Godzilla II

What is the movie about? :: Five years have passed after the incidents of the 2014 movie. Godzilla had defeated the creatures mentioned as MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism), saving Earth’s cities and making its way back to the ocean – the questions about a monster saving the city were going to be there as always, and still there is no clear indication of a future co-existence in peace between the two species. Meanwhile at present, Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) works for an organization called Monarch which is tracking, studying and trying to understand Titans, the almost immortal giant monsters which had dominated Earth millions of years ago. Along with her daughter Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown),she is kidnapped by Colonel Alan Jonah (Charles Dance) while witnessing the birth of a giant larva which is to become a Titan later, named Mothra.

So, what happens with the events to follow? :: Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and other from Monarch approach Dr Mark Russel (Kyle Chandler), Emma’s ex-husband so that they can find her and find a device, the ORCA developed by her, which is capable of talking through frequencies that only Titans can hear. It is revealed that Emma and Jonah intend to free a Titan locked in ice codenamed Monster Zero. Monarch, despite chasing them all the way to an outpost in Antartica, is unable to defeat Jonah, while Emma frees and awakens Monster Zero, a three headed monster with wings and running electrical currents through its body. Releasing lightning from its body and traveling inside hurricane created by itself, the monster goes on to try and become the apex predator, while Godzilla feels the effect of a bio-chemical weapon, going into hibernation only to awaken many years later.

And what more is to happen? :: But now the situation demands the presence of Godzilla. Monster Zero is revealed to be Ghidorah, an ancient alien known to have fallen from the stars, one who has been Godzilla’s primary rival for the position of apex predator. As a creature out of this world, the weapons seems ineffective against it, while the monsters destroy different cities in different parts of the world, controlled by their new king. Godzilla needs all the radioactivity to rise from its chamber located past different wormholes under the ocean, and it is up to humans to take it there and awaken the monster before Ghidorah lays waste to the whole world with his newly found minion creatures. Now the question remains if they can do it in time, and if Godzilla can reclaim its position as the king of the monsters against this alien monster which keeps on evolving.

The defence of Godzilla: King of the Monsters :: There are some nicely made action sequences in the movie, with the giant monsters fighting each other. They fill the screen, and we see those moments of glorious action that takes place. Each monster would seem to have something special that keeps them apart. The same brings us destruction like never before, as we notice that not much of the world is left – the visuals of the world are nice to watch, and the creatures are also nicely created. The myth is nicely created with the monsters being the real owners of this world, and humans just living in here because they are allowed to do so – the creatures becomes nature’s natural defence system against the pollution that is present. Godzilla is referred to as one among the first gods worshiped by humans, and it goes deep like Prometheus and Alien: Covenant did when it talks about the distant past history, for some time. We see this mythology seemingly up for even more.

The claws of flaw :: A lot of repetition from the first movie can be seen here too. Once again, there is the need for Godzilla to save the world, and the early doubts continue to be there until the humans once again decide that it has to be left to the monster except for a little help from mankind. The pattern repeats without remorse, even with more creatures being added to the scene – Godzilla always makes a comeback, and it is up to him to make sure that the balance is maintained. The characters are not that developed, and we don’t really feel anything for them – they never seem to be important, and the need for focusing on them is never felt; Pacific Rim was closer to the humans despite being a monster movie. Some part in the beginning could have also been shortened to make the movie stop at two hours; if humans can’t be interesting, what we can do is to cut a few of them and their moments.

The performers of the soul :: The performances here are dependent on the CGI monsters rather than humans who are restricted, with not much of interesting stories, and with less to do. The way in which the monsters are designed and are depicted in action will always have the best of applause. Among the humans, it is Ken Watanabe who steals the show, as he brings the words of wisdom regarding having faith in Godzilla. Kyle Chandler and Vera Farmiga are caught in a forgettable, predictable story of another family in trouble as if we have not had enough of such tales told in an uninteresting manner. Millie Bobby Brown does have her moments to keep her as someone to look out for the future though. Charles Dance as Alan Jonah makes a strong villain, but we never really get the focus on him, with all these monsters around – as the three-headed dragon-like monster becomes the primary antagonist, he is not there to be seen much, but we expect more from him in any of the upcoming sequels.

How it finishes :: As the holidays come to an end for schools and colleges in this part of the world, and with the final weekend before classes begin, children and youth would love to watch this grand monster effect on the big screen. This can serve as the last moments of escapism before that reality of studies is brought to them – Pacific Rim would agree. Godzilla is all set to go to that place which you saw in Kong: Skull Island and battle King Kong in the next movie, and before that you will feel the need to watch that movie with the giant ape as well as the two Godzilla movies. With the destruction of environment, there seems to be a hidden message about how nature comes up with its own defence system – the three-headed dragon-like monster becoming part of a hurricane only powers it, as does Godzilla being revived by nuclear weapons. The same as a fine addition to a high action monster movie.

Release date: 31st May 2019
Running time: 132 minutes
Directed by: Michael Dougherty
Starring: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, Aisha Hinds, O’Shea Jackson Jr, David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe, Zhang Ziyi

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Captain America II

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.