Venom

Vampire Owl: This creature is known to me from a long time ago.

Vampire Bat: Which one exactly are you talking about?

Vampire Owl: The one with the twisted tongue and bad teeth, coloured black or really dark grey.

Vampire Bat: That was a creature summoned by the Northern Witches. This is an alien we have here.

Vampire Owl: I don’t think that the creatures among these are less alien.

Vampire Bat: The portal to other dimensions is closed now, and so I don’t think that there is the need to discuss this matter.

Vampire Owl: Well, I had this vision. The portal is no more in ruins.

Vampire Bat: You have no gift of dream vision!

Vampire Owl: Well, there is one that goes with the nightmare visions.

Vampire Bat: You will need to prove it after watching this movie.

[Gets three cups of cardamom tea with Tiger Biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: A bio-engineering corporation known as Life Foundation has been sending probes into space, as it would stop at nothing to find the unknown. There is something sinister about the organization and its CEO Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), who is known to be a man of mysteries with many allegations related to human rights violation made about him. He is still one of the richest and the most powerful men in the nation though, who tries to keep a clean image in more than one way. It is during those times that one of the corporation’s probe finds something which it cannot control. With four symbiotic life forms, it crashes in the remote area of Malaysia, and one of the symbiotes known as Riot escapes to the wilderness, possessing different people at different times, as it made its way towards the Head Quarters of the Life Foundation, leaving a trail of dead bodies.

So, what happens next? :: The three remaining symbiotes are transported to San Francisco, where the Head Quarters and the main research facility of the corporation are located. There, Carlton goes on to remake the human body with a combination of the two, as the creatures can’t live without human support and he believes that it could make humanity better. But he finds out that it resists and kills the human host on most occasion, and this process known as symbiosis is really difficult to achieve. Meanwhile, investigative journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) reads about these human trials in a classified document which is with his lover and fiancee, Anne Weying (Michelle Williams) who is a lawyer. He confronts Carlton regarding the same, and he is fired from his job. At the same time, Anne is also terminated from her job for leaking classified information, and there, the relationship between the two ends.

And, what is to follow next in the adventure? :: Wandering in the streets without doing anything substantial, Eddie is approached by a Life Foundation scientist Dora Skirth (Jenny Slate) who reveals the the horrors that have been happening in the research facility of the corporation, and asks him to do something about it. He is initialliy reluctant as he is no longer a journalist, and feels that he doesn’t have enough resources to expose him. He asks her to contact the police or someone with high influence, but she is not someone who would give up that easily. Finally, he decides to break into the facility with her help, and find clues to how the illegal activities are going on there. There he tries to help Maria (Melora Walters), a homeless woman who is one of the subjects, and has a symbiote inside her. The result is that the symbiote which identifies as Venom gets into him, and everything begins to change.

The defence of Venom :: Venom is the anti-hero that rises to the occasion yet again – without the silliness of Deadpool, this one opposite to Spider-Man is certainly the better anti-hero compared to Wolverine’s opponent in his origins story. Our hero of Mad Max: Fury Road, Tom Hardy is no stranger to the chaos which can be seen on the big screen. The Dark Knight Rises had him bringing chaos as Bane, and here we have the internal chaos at work. Michelle Williams is a fine addition too, and she even gets to become the Lady Venom herself – that was one of the best moments in the movie. There is also the big symbiotic fight by the end of the movie, and by that time, we already had some big fights in between with Venom taking over and fighting through the mortals of Planet Earth with ease. Riz Ahmed makes a fine villain, a controlled one at the same time too.

The claws of flaw :: It is to be noted that Venom doesn’t maintain the same pace throughout the movie, even though it could have easily done that with Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams around. The symbiotes are worth more than this, as more experiments could have made the whole setup darker even while keeping the lighter side there. The beginning of the movie could have been better too. You see how well the other Marvel characters have turned out to be with their solo movies – Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Ant-Man, Thor – all have had their appreciation, and Venom had to stand out to reach that level, considering the fact that it came later. We would have always wanted more of Lady Venom, which is special in its own way. Maybe, a sequel could do the trick by adding more of this creature, and could focus further in a world unknown too.

