The Wolf’s Call

Vampire Owl: So, we are back to watching French movies again.

Vampire Bat: Yes, this time, a thriller with clarity.

Vampire Owl: Our journey into global movies have been quite good.

Vampire Bat: Yes, we are only watching selected movies which we consider to be special among others.

Vampire Owl: We do make some good choices then, I guess.

Vampire Bat: Yes, all of them have been specially picked, making sure that there is a high possibility that we will like the flicks.

Vampire Owl: Especially with a few cups of tea to go with it.

Vampire Bat: Considering the fact that there has been a lock-down in the name of a virus, we are doing quite well representing the vampire community.

Vampire Owl: Vampires have all been doing some interesting thing or the other during the times of lock-down.

Vampire Bat: Yes, I have heard that the castle has seen rather too many.

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

What is the movie about? :: The French submarine Titan is sent through the Mediterranean Sea, to reach the coast of Tartus in Syria to bring back a French Special Forces unit fighting in the area during the time when Syrian Civil War is at its highest point, leaving no room for errors. As they are all prepared to take the troops in away from the Iranian and the Russian forces, Chanteraide a.k.a. Socks (Francois Civil), the sonar expert identifies it as a wounded sperm whale after multiple checks and moments of confusion. But it turns out to be another submarine which can’t be identified. It has detected Titan, and has provided the information about its presence and exact location to an Iranian warship nearby, which launches a helicopter hunting them right above water. But the submarine, with the help of its crew using an anti-tank gun against helicopter, somehow manages to survive the attack including torpedoes, and get the team to safety.

So, what happens with the events here? :: Later, when they are back to the ground, they get the information that Russia is invading Finland’s Aland Islands, which lead to the French President deciding to send a naval task force to the Baltic Sea, supporting the Scandinavian nation. At the same time, Chanteraide, while trying to identify the unknown submarine near the Syrian coast, finds out that it was a Russian made Timour III ballistic missile submarine, which was supposed to be dismantled earlier. During his similar searches for information regarding detailed underwater acoustics, he meets a young and charming bookshop owner, Diane (Paula Beer), whose original name is Priarie. After spending some time at the pub, they get emotionally and physically attached to each other, soon falling in love. But at the same time, a war and even a nuclear attack seems close with further problems arising between Russia and France, and Chanteraide needs to be back in action in Titan facing the nuclear armed submarine, Formidable. Can he do the right thing this time?

The defence of The Wolf’s Call :: This movie thrives on its smart moments here, and we have been presented with top quality thrills. With most of the shooting supposed to have happened in the real submarines, this is a fine achievement, and the whole thing indeed looks very realistic – the accomplishment powers this movie, as it needed to have most of its time within the underwater vessels. There are some highly thrill-packed moments in here, as the world stares at a possible nuclear war beginning with one wrong action from a European superpower, something that would have made that averted Soviet Union nuclear submarine torpedo launch happen many years later. It has to be noted that this movie begins in the middle of action, and there is no dull moment in here, and even those romantic sequences are to be loved. The Wolf’s Call does manage to show how a thriller in a submarine is to be created, with all the action and thrills.

The claws of flaw :: Some points in the movie have terms which we don’t understand that easily, and has to resort to Google – there are words related to military and the submarines which keeps coming back. But that is expected in movies like these, because otherwise, the realistic feeling will be gone. The romantic side could have also been better explored, taking a little bit more time. Paula Beer could have been used better in that case, considering the fact that is well-suited for such roles and moments of romance. The final moments could have also been a little better worked out, as we are battling to avoid a nuclear war, and something more could have been there in the picture. It could have also quickened up things a little bit more in the middle part, even though this one also has a higher pace that regular movies in their middle areas. The Wolf’s Call provides you that underwater world of wars, and you need to be prepared for that to get the best out of it.

