cut short too soon.

How it finishes :: With the premise that it had, Escape Room is a movie which could have achieved something bigger, and maybe it can with the upcoming sequel. The movie has its moments with the rooms, and keeping the audience at the edge of the seats trying to figure out who all will go to the next level, and how they can figure out the puzzles and survive each stage. With six people facing circumstances beyond their control, there was always going be thrilling fun, and this movie is no exception here. I was wondering that during these times of Corona, you can create yourself an escape room with puzzles. After all, we are all under lockdown, and going out is nothing less than a terrible violation against our own countrymen. So, lets play a game or two, decode some puzzles, answer some riddles, and create our own escape rooms in the house.

Release date: 4th January 2019
Running time: 100 minutes
Directed by: Adam Robitel
Starring: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Jay Ellis, Tyler Labine, Nik Dodani, Yorick van Wageningen

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Nerve

nervee-2

Vampire Owl: I was playing this online game. You should also try it.

Vampire Bat: Don’t you know that I no longer try these things?

Vampire Owl: But this is very much interesting.

Vampire Bat: I have gone through many more interesting things in the past.

Vampire Owl: You know, there is this game. You get missions, and you need to finish them.

Vampire Bat: It sounds familiar.

Vampire Owl: Yes, it should. There are so many people playing this game. Look, there is even Mr. Werewolf Anger playing it.

Vampire Bat: This reminds me of a movie.

Vampire Owl: This game is more than that.

Vampire Bat: Just watch this movie, and you will know.

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

What is the movie about? :: Venus Delmonico (Emma Roberts), known to her friends as just “Vee”, spends her time with a small group of friends in an island outside the limits of the city. She wishes to leave her home for studying further in the city but doesn’t want to leave her mother alone after the death of her brother. Venus’ best friend is Sydney (Emily Meade) who is a popular girl around, thanks to an online reality game which goes by the name Nerve. In this popular game which has its gamers enlisted as players or watchers, the latter assigns tasks to the former, and accomplishing the same will bring money and fame to those involved. There is always the chance to become more and more famous in the online world, and this opportunity to become popular is used by most of the youth who has nothing better to do with their life. It is a network which keeps getting bigger and bigger.

So, what happens next? :: This game collects one’s personal data and comes up with three rules: all objectives are to be recorded on the player’s mobile phone, all of the earned money are to be revoked if a player fails or declines a dare in the middle of it, and a player is also not to report anything related to the game to the law enforcement. But the real names of the players are never revealed to the public. It remains anonymous, but the game knows everything. Venus who is rejected by her crush J.P. (Brian Marc) as Sydney proposes in her name, decides to become popular like her and the lover who never happened to be one. The one option that seemed to be easy for her, is to get to play Nerve as a player, and be watched by millions of players all around the world, and the two top players with the most points also get to battle each other to win the game.

So, how do things go from here? :: Her first mission, what they call in the game as dare, is to kiss a random stranger at a diner for five seconds. Venus chooses to kiss Ian (Dave Franco), who spends his time reading her favorite book, Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. He sings to her revealing that he is also playing Nerve. Interested in the two, the watchers add the dare to go together into the city. But things only get complicated after that, with newer dares added – there are more difficult ones coming, and with the total number of viewers, Venus and Ian gets to the top two places, much to the dismay of Sydney who was the star in their circle. Jealous of Venus being popular than her, Sydney attempts to take more risks, and almost falls to her death. But the watchers are not finished, and they have more plans for the players – will Venus go on or quit? What is the past that Ian is hiding? How will Sydney react to this?

The defence of Nerve :: There is a fast-paced thriller in store in the form of Nerve – there is no dull moment, and from the moment this movie begins, to the end, we are cent percent interested in what is to happen next. The movie also nicely presents the terrible beauty which is present in the form of another reality online, which has caused more trouble in the last few years than during any other period of time – the message is surely to unplug from that different mirage of a reality which is not really anything close to even a distant reality. The thrills are working without doubt, and that too continuously here. What works more than the rest is certainly the pair of Emma Roberts and Dave Franco – the former manages to work the role of the teenager who wishes to bring the attention really well, and the latter with more or less the same motive – not only does the watchers of the game find them a good pair, as the audience of this movie must feel the same too. The movie also looks great on screen.

