Edge of Tomorrow

edgeoftomorrow (2)

Vampire Owl :: So it is about going to the past again and again, right?

Vampire Bat :: No, there is also the thing about changing past and thus alter the present. Ask Wolverine.

Vampire Owl :: What about planting an idea in a dream which also alters the present? Or try it the H.G. Wells way?

Vampire Bat :: That would need scientific equipment. For now, I think the driver of this bus also thinks that he can go back to the past and start it over when he dies. This is too fast.

Vampire Owl :: As there is no alien invasion yet, we should be safe; unless the aliens started with his house this time instead of the United States of America.

Vampire Bat :: I can only hope that aliens look like mutated vampire bats.

Vampire Owl :: I would prefer demons.

[Reaches the destination].

What is it about? :: The humans and the alien forces called Mimics have been in war for quite a long time now. United Defence Forces (UDF) has been created for the same purpose, and with new inventions and some inspired leadership, the humans have been able to score some victories. William Cage (Tom Cruise) is also asked to join the fight, but when he disagrees and tried to get himself out of it, is deprived of his current military rank and is sent to the military base of the Heathrow Airport to take part in the upcoming battle against the aliens. But when the attack begins, he realizes that the creatures know about the attacks and the plans of the human opponents. He is also killed, but not before destroying a Mimic and getting coated in its blood. Then he wakes up at Heathrow Airport yet again and goes though the same things again. He goes through the same things and gets killed again only to wake up again at the same time. He tries to tell the soldiers that the invasion will be failure, and also tries to save a few of them, but the restart continues until he saves the life of Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) who knows about it and asks him to find her when he wakes up. From here, he is turned into a weapon, and the objectives change.

The defence of Edge of Tomorrow :: The movie has absolutely no drag, as it keeps itself to action throughout. The action sequences are impressive, and so are the special effects. The aliens are nice creatures and are mostly a form of spider-octopus hybrid, closer to the creature from the water. The first few attempts in this reset are actually funny, and there are some indirect comedy that the movie has. The movie never losses its power to entertain and never does it get much emotional. The absence of the horrible emotions which comes in each and every alien movie actually becomes a plus point here. The movie has awesome electronic devices, not only with the stylish gadgets including weapons, but also the sight of the airbase which has lots of interesting stuff around. The movie also reminds us of the flick called Source Code, but in a nice way. Edge of Tomorrow has an idea, and it might not have been the most original ones, but it is surely interesting and the way in which they have presented it needs a lot of appreciation. This is a science fiction and an action thriller and remains so throughout, and now that is often more than enough.

The claws of flaw :: The movie is based on the Japanese All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka about which I know less about. I might just try to read a translated version some day, so as to know if it is any better than the movie itself. The movie has a better first half than the second, but the latter is not far behind. The climax fails to be special as the movie though, but that is mostly because the expectations were too high considering what kind of a ride the movie had provided us with. The ending is also less interesting, and it also leaves room for ambiguity. There is another awakening that happens in the end, and we are not sure why it actually happens or why it happens that way, but the bigger question will be about the state of aliens which is also kept in the dark. It was indeed on the weaker side, and the weakness of the movie comes in the end. There is a certain amount of laziness that comes in the end and leaves with a little less satisfaction. Didn’t this movie deserve more? A better ending could have made sure that the movie had started well and finished nicely too, but this one wants to win in a super over and lets see if they have made it so hoping to make a possible sequel in future. But that is just a minor thing.

Performers of the soul :: Tom Cruise comes up with a great performance right here. Well, he is surely the reason why most of the people actually decided to go into the theatre, and it is a fact that he is one of the popular Hollywood stars around here. We remember seeing him in the other alien invasion movie which was Oblivion, going back to 2013. It was rather emotional and slow while this one rarely has the time to work to work on such stuff as it goes on with all the action right from the beginning to end, and it is safe to say that he excels in both. He still seems to have the energy that he always had. The more interesting character here should be Emily Blunt as Sergeant Rita Vrataski or “the Angel of Verdun” and “the Full Metal Bitch” as she plays a very special soldier, a heroic figure in this one. Her character is not just strong, but also smart and selfless as the super-soldier who massacred a huge number of aliens and brought her people close to victory. She doesn’t just look like a beautiful soldier who goes on destroying the aliens, as she steals the show when she gets into the act. From that shot when she is taking push-ups, we can be sure that she means business.

