Cinderella

Vampire Owl: How many Cinderella movies have we watched?

Vampire Bat: I have lost count this time.

Vampire Owl: And how many more Cinderella movies will we watch?

Vampire Bat: It is also not something we can guess.

Vampire Owl: If Cinderella was a vampire, this would have been so perfect.

Vampire Bat: We don’t really have fairy-tales in the vampire world.

Vampire Owl: One doesn’t really need them, right?

Vampire Bat: Well, fairy-tales are lies, we all know that.

Vampire Owl: I am sure that humans are not really short of lies.

Vampire Bat: And they even want us to believe the same.

[Gets a beetroot cake and three cups of black tea].

What is the movie about? :: Vivian (Idina Menzel) leads her life in a village of hardworking people with her daughters (Maddie Baillio and Charlotte Spencer), as well as her stepdaughter Ella, then known as Cinderella (Camila Cabello) who is different from her stubborn sisters. She does almost everything in the house, but is not considered to be someone of importance. Nobody in the house likes her, and wastes no time in scolding or making fun of her, despite her best efforts to make things better. Everyone at home considers her to be an orphan, even though she is daughter to the mother’s earlier husband. It is then that Prince Robert (Nicholas Galitzine) is in requirement of a wife, but he is not really that much into it – King Rowan (Pierce Brosnan) and Queen Beatrice (Minnie Driver) are not really happy about it though, as they would have preferred him to marry someone whom they admired and win many colonies as wedding gift in the process.

So, what happens with the events here? :: As Robert goes on living his life, not intending to be the grand kind that everyone wanted to be, Princess Gwen (Tallulah Greive) hopes to be rule the realm as a queen, an idea which nobody is interested in, but she does manage to provide some ideas in between, which mostly wouldn’t suit the world she lived in. Robert would meet Cinderella in the market though, as she was trying the dress which she had designed. For them to meet again, they have to come together in a ball, and she also wants to find buyers for her clothes, and Fairy Godmother (Billy Porter) prepares her for the same, supported by the mice (James Acaster, James Corden and Romesh Ranganathan) who are transformed into men and are supposed to take her to the palace on a magical chariot. Now the question remains if she can fall in love and sell her clothes at the same time, or whether she will fail as her stepmother and stepsisters would have always thought she would. The possibilities are endless.

The defence of Cinderella :: The first song by Ella is the best one with the music, and there are a few nice songs, even though none of them rise much above that particular level, while there are some which are not interesting at all. The visuals are really good, and the magic of the original fair-tale story is maintained, even though it seems to be so more by compulsion rather than anything else – maybe this film could have been named something else and played into another tale instead of calling Cinderella for help. There are some nice ideas in the background, that is for sure, but in the implementation, it often falls on the nose, and still we find something here and there. It does have the support of some fine performances in moments, and it also thrives on the moments. After all, we can’t just avoid a Cinderella movie when it comes, even when it deviates too much from the original ideas, and even if it is not the Cinderella that we knew or wanted to watch.

The claws of flaw :: For a Cinderella movie, this one is really strange. Its deviations often feel dumb, and often it feels useless. We have watched so many Cinderella films that we know what the story should really be about despite adding something not suiting at all. Some of the music does get irritating, just like a few of the characters fo manage to do. It is the same reason why it also feels foolish at times. The director here does have some weird and silly ideas about making a Cinderella film, and one has to understand that there are a few things which really make a Cinderella, just like without a few things, some classics and fairytales are not complete – Hamlet needs vengeance, Macbeth needs the witch-like creatures, Rapunzel needs the long hair etc. This is where Cinderella making the unnecessary deviation without creativity falls behind, and in the process, it is also too long a film, considering what kind of content it has.