The claws of flaw :: Nerve could have surely been darker and more threatening with its world, for we all know that the reality about the virtual world can only get much more worse as time progresses – after all, we are having a generation that is interested only in pleasing others, and getting more and more attention, no matter what happens to their own people. Even as it is based on a 2012 novel of the same name by Jeanne Ryan, there could have been more dares added into this one, along with more freaky incidents happening – as a movie, it could have used all that, even though nothing can be said about the book without having read it. The movie could have also used a few faces for Nerve, and justice could have been better served to those unknown names using the game. The scope was further for this movie, and we could have always had a bigger and darker thriller with this one going a safer path.

How it finishes :: Nerve is clearly a reflection of what happens in the current world which is dominated by all kinds of social media which begins from Facebook and Twitter. The strength of online games is another thing which is visible. In a world which has been so much affected by an online world which affects the reality in a way which makes it too difficult to come back, Nerve has a message for each one of the viewers. Nerve is the kind of movie that is certain to make one think, and it is a clear reflection on how bad a simple game can get, and how much lawlessness can be present online – it doesn’t really matter how good or educated a person is, as it is eternally easy to be evil without a face; the movie shows exactly that! As we see all those online abuses happening all around, you know that the nature of the internet is bringing the worst out of people on most occasions. Nerve is just its next stage. Lets be prepared for the worst to happen.

Release date: 27th July 2016
Running time: 96 minutes
Directed by: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Starring: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Emily Meade, Juliette Lewis, Machine Gun Kelly, Miles Heizer, Kimiko Glenn, Samira Wiley, Ed Squires, Brian Marc, Eric D’Alessandro, Marc John Jefferies, Casey Neistat

nerve

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Warcraft

warcraft

Vampire Owl: An orc story? How can you even think about it? This is a no-orc zone around here.

Vampire Bat: It is a humans against orcs tale.

Vampire Owl: Whatever it is, I just can’t stand these orcs. They don’t even smell good.

Vampire Bat: Why do you try to smell them? It is totally unnecessary.

Vampire Owl: It is not intentional. We just come across one or two of them at the Goblin Market all the time.

Vampire Bat: Why do you go to the Goblin Market?

Vampire Owl: What? I just love their special fruit juice.

Vampire Bat: Dude, they are not healthy drinks. You should just stick to the natural vampire drinks.

Vampire Owl: Still healthier than those human-made things like Pepsi and Coca-Cola.

Vampire Bat: Well, I can agree to that.

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

Flashback to the game :: As all of you would know by now, Warcraft is an adaptation of the game of the same name, just as Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Hitman, Max Payne, Need For Speed, Alone in the Dark and Prince of Persia had been, among the others. But what Warcraft has achieved here, is that it has gone on to become the highest grossing video game adaptation of all-time, thus creating a fine record, despite what the critics have been saying. We know that the critics are never fond of a movie made from a video game, as they are all sitting there waiting to blame the attempt. But Warcraft has a longer history for me than any other game, as Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness is the first real-time strategy (non-turn based) or any strategy game that I had ever played, thus making way for more strategy games getting into my head, from Age of Empires to Caesar, Age of Wonders, Age of Mythology, Disciples and Civilization. Therefore Warcraft has a special place in my mind, as for many others.

What was the game about? :: The game had orcs entering this dimension through a portal, and after the initial raids, were slowly making their way more and more into the human lands. The first game, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, even though it might look too simple for the gamers of this age, had a firm base for the battles established, which Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness nicely used to its advantage with new additions. Winning a good number of awards during the year of its release, the second game was nothing less than top quality fun. In the game, even though orcs have the superior strength and keeps on gaining brutal victories, there are interesting units on both sides. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos which comes much later introduces two new races, the Night Elves and the and Undead. It was followed by the expansion, The Frozen Throne. Then there was World of Warcraft, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, and with a number of expansions, the saga continues – so can the movie live up-to that?

