Big Hero 6

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Vampire Owl :: I am still suffering from a certain amount of brain damage after watching Interstellar.

Vampire Bat :: Nolan added Physics into that movie because he know that we have all hated our Physics teachers and it is almost everybody’s least favourite subject along with Mathematics. I do feel that the movie has added Physics to my list of degrees without telling me.

Vampire Owl :: Free degree, that is cool. Actually, do you even remember any of our Physics teachers?

Vampire Bat :: No, I don’t, and I shall never remember. Even after I tried harder for the same, I was always let down by it. But Chemistry has worked the other way around for me. I was so shocked by my scores for the subject that I wanted to faint and prove it.

Vampire Owl :: Do you think that this movie will have Physics?

Vampire Bat :: Not as much as Interstellar, I am sure. They will at least speak in English rather than in a nerd language this time.

Vampire Owl :: Thank God that we are partial nerds then.

Vampire Bat :: That should be why we enjoyed Interstellar, especially when our imaginations go to space as well as the other dimensions every day.

Vampire Owl :: Is it just an illusion or does it actually seem like a How to Train your Dragon: Robot Version?

Vampire Bat :: I think we should watch this and check. It has managed to gain so much of critical appreciation.

[Starts the car].

The background :: Big Hero 6 comes from a group of superheroes which were part of Marvel Comics. But the differences are there, no doubt about that. This becomes the first movie to feature characters from Marvel comics and builds hype as from the makers of Frozen and Wreck it Ralph! – something which will draw in plenty of comparisons. This is also the sixth big animated movie released in this year at this part of the world after Mr. Peabody and Sherman, The Lego Movie, How to Train your Dragon, Rio 2 and Planes: Fire and Rescue – I have watched all except the last. People might think that this is not the right weekend to release an animated movie as it has to face the powerful Interstellar in a battle of David and Goliath, especially when in the modern world, David has very less chance to win. But it is not always about one thing or two when it comes to movies, isn’t it? Which is why Big Hero 6 could keep itself working well enough when facing such a big nemesis.

What is it about? :: Set in the fictional world of San Fransokyo (kind of like San Francisco and Tokyo in a combo), Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) spends his time attempting to participate in illegal robot fights. He is an expert in robotics, and his brother Tadashi Hamada (Daniel Tenney) feels that he is wasting his potential by doing such worthless things outside law. So, he shows his little brother his university and the robotics laboratory where he and his friends are achieving marvellous things under the experienced Professor Callaghan (James Cromwell). Hiro is highly impressed and is desperate to the get into the university, for which he invents something called microbots which can transform into anything, and can be controlled using telepathy. He is accepted into the university, but a fire breaks out and his brother is killed, which leaves him in permanent grief. But soon, with the help of his brother’s robot Baymax (Scott Adsit), he attempts to find the man who might be responsible for the death of his brother.

The defence of Big Hero 6 :: Here is what you expect from an animated movies in the right quantities, nothing too much and not really missing out anywhere. The comedy works most of the time, but is more limited to the main robot and less to the rest. The movie is all fun and entertainment too, visually looking very good and having some very nice action sequences which are overtaken by the emotional ones which are even better. The world is nicely detailed with different architectural combinations, and the characters are also nice and pretty much likable, with one extremely lovable robot at the centre of everything. The superheroes are nicely created and the supervillain also looks impressive. Well, this one is light, easy to follow and connect, as well as lovely to watch on the big screen, and what more would you need in an animated movie? Big Hero 6 surely scores here, and deserves the whole family in the theatre. Well, it isn’t accompanied by the hype such as Interstellar got, so it can only be a clear winner. I would expect a sequel to hit the theatres soon, as this origin story is now established.