How it finishes :: Venom doesn’t just manage to be better than the other anti-hero Deadpool, but it also proves to be better than its own nemesis Spider-Man in Spider-Man Homecoming. Compared to a matured Venom, those two are not of much significance. The team of the host and the parasite makes a lot of fun in store, as this one should defeat the new Spider-Man at some point, and bring another reboot with our older Spider-Man movies. It is the next level of hope that we all have. Until then, enjoy Venom as the two personalities in one, half-alien, half-earthling, and with Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams who power the same. Marvel continues its winning run, and whatever they make, seems to be of more significance than those made by anyone else. At the same time, one can keep wondering about the possibility of having Venom with the Avengers – can’t they let this alien save the world in a big way too?

Release date: 5th October 2018
Running time: 112 minutes
Directed by: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate, Melora Walters, Chris O’Hara, Sam Medina, Sope Aluko, Scott Deckert, Marcella Bragio, Michelle Lee, Mac Brandt, Christian Convery, Ron Cephas Jones

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Lego Batman Movie

Vampire Owl: Are you sure that he is not your relative who left home many years ago?

Vampire Bat: No, Batman is not related to any of us. You can refer to any vampire code.

Vampire Owl: But bat is still the most popular thing in vampire mythology, and might link to all of us.

Vampire Bat: And Batman is the most popular superhero, thanks to Christopher Nolan.

Vampire Owl: I am rather surprised by the same. I had thought that humans never really liked the bats.

Vampire Bat: They are really not fond of the owls either.

Vampire Owl: It is their loss not to like the owls. I even have plans to save humans from extinction.

Vampire Bat: But your plans have always been about taking over the world.

Vampire Owl: Taking over the world is very significant as a part of saving the world.

Vampire Bat: Batman surely won’t like that.

[Gets three cups of black tea with a piece of marble cake].

What is the movie about? :: From the usual DC universe, we are taken to the Lego universe, where Batman (Will Arnett) continues to fight crime like no other, in the Gotham City, something which he seems to have been doing for an eternity and more to come. The caped crusader remains the city’s last hope against a large group of villains including the menacing king of them all, the Joker (Zach Galifianakis), his love interest and most faithful follower Harley Quinn (Jenny Slate), and the rest of them – a list having Two-Face (Billy Dee Williams), Poison Ivy (Riki Lindhome), Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Penguin (John Venzon), Killer Croc (Matt Villa), The Riddler (Conan O’Brien), Bane (Doug Benson), Mr. Freeze (David Burrows), Scarecrow (Jason Mantzoukas) and Clayface (Kate Micucci) among others. Batman also remains Gotham’s most loved figure, even though he doesn’t have a social life otherwise.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: During one of the Joker’s master-plans including a group of Gotham’s master-criminals, he faces Batman talking about himself as Batman’s greatest opponent of all-time, without whom the man with the bat symbol would have no purpose. He tells Batman that he is the reason why Gotham’s favourite superhero has to wake up every morning and be what he has been for many years. Having given the difficult option of catching him or saving the city, Batman chooses to let him go without second thoughts, telling him that he is not important, and even Superman (Channing Tatum) is more interesting than him. With his feelings hurt being not even as important as an alien who can’t be a bad guy, Joker decides to have the ultimate revenge on Batman, and make him as well as everyone in the city understand how significant a villain he is.

And what follows the same in the movie? :: Meanwhile, Batman leads a boring life as Bruce Wayne, having only his butler Alfred Pennyworth (Ralph Fiennes) as the one close to him. His only other big friend is the Batcomputer (Siri), and he spends his lonely time in the Batcave, doing everything by himself. Later, the city is having the programme of retirement of Commissioner Gordon (Héctor Elizondo) and the ascension of his daughter Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) as the new police commissioner of Gotham City. There, Barbara plans to have the police do the work, and not the vigilante Batman who hasn’t been that much successful as expected. It is then, that Joker also comes in with most of the other criminals, and they all surrender, leaving Batman with nothing to fight for. But both Batman and Barbara are doubtful about Joker’s real intention. What would that be?

