The Legend of Tarzan

thelegendoftarzann-2

Vampire Owl: I remember this particular person.

Vampire Bat: Did you read his story a long time ago too? There were so many available novels with him as the central character.

Vampire Owl: The Great Vampire Owl doesn’t read such things.

Vampire Bat: Then who are you talking about?

Vampire Owl: I am talking about the person on the dead tree near our castle.

Vampire Bat: Dude, he is the werewolf who was called to decorate our special spooky tree for the upcoming Vampire-Werewolf cultural fest.

Vampire Owl: So, he is not this Tarzan. It is disappointing, but the same does inspire me to throw a stone at that werewolf.

Vampire Bat: One stone means nothing to a werewolf. He won’t even know about it.

Vampire Owl: For my health to remain good, I hope he won’t know about it ever.

Vampire Bat: You are lucky to be alive with such plans going on in your head.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with banana chips].

Flashback to the tale :: We remember this character from our childhood, don’t we? There might have been many more at a more English kind of a world of books and comics, but here the main characters were The Phantom, Mandrake and Tarzan, a group which was challenged only by those superheroes with names ending with men – Batman, Spider-Man, Superman and He-Man; that was all for my childhood. Edgar Rice Burroughs was known only to us for writing Tarzan during those days, but after watching John Carter, my favourite character from him did change. There were a good number of translated Tarzan novels available in Malayalam during those days, and I grew up reading them, while the rest of the superheroes came in comics and rarely on corners of newspapers. This tale of the child raised in the African jungles by the Mangani great apes was a fascinating one for a long time.

What is the movie about? :: In the year 1884, at the Berlin conference, the colonial powers of the world had decided to divide Congo, the area that has most of the River Congo flowing through and around it. King Leopold of Belgium claimed the the bigger area, that should be mostly the Democratic Republic of the Congo of these times or as earlier the Republic of Zaire, which includes the vast Congo Basin, rich in ivory and a lot of minerals. With an intense ambition to exploit his new colony and its resources, he uses all his power for control as well as building the infrastructure for his forces, but five years later, he only ends up in debt desperate for money to pay for his army stationed there. With his reputation fading infront of the other colonial powers, he sends his most trusted follower, Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz) the the Congo to find and gather the legendary diamonds of Opar.

So, what happens next? :: Leon and his group of soldiers are ambushed and except him, each gets murdered by the tribe that guards the diamonds. The leader of the tribe, Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou), has a discussion, and offers him the diamonds in exchange for an old enemy whose death is considered as his salvation, Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgard). But there is no longer a Tarzan, as he is now John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke (Alexander Skarsgård), who has settled down at his ancestral home in London with his American wife, Jane Porter (Margot Robbie) with no more of the thoughts related to Africa. Even though his tales have a certain kind of legendary status in the city, he doesn’t intend to go back to the forest and has managed to blend into what all were part of the civilised life there. With his adaptation of the Victorian lifestyle, there would be no man who would identify him as not part of London.

So, where does the twist happen? :: Through the British Prime Minister (Jim Broadbent), he knows that he is invited by King Leopold to visit the Congo and see its development. An American envoy, George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson) also requests him to have a look to see how the native population is treated there, as he feels that the king’s men have enslaved them terribly – finally Tarzan agrees. After being persuaded by Jane, he allows her to accompany him along with George. As they arrive at Congo and rest at a tribal village with the inhabitants being known to them from their earlier stay, they are captured by the troops of Leon, but Tarzan and George escapes. Tarzan will not rest until he finds Leon and finish him after rescuing Jane. But with the guns of the Belgian troops and mercenaries against him along with one ferocious tribe looking for his blood, can he accomplish the same?

The defence of The Legend of Tarzan :: It always good to have a new take on the tales that we have read as children, and this movie also provides the same, and works as a nice sequel for the people who have lived through this man’s tale. There are some very nice action sequences in this one, and the best of them should be Tarzan traveling on the ropes, and fighting his ape-brother. There are some really good performances to support this too, with Alexander Skarsgard leading the way as Tarzan, a role which he seems to have taken in as the way it is supposed to. Meanwhile, Margot Robbie excels as Jane, with her character seemingly having more dimensions than a usual fan would have thought – something which we saw more intensely with her Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad; the two characters are poles apart, but she has nailed them both, without leaving one with chances of questioning – unless there are some dumb questions to ask, for which there is no shortage as long as there are people.

