Jolt

Vampire Owl: Usually, the jolt happens during one of the experiments of Doctor Frankenstein and his minions.

Vampire Bat: So, Mr Frankenstein is having his own minions now.

Vampire Owl: Yes, they are a few braindead zombies who were given special passport.

Vampire Bat: You just cannot allow zombies into the world of vampires.

Vampire Owl: They are completely braindead. They won’t remember that they are zombies.

Vampire Bat: Then how can Mr Frankenstein make them useful?

Vampire Owl: Well, he just needs someone to do exactly as he says.

Vampire Bat: Someone to pass through those experimental portals?

Vampire Owl: Yes, and also through those experimental time machines.

Vampire Bat: Well, even zombies would hesitate to do that.

[Gets a chocolate cake and three cups of cardamom tea].

What is the movie about? :: Lindy Lewis (Kate Beckinsale) has always had intermittent explosive disorder, which was often triggered by interactions with people around her. As a child, she was so angry that her parents had some really tough time handling her. The parents didn’t have much of a good relationship among themselves to boast about, which made the parenting procedure even worse. This situation had also made her stronger and sharper, and she could beat up even a person or two who were twice her size. The parents no longer wanted anything to do with her. The mental health institution is not able to handle her, and even the military training works against her as she doesn’t take orders from anyone, the process ending with her beating up the commander. A psychiatrist, Dr Ivan Munchin (Stanley Tucci) seems to find a solution, and tries to treat her disorder with a vest which gives electric shocks whenever she gets really angry and a threat to others around her. But it seems to be less effective as days and months pass.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: She feels that as a new option, a social change might help, and with the advice of her psychiatrist, decides to go on a date with an accountant named Justin (Jai Courtney). They become very close to each other, but just before their next date, she finds out that he has been murdered, which means that from requiring no more of the shocks, she will be in need for a lot of them to keep her not angry. The police seems to be not too confident about finding the ones who murdered him, as there are not many clues left there. She feels that she should find out the people behind the murder, and wouldn’t trust the indifferent police officers to do it. As the first step towards the same, she manages to steal his belongings from the police station, much to the dismay of the officers who are in charge of the case, Detective Vicars (Bobby Cannavale) and Detective Nevin (Laverne Cox). Can she be of use in solving this mystery?

The defence of Jolt :: The movie does manage to be funny at times, and the action is pretty much effective. Having Kate Beckinsale at the centre is the big advantage that this movie has, and she is the one reason why things are going on so well. You can always trust her with the action sequences – the fighting on the screen seems to need her every time. The final twist is an effective one, and even though there were were some doubts, we don’t really guess it that well. There are some fine visuals, and the fights also take place at some interesting areas. A touch of humour being added with the fights also works really well. When there is a furious heroine added at the centre of all these, you are into more fun. As a simple fun movie with action, it scores well enough, even though not that much like those older movies starring Jackie Chan and friends – we all miss them for sure. This one is an entertaining ride, and one cannot question the same at any moment, as this one is only as long as it should be, not adding anything extra to increase the length – you enjoy this with the short length really well, without complaints.

The claws of flaw :: There are so many things which seem too usual for this kind of a genre combining action and comedy. We do have so many elements which some dumb people think are funny, even after so many years of repeating the same thing. Some of the jokes make you feel that they have just run out of ideas. A movie like this should always have a better idea about being innovative, as it is not supposed to be full of just dumb humour. It should have known where to stop with the available humour. There were so many opportunities in there. The progress of the movie also has some moments when it doesn’t seem to think enough. With a premise having enough to be so funny, there is always something around here to make the whole thing more innovative, funny and action-filled – much better than what it happens to be. It could have also followed the Kate, John Wick and Hitman mode with more interesting fights. As of now, the hope to have more of the same is only there for future with a possible sequel.

The performers of the soul :: Kate Beckinsale can always do an action thriller like this and provide cent percent without having to think too much about it. As the lady of the Underworld vampire movies and the one in charge within Total Recall, she has done more than enough fighting on the screen than we would think about it. There is the funny and emotional side to her too, which she has also managed very well. We will continue to remember her more as that vampire-figure, but this one is a welcome addition. Nearing her fifties, she is still the one actress who will want to have in an action movie, as much as Resident Evil‘s Milla Jovovich. Jai Courtney has only a few minutes of presence here, but is effective for sure – had the memorable moments with the Divergent and Terminator series in this part of the world too. Bobby Cannavale adds to the humour and does a solid job in doing the role of the good cop. Stanley Tucci also does a really good job in being the man of experimentation.

