Resident Evil V

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It is should be the right thing to say in this redundant flashback – that Resident Evil, in both its forms, as the movie and as the game, have been an integral part of my alternate reality. Thus this flashback to a few months ago is clearly justified. There are so many things that this one prepares us for, and the most important thing is to be prepared for a zombie apocalypse, and that a virus is the most evil and the powerful thing which could be created and manipulated by man in a zombie fiction, and proving it with a series of arrows from its quiver which is the game and movie collection. The addiction with this movie made my download even another movie The Resident by mistake, which was pretty good too, and being such a master in action-horror genre, our series makes such an impact on everyone who is not faint-hearted in an anti-gore manner, that the need for more of it arises. It is from this need that the game series has reached its peak, and the movie series has reached what is called Resident Evil: Retribution, and is going to reach that stage which is called Resident Evil: Armageddon which should be the last movie of this series unless they change their mind or do a reboot. In this world of pseudo-experts growing dislike for this movie, what you need to do though, is accept this movie with its flaws which are not really “the flaw” considering its origin.

As a continuation of the story, Alice (Milla Jovovich) and he friends are attacked by a group of airships led by Alice’s former ally and friend, Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), who has been brainwashed by the Umbrella Corporation through a red scarab device attached to her chest, a battle which results in an explosion which knocks her out and throws her into the water. Alice awakens as a prisoner in an Umbrella jail. Jill tortures Alice, but she escapes and fights through another world, the Tokyo simulation of the original outbreak and encounters Ada Wong (Li Bingbing) who has changed sides leaving the Umbrella Corporation behind. They go on a mission to save whatever is left of mankind, but before that they have to get out. They have to go through a number of artificial worlds though, the different virus outbreak simulations which are meant to test her clones and may be she can even encounter a few other faces of herself. As there are many simulations and recreations of outbreaks, with so many basic models in such testing environments with different roles assigned to the same Alice, as she might be a businesswoman in one, a housewife in another or even a soldier working for Umbrella Corporation in the next. It is another centre of pure scientific evil through which they have to go through to get out into the real world.

Resident Evil series can never be included in the list of pure action nor pure horror movies. It is a clear mixture of both, and what is has produced is a group of powerful female protagonists who are also incredibly good-looking in their attires, and comes up with breath-taking stunts. There are a few male characters who supports, but still fails to create the much needed impact. To add to it, the human villains remain the men, and zombies have to be considered beyond them. There are basically five female characters who have created a huge impact within the series, and among them, one is the main protagonist and two of them can be considered as her perfect partners in action. The other two also make a powerful impact upon presence. This is more of an improvement from both Underworld and Kill Bill series, which had such protagonists, but just one female in all cases, and so is the case of Alien series. What Resident Evil has done is that there are so many characters who have filled this apocalyptic future with their own style and characteristics, and they all have their significance in the future.

Milla Jovovich as Alice Alice, is the main protagonist of the Resident Evil film series. The story of each film is mostly about her own struggle with the Umbrella Corporation. She starts as lady wearing nothing other than two pieces of paper supported by a small thread, which is more like a superior fashion design which Umbrella seem to be interested in giving to their captives and research items from the number of movies she wears it – in the first movie, she starts under the shower with amnesia. This repetition of paper-clothing and her words about her name being Alice are the two things which seems to reiterate itself without any sense. But what is to be noticed is that she evolves into a highly efficient killing machine and more of a bio-weapon which is stopped from unleashing itself only by her conscience. Alice would seem to become more and more efficient throughout the series. It is even seen in her clothing, as she seems more like Underworld‘s Selene (Kate Beckinsale) in this movie, close to being the best female action protagonist. Alice’s superhuman abilities which she has achieved with the successful bonding with the T-virus which has negatively affected others, makes her more of a superhero character – she even has psychic abilities. Considering the number of clones of her which the Umbrella Corporation produces, one might even end up doubting if she who is depicted in the movie might be really that Alice of the first movie.