The defence of The Lego Batman Movie :: The movie clearly follows the path of The Lego Movie, and the feeling of the same is maintained in this one. This also manages to be slightly better than the original movie. The jokes are very much working right from the beginning, and most of them nicely make fun of the superhero movies, especially Batman and Superman with those super-villains. It does manage to take the elements of a superhero movie, and nicely use them in the tale to create the humour. There are also villains from outside the DC, including Lord Voldemort, Sauron, King Kong, Witch of the West and Agent Smith. We can also consider this one was a sarcastic take on how the superhero movies are made, and how the characters are created in them. Batman’s attitude towards Superman, as well as to Iron Man, all becomes part of the fun, as the tale is rather re-written here, and this is also one of the best depictions of Batman and Joker relationship, even though funny.

The claws of flaw :: This one doesn’t become your usual animated movie, if you look at it closely. It can’t be associated with the beauty of the animated movies which have ruled our minds, like Moana, Zootopia, Frozen, Inside Out, Rise of the Guardians or anything similar. All jokes don’t come strong either. There will always be people who don’t like this kind of animation, and also those considering Batman as something bigger than everything else, who will find parody done in a cruel way when they look at this one. There is also quite a slow middle part for this one, and the childish ways also follow this movie. There is a certain exaggeration which is also there as we look further into each character. Also in the end, except for Batman, nobody else has really changed, which makes this movie something about him and him only, as the character talks about all the time. This could have surely been wider with its message, and also more focused on the world.

How it finishes :: There are a few lessons which the DC Extended Universe can take from this movie too, and can apply when they come up with another movie in the franchise. Even though The Lego Movie was a good movie without doubt, we have a pleasant surprise here as this movie manages to come up as a fine spin-off to the same. There are so many moments that will remain in your mind to come back again when watching a superhero movie again, like Batman keeping the password for his computer as “Iron Man sucks”, the never-ending hate between Batman and Joker, the strange friendship or the lack of the same between Batman and Superman, and many other things. We could have had many superheroes about whom a spin-off from The Lego Movie could have made, but it is about Batman because after The Dark Knight franchise, everything had deviated in his way, and most of the fans will find it easy to say that Iron Man sucks for Batman – even the coming of Wonder Woman won’t change much – Batman will always be Batman, and as the movie asks, we can only be ourselves, as we can’t be Batman.

Release date: 10th February 2017
Running time: 104 minutes
Directed by: Chris McKay
Starring: Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Jenny Slate, Siri, Héctor Elizondo, Lauren White, Mariah Carey, Eddie Izzard, Seth Green, Jemaine Clement, Billy Dee Williams, Riki Lindhome, Conan O’Brien, Jason Mantzoukas, Zoë Kravitz, Kate Micucci, Doug Benson, David Burrows, Matt Villa, John Venzon, Laura Kightlinger, Todd Hansen, Chris McKay, Richard Cheese, Channing Tatum, Ellie Kemper, Jonah Hill, Adam DeVine, Brent Musburger, Ralph Garman, Chris Hardwick

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Despicable Me 3

Vampire Owl: I would like to use this particular title for myself too.

Vampire Bat: Why do you want to be called the vampire deserving hatred and contempt?

Vampire Owl: Because I am going to take over the world.

Vampire Bat: You have had that thought since you became a vampire apprentice for the first time. It is not real.

Vampire Owl: Doctor Frankenstein has always believed in alternate realities.

Vampire Bat: But you don’t believe in Mr. Frankenstein.

Vampire Owl: He is just not part of my reality. But his methods surely are.

Vampire Bat: You cannot pretend to put things into different realities, and speak as if you are from one reality in which is independent of the others when all of these is just one reality.

Vampire Owl: Do you know that with regular practice and with finding inner peace, we can create our own realities with our minds?

Vampire Bat: This is exactly why I feel that zombies without brains are awesome.

[Gets the tickets with masala tea and caramel popcorn].

