Night Teeth

Vampire Owl: And finally, we have another vampire movie.

Vampire Bat: I don’t think that this is about our kind of vampires.

Vampire Owl: They seem to drink blood really well.

Vampire Bat: Yet, they seem to be like a new group of vampires.

Vampire Owl: There is no new or old groups among true vampires.

Vampire Bat: You were the one leading the protest against the new batch of sparkling teenage romantic vampires.

Vampire Owl: Well, I have now become a more inclusive vampire.

Vampire Bat: You are acting like the Vampire Chameleon.

Vampire Owl: That guy has been dead for years now.

Vampire Bat: Yet, you are trying to replace him.

[Gets a chocolate cake and three cups of tea-coffee mix].

What is the movie about? :: Vampires and humans have co-existed through the years, and the former has fed from the latter only through a mutual agreement, which means that there was no chance of a battle between the two races. The living and the undead has kept on going without any problems coming in between. There was also a truce, and as vampires continued to get better, humans continued to make themselves believe that the creatures of the night didn’t exist. Vampire continued to try and hide their existence, not feeding on the unwilling and never entering the human area without permission. Benny (Jorge Lendeborg Jr) is a college student who is working part-time as a as a chauffeur, temporarily replacing his brother Jay (Raul Castillo), who was going to apologize and make up with his girlfriend. Jay has also realized that the vampires have broken the pact and entered the human area, also feeding from a lot of them, as well as committing murders. His girlfriend Maria (Ash Santos) is also among the latest ones taken by the vampires as many encounters happen.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: Benny, a Spanish speaking immigrant, is the usual local college student who is not aware of all of these, and was going on with his happy and carefree life until then. He was the one who forced to Jay to let him be the driver for a change. As he goes to the rather rich area to pick up the riders, he meets Blaire (Debby Ryan), who seems to be really friendly. The other girl Zoe (Lucy Fry) doesn’t seem to be that friendly, but does seem to be talkative enough, in a strange manner. They even talk about the possibility of this being his last day on Earth. They do arrive at grand location where the party is taking place, and he hears a woman screaming from inside. At the same time, a war between vampires and humans are coming, because a very rich and influential vampire lord Victor (Alfie Allen) is the person who has intentionally broken the truce for no reason. Jay is actually part of a human group which is charged with maintaining the peace between the two races. As Jay and his friends start hunting down the vampires, Victor plans to finish off his fellow lords and gain all the power. So, what role does Benny play among all these around here?

The defence of Night Teeth :: There are some very interesting scenes in this movie which once again brings the vampires to the human world without pretensions. One has the feeling that this could go the Twilight way and make a mess of the whole thing with full teenage vampire romance, but such a thing doesn’t happen at all. The visuals are nothing less than stunning, as we go through this vampire-infested world in the nights with classic style buildings and lights – the blood also runs strong here, adding to the overall creepy beauty of the atmosphere. The pace is always good around here, and the vampire situation that we see here has been nicely arranged. The vampire-human clash in the city is basically like something that we have seen before, but being much better, like a battle between gangs or races nicely set in a better environment with a divergence. There is a continuous flow of a beautifully stylish world that is going on here, with a touch of horror, as blood runs through. Even without that much of backstory being told, the tale goes on really well.

Positives and negatives :: The movie does succumb to the usual tendency of such vampire stories to go through the predictable path, and that which appeal only to a certain amount of audience. Yet, it manages to come back up in the path whenever it seems to be a little lost, with the style and some nice humour that seems to come as a welcome addition. The humour comes in to join the horror and the thrills, and makes them more entertaining. It is a reminder that the funny side can compliment a horror movie really well, and it was what the film, Black as Night had missed while trying to add some dumb humour and some nonsensical history in between. The cast has also been perfectly chosen, even though there might still be some names which one would also like to have around here. There are some fine action scenes in here, that is for sure, and the vampire girls lead in that quite well. The movie also sets a fine ending which has scope for a future sequel. The music is really good, and set things up nicely for the happenings of the world. The movie does have some good fangs at the needed areas.