Peformers of the soul :: Francois Civil manages to come with a good job in this thriller which shows nations on the brink of war. He seems to be someone who can handle the two sides quite well, being in the military as well as outside, with a happy love life. Paula Beer’s addition to this movie is more about being the love interest, and it is provided, in a cute, lovable way. Other than a few dialogues, adding the feel-good factor and an intimate scene, she adds less, but surely adds a light feeling to the movie, and the young and beautiful German actress is surely someone whom we expect to see more, maybe in Hollywood flicks too, very well suited to light-hearted romance or the fantasy movies based on the good old fairy-tales. We needed some female presence in this movie, and she makes sure that we have it. I would want her to be part of movies like Maleficent, Cinderella, Jack the Giant Slayer or Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters any day. Reda Kateb and Omar Sy plays the two commanders very well, and we have them as strong leaders.

How it finishes :: Originally titled Le Chant du loup in French, The Wolf’s Call has very good ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, and we have to agree to it, even though the number of reviews are rather less. The Wolf’s Call is a movie that needs to watched more, for how it manages the whole thing without any single boring moment – it is a serious quality that many more movies need to have during a time when it is Hollywood which struggles to make films like these, and Bollywood’s idea of an action thriller is still that old age masala, which appeals only for the brainless these days. Meanwhile, The Wolf’s Call does the job so well that it might end up inspiring more moves with underwater warfare or can even have remakes coming from different parts of the world after the Corona Virus crisis ends. This COVID-19 pandemic might be the only thing stopping it from happening for an year or two, depending on what is happening in our epidemic affected areas.

Release date: 20th February 2019
Running time: 115 minutes
Directed by: Antonin Baudry
Starring: Francois Civil, Paula Beer, Omar Sy, Mathieu Kassovitz, Reda Kateb, Alexis Michalik, Jean-Yves Berteloot, Damien Bonnard

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Last Knight

Vampire Owl: This particular alien species seems to have too many movies about them.

Vampire Bat: Yes, these days, they have a lot more than vampire movies.

Vampire Owl: They even have so much of box-office collections.

Vampire Bat: It is strange, isn’t it? We, vampires have existed on Earth long before these people, and nowadays, we rarely have movies.

Vampire Owl: Some time ago, we were the trend. Even my zombie minions were trending.

Vampire Bat: That age seems to be gone. Even local superheroes trend more these days.

Vampire Owl: Even people from myth, like Thor are converted into huge box-office success.

Vampire Bat: Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman – they are all success; even as the teams of Avengers and Justice League.

Vampire Owl: Even X-Men with their Wolverine, Deadpool and more.

Vampire Bat: We should be back soon, and take whatever is ours.

[Gets three cups of cardamom tea with Nice biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: The last Transformers movie, Transformers: Age of Extinction had ended with Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) ending with sending a message to his creators that he was coming for them. Lockdown (Mark Ryan) as well as Galvatron (Frank Welker) were defeated, but things haven’t really changed much. Transformers continued to be declared outlaws by human government, and a new military wing known as the Transformer Reaction Force (TRF) is now in action against all those new transforming robots, both autobots and decepticons which keep falling on our planet. There is the possibility of an alien invasion being asserted by all governments, and there is nothing more than a threat as far as the alien transformers are concerned. With Optimus Prime having left to meet the makers of transformers, things are the worst situation for his kind that are left on Earth, being hunted and destroyed by humans and their drones at will.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: An orphan Izabella (Isabela Moner) tries to save a few transformers in between, with Sqweeks (Reno Wilson) as the last one left on her side. They are about to be captured by the human troops, but are saved by Bumblebee (Erik Aadahl), Hound (John Goodman) and Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) who are leading the resistance of autobots, hiding themselves far away from trouble, with Crosshairs (John DiMaggio), Drift (Ken Watanabe), Wheelie (Tom Kenny) and the randomly visiting scavenger Daytrader (Steve Buscemi). A talisman is attached to Cade by a transformer knight before dying, while they were trying to save Izabella in the area which was more like a transformer graveyard. The team of decepticons are aware of the same from Barricade (Jess Harnell), and comes looking for them at their hiding place, a junkyard, as Megatron (Frank Welker) with his team, launches an attack which pushes the autobots out of hiding.