How it finishes :: Jolt is surely much better than what the critics seemed to talk about, and with Kate Beckinsale in an action thriller, it has managed to maintain a certain amount of quality – it is something one is assured of. If there director had a better vision, this might have transformed into something big, but she has settled with the common and simple path to quick dose entertainment, an action comedy with not many new jokes to be added there. The fact that it remains an entertaining journey is a testimony to Kate Beckinsale once again, as over the years, she seems to have become more experienced in action rather than becoming aged like the Ulysses who said that they were not of the strengths that they were used to be. The movie did release without much hype around here, which might be the reason why most people of this part of the world haven’t watched it yet. But it is a pretty good choice for the entertaining side.

Release date: 23rd July 2021 (Amazon Prime Video)
Running time: 92 minutes
Directed by: Tanya Wexler
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Bobby Cannavale, Laverne Cox, Stanley Tucci, Jai Courtney, Susan Sarandon, David Bradely, Ori Pfeffer

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

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Suicide Squad

Vampire Owl: Do you remember watching the last Suicide Squad?

Vampire Bat: That was rather too long ago to remember.

Vampire Owl: There is never too long ago with superheroes.

Vampire Bat: These are the supervillains though.

Vampire Owl: We are now living at times when there is not much of a difference between the two. The borders have been blurred.

Vampire Bat: I would have some exceptions with these particular people though.

Vampire Owl: They are not really the ones we would like to have in the vampire realm.

Vampire Bat: You mean to say that there cannot be a Vampire Suicide Squad with freaks.

Vampire Owl: An immortal squad for suicide? That cannot be.

Vampire Bat: Well, immortality can be ended with a well-planned suicide if you are good enough to do that.

[Gets a chicken cutlet and three glasses of chocolate shake].

What is the movie about? :: Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) gets a team known as Task Force X, also called The Suicide Squad – consists of prison inmates who agree to carry out extremely dangerous and often near impossible missions for her in exchange for lighter sentences. As they come up against their first mission, there are two teams, and from the first one, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is the only inmate who survies along with Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) who was leading the team. The second team is able to sneak in between, under the leadership of Bloodsport (Idris Elba), and supported by Peacemaker (John Cena), King Shark (Sylvester Stallone), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), and Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior). They are now at a small South American island nation of Corto Maltese which had its autocratic government overthrown by an anti-American one. They have to destroy a Nazi-age laboratory which still holds a secretive experiment known as Project Starfish. It is supposed to be extra-terrestrial in nature.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: While Bloodsport and Peacemaker are expert marksmen, Ratcatcher controls rats. King Shark seems to be the strongest among them while Polka-Dot Man seems to be more of a distraction than anything else. King Shark almost eats Ratcatcher before being stopped by her pet rat, while Bloodsport and Peacemaker cannot get along at all, going on competing with each other instead of concentrating on the mission. Polka-Dot Man seems to be all lost in between. They find Flag among the rebel soldiers and Sol Soria (Alice Braga) who leads the soldiers agrees to assist them, so that their country could be free from military control, and also as part of vengeance. Harley Quinn who is caught by the government soldiers is taken to the palace, and she understands the new regime’s plan to destroy the other nations using Project Starfish. The team has to find The Thinker (Peter Capaldi) who is in charge of the operation before the situation gets any worse.

The defence of The Suicide Squad :: The colours and shades that we see in The Suicide Squad are beautiful, and it seems to be a quality which it has inherited from its predecessor. You can always keep your eyes on the screen, and be happy with what is seen on the background with settings that keep one interested. The visuals are all good, with the world looking beautiful. There are some fine action sequences in the final moments of the movie, and the use of humour works at times – the same is done best by Harley Quinn herself. The use of rats contribute nicely to make a visual spectacle, and the lights during the darkness nicely contribute to making the world better. The fights in the movie can be seen an worth one’s time. The action had also started much early, and there is not much time wasted with that. There is also scope for some fine sequels and spin-offs left in the end too. The stylish part stays strong too.

The claws of flaw :: The movie required a better human villain to keep things strong, but that cannot be seen around here. The villainy among the main characters also fall flat with not much being done with it. There was always something special to be done with a film like this, and better heroes could also make way here. The blood and gore is very much unlike the usual superhero films, but with its big extra-terrestrial antagonist, it chooses to go dumb in the looks and not scary, which is also strange. There is also no shortage of usual repetitions around here. With a fine premise, it losses so many opportunities which were there to be taken. The big iconic character, Harley Quinn, is also not used to the best advantage, as we know that she has always deserved more. Some of the humour here also feels dumb enough – the dark humour doesn’t work that effectively. This required to maintain its quality at all times, but we see that it has some regular ups and downs.