What is the movie about? :: The orcs are in a battle for existence as their world is almost near extinction – they look forward to finding new lands for their people, as Gul’dan (Daniel Wu), a powerful orc warlock opens a portal to the human world, and invites all tribes of orcs to join forces for one purpose, to claim new lands for themselves. Durotan (Toby Kebbell), the chief of the Frostwolf Clan is a man who believes in honour and fairness, and he also joins the first group of orcs who come through the portal as he is looking for a better place for his family to thrive. With the brutal raids from orcs destroying villages, Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer), a mage finds the evil magic of fel in the bodies of the dead, and warns the knight Sir Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel). King Llane Wrynn (Dominic Cooper) chooses to call for the Guardian, Medivh (Ben Foster) with whose help, they capture Garona Halforcen (Paula Patton), a half-orc. But things are more than just about a battle between the two races.

The defence of Warcraft :: There is one thing about Warcraft that everyone should agree on – it is an amazingly good-looking movie; with visuals which will make one feel the fantasy world with all its beauty. There are shots from the top which often reminds one of the game itself, not just the one this is inspired from, but also about many other strategy fantasy games. The visual effects make sure that the magic combined with swordfights create even better impact. Among the characters, it is the half-orc played by Paula Patton that steals the show. The movie’s message is sacrifice throughout its run, as both the races got the respective leaders striving to make sure that it gets better for their own people. Even in an effort to survive, there is no loss of honour on the good side, and there is no missing pieces of evil on the other side, the dark magic that comes in between the two races. Fans have waited for this movie so long, and so they should like it without doubt.

The claws of flaw :: There are places where Warcraft could have been better and less predictable. It could have had more races in the battle scenes instead of just being present there. The orc characters are actually better than the humans too, winning our respect, while the humans trail – it is surprising that the orcs decide not to finish off the human knight, but they allowed their own cheftain to be killed earlier; there is something strange in the working in totality. The two main human characters, the guardian and the commander knight become flaws of the movie as they keep losing strength all the time. Well, it is the time for orcs to have some fun – the hobbits had so much of the same, and the undead have been enjoying too much; let the orcs get their due too. There are times when one wonder if the movie could have used more of the games, and there will be the question if the special effects were overused.

How it finishes :: There can be many claims against Warcraft, but the truth is that it manages to be better than many other movies which doesn’t have the backup of a video game – just because this is based on a popular game, this has been given too much negative reviews. But Warcraft is better than all that, and along with being the highest grossing video game adaptation of all-time, it also has enough in it to gain the attention of those who are not prejudiced. With the chance for a sequel open, we can be sure that this can expand into a fine franchise, as long as the sceptics won’t bother us with more of the prejudice saying that this is from a video game and so it can’t be good. This one has almost all that one needs in an entertaining movie without going through the path of some dumb fun. Therefore, it needs to be shown some appreciation that it deserves.

Release date: 10th June 2016
Running time: 123 minutes
Directed by: Duncan Jones
Starring: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky, Daniel Wu, Ruth Negga, Anna Galvin, Callum Keith Rennie, Burkely Duffield, Ryan Robbins, Dean Redman, Terry Notary, Michael Adamthwaite, Glenn Close

warcraft

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Karinkunnam 6s

karinkunnam6s (1)

Vampire Owl :: When was the last time we watched a Malayalam movie in the theatre?

Vampire Bat :: Last month, I guess?

Vampire Owl :: Is it? Still, that feels like an eternity.

Vampire Bat :: It is mostly because we are not used to not watching movies.

Vampire Owl :: Yes, I think someone has worked black magic against us, which is why we are missing so many movies.

Vampire Bat :: I see that hands of pure evil itself. But in this case, it is more because we don’t have time.

Vampire Owl :: Did you see the half-yearly list of the movies we have watched in the theatre? It is quite a small list compared to the last few years.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, we definitely need to work on that.

Vampire Owl :: Until then, one Malayalam movie for this weekend?

Vampire Bat :: So be it. A sports drama would be a welcome change!

[Gets the tickets with tea and cheese popcorn].

What is it about? :: Vandana (Manju Warrier) lives with her husband Aby (Anoop Menon) after successfully running away from home in favour of an inter-caste marriage. Both are from sports background, and the latter has one dream only, to make things better for volleyball in a world dominated by cricket. His love for the game is above everything else, and for the same, he supports his own team Karinkunnam 6s. With the same dream in his mind, he contacts Kesavan (Shyamaprasad), a man who is very much interested in the profits to be gained from the venture. Even though he agrees to the idea of having a Volleyball Premier League on the lines of Indian Premier League and Indian Super League, he decides that it has to be entertainment, and that should include fixed matches – it is something to which Aby can’t agree.

