The Hobbit III

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What is it about? :: The journey of one Hobbit and a team of Dwarves continues where the earlier movie had finished with Smaug the Dragon (Benedict Cumberbatch) flying away to bring the chaos to the town. After the dragon being unleashed, and as it goes on destroying the town, Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans) manages to slay the creature after continuous attempts, and he himself emerges as the new leader. The Dwarves lock themselves inside the Lonely Mountain as Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) keeps searching for the Arkenstone with no result as it is already with Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) who hides it seeing Thorin’s change of attitude. Meanwhile, Thranduil (Lee Pace) arrives with an army of elves in hope to retrieve a stolen Elf treasure.

And what follows? :: While providing aid to the people of the town, he forms an alliance with the humans who wish to have that share of the gold which was promised by the Dwarves. Even though Bard tries to reason with Thorin, he doesn’t agree with the terms as he claims the whole treasure for himself and stays adamant. He would go for war instead of peace, and the arrival of Thorin’s cousin Dáin (Billy Connolly) with an army of Dwarves only make the situation worse. With Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) already imprisoned by the forces of darkness, and the huge army of Orcs lead by Azog the Defiler (Manu Bennett) and their secondary army along with Goblins coming closer, can anything positive come out of this for Elves, Humans or Dwarves?

The defence of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies :: We all know what The Hobbit is all about, and it is extremely difficult to mess things up here. One big advantage that this movie has compared to its predecessors is that it is the shortest among them all. The visuals are once again of the highest quality, and the battle sequences are really good. There is the grand battle which involves Elves, Dwarves, Orcs and Humans, and there is a lot of detail right there and what follows. An epic battle was needed, and this one surely delivers that. There is also focus in the minds of the characters and their attitudes here. The attention on the creature detail is also impressive, as we see many creatures around which are worth having further look at.

Claws of flaw :: Among the three movies, this one has the least happenings outside action. There should have been more focus on the plot which seems to go in a predictable way. There is a little bit of emptiness here and there which is masked only by the visual beauty. The dragon gets slain quite early, and things just continue in a predictable way, with armies coming on to clash, as the story goes right where it was expected to go. The romantic angle remains its biggest flaw, as it is forced and it seems so – as we know that the elf lady herself is an extra character added here. Unlike what is shown, it is more like an irritating case of love rather than what has been intended. It is a case of terror for the entire realm, and one has to wonder if it is a priority when these two are around.

Performers of the soul :: As expected, Martin Freeman plays the main character, but the focus is more on Richard Armitage nicely making Thorin Oakenshield impressive. Together, they make the whole thing better. Orlando Bloom has some of the most stylish action sequences in the movie, and his one-on-one battle with the orc is a joy to watch. Ian McKellen’s Gandalf the Grey continues to do what he has been doing all the time. Luke Evans has some interesting moments of glory in this one too. Evangeline Lilly’s Tauriel is good, but the character’s romantic side completely devastates the situation. Meanwhile, the rest of the dwarf team remains good and effective. The rest of the humans make much lesser impact. The best performer in the movie might still be the CGI.

Soul Exploration :: The major idea remains the same as the stage is set for the battle between good and evil. This is once again about the good overcoming the evil, and the stress is once again on the need for courage and sacrifice, as well as the value of comradeship and mutual help. The hope to go beyond the differences is also there, and it gives that message to get rid of the hatred between races and work together for a better future – it actually works here, and what seems to be only a chance earlier, does come to the light in this case. Unity in diversity is the point here too. Even though the force is mostly on Thorin Oakenshield to do the right thing, the rest also got to make their own decisions here that would affect the outcome.

How it finishes :: The franchise had started with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and continued through The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and has now finished at The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in an interesting way – may be people expected better, but this is still a very good finish. The one thing which you have to keep in mind is that this is more action movie than the rest of the franchise, and you should have watched the previous movies before this one, because the action starts directly and very quickly in this one. It has finished second after Transformers: Age of Extinction with the box-office collections of the year, but The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is surely the better flick by some distance.

Release date: 17th December 2014
Running time: 144 minutes
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: Martin Freeman, Evangeline Lilly, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Graham McTavish, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Sylvester McCoy, Manu Bennett, John Tui, Billy Connolly, Mikael Persbrandt, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Mitchinson, John Bell, Peggy Nesbit, Mary Nesbitt, Simon London

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✠ The Vampire Bat.