Performers of the soul :: A lot of characters in the movie do look strange, even though many of them seems to excel in this. Camila Cabello is really good, without doubt, and the same can be said about Idina Menzel and Pierce Brosnan. Camila Cabello has some fine moments which rise a long way up, while it is always good to see Pierce Brosnan in any role. Idina Menzel has her stepmother role smaller than what one would have expected. Maddie Baillio and Charlotte Spencer plays the usual stepdaughters of the good old fairytale. Nicholas Galitzine and Minnie Driver are okay, but seem to overdo things at some moments, and some of their dialogues are ridiculously silly – but that is more or less inheriting the silly mood of the film itself. Tallulah Greive plays basically a useless role, and she doesn’t have enough screen-space either. A number of smaller characters in this film seems to be strangely written, and we would have actually done better without them as some of them also manage to look much ridiculous. Billy Porter as the fairy godmother is nonsense.

How it finishes :: Cinderella with this version is enjoyable only because of parts. Otherwise, it is irritating in other parts. It needed better music and try not to use nonsense to sell its ideas. These won’t suit in a Cinderella film either, but as it does look good, and because we have always loved Cinderella, we go on with it. As it has released on Amazon Prime Video, there is always the option to fast forward those unnecessary elements. When people try to divert a classic fairytale without not much thinking, I can assure you that there are many areas where you wish to fast forward. If you accept people’s right to be silly if they have a high budget, and enjoy the rest, you can enjoy the magic with the visual extravaganza. Well, we have accepted many stupid films which looked good or a few others with dumb fun, it is very much possible to be entertained by this.

Release date: 3rd September 2021
Running time: 113 minutes
Directed by: Kay Cannon
Starring: Camila Cabello, Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine, Billy Porter, Pierce Brosnan, Maddie Baillio, Charlotte Spencer, Tallulah Greive

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Black Panther

What is the movie about? :: A long time ago, as a part of on-going tribal wars in a divided continent, five African tribes fought over a the control of a meteorite which was the source of an alien metal called vibranium, most commonly known to the Marvel fans as one of the materials used to construct Captain America’s shield. Vibranium which was first deposited on Earth by a meteorite about ten thousand years ago, had its variation in Wakanda, which absorbed sound waves, vibrations, and kinetic energy making the metal stronger. It was something that could do more than what the modern science could explain. This variety of vibranium is often referred to as a powerful mutagen, something that could change the genetic material, usually the DNA of an organism and thus would increase the frequency of mutations more than the usual background level. Vibranium exposure did the same to a number of Wakandan natives.

And what is to follow in this particular adventure? :: A warrior who ate a heart shaped herb which was affected by the metal gained special abilities and became the first Black Panther. He united the tribes to form the nation of Wakanda, but that had only four of them as the Jabari tribe chose not to follow this new rule, moving to the mountains. The result was that the Wakandans used the vibranium’s abilities to become highly advanced with their science and technology. But they also chose to isolate themselves from the rest of the world with their modernity hidden within forests. Even after so many years, the outside world thinks about Wakanda as a third world country which is very much short of resources, but doesn’t trade with the outsiders or ask for help because of their pride and inability to combine their older and darker world with the new one.

And what else is to come? :: Following the events of Captain America: Civil War and the death of his father, the king, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns to Wakanda to claim the throne as the eldest son. The commander-in-chief of the Wakandan army Okoye (Danai Gurira), T’Challa’s ex-lover Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), his mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and younger sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) are the happiest ones to see him as the new king. At the ceremony, the Jabari tribe’s leader M’Baku (Winston Duke), a mighty warrior challenges T’Challa for the throne of Wakanda, but is defeated in ritual combat – a battle in which he finally accepts defeat after T’Challa requests him to surrender lest the fight would only end with his death. But that would only begin trouble for T’Challa, for Wakanda needs more than just another king who kept continuing the tradition of the tribe for such a long time.

And then there is the case of trouble :: The first thing that he felt the need to accomplish after becoming the king was to find and bring to justice, Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis), a black-market arms dealer and smuggler who had access to vibranium and knows the secrets of Wakanda. But on their path stands CIA agent Everett K Ross (Martin Freeman), who takes Klaue into custody, much to the dismay of the new king and his team who need to fulfil their promise by bringing the man to Wakanda’s justice or death. Meanwhile, an American black-ops soldier named Erik Stevens (Michael B Jordan) is after the throne, and he has a twisted past with Wakanda. He would try to make T’Challa pay for what his father had done, and also to make sure that his race could become the rulers of the world. What can the new Black Panther to do stop the man who has had only one mission in his life since childhood?

