Independence Day: Resurgence

Vampire Owl: I was never a fan of the original Independence Day.

Vampire Bat: I have never really found the reason why it was so much liked during those days.

Vampire Owl: Some movies just get to be lucky for no reason.

Vampire Bat: I watched that movie a few years after it released as I had read that it was so good and collected so much. There was certain disappointment after watching it for sure.

Vampire Owl: I will never understand these people who keep overrating things.

Vampire Bat: I felt that the computer virus idea was the worst.

Vampire Owl: I got a feeling that it is disrespectful to the aliens too.

Vampire Bat: You mean to say that the aliens might attack us soon?

Vampire Owl: If they watch that movie, I am sure that they would.

Vampire Bat: I am going to add this to the vampire alert list.

[Gets some potato chips and three cups of Ceylon tea].

What is the movie about? :: Twenty years have passed after the devastating alien attack on Earth. Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith), with the help of David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) and President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman) had done the impossible by defeating the aliens who used such superior technology that the end of humanity felt so near. There were lessons learnt from those alien attacks, and humans remain more united than ever before. With everyone trying to learn from their mistakes, the United Nations had set up the Earth Space Defense (ESD), which is a global defense and research program meant to use the alien technology which they had left on Earth, and use it warn the human world of the danger from outer space, as well as use the same to fight these creatures. Most people believe that they are ready to face an attack in a better way, but there are a few others who think that the worst is yet to come.

So, what happens next? :: Even though most people don’t think that future is safe, and aliens are done attacking, the doubts of the others are proven to be truth, as it is discovered that the aliens before losing the battle had sent a distress signal to their home world. With some fear spreading about the situation, a spherical alien object seen near the Moon is attacked by the Earth’s defences despite the protests of David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) who thinks that it is not of the same alien creatures, as the thing seems to be different. Their doubts are proven to be true, but then there is the original alien mothership which follows and gets back to doing what it does the best – bringing chaos and destruction, as it lands over the North Atlantic Ocean and starts drilling. Earth is once again caught on the backfoot, and now humans have to find a way to repeat what they did on a July 4th, twenty years ago – but is it going to happen this time too?

The defence of Independence Day: Resurgence :: You can see a lot of action here, with visuals being spectacular, and the chaos and destruction remains beautiful as you would expect in a movie like this. The improvement that this movie has on its predecessor is a lot especially for me, as even though I had watch that movie as a child, I never even came close to consider it as a good movie. So, this sequel is essential, to make everyone realize how dumb the original movie, was and how easy it is to make something like that these days, and here we have some nice additions which make this one a lot better. Well, it is not easy not like at least something about this movie, as long as you are not determined to save the Will Smith starrer – the one flick about which everyone is prejudiced. Some may think that you can’t blame them though, as Will Smith has had that kind of an effect in so many movies for the fans.

The claws of flaw :: There is that essence of the original movie which stays with this one, and never does it try to bring something that would bring it a new identity separate from the previous alien movies. It will not match the Alien movies including its own Prometheus and Covenant, or even Life, coming nowhere close. We have so many others including Pacific Rim and Edge of Tomorrow. There has been something intellectual or terrifying on display with alien movies making the genre better, but that seems to be of no concern of Independence Day: Resurgence. The movie actually doesn’t try that hard either. There is no memorable dialogues in this one, and there will not be many moments which will stay in our memory for long, as going different is not the key here. Independence Day: Resurgence is not going to make it to any list about the best movies concerning anything, and neither is it going to be among the big alien invasion flicks. There might have been the chance here, but the movie decides not to grow up that much.

How it finishes :: Working on the dumb movie on which it is based and brings the sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence makes things better unlike what the critics think about it. You will see that a lot of people like the first movie just because it would make them look cool, and it is more of how they follow the trend – say that the original was so good and the sequel or reboot doesn’t have that much life; it has become a rather stylish thing to do. The truth is that I have never been a fan of Independence Day, and felt that it is one of the most overrated movies in history, and undoubtedly the most overrated alien invasion flick that one can ever watch. Without being rated that high, watching Independence Day: Resurgence is rather a safe option – everyone says that it is not like the first movie, and if it is so, there is a good chance that it is better than that blockbuster without even a tiny bit of brain.

[Walks into the balcony with another cup of tea].

Vampire Owl: I am recommending the destruction of this portal which connects the two worlds.

Vampire Bat: I do not think that you have the power to make such elder recommendations.

Vampire Owl: Still, these aliens just can’t be managed. We have to stay safe.

Vampire Bat: The undead are more powerful than living aliens, at any point.

Vampire Owl: The undead power! But what about their advanced weapons?

Vampire Bat: Well, we are strong even without them, and nothing stands against the power of having risen from the grave.

Vampire Owl: Nothing confuses me more than these separate worlds beyond the portals. Our realm is rather easy to follow.