The performers of the soul :: Jorge Lendeborg Jr plays the protagonist caught between vampires really well – he seems to suit the situation nicely. He has the confusion being dealt with nicely, but even has enough to be a vampire himself. Yet, there is nobody who suits the nice vampire role better than Debby Ryan, who also has her moments of vampire intensity. One another day, she could be part of a horror slasher movie as a scream queen too, with blood seemingly doing well with her. Lucy Fry had played a vampire about seven years ago, and she is doing it again – this time, she is part of a much better movie, and has a lot better role to perform, as she becomes the perfect nocturnal creature in need of blood and enjoys all the violence that she inflicts. She has the kind of look here that one wouldn’t doubt if she is not really a vampire, even from a distance. I would love to have her as a major antagonist in more than one horror movie. Raul Castillo and Alfie Allen are the strong ones belonging to two sides. One would also love The Voyeurs‘ own lovely Sydney Sweeney and the always charming Megan Fox playing two superior vampires, but we could have actually had more of them here, especially the former who makes a very interesting character in a short time.

How it finishes :: We are never short of the need of the vampire movies to entertain us, for vampirism shall never leave the audience, being an idea of quality since Lord Byron’s physician, William John Polidori published the first vampire novel, The Vampyre. After all, vampires are as immortal in literature and cinema as the vampire characters happen to be in fiction, their immortality in their ability to entertain the viewers rarely questioned. This one, with a touch of the modern age, doesn’t fall behind, even though I did have my doubts after watching the trailer. Well, this is one of those movies which manages to do a lot better than what the trailer had brought us – the movie seems to realize that its strengths are best shown as a whole rather than in parts. You are going to remember the humour in this movie as much you remember those moments of action with blood having a say. In the end, you will remember that the vampires are forever, and they will keep coming back in different forms in different movies like the certainty of Corona virus taking different forms and coming back for more of infections.

Release date: 20th October 2021 (Netflix)
Running time: 108 minutes
Directed by: Adam Randall
Starring: Jorge Lendeborg Jr, Debby Ryan, Lucy Fry, Raul Castillo, Megan Fox, Alfie Allen, Ash Santos, Marlene Forte, Bryan Batt

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Alita

Vampire Owl: Do you know that a machine graveyard is now being prepared at the zombie graveyards by the werewolves?

Vampire Bat: What? You can’t have machines in a zombie world. It is a very dangerous situation that can lead to terrible consequences.

Vampire Owl: Yes, but the news says that they have already started it.

Vampire Bat: When there is a machine graveyard, it is called a scrapyard. They don’t even know that much?

Vampire Owl: Werewolves were never the experts in learning.

Vampire Bat: So, how far has this been present there?

Vampire Owl: Ever since the movie Alita: Battle Angel released.

Vampire Bat: Well, at least they haven’t based something on the Underworld series or some Frankenstein movie this time.

Vampire Owl: Well, you know them. They are never sure about what they do.

Vampire Bat: If they want something to base their lives on, tell them to watch something like Byzantium or Doctor Sleep.

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

What is the movie about? :: Three hundred years have passed since a great war destroyed most of Earth. This war known as “The Fall” left the planet devastated, and divided it into the highly advanced Zalem City in the sky, and Iron City on the ground which was very crowded even though it had some of advanced technology. Almost everyone on the ground worked for Zalem, which was supposed to be one of the greatest cities of all-time, and the only one remaining after the continuous war with the enemy group known as United Republics of Mars (URM). A man named Vector (Mahershala Ali) controlled everything on the ground, as a proxy to the ruler at Zalem, getting his dirty job done. Almost everyone from the Iron City wanted to go to Zalem City, and it was part of their dreams for which they worked all day. But someone from the ground rarely made it to the sky, even though vice versa was always possible.

So, what happens with the events here? :: A scientist and doctor, Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) discovers parts of a female cyborg with a working human brain while looking for parts in the city’s scrapyard. With the help of his assistant Nurse Gerhad (Idara Victor), he manages to fit her into a cyborg body at his clinic. He calls her Alita (Rosa Salazar) after his daughter who died earlier, as the cyborg seems to have no memories of her past at all including her own name. Dr Chiren (Jennifer Connelly), Dyson’s former wife who works for Vector doesn’t seem to like it though. She manages to be friends with a scrap deaker Hugo (Keean Johnson) who shows her the world, and his friends including Koyomi (Lana Condor) and Tanji (Jorge Lendeborg Jr). She also knows about the cyborgs that walk on the streets including Grewishka (Jackie Earle Haley) and Nyssiana (Eiza Gonzalez), and a fight with them will bring some of her memories back. So, who was she? How does that play a role in the future of her and the city?