The defence of Black Panther :: As one would have expected after watching Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, the big strength of this flick remains the action sequences. There are some nice visuals of the new world in here, and we get transported nicely there. The final one hour of the movie is where this one picks up to become something interesting, as in the beginning stages, there was a certain amount of struggle. The movie has a pretty good cast which gives enough for it to keep going, but the pick of them all are Michael B Jordan who plays the villain with a purpose, the nice moments from Martin Freeman and all that Winston Duke brings as M’Baku, even though he is not present throughout the flick. Then there is the idea about the oppressed becoming the oppressor, and trying to have revenge on the next generation of those who had oppressed them years ago – it is certainly not the way, as it is nicely shown in the movie.

The claws of flaw :: There is no denying the fact that the expectations were so high with this movie that it is quite difficult to satisfy almost anyone who is watching this movie. You also have to wonder which kind of superhero movie gets this many good reviews – you will notice that this one is certainly not better than the last Marvel movie, Thor: Ragnarok. Sometimes, you feel that the reasons why this movie is often praised are not really what should be used as the positives regarding the flick. It could have dealt with the theme better, without doubt – the scope was more with this one compared to any other superhero flick. The story also has nothing new as it goes through the expected path, and even though there was the chance, there is absolutely no surprise here. Some of the costumes are rather strange, and the world itself could have used better attention. The funny side as well as the thrills are not able to get hold here either. The romantic side is certainly bad.

How it finishes :: The 3D didn’t have much to offer in this movie. But the movie becomes another interesting superhero movie with one more hero having the background origins story set. It doesn’t have its elements matching the previous Marvel movie, Thor: Ragnarok which was ahead in almost every department, from action and visuals to the funny side. Despite the critics being rather prejudiced in supporting this movie, it hasn’t created that much of an interest among the common audience like those Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, DeadpoolDoctor Strange & even Ant-Man movies would do for Marvel. But with that nice work in Captain America: Civil War, and with this tale of Wakanda already set and begun, we can expect to have more from Black Panther. With that nice finish in the end, there is surely more needed for us, and lets hope that the character would deliver more in the upcoming movies.

Release date: 16th February 2018
Running time: 134 minutes
Directed by: Ryan Coogler
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

King Arthur

What is the movie about? :: This is a tale which is only loosely based on Arthurian legends, even though the base pillars remain the same. For years, humans, the masters of the sword, and mages, the masters of magic have lived together in peace at the island of Britain, helping each other at times or adjusting to one another when there is a chance of conflict. But soon there is a shift of power and Mordred (Rob Knighton), a corrupt sorcerer alligned to pure dark magic decides to change this forever after commanding great power. With an objective which is nothing less than having complete dominion over mankind, his huge army that includes monsters and consistent spells lay waste to the settlements that stand before his powers of dark magic, and they attack the last human stronghold, Camelot. As the forces lay siege to his castle, the king of Britons, Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana), manages to break into Mordred’s lair of magic and behead him, causing the end of his magically summoned creatures and the retreat of other mages.

So, what happens next? :: Even though the people of the kingdom are relieved, Uther’s brother Vortigern (Jude Law) is not a happy man, as he wishes for all mages to be hunted and killed, something which Uther doesn’t agree. This angry and jealous brother decides to get rid of the king and sacrifices his wife Elsa (Katie McGrath) to the sea witches who had promised to help him in return. As Vortigern’s men seize the day and unleash chaos, a demon knight kills Uther in combat, after killing the queen, but he misses a young boy who drifts away and is found by prostitutes who raise him. The boy who is named Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) grows up to become a strong young man skilled in fighting, and loved by people around. One day, Arthur and his friends come up against a group of Vikings who had mistreated on the prostitutes, and they make the northmen pay for what they did. But as the Vikings were guests and under the protection of the king, it brings the king’s men to their small world.