In the last movie, we saw that her superhuman abilities have been taken away by the disabling of her T-virus affected cells. Still, we can see that she is still strong enough in this movie as she comes up with those breath-taking stunts. But, at the end of this one, her powers are back with another injection as it is needed as the last hope for humanity. She is referred to as “Alice in Wasteland” in the posters of this movie, more of a combination of Alice in Wonderland and The Wasteland, thus combining the feelings of being in a different world of strange characters as well as feeling the disaster of the world. Li Bingbing as Ada Wong has run away from Umbrella to save the remnants of mankind in this movie, and she serves as support for Alice in Resident Evil: Retribution. She could be seen as another version of Alice itself, without the T-virus and involving in all the action and adventure with what seems to be her highly trained abilities. She could be another perfect clone of Alice with all that she seemed to be doing in the movie. Even in her first appearance in the movie series, she has created an impact which is on par with her character in the video game, and that is perfect.

Alison Elizabeth “Ali” Larter as Claire Redfield is first seen as the leader of a convoy of zombie apocalypse survivors in Resident Evil: Extinction. In Resident Evil: Afterlife, she is captured by the Umbrella Corporation and manipulated by a device that controls her mind before reuniting with Alice and her brother Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller). Claire did not return in this movie despite of the popularity of her character. Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine, is back in this movie after being a major character in Resident Evil: Apocalypse. This time, she no longer is with Alice due to the mind-controlling device placed on her. It is upto Alice to bring her back to her side. These two characters would be needed as the main protagonists of a possible reeboot as they might be able to surpass Alice in creating a better impact on the viewers as they did in the game series. Michelle Rodriguez as Rain Ocampo is introduced in the first Resident Evil movie, where she works for the Umbrella Corporation’s commando division. In this movie, there are many of her, as good and bad clones are used as test subjects in the simulated environment, but they are all killed. So there is doubt if there would be any more of her in the next installment unless another return occurs for Michelle Rodriguez in the Fast & Furious 6 style.

I have believed in Resident Evil just like I believed in Silent Hill, as a computer game, and it is the same with the movies too, and I have never really tried to separate one experience from the other. The former had been with me till Resident Evil 4 and has been my favourite video game adaptation so far along with Hitman and Tomb Raider, and the latter is more of memories, mostly of Silent Hill 3. For me, this genre of fear was mostly about Undying, the first graphically good enough horror game which I had played. Well, these three games together make such an impact which nothing else can; the horror is possibly better than most of the horror movies around. The world of gaming has almost ended for me, even as there is a little dose of Age of Empires, Age of Wonders and Unreal Tournament at times – No true gamer with faith in computer gaming can forget the classics, right? I would wait for the release of the games based on Need For Speed, Deus Ex, Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed though, for they have more and more memories of another world, of that reality where I spent a good amount of my life. Here, the movie is strong in its action sequences and moments of horror and surprise supported by great 3D effects and awesome CGI with all the needed special effects. You can try to be pseudo-intellectual and dislike this movie, but it has continued to do what is expected of an action-horror video game adaptation.

Release date: 14th September 2012
Running time: 95 minutes
Directed by: Paul W. S. Anderson
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez, Li Bingbing, Kevin Durand, Aryana Engineer, Shawn Roberts, Colin Salmon, Johann Urb, Boris Kodjoe

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.

Silent Hill II

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This is the time for flashback, to a few months ago. This is the time when the thirst for horror has reached its zenith. This movie series itself is a legend in quenching this thirst, as it comes up with that horror which is so difficult to fathom as a simple horror fan. The movie is not just an enigma, for it gives everything away; but the problem is about what we take in. I have to admit that I am at loss; for none of the horror movies came here this year; guess they can’t take the terror from Hollywood, and it must be so beyond them. Did the good horror die a painful death? The answer would be no, as I would try to resurrect this one out of my mind and have that vision of horror which the critics never liked, but I enjoyed without that sceptical mind. There will be no bones scattered and no blood spilled in the review; there would be the horror of returning to the Silent Hill that will be horrifying enough. There will be pain and suffering, for this dimension is not for the faint-hearted. Well, one just doesn’t go to Silent Hill on vacation and come back refreshed with a heart full of immense happiness and pleasure, so as if there was the chance to dance with the daffodils. They can still flash upon that inward eye and fill the world with fear; for nightmares of the night are outdated and those of the day take over.