Performers of the soul :: Throughout the movie, one can surely see Margot Robbie dominating the proceedings again as Harley Quinn. There are moments which seems to be about her only, even though nothing matches what he did in the earlier Suicide Squad – the absence of Joker will always be the big missing point. The one tale that catches our attention the most is that of Daniela Melchior, who dominates the proceedings in a beautifully passive way. She is the one who deserves a possible spin-off among all the characters around here, something bigger and smarter than Birds of Prey. This is one character to which we are also emotionally attached, and this attachment is to stay, as long as the last rat is alive on this planet. There is a certain amount of cuteness in the psychotic beauty that is attached to everything about her. Idris Elba’s character is rock solid, while John Cena’s is just ridiculous. There is no strong villain among the performers either, even though there were so many signs in the earlier stages of the movie.

How it finishes :: The Suicide Squad is a journey down from the original Suicide Squad, which was poetic, and fun from the beginning to the end, and had a human antagonist worth fighting against, unlike what we have now. Even the characters or similar characters reflecting the first movie are not that good here, whether with the costumes or with the action. Yet, this movie also holds its ground, and manages to be better than DC’s superheroes coming together. When the team of villains do better than Justice League every time, one cannot wonder about the fact that the world is going with evil over goodness. The evil that we have seen in this world through the ages will only get worse, that is for sure. The Suicide Squad is a reminder of the same, and it makes another interesting film. Until DC gets the better superhero movies like Aquaman back here, you can always watch Minnal Murali, the first Malayalam superhero movie on Netflix, which gets the origins better than most of the others in style.

Release date: 24th December 2021 (Amazon); 5th August 2021 (USA)
Running time: 132 minutes
Directed by: James Gunn
Starring: Margot Robbie, Daniela Melchior, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Sylvester Stallone, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Peter Capaldi

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Suicide Squad

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What is the movie about? :: During the events that follow Superman’s (Henry Cavill) death in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, CIA’s Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) assembles Task Force X, a team consisting of dangerous criminals. The team was to consist of a highly skilled hitman who is never supposed to miss with his gun in the hands – Deadshot (Will Smith), a former psychiatrist who has a lot of madness inside her which she isn’t afraid to show to the world creating chaos – Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), a pyrokinetic gangster who refuses to be evil anymore after a disaster – El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), a thief who is exceptionally skilled in using boomerang – Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), a genetically mutated crocodile-like human supposed to have cannibalistic tendencies along with his superior strength – Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), and a mercenary with high level grappling and scaling skills with a lot of combat practice – Slipknot (Adam Beach).

So, what happens next in the movie? :: Amanda intends to use them for the defence of the nation, as the big void which was left by the superhero’s death is sure to make it easy for the dangerous and twisted criminals and metahumans to strike terror upon the heart of common man, and the usual military and police might not be able to stop them. The new expendable assets are placed under the command of Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman). Each member has a nano bomb inside their necks, which could be activated to explode, so as to make sure that none of these criminals try to do anything smart of make an attempt to escape. Another one whom Amanda intend to recruit is Rick Flag’s girlfriend and archeologist Dr. June Moone (Cara Delevingne) whose other form is Enchantress, an ancient goddess and witch who has taken over her body, and appears at times.

So, what all trouble awaits our people? :: Enchantress is not someone who will take this dishonour of her godly self lightly, as she turns on Amanda for imprisoning her, and with the help of her brother Incubus (Alain Chanoine), unleashes terror. The ancient evil finds herself ready to destroy everything that humans holds dear in return for their disrespectful treatment of her. With their vast magical abilities, the brother and sister duo takes control of a subway station and transforms humans into monsters listening only to their command. But Enchantress is just one of their problems as there is someone else after them – The Joker (Jared Leto) who is coming to get Harley Quinn. The situation only gets worse when the team members get the reality about what all are being hidden from them. But they form the last hope for humanity in a world without Superman – what will they choose to do with the world having done nothing for them?

The defence of Suicide Squad :: We can consider this movie more as some kind of poetry in motion, with lots of music being used here and there, and the way in which the action progresses is also nothing less than poetic – you will see a lot of it with the Harley Quinn – Joker sequences which come as flashback scenes. The movie had to introduce so many characters at once, and this one has managed to do that – something which a lot of movies will fail to do, and some of them won’t even try, and in that case, Suicide Squad is a clear winner with its attempts. There are smart dialogues and fine action sequences, with those special effects doing the job really well. Unlike the fake characters in the overrated Guardians of the Galaxy, there is no pretending going on here either – we know who all these people, and they make us believe. Well, you don’t need to pretend that you didn’t like this one just because a number of critics said so!