Days of Future Past

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The X-Men Legend :: The legend of X-Men starts in the theatre with the 2000 movie X-Men, made better by X2: X-Men United later, and undoubtedly ruined by X-Men Last Stand with whatever they managed to do with just one mutant character, Jean Grey. That was supposed to be the ending of X-Men watching for me, and there the director had changed, but the one who director the first two X-Men movies are now back with X-Men: Days of the Future Past. X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: First Class were really good and the latter was rather an impressive flashback to the origin of the first mutants with a nice background of the Cold War, while The Wolverine was a little bit of let down even as it can still be considered okay enough under most of the circumstances. With this franchise from Marvel, we get a movie which has been around with more than nine out of ten rating in imdb and ninety four percent critical rating in rotten tomatoes, something which not many superhero movies could achieve. So this was indeed a movie not to be missed, and a even my delay of one day was depressing for me.

What is it about? :: The story goes quite some way into the future, as there are non-metallic robots which are hunting the mutants as a result of years of human research to find a solution to the mutant existence. At the same time, the robots have also managed to go beyond its instructions oppressing the humans as they are the source of mutants coming into existence later. As Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) has the ability to project a person’s consciousness back to the past and warn others, a group of mutants surivive, including Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Ian McKellen (Magneto), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Storm (Halle Berry), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Colossus (Daniel Cudmore), Blink (Fan Bingbing), Warpath (Booboo Stewart), Bishop (Omar Sy) and Kitty herself. As they are pretty sure that they will be caught soon, they decide to use Kitty’s ability to send Wolverine back to 1973 to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from murdering Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) who invents the robot assassins whose idea and a captured Mystique’s DNA will be used to create the killing machines in the future as the dead man becomes a sort of martyr. So, can Wolverine do well enough?

The defence of X-Men: Days of the Future Past :: The beauty of this movie is how it has managed to work on its story with its powerful connection to the other X-Men movies, and as this is set in the future, this has a little bit to relate to every other movie of the franchise, especially X2: X-Men United, X-Men: Last Stand and X-Men: First Class. The whole thing is nicely managed here without causing any disruption to all that have already been established in those previous movies. Even with the lesser amount of action sequences, they have done what all were there very nicely, with the robots fighting the mutants, a battle which could have used a little more smartness, but they are visual treats even if one-sided for the most part. The presence of the character Quicksilver is a boost too even when limited to one fight. The movie gets on with its world quite fast too, making sure that the boredom that can cause by explaining about the characters is not there, and if there is the need to know more, the viewers can watch the other X-Men movies. Now, with the time space continuum altered, may be some of the incidents of the movie never happened or might not happen, may be that can give scope for a difference sequence of events in upcoming X-Men movies.

The claws of flaw :: The 3D makes an attempt to prove itself unnecessary as the movie progresses; the positive side was only in the beginning with the credits. The movie also drags in the middle, with a lot of dialogues rather wasted. The thrills that is supposed to be there from the beginning works at a weaker level through the movie, as there is not enough action in between to support it. Except for the action in the beginning and the end related to the robots where the mutants lose in all cases, there is no real impressive battle except for a little Magneto trick and Quicksilver show. The special effects should have been used better and there should have been lots of action, but they have sacrificed those elements just to add some drama. Still, it is not different from most of the usual superhero movies, especially the X-Men related ones. The characters don’t seem to get into the situation much, and there is rather too much confusion between them. This one should tried to bring more thrills and action from the material that they had, and in the case of mutants, they should have put their powers to use more frequently and efficiently, but that is not there. Then they decided to get rid of Quicksilver who scored so well, and that is a shame.

Performers of the soul :: If someone has to be applauded from his first appearance to the last, it has to be Michael Fassbender, as he is the one who stands out in this movie, making his character the one to look out for. James McAvoy has his moments, but this younger version of Professor is rather impressive only in moments. Jennifer Lawrence shines as the unique mutant Mystique and it was great to watch whenever she was there, but the question would remain if there could have been more in a movie which is based on her and the whole thing is dependent on her actions. Hugh Jackman is once again the Wolverine with style, but this version is rather passive, without that recklessness and anger that we identify the character with, and that was disappointing. Seriously, why would the Wolverine be not aggressive? It is a shame that Anna Paquin’s Rogue was just a cameo, she was one of my favourites with Nightcrawler who is again missing. Evan Peters’ Quicksilver might impress more than many other mutants in just the few minutes that he is present while Nicholas Hoult’s Beast becomes less significant. Meanwhile, Ellen Page and the rest of the mutants of the future present has limited presence compared to those of the past.