Welcome to Silent Hill. Welcome to the fictional foggy American town of Silent Hill far beyond the reach of the electronic equipments, and its dark alternate dimension. There is the original world and the Otherworld, both separated by nothing but time. The Silent Hill has a cult, “The Order” which does ritual human sacrifices and awaits the rise of their diety, something which could be equated with the anti-christ. But the concepts of good and evil are inversed in this Otherworld of Silent Hill, and they would stop at nothing to bring the goodness that is pure evil upon Earth. They have their priestess and the good amount of blind followers. Their attempt to create the pseudo-paradise on Earth will unleash the inferno, or the original hell on the planet. It shall be the beginning of the end. Considering such a background which is firmly based on a highly successful video game, people tend to expect more, which would lead to disappointment. But as long as this one is considered, what it does is performing its duty to its genre and scare as much as possible; its scary elements remain strong, and may be it works even better than its predecessor. Everything else will slowly come into terms as the base is still strong, even as the influence is less.

Continuing from where the first part had left off, Rose Da Silva (Radha Mitchell) has managed to save her daughter from Silent Hill, even though she gets caught in that dimension. She made the choice so that the girl as well as her world would be safe from whatever evil lurks inside the foggy dimension of the abandoned town. But the horrors of the alternate dimension hasn’t left Sharon Da Silva (Adelaide Clemens) who is currently living as Heather Mason with her adoptive father Christopher Da Silva (Sean Bean) in another town, as they go on changing places every now and then making sure that the people from the cult of Silent Hill won’t find her. But she is plagued by consistent hallucinations and nightmares, and she even feels the shift from this world to the other. She still believes that they are on the move because her father killed a man in self-defense and the police are seeking him. She is also made to believe that her adoptive mother Rose had died in a car crash. Now, as time has passed and she has grown older, the cult has increased the frequency of their search for her.

Heather fails to belong to the class or the school where she studies, and successfully becomes a complete outsider right from the beginning itself with a speech warning the other students against befriending her. She is approached by a private investigator named Douglas Cartland (Martin Donovan) who explains to her that he was hired by the Order to find Heather, but has decided to help her as he come to know some disturbing information about his clients. He also tells her that she is not what she thinks she is, and the life she is living is more of a lie than anything else. Heather is curious, but before he tells more about it, a fierce demon from the other world, the Missionary, kills Douglas, and Heather becomes a suspect to his murder as all the clues point to her. She finds that her father is missing, and at home, she finds a message instructing her to go to Silent Hill. She learns the truth about the place by reading a letter from her father, and decides to go to Silent Hill to rescue him even as the letter prohibited her from going anywhere near the foggy town.

Her classmate Vincent (Kit Harington) who helps her throughout reveals that he is the son of the cult’s leader Claudia Wolf (Carrie-Anne Moss), and was there to convince her to willingly come to Silent Hill, as it would really work if she is forced to be there. But he changes his mind and wants her to survive and therefore he tries to stop her in her attempts to rescue her father. He further tells her that Heather is actually a part of Alessa Gillespie, a girl who was burnt thirty eight years ago by the same cult but never died, leading her to create the town’s shifting dimensions. Heather is the manifestation of Alessa’s remaining innocence and goodness, as the other side knows only pain and suffering inflicted upon herself as well as the others of the town. A quick shift to the Otherworld occurs unexpectedly, and Vincent is dragged away by the same demon, Missionary. Heather enters the other dimension to find her dad as well as Leonard along with knowing more about herself. This is where the next level of horror begins.

I have believed in Silent Hill as much as I had in Resident Evil, as a computer game. The latter had been with me till Resident Evil 4 and has been my favourite video game adaptation so far along with Hitman and Tomb Raider, and the former is more of memories, mostly of Silent Hill 3 which was similar enough to this movie title. For me, this genre of fear was mostly about Undying, the first graphically good enough horror game which I had played. Well, these three games together make such an impact which nothing else can; the horror is possibly better than most of the horror movies around. The world of gaming has almost ended for me, even as there is a little dose of Age of Empires, Age of Wonders and Unreal Tournament at times – who can forget the classics, right? I would wait for the release of the games based on Need For Speed, Deus Ex, Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed though, for they have memories of the other dimension, that reality where I spent a good amount of my life. There is another parallel world, that of computer games, and some games like Silent Hill got another reality inside its reality; sounds complicated enough. But the question would be about which reality being the most evil of them all, and the present human world qualifies for a race to that position.