Vampire Bat: There is no need for such confusion. We are adding a new course about it, and you can learn the whole thing in one and half years.

Vampire Owl: Do I get to watch alien movies as part of the course?

Vampire Bat: Yes, most of them, and there will be no Independence Day. But for this movie, there is scope to bring a bigger sequel considering how the final moments have been going.

[Walks into the silence of darkness].

Release date: 24th June 2016
Running time: 120 minutes
Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Maika Monroe, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Jessie T. Usher, Travis Tope, William Fichtner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner, Sela Ward, Patrick St Esprit, Angelababy, Vivica A Fox, Nicolas Wright, Deobia Oparei, Travis Tope, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Ng Chin Han, John Storey, Joey King, Jenna Purdy, James A Woods, Robert Neary, Garrett Wareing, Hays Wellford, Mckenna Grace

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

TMNT

Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles (2)

Vampire Owl :: So we are going to watch Megan Fox.

Vampire Bat :: We are going to watch some mutated turtles who got ninja training and claims to be teenagers.

Vampire Owl :: Okay. We are going to watch one fox and four turtles. Still, I will watch the Fox more.

Vampire Bat :: It is quite obvious that we will watch Megan Fox more. But this movie is still about turtles.

Vampire Owl :: But the real turtle movie was in Malayalam. It was called Annayum Rasoolum. But it was neither for teenagers or mutated.

Vampire Bat :: That was the snail movie. Turtles are actually faster. The movie might even lose a race to a random snail.

Vampire Owl :: How can you be sure that turtles are faster? What if there is a turbo mode?

Vampire Bat :: Because turtles have legs?

Vampire Owl :: Why are we even talking about turtles when there is Megan Fox?

Vampire Bat :: Because we have to remember the name at the counter.

[Goes to the ticket counter].

What is it about? :: April O’Neil (Megan Fox) is a reporter who keeps looking for some big story which can take her status at the news office to a higher level. For the same, she attempts to gather some information about a criminal gang called the Foot Clan, but ends up seeing the goons being defeated by some shadow-like figures which comes out of nowhere and disappears. As she has no proof about the same, nobody really believes her, and she sets out to find more information about the same. The Turtles Leonardo (Johnny Knoxville), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), Donatello (Jeremy Howard), and Raphael (Alan Ritchson) soon come in contact with her and she is caught in a battle between Foot Clan lead by The Shredder (Tohoru Masamune) and his wealthy and influential student Eric Sacks (William Fichtner) and the turtles. But the evil plan of the gang seems to be much more than just random robbery, smuggling and other criminal activities, as it turns out that the major objective is much more than all of those. But are the turtles and April good enough to stop the same?

The defence of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles :: The movie’s title itself explains what is to be expected from it, as there is basically nothing else about this movie other than the four crime-fighting reptiles with one heroine. The action sequences are very well done here, and there are lots of nice ones, even as some of them might be a bit difficult to follow with the pace. The special effects are very good and the turtles are nicely detailed even as there can be the doubt about it suiting the current creative imagination. The funny side works up-to an extent. The stunts are very good in 3D and they look even better when the action takes place with such a such a great background atmosphere – the tunnels, the rooftop and the scientific laboratory with its surrounding snow covered world are those premises where the stylish fights take place. There is lot of style involved along with the destruction and particles being thrown at you in 3D making good use of the technology. Three of the turtles other than the flirt are okay, but may be they wanted to prove that even turtles love Megan Fox, the most gorgeous one?

The claws of flaw :: This movie is basically about talking reptiles which can talk and turtles which can move faster than trained humans. But this movie made about walking humanoid turtles turns out to be immature for the adult viewers. I am pretty sure that I would have enjoyed this movie if I had this opportunity about fifteen years ago, and that would have been the right moment for me to go for this. But for an average adult audience, this should look pretty much stupid and silly for most of the time. The turtles are also somewhat irritating, while the Michelangelo one completely destroys the name of that Italian Renaissance painter with too much ridiculous dialogues. The characterization is just made to differentiate between the turtles and nothing else is worked on, including the roles of the villains as well as our heroine. The movie also goes on predictable lines, with an investigator looking for news, and a few heroes being trained by someone, and the villains who wish to spread chaos in the city for making money and fame. The movie needed more attention in its working, and the turtles needed re-working for the age.

Performers of the soul :: Even as this is all about the four turtles, Megan Fox becomes that leading lady and the one human character which steals all the attention. She plays the only positive non-CGI character that is there to catch our sight. She looks extremely good throughout the movie and there is no doubt about the fact that there is only one gorgeous lady who gets all the attention. It is just another role which follows the usual stereotype stuff, and yet it is clear that she has done what was expected from her in such a movie. I doubt if something more was actually expected when such a shallow character was given to her. Yes, everybody knows why she is there, and the obvious fact that she is a reason for people to be happy even if everything goes terribly wrong. Meanwhile, William Fichtner turns out to be a good villain there. Then there are the turtles and one rat, plus the villain in the armour, all of them going in a typical comic book style, with nothing special there – add one possible boyfriend there too for the lovely young lady.