Soul exploration :: The movie continues to deal with the basic mutant problem with the human fear for the unknown and the alienation of the other that follows. The end-point of all of these is holocaust, by exaggeration of things which might seem to project the possible extinction with more power than ever. Once again Trask Industries becomes what Stark Industries wasn’t in The Avengers and related movies, being the dark force of science and technology against the one that powered Iron Man. Just with words re-arranged, this industry once again asks the familiar question for those essays at school – “technology: boon or bane?” I thought they were finished with that, but this question might always remain with the technology being an advantage only for the rich and the need to go to space rather than saving Earth. The questions that should be evoked might be about the results of changing the past. It is impossible to change it, but even if it is changed, how will the future respond? Are some things always supposed to happen, no matter how hard we try to change it? Yes, everything seemed to work well by the end of the movie, but how can we be sure about that until a sequel comes to light?

How it finishes :: This franchise might have finished with X-Men 3: The Last Stand, but it didn’t, and came up with two successful origin movies for its most popular character and also created another success without him in the form of X-Men: First Class. The movie also leaves the franchise with endless possibilities to go towards many directions. The destruction of a timeline or rather the disruption of the same can effectively trigger a reboot or many other movies in between. It might seem like a risk, but there are lots of things that it can achieve for a superhero franchise. You might wish to finish watching the other movies of the franchise before watching this one. Then there is always the presence of someone like Jennifer Lawrence who transforms not just like Mystique, but also like Katniss Everdeen becoming Raven – now the question remains, will this change of the past which makes her not an assassin land her somewhere else than not with Magneto? May be with X-Men or as a neutral? How surprising can it be if she is also part of that same school of Professor X? There is a lot to expect from another X-Men movie, that is for sure.

Release date: 23rd May 2014
Running time: 131 minutes
Directed by: Bryan Singer
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Shawn Ashmore, Omar Sy, Daniel Cudmore, Evan Peters, Fan Bingbing, Adam Canto, Lucas Till, Booboo Stewart, Josh Helman, Mark Camacho, Evan Jonigkeit, Gregg Lowe

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✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Hobbit II

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On The Hobbit :: In the first installment of a three-part film prequel series based on the 1937 novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien called An Unexpected Journey, we saw thirteen dwarves accompanied by one wizard and a hobbit, going on a mission to reclaim the dwarf lands which was earlier claimed by a fire-breathing dragon, Smaug. It was then that our hobbit had attained possession of a ring from Gollum which will make a difference in many ways later. The film had ended with a vision of the Lonely mountain with the dragon, and the creature opening its eyes. This movie has released almost exactly an year after the first movie released, and the third movie There and Back Again will be there on December 17th, 2014. It would have been even better if Guillermo del Toro was more involved with the movie, and it was his vision that was there, but even now, this movie is incredibly strong, and one would wonder if how different this would have been if he was in charge – may be something which was so different that one has to wonder so much? Who knows?

What is it about? :: After taking refuge from the orcs at the home of a skin-changer, the team of fifteen splits up as Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) who separates from them with a promise to meet them before they reach their destination. After fighting giant spiders, they are caught by the wood-elves from where the escape hidden in empty wine barrels. Bilbo Baggins’ (Martin Freeman) invisibility ring helps in both cases. Meanwhile, Gandalf fights a legion of orcs as well as an entity known as the Necromancer. They are later helped by a human bowman Bard (Luke Evans) and later receives a great send-off when the talk about the riches come into play. But the orcs are after them, and so are two elves, Legolas and Tauriel who have more obvious reasons. With Gandalf missing, the fourteen are on their own in their battle against the dragon, and the questions remain about how they would get inside the mountain, how will they get the Arkenstone which is needed to rule, and how they will slay, defeat or at least survive from the dragon if they could. Another interesting question might be about who all will survive, with a dragon, an evil necromancer and lots of orcs involved.