The defence of Alita: Battle Angel :: There is a well-designed post-apocalyptic and dystopian future that can be seen throughout the movie’s run, and the elements are always there to be seen and enjoyed. The futuristic world is really well designed, with the two cities, as well as what lies beyond. The same can be said about the cyborgs too, as almost each one of them has different characteristics – you can also see that the protagonist makes the best out of it. The action sequences are of top quality, and we are addicted to them, and looking for more of similar moments. The emotional moments are also effective, and the idea behind the movies with moments of its flashbacks makes us wish for a sequel or even a prequel, because both will complete the tale well. This is one of those rare movies when we get close to the cyborgs more than humans. It will be difficult not to be emotionally connected to this movie, and its leading battle angel.

The claws of flaw :: It has to be noted that Alita: Battle Angel leaves many questions to be answered, especially related to how United Republics of Mars (URM) was defeated, and the she ended up in the scrapyard if they were that good with fighting, having an almost perfect cyborg system which is near impossible to be destroyed – such an addition as a prequel or sequel is needed quickly enough. There is the feeling that we have watched most of this before too, and a lost cyborg finding its past and fighting through evil is not something we don’t know much about. The story becomes usual, and we can guess most of the proceedings of the tale. We can also predict what is to happen with some of the characters in the tale a little too easily, as the romantic side just serves as a drag. Let us see if a possible sequel and manage to rise above the usual stuff, and bring in the innovation.

Performers of the soul :: Rosa Salazar’s avatar remains a hit, and as she wore a motion capture suit and gave life to the character with the help of animation, we are glad to have this one added to our favourite list of cyborgs of all-time as the battle angel who is one day going to bring down a post-apocalyptic dystopia. Christoph Waltz’s character is the next one to whom we feel the emotional connect, and he makes the perfect father figure in more than one way. Jennifer Connelly makes a good addition, even though she is there for only shorter periods of time, but she makes some moments worthy. Mahershala Ali is okay as the puppet villain, but the antagonism is lost on a number of occasions. The two next most notable cyborgs played by Jackie Earle Haley and Ed Skrein makes it worthy of our time, being on the darker side of good-evil alignment. Keean Johnson as Hugo is the usual young lover boy done fine.

How it finishes :: Alita: Battle Angel is the very next project from James Cameroon’s Lightstorm Entertainment after Avatar, and before Terminator: Dark Fate which followed in the same year. If you look at that list, the next two movies are Avatar 2 and Avatar 3, followed by even more sequels if the two makes enough money. The director’s last movie was Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, some years ago. So, this is one project which was much expected – well, the trailer was really good too. Alita: Battle Angel, despite dealing with a post-apocalyptic and dystopian theme, with a dark side, can be watched by families, and it is an advantage that this movie have to widen its audience. I would recommend this movie over most of the movies which I have watched during lock-down. It has its heart and soul at the right place, and we are going to expect an even bigger sequel.

Release date: 14th February 2019
Running time: 122 minutes
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Rosa Salazar, Jennifer Connelly, Christoph Waltz, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley, Eiza Gonzalez, Lana Condor, Keean Johnson, Jorge Lendeborg Jr, Idara Victor, Mahershala Ali, Jeff Fahey, Rick Yune

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Vampire Owl: Do they mean to say that Spider-Man will finally come home?

Vampire Bat: I don’t see why not. Home should be where the heart is, and we know how much that it makes everything changing.

Vampire Owl: Well, it doesn’t matter if he come home or not, as there are so many superheroes who have overtaken him in the recent past.

Vampire Bat: Yes, I remember him having ruled the superhero world around here. Superman, Batman and Spider-Man were three big heroes.

Vampire Owl: You see how well Thor: Ragnarok managed to do better than this one at the theatres.

Vampire Bat: It is not really that strange. The Spider-Man that everyone loved, was not this teenager who is more irritating than an undead zombie filling a bucket with a hole.

Vampire Owl: Yes, I remember how irritating he was in Captain America: Civil War.

Vampire Bat: Then, he is also at a low level of heroism compared to almost everyone in the Avengers list.

Vampire Owl: Yes, I am sure that he is too much dependent on Iron Man. And he is like our first known superhero. It is such a shame.

