The Predator

What is the movie about? :: It has been a long time since the extraterrestrial species called Predators visited Earth and was defeated by Dutch, a soldier belonging to the special forces, with the support of his elite military rescue team and the guerrilla, Anna. There were many instances of Predators visiting Earth to collect human trophies, and also taking humans prisoners to be hunted for sport at other planets. Predators having evolved. a lot of things had happened on their own planet, making the hunting procedure further complicated. There will be more than one Predator on Earth, and the existence of humans will be threatened. There is proof that Predators have been visiting Earth more times than anyone had ever known. They were sources for many beliefs, and this time, they are on Earth not just for hunting, and humans are to learn it the hard way.

So, what happens with the events to follow? :: Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) is the trooper who discovers that the creatures known as Predators exist and are on Earth, but discovers that there are only two kinds of people around him; those who doesn’t believe that the creatures are real and others who want to keep this knowledge as a secret for certain reasons. He is forced to join forces with other former military men, Nebraska (Trevante Rhodes), Coyle (Keegan-Michael Key), Baxley (Thomas Jane), Lynch (Alfie Allen) and Nettles (Augusto Aguilera) – they become fugitives on the run, but the aim of all them is just one, to end Predator menace and the possible threat to Earth. Will Traeger (Sterling K Brown) is after them too, and as an agent, he hopes to discover the secrets of the alien species of hunters all by himself, and with the same, take advantage of the situation.

And what is follow with the tale? :: Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn), a biologist who was called in to check on the Predators is also being hunted by the merceneries of Will; she also joins the team of Quinn. But situation demands quick action, as Quinn’s son Rory McKenna (Jacob Tremblay) is in trouble as he receives the packet containing Predator weaponry which was sent to his mother Emily (Yvonne Strahovski) by his father Quinn. He becomes a target for the Predators, and this makes saving the boy the immediate need. But a new, bigger creature has reached Earth, and this particular alien seems to be an advanced form of Predator. Now, the team led by Quinn has more than what they thought they had to handle. Can they survive against all odds against the one species which is capable of ending life in more than one planet?

The defence of The Predator :: The entertainment in The Predator is of a higher level than most of the other movies which claim to be entertaining. There are those movies like those in the Kingsman series which don’t know how they were appreciated, and there are films like Black Panther which were undoubtedly overrated. Here we have The Predator which comes back at the same time, to bring us fine nostalgia on one of the favourite movies of all-time, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is not appropriate to compare this one with that particular cult classic, but the adventure here is also entertaining, not just with the action and thrills, but also with the comic side, which can be considered as one of the best in an action-thriller with a space alien attacking humans. This idea never gets old, and we can see that there is more to come in a possible sequel.

The claws of flaw :: Most of the reviews about this movie has been more forgettable than what they say about this movie, because they are caught in certain inability to look through the creature’s world. The problems with this flick is rather less than some of those comparatively overrated movies which have grossed more. The ending of this movie is rather strange with the door kept open for a sequel in a way which most of the fans of Predator or any alien movie will have doubts on. There is also the fear and shock factors staying low, and the story could have also been better in parts. Also, people want answers, especially those who are unable to use their imagination to come up with some of them – it is surprising that some of the professional and highly paid critics fail to use their creative imagination and suspension of disbelief in the best possible way. Yes, this could have had a smarter tale which clearer ideas and a Predator could have been the original hunter as always, but this is certainly not something that stays below.

The performers of the soul :: Boyd Holbrook played the villain in Logan as well as some interesting roles in thriller movies like Morgan and A Walk Among the Tombstones. He plays the soldier and the lead well. Olivia Munn brings more to the movie, as she is energetic, and shows the ability to handle the comic side really well. Even though the rest of crew standing with the protagonist got the chance to contribute more there, Olivia has the charm, and we love her on the big screen. She had played Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse. a powerful mutant and one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse with telepathic, telekinetic and psionic abilities, able to channelize her energy far beyond. She was also there in Deliver Us from Evil. She is fun to watch, and never hesitates to bring the comic relief in her own way. She would be a perfect choice for a scream queen in any of those horror movies too. At the same time, Jacob Tremblay is a fine child actor as proven here. Yvonne Strahovski whom we know from I, Frankenstein is there only for a short period of time, but surely has her moments.