The defence of The Hobbit II :: Talking about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, this is exactly what I had expected from this movie, and the movie has provided me with exactly what I was expecting. The fans of the book might disagree, but I haven’t read it and the whole movie remains a spectacle for me. The movie is an improvement from the previous one of the series, and it is a huge improvement as the action sequences and special effects are considered – may be I am a little prejudiced with this point as I watched the first movie on television in Sony Pix and this one in a multiplex in 3D, first day third show. But you can’t deny the strength of action sequences here, especially with the team’s barrel run chased by the orcs who are chased by the elves, and then when Legolas is involved. The dragon is also well-designed and it is an interesting character with its fire breath adding to the special effects more burning beauty. The spiders, the web and the forest remains another area which makes the whole thing interesting. One can actually take time to talk about almost every character out there, but I would rather not do the same.

Positives and Negatives :: We know the dragon is an impressive creature here, and so are all the creatures of different races, but there is one thing that doesn’t stand that good, it is the female elf Tauriel who seems to do nothing interesting other than create a bad love triangle. But we can still think that she never existed as the dwarf whom she healed was treated by other dwarves or humans. But the character is awesome in the action sequences, so may be she can be of interest in the next movie as long as the significance of that unnecessary love triangle will become less. As a character who is not in the book, I would think that she won’t be liked by the book fans. The movie is very long, but there is no dull moment in it, so just take that length negativity out of the equation. May be some people don’t like journeys like this, but obviously this was what one was supposed to expect, and the ending is quick, but better executed than The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and gives people more interest in going for the third movie which is surely going to be heavily packed with action. The 3D is fine and even excellent at times, nothing spectacular considering the overall quality of the movie, but I wasn’t looking for that in this movie.

Performers of the soul :: As the movie gets into action very early unlike The Hunger Games: Catching Fire which takes an eternity, our people are also prepared. Martin Freeman steals the show, and Ian McKellen comes as the big tree which holds things together. Richard Armitage’s dwarf king gets better, and Luke Evans’ presence is something which will be strong only by fulfilling his character’s destiny in the next movie if it is indeed the fate. Orlando Bloom is the ultimate action hero of the movie, and the number of claps he received in the theatre can’t be counted. The movie needed the character from Lord of the Rings, even as I hear people say that he is not The Hobbit character. He is more an archer magician right there making most of his screen presence. Despite Evangeline Lilly’s nice portrayal of her character, it is an avoidable she-elf – otherwise she is good and excellent in the action sequences. Well, elves are crowd favourites! Aidan Turner is equally detestable for that love triangle even as one has to like the way he has performed. Lee Pace makes a fine elf king, while the other dwarves work as good as they did in the first movie. Above all, love Benedict Cumberbatch’s fire-breathing red dragon, for that one rules.

Soul exploration :: The movie deals with the courage of a hobbit yet again, as despite his weaknesses and the lack of abilities, he joins the dwarf warriors, and continues his journey here. He is more heroic than he was in the first movie and even saves the dwarves from being eaten by giant spiders as well as being eternally imprisoned in the elf prisons – he even talks to the dragon face to face, and there is the courage that he has found, along with the ring. Meanwhile, Bard has to accomplish his destiny or rather fail in it, leaving a question mark for the final movie of the series. Elves, hobbits, dwarves, goblins, orcs, trolls and humans – they have all been in the series, and except for goblins and trolls, the rest make an impact in this movie too. The human neutrality is evident, and so is the orc alignment towards pure evil. The dwarves and hobbits remain more on the good side a little more than neutral, and the elves are good in their own way. But when we look at the ideals of the three – dwarves, elves and hobbits, they are different with variable views on each other, and if given a choice, I would think that most would chose the elves, and so would I. This racial difference is an incredible thing, and I have loved this variety in creatures since playing Age of Wonders.