For a movie made more for maximum horror than anything else, this one has done a very good job. If you are looking for ambiguities, come with a big truck as there might be a huge load of them. Well, it works on parallel universe or alternative reality. When a video game based horror movie deals with the self-contained separate reality which co-exists, there is always going to be loose-ends. Even the first half had its own collection of ambiguities, some which has carried over to this sequel. We can still consider the Silent Hill as that alternate reality which always co-exists, as a place for those belonging to the evil, for they are there even without themselves knowing. For them, it should be the original place and where they live should be their Silent Hill where they do not belong; a place which scares them with the goodness. But considering where the world is going, there is going to be the same reality here and there. There will be two Silent Hills and the choice would create more ambiguities. Still, this alternate reality helps one to live another life, something different, but all the online world which creates a second life can turn into another Silent Hill all of a sudden. It is always about faith which keeps the Silent Hills away, or without evil.

Release date: 26th October 2012
Running time: 94 minutes
Directed by: Michael J. Bassett
Starring: Adelaide Clemens, Sean Bean, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kit Harington, Deborah Kara Unger, Martin Donovan, Malcolm McDowell, Radha Mitchell

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.

Fast and Furious VI

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Fast & Furious 6 is many things, and when we take two of its major components alone, the good old Destruction Derby has met Need for Speed once again, and whatever was left undone in Fast & Furious 5 a.k.a Fast Five is accomplished here, and that too in a magnificent fashion. If you are looking for logic, this isn’t the movie for you, but still it is as close to reality as possible considering its genre. Well, your reasoning and the strict principles of validity are rarely correct in a world of complete chaos. The elders of evil are the perpetrators of this chaos which is hidden enough from those who lacks the eyes to see, and sadly that includes a lot of people. When someone looks for truth through something as incomplete as science, there is this chaos which will finally devour the world into a black hole of inhumanity and cruelty to nature which started a long time ago. There is this lack of faith which might make watching this movie further difficult. Well, there is not always a perfect definition for everything and not every theory is qualified enough to called by that name. This perfection of logic itself is a lie, as it can never be attained. In that case, this movie is pure imperfect logic which makes a powerful impact.

How did it feel to wake up at another part of the universe in Star Trek, a few weeks ago? Well, this is not another universe, but it is still a new world of absolute mayhem. This world will have no aliens, but it can still give enough alienation to the common man, which should be another reason for its success. For series which I had least interest in, has developed into something which I can’t resist, thanks to Fast Five. I had thought that I was done with it by the fourth of the series, but as we all know, good things do come to those who wait. No, I do not belong to the group of the new age procrastinators group. I do whatever I have to as early as possible, but as long as the things which are not under our control are concerned, I shall wait without losing faith. When one understands that most of the things are not of your control and the world you know needs waiting, as John Milton had said in On His Blindness, “They also serve who only stand and wait”. So, there are times when you have to take that leap of faith, and believe – those are the moments when logic goes to its grave and you get the much deserved reward for waiting with undisputed, incomparable faith which is a quality of you. Still, never leap into the wrong place, for it is a sin even from a movie watcher’s perspective.

Here, we come back to the two major components again, as Destruction Derby was one of the first of the computer games I ever played, and Destruction Derby 2 followed. That vehicular combat game based on the sport of demolition derby, the collisions, destruction, damage, and all the mayhem that followed. The defensive style and taking calculated risks were two things we had learnt from this game. Still, we never ended up finishing this game which was second only to Road Rash in popularity among us. It was a welcome change from those never-ending driving simulations, a hybrid. The same is the case of our movie, which successfully accomplishes its role as a combination of more than one thing; the first thing being vehicular combat and mayhem. The second one is Need For Speed, which has very little to contribute to this game, except for one race which didn’t even go and get completed in the right manner. But still, it is the base of everything, the reason why I ever cared about the first few movies of the series in the first place. It was never the most influencing game of my gaming life, but the Brooke Burke inspired Need for Speed: Underground 2 and Need for Speed: Most Wanted changed many things including my superior love for action and strategy games. The time spent by me for the latter was so much that I had to retire myself just one step before finishing the game, as the second best, in order to continue my search for more games.

