Warcraft

warcraft

Vampire Owl: An orc story? How can you even think about it? This is a no-orc zone around here.

Vampire Bat: It is a humans against orcs tale.

Vampire Owl: Whatever it is, I just can’t stand these orcs. They don’t even smell good.

Vampire Bat: Why do you try to smell them? It is totally unnecessary.

Vampire Owl: It is not intentional. We just come across one or two of them at the Goblin Market all the time.

Vampire Bat: Why do you go to the Goblin Market?

Vampire Owl: What? I just love their special fruit juice.

Vampire Bat: Dude, they are not healthy drinks. You should just stick to the natural vampire drinks.

Vampire Owl: Still healthier than those human-made things like Pepsi and Coca-Cola.

Vampire Bat: Well, I can agree to that.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with banana chips].

Flashback to the game :: As all of you would know by now, Warcraft is an adaptation of the game of the same name, just as Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Hitman, Max Payne, Need For Speed, Alone in the Dark and Prince of Persia had been, among the others. But what Warcraft has achieved here, is that it has gone on to become the highest grossing video game adaptation of all-time, thus creating a fine record, despite what the critics have been saying. We know that the critics are never fond of a movie made from a video game, as they are all sitting there waiting to blame the attempt. But Warcraft has a longer history for me than any other game, as Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness is the first real-time strategy (non-turn based) or any strategy game that I had ever played, thus making way for more strategy games getting into my head, from Age of Empires to Caesar, Age of Wonders, Age of Mythology, Disciples and Civilization. Therefore Warcraft has a special place in my mind, as for many others.

What was the game about? :: The game had orcs entering this dimension through a portal, and after the initial raids, were slowly making their way more and more into the human lands. The first game, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, even though it might look too simple for the gamers of this age, had a firm base for the battles established, which Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness nicely used to its advantage with new additions. Winning a good number of awards during the year of its release, the second game was nothing less than top quality fun. In the game, even though orcs have the superior strength and keeps on gaining brutal victories, there are interesting units on both sides. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos which comes much later introduces two new races, the Night Elves and the and Undead. It was followed by the expansion, The Frozen Throne. Then there was World of Warcraft, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, and with a number of expansions, the saga continues – so can the movie live up-to that?

What is the movie about? :: The orcs are in a battle for existence as their world is almost near extinction – they look forward to finding new lands for their people, as Gul’dan (Daniel Wu), a powerful orc warlock opens a portal to the human world, and invites all tribes of orcs to join forces for one purpose, to claim new lands for themselves. Durotan (Toby Kebbell), the chief of the Frostwolf Clan is a man who believes in honour and fairness, and he also joins the first group of orcs who come through the portal as he is looking for a better place for his family to thrive. With the brutal raids from orcs destroying villages, Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer), a mage finds the evil magic of fel in the bodies of the dead, and warns the knight Sir Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel). King Llane Wrynn (Dominic Cooper) chooses to call for the Guardian, Medivh (Ben Foster) with whose help, they capture Garona Halforcen (Paula Patton), a half-orc. But things are more than just about a battle between the two races.

The defence of Warcraft :: There is one thing about Warcraft that everyone should agree on – it is an amazingly good-looking movie; with visuals which will make one feel the fantasy world with all its beauty. There are shots from the top which often reminds one of the game itself, not just the one this is inspired from, but also about many other strategy fantasy games. The visual effects make sure that the magic combined with swordfights create even better impact. Among the characters, it is the half-orc played by Paula Patton that steals the show. The movie’s message is sacrifice throughout its run, as both the races got the respective leaders striving to make sure that it gets better for their own people. Even in an effort to survive, there is no loss of honour on the good side, and there is no missing pieces of evil on the other side, the dark magic that comes in between the two races. Fans have waited for this movie so long, and so they should like it without doubt.

