Pacific Rim: Uprising

A flashback to the first movie :: The story of Pacific Rim had its focus at the area where about 90% of the world’s earthquakes and 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes occured, and it was discovered that something more was responsible for the same. Then came the giant alien creatures attacking Earth after coming in through an inter-dimensional portal located at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. As it was discovered that these creatures named Kaijus would keep coming, and no wall could stop them, there were massive robotic machines called Jaegers constructed to combat the threat. These machines were too huge and complicated that each Jaeger had to be controlled by two or more people who shared the load inside the machine. They were connected by a neural bridge in a process called “drifting” through which they shared their minds with the machine. With Jaegers getting destroyed faster than they are built, they needed to stop the attacks by closing the bridge.

What is the movie about? :: Years have passed after the pilots of the iconic Jaegar Gipsy Danger Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) using the jaegar’s nuclear reactor to seal the breach through which the creatures passed through. There hasn’t been a Kaiju attack for a very long time, and former Jaeger pilot Jake Pentecost (John Boyega), son of Kaiju War hero and martyr General Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) makes a living by stealing and selling old Jaeger parts on the black market. But him, along with the teenager Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny) are arrested for their illegal work with Jaegars. In return for being set free, he is forced to begin training Jaeger program recruits with his former co-pilot, Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood), and Amara who has knowledge of Jaegers is also taken into the programme as new recruit for pilot training.

And what is to follow in this particular adventure? :: As the Jaeger training continues hoping to battle any possible return of the Kaijus or any alien creature from another planet or dimension, the programme itself is threatened by the Shao Corporation’s remotely controlled giant drones idea lead by Liwen Shao (Jing Tian) and supported by scientist Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day). There is the plan to get more giant robots controlled from a safe location, without the need for neurally compatible pilots risking their lives in battle. But Mako is doubtful about the possibilities of such an idea, as the system could be hacked with long distance signals responsible for success and defeat in combat. But before she is able to submit her final report about the possibility of such a programme, an unexpected event occurs, which brings the twist to the proceedings.

And what else is to come? :: It is then that a rogue Jaeger, Obsidian Fury attacks the city, and kills Mako along with many other civilians, and causing destruction to the city. Gipsy Avenger, the spiritual successor to Gipsy Danger controlled by Jake Pentecost and Nate Lambert manages to hold on against the far advanced design of Obsidian Fury, before the rogue Jaegar retreats with the arrival of the other Jaegars, Saber Athena, Bracer Phoenix and Guardian Bravo. This leads to a quick approval of the drone programme, and the first group of drones are deployed faster than they intended to be. But it turns out that the drones are not on their sides, as they are quick to get rid of the cannons and attack the Jaegers at the base of operations. As Gipsy Avenger finally finds and defeats Obsidian Fury, there is a secret revealed, and it is not sweet, or positive for humanity and its continued existence, as extinction threatens.

The defence of Pacific Rim: Uprising :: Despite missing this year’s Academy Award winner Guillermo del Toro at the helm, this movie has held its ground – even after not matching the first flick, this one has enough to make it better than any transformers movie that has released in the last few years including the last one. The detailing on the screen remains nice, even though not as much as the previous movie which had better quality there. The action sequences are more though, as it is where the movie focuses the most, along with a few twists in between; special effects are great without doubt. The robots look nice, and the Kaijus, even though are present for lesser time than they used to be in the first movie, keeps us further interested. The movie is even lighter than its predecessor, and makes it more for the families. There is also some good acting and fantastic visuals to go with it, plus we also have a final scene that calls for a possible sequel.

The claws of flaw :: There is no chance to match the Guillermo del Toro vision of Pacific Rim, as Pacific Rim: Uprising surely falls short with its content. This kind of a comparison was always expected to be done, and we see that the same strange beauty and smartness is not displayed in this one which just follows the route to make the best out of the success of the first flick. There are more robots, but none of them matches the first movie’s Gipsy Danger, Crimson Typhoon, Cherno Alpha and Striker Eureka. The story also trails in comparison to the first movie, and those moments of goosebumps are missing this time. The movie is also very less about its characters this time, and the neural bridge never really gets the attention as it used to get, and repetitions can be seen. This one requires the possible third movie to take it to the next level, and lets hope that Guillermo del Toro plays a bigger role in that one to make sure that this franchise gets a big boost, as we need it as much as they do.