Soul exploration :: Live; Die; Repeat – now that is something that reminds me of my golden age of computer gaming. It is what we all do, in a game as we load the saved game and go back to where we had that opportunity to save our progress. We can see the parallel in this movie also, as the protagonist go back to a certain point instead of a long way back, and he tries again and again to alter the situation doing different things or rather doing things in a different way. He is desperate to change the fate of the world each time he goes into battle only to die again, as we gamers attempt to clear a stage of the game. The one game which this movie reminds me of, should be Crysis and its expansion Crysis Warhead. It was the game in which I lived, killed aliens, died, came back and killed aliens more than any other. I can also recollect a certain amount of similarities in the looks of the aliens, especially of the alpha creature. So, it is indeed the game mode revisited without control over anything on screen. For me, it was Crysis, and even when it was not it, still there was the game element in it. Not everyone has a life to loss to regain it again, only a gamer does; unless you are one mythical creature.

How it finishes :: Edge of Tomorrow has already managed to get some nice opinion from the critics and the audience – I shall also agree to the same. This should also be a great time to release this one, with Maleficent weakening significantly, and the multiplexes having The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla and X-Men: Says of the Future Past giving the competition. Bollywood’s Holiday doesn’t seem to impress much, and the Malayalam flick Bangalore Days is not for the same kind of people. May be this is the science fiction movie you have been waiting for, and I have heard a lot of positive opinions about this one from the sources which I consider to be of great value. There is Tom Cruise who can bring a lot of audience to the theatres without playing a superhero or fairy tale character, and this support that he has, will be significant in its success here. I would recommend it as the movie of the weekend, as well as the second best of 2014 after Captain America II: The Winter Soldier. With a better climax and ending, Edge of Tomorrow could have got a clear lead.

Release date: 6th June 2014
Running time: 113 minutes
Directed by: Doug Liman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Riley, Kick Gurry, Dragomir Mrsic, Jonas Armstrong, Franz Drameh, Masayoshi Haneda, Tony Way, Noah Taylor

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

47 Ronin

47roninn

Swords and martial arts :: Just a few days after I watched The Forbidden Kingdom on television, this movie finally released in India, overtaking a few other movies which are still pending to be released here. Based on the legend about the revenge of the Forty-seven Ronin based on Japan, the movie brings back the swords and martial arts into the Hollywood which has been taken over by men with the superpowers in the last two years. The movie also marks Keanu Reeves coming to the big screen in this part of the world after a long time. Well, this is the right time for release indeed, as the Christmas releases have been losing power, and with only The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and The Wolf of Wall Street to give some challenge, 47 Ronin does have the opportunity to do its best here, with one of the most famous actors (thanks to The Matrix) for the people here, as the critical opinions are forgotten.

What is it about? :: Kai (Keanu Reeves) is an outcast among the samurai, as he lives a life throughout which he is ignored as he is a half-breed, half-British and half-Japanese. He is in love with Mika (Kou Shibasaki), which both of them haven’t taken far, as she is the daughter of a Samurai Lord and he is the forsaken one. But as Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano) with the aid of a witch Mizuki (Rinko Kikuchi) murders the Lord and takes over the kingdom, the Samurai are banished from their lands and Kai is sold into slavery due to his low birth. But they vow to return and avenge their master under the leadership of Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada). 47 in number, including Kai who wishes to save Mika from being forced into marrying the new Lord, the team goes through dangerous quests in order to achieve their objective. The movie deals with their pain, hardships and questions about their possible success in their primary objective.

