The Battle of Jangsari

Vampire Owl: I hope that it would be like the battle we had with the zombies.

Vampire Bat: We had a battle with the zombies last year?

Vampire Owl: Yes, the one which was fought near the meeting point of two rivers.

Vampire Bat: Wan’t that a battle with the werewolves?

Vampire Owl: Yes, they looked like wolves, but technically, they were zombies.

Vampire Bat: I do not understand the idea which you are talking about.

Vampire Owl: See, these werewolves were bitten by zombies. Therefore, the are former werewolves who are now zombies.

Vampire Bat: So, you are taking out the werewolf qualities out of them, and saying that the zombie characteristics will takeover.

Vampire Owl: Yes, if you are bitten by an undead, you are no longer alive. The werewolves will acquire the qualities of the undead which bit them.

Vampire Bat: Okay, I guess the only problem will be if a werewolf is bitten by a zombie and a vampire. One has to wonder which characteristics will be taken by the wolf.

[Gets a chocolate cake and three cups of masala tea].

What is the movie’s background about? :: As the Second World War ended, the Allies lead by the Soviet Union and the United States of America liberated Korea from Japanese control, days after the dropping of atom bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With two major powers set to on a Cold War for many years after the defeat of Germany and Italy as well as the weakening of Great Britain and France due to war, Korea was divided into two zones of occupation, as the Soviets were in control of the northern half while the Americans administered the southern half. As different governments having exactly opposite ideologies were established on both sides, there was continuous tension, and each group proclaimed ownership of the whole of Korean peninsula, but didn’t launch a full-scale attack until then. But on the 25th of June, 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea, it had marked the beginning of the Korean War, fought completely in the Korean peninsula.

So, what happens with the events here? :: North Korea, had the support of the major Communist nations of China and the Soviet Union while South Korea, had the support of the United States of America and its allies. The United Nations Security Council itself had approved the sending troops in support of South Korea against what was a full scale military invasion without provocation. A total of twenty one nations are supposed to have provided support to the United Nations defence of South Korea, but United States of America was the leader with ninety percent of the troops provided for the purpose. After the first two months of war, South Korean Army and the United States forces Korea were almost defeated. But in September 1950, an sea-based United Nations counter-offensive was to be launched at Incheon, to cut off many North Korean troops in South Korea. A group of seven hundred and seventy two student soldiers has the task of staging a diversionary mission at Jangsari Beach in South Korea.

And, what is to follow here, as this is war, and a case of final defence for the South Koreans :: This particular attempt at landing would trick the the North Korean forces into thinking that the opposition forces would be soon launching a decisive invasion there would distract the North Koreans from Incheon. But the waves are very high and there is a shortage of landing boats. The student soldiers have no idea what they are doing, and the only thing they has done since getting into the ship, is vomitting. This seems to be a strange and impossible mission on the beach for the students who are trained at nothing except a little boot camp time, while highly trained North Korean defence await on the shores. Can they succeed in this, or will they at least dare to try, as North Korea is very close to making its dreams of one Korean peninsula under them? How long can the South’s resistance at the Nakdong River in the southernmost region stand, and how good is the United Nations in stopping this?

The defence of The Battle of Jangsari :: As you might have expected, there is war written on it right from the beginning, as far as The Battle of Jangsari is concerned. With a thunderstorm seemingly around, we know that there will be no smooth sailing in the movie for the troops, and it is certainly a kind of foreshadowing. The movie is full of some nicely worked out scenes of war, with battle tanks, guns and landmines never ceasing to come up on the screen, as one battle follows the other. There are also those emotional sequences, as some of the soldiers even have a tale to tell, and we also come to know that this is a hopeless situation, from where an escape seems to be too distant. The area where the battles are fought is perfect to provide those nice visuals too. The performances are all good, especially considering the fact that we have a young cast here. Lee Ho-Jung plays the only female among the soldiers, and she does a fine job too.