The Claws of flaw :: It follows the usual animated movie policy and doesn’t try to innovate too much, may be due to the fear that it will repel the family audience which is supposed to be its strength. There is too much of a predictable plot, very unlike Mr. Peabody and Sherman which had its nice additions to bring twists to the story. Even the small suspense about the identity of the villain is also predictable up-to an extent, and we almost know most of the things that are going to happen before they do. May be the kids, and those who are new to the genre might not guess that well, but it is so. The usual things that happen include the loss of a loved one, revenge, team of superheroes and a big villain which is the setup too many movies that we have known in this genre. The humour is also not as good as some other animated movies in comparison, and the 3D not that much up-to the mark. Too many movies with similar factors have happened, and our hero with his robot is a lot like another hero with his dragon, and that also happened this year for the second time. May be the villain also could have taken up a better characterization and backstory?

Soul exploration :: Big Hero 6 is not better than Frozen, and it is a clear fact, expect for some irritating fan-boys and girls saying that it is so without any particular reason. It is not better than Mr. Peabody and Sherman which is the best animated movie of 2014 as it stands now, and stands below many other animated titles. But we cannot deny the emotional power of this movie, and its message of friendship and brotherhood, and the call to use one’s skills and abilities for others. The fact remains that the one non-human character in the movie, the robot is the one who spreads all these messages and by influencing the humans around it to heal and not to hurt, that brings out the truth that humans always need someone else to tell them what is right and what is wrong, as they are too much affected by the bad emotions and not that much by the right ones. Yes, this robot is one positive role-model for everyone, and the other movie at the theatres now, Interstellar has none even as it is superior in many ways. May be it is time to get a Baymax robot action figure for a change – we have had too many transforming robots already!

How it finishes :: Big Hero 6 has been the surprise package of the weekend while Interstellar is just doing as it was expected to perform, and there are even some who had expected a lot more from that movie – Christpher Nolan is that kind of person. But our movie is the silent assassin here, coming up our of nowhere and making the impact, overtaking the expectations associated with it. What works against Interstellar is that none of the common man group has gone to space and there is no real idea about how it is, or if anybody has actually gone there or if it is just a conspiracy theory. So when in a science fiction, if science completely devours fiction, there will be a problem for people. If it had dealt with what actually happens with human lives, things would have been direct, but otherwise there was the need to make it less complicated. It is not bad to have things complicated, but it has alienated the family audience here, and that section has been taken over by Big Hero 6 which has one robot with better emotional connection than the whole cast of Interstellar combined, including that of the third rate ghost-contacting father-hating daughter.

Release date: 7th November 2014
Running time: 105 minutes
Directed by: Don Hall, Chris Williams
Starring (voice): Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney, T. J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Génesis Rodríguez, Damon Wayans Jr, Maya Rudolph, Stan Lee, James Cromwell

bighero6

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Sin City II

sincity2 (1)

Vampire Owl :: Didn’t this release long ago?

Vampire Bat :: No, there was a delay. I think the Indian censor board was concentrating heavily on this for many days, and they have finally managed to cut a lot of this movie and released it last Friday.

Vampire Owl :: They waited all these days to release this on Onam?

Vampire Bat :: Yes, as Onam has colourful flowers, they would balance it with this colourless movie.

Vampire Owl :: I wonder how much they would have cut.

Vampire Bat :: I would guess, half of it. They have very good scissors, and from what they have been doing, I shall not dare to doubt their skills.

Vampire Owl :: So, they want us to watch this movie on the computer, right?

Vampire Bat :: That should be the reason. Otherwise, I see no reason why they cut too much and still give a movie the adult rating. May be they can have a 21+ and 25+ rating for the movies too.

Vampire Owl :: My question is about that dame for whom it is to kill. May be we can collect blood for her too.

Vampire Bat :: Lets watch this and find out about her then.

[Gets the ticket].