The claws of flaw :: The flashbacks in the story are not really that good, as it comes at those times when we are going through the flow of the proceedings, and the journey back only breaks it. There is also some slowing down in the pace of the movie, and there are times when it makes us wait rather too much for the next thing to happen. More firepower could have been used, and more beautiful shots were to be used in the jungle which had so much possibilities – they have had the basic material about Tarzan for such a long time, and there is this technology, and they could have easily made this one without the slowness and the dull moments which come in here and there. There is also no doubt that Tarzan could have used a better thought process behind it, but as it is now, it remains an interesting action-adventure that takes you back to the childhood days – it is never really away from the movie that we wished to watch in the childhood.

Release date: 1st July 2016
Running time: 110 minutes
Directed by: David Yates
Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Djimon Hounsou, Jim Broadbent, Christoph Waltz, Casper Crump, Hadley Fraser, Genevieve O’Reilly, Yule Masiteng, Simon Russell Beale, Matt Cross as Akut, Madeleine Worrall, William Wollen

thelegendoftarzan

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Suicide Squad

suicidesquad-1

What is the movie about? :: During the events that follow Superman’s (Henry Cavill) death in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, CIA’s Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) assembles Task Force X, a team consisting of dangerous criminals. The team was to consist of a highly skilled hitman who is never supposed to miss with his gun in the hands – Deadshot (Will Smith), a former psychiatrist who has a lot of madness inside her which she isn’t afraid to show to the world creating chaos – Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), a pyrokinetic gangster who refuses to be evil anymore after a disaster – El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), a thief who is exceptionally skilled in using boomerang – Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), a genetically mutated crocodile-like human supposed to have cannibalistic tendencies along with his superior strength – Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), and a mercenary with high level grappling and scaling skills with a lot of combat practice – Slipknot (Adam Beach).

So, what happens next in the movie? :: Amanda intends to use them for the defence of the nation, as the big void which was left by the superhero’s death is sure to make it easy for the dangerous and twisted criminals and metahumans to strike terror upon the heart of common man, and the usual military and police might not be able to stop them. The new expendable assets are placed under the command of Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman). Each member has a nano bomb inside their necks, which could be activated to explode, so as to make sure that none of these criminals try to do anything smart of make an attempt to escape. Another one whom Amanda intend to recruit is Rick Flag’s girlfriend and archeologist Dr. June Moone (Cara Delevingne) whose other form is Enchantress, an ancient goddess and witch who has taken over her body, and appears at times.

So, what all trouble awaits our people? :: Enchantress is not someone who will take this dishonour of her godly self lightly, as she turns on Amanda for imprisoning her, and with the help of her brother Incubus (Alain Chanoine), unleashes terror. The ancient evil finds herself ready to destroy everything that humans holds dear in return for their disrespectful treatment of her. With their vast magical abilities, the brother and sister duo takes control of a subway station and transforms humans into monsters listening only to their command. But Enchantress is just one of their problems as there is someone else after them – The Joker (Jared Leto) who is coming to get Harley Quinn. The situation only gets worse when the team members get the reality about what all are being hidden from them. But they form the last hope for humanity in a world without Superman – what will they choose to do with the world having done nothing for them?

The defence of Suicide Squad :: We can consider this movie more as some kind of poetry in motion, with lots of music being used here and there, and the way in which the action progresses is also nothing less than poetic – you will see a lot of it with the Harley Quinn – Joker sequences which come as flashback scenes. The movie had to introduce so many characters at once, and this one has managed to do that – something which a lot of movies will fail to do, and some of them won’t even try, and in that case, Suicide Squad is a clear winner with its attempts. There are smart dialogues and fine action sequences, with those special effects doing the job really well. Unlike the fake characters in the overrated Guardians of the Galaxy, there is no pretending going on here either – we know who all these people, and they make us believe. Well, you don’t need to pretend that you didn’t like this one just because a number of critics said so!