The claws of flaw :: With a premise and an idea like this, the movie could have achieved a lot more for sure. As it gets near the end, things begin to get more and more predictable, even though there is no certainty about who all will be the ones to survive. The battles could have been more, and we needed to see more of the battles happening in other parts of Korea, at least as a quick reminder. Megan Fox’s character is underused, and there is not much being done to create a change there. The movie also suffers from the absence of female characters, both on the battlefield, and also outside. With Megan around, there could have been more, maybe even with the help of a flashback that goes far behind before the North Korean invasion started. For someone who is coming from outside countries like Korea, Russia, United States of America, Japan, United Kingdom and China, maybe people could use a little bit more of information on this war which hasn’t been known much at this part of the world.

How it finishes :: As far as The Battle of Jangsari as a war movie is concerned, there was lot more to be taken, but it doesn’t do that. It is still a fine film with a forgotten episode of war, which will always be something of interest. As we are not that familiar with this particular war in comparison to the World Wars and the Cold War, this could a fine new experience for us, as the Korean perspective only becomes more interesting. The war with some extraordinary deeds of courage, and an emotional touch which keeps getting stronger towards the end, makes The Battle of Jangsari a movie which needs to be watched. As we take a look at a movie on Korean War which might be the first film most us around here watch based on a war from that side, this might be a war movie you will recommend to many others. After all, there is some history around here, and most of the war movies teach you that, mostly from one side of the battling nations. They have surely kept this one simple and enjoyable.

Release date: 25th September 2019
Running time: 103 minutes
Directed by: Kwak Kyung-taek, Kim Tae-hoon
Starring: Kim Myung-min, Megan Fox, Choi Min-ho, Kim Sung-cheol, Kim In-kwon, Kwak Si-yang, Jang Ji-Gun, Lee Ho-Jung, Lee Jae-wook, Dong Bang-Woo, George Eads, Jeong Jong-Jun, Kim Min-Kyu

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

TMNT

Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles (2)

Vampire Owl :: So we are going to watch Megan Fox.

Vampire Bat :: We are going to watch some mutated turtles who got ninja training and claims to be teenagers.

Vampire Owl :: Okay. We are going to watch one fox and four turtles. Still, I will watch the Fox more.

Vampire Bat :: It is quite obvious that we will watch Megan Fox more. But this movie is still about turtles.

Vampire Owl :: But the real turtle movie was in Malayalam. It was called Annayum Rasoolum. But it was neither for teenagers or mutated.

Vampire Bat :: That was the snail movie. Turtles are actually faster. The movie might even lose a race to a random snail.

Vampire Owl :: How can you be sure that turtles are faster? What if there is a turbo mode?

Vampire Bat :: Because turtles have legs?

Vampire Owl :: Why are we even talking about turtles when there is Megan Fox?

Vampire Bat :: Because we have to remember the name at the counter.

[Goes to the ticket counter].

What is it about? :: April O’Neil (Megan Fox) is a reporter who keeps looking for some big story which can take her status at the news office to a higher level. For the same, she attempts to gather some information about a criminal gang called the Foot Clan, but ends up seeing the goons being defeated by some shadow-like figures which comes out of nowhere and disappears. As she has no proof about the same, nobody really believes her, and she sets out to find more information about the same. The Turtles Leonardo (Johnny Knoxville), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), Donatello (Jeremy Howard), and Raphael (Alan Ritchson) soon come in contact with her and she is caught in a battle between Foot Clan lead by The Shredder (Tohoru Masamune) and his wealthy and influential student Eric Sacks (William Fichtner) and the turtles. But the evil plan of the gang seems to be much more than just random robbery, smuggling and other criminal activities, as it turns out that the major objective is much more than all of those. But are the turtles and April good enough to stop the same?