Soul exploration :: When we say Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has no soul, it should be mainly about the characters in this movie, especially the major protagonists, and that is indeed the case here. There is just that collection of names of the Italian Renaissance painters which is not going to make Florence any happier. The movie attempts to go through their characters, and the one rat father figure, but that doesn’t work too well. The turtles remain weird and leaves not much to relate, while Megan Fox has a character to play with all the one-dimensional qualities reflected clearly. This should be a major reason why the rabbit might actually win the race for a change, and can we not bet on him for going past such lazy turtles with ease? Wasn’t that always supposed to happen? There was always that long lost animated series which we used to watch as kids, and loved – but this one doesn’t live up-to the strength of those works. May be we can somehow watch them and also get those comics which I never had the opportunity to read.

How it finishes :: Twenty one days after its release in the United States, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles finally releases in India. It has been a long wait, and considering the time spent thinking that it will release tomorrow, or another tomorrow, this didn’t prove to be worth it. This is also the highest rate I have paid for a movie in the last few months, and it did make me wonder if it was money well spent. Step Up: All In has also released here, and its fate is yet to be known. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has still managed to bring in its own audience, including children, families and the youth, and it is quite surprising with the reviews it had got, not many positive ones there. There is a sequel coming up in 2016, and one has to wonder what fate it will bring, even as box-office seems to be bright for this movie – that is one thing it can boast about, being a financial success, something which can be safely associated with almost all the superhero movies with all the action and special effects. Otherwise, you can always watch a movie like this for Megan Fox – the centre of this solar system.

Release date: 29th August 2014 (India); 8th August 2014 (US)
Running time: 101 minutes
Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman
Starring: Megan Fox, Alan Ritchson, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Noel Fisher, Will Arnett, Danny Woodburn, William Fichtner, Johnny Knoxville, Tony Shalhoub

teenagemutantninjaturtles

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Elysium

elysium (1)

So here comes the movie which I have been waiting for, since the day it released in the United States, and then again starting another big wait from the day in released in the United Kingdom. This was also the movie I was looking forward to watch in 2013, after Pacific Rim. Other than the presence of Matt Damon, the other interesting thing about this movie was what was told in the brief summary associated with it, and surely that name. The name was quite familiar in relation to some of the stories related to Greek mythology which I had come across during my childhood. Yes, that varied vision of paradise had left a mark, and here is that name revisited through this movie, not as what comes after afterlife, but all the same which are enjoyed during this life. The movie is set in 2154, when a group of wealthy people left the Earth after coming to know that their kind had destroyed the planet with greed and lavishness. With all the resources that remained on Earth, they created Elysium, a luxurious space station just outside the planet’s orbit to live a life free of disease and pollution. The lived a life of comfort assisted by robots and superior medical care, while the people of Earth were made to live on a devastated land, policed by robots sent from Elysium and deprived of their rights.

Max Da Costa (Matt Damon) is a former criminal on parole working in Armadyne, the same company which built Elysium. But he is exposed to lethal radiation during an accident and is left with just five days to live. All is not well in Elysium either, as Elysian Secretary of Defense Jessica Delacourt (Jodie Foster) orders a mercenary on her payroll, Kruger (Sharlto Copley) to shoot down civilian shuttles full of illegal immigrants trying to make it to the city of their dreams. Elysian President Patel (Faran Tahir) condemns her action on the basis of human rights which leads to a cold war between the two. As Jessica looks forward to having more power and keeping it, makes a deal with Armadyne’s CEO John Carlyle (William Fichtner) to create a program that can shut down, reboot and override Elysium’s central computer in order to make her the new President. Carlyle creates the program in his office on Earth, encrypts it and uploads it to his brain so that he could take it back to Elysium for secret deployment. With the help of his friend Julio (Diego Luna), Max seeks help from a skilled smuggler Spider (Wagner Moura) to go to Elysium and get cured, to which Spider asks for Max to steal some information from Carlyle. He agrees, and supported by an enforced exoskeleton, he goes on a mission which could change the life of a lot of people.

Coming from Neill Blomkamp who gave us District 9, this movie is somewhat a let-down, and it struggles to keep its standard as high as that wonderful flick. Still, it is certain that the base of both of these movies are the same, and both deals with somewhat the same issue, which is the difference between the oppressor and the oppressed, the privileged and the under-privileged, the powerful and the subaltern. The 2009 movie had aliens coming to Earth and living on the planet only to become second-rate citizens, while our 2013 movie has humans going to a space station and making the rest of their kind second-rate citizens or rather the lesser species – almost the same thing. The protagonist is from the subaltern group this time though. Both are about the horrible divide between people, sometimes about the rich and the poor, and otherwise racial or ethnic in nature. The evil of the multinational corporations as well as the government funded policing of groups which are different in some way or the other, also exists. Elysium makes a good attempt to carry on that idea of divide which formed the skeleton of District 9, and adds more elements of science fiction and powers it using the expensive fuel of post-apocalyptic fiction which sells, and in the process it hurts the inner core.