How it finishes :: We have always loved the Predator franchise, and the love is more or less similar to the love we have for the Alien franchise, and both have nicely mingled together in Alien vs Predator movies as we remember them. The Alien vs Predator movies never really did enough to satisfy the fans of both franchises, while Predators did bring the interest in the franchise back with Adrien Brody and Alice Braga playing two of the characters caught among predators in an alien planet. Prometheus and Alien Covenant still scored more though, taking the crown back from Predators who were supreme in Alien vs Predator and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. This meant that Predator had to make a return in style, and this one, even though not matching the original, does a great job. Now, it is to be seen about what more Alien and Predator movies can bring. Until then, this version of Predator also thrills and entertains the viewers.

Release date: 14th September 2018
Running time: 107 minutes
Directed by: Shane Black
Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Yvonne Strahovski, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, Sterling K Brown, Augusto Aguilera, Jake Busey, Niall Matter, Brian A Prince

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

X-Men: Apocalypse

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What is the movie about? :: En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac), later known as the Apocalypse, the world’s first mutant possessed powers that were stronger than everyone else combined, and ruled the ancient Egyptian civilisation as the force that nobody could think about stopping. Worshipped as God and obeyed as the king, he enjoyed unlimited powers in the greatest civilisation of its time on the banks of River Nile. Using his powers to make himself even stronger and supported by four other powerful mutants who are referred to as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, he easily got rid of all those who stood against him. But one day, his worshipers who had enough of his tyranny manage to hold and bury him inside a pyramid at a time when he was changing his body to keep his eternal life going. With his mutant force dead while trying to preserve him, he stayed there, buried deep.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: After many years, Apocalypse awakens to a world which is nowhere near his vision. With the weaklings humans having control over everything with their machines, he decides to destroy all that mankind has built to create a new world which will have him and his fellow mutants as gods and demigods, who are to be worshiped by the weak humans. With Egypt as the centre of the new world again, he would bring the change that every mutant would have wanted to happen at some point. As an immortal being, he understands that he should still be the greatest power of the time, even bigger than the weapons of mass destruction that the man has invented, and also those mutants of the newer age. With the rise of the Apocalypse, Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) begins to have terrible visions about the end of the world.

So, what follows the rise of Apocalypse? :: Alex Summers a.k.a. Havoc (Lucas Till) finds out that his younger brother Scott a.k.a. Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) is mutating and is having problems with controlling the optic beams coming out of his eyes. He takes Scott to Professor Charles Xavier’s (James McAvoy) institute for mutants, hoping that they could find some way to bring him in control. There, Scott meets Jean and they become good friends. Meanwhile, Apocalypse finds his four horsemen starting with Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm (Alexandra Shipp) who is a pickpocket wandering around the streets of Cairo, Psylocke (Olivia Munn) who happens to be a blackmarket enforcer, Angel (Ben Hardy) who used to be a fighter, and Erik Lehnsherr a.k.a. Magneto (Michael Fassbender) who is deeply saddened by the death of his wife and daugher in the hands of humans.

What fate awaits the world with Apocalypse unleashed? :: With Raven Darkholme a.k.a. Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) returning to the institute with the new recruit Kurt Wagner a.k.a. Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) to talk about Magneto and Peter Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver (Evan Peters) joining them in a search for his father, can they stop the evil that threatens to destroy the world right from its foundation itself? What does Dr. Henry McCoy a.k.a the Beast (Nicholas Hoult) who is looking forward to being themselves and the CIA agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) who has been witness to the rise of this ancient evil think? What role does Colonel William Stryker (Josh Helman) has to play as he looks forward to turn these mutants into weapons following his Weapon X programme? Does any of these mutants stand a chance against Apocalypse and his upgraded horsemen?