And what is to follow next in this adventure? :: At the same time, there is the history of humans coming together with that of transformers on Earth. Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins), the twelfth Earl of Folgan, who is an astronomer and historian, is one of the experts in the same. There is the unknown tale of King Arthur (Liam Garrigan) and his knights struggling in a terrible battle against the Saxons who got them almost defeated. Edmund’s version of history says that it is the Knights of Iacon, a team of twelve Transformers who were hiding on Earth that helped Arthur and his knights to triumph over the Saxons as they transformed together into a dragon. But what remains from those days is an ancient staff which holds unlimited power. Meanwhile, Optimus Prime meets their maker, Quintessa (Gemma Chan), a Cybertronian Sorceress who brainwashes him into destroying Earth to rebuild their home planet of Cyberton. So, with enemies all around, can autobots and Earth make it to a safer situation?

The defence of Transformers: The Last Knight :: You are going to praise the visuals of this one too, as that quality is maintained with ease here – all that you see on the screen will have your attention. The universe of this movie is nothing less than breath-taking, as we have all those things which could light up the screen with ease. There comes the question about what you really need with this movie, and if it is this escapism into a world of chaos and destruction which looks great on the screen, with big action sequences, there is not reason why you shouldn’t choose this movie. These movies will not be banned here either, as nothing from Indian history is made to be related to the Transformers – lets hope that the other movie makers also take a lesson from the Padmavati episode, and deviate, combine or transcreate through history, myth and fiction. You will notice that Mark Wahlberg is very good in this avatar, and Laura Haddock is lovely, and she might be the best leading actress in this franchise so far as far as acting is concerned. Isabela Moner is good young talent while Anthony Hopkins is once again joy to watch.

The claws of flaw :: Transformers: The Last Knight needed more ideas, and a better tale to go with this kind of a thing which has existed for so long. But here, they have added so many things without taking much of care about dealing with them in the better ways. It is as if they are attributing everything to Transformers, and the victory of King Arthur or Saxons is just one of them – there are the wars, discoveries, inventions, assassinations, mysteries, and all that have important places in history being credited to the Transformers and their actions. The movie is long, rather too long, and there are so many moments which could have been cut off from this one. We are also tired of having this Optimus Prime saying the same thing again and again, and Bumblebee being a special Transformer for no reason – at the same time, Megatron goes through varying degree of powers; there is no consistency at all, with this one. They used to have a weapon specialist called Ironhide giving him the best moments of the first movie, and then they successfully kill him in a dumb sequel.

How it finishes :: Transformers: The Last Knight never really makes the franchise any better. It is not better than Transformers: Age of Extinction, and is only better than Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which is undoubtedly the worst movie of the whole franchise which seems to continue to try for more of similar kind of movies without focusing on anything new. The first movie had everything going in the right direction, but for some reason, the franchise refuses to go any higher or even keep the same level. You will find this movie in the Transformers franchise to be an entertaining one too, but there is that certain question about how far the series can go, as there seems to be the problem of running out of ideas. If we think about it, that would be kind of depressing, and so, lets go on watching these movies, and hope that there would be change with one of those movies, and Transformers would get bigger with the story rather than anything else. You can actually watch this one as a stand-alone flick without having watched any other flick from the series.

