Stowaway

Vampire Owl: Do you know that Doctor Frankenstein had a stowaway on his Ultimate Machine of Nightmares?

Vampire Bat: Why would someone want to have a ride of nightmares?

Vampire Owl: I guess they wanted to witness the greatness of this invention by the greatest scientist of all times?

Vampire Bat: Why are you not understanding that he is not a real scientist at all?

Vampire Owl: You are saying this because you studied arts only.

Vampire Bat: I am well aware of the way of science. Mr Frankenstein has no role in it.

Vampire Owl: You should understand that he can teleport you in a second or two.

Vampire Bat: Even those witches of the north can do that.

Vampire Owl: I am talking about teleportation to another realm.

Vampire Bat: He just creates a virtual reality within his laboratory and pretends that it is another realm. He cannot even teleport Uncle Dracula’s lost fangs.

[Gets a paneer masala dosa and three cups of elaichi tea].

What is the movie about? :: A two year mission to Mars has been approved for the spaceship, MTS-42, which has the mission commander Marina Barnett (Toni Collette), biologist David Kim (Daniel Dae Kim), and the ship’s doctor and researcher Zoe Levenson (Anna Kendrick) on board. They are taking the first steps to call Mars the second home, and each of them is very good with the needed abilities and extended training. Everything seems to go fine with the launch, and they are all glad to be on the way to a great expedition. Soon after the takeoff, they discover a launch support engineer, Michael Adams (Shamier Anderson), an unexpected traveler who seems to be caught and fallen unconscious between the two modules of the ship. As he falls down, the device that scrubs carbon-di-oxide from ship’s air is destroyed. They use use emergency lithium hydroxide canisters to get rid of the carbon-di-oxide from the air, but it doesn’t seem to be enough. Marina is not sure about what has happened here, and wonders if something strange is going on in the background.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: Michael wakes up and wants to go home, but everyone knows that a return is not possible now. He slowly adapts to the situation, as the company promises to help his sister to go through her life in his absence with guidance and monetary support. David begins cultivating his algae experiment of the ship before reaching Mars, as there is the need for some extra oxygen, but it is also not that much effective. The damage done to the carbon-di-oxide scrubbing device seems to be permanent, and their life support seems to be in trouble. If they are not able to find another method for the supply of oxygen, they are going to fall short of breathable air. The only option seems to be a spacewalk to climb the tethers of the spaceship and recover liquid oxygen from the upper stage of the rocket. Even though the other two are okay with it, Zoe is not ready to sacrifice Michael to make sure that they have enough oxygen for their journey, and the commander decides to wait for ten days to come up with a solution. But can they have one in time?

The defence of Stowaway :: The space and the spaceship around here are indeed well-detailed, and there is one final adventure to be done as the movie gets near its end, which provides a charming view of space. The world here has good detail, both outside and inside the spaceship. There is always the question about the significance of life of a person when it would mean the death of three others who are more important not just for one mission, but for the entire humanity. This something about the talks here, as there seems to be no clear solution for a problem. There are many routes which this movie seems to take too. The movie does talk about the importance of faith, belief and hope in life, even though it is indeed a double-edged sword which can end up ruining everything like a person too much motivated by a motivational speaker. Well, after all, we know that the life itself is about some tough choices that we make, and in the end, we are all just going to die a terrible death and lie a few feet under.

The claws of flaw :: The movie is surely slow, and never does it even try to get any faster, which is rather strange, as we look at all those possibilities which have been avoided. It doesn’t try to be that entertaining either, as the speed is never that much to keep us that much engaged with the possible thrills. There is that drag which is felt because the film has too many moments and dialogues which could have been avoided – a two hour movie was not needed to deal with this kind of a theme which never chooses to go bigger. The movie’s question does feel strange too, about humanity and all, because science has already brought extinction upon humanity, and most of the human beings do not deserve to saved. And, we all know that humans are not going to make that much of a sacrifice after thinking too much – so much of thoughts better lead to brutal murders. We don’t know that much about mission being undertaken here either, except for where it is headed, and related to some of the possibilities after reaching the destination.