Vampire Bat: At least, he is named after the spider and not the bat.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with Nice Time biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton)and his salvage company take the contract to clean up the city after the events of The Avengers, but their operation is taken over by the Department of Damage Control (DODC), a combined venture of Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) and the United States government, much to their dismay as they had set everything for these operations. Now out of business, and left with not many options to come back to track, Adrian and his team keep the Chitauri alien technology they had already managed to take from the site, and use it to create and sell advanced weapons. At the same time, the incidents of Avengers: Age of Ultron also happen, and there is Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man (Tom Holland) who gets invited to all the action during Captain America: Civil War – he is very much excited about the same, but has to get back to Midtown School of Science and Technology to continue his studies.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: Peter used to be part of United States Academic Decathlon, but now, he spends more time looking for action, keeping on checking with Stark’s employee Happy (Jon Favreau) to see if there is chance for any more of the Avengers missions, but he doesn’t reply to the same. His best friend is Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) who supports him in all things, and is the only one in college, and the only person among his friends and family to know his secret identity. His classmate and opponent Eugene Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori) wastes no time in making fun of the two, and also his talks about doing internship at Stark Enterprises. Peter doesn’t care though, as he has fallen for a senior girl named Liz Allan (Laura Harrier), and has a few friendly neighbourhood Spidey jobs to do almost every day. He helps people in need using the costume which Tony Stark had provided for him during the battle against Team Captain America.

And what is to follow next in this adventure? :: After stopping criminals from robbing an ATM using the advanced alien weapons, he comes across a deal, and is taken away by Adrian in his Vulture form and dropped in a lake, only to be saved an Iron Man armour programmed to keep track of the Spider-Man suit. But it is not just Vulture that stands in Spider-Man’s way, as the Shocker (Bokeem Woodbine) has also been unleashed. Peter realizes that something huge is going on, and that it is in Maryland as shown by the tracker he set on one of the villains – this leads to Parker rejoining the decathlon team and traveling with them to Washington DC for their national tournament, but with villains with alien technology, one has to wonder if this is too much for a friendly neighbourhood spider-boy to handle – but you can never predict that well as far as our superheroes are concerned; for Ant-Man is the smallest big one!

The defence of Spider-Man: Homecoming :: There are those usual Spider-Man action here again, and it works most of the time. Tom Holland as Spider-Man seems to get into things very well. Earlier, in Captain America: Civil War, Spidey was one irritating creature, and now things have managed to be better. The beginning with his own shots of the adventure with Avengers is pretty bad too, but the villain and his superior ideology to Peter and Tony is a boost, as we have a better antagonist than those in those usual superhero movies. It is nice to have Spider-Man there though, as what could Marvel Cinematic Universe be, without its greatest superhero of all-time? There is a certain funny side that works at times, but not throughout the flick – also, the movie does keep us guessing about what is to happen next, with a clueless superhero gets into his job. The one heroine whom we might be looking for in a sequel, should be Zendaya as Michelle Jones. Before we get things to be better, lets go through the Spidey stuff for its third series of movies.

The claws of flaw :: Everything in this movie seems to happen for one reason or the other, and Spider-Man has to prove himself to the one rich egoistic superhero just because he has money to spend on everything. This does make one wonder if Vulture is the real hero who takes these away from the millionaires and gives it to the people. Even Marisa Tomei seems to have been chosen for Iron Man, as you notice how quickly the age of the aunties of Spider-Man are falling – the first franchise of the century had the actress playing this role in her eighties, then the next one close to her seventies, and in this third group of movies, we will have fifty-year old aunty! Even the leading actress is pretty much not interesting, with her character being there for what seems to be ready to bring that twist about falling in love with the villain’s daughter – it is such an old thing, even for Bollywood; there is the need to change it. Well, the two are poles apart in everything on screen. The action and the tale are not much smarter either.

How it finishes :: Most of us who have grown up reading and watching Spider-Man more than any other superhero will find it strange to have this kind of an irresponsible hero in the Spider-Man suit. The Spider-Man we knew as the supreme one from Marvel, the other two big names Batman and Superman being part of DC, has been brought to be part of a second grade list here, under Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Ant-Man, Black Panther, all of whom we who are here at this part of the world never really knew during our childhood. He-Man had a position far above these people, and even our own inspired creation in the form of Shaktimaan. Now, when we see Spider-Man in this form, it makes us wonder more than anything else, and the box-office of this superhero here which is just under Thor: Ragnarok is more because of the left-overs of the Spider-Man of early 2000s, and The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel, more than the result of Marvel’s new cinematic universe.

Release date: 7th July 2017
Running time: 133 minutes
Directed by: Jon Watts
Starring: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Laura Harrier, Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr, Jon Favreau, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jacob Batalon, Isabella Amara, Angourie Rice, Tony Revolori, Garcelle Beauvais, Kerry Condon, Michael Mando, Hemky Madera, Bokeem Woodbine, Logan Marshall-Green, Kenneth Choi, Hannibal Buress, Martin Starr, Jorge Lendeborg Jr, Abraham Attah, Tiffany Espensen, Selenis Leyva, Tunde Adebimpe, Michael Barbieri, Ethan Dizon, Martha Kelly

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.