Positives and negatives :: There is no doubt that people will have many reasons to like as well as dislike this movie, and there will be occasions when both will be the same – certain beauty of some parts of this movie will be what some people won’t like, and vice versa; it is how this movie works personally. There are also some characters that go away without being noticed, and even with a full squad, some of them are just not completely there. We surely needed more of the Joker, but it is not there – he is not the villain as some people might have thought, as the Enchantress takes up that position. Also in comparison, one might not find this version of the man to be making that much impact as they wanted him to. Opposite to what some people had said, this is actually a better movie than the hype which was Guardians of the Galaxy, as we get to connect to the bad guys as people in this flick, unlike the fakes which we had there – and the fun here is more real, and so is the danger.

Performers of the soul :: The best of performances begin with Margot Robbie as the crazy female villain who brings a grand effect to us. There is something about each action of the character, and this one is a full entertainer as long as she is there. There is a certain kind of dark poetry related to her, and some of it can be seen also in the Enchantress played by Cara Delevingne who brings one of the better female villains around – there is something about her from the very first time she is introduced, and whether as the witch-goddess or as the archeologist, she looks too good. Will Smith also scores at his moments, as the hitman who makes us emotionally connected to the character. Jay Hernandez has El Diablo going steady, while the rest of the bad guys just follow the path with these people getting to score more than the others, and as I said earlier, the Joker is underused.

How it finishes :: Suicide Squad is special because it is different, and even in that difference, this one is divergent in an excellent manner. Maybe people still wanted to have the same kind of superhero movies, but not with this one – it has decide to change things, and it is one’s choice to like it or go for the “usual superhero saving the day after destroying a whole city and killing so many people around” kind of thing. Even with the so called criminals teaming up, the number of common people killed in this movie is not much – not that much of top level evil in the bad guys, as you can see. This would make a perfect video game too, with these interesting characters around – but if there is a computer game existing for a movie, won’t the pseudo-intellectuals reviewing the movies make this one look even worse with their reviews? Lets hope that movies like Suicide Squad will be saved from such people! At the same time, I hope that you have enough divergence and a little bit of madness in you good enough to understand this movie.

Release date: 5th August 2016
Running time: 123 minutes
Directed by: David Ayer
Starring: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Cara Delevingne, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, Karen Fukuhara, Ike Barinholtz, Adam Beach, Alain Chanoine, David Harbour, Alex Meraz, Jim Parrack, Shailyn Pierre-Dixon, Corina Calderon, Ben Affleck (cameo), Ezra Miller (Cameo), David Ayer (cameo), Jason Momoa (cameo)

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

I, Frankenstein

I, Frankenstein)

Vampire Owl :: This movie was approved by Doctor Victor Frankenstein and his monster.

Vampire Bat :: It is still a risk. Just like his experiments. Last time, when he came up with such an experiment, I got teleported to different planets one hundred and twenty seven times. You know what happened with the monster.

Vampire Owl :: Still, I thought that there would be enough reasons to watch this movie. You keep coming up with something.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, the Frakenstein monster gets a special treatment, even though it is based on the graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein gets a twist.

Vampire Owl :: What about the fact that the trailer had looked very good?

Vampire Bat :: I watched the trailer more than an year ago. So, can’t remember.

Vampire Owl :: It still looks good.

Vampire Bat :: Do you know that the chances of good trailers leading to good movies are rare?

Vampire Owl :: Yes, but so are the chances of Uncle Dracula reclaiming his vampire throne as the ruler of all vampires.

Vampire Bat :: Okay, just don’t tell him.

[Waits at the bus station].

What is it about? :: It has been a long time after Doctor Victor Frankenstein (Aden Young) created a monster (Aaron Eckhart) from the dead. This story takes over from the finishing of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and has the monster wandering through the world of men unnoticed. During an attack by demons, he is helped by Ophir (Mahesh Jadu) and Keziah (Caitlin Stasey) of the Gargoyle Order. He is named Adam after the first man on Earth, as he is also the first and the only one of his kind, and is informed that there is a battle between good and evil going on, and it is only the Gargoyle Order created by Archangel Michael that stands between the demons and them taking over the world of men. Meanwhile, a demon Naberius (Bill Nighy) exists on Earth in the form of a billionaire and an influencial business man; he hopes to find Adam and use the secret of Frankenstein to bring back corpses to life.

The defence of I, Frankenstein :: You know what kind of a story this movie is telling. I have always loved to know what happened to the monster after the Gothic novel had ended. So, this continuation should be a welcome thing for most of the fans of the work. There is a certain amount of mysterious beauty with this movie which is carried forward regularly. The movie is full of action, and the battles are very well taken. It has quite an interesting idea and how the story develops grabs the attention of the viewers with ease. The CGI and special effects are very good, and the transformation of stone gargoyles between what is seen on the cathedrals and into various make another thing of interest. The cathedral and the mythical world detail are really nice. There is a battle that take place around the building which is nothing less than a visual action treat. If you liked Underworld, liking this should come naturally.