How it finishes :: Pacific Rim continues to do what Transformers movie franchise could have done better. I have found this one to be even better than the big hyped superhero movie, Black Panther. It is something that has the core in Guillermo del Toro’s grand vision, and due to the same, we will always enjoy a movie in this series. It is sure to make Transformers fans jealous, and lets hope that the franchise with autobots and decepticons will take something out of this movie to make those talking robotic aliens make the best use of its resources rather than repeating its events. With all its big action sequences and special effects, we won’t be able to wait for a third movie for very long; we are sure that there can be more – but even this sequel had taken about five years and so, lets hope that we have the next one before we are out of the robotmonster effects witness on the big screen. Until then, enjoy Pacific Rim: Uprising as the big entertainer that it successfully manages to be. Who needs Independence Day when we have these?

Release date: 23rd March 2018
Running time: 111 minutes
Directed by: Steven S DeKnight
Starring: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Jing Tian, Rinko Kikuchi, Burn Gorman, Adria Arjona, Zhang Jin, Charlie Day

<— Click here to go to the previous review & more.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Godzilla

godzillaa

From W.B. Yeats’ The Second Coming
“The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”
The first thing that came to my mind while looking at that Godzilla poster was this poem, and not Pacific Rim or that movie of the same name from 1998. The same was rather justified by watching the movie, as there was something special about this creature this time, and the deviation from the master of destruction which it was supposed to be, is something which adds more mystery to the same. The mystery about the beast which is mentioned in this poem has kept me thinking throughout my studies of English Literature, and now there is the monster, Godzilla who comes up with the element of mystery and surprise.

What is it about? :: Getting out of that 1919 poem by the Irish poet and coming back to our present scenario, the movie begins with some film reels involving atomic explosion and a huge creature partially rising from under the water. The story belongs to Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) though, a military officer specialized in bomb disposal married to his beautiful wife and a nurse wife Elle (Elizabeth Olsen), having one son. When his father Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) is arrested in Japan for trespassing into a quarantined area, he travels there and gets him out of prison, only to join him in the mission to find how his mother died at the same place long ago. But as they get inside the area, they find out that there is actually nothing like the radiation at a place when a nuclear disaster had taken place, and it is not quarantined to save people, but to hide a huge secret which can change the future of mankind forever. The secret will soon be revealed inside a secret complex area, but as it comes to light, there might actually be no real hope for humanity. There will be chaos and destruction unleashed on the world as monsters awaken, and the beginning of all this was years ago.

The defence of Godzilla :: I can’t remember much from the 1998 movie, but from what I can recollect, this is surely a big improvement. Well, as I was a kid at that time, it wouldn’t have been of much use if I had an opinion at that time too. Well, this Godzilla is different, and a big change is that the humanity is not really fighting Godzilla this time, even as there is no denial of confrontations and rockets fired, with destruction caused. Now, that should be a surprise, and the number of monstrous entities should be more than you expect. Unlike Pacific Rim, the movie also has a dark style and there is the more powerful terror element at work. The creatures are designed to look terrifying, and they serve their purpose as they become harbingers of death and destruction with their size and lethal power. There is absolutely nothing funny about their presence or the whole movie as it keeps the seriousness and the atmosphere of horror throughout, between great action supported by the special effects and background score. It is a nice introduction that has been given to the younger audience about this monster who hasn’t graved the screen for sometime. They goes on with the story really well, and there is a lot of suspense built around what is happening around.