Release date: 21st June 2017
Running time: 154 minutes
Directed by: Michael Bay
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Laura Haddock, Isabela Moner, Josh Duhamel, Stanley Tucci, Anthony Hopkins, Jerrod Carmichael, Santiago Cabrera, John Turturro, Glenn Morshower, Liam Garrigan, Mitch Pileggi, Tony Hale, Gil Birmingham, Peter Cullen, Jim Carter, Erik Aadahl, Ken Watanabe, Omar Sy, John Goodman, John DiMaggio, Reno Wilson, Tom Kenny, Steven Barr, Steve Buscemi, Mark Ryan, Frank Welker, Jess Harnell

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Jurassic World

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Vampire Owl: Are you sure that the dinosaurs haven’t ever allied with werewolves and were not the enemies of the Old Vampire World?

Vampire Bat: Yes. It says right here in the Grand Vampire History and Encyclopedia. Dinosaurs were a neutral group of creatures who preceded the Draconian Reptile Order, but has no direct relation with any of the magical species of the present world.

Vampire Owl: Lets watch the movie then.

[Gets the tickets].

This was recently posted by me at Kiagia.com where I handle the Hollywood movie reviews division: http://www.kiagia.com/index.php/current-film-releases-movie/867-jurassic-world-movie-review.html

A long time has passed since our last adventures in a park of dinosaurs. It took the makers quite a long time after that 1993 movie which had a big place in our childhood and also spawned two sequels which made a much lesser impact even when taken together. The aim for this third sequel seems to be simple – as they understand that sequels and remakes are doing wonderful work these days at the box-office. It is not easy to match up to a movie which had become the highest grossing movie, breaking all records, until Titanic came up to claim the status of the highest grosser of all time – but Jurassic World was going to give it a try.

A new dinosaur theme park is open with live dinosaurs, twenty two years after the incidents which were featured in the first Jurassic Park. Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the park operations manager, and her nephews, Zach Mitchell (Nick Robinson) and Gray Mitchell (Ty Simpkins) arrives at the park for having some family time together along with enjoying the special features of the place. The park had become a favourite destination for the tourists and had grown a lot with its environment and the new varieties of dinosaurs. Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) is a trainer of Velociraptors, who is asked by Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan), the owner of the Jurassic World to check for safety at the enclosure set for a new genetically modified dinosaur which they call the Indominus Rex.

The dinosaur turns out to be smarter than they thought, as the creature manages to get out of the enclosure while pretending to have already escaped, and Owen just manages to get away at the last minute. The rest of the movie is about the destruction that the creature causes and how the team at the Jurassic World led by Owen and Claire manages to finish it off, as the hybrid dinosaur unleashes chaos, taking out the tracking implant from its own body and asserting its supremacy over all other creatures. At the same time, they also have to find the missing brothers who were on a ride which was cancelled with the declaration of emergency throughout the park.

As most of the fans might have expected, Jurassic World is nowhere near the original Jurassic Park. But among the sequels of the original movie, this one manages to be the best so far. The movie is full of entertainment even with those occasional moments of slight drag. There are some nice attractions and good design of dinosaurs with fine use of the CGI and the special effects. The new park which has its last name replaced is a joy to watch with its design and visuals. The creatures look better as you would expect, and the battles have also gone bigger with those better dinosaurs and people armed with better weapons. But there was the need to show and explain more of the new park, establishing it as a genuine wonder for the tourists.

Chris Pratt doesn’t go on like in Guardians of the Galaxy – he is not even the central character here despite the fact that he might be the one who goes through the maximum action sequences. It is a different kind of character from that space action movie, and he manages it very well. The scene with him riding on a bike surrounded by the raptors is a very nice one, and he is the one real action hero of this movie. The main character is played by Bryce Dallas Howard, and she is like the least interested character who manages to get forced into the action and she works that out very well. There is also more humour when she is around, and she contributes to saving the day as much as Chris Pratt and sometimes even more.

Irrfan Khan is a fine reason for the Indian audience to watch the movie. If you remember seeing him in The Amazing Spider-Man, this is a similar role, but lasts longer and actually he does more in this movie – another millionaire, ambitious, but not really villainous this time. But there is surely limited scope for performances in a movie ruled by dinosaurs who remain the true performers just like they have been throughout the franchise. This is the same reason why the smartness of the dinosaur should have been better used instead of its size and strength – may be it could have been shown to hunt more by using its intelligence causing the humans to come up with stranger ideas to bring it down. That would have meant scope for more stylish, and yet intelligent action.