The claws of flaw :: There are places where Warcraft could have been better and less predictable. It could have had more races in the battle scenes instead of just being present there. The orc characters are actually better than the humans too, winning our respect, while the humans trail – it is surprising that the orcs decide not to finish off the human knight, but they allowed their own cheftain to be killed earlier; there is something strange in the working in totality. The two main human characters, the guardian and the commander knight become flaws of the movie as they keep losing strength all the time. Well, it is the time for orcs to have some fun – the hobbits had so much of the same, and the undead have been enjoying too much; let the orcs get their due too. There are times when one wonder if the movie could have used more of the games, and there will be the question if the special effects were overused.

How it finishes :: There can be many claims against Warcraft, but the truth is that it manages to be better than many other movies which doesn’t have the backup of a video game – just because this is based on a popular game, this has been given too much negative reviews. But Warcraft is better than all that, and along with being the highest grossing video game adaptation of all-time, it also has enough in it to gain the attention of those who are not prejudiced. With the chance for a sequel open, we can be sure that this can expand into a fine franchise, as long as the sceptics won’t bother us with more of the prejudice saying that this is from a video game and so it can’t be good. This one has almost all that one needs in an entertaining movie without going through the path of some dumb fun. Therefore, it needs to be shown some appreciation that it deserves.

Release date: 10th June 2016
Running time: 123 minutes
Directed by: Duncan Jones
Starring: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky, Daniel Wu, Ruth Negga, Anna Galvin, Callum Keith Rennie, Burkely Duffield, Ryan Robbins, Dean Redman, Terry Notary, Michael Adamthwaite, Glenn Close

warcraft

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

2 Guns

2guns()

There was the need for an oasis of action among the movies of this Onam, among which none of them was of the much needed action genre, even as at least half of the Malayalam movies of this Onam season were very good. Yes, 2 Guns released here yesterday only, and I have to say that it has been delayed quite a bit, and should be glad to have released this week, as a few others like Elysium are still waiting and waiting, and Grown Ups 2 had its chance only the last Friday. The winner of this weekend should still be the Malayalam movie Sringaravelan, and the word of mouth should be in completely in favour of North 24 Kaatham. As both this day and the next are public holidays, most of these movies should have a good time, also expecting the last days of Onam holidays to boost up the revenue a lot. 2 Guns is one of the five English movies still in the theatres this week, along with Rush, The Conjuring, Grown Ups 2 and Riddick. The advantage of 2 Guns is its star cast and the fact that none of these movies actually rival this one in its genre, even as Riddick is only partially a sci-fi movie.

Now we come to the idea of the buddy-cop comedy movies among which the most known and the most popular might be the Rush Hour series with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker making the most out of it. I would still wonder if Men in Black can come into the same category, and R.I.P.D. and The Heat hasn’t landed here yet. I shall not look into the older movies either. 2 Guns has landed in this area, but still quite unsure if it is an action comedy or comedy action, as it gets quite serious on regular intervals unlike Rush Hour‘s ever-improving funny side. I would guess that this one won’t do that good business here, even as this is the festival-vacation season, with families, the strength of this season expected to pull out of it completely. The hope might be about The Conjuring scaring people out of the theatres and Rush confusing them away. It has the same certificate as Grown Ups 2 and Riddick, and it would depend on how much the star name of Mark Wahlberg will sell around here, with the recently popular R-rated comedy Ted and Max Payne of the computer gamers’ paradise, even as both of them hadn’t released here.

The movie tells the tale of two criminals who turn out to be on the other side of the law later; Robert Trench (Denzel Washington) and Michael Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) as the former is an undercover DEA agent and the latter an undercover Naval Intelligence Officer; both of them thinks that the other one is a criminal though. But their attempt to steal the money of Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos) from a bank ends them in trouble, as they end up losing both the money as well as blowing their cover. Trench’s lover Deb Rees (Paula Patton) who knew about all these also seems to be on another side which they are not aware about. They have to run from more than one group who is after them, which leaves them with no choice but to work together, this time knowing each other’s identity. They even try kidnapping the drug lord, but that too misfires. So the question will be on who will shoot whom, sided with which person and who will get the large amount of stolen money in a world of treachery and complete chaos which follows the fall of two men from their respective forces.