How it finishes :: I would sincerly hope that all who are praising the special effects and CGI of some of the worst movies of the year, to watch this one (Krrish 3 fans can look at Dhoom 3 when it releases if waiting for an opponent of equal platform). The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is one of the best movies of the year and also a visual treat which entertains with its witty dialogues, incredible action sequences and a flurry of special effects. It indeed makes The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey feel that it could have been a better movie. Peter Jackson has indeed created the right hobbit movie which will surely make me choose Halflings as the race the next time I play Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic – something which I had given up in favour of the Draconians and the Undead. Meanwhile, I hope you all had a great Friday the 13th. It is the favourite day (and night) of the Vampire Bat, and on this occasion, he has decided to go lenient on his ratings, but The Hobbit II actually deserves it. Still, the one year wait for the third movie is going to be so depressing!

Release date: 13th December 2013
Running time: 161 minutes
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: Martin Freeman, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.

The Hobbit

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✠ This shall be the second review that features the major excerpts from the fictional interview with Count Dracula by the Vampire Bat during the last unreal full moon night. Any relation to any person living, dead, undead, going to die, half-dead, partially alive or those is not intentional, and if you are looking for an original review of serious nature, do not read. To add to it, I once again add that no vampires, werewolves, zombies, demons, monsters or aliens (both Avatar blue and general green) were harmed while this interview was going on. These are one of those movies about which Count Dracula should surely have a say considering its nature. The format of my earlier review of Hotel Transylvania (https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/hotel-transylvania/) is to be used here, but as the world has changed, both the Vampire Bat, Count Dracula and the nature of the dialogues between them are prone to undergo some changes. They are still brethren, and of the same race which have blood shake quite often.

Count Dracula: Welcome, brother bat. Its been a long time. I am still suffering from the effects of Twin-date, New Moan, Ellipsis and Breaking Teeth with a constant fear of a Midnight Bun which might release some day. Every time I think about those books and movies, I feel so weakened and depressed that I want to go and watch that recently released Bollywood movie Besharam and throw myself from the top of a cliff. It is a sad thing that I can fly and I might never reach the ground, otherwise it would have been an awesome idea.

Vampire Bat: I can see that you have gotten better as the Twilight movie series has ended. Your kind do have a small role to play in Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and it is a pathetic depiction for sure, but as the story itself is so bad, and there are too many creatures taken right out of nonsense, you might not be affected by that.

Count Dracula: Don’t talk about that, for it burns so much – just the name of that series itself. I was in good terms with the Shadow Demons until this series of novels came into existence. Now they won’t talk to me because orcs and goblins are laughing at them after watching the movie and reading the novels, and the demonic version is that it is my dirty plot against them to create a future unholy alliance with humanity.

Vampire Bat: I had to watch that movie City of Bones. Most of the people in the theatre wanted to get out and run for their lives, but just because the AC was good and most of them had already ordered food, they stayed. The others just wanted to make efficient use of their tickets and the rest just wanted to see the lovely Lily Collins. Did you just talk about orcs and goblins? That reminds me of something; even as this was actually supposed to be a secret talk about the Mortal Instruments: City of Bones which was not to come to light, why can’t this be a discussion about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, one of the best movies of the year 2012, even as I know that you find The Cabin in the Woods as the best of them all? Then, I can also publish this review rather than just keep it for further reference.

Count Dracula: I know why you are changing the topic. With The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug right around the corner, you wish to write about this movie so that you can remember that movie which you watched last year, and be prepared for this upcoming sequel. You can also make sure that you have written about the first movie before getting into this sequel, the same reason why you wrote about The Hunger Games earlier. I am such a bloody genius with awesome fangs, right?

Vampire Bat: That should be partially right. I watched The Hobbit just a few days ago in Sony Pix, as I missed it in the theatres due to reasons that I can’t remember. I had to miss a few parts of the movie due to frequent power cuts and some disturbing phone calls, and therefore I would like your help to fill the empty spaces; even if you use some random thing there, that should be okay.

Count Dracula: It doesn’t make any sense that you are asking me about this movie, as I am repelled by the existence of orcs, dwarves, hobbits (halflings), goblins, elves and dragons. But I have to tell you something, this is surely one of my favourite movies of the year too, and therefore you can add it to the list of Dracs Certified, or Certified by Dracula list. That shall give no credit to any non-vampire mythical creature though.