The claws of flaw :: Godzilla has released after Pacific Rim; it is not much of a flaw as both deals with the monsters in a different way, but that should hurt a bit for the audience. If this had come before Pacific Rim, that might have actually helped both movies. This should still gross more than the 2013 monster-robot extravaganza, thanks to the title referring to the king of monsters, already running houseful here. There is also no denying a certain amount of slow start to the things unlike Pacific Rim which pounces directly into the action scene. The human characters don’t really impress, and there is no dialogue which will cause an adrenaline rush. The nature-related theme is not fully explored, and this could have actually had a message about the need to preserve environment and get rid of the nuclear warheads. There is a certain amount of uncertainty on what the director was actually planning to bring to the audience; Pacific Rim was certain about it, but not this movie. If it had focused better on the human characters or kept the focus completely on the creatures, this surely would have worked even better. After all, everybody wants to see the giant creatures on the big screen.

Performers of the soul :: Our main hero is played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and it seems to work on most occasions except for a few when he turns wooden. One would still feel that the character has come alive just because there was the need for a hero in this movie. Elizabeth Olsen plays the less explored character of his wife and doesn’t get much attention; neither should be anything memorable. They will be seen together as siblings, or the super-powered evil twins in The Avengers 2 as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch; she played a character attracted to her father in Oldboy – she surely is having a strange combination of characters to play; but unlike Oldboy, she has almost nothing to do that actually affects the movie here, and that should be a let down. The rest of the cast also has very less to do, as this is the world of the monsters where humans become spectators most of the time, and even when they are doing something, the effects are minimal. Even as the monsters come quite late, this slow and steady sacrifice of human characters start very early in the movie and goes on to the end. Well, the monsters need to scare and kill a lot of people, so there is that purpose.

Soul exploration :: The movie shows Godzilla as a force of nature, something that is beyond humans to stop, but the same can also be said about the other creatures. The fact that these creatures feed on radiation is something to be noted. Thus the movie is indirectly a message against the problem that the nuclear power can cause, and the creatures of radiation are rather the symbols of the evil that can be brought upon the current society by the development of science and technology which have been used in such a manner that it makes things convenient, but not better. Godzilla is referred to as a force of nature (that reminds me of what an article called the cricketers Virender Sehwag, Adam Gilchrist and Shahid Afridi a long time ago), and he becomes that force of nature which will bring balance on Earth, whether its enemies are other creatures or the human beings themselves. Well, Godzilla is nothing like the other two creatures which belong to one species, one being the smaller male with wings and the other being the bigger female, stronger without wings. The force of nature is rather the great equalizer, which makes its own choices and takes sides. That is what makes this monster so different and gives the viewers so much to look forward to. Yes, men think that they can control nature with science, but it is indeed the other way around!

How it finishes :: We were given two Malayalam movies with big stars this weekend in the form of How Old Are You and Mr. Fraud and it is a big decision to choose this one over them, but that won’t be too difficult at many places as they would be already booked. The crowd for Godzilla assures the success of the movie, but also makes sure that the two movies I mentioned are already houseful. Godzilla might have lesser audience in the weekdays, but seems to be good enough to stay above par. If you liked Pacific Rim, you will surely like this one too, and the degree of the liking shall depend on what you need, a light action thriller with style or a dark horror thriller with action, Godzilla fitting to the latter detail. Lets take some time to spare some time for these creatures from the depths of Earth, not just the alpha predator which is Godzilla, but the other two mentioned as MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism)! Yet there is one more thing to remember, and that is about the minuteness of humanity against the universe and its secrets, and lets not consider science and technology as the greatest achievement of humanity; it is rather the respect of the fellow humans, environment and the other creatures that should interest us.

Release date: 16th May 2014
Running time: 123 minutes
Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, Bryan Cranston

godzilla copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

2013 in Review

Happy New Year everyone. I was waiting for WordPress to give me my year in review, but no such summary and statistics came up for this blog, and so I thought I should come up with a movie summary instead. I had posted this without detail on Facebook, and I guess I would share this in detail here for the new year.