So what do we get? There is one thing we can be sure about, that is lots of fun and action. There are lots of gunshots involved as expected, but not that much of melee combat. The hand-to-hand combat takes the backseat as the guns take over. These kind of movies seem to make sure that there are also a good number of funny lines, and this one is no exception in that case, and one thing which this movie does by its own is making sure that Paula Patton is gorgeous, which is accomplished by just two scenes; that should be new as one wonders if she was there more for those two occasions only (not denying her character the double-crossing), as she doesn’t really get much screen presence compared to her tough role in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. But she is still our dazzling lady in the lead, with not many others around who are there for more than five minutes. What the movie does is nothing not too obvious, and nothing close to being a normal logical story. We still know what might happen next, even as what we know is not really what should be happening without a willing suspension of disbelief. There is not that much power to strengthen the plot either, even as there is the sincere effort to keep it not that simple.

Mark Wahlberg steals the show, and there is absolutely no reason why someone would think otherwise, unless Paula Patton’s moments which contributed to the movie’s rating steals the same for a few seconds. Even as the critics didn’t give that much to his Planet of the Apes and Max Payne, I would say that those were my favourites from him along with Ted, without denying The Italian Job and Shooter their due and this won’t add to it. He comes up with the funniest lines of the movie, and if a character was to bring cheers from the audience, it was his, as the chicken-eating, chicken-loving man who can’t bear to see the chickens being tortured. The last time I watched a Denzel Washington movie was Unstoppable, if not The Book of Eli. He is there for almost the same time as his partner, but a little lesser in impact compared to the Mark Wahlberg show. Even with their jokes as well as the seriousness, it has to be said that this movie goes to none of their top ten list, except for that of Paula Patton. The two cop characters won’t be in any all-time list, and that is one thing we can be pretty much confident about. They shall still stay alive and out of the coffin as long as the fans are concerned.

The movie is violent for sure, and there are lots of blood, along with some of the violence as well as the dialogues, nothing unexpected though. Well, this is one of those movies which you feel longer than what it really is, as the almost-two-hours of action comedy makes you feel like you have been in the theatre a little longer, and that is due to its moments of no fun which exists. But when Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington are together, there is more fun guaranteed, and luckily they stay together most of the time. They are surely not going to make you love this genre though. But not many of the regular movie watchers can avoid these two actors together, a rare combination which has such a huge potential which is only partially fulfilled. Based on a graphic novel series of the same name, the movie strives inside its limited scope, with the big names which it has associated with. This is a movie which you can watch without thinking, expecting or hoping.

By the end of the movie, there are only a few things that you are sure about, and the more sad side of it is that Paula Patton’s character is dead, and in the distant possibility of a sequel, she won’t be there, and the happy side is that there is the scope for sequel, not just because of the ending, but also due to the way in which the movie has progressed and also considering the fact that people in the theatre did seem to love it upto an extent. This entertainment is something which keeps you asking for more, and this “more” if delivered, can happen only in a sequel. The Seventy Three out of One Hundred, which I have provided the movie with, is not the exact rating for everyone, as a slightly lesser rating might make most of the common movie watchers happy, but I am going to stick with this one, being at my subjective side. This is a movie which you can watch prepared to take it as the entertainer starring two big names and a gorgeous leading actress, not to forget the typical villains. Yes, there are a few things reminding us of some of those Quentin Tarantino flicks, for this movie doesn’t belong to one category, not of comedy, action, adventure or thriller completely, but still qualifies as action comedy from a distance.

Release date: 20th September 2013 (India); 2nd August 2013 (United States)
Running time: 110 minutes
Directed by: Baltasar Kormákur
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton, Fred Ward, James Marsden, Edward James Olmos, Allie DeBerry, Robert John Burke

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.