The Long Halloween II

Vampire Owl: So, the long Halloween continues.

Vampire Bat: A Halloween can go on as much as one full year.

Vampire Owl: If so, what is the significance of the celebration?

Vampire Bat: An year long celebration can still be a good enough one.

Vampire Owl: You just cannot celebrate at all times.

Vampire Bat: The undead life requires something like this all the time.

Vampire Owl: So, it is like we are having Halloween now too?

Vampire Bat: Yes, it will only boost our undead skills and abilities.

Vampire Owl: Halloween, with an extension, can provide that boost?

Vampire Bat: Why don’t you ask your favourite doctors, Mr Frankenstein?

[Gets a vegetable pizza and three cups of elaichi tea].

What is the movie about? :: The unknown killer continues hunting in Gotham City which makes Commissioner Gordon (Billy Burke) highly disappointed, while Poison Ivy (Katee Sackhoff) has taken control of Batman a.k.a. Bruce Wayne (Jensen Ackles) as Carmine Falcone (Titus Welliver) wishes to take advantage of his business to launder his money. With Bruce Wayne in her influence, taken to a fake romantic world where he signs away most of his assets to Carmine. Harvey Dent (Josh Duhamel) is as much disappointed as the Commissioner as Batman doesn’t shows up, due to the seduction of Ivy. Catwoman a.k.a. Selina Kyle (Naya Rivera) discovers that something is wrong, and pays a visit to the Wayne Manor, as she discovers a woman making him doing whatever she wanted him to do. Catwoman manages to defeat Poison Ivy after a long struggle, freeing Bruce Wayne from her floral toxins and mind-controlling pheromones. As he comes out of the feeling, he understands that he has ben so for months.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: Bruce contacts his lawyers, and as Batman, he gets back to action, trying to stop the Scarecrow (Robin Atkin Downes), only to get injected with a fear-inducing toxin, leaving him to relive the night of his parents’ murder. Catwoman finds him looking for his mother in the streets, and gets him home. Sofia Falcone (Laila Berzins), Carmine’s daughter looks forward to a seat at the family table, but he refuses. Gordon and Harvey puts Bruce in their list of suspects, as he was the only one who was part of that programme, but didn’t give a statement. But it seems that Bruce has already paid for enough of alibis, and he assures them that his only connection with the Falcone family was because of his father saving the life of Carmine once and building hospitals together for the people of the city. For every other connection, he assures them that he was manipulated. On Father’s Day, when Carmine’s enemy gang’s most senior member is murdered, they join Harvey.

And what more is to happen with the superheroes here? :: Harvey is glad that as he is able to get a chance to finally put Carmine in prison. Batman fights Scarecrow as the latter goes on to rob a bank for Carmine, but with the help of the Mad Hatter (John DiMaggio), he manages to capture him. At the same time, Catwoman saves Harvey and wife from being shot by a stranger, who hits her on the head hard enough to render her unconscious. As this stranger, who is supposed to be a hitman of Carmine is also murdered, Harvey continues to be in the suspect list for being the serial killer, while others including Batman and the villains out of Arkham Asylum are also part of the list of suspects. Solomon Grundy (Fred Tatasciore) might also want to say something about it. As Harvey’s obsession with the Falcone family continues, his wife Gilda Dent (Julie Nathanson) begins to hope for a counselling and even a divorce. Can things get any more complicated for Batman and the Commissioner? How many killings are to follow now?

The defence of Batman: Long Halloween: Part Two :: The second part does take the mystery to a stronger level. As it gets closer to the big revelation, there are some nice moments which serve as subplots, and we also have some nice red herrings along with those clues which seem to point to the right direction. The dark elements of the first movie are carried over well, and the animation looks as good as the previous one, and the addition of two great villains, Poison Ivy and Scarecrow serves as the perfect boost to the movie – they have been my favourites for long, as nature and fear are two things which truly belong to this world. The movie also leaves something for the continuation of this story as we see something more after the credits. The Bat and the Cat moments are among the best, and we know where this year’s Batman gets the strength from. We also understand the characters better in this part, and can also realize the reasons behind all that are happening here. The conclusion is to be enjoyed better than the beginning.