Jurassic World is a movie that brings you some dinosaur nostalgia as the memories of your childhood’s most awesome movies come back to life. There are moments which remind us of the first movie of the franchise. There is no other creature which sells like the dinosaur in a movie, and it was evident with the rush at the theatre. The specialty of this one is that the whole thing connects better even to people with a wide variety of preferences. This could have used more wonder and tension, but this still manages to be your fine entertainer with scope of becoming a nice blockbuster, and may be even go on to become the third highest grossing movie of the year with half of 2015 gone, after Fast and Furious 7 and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Release date: 11th June 2015 (India); 12th June 2015 (USA)
Running time: 130 minutes
Directed by: Colin Trevorrow
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, B. D. Wong, Irrfan Khan, Jake Johnson, Brian Tee, Lauren Lapkus, Katie McGrath, Judy Greer, Andy Buckley, James DuMont, Jimmy Fallon

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Days of Future Past

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The X-Men Legend :: The legend of X-Men starts in the theatre with the 2000 movie X-Men, made better by X2: X-Men United later, and undoubtedly ruined by X-Men Last Stand with whatever they managed to do with just one mutant character, Jean Grey. That was supposed to be the ending of X-Men watching for me, and there the director had changed, but the one who director the first two X-Men movies are now back with X-Men: Days of the Future Past. X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: First Class were really good and the latter was rather an impressive flashback to the origin of the first mutants with a nice background of the Cold War, while The Wolverine was a little bit of let down even as it can still be considered okay enough under most of the circumstances. With this franchise from Marvel, we get a movie which has been around with more than nine out of ten rating in imdb and ninety four percent critical rating in rotten tomatoes, something which not many superhero movies could achieve. So this was indeed a movie not to be missed, and a even my delay of one day was depressing for me.

What is it about? :: The story goes quite some way into the future, as there are non-metallic robots which are hunting the mutants as a result of years of human research to find a solution to the mutant existence. At the same time, the robots have also managed to go beyond its instructions oppressing the humans as they are the source of mutants coming into existence later. As Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) has the ability to project a person’s consciousness back to the past and warn others, a group of mutants surivive, including Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Ian McKellen (Magneto), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Storm (Halle Berry), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Colossus (Daniel Cudmore), Blink (Fan Bingbing), Warpath (Booboo Stewart), Bishop (Omar Sy) and Kitty herself. As they are pretty sure that they will be caught soon, they decide to use Kitty’s ability to send Wolverine back to 1973 to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from murdering Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) who invents the robot assassins whose idea and a captured Mystique’s DNA will be used to create the killing machines in the future as the dead man becomes a sort of martyr. So, can Wolverine do well enough?

The defence of X-Men: Days of the Future Past :: The beauty of this movie is how it has managed to work on its story with its powerful connection to the other X-Men movies, and as this is set in the future, this has a little bit to relate to every other movie of the franchise, especially X2: X-Men United, X-Men: Last Stand and X-Men: First Class. The whole thing is nicely managed here without causing any disruption to all that have already been established in those previous movies. Even with the lesser amount of action sequences, they have done what all were there very nicely, with the robots fighting the mutants, a battle which could have used a little more smartness, but they are visual treats even if one-sided for the most part. The presence of the character Quicksilver is a boost too even when limited to one fight. The movie gets on with its world quite fast too, making sure that the boredom that can cause by explaining about the characters is not there, and if there is the need to know more, the viewers can watch the other X-Men movies. Now, with the time space continuum altered, may be some of the incidents of the movie never happened or might not happen, may be that can give scope for a difference sequence of events in upcoming X-Men movies.