The defence of X-Men: Apocalypse :: The big advantage of this X-Men movie that it makes the viewers think – it is a development that has come a long way since this series first showed up. The action sequences are also nothing less than amazing, with the mutants at their full power battling for what they think is the best for their world. The battles are nicely done, and there are lots of visual effects that are used really well. In the end, it become more of that visual treat, and its mutant characters are all very interesting, and the most interesting one should be Nightcrawler who returns to the franchise after a long time. Sophie Turner as Jean Grey becomes a nice improvement for this character that we have seen before and had gone to the worst possible level in X-Men: The Last Stand. Olivia Munn as Psylocke also catches our attention even when she gets less screen space, and with all of them around, the final battle becomes something nothing less than a full action treat.

Positives and negatives :: Among all X-Men movies, I have felt that this one is not just the best looking, but also the best-fitting into that long list of puzzles that make the franchise. Some people might find this rising evil and saving the world to be repetitive, but without that what would superhero movies do? Maybe Apocalypse is that kind of a villain who got even more possibilities, but this one works as it is. This one also doesn’t directly continue from where the last movie had left off. Meanwhile, the movie also reminds you of how good Michael Fassbender is, as Magneto never gets to be any less interesting. Evan Peters’ Quicksilver continues to catch one’s attention, as he also gets his own nice sequences. There is one sad thing though, and it is that Mystique doesn’t get enough of her place as a character with her own style to be interesting, and the same is the case of the Beast and Storm. Well, you needed a spectacle bigger than the previous movies, and you can have it here – just keep the thoughts of repetitions away from the mind!

How it finishes :: X-Men: Apocalypse is actually an improvement from its predecessors released in the last few years, including X-Men First Class, The Wolverine, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Deadpool. Filled with entertainment right from the beginning, and also having a fine emotional side, this movie will make sure that the full 144 minutes don’t go missing. With all these mutant powers running wild, one has to wonder why people can choose not like this movie. The full dose of action that is present here often makes one wonder if Avenger movies can take something right out of this one. There is intelligence in the choice of mutants and the use of their powers displayed on screen, and we have to accept the fact that this is a superior superhero compared to many others which get too much of positive opinions.

Release date: 27th May 2016
Running time: 144 minutes
Directed by: Bryan Singer
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Lucas Till, Ben Hardy, Josh Helman, Lana Condor, Tómas Lemarquis, Warren Scherer, Rochelle Okoye, Monique Ganderton, Fraser Aitcheson, Zehra Leverman, Željko Ivanek, Anthony Konechny, Hugh Jackman (Cameo), Bryan Singer (cameo)

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Deliver Us from Evil

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Vampire Owl :: You are obviously talking about me.

Vampire Bat :: No, I am not. Why should I talk about you now when I am going to watch a horror movie?

Vampire Owl :: You said “deliver us from evil”. I am evil.

Vampire Bat :: No, you are not evil, not even remotely close to being a bad guy.

Vampire Owl :: But I am bad. Super evil.

Vampire Bat :: Owls are not evil. It is impossible. Bats are evil.

Vampire Owl :: You cannot take my right to be evil. I am going to owlify the world and establish my greatness.

Vampire Bat :: As if that is going to happen. You said you would do it before Mangalyan reached Mars.

Vampire Owl :: Damn. It all happens too fast. These strange space related things are not covered by the vampire newspapers.

Vampire Bat :: I would say that it is more due to your brain’s clock working so slow.

[Gets into the theatre].

What is it about? :: A cop Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) is going through some strange situations, as weird incidents happen in the city, and some of them has almost no reason or solution. A Spanish priest Mendoza (Édgar Ramírez) tries to convince the police officer that these incidents have something with it than what meets the eye. There are three former soldiers from Iraq who seems to be involved with the crimes that has occured in the city, and the priest warns Sarchie that it is beyond the human comprehension as there are two types of evil, primary and secondary, and it is only the second about which the humanity can find answers with its ability to understand things in the scientific way. At first, the cop refuses to believe that the three men are possessed, but he might not be able to hold on with that viewpoint for too long, as things go out of control, and it affects even his own relationships with his wife and daughter.