The performers of the soul :: Among the performers, Anna Kendrick is the only one face that we seem to recognize at first sight. We have seen her in very less number of movies in the last few years, but as we see her again, she seems to be another actress who seems to get younger as time progress – we recognize her as almost the same as in those much earlier movies. Despite not being the commander, she is the true protagonist and heroine of the movie, and the one who is ready to make a different at any cost – she does the lady with the most conscience in a wonderful way. Toni Collette has been there for longer, but most of us have seen her in movies which are rather too old, which means that recognizing her would be difficult. She says good as the commander who has to take some very difficult decisions. Daniel Dae Kim plays the man with his own assumptions about success of the mission quite well. The only other character and the one who brings the change to the mission is Shamier Anderson, a job quite well done.

How it finishes :: There has been no shortage of interesting journey through space which Hollywood has undertaken – it was at times complicated like Interstellar, with great visual splendour of space like in Gravity, hope for colonization of another world like in The Martian, horror inside the spaceship like in Life, terror in space colonies like in Doom: Annihilation, searching for secrets of humanity like in Prometheus, more on drama and romance like in Passengers or even going the fully entertaining in Star Trek way. The Chinese had The Wandering Earth and the Koreans had Space Sweepers, now we have this one. Stowaway is closer to the genre of drama instead of becoming the thriller. It still has enough of the engaging moments, and also has the moral questions running through. Even though most of us will not get to space and will face the human extinction event, we will clap to the rich people going to space and living happily ever after, following the discoveries similar to that in this movie are made. Until then, we will watch similar movies again and again, adjusting to the interesting moments that they provide, as the apocalyptic event awaits with a terrible beauty ready to be unleashed.

Release date: 22nd April 2021 (Netflix)
Running time: 92 minutes
Directed by: Joe Penna
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, Shamier Anderson, Toni Collette

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Fantastic Four

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Vampire Owl :: I will miss Chris Evans and Jessica Alba while watching this new version.

Vampire Bat :: Chris Evans is Captain America. You won’t miss him. If he returns as the Human Torch, you will miss the Captain a lot more and might even make the decision to skip Marvel forever.

Vampire Owl :: I will just miss Jessica Alba then.

Vampire Bat :: Well, it is fair, because I miss her too.

[Gets the tickets and cheese popcorn].

✠ This review was recently posted by me at Kiagia.com: http://kiagia.com/index.php/current-film-releases-movie/986-fantastic-four-movie-review.html

Having the history of an unreleased film in 1994 and adding another reboot and a sequel in 2005 and 2007 which had not much critical appreciation, Fantastic Four doesn’t really have history going in its favour. At least, the two movies could come up strong at the box-office. But one has to feel very strange about this new movie which currently has neither the support of the critics or the audience. With the movie clearly underperforming at the United States box-office, it is yet to be seen how it performs in some other territories, as it released on August 21st, the Friday in India.

Reed Richards (Miles Teller) and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) have been best friends from childhood, and have worked on building a teleporter for a very long time. Reed has been the brain of this idea which was consistently rejected by their science teachers, until Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) finds the ability in him, as he was already working on this same idea. His adopted daughter Susan Storm (Kate Mara) and his own son Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), along with Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell) work with Reed on developing a giant teleporter called the Quantum Gate which would connect the human world to another dimension.

They are successful in creating the path to this dimension, but when the head of the facility Allen (Tim Blake Nelson) decides to send a group of astronauts from NASA to explore the new world, the scientists decide to become the first people to reach the new world, just like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were on the Moon. But as they reach this new dimension, the place is full of strange materials and Victor is absorbed into its source of energy. The rest escape, but four of them undergo big changes. They wake up in government custody, and Reed runs away while others are trained to control their powers. But the connection with the other world won’t cease to exist.

This 2015 version is not as bad as most of the reviews suggest, but it is not that good either. People will surely find the earlier version a lot better than this one. It had many advantages over this one, and the most significant one being the actors. The cast which involved Jessica Alba and Chris Evans was a joy to watch, but the same is not the case here. Except for Jamie Bell as The Thing, nobody really makes a big impact in this version. Kate Mara looks very good in that suit, and has her moments. Michael B. Jordan is no Chris Evans, and Miles Teller is not really there either. Toby Kebbell makes an impact much later, only with the mask on him.