What is the movie about? :: Felonious Gru (Steve Carell) is spending some nice time as a secret agent of the anti-villain league along with his newfound love, Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) who is also trying hard to be a loving mother to the three adopted kids, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Nev Scharrel). Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), a supervillain obsessed with the television character that he played, has become Gru’s biggest opponent, and even evades him and Lucy on so many occasions. After the last encounter between the two, Gru and Lucy end up being fired from the league by the new chief of the league. Now left without any job, the minions led by Mel (Pierre Coffin) wishes for him to go evil again, so that they will all have something to do. But Gru doesn’t want go back to be the villain again as it would be against all he had hoped for, and so the minions just decide to quit, except for two.

So, what happens next? :: Meanwhile, Balthazar continues to have more and more success with his evil plans, stealing world’s most precious diamond without even having to think twice about it. It is during those times that Gru comes to know that he has a twin brother named Dru (again Steve Carell), who seems to be rather a successful businessman with his pig farms. They had separated when they were kids, as Gru was taken by his mother and Dru by his father, both not knowing about each other until now. When it is revealed, Dru does invite Gru and his family to his special place, where they are given a grand welcome. With golden hair on the head and being a more cheerful and successful man, Dru does make Gru jealous, but it is not the visit is more about. Dru reveals that Gru has always been a role-model in the form of a master villain, even with his failures – he claims that it is Gru who has kept the family tradition going.

And, what is to follow next in the adventure? :: Meanwhile, minions end up in prison, and come up with some special plans to get back with Gru due to the nostalgia keeping on troubling them. Dru wants Gru to go back to crime with him, as he feels that both of them could get the family crime legacy to the next level. Gru who is now married to his love and being the father of three adopted children, doesn’t really want to do the same, but wants to get even with Balthazar. He plans to get the diamond from the criminal, and get it to the anti-villain league along with the villain himself, so that he could find him and his wife back in the job. But his brother is interested in this because they could get their hands on the most valuable diamond in the world, and the heist would thus go down in history. But our evil villain does have other plans starting from Hollywood, and going on for mass destruction. Will Gru be able to stop him this time?

The defence of Despicable Me 3:: There is the focus on laughter here, and attempts are regularly made at the same. With the attempt to bring in more action sequences, and situations made for comedy, we are surely seeing an entertainment which finishes without taking that much of our time. It also leaves things open in the end which means that we can have something to go for with a fourth movie which will be something better if good imagination gets the right inspiration. Minions, even though out of the main tale, making almost no impact, are still fun to watch – there are some rare cases here that has repetition being fun. The kids are surely going to love this one a lot – there is no reason why they shouldn’t, as silliness is written again and again on screen with this movie around. Everyone from that age really wants to be Gru or at least with him in an animated world full of action and minions, don’t they? Well, be there early as this one released in India before it did in the United States of America.

The claws of flaw :: Well, Despicable Me 3 is just too childish – surely more childish than the first movie as well as Despicable Me 2. There is almost no thinking regarding the story-line here, as we get to know that quite early. We see not much happening here, and even the usual messages are not present. With what seems to be a random mixture of things, the emotional side is rather lost, something which can be rather catastrophic of an animated movie – the kids have almost no significance in the tale along with the minions who are just there for the laughter, and there are the two brothers whose story just seemed to have been brought for the sake of the adventure, and there is the villain who seems to have the appeal rather too much on the kids rather than anyone else. You would also realise that there have been two movies before this and a spin-off, and a better result still evades the makers and the fans alike. 3D is also not that much of a difference maker.

How it finishes :: Well, Despicable Me 3 is fun for sure, even though it seems to trail behind Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 without even trying well enough to make much of an impact. Maybe, everyone have already felt that this franchise is in an eternal safe zone, like Ice Age, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda series might have been thinking already. But, if we compare the number of screens and the number of viewers for Cars 3 and this one, it is clear that safe zone is slowly and steadily becoming a myth – there are always new movies which are not sequels made out of special creativity, like Moana, Zootopia, Frozen and Inside Out, ready to conquer the animated area. They will surely have to put the extra effort for the next movie, if people are going to continue believing in the same – this will work as of now with its comic side and how good it looks on the screen, but an animated movie is going to require more than that in order to have a long and better run.