What is it about? :: Sin City 2 has three stories, all of the happening at the same place and having relation to each other. One is the tale of Johnny (Joseph Gordon Levitt) who beats Senator Roark (Powers Boothe) in game of cards and the loser is not really happy about it. The powerful man wishes to get back to Johnny and his new girlfriend Marcie (Julia Garner) for humiliating him in the game. At the same time, Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba) is seeking vengeance from the same man who had killed the man he loved. She lives an alcoholic life, being a bar dancer and at the same time, hoping to murder the evil man. The third story has Dwight McCarthy (Josh Broslin) attempting to free his former lover Ava Lord (Eva Green) who seems to be in a terrible relationship with her husband. In the middle of all these, there is Marv (Mickey Rourke) who seems to be part of the whole thing like the blood is to the veins. As things happen in Sin City, there will be blood, death and more vengeance.

The defence of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For :: This sequel should be a much awaited one for the fans, and it is nice to have one after nine years after the first adaptation of Frank Miller’s comics on the big screen. This was even a longer wait than one had to do for 300, and as some people might have forgotten about the same, a few others might have been still eagerly waiting. The return of the franchise is with a more powerful cast, even as Bruce Willis’ presence is minute. The style of the original continues in this movie, as there is lot of violence even as most of them are not really shown directly on the screen (can’t comment that much on the sex and violence and the censor board has been working its scissors so well with this one). The colourless world and the slight infiltration of the colours that we see in this movie, is something that I like a lot. There is a visual beauty in this absence of colours and the sudden appearance of some of it at certain point, catching our attention; may be its nostalgia or the love for such variation, for I am not sure.

The claws of flaw :: I haven’t watched the first movie of the franchise, but it seems that the original was better, as said by a number of people I know. There are problems in the story for sure, at moves on without any aim, and the inter-linking is not that awesome as one would think that it would be. There is the way in which it is presented, and the absence of colours might not be good for most of the regular viewers, and I could feel that in the theatre. The movie also dares to slow down, and at the same time not give enough for the viewers to ponder about. The action could have been nicer too, and the protagonists should have had more to do rather than moving along in predictable lines. At the end of the movie, one ends up wondering if he or she has got enough of the idea behind this movie, or did most of it go with the scissors of the censor board – it is clear that they have cut again and again in this movie, and the same has affected and disfigured this movie further at this part of the world. May be this can work better without those scenes cut, but can’t say that now.

Performers of the soul :: One can only accept that he loved Eva Green on the screen like no other. She is sensational as well as sensuous on the screen as the woman who seems to be at the centre of Sin City, creating enough to make that name sound truer as well as better for the human ear, for she was that good there. She is a wonder case of twisted evil here, and as Powers Boothe is excellent also a powerful villain, Eva takes over in a more serene manner. Jessica Alba was also impressive, but her score is more with her stunning looks and expressions rather than the rest. Mickey Rourke is perfect fit for this role, and one ends up clapping for him more than any other. Josh Brolin is also very good, and one has to admit that he is also a nice one for this movie. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is okay, but that story had nothing much. Rosario Dawson and Jamie Chung looked not that much needed for the tale. Bruce Willis wanders around as a ghost, for which there is no appropriate reason. Among the rest, I would vote for Juno Temple, even though it was rather a small presence.

Soul exploration :: Sin City 2 successfully creates its world, the monstrous city of sin and crime. The images and the colours that it uses catches our attention well, and helps us to relate well with the crime universe which exists inside the movie, and this time it is in 3D. There is too much evil going on in this movie, and the mood for the same is nicely created, the feeling is that we are really watching a very dangerous and crime infested place. It is a world to be transported into, and if you don’t want to feel that the same, it is to be avoided. There is a certain amount of admiration required for this genre as well as the action movies as a whole, and otherwise you might not want to watch this. It might be easy to choose not to watch this one if you prefer the Bollywood masala movies full of colour and music. You needn’t watch this movie if you didn’t like the first movie either. I have known many people expecting something else and watching this movie, not really liking it. I would say that you have to know what you are going to watch on the screen.