Positives and negatives :: There is no doubt that people will have many reasons to like as well as dislike this movie, and there will be occasions when both will be the same – certain beauty of some parts of this movie will be what some people won’t like, and vice versa; it is how this movie works personally. There are also some characters that go away without being noticed, and even with a full squad, some of them are just not completely there. We surely needed more of the Joker, but it is not there – he is not the villain as some people might have thought, as the Enchantress takes up that position. Also in comparison, one might not find this version of the man to be making that much impact as they wanted him to. Opposite to what some people had said, this is actually a better movie than the hype which was Guardians of the Galaxy, as we get to connect to the bad guys as people in this flick, unlike the fakes which we had there – and the fun here is more real, and so is the danger.

Performers of the soul :: The best of performances begin with Margot Robbie as the crazy female villain who brings a grand effect to us. There is something about each action of the character, and this one is a full entertainer as long as she is there. There is a certain kind of dark poetry related to her, and some of it can be seen also in the Enchantress played by Cara Delevingne who brings one of the better female villains around – there is something about her from the very first time she is introduced, and whether as the witch-goddess or as the archeologist, she looks too good. Will Smith also scores at his moments, as the hitman who makes us emotionally connected to the character. Jay Hernandez has El Diablo going steady, while the rest of the bad guys just follow the path with these people getting to score more than the others, and as I said earlier, the Joker is underused.

How it finishes :: Suicide Squad is special because it is different, and even in that difference, this one is divergent in an excellent manner. Maybe people still wanted to have the same kind of superhero movies, but not with this one – it has decide to change things, and it is one’s choice to like it or go for the “usual superhero saving the day after destroying a whole city and killing so many people around” kind of thing. Even with the so called criminals teaming up, the number of common people killed in this movie is not much – not that much of top level evil in the bad guys, as you can see. This would make a perfect video game too, with these interesting characters around – but if there is a computer game existing for a movie, won’t the pseudo-intellectuals reviewing the movies make this one look even worse with their reviews? Lets hope that movies like Suicide Squad will be saved from such people! At the same time, I hope that you have enough divergence and a little bit of madness in you good enough to understand this movie.

Release date: 5th August 2016
Running time: 123 minutes
Directed by: David Ayer
Starring: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Cara Delevingne, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, Karen Fukuhara, Ike Barinholtz, Adam Beach, Alain Chanoine, David Harbour, Alex Meraz, Jim Parrack, Shailyn Pierre-Dixon, Corina Calderon, Ben Affleck (cameo), Ezra Miller (Cameo), David Ayer (cameo), Jason Momoa (cameo)

suicidesquadd

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

About Time

abouttime (2)

Vampire Owl :: I waited so long for this movie to get released in India that I got very old.

Vampire Bat :: May be it just didn’t release in Cochin or we were on a trip when it released.

Vampire Owl :: But I got very old, nevertheless.

Vampire Bat :: Aren’t we already centuries old?

Vampire Owl :: Yes, but I still got a lot older, and this time it is depressing.

Vampire Bat :: Didn’t your great ancestors have the power to go back in time and change the release date and screens of a movie?

Vampire Owl :: Yes, he could predict the situation that the worst movies will get released and there was nothing that we could do. He used to be a fan of an old form of vampire theatre. It was like, for tragedy everybody laughed and then he tried to change the meaning of tragedy and they just cut his head. He could travel in time no longer.

Vampire Bat :: So, he was the first revolutionary against bad drama, that theatre which represents movies now.

Vampire Owl :: Yes, but the point is that he got his head cut off. You know the fans these days and what can happen to us.

Vampire Bat :: That is a fair point.

[Starts the car].

What is it about? :: Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson), a young man is told a family secret at the age of twenty one – that all the men of their family have a special gift, which is the ability for time travel, something which he needs to unlock and try now. But he will only be able to go back to his own experiences, those memories which he can remember well enough. He decides to use this newly found ability of his, to improve his chances of getting a lover. As he falls for his sister’s friend, Charlotte (Margot Robbie) who spends her holidays with them, he uses the time travel ability to make her fall in love with her, but understands that it will never happen as she will just keep making excuses as she already made her decision on him. But later, he would meet Mary (Rachel McAdams) by fate and both are interested in each other, but losses her while trying to help his friend by time travel. But he would use his skills to recreate some events which will take him back to meeting her and both once again fall in love with each other. But his time travel adventures doesn’t end there.