The defence of 47 Ronin :: Whatever the critics say, 47 Ronin is a colourful movie, and it is difficult not to get lost in the beauty of its colours as well as its use of light, darkness and shadows. There is a beautiful environment created by the movie which seeks our attention. The sword-fights are well-executed without the addition of exaggeration which has threatened to plague this one right from the beginning. There are also some interesting dialogues, some philosophical and some just being stylish. There are also a few funny moments, quite short in length. The CGI which involves some creatures as well as the shape-shifting skills of the witch turned out to be good too, and in the 3D, they looked interesting throughout, but considering the visual experiences we had last year, one can’t be too addicted to this one. The costumes are superb, and the fact that the movie doesn’t delay in getting into action sequences also helps.

Claws of flaw :: The movie takes the slower path at times, staying away from action and keeping the actors doing nothing. The story moves on through a predictable path, and there are not many things happening out there that you haven’t been expecting for a long time. Also, there are strange things happening throughout the movie – no I am not talking about the mass honour suicides, but creatures appearing just for being there and add to the overall head count of the movie, and the “outcast thing” given too much prominence. The romantic side is also less interesting, and one tends to wonder if there was any need for that, as avenging the master would have been more than enough – but they need some romance, to satisfy that kind of people who most probably won’t watch this movie. They have also made Keanu Reeves’ character not bringing that kind of fun which he is expected to take into a movie.

Performers of the soul :: Keanu Reeves is the star, despite his character being one of the least interesting Samurai ever. But as a character who can bring something into an action movie, this one works perfectly. The star from The Matrix and Constantine is quite brilliant in his portrayal of a character which might not have been even needed in this movie. Did they take that half-breed idea right out of those creatures in Constantine? Our hero is kind of there at the wrong place, but the way in which he manages it has to be appreciated. It is good to see that Rinko Kikuchi takes over so well, and that was to be expected after watching her in Pacific Rim. Kou Shibasaki is beautiful, and Hiroyuki Sanada comes up with a performance that is one step above the movie. Tadanobu Asano’s villain is less explored, even as it is an okay screen presence, which kind of fades in comparison with the witch who runs the evil side.

Soul exploration :: The movie’s story of ronin, the samurai with no master, is more of a story of emotions and honour rather than the typical swords and martial arts flick which is usually expected. The two-handed Samurai stuff reminds one of The Wolverine, and the word “half-breeds” of Constantine. There is a lot of emotional undercurrents going on, but just some of them which affects us. As we are not into the Japanese history or legends, it is almost impossible to have a perfect look into it, and it is not easy to do justice to the same. It seems to treat the same with its CGI creatures, which include a six eyed cattle-like creature, a disfigured monk-like person with superpowers, a huge Samurai figure clothed in what looks like metal and the witch’s own white wolf, weird spider and the serpent-like dragon which breathes fire. There is not much to attach the soul to, right there. One can just embrace this movie for how much it catches your attention in the movie hall.

How it finishes :: 47 Ronin is no 300, and it is not even The Forbidden Kingdom. But that doesn’t take a lot out of its pocket. We watched the movie during an almost full show at a place where English movies are not supposed to attract the viewers especially if any Malayalam movie is running, and so I would say that it is doing okay here, despite all the negativity which has been associated with it in North America and other places and also that low box-office collection which has been associated with this. After all, who can say no to a Keanu Reeves movie with sword-fights shot in 3D? There are more of The Matrix fans around here than one can imagine, and that face of Neo is not something that can easily fade away. So 47 Ronin should continue to do fine for a week, and nothing more, as none of the English movies in the theatre right now are expected to carry over to the next release date.

Release date: 3rd January 2014 (India); 25th December 2013 (US)
Running time: 119 minutes
Directed by: Carl Erik Rinsch
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Kou Shibasaki, Rinko Kikuchi, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Jin Akanishi, Min Tanaka, Neil Fingleton, Masayoshi Haneda, Hiroshi Sogabe, Takato Yonemoto, Hiroshi Yamada, Shu Nakajima, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.