Release date: 16th June 2017 (India); 30th June 2017 (USA)
Running time: 89 minutes
Directed by: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Nev Scharrel, Steve Coogan, Julie Andrews, Jenny Slate, Pierre Coffin

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Secret Life of Pets

Vampire Owl: I told you that they had secrets, very dangerous ones.

Vampire Bat: Who are you talking about here?

Vampire Owl: The pets. The minions. The zombies. They all have such secret lives.

Vampire Bat: Actually, this movie is not about your theory of animals stealing your writings. It never really happened, and is just a vampire conspiracy theory.

Vampire Owl: What? No! I know that they are having evil plans against us.

Vampire Bat: How can you look forward to big evil plans in an animated movie?

Vampire Owl: Animated evil is still evil, and it can also be brutal.

Vampire Bat: This one even won 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards.

Vampire Owl: Then I will look for the same in another evil animated movie.

Vampire Bat: Okay, just leave this one as a simple animated movie for now.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with a blueberry cake piece].

What is the movie about? :: A Jack Russell Terrier named Max (Louis CK) is living happily with his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper) in an apartment in the city. He wishes to spend most of his time with her, but she has to go to work. After Katie leaves, he spends his time with other pets who also live in the same building: a fat, apathetic and proud cat Chloe (Lake Bell), a smart and always excited pug Mel (Bobby Moynihan), a happy and easy-going dachshund Buddy (Hannibal Buress), and also a parrot Sweetpea. There are also other two significant pets, Norman (Chris Renaud), a guinea pig who keeps losing his way in the apartment, and Gidget (Jenny Slate), a white Pomeranian dog on the opposite apartment having a desperate crush on Max, but haven’t been able to tell him that due to fear of rejection. All the pets socialise and lead a different life after their owners leave.

So, what happens next? :: As things go like this without anything new or special happening with their lives, Katie adopts Duke (Eric Stonestreet), a large mongrel from the dog pound. This leaves Max jealous about having to share his house and also his belongings with someone new. Despite Duke’s repeated attempts to make a deal to share things, Max doesn’t agree and claims everything for himself. He even attempts to make Max look bad in front of Katie even though she has decided to share her love between the two. Angry at Max’s attitude towards him, Duke tries to teach him a lesson outside, but they are both a group of stray cats who remove their collars and leave them on the streets to be caught by Animal Control. Max is desperate to get home again, while Duke is afraid that he will be put down if he goes back to the dog pound.

And then how do things go from there? :: But things don’t end there for them as help is on the way. There is Snowball (Kevin Hart), a white rabbit who leads a rebel group of pets who were mistreated and disowned by their owners. Max and Duke are saved, and they go with anti-domestication gang into the sewers, hoping to find their way back home one day. There are tales of cruelty from humans against the pets told by the members of the group, and hatred runs wild against the human species. As Max and Duke also pretend to hate humans, and even claim to have killed one, Snowball invites them to join the group. But their earlier enemies, the stray cats come in and tell the truth, and they escape, but not without Snowball on their trail vowing to kill them as they had ended up accidentally killing their holy viper. So, the question remains if they can save themselves, or even their old friends find them and save them before Snowball gets his hands on them?

The defence of The Secret Life of Pets :: The movie nicely takes on the other world, leading us through the imaginary space that our pets consider theirs. The voice cast is very much suitable, and there is lot of fun in store in this one. The kids are going to love this one, as already proven with Kids’ Choice Awards, and the people with pets will love it even more. This will appeal the most to the owners of dogs, but the rest also gets their due. There is the message of adjusting to the situations and also to consider the feelings of others, keeping family and friends close to each other. It also tells the owners of animals and birds to be nice to them, and to keep them close and provide the needed, as they are required to be. Well, we get to associate with more pets than we think we will have to; and The Secret Life of Pets will come into the mind more than once. The whole thing remain cute, even with the talks of murdering others.