2013 copy

Best Malayalam movie: Celluloid
Its awesomeness approved by Kerala State Film Awards and the National Film Award committee of India. Prithviraj starts the year well. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/celluloid/

Best Hindi movie: Madras Cafe
There is absolutely no doubt about this one, as even with actors not known for their acting, this movie nails it. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/madras-cafe/

Best English movie: The Conjuring
I had thought long and hard about this one, but a horror movie always deserves an extra push and this one deserved it. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/the-conjuring/

Best Animated movie: Frozen
Unlike Brave, this year has a respectable animated movie at the top. People of no age group can afford to miss this one. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/frozen/

Best Action movie: Pacific Rim
Guillermo del Toro doesn’t miss out as he makes the right robot movie in our world plagued by Transformers. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/pacific-rim/

Best Visual experience: Gravity
This visually superior movie is all set to make it big on the Academy Awards next year, that is for sure. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/gravity/

Best Thrills: Drishyam
The director Jeethu Joseph maintains his cent percent record with another thriller, his second super hit of the year. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/drishyam/

Big Surprise: Philips and the Monkey Pen
Not that inspiring from the name, and not at all hyped, this movie is a beautifully crafted allegory with children as main characters. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/monkey-pen/

Righteous One: North 24 Kaatham
This movie is so simple and yet scores with the simple thoughts about goodness, righteous and happiness, and it has the power to change lives. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/north-24-kaatham/

Magical Movie: Amen
This movie is magical with or without its clear share of magic realism, and it is one of its kind, to be remade in other Indian languages. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/amen/

Powerful Experience: Rush
For a movie which can bring even non-Formula One fans to feel the emotions, there is no evil to be said about this one. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/rush/

Game Changer: Go Goa Gone
This movie might be the best thing that has happened to Bollywood in 2013, and I hope that this zom-com brings good changes instead of mindlessness. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/go-goa-gone/

Personal Favourite: Memories
One of the two brilliant movies from the director of the year, this movie establishes Prithviraj as the Malayalam actor of the year. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/memories/

Unnoticed One: 10:30 am Local Call
This movie had lots of good things about it despite a small cast except for Lal. This is a thriller as well as a love story with strength at both levels. Sadly, it didn’t get the attention or the appreciation it actually deserved.

Worst Malayalam movie: Kammath and Kammath
The movie provides us a world of nonsense and one can’t even understand what they say or intend to say. It wastes two actors and two actresses in a few hours of crime which they call a film. The side-effects of this movie include an eternal hatred for dosa which I could overcome only by hating idli.

Worst Hindi movie: Besharam
The shameless movie of the year has one of the so called young actors of the future in one of the worst roles anyone can do. This movie is a disgrace to Gandhiji as it released on the day of Gandhi Jayanthi. Taking in a whole family of actors and adding bad jokes which are older than our leading actor doesn’t help either.

Worst English movie: Mortal Instruments
This movie wonders who is the lover of whose brother and demons, vampires, hunters and werewolves have never been this retarded. There is this nonsense which makes Twilight look better. One comes to know that Lily Collins is incredibly cute, but the story or the characters makes no sense even when they are not on screen.

Most Undeserving Hit: Chennai Express
This is a painful watch as its take on the South – the actress has a Hindi accent which is not from the South of India, but from outside the nation, and the movie isn’t even funny enought to be taken lightly, and its romantic side is terrible. This is a clear case of stereotyping, and with all due disrespect to Krrish 3 and Dhoom 3, this will remain the undeserving one.

Of a Mental Asylum: Olipporu
From the moment it begins, to the end, the movie has tried to do something intellectual, that is for sure – but at most times, it makes no sense and with this movie, I have stopped watching Malayalam movies on the first day, alone. In the movie Nadan, Jayaram tells a few words which are applicable for this movie.

Worst Drag: Annayum Rasoolum
This had three hours of nothing but drag – the hero looks at the heroine, and keeps looking at her till the end of first half, and in a relationship of few words, they kiss, he goes to jail and she dies in a world of pathetic pseudo-romance. To add to an already slow movie, there is slow motion – what is wrong with these people?

Worst Drift: Bicycle Thieves
This movie drifts again and again with no idea where to go and what to do with its characters. There are twists of no sense and characters of no use. After stealing the title from Vittorio De Sica, this one comes up with a heroine who looks many times younger than the hero, and lead by her being weird. almost everyone acts strange, wonder why.