The story progresses somewhat like this: Following their successful Brazilian heist in Fast Five, Dominic Toretto and his crew of expert criminals have retired and living in different parts of the world. Brian O’Conner and Mia Torreto has a kid, and Dominic Toretto has retired to a life with Elena Neves. Meanwhile, Luke Hobbs and his new partner Riley are involved in the investigation of an unexpected attack on a Russian military convoy. They find a new group of professional criminals led by a man called Owen Shaw responsible for the attack. Hobbs requests the help of Dominic with a new photo of his former girlfriend Letty Ortiz, who was supposed to be dead. Dominic gathers his crew together and they accept Hobbs’ mission in exchange for a pardon for all of their past crimes so that they can finally go back home again. During their first encounter with the gang, Letty arrives to help Shaw, and shoots Dominic thus helping Shaw in escaping. Later, she is revealed to be suffering from severe memory loss. Later, Dominic battles Letty in a street racing competition and later explains her past to her, but there is nothing remembered and she leaves. The complicated situation demands the capture of Shaw and the return of Letty to the extended family where she belongs. The two things will demand more than just a car race or a fist fight, and even shooting has its limitations – only extreme destruction can solve it.

Vin Diesel is back as Dominic Toretto a.k.a Dom, and there might be so many occasions that he is back again. Other than being Riddick, he has been Xander Cage and Hugo Cornelius Toorop, both having inferior status, and Riddick being a little lesser compared to the popularity that Dom has brought him. Well, the good old Dom remains the same, and whatever told of him will bring no surprise nor new information in a fast and furious world which continues to conquer the world. Elsa Pataky plays his love interest for a short period of tension free time, after which Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty Ortiz takes charge. It is from then, that Gina Carano as Riley takes charge. They have such a fight which might have been made to parallel the Vin Diesel – Dwayne Johnson fight of the fifth movie, but this one is a little behind. Still, it is one of the highlights of the hand-to-hand combat side of the movie, a side which is of lesser significance. There is a lot of power involved in the battles involving the two women, and there is no doubt that there has been a lot of effort put behind it. Brian O’Conner, the former FBI agent continues to be cool with Paul Walker at the helm. Gal Gadot as Gisele Yashar has a sad end, but not without a cause nor without showing her dose of heroics. Jordana Brewster as Mia Toretto has a lesser involvement with this mission, as she is left behind on the Spanish island with the kid.

Luke Evans as Owen Shaw scores as the villain, but compared to what Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson had achieved with his hunt for the protagonist, this is a little far behind. The Rock was undoubtedly the main attraction of that movie, and in this one, he has a slightly lesser, but a more positive role to play. Still, there is no shortage of action scenes for him, and he has only got better. We can still know what he is cooking, and it is pure action whoever he is against. He is rightly considered one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, and he gets closer to more glory in movies each and every time he is there. Tyrese Gibson and Chris Bridges are there for the fun part as usual, and so is Sung Kang. Well, still not everyone gets out of the movie, a clue which is already given in this review, and it surely can’t be the crowd favourites Dom or Hobbes. If such a thing had happened, this would have been a fairy tale action adventure mayhem, one of the first of its kind with such a plot and cast. For a movie which can work very well even as a stand-alone version, as it is powered by everything an action movie can dream about; the more appropriate question would be what it should have had, and there is nothing much, as long as its genre is concerned.

The one-liners work and so does the escapist fantasy world which has been provided. The action sequences are breath-taking, which includes the group of cars take down a battle tank as well as a huge airplane trying to take off. There are enough twists, not of high quality, but still deserving a few claps. The movie’s two hour plus is more of a positive, but still, there were more expectations from the trailers. The most significant scenes of the movie are those shown in the trailers, and thankfully they are quite long. But there could have been a few more scenes to support them. There is no shortage of the memories of Ocean’s Eleven and its sequels. Still, it defies death, and for those extremists and fundamentalists, defies logic. Laws of Physics? What is a law but what you feel? There is nothing like that to create unnecessary logic in this movie. Well, Physics was pure evil and I knew it during my school days. The only thing worse was Mathematics. The fact is that this series will continue to rule the theatres. It has released here a day before the world-wide release and who wishes to let go of such a wonderful opportunity? The stylish and powerful action which keeps one wishing for more and the answer comes in the form of Jason Statham who seems to assure a sequel as the villain who brings a new game to the scene. It makes sure that the vehicular combat shall live on! This is not to be missed by the fans of the franchise at any cost, as the impact on the big screen is that intense.

Release date: 23rd May 2013
Running time: 130 minutes
Directed by: Justin Lin
Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Gal Gadot, Gina Carano, Luke Evans, Elsa Pataky, John Ortiz, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Sung Kang, Rita Ora, Jason Statham (cameo)

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.