The claws of flaw :: The 3D makes an attempt to prove itself unnecessary as the movie progresses; the positive side was only in the beginning with the credits. The movie also drags in the middle, with a lot of dialogues rather wasted. The thrills that is supposed to be there from the beginning works at a weaker level through the movie, as there is not enough action in between to support it. Except for the action in the beginning and the end related to the robots where the mutants lose in all cases, there is no real impressive battle except for a little Magneto trick and Quicksilver show. The special effects should have been used better and there should have been lots of action, but they have sacrificed those elements just to add some drama. Still, it is not different from most of the usual superhero movies, especially the X-Men related ones. The characters don’t seem to get into the situation much, and there is rather too much confusion between them. This one should tried to bring more thrills and action from the material that they had, and in the case of mutants, they should have put their powers to use more frequently and efficiently, but that is not there. Then they decided to get rid of Quicksilver who scored so well, and that is a shame.

Performers of the soul :: If someone has to be applauded from his first appearance to the last, it has to be Michael Fassbender, as he is the one who stands out in this movie, making his character the one to look out for. James McAvoy has his moments, but this younger version of Professor is rather impressive only in moments. Jennifer Lawrence shines as the unique mutant Mystique and it was great to watch whenever she was there, but the question would remain if there could have been more in a movie which is based on her and the whole thing is dependent on her actions. Hugh Jackman is once again the Wolverine with style, but this version is rather passive, without that recklessness and anger that we identify the character with, and that was disappointing. Seriously, why would the Wolverine be not aggressive? It is a shame that Anna Paquin’s Rogue was just a cameo, she was one of my favourites with Nightcrawler who is again missing. Evan Peters’ Quicksilver might impress more than many other mutants in just the few minutes that he is present while Nicholas Hoult’s Beast becomes less significant. Meanwhile, Ellen Page and the rest of the mutants of the future present has limited presence compared to those of the past.

Soul exploration :: The movie continues to deal with the basic mutant problem with the human fear for the unknown and the alienation of the other that follows. The end-point of all of these is holocaust, by exaggeration of things which might seem to project the possible extinction with more power than ever. Once again Trask Industries becomes what Stark Industries wasn’t in The Avengers and related movies, being the dark force of science and technology against the one that powered Iron Man. Just with words re-arranged, this industry once again asks the familiar question for those essays at school – “technology: boon or bane?” I thought they were finished with that, but this question might always remain with the technology being an advantage only for the rich and the need to go to space rather than saving Earth. The questions that should be evoked might be about the results of changing the past. It is impossible to change it, but even if it is changed, how will the future respond? Are some things always supposed to happen, no matter how hard we try to change it? Yes, everything seemed to work well by the end of the movie, but how can we be sure about that until a sequel comes to light?

How it finishes :: This franchise might have finished with X-Men 3: The Last Stand, but it didn’t, and came up with two successful origin movies for its most popular character and also created another success without him in the form of X-Men: First Class. The movie also leaves the franchise with endless possibilities to go towards many directions. The destruction of a timeline or rather the disruption of the same can effectively trigger a reboot or many other movies in between. It might seem like a risk, but there are lots of things that it can achieve for a superhero franchise. You might wish to finish watching the other movies of the franchise before watching this one. Then there is always the presence of someone like Jennifer Lawrence who transforms not just like Mystique, but also like Katniss Everdeen becoming Raven – now the question remains, will this change of the past which makes her not an assassin land her somewhere else than not with Magneto? May be with X-Men or as a neutral? How surprising can it be if she is also part of that same school of Professor X? There is a lot to expect from another X-Men movie, that is for sure.

Release date: 23rd May 2014
Running time: 131 minutes
Directed by: Bryan Singer
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Shawn Ashmore, Omar Sy, Daniel Cudmore, Evan Peters, Fan Bingbing, Adam Canto, Lucas Till, Booboo Stewart, Josh Helman, Mark Camacho, Evan Jonigkeit, Gregg Lowe

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.