Vampire Bat: Talking about the non-mythical involvement, I was interested about the involvement of Guillermo del Toro, even as he didn’t direct the movie as planned. It was still great the same person who directed The Lord of the Rings trilogy had come back. But the fact remains that I can’t remember much about that series, as I watched it so long ago, at a time when I was less interested in English movies and I cared not much. But as I recollect them in parts and after I watched the second part of The Hobbit, I shall go and watch that much critically acclaimed and financial successful trilogy again.

Count Dracula: You have to watch them, for sure. I have always loved the types of mythical creatures in the series, and I know you can connect them with Age of Wonders, especially with the availables races in that game which includes Halflings (Hobbits) Orcs, Goblins, Elves, Humans, Dwarves and a lot more along with those dragon units and magical creatures. I would have loved to play that game, but I have no computer with me right now. I used to have a magical device which supports more realistic games which includes vampires drinking the blood of evil humans, but I am a little low in magic right now, and has to replenish it during the next time the Dark Elf merchants pass through this way.

Vampire Bat: The creatures are the major reason why I love the series, and The Hobbit is no different. It has our own gollum along with the goblins, orcs, dwarves, elves and of course the humans and our great little hobbit. I was actually quite suprised about Bilbo Baggins going on a dangerous journey with the great wizard Gandalf and thirteen dwarves, led by their king Thorin Oakenshield to reclaim the lost dwarf kingdom of Erebor, and its riches from a fire-breathing dragon. Actually it is a pleasant surprise, as the underdog gets another chance, and this time with the little fighters who are almost same as his size, but different in attitude and bravery plus ability to combat.

Count Dracula: I like that hobbit, much more than I like the guy in The Lord of the Rings. I got a feeling that I am going to love Smaug the dragon too, when the sequel comes. The orcs and goblins are pretty awesome too. It is just sad that so many of them got killed. I remember going to a goblin market to buy some mechanical devices and to the orc armouries to buy some defence for my castle. I liked their depiction though, and their nature is also rightly shown, in my opinion.

Vampire Bat: I would agree to what you said last. But I have to say that the major reason I like this one is because the whole thing is so clear. There are no ambiguities in the story or in the screen. The visuals are so beautiful and crystal clear. I can’t remember seeing such a visually magnificent movie for such a long time. I am quite sad that I missed it on the big screen. It was surely a great honour for my television, as the whole thing looked so good on it, not a usual thing for my normal LED TV and the local cable tv network. Glory be to its visual effects, make-up and the twin feelings of light and dark which the movie managed to portray.

Count Dracula: I am more in support of its darker side, as I feel that the lighter side was meant to keep the dark world within control, as they always do. It is the same thing that they try in my case too, for most of these human audience are not prepared to face all these darkness at once, especially the kind of people whom they target with this type of movies. So, such combination was a must, and they have done well in combining both.

Vampire Bat: We can do nothing other than admire J.R.R. Tolkien for what he has provided us with, unlike what kind of teenage nonsense which has taken over the literature and movie world these days. May be I should write some fiction myself; well I do write something, and it is still fair nonsense. I love this world which the man has created. There is so much in it, not only to see for its visual beauty, but also a lot to think about. We are all hobbits or halflings in this world run by the so called influential people of the higher race, I guess. Therefore, we are all both Frodo and Bilbo in one.

Count Dracula: Except for me, as I am rather that orc person living in an elvish world with my inherent undead qualities, and thus rather a kind of Undead Dark Elf rather than a Wood Elf or a High Elf. But as we consider The Hobbit, I suggest you heavily recommend it.

Vampire Bat: I shall do the same and have to watch it many more times in my immortal hours, Count. Now, it is the time to go home and have that cup of tea, and therefore until we collide on a hunt again, good bye, Count.

Count Dracula: Good bye, best of my winged brethren; for now.

Vampire Bat (to himself): It might have been sad for such a legendary Gothic horror character to live through something like Twilight, but The Hobbit is one of those movies which can cheer him up. He has that opportunity to remember those beautiful days of magic and sorcery and the telepathic connections to the mythical world before science took over and branded all of them as vague imaginations, thus ending the connection. The Hobbit is for all vampires and good humans, that is for sure.