How it finishes :: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For becomes that comic on screen like not many movies have achieved before except for may be its prequel, but I haven’t watched that yet. You can watch this movie just for its variety in style and the cast, especially Eva Green, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke and Josh Brolin. It is not often that you will manage to watch such a movie, and considering the reactions and the box-office collections of this movie, as well as situation at the theatre, I would wonder if such a movie will set foot at this part of the world. There is the need for colour in this part of the world, and especially this is that week of Onam which demands colourful flowers, but this is more of a black and white movie with slight colours in between. One has to wonder if anyone other than me would watch a non-Malayalam movie for Onam; even I doubted the same myself, but decided to go for this one as timing of the show as well as the situation was more suitable for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

Release date: 5th September 2014 (India); 22nd August 2014 (US)
Running time: 102 minutes
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller
Starring: Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Eva Green, Jaime King, Jamie Chung, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Juno Temple, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysbert, Ray Liotta, Christopher Lloyd, Jeremy Piven, Christopher Meloni, Alexa Vega, Julia Garner, Lady Gaga, Marton Csokas, Jude Ciccolella, Crystal McCahill

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Hangover III

hangover3 (5)

There was the age of the wolf-pack, with its own lone wolf with a beard. They have extended that age so much that the first movie had to suffer the consequences of getting the bad name of not inspiring worthy enough sequels. No, the sequels are not that horrible, but they are just faded visions of what the original was, and considering what Dude, Where’s My Car? happened to be, and the memory loss being shown in an even better way before the series, these two sequels struggle to keep up with them. Well, stupidity might save one or two movies, and the same theme which doesn’t have that much chance of repetition can’t be that much of a saviour, but as long as this part is concerned, it has just managed to make it interesting enough. It surely trails in comparison to the other Hollywood movies in the theatres right now, but it has surely made it into the good movies list, and the moments when it was going to go down can be forgiven. It has fought hard, and it has made sure that it won’t lose. As most of the shows are now already nearly booked and full around here, I guess it will have a good run here.

Welcome the wolf-pack again, for this should be their final battle in the big screen together in a Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2, “it ends” style unless they decide to expand the triology many years later or create a spin-off or a reboot; Bradley Cooper as Phil Wenneck (the unproclaimed, but still the seeming leader of the lost wolf gang), Ed Helms as Dr. Stuart Price (the dentist-doctor with a gorgeous Thai connection) a.k.a Stu, Zach Galifianakis as Alan Garner (former member of a lone wolf-pack) and Justin Bartha as Doug Billings (the man lost and found in Las Vegas and to be lost again). Well, they surely must have had a death wish, not only in the movie, but also outside, as they were on a battle against Fast & Furious 6 which had already accumulated enough people to watch the movie with its first trailer itself. There were people who forgot everything else just for that one racing-action-adventure movie, and unfortunately, this movie doesn’t create that high an impression, and it also fails to invoke curiosity, thanks to the second installment of the series which preceded this. But the gang is still up for a fight, and they will surely win territories especially because the Vin Diesel starrer was released one week earlier at this part of the world.

After being arrested in Bangkok, Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) escapes from prison through a tunnel he made in the The Shawshank Redemption style using a prison riot as cover. Meanwhile, Alan Garner (Zach Galifianakis) has gotten mentally worse and tries buying a giraffe as a friend but it gets beheaded under a bridge causing a Final Destination 2 situation on the highway minus the horrible deaths. His father is shocked and angry at him and dies of a heart attack. After the funeral, Alan’s old friends Phil Wenneck (Bradley Cooper), Doug Billings (Justin Bartha) and Stuart Price (Ed Helms) make a return to find out that he is kind of out of control and decides to get him to rehabilitation centre. But they are captured by Marshall (John Goodman) and asks them to return the gold Chow had stolen from them, along with the robber himself, as Alan was the only one in contact with him through letters to and from the Thai prison. He also keeps Doug as a prisoner so that they won’t stray away from their path. Now they have three days to find the person or their friend dies, an equation which is simple enough.