The claws of flaw :: They could have established the universe better, and not just telling that there has been a war going on for centuries, along with putting our protagonist right between the factions. This has almost no horror at all; the demons are there, but they are not scary enough to make that much of an impact as the creatures from the depths of hell. This could have even worked as another story without our monster in between as demons fighting angels and some human with special power being the difference maker. They should have added something special for the monster, and his emotional and spiritual conflicts could have been displayed in connection with the choices that he has to keep making. But this one manages not to take many risks and goes on to make this the action movie that it manages to be; there is very less characterization, and the attempt to establish a mythology is only partially there.

Performers of the soul :: Aaron Eckhart comes up with quite a controlled and yet powerful performance as the creature without a soul. You can feel the effort that has been put there, even though further development of the character could have made it even better. Still, this might be the best which could have been done with all are available. The monster’s situation is actually made clear with one quote from the movie: “You’re only a monster if you behave like one”, and the depiction keeps us close to the character. Yvonne Strahovski looks very good in the role, and she does her job very well, despite having much lesser to do than expected considering the significance of her character. Bill Nighy manages to bring the villainy nicely, and very much working. Miranda Otto fits her role too, even though it is a strange character at times. Jai Courtney could have been better used.

Soul exploration :: The centre of all action is a creature who has no soul, as he is an animated corpse. This itself is his absence or imperfection, similar to what people lack; in this case, it is the soul itself, as he is not a combination of body and soul like a normal human being. As a creation of the dead, he is more a zombie, but with a working brain. [***Spoilers ahead] – The interesting point that this movie manages to make is that the creature does finally manage to grow a soul. Here, a monster who was close to the dead than the living manages to develop a soul with his deeds, but as we read the newspaper every day, some humans really doesn’t have at least part of the same and don’t strive for the same. The question remains if the people of our world who lives without heart and soul can finally manage to grown something, but as we see in the movie, it is easier for a corpse to grown one rather than the humanity driver by hate.

How it finishes :: I have seen many kinds of reviews, but nothing like this 3% on Rotten Tomatoes which told me why I shouldn’t trust these critics. I have known movies which are so unbearable getting better appreciation. The difference between these and those at Metacritic is almost 30% though, which surely makes me feel where I should be checking more; it has not just been the case of this movie! Well, this movie doesn’t bring anything huge that was going to change the movie world forever, but it did exactly what it was supposed to do, and I am surprised that some people couldn’t really have the sight to see that. Well, even all movies of Underworld franchise which moves on in a similar manner got better reviews along with those terrible movies which got positive reviews – critics would prefer to see Kate Beckinsale with her vampires and werewolves rather than being caught with a monster between demons and gargoyles, it seems.

Release date: 24th January 2014
Running time: 92 minutes
Directed by: Stuart Beattie
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Jai Courtney, Socratis Otto, Nicholas Bell, Kevin Grevioux, Steve Mouzakis, Caitlin Stasey, Aden Young, Chris Pang, Deniz Akdeniz, Goran D. Kleut, Mahesh Jadu, Penny Higgs

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Terminator: Genisys

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Vampire Owl: I feel the nostalgia already. Do you?

Vampire Bat: Yes, I do. It has powered today’s movie journey. There is also our favourite Dragon Lady here. This a must watch!

Vampire Owl: Let’s just watch it then!

Vampire Bat: With no hesitation. He has to be back for real this time.

[Gets the tickets with extra popcorn and Mango flavoured ice cream].

✠ This was recently posted by me at Kiagia.com where I handle the Hollywood movie reviews division: http://kiagia.com/index.php/current-film-releases-movie/890-terminator-genisys-movie-review.html

There are many types of nostalgia, but there might be nothing like The Terminator for the movie fans of the 1990s. Arnold Schwarzenegger had become a lot bigger name with the movie and its sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The success meant that there were five movies in the franchise which has now reached Terminator Genisys despite the lesser impact that its predecessor Terminator Salvation had created. Due to the never ceasing power of the franchise, Arnold Schwarzenegger had to come back and give it another push, hoping to bring back some of the lost glory, and Terminator Genisys is the product of a need and a desire.

Years after the Judgment Day and machines taking over the planet, John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the Human Resistance against Skynet hopes to end the threat from the machines with two big assaults. The first one is to attack Skynet’s main core base, and the second to destroy a time machine located hidden and away from the main base. But despite what seemed to be a defeat for the machines at the main base, a T-800 killing machine was sent back to 1984 though the time-machine to kill John’s mother, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) so that he or the Resistance wouldn’t be born. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) volunteers to go after the terminator and defend the lady.