✠ There a few things which are to be kept in mind while going for this movie. It has great visual imagery, and the way in which each person of different races is detailed needs special mention, especially the dwarves. As the beauty of worlds are considered, the elf world stays incredibly beautiful. The collision of the worlds of light and darkness, and the assertion of faith exists with strength in this movie. It can also be considered a fable for the modern world and its life, as a group goes to claim glory, or rather try to get back their nostalgia, whichever is more applicable. So do they go and steal the gold or do they claim what is rightfully theres? Such remains the moral questions of the movie. Yes, I am looking forward to the sequels, The Desolation of Smaug (2013) and There and Back Again (2014). There would still be the question if these movies can stand the horrible weight of expectations, or will those strengthen the movie to such a huge extent that there is awesomeness. I do wish that Guillermo del Toro comes back for the final movie, even if that would make revolutionary changes in the movie making that last one entirely different from the rest.

Release date: 14th December 2012
Running time: 169 minutes
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm,Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Graham McTavish, Manu Bennett, Barry Humphries, Sylvester McCoy, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.

The Wolverine

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The sixth movie of the X-Men film series has been released on that day on which I had to submit my thesis, which I found to be a reason to identify myself with the Wolverine; with immortality reigning both in my that thesis of mine and also through the blood of our leading character in this movie. The fact that this movie follows the events of the 2006 movie and the worst one of the series, X-Men: The Last Stand was depressing, but not many people can deny Wolverine a.k.a Logan a visit after how well X-Men Origins: Wolverine turned out to be. It was when X-Men: First Class released, that the realization about how much we miss this character flashed through the mind which was full of absurdity. The movie was still good, and if we think about how much bigger that movie would have become with this character, there might be shocking box-office figures expected. This is the impact Wolverine brings with him, and he is that character who has the status that almost rivals most of the individual heroes like Spider-Man, Superman and Batman, and clearly makes an impression which none of the X-Men can make alone. This is that movie which can take all the other English movies out of the theatres here, and from the bookings happening right now, that is quite likely.

So, this installment of the movie series comes up without the X-Men tag added to its title, and it is clear that this is more about Wolverine than anything else, and there is enough power in it to survive without that tag. Chronologically, this is to be considered X-Men 4 though, as this doesn’t follow X-Men Origins: Wolverine as some had thought it would. Logan (Hugh Jackman) has been living the life of a recluse after the death of Jean Grey which was a major part of the events of X-Men: The Last Stand which practically ended the need for the existence of X-Men as there was a period of relative peace which followed. But there is no peace of mind for Logan as is frequently troubled by hallucinations nightmares about Jean, whom he was forced to kill, and a lesser memory from the Nagasaki bombing of 1945 where he saved the life of a Japanese soldier. He maintains very less contact with the human world, and stays in the wilderness most of the time. One day, during a fight with a group of hunters in a bar, he is found by Yukio (Rila Fukushima), another mutant, representing Ichirō Yashida, the man whom Logan had saved earlier. He is asked to go to Tokyo so that the dying man can possibly thank him and bid adieu, to which Logan reluctantly agrees.

After reaching Japan, Logan comes across Yashida’s son Shingen (Hiroyuki Sanada)and his grand daughter, Mariko (Tao Okamoto), both seemingly having problems with the relationship with eachother. Yashida offers Logan the opportunity of a transfer of mutant powers to get rid of his immortality and die in peace instead of living in nightmares and pain. Logan refuses to transfer his powers to the dying man, and is later informed that Yashida has died. During the funeral, he saves Mariko from the assassins of an enemy clan with help from Kenuichio Harada (Will Yun Lee), an archer and Mariko’s lover. They get onboard a train and more opponents are encountered in a fighting sequence which involves combat even on the top of the train. While fighting, Logan is shot multiple times and finds out that he is not healing instantly as he used to, and has to be taken care of by a doctor. With another mutant, Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova) chasing him for his powers, and Mariko being hunted by her own father for the control of the family business empire, Logan has more to deal with this time, at a time when he is losing his powers and has become incredibly close to mortality. But this would lead to that moment which he needs to get rid of the psychotic monster that his lover was, from his head. It might be worth fighting for.