The defence of Deliver Us from Evil :: The scares are surely working, especially with a number of scenes in the basement which brings the best out of horror. The atmosphere is creepy, and is successfully kept that way and the tension is efficiently maintained. The darkness and the rain are two elements that nicely supports the shocks that the movie dares to come up with. The movie nicely manages to stay in control with the blood and gore elements as well as the horror, and this intermediate path which it has taken can make it a safer bet. There is an attempt to explain evil with the need for faith, and there is some skill in the characterization of the two leading characters who go on to fight evil. The moments in the zoo and the basement of a family with a complaint are two very nicely done scenes, invoking terror as well as mystery, and a certainty that there is something yet to come. The cast is also a fine boost for this movie.

The claws of flaw :: The movie needed a lot more explanations about what is happening around with demons possessing people and making them do things, and by passing through the portal into this world from the other dimension, the question would remain about what they achieve other than scaring people and in the process, killing a few. There had to be a plan which isn’t seen anywhere here. A comparison to The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister which comes from the same director is not possible as this belongs to a lower level, and any comparison to The Conjuring is clearly impossible. The movie should have used more special effects, and it could have given a much needed boost to the scary sequences. The end scene is also weaker with a usual exorcism performed in not that powerful manner as it was expected from the way the movie was working with its creatures from the other world. The second half is weaker compared to the first which was an impressive start.

Performers of the soul :: Eric Bana is in full control of things here in one of my favourite performances from him ever. There is something about him that makes him good with this character, and I would guess that his looks and style is pretty much best suited to playing this role. Édgar Ramírez also has left a mark as the new generation priest who has kept himself modern, but has still remained within his priestly world. I remember him mostly as Ares from Wrath of the Titans, and here he seems to fit in better. The prettiest one around, Olivia Munn has an admirable stay, and her character has presence, but she is left is not much to do in a world of demons repelled by one priest and a police officer. Sean Harris as Santino is impressive with his possessions and nicely compliments the horror elements of the movie with his performance. Meanwhile, Joel McHale is also good in his supporting role. Olivia Horton also delivers some terror with her role as the possessed lady.

Soul exploration :: The movie is based on the real life experiences of Ralph Sarchie recorded in his book, Beware the Night also co-written by Lisa Collier Cool. I would guess that it would add to the spookiness and surely has me wishing to read the work some day – it would be difficult to get it here, but there will be a way. The title of the movie is the ending of the Lord’s Prayer. It is that need to be saved from evil that we can see in this movie. There will always be things which are not in our control, and humanity’s minuteness and vulnerability are among those factors which will solidify the same fact. It is a clear thing that we can’t know everything, and no mater how or to whom we pray, there is something that prayer can always do. There is evil in this world, and however we categorize them, there is the need for God’s grace to save ourselves. The free will is there, but it is not the permission to do evil; as there is the presence of sinister forces at work, and only by goodness and faith that one can be redeemed.

How it finishes :: The reviews from critics which were negative, has now improved and the movie has come close to getting a fifty percent, and I would expect it to increase further as the opinions from most of my acquaintances have been quite positive. The other movie of the week happens to be November Man which should have its own audience due to the presence of Pierce Brosnan. Surprisingly, Lucy and The Maze Runner are the movies which stay on to this week, and I wonder more about the former, as it seems to have stayed there so much longer than it was expected to thrive. Deliver Us from Evil should be the movie of the week, and it is going to be replaced by Annabelle as the most awaited horror movie of the year. There is also that expectation for Haider the Hindi contemporary adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet along with the seemingly dumb remake of Knight and Day which has been named Bang Bang! which attempts to repeat what Besharam did during last year’s Gandhi Jayanthi. Let’s hope that horror will find a way to thrive!

Release date: 26th September 2014 (India); 2nd July 2014 (US)
Running time: 118 minutes
Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Starring: Eric Bana, Édgar Ramírez, Olivia Munn, Sean Harris, Joel McHale, Chris Coy, Olivia Horton, Dorian Missick, Rhona Fox, Valentina Rendón

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.