So what happens next? :: What follows next are all against Aby, as he is bed-ridden and Vandana has to take over the team to make sure that it plays in the league, and plays fair. For the same, she contacts many players, but the rich and the influential groups in the league works against her making sure that she gets no official players. But Vandana has help from Haritha (Lena Abhilash), the head of the police department, and decides to choose and train a number of inmates in the prison. The team starts from the powerhouse Douglas (Babu Antony), and is joined by many other inmates who look forward to making a mark. But with no professional training, can the prisoners do enough to make it to the next round of the tournament featuring some of the best? Can they leave their own personal rivalries behind and live for the moment?

The defence of Karinkunnam 6s :: One can easily say that this is one of the best sports drama movies made in Malayalam – there are not many interesting movies belonging to that genre around here. When it is not based on an overrated sport like cricket, things only get better. It takes some courage to take a movie based on something which is not cricket or football – and that risk is taken, and they make sure that it appeals to the audience in this part of the world. The movie is also dedicated to Jimmy George, who was considered as one of the greatest volleyball players – the deserving heroes of our land who are less known just because they didn’t play the hyped game of cricket. There are some very nice moments in this movie, which are a lot inspirational; there are more which are emotional, but it never manages to overdo the same. There is power and there is also a lot of energy here!

The claws of flaw :: This is a movie which could have made it to the list of the best among its kind. The tale here is still predictable for most of the time though. There could have been more focus on the sports rather than the drama and the incidents which occurred outside the court. It could have gone deeper with both too, with the sporting side as well as the dramatic events with direct relation to the characters. It also takes some time to get going in the beginning, and it is with the prisoners getting to the act that things get to be interesting. The climax could have also been bigger. People might be able to find problems with this movie related to the sports, but none of the sports movies in Malayalam can be considered close enough to that big reality, and this one can also be forgiven for those flaws that can be taken out of the grave when the DVD comes out.

Performers of the soul :: Having no huge star, this one relies on the long list of actors who play the characters in fine style – nobody lets us down around here. After Vettah, Manju Warrier is excellent here, and there is so much energy that she carries forward here – it is shared by the rest of the cast too, especially the team which is lead by Babu Antony with his usual style. The other person who catches our attention from the team is Sudheer Karamana who has some very nice moments; Baiju also gets some nice dialogues here. Suraj Venjaramoodu impresses us with a different avatar here too, and he deservingly gets some claps. Anoop Menon goes on smoothly with his role. Even those who does some cameo roles here leaves something for the audience.

How it finishes :: Without the big cast that the other movies of this season have come up with, this one has managed to come up with a special identity of its own. There is entertainment guaranteed, and it is worth a fine watch with the family. This is no perfect sports drama, but you find inspiration here and you will also get the thrills. Lets hope that this movie brings back to its viewers the memories of the volleyball legend, and also bring more interest into this game. Unlike the movies which are filled with ridiculous content for the fans, this is the kind of movie that needs to be watched – there are no superstars here, but everyone in this movie ends up being no less than a special star. All of them contribute here, and we are left applauding for those final dialogues and the tribute.

Release date: 7th July 2016
Running time: 144 minutes
Directed by: Deepu Karunakaran
Starring: Manju Warrier, Babu Antony, Anoop Menon, Jacob Gregory, Baiju, Padmaraj Ratheesh, Sudev Nair, Sudheer Karamana, Santhosh Keezhattoor, Nandhu, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Manikuttan, Vivek Gopan, Kevin, Lena Abhilash (cameo), Shyamaprasad (cameo), Major Ravi (cameo), Hareesh Peradi (cameo), Maniyanpilla Raju (cameo), Jagadish (cameo), Gayathri Suresh (cameo), Samuthirakani (cameo)

karinkunnam6s ()

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Hitman: Agent 47

hitman47.

Vampire Owl: It has been a long time since I last played this game. I am having heavy Hitman nostalgia.

Vampire Bat: It is not just about this game, but a lot more. Our gaming life has been dead for very long.

Vampire Owl: I will just consider this as a video game then. May be it is actually so, and it could be the reason why there are so many negative reviews on this movie.