This much is more like the expected side, as most the audience is familiar with the franchise so far, or at least until the second movie. The twist happens as the terminator as well as Kyle reaches the past. Now, in this timeline, it seems that Sarah is not someone who needs to be defended. She is already skilled with the guns and is protected by another T-800 machine called Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who has protected her right from her childhood and prepared her for what was to come. They easily get rid of the T-800 and finish off T-1000 with a trap much to the surprise of Kyle. But with this change to the past, what is it that the future has in store for them?

There are many twists in store in this movie along with the altered timeline. It is regarding Skynet and Genisys, John Connor, the working of the machines and our old T-800 model. It is more like a desperate effort to make the most out of all that is available, and the positive thing is that it is mostly successful in doing that. The problem is that it might seem repetitive, and this problem called Skynet and time travel has such big relationship that it can tire the viewers at times. The same also means that this is not simple action movie anymore and things are only prepared to get even more complicated. It is better for the intellect, but not that much for the regular fan.

Arnold Schwarzenegger still has a big fan-base even in this part of the world, and it was clear with those claps which were heard inside the theatre. Even after these many years, people still wish to watch him on the big screen, doing action roles – he has been a symbol of the genre for the common man, a lot more than Sylvester Stallone could ever be. Time has passed, and new action heroes have emerged, but as far as Hollywood is concerned, people like to stick to this man. It is the same which the movie has utilized, for Arnold and Terminator is a combination that works better than anything else, and as he does what he has always done the best, this sequel stays powered.

Game of Thrones’ own Khaleesi, the Mother of Dragons, Emilia Clarke joins him on this battle against the machines, calling him Pops and making him her own personal Guardian Angel. You have to love her in this role too; the fans certainly will. With the rest of them also contributing very well, the cast is a fine reason why you can watch this one. The movie’s biggest strength is still nostalgia, and the action sequences are nice; the plot related to the timelines also leaves us something to ponder about. There are some moments of laughter too, most of them related to Arnold himself. Yes, it is visually very good too.

The alternate timeline meant that there was more freedom here, and the advantage of having things reset is that you don’t need a real reboot or remake to continue a franchise, and a sequel will always attract more people because it is supposed to recreate a lot more rather than remake or somewhat recreate the content. Still, just like Jurassic World, this one also doesn’t manage to become the grand remake which could use all the resources to make things better than how it was with the original. It is not that we were expecting such a thing to happen, but there are people who have waited so eagerly for this movie. This is still the best you have had since Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Release date: 3rd July 2015 (India); 1st July 2015 (USA)
Running time: 126 minutes
Directed by: Alan Taylor
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney, J. K. Simmons, Lee Byung-hun, Wayne Bastrup, Matt Smith, Courtney B. Vance, Dayo Okeniyi, Gregory Alan Williams, Sandrine Holt, Michael Gladis, Griff Furst, Teri Wyble, Nolan Gross

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Insurgent

insurgent (2)

A Flashback to Divergent :: I have noticed a number of people in the theatre being clueless about this, and therefore, lets take a flashback ride to the first movie. You can choose to skip this paragraph if you needn’t. In Divergent, within a future post-apocalyptic world of dysopian nature, the known human society is divided into five different factions according to the qualities of each person: they are Dauntless (the brave), Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest) and Erudite (the intelligent). There are tests done for the same and those who don’t fit into the factions or the Divergents are left with no part in the society. But one young lady called Beatrice Prior will join Dauntless despite being a Divergent, and will go on to stop the faction Erudite and its leader Jeanine Matthews’ attempt to take over as the leader of them all.

What is it about? :: Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet) continues her hunt for power, as she finds an artifact box with the symbols of all factions. She needs to open it as the box is believed to have a message from the founders of the city, and she hopes that it can solve the problems of the Divergents restoring the remaining factions with her as the leader. But only a strong Divergent can open it as the procedure involves going through the simulation which includes the challenges of all the factions. Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James), Peter (Miles Teller), and Caleb (Ansel Elgort) are on the run, but Jeanine’s team reaches them – they separate as Tris and Four leave for Candor after going through the Factionless which is lead by Four’s mother Evelyn Johnson-Eaton (Naomi Watts). But things surely seem to be heading for a war.

The defence of The Divergent Series: Insurgent :: The idea has already been set, and so Insurgent has it easy to work with. The detail of the environment is very good, and it is good to watch he dystopian world in 3D. The special effects never cease to catch our attention in this movie. The action sequences remain interesting, and the audience only end up asking for more of the same. The idea of being Divergent is taken to another level, and there is twist at the ending which leaves us hoping for more in the sequel – hope the next movie delivers a lot more. The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 1 will get released next year and The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 2 in 2017, and lets hope that this works very well as there seems to be something big coming, as the impression has been made.