The defence of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles :: The movie’s title itself explains what is to be expected from it, as there is basically nothing else about this movie other than the four crime-fighting reptiles with one heroine. The action sequences are very well done here, and there are lots of nice ones, even as some of them might be a bit difficult to follow with the pace. The special effects are very good and the turtles are nicely detailed even as there can be the doubt about it suiting the current creative imagination. The funny side works up-to an extent. The stunts are very good in 3D and they look even better when the action takes place with such a such a great background atmosphere – the tunnels, the rooftop and the scientific laboratory with its surrounding snow covered world are those premises where the stylish fights take place. There is lot of style involved along with the destruction and particles being thrown at you in 3D making good use of the technology. Three of the turtles other than the flirt are okay, but may be they wanted to prove that even turtles love Megan Fox, the most gorgeous one?

The claws of flaw :: This movie is basically about talking reptiles which can talk and turtles which can move faster than trained humans. But this movie made about walking humanoid turtles turns out to be immature for the adult viewers. I am pretty sure that I would have enjoyed this movie if I had this opportunity about fifteen years ago, and that would have been the right moment for me to go for this. But for an average adult audience, this should look pretty much stupid and silly for most of the time. The turtles are also somewhat irritating, while the Michelangelo one completely destroys the name of that Italian Renaissance painter with too much ridiculous dialogues. The characterization is just made to differentiate between the turtles and nothing else is worked on, including the roles of the villains as well as our heroine. The movie also goes on predictable lines, with an investigator looking for news, and a few heroes being trained by someone, and the villains who wish to spread chaos in the city for making money and fame. The movie needed more attention in its working, and the turtles needed re-working for the age.

Performers of the soul :: Even as this is all about the four turtles, Megan Fox becomes that leading lady and the one human character which steals all the attention. She plays the only positive non-CGI character that is there to catch our sight. She looks extremely good throughout the movie and there is no doubt about the fact that there is only one gorgeous lady who gets all the attention. It is just another role which follows the usual stereotype stuff, and yet it is clear that she has done what was expected from her in such a movie. I doubt if something more was actually expected when such a shallow character was given to her. Yes, everybody knows why she is there, and the obvious fact that she is a reason for people to be happy even if everything goes terribly wrong. Meanwhile, William Fichtner turns out to be a good villain there. Then there are the turtles and one rat, plus the villain in the armour, all of them going in a typical comic book style, with nothing special there – add one possible boyfriend there too for the lovely young lady.

Soul exploration :: When we say Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has no soul, it should be mainly about the characters in this movie, especially the major protagonists, and that is indeed the case here. There is just that collection of names of the Italian Renaissance painters which is not going to make Florence any happier. The movie attempts to go through their characters, and the one rat father figure, but that doesn’t work too well. The turtles remain weird and leaves not much to relate, while Megan Fox has a character to play with all the one-dimensional qualities reflected clearly. This should be a major reason why the rabbit might actually win the race for a change, and can we not bet on him for going past such lazy turtles with ease? Wasn’t that always supposed to happen? There was always that long lost animated series which we used to watch as kids, and loved – but this one doesn’t live up-to the strength of those works. May be we can somehow watch them and also get those comics which I never had the opportunity to read.

How it finishes :: Twenty one days after its release in the United States, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles finally releases in India. It has been a long wait, and considering the time spent thinking that it will release tomorrow, or another tomorrow, this didn’t prove to be worth it. This is also the highest rate I have paid for a movie in the last few months, and it did make me wonder if it was money well spent. Step Up: All In has also released here, and its fate is yet to be known. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has still managed to bring in its own audience, including children, families and the youth, and it is quite surprising with the reviews it had got, not many positive ones there. There is a sequel coming up in 2016, and one has to wonder what fate it will bring, even as box-office seems to be bright for this movie – that is one thing it can boast about, being a financial success, something which can be safely associated with almost all the superhero movies with all the action and special effects. Otherwise, you can always watch a movie like this for Megan Fox – the centre of this solar system.

Release date: 29th August 2014 (India); 8th August 2014 (US)
Running time: 101 minutes
Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman
Starring: Megan Fox, Alan Ritchson, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Noel Fisher, Will Arnett, Danny Woodburn, William Fichtner, Johnny Knoxville, Tony Shalhoub

teenagemutantninjaturtles

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.