It is fair to say that Hugh Jackman controls this movie and makes the whole thing work as if he is playing that much of a superhero as Spider-man, Superman or Batman. Wolverine has turned out to be the one mutant who can work out alone and be the saviour of the world alone. Hugh Jackman has achieved all these alone, and from what it seems, this could get a better box-office collection that X-Men: First Class which had so many more mutants with interesting powers. I would consider that one the better movie, but this one has Hugh Jackman and he has done magic with his character, something which would depress the audience if someone else was to play the Wolverine, from what it seems right now. The possibility of a stand-alone expansion to X-Men has been wonderfully done through his character. X-Men: The Last Stand might have dminished the scope of the whole franchise, and had made X-Men: First Class suffer; but the case of the movies featuring Wolverine as the hero would be different, and Hugh Jackman scores again and again right there. He was there as Leopold in Kate & Leopold, as Gabriel Van Helsing in Van Helsing, and as our favourite robot-controlling boxer in Real Steel. But what Wolverine does, stays not only with one movie, as the man has made the character bigger than what one mutant could ever be, and that is worth all the respect.

Haruhiko Yamanouchi as Ichirō Yashida brings surprises, and be ready for it. Tao Okamoto as Mariko Yashida brings a kind of serenity to the world which is otherwise full of heavy action and hidden evil. Rila Fukushima as Yukio adds to the martial arts segment of the movie, and as a mutant, she is one of the main three gifted people in the movie, and may be the more physically trained and skilled one among them. Will Yun Lee as Kenuichio Harada and Hiroyuki Sanada as Shingen Yashida also adds to the martial arts powered action sequences. Meanwhile, Svetlana Khodchenkova makes an entrance as Viper, a poisonous mutant immune to toxins, resembling a snake in many ways. She is seen as the most powerful and the most vigorous enemy of Wolverine and Mariko until the Silver Samurai finally shows up covered in adamantium armour and holding an adamantium sword of immense power. Famke Janssen is also there as Jean Grey, but more as a hallucination or nightmare for the protagonist, but still the character portrayed better than X-Men: The Last Stand. This is hundred percent a better Jean Grey than that of the third movie of the X-Men franchise. It is a vital presence, even as it is not real. There is also a post-credits scene involing Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen as Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto respectively.

Even in the presence of the psychological elements, the movie runs on its action sequences, and some of the one-liners as the others lack innovation. The battle of the claws against the swords of the samurai makes an impact, but I would still prefer the usual mutant battles, or the Wolverine v/s Sabretooth head-to-head combats. The action sequence on the bullet train came as no surprise, and it was indeed powerful. The most interesting thing is that all these action sequences and interesting dialogues happen around Wolverine, and the whole situation is about him, just like the title suggests. Everyone else just revolves around the character, and with Hugh Jackman holding one end strongly, there is no need for anything spectacular. There was always the need for balance, and it is attained by the Wolverine suffering from that pain which Louis de Pointe du Lac seemed to suffer in Interview with the Vampire, the only difference being the lack of need for blood which is replaced by the need for combat. As Louis wished for death as he hated his inability to act, Wolverine hated his life as he had acted in such a way that he lost control of his world even as he saved the same. Both were reborn as hunters, weren’t they? Both were seemingly indestructible, and both were clear misfits in a world which had no place for them.

There are a few things one has to be aware of; this one is not an origin story, but still it moves on like one, with a good amount of slower moments. The 3D was almost unnecessary. It also has a predictable climax and not too surprising twist which supports it. There is the absence of an imposing villain, as the one expected challenge for Wolverine is unleashed only the end, but that too within limitations. There is so much left on the shoulders of Hugh Jackman. But still the man with the claws cannot be resisted. X2: X-Men United would still be the best of the franchise, followed by X-Men: First Class, the first entry of the series, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. But there will be more hope about X-Men: Days of Future Past which combines the cast of all these movies. For now, The Wolverine will do just fine at the box-office, as this week doesn’t have many powerful competitors around here, which has caused Pacific Rim to bounce back. Turbo, Despicable Me 2 and Man of Steel hasn’t left the theatres too, but they should worry this one less. We need X-Men, and we need Wolverine, and therefore we will need to watch this movie – even with varying thoughts about the X-Men movies which we can agree to disagree on. I would still miss Nightcrawler and Shadowcat, and that fact diminishes this X-Men world.

Release date: 26th July 2013
Running time: 126 minutes
Directed by: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Famke Janssen, Will Yun Lee, Brian Tee, Patrick Stewart (cameo), Ian McKellen (cameo)

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.