The Claws of Flaw :: Insurgent is a step backward from Divergent, and it is not divergent in its treatment of the subject. It doesn’t go on to establish itself as a special dystopian movie as we had expected with the ending of the first movie. The first one had established the world, but this one actually has almost nothing related to a dystopia which is provided directly and we are left to pick up a few things here and there. The message is not that powerful here with the divergence and the society. Instead, this movie tries to hold on to predictability and last minute escapes. The movie should have dared to go outside what it has established and could have brought more here. Instead, the movie manages to go on and on with the idea that we already have. There is no real attempt to change the society in a big way other than trying to bring the dictator down. Divergents are also just declared special!

Performers of the soul :: It can be safely said that it is Shailene Woodley who saves this movie from going further down its level. She has given her best here, carrying this movie forward as the Divergent protagonist. She has only made things better here, and she is the one who provides this movie with any opportunity to match up-to its predecessor even though Insurgent doesn’t end up doing so. Among the new additions to the movie, Naomi Watts stays ahead of the others, as is very much convincing and interesting. Theo James just manages to be okay playing the support. Ansel Elgort has a forgettable outing there as the strange brother character. Kate Winslet manages to be just an okay villain while Miles Teller is very good here.

Soul exploration :: Just like its predecessor, this movie also focuses on what it takes to be different or divergent, and focuses on the journey that occurs due to not agreeing to the norms of the society. In a world where moving away from the accepted norms of the society is a crime, one heroine continues to rise. This divergence leads to revolution and a change of order. Identities change here, and being smart comes with the extreme desire to rule over the others, which the intelligent faction in the movie displays. They are the masters of science and cannot stand someone else who is better than them, just like the Divergents who are good in more than one skill, and from their jealousy, the movie moves forward to the next level.

How it finishes :: The movie is based on the book of the same name, which is the second book in the much talked about Divergent trilogy written by Veronica Roth, even though the fans here seems to be lesser in number. The first one was an interesting movie itself, and the second one nicely follows the path which was set up by its prequel without doing anything special, which makes Divergent the better movie without doubt. This actually became the first Hollywood movie I watched this month, and may be the only one of its kind which I managed to review. Yes, my movie watching adventures have been decreasing, thanks to the censor board banning movies, and some of them not even making all the way here. There are also personal reasons, but I am going to find time for the same here and there as long as the bans and the selections of movies by the theatres make more sense.

Release date: 20th March 2015
Running time: 119 minutes
Directed by: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Zoë Kravitz, Octavia Spencer, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, Mekhi Phifer, Ashley Judd, Daniel Dae Kim, Keiynan Lonsdale, Suki Waterhouse, Rosa Salazar, Emjay Anthony, Janet McTeer, Jonny Weston

insurgent

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Divergent

divergentt

Dystopia, the weakness :: The more relevant opinions should say that the weakness that haunts the world is more related to vampire romance, something which completely destroys the purpose of existence of vampires, no wonder Louis de Pointe du Lac felt that his life was pointless, and Anne Rice might have had a good idea what was to come next when she sat down to write Interview With the Vampire and all those works which followed in The Vampire Chronicles. Now, dystopia has risen to a level which is close to the vampire romance, and thanks to The Hunger Games, the scope for such fiction is proved immense; one has to agree that even Stephenie Meyer’s The Host and its movie adaptation had an extended feeling of dystopia enforced by the aliens. My first idea of dystopia came from Stephen King’s The Running Man which I read long ago, and that 1987 movie of the same name, Arnold Schwarzenegger and María Conchita Alonso. A dystopian America sells quite well. Even mindless movies like Escape from New York worked very well (questioned only by its own sequel Escape from L.A.) and now we know what a safe territory is, even safer than some vampire romance which can coin the terms like “still a better love story than Twilight“.

What is it about? :: The story is set in a future Chicago as the world has transformed into a dystopia inside walls. The society has been divided into five factions with five different qualities, Abnegation (selfless), Amity (peaceful), Candor (honest), Erudite (intelligent) and Dauntless (fearless). The factionless were to live a hopeless life. Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) has grown up in Abnegation with her parents and brother, and it was the faction that run the government. Its selflessness was proven by their work in taking care of the poor, the sick and the factionless. To the surprise and sadness of their parents, her brother chooses Erudite and she chooses Dauntless, even as she does know that she is a “divergent” who has different qualities and such a person is considered a threat to the current social order in the dystopia. Christina (Zoë Kravitz) and Al (Christian Madsen), two former Candors, and Will (Ben Lloyd-Hughes), a former Erudite joins her friends group as she struggles to go on with an environment with which she is not familiar. She starts off at the bottom of the list threatened to be thrown out, but slowly begins to make her way up with the help of the instructor Four (Theo James). Soon, there will be more secrets to be unveiled though.