The defence of About Time :: This movie manages to be the smart and cute, happy and heart-warming love story that stands above most of the romantic love stories with its theme as well as its presentation, which is closer to true love and family relationships that it can get, making one wonder if Hollywood actually cares about such things when making movies of this genre – but About Time says, it was about time. The movie is powered by its powerful emotions, and leaves one with a sense of responsibility towards life and also to one’s own family. The movie flourishes in its emotions and runs strong like a river during the monsoon, whenever the family stuff comes to the scene. The romantic comedy is not far behind, as there are moments there, which makes us remember that it is not far away either. The movie has its layers, and each one has something there, hiding some messages which we can take home. The combining of sci-fi-, rom-com and family drama works like a dream here.

Positives and Negatives :: Yes, finding negatives with this movie has not been too difficult with the critics, but it is not easy as far as I am concerned. Yes, the combination of three genres might be strange at times, and the movie not be what some people had expected with its family drama which overtakes the romance and the science fiction most of the people wanted to watch. You can find the time travel paradox and also ask a few question about that, but that is never expected to take the centre stage. The exact central point of the movie is its message for life. About Time is powerful in its heart and soul, and that much you have to give to the movie, no matter what else good or bad you can find here. Keep your own heart and soul at the right place while watching this movie, and these are the kind of movies which can rise above the limitations of a usual romance-sex-comedy.

Performers of the soul :: The movie has a brilliant performance from Domhnall Gleeson, but wait till Rachel McAdams arrives to take your beath away, and the chemistry between the two works like a true love dream. This lady was also there in The Time Traveler’s Wife, but I would say that this is a lot better movie and she is too good in this one. She might have looked better as the younger self in that movie, but look out for her performance in this one. Yes, the presence of the same lady lead might have confused a few, but About Time reigns supreme if there is a war of the romantic time travel fiction. Then there is the surprise package in the form of Bill Nighy as the father, that dad that everybody would want to have, and I would die and be reborn to have. He is someone who has known to love his son and has always found the little joys of his time with his son worth living. He has wonderfully portrayed the perfect father for whom we reserve our tears. Margot Robbie also gets attention in her smaller role, and Lydia Wilson as the sister of the protagonist – Kit Kat is lovable.

Soul exploration :: About Time leaves us with a strong message to live in the moment, and there are things that cannot be changed. Even if you had a certain time travel ability, the things that are to happen, will happen; those things that you have changed were supposed to be changed, and this knowledge whether it can be changed or not can be obtained only by trying, and it is a need to try. It is never late to appreciate life, and the best things come to those who wait, and not those who feel the emergency and hurry up on life. It shows that true love waits, and no matter how much you think that some thing are less important, they are not. It is our responsibility to know that family always comes first, especially with the kind of parents who have cared for you. This is as close to a righteous romantic comedy as one can get, with emotional, love for family and true love. This tale uses the science fiction elements to support this cause.

How it finishes :: Even as this is a romantic comedy, I would advice watching this one with family – it is because its message of love transcends and chooses to rise higher as well as deeper, making it a powerful family movie in its core. It take its elements of true love and science fiction and it digs deep, and comes out of it as a movie for everyone who loves one’s family. I suggest you get a fictional time machine which you can use to erase your questions about many things and replace it with a positive attitude about life. I thought I could do that, but I have come too far to do that. I haven’t listened to myself enough for that throughout my past. But this movie reminds me that, it is never too late, and may be, I will have a chance at everything when the wheel of time turns. Life will give you that opportunity, and I can choose to listen to those idiots, backstabbers and supposed to be successful people (or parents of successful people), waiting for my opportunity. It has to come, because life goes on and you shouldn’t worry too much about the past.

Release date: 3rd November 2013
Running time: 123 minutes
Directed by: Richard Curtis
Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Lydia Wilson, Margot Robbie, Bill Nighy, Tom Hollander, Lindsay Duncan, Richard Cordery, Joshua McGuire, Tom Hughes, Vanessa Kirby, Will Merrick, Lisa Eichhorn

abouttime

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.