This is undoubtedly Matt Damon’s movie, and one has to doubt it would have worked this well without him. In the dystopic future where Earth has become nothing more than a big slum of devastated towers and a collection of small ghettos. He plays a former criminal who wishes to go to Elysium so that he could save his own life, but later he transforms into something more, as the saviour of not only his friend’s daughter, but also of millions who can’t afford the riches of the new first world. He is a confused revolutionary and a saviour who doesn’t decide his change, but rather it happens to him. He becomes what the nun who raised him had told him when he was a child – for he became someone special, an act which is supported by flashbacks which works, but not the way the audience might have wanted. This might be his best performance since the first three movies in the Bourne series. The character should have done better with a little more attention to his thoughts and change rather than just making him change as if it was there in him since childhood. Surely, he could have had more to work with, and this movie’s overuse of brain has seriously worked against the character of Max, which could have been drawn from another level.

I am rather surprised that Jodie Foster is not the main villain in the movie, as I thought this was going to be her wonderful performance in the form of another great villain, from what it seemed in the trailer. We wanted that villain, and in the beginning stages of the movie, we also get the feeling that it is how it is going to be. It is a shame that she doesn’t impress at all this time. But there would be Sharlto Copley rather than Jodie in a performance which is quite strange even though good. But this is one character who shouldn’t have had this much screen presence even as the man seems to live in the character and keep it a level above most of the movie. In a movie which is something more than a science fiction, this is not the main villain we want, for this is a more suitable secondary villain character. The need for a more powerful in intellect and yet normal in muscular strength villain was there, and this need is not fulfilled. Its good to see Alice Braga after her last action movie Predators, to which I hope there will be a sequel. She plays the childhood friend of Max, and the one who has a deep impact on him. Despite the smaller screen presence, she makes a very good impact. William Fichtner could have made a great major villain, but his character dies too early for us to get a glimpse of a possible evil. He still symbolizes the corporate evil, the power of the multi-national entities which became inter-planetary entities.

There is action and there is the hidden theme of the lack of humanity and the division between humans. But the action is mostly of inferior quality and the social message is not that powerful as one would expect to. I would consider Oblivion a far better flick intellectually, and District 9 a far more effective movie with its social message. As far as entertainment is considered this won’t be a Star Trek: Into Darkness nor a Prometheus visually. Elysium is another one of those escapist fantasies for sure, but its bridge towards the social message is not that much a perfectly crafted link. Another factor should be that of blood and gore which comes in abundance here, and gets itself an adult certificate with the same, but still doesn’t manage to do it well enough. One has to applaud the visuals though, as the world of Elysium as well as that of Earth are well-detailed, and the robots as well as the flying machines are well-designed and works very fine. The action sequences are lesser, but still not too exaggerated. The movie’s confusion about where it belongs is clearly reflected in all those things which happen throughout its own little world. One has to applaud the idea, but still be confused about its effect on oneself, and how to think about this movie. The emotion couldn’t be felt deep enough, and my friend had recommended a seventy three for this, but I thought I should add a little more to the rating.

While the movie drags a bit, and keeps itself in a loop in which it gently repeats itself, there is still enough in its soul to keep us interested and make a good influence. The only movie of this year to which the action of this movie can be compared is World War Z; yes not to Oblivion which had another post-apocalyptic world with a supposed colony of humans in another place as Earth has gone down due to many forces of destruction (a theory which is proved wrong in a twist of fate which is found later). This drags like World War Z and gets the loop working as the same movie. This could have done with a better route in the script, and Jodie Foster as a different, but still the major villain. It is sad that all the potential had this movie only up-to this level – no, I am still glad to have watched this movie, but this should have been a great work on the screen, but it has missed that opportunity, and that is kind of saddening. May be they could have stuck to one thing in this movie rather than making it a masala social message, or may be there could have been a better balance; I wouldn’t be sure, but let me tell you that I was hoping to come out ready to give an eighty to eighty nine for this movie out of hundred, and seventy seven is a disappoint if we look at it that way.

Release date: 27th September 2013 (India); 21st August 2013 (UK)
Running time: 109 minutes
Directed by: Neill Blomkamp
Starring: Matt Damon, Alice Braga, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Diego Luna, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner, Brandon Auret, Josh Blacker, Emma Tremblay, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Valentina Giros, Maxwell Perry Cotton, Faran Tahir

elysiums copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.