Venom

Vampire Owl: This creature is known to me from a long time ago.

Vampire Bat: Which one exactly are you talking about?

Vampire Owl: The one with the twisted tongue and bad teeth, coloured black or really dark grey.

Vampire Bat: That was a creature summoned by the Northern Witches. This is an alien we have here.

Vampire Owl: I don’t think that the creatures among these are less alien.

Vampire Bat: The portal to other dimensions is closed now, and so I don’t think that there is the need to discuss this matter.

Vampire Owl: Well, I had this vision. The portal is no more in ruins.

Vampire Bat: You have no gift of dream vision!

Vampire Owl: Well, there is one that goes with the nightmare visions.

Vampire Bat: You will need to prove it after watching this movie.

[Gets three cups of cardamom tea with Tiger Biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: A bio-engineering corporation known as Life Foundation has been sending probes into space, as it would stop at nothing to find the unknown. There is something sinister about the organization and its CEO Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), who is known to be a man of mysteries with many allegations related to human rights violation made about him. He is still one of the richest and the most powerful men in the nation though, who tries to keep a clean image in more than one way. It is during those times that one of the corporation’s probe finds something which it cannot control. With four symbiotic life forms, it crashes in the remote area of Malaysia, and one of the symbiotes known as Riot escapes to the wilderness, possessing different people at different times, as it made its way towards the Head Quarters of the Life Foundation, leaving a trail of dead bodies.

So, what happens next? :: The three remaining symbiotes are transported to San Francisco, where the Head Quarters and the main research facility of the corporation are located. There, Carlton goes on to remake the human body with a combination of the two, as the creatures can’t live without human support and he believes that it could make humanity better. But he finds out that it resists and kills the human host on most occasion, and this process known as symbiosis is really difficult to achieve. Meanwhile, investigative journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) reads about these human trials in a classified document which is with his lover and fiancee, Anne Weying (Michelle Williams) who is a lawyer. He confronts Carlton regarding the same, and he is fired from his job. At the same time, Anne is also terminated from her job for leaking classified information, and there, the relationship between the two ends.

And, what is to follow next in the adventure? :: Wandering in the streets without doing anything substantial, Eddie is approached by a Life Foundation scientist Dora Skirth (Jenny Slate) who reveals the the horrors that have been happening in the research facility of the corporation, and asks him to do something about it. He is initialliy reluctant as he is no longer a journalist, and feels that he doesn’t have enough resources to expose him. He asks her to contact the police or someone with high influence, but she is not someone who would give up that easily. Finally, he decides to break into the facility with her help, and find clues to how the illegal activities are going on there. There he tries to help Maria (Melora Walters), a homeless woman who is one of the subjects, and has a symbiote inside her. The result is that the symbiote which identifies as Venom gets into him, and everything begins to change.

The defence of Venom :: Venom is the anti-hero that rises to the occasion yet again – without the silliness of Deadpool, this one opposite to Spider-Man is certainly the better anti-hero compared to Wolverine’s opponent in his origins story. Our hero of Mad Max: Fury Road, Tom Hardy is no stranger to the chaos which can be seen on the big screen. The Dark Knight Rises had him bringing chaos as Bane, and here we have the internal chaos at work. Michelle Williams is a fine addition too, and she even gets to become the Lady Venom herself – that was one of the best moments in the movie. There is also the big symbiotic fight by the end of the movie, and by that time, we already had some big fights in between with Venom taking over and fighting through the mortals of Planet Earth with ease. Riz Ahmed makes a fine villain, a controlled one at the same time too.

The claws of flaw :: It is to be noted that Venom doesn’t maintain the same pace throughout the movie, even though it could have easily done that with Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams around. The symbiotes are worth more than this, as more experiments could have made the whole setup darker even while keeping the lighter side there. The beginning of the movie could have been better too. You see how well the other Marvel characters have turned out to be with their solo movies – Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Ant-Man, Thor – all have had their appreciation, and Venom had to stand out to reach that level, considering the fact that it came later. We would have always wanted more of Lady Venom, which is special in its own way. Maybe, a sequel could do the trick by adding more of this creature, and could focus further in a world unknown too.