Alan has an e-mail from Chow talking about them meeting in the city of Tijuana in Mexico. Stu and Phil attempt to drug Chow and capture him, but when he finds it out, they reveal to him about the deal with Marshall and the need to save Doug. Chow agrees to take the gold back to the man, but it is stored in the walls of the basement of a Mexican villa that he used to own before he was captured by the police. Stu, Alan and Phil goes on the robbery mission with Chow and successfully find and take out the gold from inside the walls. But Chow cheats them, as he locks them down in the basement, alerts the security, and escapes with Phil’s own vehicle. They are arrested, but are surprised when they are taken back to the house from where the stole the money. There they meet Marshall again who tells them that Chow had lied to them amd the villa never belonged to him, and the gold which they were stealing belonged to Marshall. But he gives them another chance, as they already found Chow and they might be the only ones who might know where to look for him. So the wolf-pack is out there again, this time with less clues.

One thing that might be clearer than most of the things out there must be the fact that there is no real hangover in this one and therefore the title is of lesser significance and this one belonging to the series is more of a less suitable thing. But still, arguing that this movie is the result of two hangovers that happened earlier, and mostly the first one, this is that part of the series which is an extension. It has both the first and the second parts in it, and it tries to build on those two, and without them, this movie is absolute nothingness. The movie successfully deviates from the original formula, but that has done not much good, except for bringing a little dark shade associated with what was otherwise good fun. This dark side is rather an eclipse and with it should this movie series end, as it is known. But they have given themselves a scope for another movie with that end, and it is not a good sign. It should have ended with the scene before the closing credits, but it chose to bring a hangover element to this movie after it had successfully finished. That was one of the worst things ever, as a happy ending which is really an end, would have done this series a lot of good. Now someone might think about building on it and make it miserable without knowing that all good things must end well.

There is lot of fun, but it should still be considered as a lazy effort, with nothing special to offer, and what it has done is that it has alienated the common viewers who loved it even further more. The essence of losing one person has been kept in there though, as one person is destined to be lost in every movie of the series, and this time, it is again Doug which gets his “I am lost, please find me” score to two out of three, which is very good as he has much less to do even as an important member of the wolf-pack. There is too much of Chow instead, which is surely funny, but at times it does get irritating. The most laughter-deriving character is still that of Alan, and there is nothing changing that this time too. For the Malayalam movie watchers, there is a little bit of Jagadish from In Harihar Nagar in Alan this time, and it can be identified by the way in which he cries with no reason. 2 Harihar Nagar and In Ghost House Inn had made better sequels in Malayalam, but this one doesn’t do that much good to the original. The lack of innovation haunts this movie in its soul and the jokes might not be enough for all.

Behold the negative reviews though, for how much can something go on with a group of alcoholic drug addicts who mess up things because of their own fault only. The repetition always have its limitations, and the lack of repetition leads to a diversion from what made this series a grand success; such is the confusion and thus the complication. There is a limit to what drugs and alcohol can achieve, even in the movies. With the signs, “Alcohol is injurious to Health”, “Smoking is Injurious to Health” and “Drugs Kill”, the movie might have been against the use of the drugs which started all the trouble in the first place, but in many ways, it also glorifies the same, just as the Malayalam movie Spirit glorifies alcohol consumption throughout the first half. The comparison is surely far-fetched, but when you deconstruct them, there is a seventy five percent chance that you come up with the same conclusion once in a while. As this is an R-rated comedy, one has to wonder how much the censor board has cut just to make it adjustable to this world. One has to wait for the DVD to know exactly how much of the movie has gone to the grave, never seen by the people of this part of the world. Still, this time it looks less cut and that is a surprise!

Release date: 31st May 2013 (India), 23rd May 2013 (USA)
Running time: 100 minutes
Directed by: Todd Phillips
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, Heather Graham, Jeffrey Tambor, Justin Bartha, John Goodman, Jamie Chung, Lela Loren

hangover3 copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.