The claws of flaw :: There are times when The Secret Life of Pets gives that feeling that we have known and seen this before; there are also moments of predictability and repetition, something that the animated movies have struggled so hard to avoid. There will no new level of animated awesomeness to be set here, and this one surely trails in front of the two big animated movies of the year, Moana and Zootopia or the earlier big one, Inside Out. The movie also focuses on the dog’s side, and it is no surprise with the number of people who have or feel the need to have the dog rather than any other. But a tale about pets like this one could have had more of the cats, and hopefully the sequel will have the same. It is a need, and with this stereotyping that has been going on and on with cats and dogs, maybe there will be a day on which all these things will turn the other way around – it is that day which will have the best of movies of this kind, and we hope that it is The Secret Life of Pets 2 that we can talk about like that.

How it finishes :: With the sequel coming up in the year 2019, what the makers need to realise is that a movie like The Secret Life of Pets doesn’t need to focus that much on making people laugh, because it is funny – maybe some divergence is what the second movie of this series should be having. There is no doubt about the box-office too with this one becoming the highest grossing original animated movie which is not produced by Disney or Pixar, and The Secret Life of Pets is also the the sixth highest grossing film of 2016. It is even above the much hyped movies like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Deadpool, Suicide Squad and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. So, the first movie is a winner in so many ways, and what we will need to have is something different and special in the second one, thus maybe even going on to win the Academy Awards for the Best Animated Feature Film – even that much can be done with this material.

Release date: 8th July 2016
Running time: 87 minutes
Directed by: Chris Renaud
Starring: Louis CK, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Steve Coogan, Albert Brooks, Chris Renaud, Michael Beattie, Sandra Echeverría, Kiely Renaud

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Zootopia

Vampire Owl: And, here is our Academy Award Winner of the year, Zootopia.

Vampire Bat: It also won the Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice Movie Award and Annie Award for the Best Animated Feature Film.

Vampire Owl: I see that it had also received a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film.

Vampire Bat: But I still thought that Moana would get the award.

Vampire Owl: So did I, with The Rock also there for our entertainment.

Vampire Bat: The movies that we like the most rarely gets the award, does it?

Vampire Owl: Yes, I remember such occasions a lot.

Vampire Bat: Maybe we should get the chance to recommend a few ourselves.

Vampire Owl: We need the Vampire Academy Awards as soon as possible.

Vampire Bat: Still, I don’t think that there is that much of a difference between the Oscar nominated and won movies.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with sweet porotta].

What is the movie about? :: We are introduced to a world in which different kinds of animals thrive, as they live together without considering the differences that their species bring. The lifestyle is more like humans, and they are separated by their species and cuisines like we are by all those things beginning with race, there is a clear reflection of human life. The centre of all these is the place where everyone wishes to live in, the mega city of Zootopia where there is the chance for everyone to be what they want to be, and have a good life. So it is quite natural for a lot of animals to choose to go to this city and try their luck, as it is with many human cities. It is due to the same reason that a rabbit from a village called Bunnyburrow, Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) wishes to become a police officer in the city. But it is not that easy, because it is not a usual job for the rabbits.

So, what happens next? :: But Judy does manage to become a police officer, even though her father Stu Hopps (Don Lake) and her mother Bonnie Hopps (Bonnie Hunt) doesn’t believe that she can perform well enough. They believe that she will come back to her some day, and save herself from the dangerous criminal world. With every other person in the police department being a strong mammal, Chief Bogo (Idris Elba) doubts the abilities of her as a rabbit, and puts her in parking duty – her parents like it, but she doesn’t, as she performed so well during her training, and wanted to prove herself. But with other animals being bigger in size and strength, like buffaloes, leopards, tigers, lions along with others, it was always going to be a tough task for her to prove something physically. But she decides that she will prove everyone wrong.

What is to follow now? :: As she leaves the parking duty to arrest a thief Duke Weaselton (Alan Tudyk), Bogo is furious about her. As she even volunteers to solve a case related to Mrs. Otterton (Octavia Spencer) whose husband has gone missing, he decides that he will give the case to her, but she will have to quit if she fails to solve it. Dawn Bellwether (Jenny Slate) who is the assistant mayor of Zootopia, supports her, but she gets only forty eight hours to solve the case of this particular person and many other missing mammals. She makes a small-time con artist fox Nicholas P. Wilde (Jason Bateman) also join her, because he was the last one to see the missing person, and he also has many contacts in the city. Even though reluctant at first, he decides to join her in the end, and they go on a search deep into this problem – can they solve this or will Judy have to go back to her carrot farm in the village?