Vampire Bat: It is not really surprising. Some people will give very high ratings to violent movies when it is directed a particular person, for absolutely no reason. The content is not important for them there. But we will see Hitman: Agent 47 as it is really supposed to be watched. We owe that much to our gaming past.

[Gets the tickets].

✠ This was recently posted by me at Kiagia.com: http://kiagia.com/index.php/current-film-releases-movie/1078-hitman-movie-review.html

Hitman is a name which is heard a lot among the gaming circles, and the love for this assassin goes back to the year 2000 when Hitman: Codename 47, the first game of the Hitman video game franchise, from IO Interactive released. Among the PC games, this had a special status, and one can proudly accept that this is something which changed the future of stealth-based action games. The sequels including Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Hitman: Contracts and Hitman: Blood Money were all much talked about titles in the gaming world, and with more in the shops and a new title coming up for the gamers, another movie based on the video game was inevitable.

Dr. Peter Litvenko (Ciarán Hinds) is the man behind a secret laboratory experiment which involved the creation of perfect assassins who never felt any remorse, fear or love, and had highly exaggerated speed, stamina, strength and intelligence which made them the perfect killing machines. But realizing the fact that he was doing something wrong, he abandons the idea and idea and disappears, leaving very powerful people on his trail. His daughter Katia (Hannah Ware) is also on the run, hiding somewhere in Berlin according to the last information. Many organizations have tried to recreate the idea and couldn’t succeed; one of them called Syndicate International decides to find the girl and get to the father at any cost.

As ICA (International Contracts Agency) decides to stop the Syndicate from getting its hands on the program, Agent 47 is contacted by his contact Diana (Angela Baby) and is provided with two names to terminate. Katia who has some strange visions and special sensory skills is searching for her father while she is approached by a man called John Smith (Zachary Quinto) who offers her protection against people who are trying to kill her. Meanwhile, Agent 47 finds and approaches her, but gets into a gunfight with John while Katia runs away. But there will be more to it than what meets the eye as the people of the Syndicate won’t rest until they get what they want.

The success of this movie will depend on what each viewer expects from a flick like this – if it is a cent percent adaptation of the game which is expected, they are going to be disappointed. There is not much of a stealth mode for this protagonist as in the game. But when we look at this from another side, isn’t a lot of action also possible in the Hitman games? The second game of the franchise actually had a lot of situations where one could just go through the enemies and the character shoots people without trying that much of stealth. Our protagonist has those special skills for big action too, and he has used them very well here – it is just that things are done rather straight for a change.

This seems to have a series of incidents which follow the great assassinations of Agent 47, as one the villains do say that he is a big fan of the protagonist’s work. So, the man has already had his shares of silent assassinations, and so if we are looking for a stealth mode, we should rather ask for a prequel rather than keep saying that Agent 47 works in shadows and doesn’t come out as an action hero. Here, Hitman is immersed in full action, and what the viewers need to do is to enjoy the wonderful sequences rather than keep complaining about it. About the story, it is surely working well, and has a number of similarities to the first game of the franchise.

Even though there is not much from the rest, Rupert Friend and Hannah Ware do leave a nice impact in this movie. Hitman: Agent 47 uses the action sequences to some great advantage, and sets up well for both the prequel and the sequel, even though one still has to doubt the possibility for the same. There is a lot of style in the way in which the action sequences are taken, and the blood and gore also maintains that quality. What one has to wonder about here is if people only care about gore when some directors use it? Stylish violence is not something that is particularly booked for a few people. Hitman: Agent 47 uses it here, and you have to admit that it is worthy.

Hitman: Agent 47 might be in no way that much interesting for everyone. But what it provides the gamers is an opportunity to see one of the most loved game characters on the big screen, despite the liberties which the movie has taken while doing full justice to the action side. This is not the movie which you need to think about a lot and compare with other titles and the games themselves, but enjoy it as the action-adventure that it has brought to the viewers. You might not remember the story for a long time, but the way of recreating the video game is worth it; there is something about a different take on the same subject, right?

Release date: 4th September 2015 (India); 21st August 2015 (USA)
Running time: 96 minutes
Directed by: Aleksander Bach
Starring: Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto, Ciarán Hinds, Thomas Kretschmann, Angela Baby, Dan Bakkedahl, Emilio Rivera, Rolf Kanies, Jerry Hoffmann

hitman47

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.