Worst Emptiness: Kili Poyi
This one has nothing, but smoke inside it, with clear glorification of drugs and a loose lifestyle, and its characters are so plain that one can hope to have just smoke inside it and feel the emptiness throughout the world. The movie itself is a black hole which has unfortunately made an impact of nonsense.

Worst Lie: Neelakasam Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi
This movie is a lie from the beginning to the end, and has characters who use the mask of travel for being stupid and aimless. The leading character is a man who pretends so much that he obviously has no identity of his own, and the journey is useless. This is rather an Indian Born Confused Desi (IBCD).

Worst Stupidity: ABCD
This one uses that kind of jokes which can’t appeal to even the worst of brains, and it is surprising that it became a big hit. The story of two shameless people who live a shameless life to end shameless doesn’t bring up any interest, except for the fine debutant performance of Jacob Gregory.

Unbearable One: Sringaravelan
This year’s most shameful comic movie comes up with a hero who falls in love with the heroine in another strange and meaningless way and their adventure is indeed a mentally retarded one, with the only hope being the beautiful heroine. Why would someone subtitle a movie “The Romantic Fighter” is beyond all hope.

Clueless One: The Host
There are no Twilight movies this year, and this movie is the worthy successor to that legacy, coming from a work of the same author. From the beginning to the end, this is a clueless alien invasion with no sense. At the end of the movie, we are aliens and would wish to escape from that world.

Worst Hype: Django Unchained
A story of violence and racial hatred has the shoot-at-random-people theory going throughout it. If the colour is different, shoot more people, and dead people are so much fun in this movie. Show a grin after you shoot people, because murder and destruction is so much fun. I have written a review, but you needn’t read it 😀

Malayalam Only:
Best Actor: Prithviraj Sukumaran (Celluloid, Memories, Mumbai Police)
Second Best: Fahadh Faasil (North 24 Kaatham, Amen)

Best Actress: Remya Nambeesan (Philips and the Monkey Pen, Left Right Left, Nadan)
Second Best: Swati Reddy (Amen, North 24 Kaatham)

Best Pair: Fahadh Faasil and Swati Reddy (Amen, North 24 Kaatham)
Second Best: Nivin Pauly and Nazriya Nazim (Neram)

Best Performance: Prithviraj Sukumaran in Celluloid
Second Best: Prithviraj Sukumaran in Memories

Best Negative Shades: Indrajith Sukumaran in Left Right Left
Second Best: Indrajith Sukumaran in Ezhamathe Varavu

Best Villain: Joy Mathew in Amen
Second Best: Sreekumar in Memories

Best Supporting Role: Indrajith Sukumaran in Amen
Second Best: Fahadh Faasil in Immanuel

Best Comic Lead: Asif Ali in Honey Bee
Second Best: Kunchacko Boban in Pullipulikalum Aattinkuttiyum

Best Debut: Reenu Mathews in Immmanuel
Second Best: Keerthi Suresh in Geethanjali

Surprising Performers: Vijay Babu in Philips and the Monkey Pen
Second Best: Lena Abhilash in Left Right Left

Best Impact: Shobana in Thira
Second Best: Indrajith Sukumaran in Amen

Best Character: Georgekutty in Drishyam (Mohanlal)
Second Best: Sam Alex in Memories (Prithviraj Sukumaran)

Best Director: Jeethu Joseph (Memories, Drishyam)
Second Best: Lijo Jose Pellissery (Amen)

Best Child Artist: Esther Anil (Drishyam)
Second Best: Sanoop Santhosh (Philips and the Monkey Pen)

Best Song: Memories Never Die (Memories)
Second Best: Etho Sayahna Swapnangalil (10:30 am Local Call)

PS: Most read movie reviews:
Drishyam (https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/drishyam/)
Oru Indian Pranaya Katha (https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/oru-indian-pranaya-katha/)
Phata Poster Nikla Hero (https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/phata-poster-nikhla-hero/)

*103 movies watched on the big screen this year, with 71 of them reviewed. There were 44 English movies, 43 Malayalam movies, 12 Hindi movies and 4 Tamil movies. Total Reviews including honorary ones = 109.