Zootopia as a tale with a fine core :: The movie has to be admired for how it uses its idea of different species to symbolise different people. There is difference in everyone whom we meet, and the idea of being different in many ways, is shown here too. It is up-to each one of us to go chasing that dream as a different person, and it is what everyone needs to do, no matter what problems come in between. At least the attempt has to be made here. The message against bullying is there, and we can also see that judging others is the worst thing that can be done against a person with an opinion on his own life. If someone wants to pursue something with all their hearts, the society just comes in between – what we want to do, we rarely gets to achieve; lets hope that Zootopia brings the inspiration for people who wish to be different with their lives.

What it says about the world :: Still, the other major idea in this movie is rather something which is so difficult to come true that it will work for almost nobody – you really can’t be anything that you want, and it is a fact; no matter how much one tries, he or she will be only become what the society wants them to be. There are so many people who are caught in this web from which there is no escape. We wonder why is the world so much interested in judging us, and eventually we fall into that trap. We are judged at home and we are further judged at the office if we have a job – we are judged by our relatives if we don’t have a job or are not married. The judgment is passed in such a way that we are good only for one thing, and people will rate us by what we earn – they will decide what we are capable of – it is a shameful thing, isn’t it?

How it finishes :: Zootopia is a movie that has so many messages in store, which makes this a movie for the adults as well as for the children. One has to wonder if this movie was preferred over the rest of the movies nominated for the Academy Awards due to the message against “racism” rather than the rest of the things including those nicely detailed characters and the extra messages that come into the picture – so, it got to follow Inside Out, Big Hero 6 and Frozen in that winning path. Everyone can hope to leave the theatres with questions as well as the messages that linger in the mind, and at the same time, with that feel-good effect. Well, the animated movies are the best whenever it comes to bringing some fine messages for the children and the adults alike. Zootopia follows the same path without giving its viewers a chance to complain, and there is a lot of fun in store without doubt.

Release date: 4th March 2016
Running time: 108 minutes
Directed by: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush (co-director)
Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Tommy Chong, J.K. Simmons, Octavia Spencer, Alan Tudyk, Shakira, Raymond S. Persi, Maurice LaMarche, Phil Johnston, John DiMaggio, Gita Reddy, Katie Lowes, Jesse Corti, Tom Lister Jr., Josh Dallas, Leah Latham, Rich Moore, Peter Mansbridge, Byron Howard, Jared Bush, Mark Smith, John Lavelle, Kristen Bell, Josie Trinidad

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Lorax

thelorax (5)

What is The Lorax? :: Here is a movie based on Dr. Seuss’ children’s book of the same name. Born as Theodor Seuss Geisel, Dr. Seuss has published fourty six books for children, and this one published in 1971 should be the most popular of them all. The book as well as the movie talks about the poor situation of the environment which humanity has brought on by themselves. There are significant differences between the book and the movie, and some might feel that there might have been a little bit too much deviation to suit the standards of Hollywood. But the fact remains that it has a strong message for the environment, something which has not been lost in the adaptation. So who is this guy known as The Lorax? Does he save the environment by making sure that the trees are not cut and the air and water are not polluted? Is he something like the male fairy of the forest of just another wood elf? Lets venture deep into the same.

What is it about? :: The movie begins with the story of Ted Wiggins, a twelve year old boy who lives in an artificial world. Surrounded by a destroyed environment, he lives in a walled city called Thneedville where everything is made of metals, platic or synthetics, and there is not even one tree which is real. There is a price for natural resources and clean air is difficult to get. Our kid wishes to impress a tree-loving young girl called Audrey by getting a real tree for her, but there is no such thing available. His grandmother tells him about Once-ler who can give him enough information about trees if can get that man fifteen cents, a nail, and a shell of a great-great-great grandfather snail. Even as the mayor of Thneedville, Aloysius O’Hare who sells bottled oxygen tries to keep him inside the walls, the boy sneaks out regularly in order to hear the story of the man who will only give him the tree after he finishes his tale. It turns out that the story is more of a history about the trees rather than anything else. Whatever it is, the boy needs his tree.