How it finishes :: Venom doesn’t just manage to be better than the other anti-hero Deadpool, but it also proves to be better than its own nemesis Spider-Man in Spider-Man Homecoming. Compared to a matured Venom, those two are not of much significance. The team of the host and the parasite makes a lot of fun in store, as this one should defeat the new Spider-Man at some point, and bring another reboot with our older Spider-Man movies. It is the next level of hope that we all have. Until then, enjoy Venom as the two personalities in one, half-alien, half-earthling, and with Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams who power the same. Marvel continues its winning run, and whatever they make, seems to be of more significance than those made by anyone else. At the same time, one can keep wondering about the possibility of having Venom with the Avengers – can’t they let this alien save the world in a big way too?

Release date: 5th October 2018
Running time: 112 minutes
Directed by: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate, Melora Walters, Chris O’Hara, Sam Medina, Sope Aluko, Scott Deckert, Marcella Bragio, Michelle Lee, Mac Brandt, Christian Convery, Ron Cephas Jones

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Mad Max: Fury Road

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Vampire Owl :: Do you know that this director’s last movies were Happy Feet and Happy Feet Two?

Vampire Bat :: Yes, the Vampire Penguin did inform us about the same.

Vampire Owl :: And we are going to watch this one.

Vampire Bat :: Ninety Nine percent at Rotten Tomatoes and nine out of ten at IMDb for an action movie – then why not watching it?

Vampire Owl :: Well, I have my doubts. They rate random violent action movies as awesome. Quentin Tarantino knows that for sure.

Vampire Bat :: Quentin Tarantino has nothing to do with this one. And the trailer was awesome. It called for a quick 3D watch!

Vampire Owl :: It could be also because we love Charlize Theron.

Vampire Bat :: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is also there, if you want another reason. Remember Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Vampire Owl :: Let’s go for this then.

Vampire Bat :: It is exactly what I am talking about. I also have to write my two hundredth review with this one.

[Gets the tickets].

What is it about? :: In a distant post-apocalyptic future where the resources are scarce and there is rarely the trace of civilization, Max (Tom Hardy) is captured and is imprisoned to be used as a blood bag for the sick boy Nux (Nicholas Hoult) in a part of the world which is ruled by a tyrant called Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). Meanwhile, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) who was sent by Joe to collect fuel drives away, and the tyrant realizes that she had also taken his five beautiful wives whom he had selected to bear his children without the deformities of the normal people around him. As Nux makes an attempt to make an impression with the captive attached as the blood bag, Max escapes, and joins forces with Furiosa and the wives Angharad (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), Capable (Riley Keough), Cheedo (Courtney Eaton), Toast (Zoë Kravitz), and Dag (Abbey Lee), as they hope to reach a location called “Green Place”.

The defence of Mad Max: Fury Road :: This one goes directly into the action, and we know what is expected here. We have something like the ultimate action movie which is so quick in its action and thinks not much about bringing up the rules. There are modified vehicles battling in the middle of nowhere – a lot like warships fighting on the sea, and here the four-wheeled monsters fight on the sea of sand. There are sandstorms instead of the storms in the sea, and there is a lot of work in the design of those vehicles, that is for sure. There are gunshots, melee combats, racing and people falling dead all the time. The pace is so good that you don’t wish to take your eyes off the screen. The dialogues also turn interesting soon enough. The background score is also impressive. There is also that display of humanity when it is left with no law and order, as we see the chaos which the lack of civilization brings to the humans. There is madness, and there is fury!

The claws of flaw :: Never does this movie venture too much without the action which seems to be imprinted throughout its run. There is the scope for more and more of story, but the focus remains on the action sequences which keep coming. This leaves the option to say that this is another mindless action movie – but that is still disputed, and depends on how you take it. The ending also doesn’t come up with that big surprise or climax, as the action just continues to lead to the end. There are things left unexplained about the situation, and there is not much smartness displayed by the characters in this movie as the actions are rather reckless. Yes, there is the need for willing suspension of disbelief, but it is easy in this case as the situation is of a post-apocalyptic future.

Performers of the soul :: The performances, especially from the leading cast remains the strength of this movie. The first name that needs attention here is Charlize Theron. This is not the kind of avatar in which you would expect to see her, but this is a role in which she excels. She plays the character who becomes the reason for this movie as well as all the action that we get to witness. She plays an amputee, but is still one of most powerful female action heroines of all time. Tom Hardy also makes it out strong as the titular character, and he surely has the best moments. You might not recognize Nicholas Hoult in the first look, but he steals a few moments nicely. The ladies play the wives well, and another person you need to look out for is the former WWE wrestler Nathan Jones who had teamed with the legendary Undertaker himself, as the strong Rictus.