The claws of flaw :: The movie does have its own predictable parts, and we can guess a number of things early enough. Once again one would want the Joker to given a bigger role to play in the scheme of things, and Penguin actually has even less to do. The whole thing also takes a little bit of time to get going after the initial fight with Poison Ivy. It doesn’t seem to have full control of things in the middle. The emotional side of the movie could have been used throughout its run rather than getting limited. Mad Hatter is also nothing, but serves as a little side-kick to Scarecrow. Just like the first one, this movie also required more of the superhero side, even though it is more than what we had seen in the earlier movie. Batman as a superhero without superpowers is still the force to reckon with – we need him to do what he has always done the best, more than anything else. Arksham Asylum also gets less of its due. The madness had a better chance to appear around here in full form, but the same is not taken.

How it finishes :: This movie, as well as the first part, also serves as a tribute to Naya Rivera, the actress who voiced the Catwoman, and died by drowning earlier. Then we have the mystery being solved in this movie, and the clues which were left in the first movie seems to be leading to a different space as everything comes together in the end. Among the animated movies, this one has a space, as much as it has among the superhero movies. This one, with two parts, won’t become Frozen, How to Train Your Dragon, Big Hero 6 or Inside Out, but it does have enough to add strength to the particular genre. This one is different, and is stronger than what we think about it as an animated movie similar to the television series which we used to watch on television during childhood. Do watch this conclusion after watching the first movie, and the journey is very much enjoyable – we also hope that more similar movies will be made and shall also arrive at Amazon Prime Video to make sure that we are into them.

Release date: 27th July 2021
Running time: 87 minutes
Directed by: Chris Palmer
Starring: Jensen Ackles, Josh Duhamel, Naya Rivera, Billy Burke, Alastair Duncan, Troy Baker, Amy Landecker, David Dastmalchian, Julie Nathanson, Gary LeRoi Gray, Fred Tatasciore, Jim Pirri, Titus Welliver, Katee Sackhoff, Robin Atkin Downes, Alyssa Diaz, Laila Berzins, John DiMaggio

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

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Last Knight

Vampire Owl: This particular alien species seems to have too many movies about them.

Vampire Bat: Yes, these days, they have a lot more than vampire movies.

Vampire Owl: They even have so much of box-office collections.

Vampire Bat: It is strange, isn’t it? We, vampires have existed on Earth long before these people, and nowadays, we rarely have movies.

Vampire Owl: Some time ago, we were the trend. Even my zombie minions were trending.

Vampire Bat: That age seems to be gone. Even local superheroes trend more these days.

Vampire Owl: Even people from myth, like Thor are converted into huge box-office success.

Vampire Bat: Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman – they are all success; even as the teams of Avengers and Justice League.

Vampire Owl: Even X-Men with their Wolverine, Deadpool and more.

Vampire Bat: We should be back soon, and take whatever is ours.

[Gets three cups of cardamom tea with Nice biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: The last Transformers movie, Transformers: Age of Extinction had ended with Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) ending with sending a message to his creators that he was coming for them. Lockdown (Mark Ryan) as well as Galvatron (Frank Welker) were defeated, but things haven’t really changed much. Transformers continued to be declared outlaws by human government, and a new military wing known as the Transformer Reaction Force (TRF) is now in action against all those new transforming robots, both autobots and decepticons which keep falling on our planet. There is the possibility of an alien invasion being asserted by all governments, and there is nothing more than a threat as far as the alien transformers are concerned. With Optimus Prime having left to meet the makers of transformers, things are the worst situation for his kind that are left on Earth, being hunted and destroyed by humans and their drones at will.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: An orphan Izabella (Isabela Moner) tries to save a few transformers in between, with Sqweeks (Reno Wilson) as the last one left on her side. They are about to be captured by the human troops, but are saved by Bumblebee (Erik Aadahl), Hound (John Goodman) and Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) who are leading the resistance of autobots, hiding themselves far away from trouble, with Crosshairs (John DiMaggio), Drift (Ken Watanabe), Wheelie (Tom Kenny) and the randomly visiting scavenger Daytrader (Steve Buscemi). A talisman is attached to Cade by a transformer knight before dying, while they were trying to save Izabella in the area which was more like a transformer graveyard. The team of decepticons are aware of the same from Barricade (Jess Harnell), and comes looking for them at their hiding place, a junkyard, as Megatron (Frank Welker) with his team, launches an attack which pushes the autobots out of hiding.