The story of Once-ler (You can choose to skip this one if you don’t need more details) :: The man who is hidden from the outside in her mostly destroyed cottage tells the story of a young man who left his family and reached the forest in order to make money. After cutting down the first tree, he meets the guardian of the forest, The Lorax. Even as Once-ler agrees not to cut another tree, but only to take what is needed from a living tree, his Thneed invention becomes a great success, and as his family members join him, there is a horrible attack on the trees with the mass production which needed big deforestation and the final destruction of the forest with not even one single tree left. As the air, water and land remains polluted and nothing left for him to do business with, his people abandons him and he is left with no hope. As all the animals and The Lorax leaves, he becomes a recluse living in an abandoned cottage. Now he needs to make amends for his action, but can he do it, or how will he do the same?

The defence of The Lorax :: I can’t remember a movie which has had this strong an environmental theme for a long time. It has the strong background of a brilliant work, and they have used it well to further strengthen the characters in the movie and make it more suitable for the current age. The looks of the characters are also appealing for the children. Its emphasis on saving the environment and its powerful assertion on the need to save the nature is impressive. As the world is slowly being taken over by the corporates who use the power of science to manipulate nature and create an artificial world out of nowhere, this has a powerful role to play. May be this can keep the newer generation of kids informed about the need to safeguard the world they live in. The preservation as well as the improvement of the natural environment should be taught in the early age itself rather than throwing scientific nonsense doing their brains. The movie can actually do a great job in the same.

The claws of flaw :: The movie surely deviates from the book, and its environmental concern is indeed a bit overdone. There are not many good tunes, and there is not enough fun with this one as compared to the other animated movies. There is a pervading dark tone around it, and the irony about the movie might be too much for an animated movie. It often losses its point as the life in the synthetic world is shown as perfect even in the natural destruction. There is also too much of the life in the artificial world which seems to justify itself without nature. Why does our hero want to grow a tree? Not to save the environment, but to impress a girl. The romantic subplots are getting more and more ridiculous these days, and I would hope that they can do without it whenever not needed. The environment is not part of our need to impress someone, it is the need of our life, not only of ours, but all life forms. It should stay with us forever rather than becoming an instrument to tell others that we did that, and we are awesome!

Nature’s sad loss :: Lets think about all these before we concentrate on sending rockets to Moon, Mars and everything that the scientists claim about. If we can’t save our planet which is moving more and more into chaos, what are we going to do about the future worlds were we live in? How can we even know that such a world exists without seeing them? We hear that they sent the rocket there, but how will we ever know that such things really happened – the plight of the common man who is set to believe everything, and can’t question where all the money disappears. Well, we have an environment to take care of right before our eyes. We can’t care about our habitat and our people; instead we look for a habitat in another world and also for lifeforms in another worlds. I have a lot of respect for the nations who would actually care about their citizens rather than go for space research. The lesser the betterment of other worlds, that much the better.

How it finishes :: With a villain who is almost like all the companies of the present who sells bottled water, and a selfish hero along with a former selfish hero, the movie has its flaws, but with its appealing animation and still powerful environmental message, the movie takes control. The biggest advantage might be that the kids can take a message home, that the trees are good and they should be planted everywhere – with a hope that when they grow-up, the world becomes a better place, even if one has to doubt that seriously seeing how they are exposed to the artificial world in such a young age. The respect for the elders, the parents and the teachers are slowly disappearing, but may be this movie can put a little bit of respect for nature in them. If it does, that should be the success that this movie can boast about. It is quite a short movie lasting less than one and half hours and hope you all give it a try. There is the need for balance between the humanity and the nature, and the the clock is ticking!

Release date: 27th July 2012
Running time: 86 minutes
Directed by: Chris Renaud
Starring (voice): Zac Efron, Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Taylor Swift, Rob Riggle, Betty White, Jenny Slate

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.