And what follows the events? :: As a criminal against the king and his laws, Arthur tries to escape, but is caught by the troops who have been forcing young men to try and pull a mysterious sword known only by the name Excalibur from a stone, something which nobody was able to do successfully. When Arthur makes the attempt, manages to pull it off, only to be captured by the soldiers and brought before the king, who tells him that he is the son of Uther, and decides to execute him in public to make sure that there is no rebellion in the name of his dead brother or any prophecy related to a sword. Meanwhile, a girl, identifying herself as a follower of the great wizard Merlin (Kamil Lemieszewski), meets with Uther’s former general, Bedivere (Djimon Hounsou) with whom she plans to save the future king of Britons – the plan is successful, as they take him to their hideout.

So, where are things heading to? :: But Arthur is reluctant to claim that he is the one true king destined for greatness. Despite being told the same again and again, he only wishes to go back to his life as it used to be. Whenever he takes the sword and fights with it, he only has the nightmares of his parents’ death and he collapses. It is then the girl who is known only as the mage, comes up with the idea to send the future king to Blacklands, where mages reigned, and where the greatest of wizards, Merlin destroyed Mordred’s tower battling against his dark magic. There, Arthur witnesses and battles more, and has more of his visions of that day, with his father, mother, the sword and the demon knight who battled the king. He would return wiser, but can Arthur really believe in himself and his destiny, follow the path and come out victorious?

The defence of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword :: Well, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword might be one of the most beautiful and stylish movie you will get to see on screen with its CGI and the surroundings, even though the same is not always there. It is evident from the first scene itself when the evil sorcerer attacks Camelot with his supporters and creatures. The 3D is also the best used in this scene; the effects make sure that watching this movie in 3D will be the right option. There are those action scenes which has stones, arrows, swords, ashes, fire, ember; all things that keep flying on and off the screen – the demon knight is the one who looks the best in this movie, and the whole design of him is the pick right here, and then there are the sea witches joined into one, another creature that will have your attention along with the less explored ones from the trees. There is also the highly sincere performances from Charlie Hunnam and Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, the former continuing the good work from Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak; there is even a strong villain in the form of Jude Law’s evil king. The music is great.

The claws of flaw :: Too many things in this movie seems too modern than classic, and the ancient tale would seem rather twisted in favour of modernity. There are no costumes or armour in the way that we had expected to see, and the story itself is so strange; it never really seems to get anywhere after a fine start. The quick talks and even quicker flashbacks don’t really help at all. The old classics shouldn’t give in to modernity, and if it does, there has to be a better story to support the same. Also, a more colourful world would have helped to elevate the level of 3D, or even a better distribution of darkness would have been nice. The tendency of the protagonist to keep running away, is also rather strange considering the circumstances – we shouldn’t really be judging a king, but for a strong young fighter, he runs too much from responsibilities and battles. There is also not enough of Merlin, and more display of creatures and huge battles like the beginning scene could have easily stolen many hearts.

How it finishes :: There was so much that King Arthur: Legend of the Sword could have achieved, for it had Excalibur, a Round Table, the Knights of the Camelot, the mages and creatures. But this one manages to give in to modernity, and be less connected to a rather classic side. This one does have its does of action and thrills, and an undoubted strength of style and visuals, and should work for a good section of viewers, but the possibilities are endless with this one, and we hope that the same can be achieved with upcoming sequels, if there will be any. Getting Petyr Baelish right out of Game of Thrones doesn’t bring the quality of the story in any way despite him being effective. There is not much that the actors could do to raise the level of this flick which will have a tough time ahead against not just Alien Covenant, but even when facing rather simpler movies. This is a tough box-office battle for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword from which no Excalibur or Merlin can save the king. A better sequel will do this one a lot of good, as long as it is really that better – with the reminder that this is no Sherlock Holmes.

Release date: 12th May 2017
Running time: 126 minutes
Directed by: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Jude Law, Eric Bana, Tom Wu, Freddie Fox, Craig McGinlay, Mikael Persbrandt, Lorraine Bruce, Hermione Corfield, Annabelle Wallis, Katie McGrath, Poppy Delevingne, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Neil Maskell, Millie Brady, Michael McElhatton, Kamil Lemieszewski, Rob Knighton

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.