The movie also takes a lot of time to get to the interesting part. The first half is more like a stretch which moves slowly towards the possible destination. It struggles to get to the point right through the beginning to the middle. Even after that, the story is not completely there. The beginning of the second half is that point at which the movie should have reached within half an hour. It would have been okay if the beginning was rather interesting, but it couldn’t manage to be so. This goes different and still it is predictable. The action only happens when the movie is close to the finish, and by the time the origins are established, it has ended.

The movie chooses inter-dimensional travel, which is a bold move and a welcome change, even though it is not that well implemented. The special effects are nice, even though there are limitations. There are not much of the superpowers used to display these effects. Still, the power to entertain is there, and the villain does make a better impact in this avatar which is superior to the 2005 version. The villain looks like a true challenge to the four right from the moment his other side is awakened. This version is also darker, which is a positive change. With the consistent struggles and only having the interesting moments here and there, may be this origins story can bring a better sequel.

This Fantastic Four reboot will have a tough time making an impact considering the fine quality which has been maintained by the superhero movies in the past. Even the earlier two movies featuring Fantastic Four were much ahead of this one. So the expectations were a lot higher here with hope to bring something to remember. This is not really a movie that go terrible, but just something that doesn’t go big enough. It can be considered mostly average, but the situation demanded more. In the end, there is something about which the audience can be sure about; it is the fact that among the Marvel comics based superheroes, this one is clearly a level down.

Release date: 21st August 2015 (India); 7th August 2015 (USA)
Running time: 100 minutes
Directed by: Josh Trank
Starring: Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey, Tim Blake Nelson, Dan Castellaneta, Tim Heidecker

fantasticfour

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Jupiter Ascending

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Vampire Owl :: So we are going to Jupiter. I have heard that Uncle Dracula has accelerated his teleportation abilities to find a method to travel to other planet. Is the procedure already popular?

Vampire Bat :: He is such a vampire mutant. No, we are not going to Jupiter yet.

Vampire Owl :: So, we are going to meet the god himself. Isn’t he still more popular as Zeus?

Vampire Bat :: No, we shall meet no god. We are going to watch the movie in which Mila Kunis is Jupiter, a janitor.

Vampire Owl :: Why would we watch it on a Friday when I have my undead policies to work on?

Vampire Bat :: Because it comes from the makers of The Matrix and the trailer gives the feeling of a spectacle?

Vampire Owl :: Yes, now I remember. This is the movie that made you wait so much that you became one year older.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, I became an year older because it was delayed for about an year.

Vampire Owl :: Then, we should surely watch it.

Vampire Bat :: Let Jupiter ascend then.

[Gets the tickets].

What is it about? :: Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) calls herself as an alien as she is an illegal immigrant to the United States. She spends her life a janitor and keeps hating her world until one day, she meets with some real aliens, except for the fact that this time they are after her and won’t stop until she is dead. But Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), a hunter comes out of nowhere to save her and make her known that her genetic structure makes her alien royalty and the one to inherit Earth. The three siblings of the same royal house, Balem (Eddie Redmayne), Titus (Douglas Booth) and Kalique (Tuppence Middleton) do have different plans for her. There are also mercenaries after her, with some of them planning to capture her alive. But the question remains about who wants her alive and who wants her to be dead; if to be alive, for how long and what is the purpose for a huge challenge to the throne like her being left to live? Jupiter knows not much, and Caine can’t guess that much as he is a figher and not a thinker.

The defence of Jupiter Ascending :: Welcome to the new world, and this is a vast collection of planets among which Earth is just a part of, and therefore the scope was present for a lot of visual splendour, and there, we are not disappointed at all. You have to be stunned at the looks of different cities of this fictional universe and be amazed, and there are nicely designed spaceships, and those gadgets, plus those aliens, humanoids and the alien humanoids who never cease coming to the screen. There is a good idea here too, on which the world has been created, and the special effects are efficiently utilized to the needs of the movie. There is the abundance of themes and also some very good acting from the major members of the cast. The action sequences are really good and they are available in plenty. The costumes are impressive, and the idea is laid there for more movies, and a trilogy would be a nice option with this one as the origins story – there is a big universe out there and a story of mystery and deception has just started.