Soul exploration :: The movie ventures in the post-apocalyptic future when the world has plunged into chaos. It comes up with that situation when almost all the resources have finished, and also when humanity finds chaos again in the absence of civilization. Without order, there will be only people fighting each other, and it is a possible state of the world in the future in the presence of its never-ending wars. As no surprise, the future will still have its weapons, even if the resources are to be so scarce. The final stages mean that someone will try to have them all without thinking about sharing. An experience close to the end of the world won’t make people any better, but will make them worse, trying to make “the survival of the fittest” happen in every case. Then there is the need for redemption as often spoken about by the main lady, and for the same, there is need for courage, sacrifice and revolution.

How it finishes :: Mad Max: Fury Road might not do that well at this part of the world as it is not the usual viewers’ choice action movie with the users’ choice kind of things. This is mostly action, but things remain too grim for the general audience who would surely prefer to see Avengers: Age of Ultron or Fast and Furious 7 instead of this one. But you need to watch this one in the theatre more than any other, as you seek chaos in the sands past the apocalypse – the world is so good that it might even make you satisfied only with the 3D. Mad Max: Fury Road becomes the movie of the week; not so sure about the box-office collections, but it is a certainty with the critics and action lovers. This is actually the fourth film in the director’s Mad Max franchise, and may be we should watch the others too – I haven’t done it yet. This brutality in brilliance gives an order!

And that was the 200th review! 😀

Release date: 15th May 2015
Running time: 120 minutes
Directed by: George Miller
Starring: Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Zoë Kravitz, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Abbey Lee, Riley Keough, Courtney Eaton, Nathan Jones, Megan Gale, Josh Helman, Melissa Jaffer, John Howard, Richard Carter, Jennifer Hagan, Gillian Jones, Angus Sampson, iOTA, Joy Smithers

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Dark Knight Rises

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The one thing I am certain about this movie is that it is the one I have waited eagerly in 2012, and what I might differ in opinion with a few is that this is not among the best movies of the year. There is another element in which I would agree on, and it is that this is not the best of the series, and where I disagree is at the level of quality of each movie of the Christopher Nolan’s Batman series, with my favourites going in the same path as the timeline, as Batman Begins is my favourite, followed by The Dark Knight and this one, both separated by not much. But I wouldn’t do that without reasons. Ra’s al Ghul v/s Joker v/s Bane is a battle which has a clear winner for many, but The first one is a villain with something special, a big idea. But Batman Begins succeeds in its story, and the Scarecrow is a better villain than Two Face for sure. Both the Two Face and Bane were not used to their potential, and this is where the first movie of the series scores, as it built this triology out of nowhere, with nothing to support it at a time when Spider-Man and X-Men had the status of being the better loved heroes around here.

Without Batman Begins, there is no dark knight, a term which became incredibly popular and was even used with Novak Djokovic, not that much of an expected winner caught between the rivalry between Rafael Nadal who had clay in his pocket at that time, and Roger Federer who ruled the rest of the clay-less world. Therefore, it is just natural to pay the due respect to that movie which started them all. The Dark Knight had all its fame and glory only due to what the beginning had given its viewers, and I have to admit that I didn’t realize that the first time. But as long as the long list of origin stories are concerned, from X-Men Origins to the recently released Man of Steel, Batman Begins has a high place. The Dark Knight Rises continues that legacy which was handed over to it by the more critically acclaimed and more hyped second movie, and has completed the trilogy in style. The problem which this movie has to face is the long trail of near-perfection in the superhero genre that its predecessors had left for this one, and the same thing is both the good thing and the bad thing for this movie; for this one could improve on box-office, as it went on to overtake its predecessors and become the eighth highest grossing movie of all time grossing over a billion United States dollars. But it is to be noted that unlike its predecessors, the film was not nominated for any Academy Awards.

Eight years have passed after Harvey Dent’s death and the covering of the existence of the Two Face. The organized crime has almost been wiped out completely. Feeling guilty for covering up Dent’s crimes and framing Batman for the same, Gotham City’s Police Commissioner James Gordon writes a resignation speech which revealed the truth concerning the two, but decides not to use it at the last moment. Batman has disappeared and Bruce Wayne has kept himself away from all the action. It is at this moment that a burglar Selina Kyle appears, known to most of the fans as the Cat Woman. Bane’s appearance is the other major thing which changes the scenario, as he intends to fulfill Ra’s al Ghul’s mission to destroy Gotham City and thus fulfill the aim of the League of Shadows. He punishes Batman and breaks his back, and then puts him in a prison from where escape is almost impossible. The fellow prisoners tell him the story of Ra’s al Ghul’s child, born in the prison and cared for by a fellow prisoner before escaping, the only prisoner to have ever done so – Batman assumes the child to be Bane, and his actions the revenge for what Batman did to his father.