And what is to follow next in this adventure? :: At the same time, there is the history of humans coming together with that of transformers on Earth. Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins), the twelfth Earl of Folgan, who is an astronomer and historian, is one of the experts in the same. There is the unknown tale of King Arthur (Liam Garrigan) and his knights struggling in a terrible battle against the Saxons who got them almost defeated. Edmund’s version of history says that it is the Knights of Iacon, a team of twelve Transformers who were hiding on Earth that helped Arthur and his knights to triumph over the Saxons as they transformed together into a dragon. But what remains from those days is an ancient staff which holds unlimited power. Meanwhile, Optimus Prime meets their maker, Quintessa (Gemma Chan), a Cybertronian Sorceress who brainwashes him into destroying Earth to rebuild their home planet of Cyberton. So, with enemies all around, can autobots and Earth make it to a safer situation?

The defence of Transformers: The Last Knight :: You are going to praise the visuals of this one too, as that quality is maintained with ease here – all that you see on the screen will have your attention. The universe of this movie is nothing less than breath-taking, as we have all those things which could light up the screen with ease. There comes the question about what you really need with this movie, and if it is this escapism into a world of chaos and destruction which looks great on the screen, with big action sequences, there is not reason why you shouldn’t choose this movie. These movies will not be banned here either, as nothing from Indian history is made to be related to the Transformers – lets hope that the other movie makers also take a lesson from the Padmavati episode, and deviate, combine or transcreate through history, myth and fiction. You will notice that Mark Wahlberg is very good in this avatar, and Laura Haddock is lovely, and she might be the best leading actress in this franchise so far as far as acting is concerned. Isabela Moner is good young talent while Anthony Hopkins is once again joy to watch.

The claws of flaw :: Transformers: The Last Knight needed more ideas, and a better tale to go with this kind of a thing which has existed for so long. But here, they have added so many things without taking much of care about dealing with them in the better ways. It is as if they are attributing everything to Transformers, and the victory of King Arthur or Saxons is just one of them – there are the wars, discoveries, inventions, assassinations, mysteries, and all that have important places in history being credited to the Transformers and their actions. The movie is long, rather too long, and there are so many moments which could have been cut off from this one. We are also tired of having this Optimus Prime saying the same thing again and again, and Bumblebee being a special Transformer for no reason – at the same time, Megatron goes through varying degree of powers; there is no consistency at all, with this one. They used to have a weapon specialist called Ironhide giving him the best moments of the first movie, and then they successfully kill him in a dumb sequel.

How it finishes :: Transformers: The Last Knight never really makes the franchise any better. It is not better than Transformers: Age of Extinction, and is only better than Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which is undoubtedly the worst movie of the whole franchise which seems to continue to try for more of similar kind of movies without focusing on anything new. The first movie had everything going in the right direction, but for some reason, the franchise refuses to go any higher or even keep the same level. You will find this movie in the Transformers franchise to be an entertaining one too, but there is that certain question about how far the series can go, as there seems to be the problem of running out of ideas. If we think about it, that would be kind of depressing, and so, lets go on watching these movies, and hope that there would be change with one of those movies, and Transformers would get bigger with the story rather than anything else. You can actually watch this one as a stand-alone flick without having watched any other flick from the series.

Release date: 21st June 2017
Running time: 154 minutes
Directed by: Michael Bay
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Laura Haddock, Isabela Moner, Josh Duhamel, Stanley Tucci, Anthony Hopkins, Jerrod Carmichael, Santiago Cabrera, John Turturro, Glenn Morshower, Liam Garrigan, Mitch Pileggi, Tony Hale, Gil Birmingham, Peter Cullen, Jim Carter, Erik Aadahl, Ken Watanabe, Omar Sy, John Goodman, John DiMaggio, Reno Wilson, Tom Kenny, Steven Barr, Steve Buscemi, Mark Ryan, Frank Welker, Jess Harnell

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

@ 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.