Positives and Negatives :: There are many movies which this one can remind you about, the last one being Guardians of the Galaxy, even as the plot stays different with its core elements. I would consider this superior to that movie though, and you can understand it by just looking at the artistic style that has been used with the detail. You might have been missing Star Wars or have been a fan of Mass Effect, this could work nicely with your ideas. The movie also takes too much time to get to the point, and almost an hour passes by when things get interesting – it is a sad miss there, as there was the scope to begin nicely right from the beginning with pace. There are some minor moments of dumbness, here and any fault that you can find with this movie is coated by the entertainer side, as the visual splendour, action and some humour keeps taking over. Among those space adventures, Jupiter Ascending has a major place, and no matter what the box-office results are, it shall be remembered.

Performers of the soul :: Mila Kunis takes the lead here playing the possible leader and the new queen of the universe, and undoubtedly the one to own Earth – she plays her character with all the possible features that are expected from someone like Jupiter Jones of Earth. You have to love how she says “I love dogs, I’ve always loved dogs”, and “I hate my life” again and again. Channing Tatum is the hero, and the one who saves the day, but there is almost nothing that revolves around him as Mila remains the key. From cleaning toilets, her character rises to the highest point, making the title perfectly relevant, as her ascension to the throne as well as that rise from being a nobody are concerned. Among the other royalty, the big antagonist Eddie Redmayne comes up with the worst performance, and it doesn’t matter what the Academy Awards are going to say. Douglas Booth is moslty good, but Tuppence Middleton is the most charming and the most interesting among them all with her character still remaining a mystery – she is also the prettiest on the screen. Do look out for Sean Bean too.

Soul exploration 1: The Other Side of the Coin :: Jupiter Rising is in many ways, the other side of the coin whose one side is Interstellar. If you liked Interstellar, and doesn’t find this interesting, I don’t see why. This one also entertains the existence of a certain other kind of human beings belonging to other dimensions, whose existence is further more than those of an ordinary human. Yes, such maker creatures were already there in Prometheus, and they continue to make appearances in the movies. The best thing about Jupiter Ascending is that it has no pseudo-intellectual nonsense. I have known rather too many people who thought that Interstellar was pure nonsense, and so if critics feel that this movie is bad, I would add them to the list made for this other side of the coin. Jupiter Rising is Interstellar‘s side of entertainment, and also having better visual splendour, world settings and thrills. So, I see no reason why I should rate this one lower than Interstellar. I also saw no reason why Guaridans of the Galaxy had too many positive reviews compared to this one either. After all, our movie here has a message and works so well on its theme.

Soul exploration 2: The Take on Human Desire :: The movie takes on the human desire to have those insignificant things, and their “wants” which takes over the “needs” of the rest of human beings, using them to their advantage. The rich only gets richer and feeds on the poor, completely denying their needs. Are the rulers that we see in the movie satisfied after inheriting so much? Absolutely not. The “want” only becomes more, and for the same, it is the common human population that suffers. The higher level of people only thrives by “harvesting” the labours of the common man, which related to the “harvesting of Earth” in the movie. The rich and powerful ones always need more, and for the same, they desire to exploit the poor further, and this is what is seen in the movie – sometimes, a champion can rise from among the oppressed, but the question if he or she will turn as another oppressor remains. Earth is refered to as “underdeveloped” – take that point. Nobody here even knows or cares about The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water which might never release, and Seventh Son has completely disappeared – Jupiter Ascending should do okay for the same reason, and a possible failure at this part of the world should be only because of the “A” certificate.

Release date: 6th February 2015
Running time: 127 minutes
Directed by: The Wachowskis
Starring: Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Tuppence Middleton, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Sean Bean, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Charlotte Beaumont, David Ajala, Doona Bae, Terry Gilliam, Vanessa Kirby, Kick Gurry, Jeremy Swift, Tim Pigott-Smith, Maria Doyle Kennedy, James D’Arcy, Christina Cole, Frog Stone

jupiterrising

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.