Meanwhile, Bane traps Gotham police underground and destroys all the exits. He converts Bruce’s own reactor core into a nuclear bomb and uses the bomb to hold the city hostage and isolate Gotham from the rest of the world. Using Gordon’s speech which he had stolen, Bane reveals the cover-up of Dent’s crimes telling the people that the whole police action and passed laws based on Dent’s act was a lie and releases the prisoners from different jails. There is a kind of revolution and the wealthy and powerful have their money and property taken away, are dragged from their homes, and forced to trials presided over by Dr. Jonathan Crane a.k.a the Scarecrow, where any sentence means death on most occasions and otherwise exile. After months of recovery and training both the body and the mind to face Bane, Batman manages to escape the prison and reach Gotham City, and enlist the help of Cat Woman and the others. But with a pseudo-revolution on the run, and all the criminals on the streets with no police force to stop them, Batman has more than what he would wish for this time. It is up-to him to stop the man who broke his back with relative ease, and to prevent whatever Ra’s al Ghul had intended to do.

Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne a.k.a Batman continues his conquests, and here his performance is lowered only due to the absence of a villain who was as good as those in the first two movies, and there is no intellectually superior mastermind who decides who lives and who dies, and there is no wretched of the soul who is half Loki and half Lucifer, made with everything evil and everything psychotic. Instead he has a militant who is more of a physical threat than mental. Unfortunately, his thoughts and decisions are not his alone and himself outsmarting Batman was not something for which he could take credit, and at that point, he loses his significance and still not his presence and power. Still, Tom Hardy’s Bane is excellent in what he does. Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle a.k.a Cat Woman becomes a revelation in the movie, and it is evident that she has trained extremely tried and tried her best to fit into that costume which so much physically demanding. Marion Cotillard outshines herself in the second half, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake comes up with a pleasant performance. Michael Caine and Gary Oldman plays the two normal characters in the movie who makes any impact.

Christopher Nolan did make Inception just a few years before this with that touch of brilliance, it was what stood between the two sequels; it was something which further accelerated the expectations. Here, we get some of it, and considering the fact that Batman has undergone evolution and there is no real base for the same, and there is no end to this superhero, we have to respect this title despite of the hype. It has done all that it could do, but it did nothing spectacular, and yet, this is very well done. It was a good decision to continue the Ra’s al Ghul legacy, and it was hundred percent a good decision not to make this in the 3D – full marks to that. There are movies that are to be enjoyed for fun, and even with all the entertaining elements in this movie, it scores slightly higher at the intellectual level rather than how it is supposed to happen in a regular superhero movie. The movie also leaves open slots, not just for a sequel, but also for a Cat Woman and a Robin spin-off as well as Justice League of America movie, in the model of The Avengers. It is certain that we haven’t seen even a little bit of what the DC’s cinematic universe has to offer its viewers. There is a lot coming, that is for sure with this one being the third highest grossing film of 2012 and also the third highest grossing superhero film of all time.

There is no doubt that the caped crusader has grown enough to lead the Mount Olympus of superheroes as the Zeus of this generation, with his biggest arch-rival Superman failing to live up-to the hype, and his next best rival Spider-Man slowly fading from the scene – both of them coming up with below-the-bat reboots which fails to challenge the Man-Bat. These three are challenged not by those superheroes of childhood, The Phantom and He-Man, but by the man they call Iron Man and his gang of Avengers, as well as X-Men, but they all follow a different path. The world’s greatest detective with the Bat logo has nothing to worry about his position right now, but in case of a reboot, it is all upto him to lose, as the rest have only gotten better. The concept of billionaire playboy, industrialist, and philanthropist itself already has been challenged by Iron Man, and with Man of Steel all the dark elements; The Amazing Spiderman has conquered the heroic elements, and whenever the abilities are glorified, there was X-Men First Class, with Wolverine to follow this year. Therefore, this domination of the dark knight is in a precarious position, and as this end to the trilogy was not as perfect as expected, there is surely a storm coming, and it would consist of more than one superhero. The only fear that I have is that can the Batman remain Batman for long, or will he be completely transformed into the dark knight, and Superman into the man of steel? It is that question which will be answered in a decade.

Release date: 20th July 2012
Running time: 165 minutes
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, Juno Temple

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.