The defence of Divergent :: Another world awaits you in Divergent, a world which you are not unaware of, but it is still a world which you will enjoy once again – it is that kind of a world which gathers a dimension for just curiosity itself and thrives on it like Count Dracula on drop of blood. In the beginning itself, they show a huge fence, seemingly electrical along with skyscrapers which seems to have survived some Armageddon which ravished a lot of the known world. Its themes are many and its world nicely detailed with some nice effects added here and there. The post-apocalyptic city is really nice, with a train running through the centre and buildings connected with some kind of mechanical technology. The action sequences are nice and realistic, and the final combat scenes are well done. There is melee combat as well as shooting, and a lot more during the time of training for the fearless ones. The idea of the divergent among the factions is nicely developed out of something which we are all familiar with – the rebellion in the dystopia. The leap of faith moment and the initiation in style are two things I loved more than the rest.

The claws of flaw :: This movie is quite a lot like The Hunger Games, and explores a similar setting with a dystopia and training of young people to be capable for violence and if possible, inflict death upon the enemies. There is no deathmatch here, but there is that capture the flag (Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 Arena fans check!). Being alienated is becoming far too common a thing these days as corruption in politics, the worst of such thing inflicted upon us by Kristen Stewart’s Isabella Swann. The movie’s faction choosing ceremony reminds us of the four houses of Harry Potter, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin and Hufflepuff. Remember the choosing of jobs in City of Ember? That should be another memory slowly coming out forced by the incident. The movie could have tried something innovative to have its own identity which would look entirely different from the rest. But taking the safe path was going to be more suitable for the first movie of a possible trilogy with a possible extensions due to divisions. But one can be sure that all the flaws of the whole franchise might be lesser than those from just one half of any movie of the Twilight series, especially the latter ones. Mortal Instruments: City of Bones did come with more flaws, but that was pure nonsense.

Performers of the Soul :: There was the awesome Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games, and one might not be able to place anyone else in her place with a similar setting around. But Shailene Woodley is very close, and she is so good as the character that one feels almost of the same feeling for Beatrice Prior that was felt for Katniss Everdeen, the girl on fire. Shailene has almost everything that the Twilight heroine lacked, and she makes sure that Beatrice is never out of control. She fits into that world right from the beginning and gives us one of the best female protagonists in a dystopia. She has great moments and wonderful lines in a movie which depends so much on her performance and she delivers. She is not just the cute face right there. It is sad that Kate Winslet had so less to do in a role which was about being a mastermind villain from the faction of intelligence. The same can be said about Maggie Q who is just there to be there! Ashley Judd’s existence itself is her presence in the movie. Theo James does his role nicely, and finishes strong as the trainer and the lover. I will leave special mention for Zoë Kravitz as Christina who looked and acted wonderfully throughout the movie.

Soul exploration :: The movie has a lot of themes being explored in it, both directly and indirectly in its world. The whole division into four factions according their qualities and job is more like the ancient caste system itself, but lets not go further into that. In the case of factions, there are people who think different and has the ability to go against this order which forms the core of this dystopia – they are the divergents, to be better known as the rebels. As such a world is lead by the sympathetic faction, one can only wonder how long before two others, the brains and the muscle power can take over. So we need the divergents. What about our current society? Don’t we need them as a dystopia always threaten to happen in one place or the other? Haven’t such “different” people contributed a lot more to the world than the normal ones? When I was in school, I was to expect to join one of the two factions, engineering and medicine, with the two hidden faction, commerce and management – where did I join? Well, I had to diverge, and that had to be dauntless. That was just an example, but lets choose to be different rather than fit into groups with difficulty. Lets just not take the violence in the movie with it.

How it finishes :: Based on Veronica Roth’s Divergent, the movie present us with another dystopian world to ponder over. Even as I haven’t read any work by her, this does seem to work quite well. Being the opposite of utopia, dystopia always had the power to keep the readers and viewers interested. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin told us the story of a world which is slave to logic and machines, completely against any kind of creativity. George Orwell gave us more in his Nineteen Eighty-Four. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World might be the title which comes to the mind of most people. Remember Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange too. There are lots of such novels which has explored the themes related to dystopia in a powerful way. Divergent takes a leap into the same, but not exactly in the same way. I don’t know about the book, but the movie does fine as it throws at the audience everything it got. The visual media has been nicely used for the same purpose. It released here late, and as this is a festival season full of regional movies, the movie won’t do that well here, and the shows are limited too – quite the bad time of the year to release this one here!

PS: Don’t read the name as “Detergent” because one of my friends did! 😀

Release date: 11th April 2014 (India); 21st March 2014 (US)
Running time: 139 minutes
Directed by: Neil Burger
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Maggie Q

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.