Ready with the Punch

Even though this movie came after the multiplexes were established here, it never came to any of the malls. It is actually a shame considering what kind of nonsense comes to the big screen these days. There are movies like After Earth which had absolutely no idea what it was going to do for the audience here, but still managed to be here. So, with hopes that whenever an interesting movie doesn’t get released here, a punch is delivered, I would like to talk to a movie which was not critically acclaimed and neither was it a box-office star.

Here is another unknown movie, an equivalent of supreme visual power, the Emily Browning starrer, Sucker Punch. There are only a few reasons why this movie failed to click for people. The number one reason is that it is too intelligent and the basic idea went right over the head of the viewers, and they only managed to see the entertainment that was on the screen. Another major reasons include hatred for no reason, having absolutely no idea about what is happening, and agreeing to some pseudo-intellectual critics because there is a fake veil of intellect.

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Sucker Puch tells the story of a young girl nicknamed Babydoll (Emily Browning) who is sent to the mental asylum after blamed for the death of her younger sister. Her abusive stepfather plans to get her lobotomized so that the truth related to the incidents are not revealed. To save herself from the fate, Babydoll creates a plan to escape from the institution, and it includes four things which she should find. She imagines a fantasy world for the same, and attains the help of the other inmates, Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), Amber (Jamie Chung), Rocket (Jena Malone), and Rocket’s sister Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish).

The support of music that the movie receives is really good. It sets the mood for the happenings of this movie as it begins with “Sweet Dreams are made of this” – it remains my ringtone since a few years ago. From there, it goes on to be a visually stunning experience. There is beauty on the screen, and the action sequences are really well-made. It is like going through a video game and have such quality in the rendering which is rarely seen with the best graphics card. There is more than one beautifully created worlds here, and they are very well connected to the original story.

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Zack Snyder is someone with cent precent record as far as I am concerned as a viewer. As we wait for his Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to come up, we remember movies like 300, Watchmen and Man of Steel; Sucker Punch might be less critically acclaimed, but I would consider this his best creative work ever. It is not only creative on the screen, but also leaves the audience to find the layers on which it works. Talking about the same, there are two fantasy worlds inside the real world and this structure leaves something for the brain. Things are not directly told this time.

The layers are actually connected in an interesting way, and it is the kind of thing that we all wanted in our lives. It is this pure escapism that all of us need to get a better in this terrible world as we create our own wonderful universe. The cast here which is lead by Emily Browning is very interesting as the support from other ladies including Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Chung remains strong as well as beautiful. You have to love how things come together in the end, with the story of courage and sacrifice getting to its appropriate finish.

If one is to watch Sucker Punch, it has to be done surely without prejudice, and not with a negative state of mind. There might be enough reviews to put you away from Sucker Punch, but the truth about this movie is different. You can love it or hate it after looking at the entertainment from a distance, but while thinking about how it actually works in a more detailed way, there are not many options. You have to be prepared for something different though, and also to think in that path of variety set by the movie. Here is another #UnknownMasterpiece.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of Sucker Punch.

TeNy

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The Fire Still Burns

The list of interesting movies which didn’t get the attention of the mainstream audience is endless. I would add a movie released in 2008 to the list. It had less scope to be popular here because the first big mall in my state opened only in 2009 and a multiplex in the form of Cinemax only followed at the same mall much later. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the people I know haven’t watched this one. Yes, Star Movies is once again the channel which has made this movie known here.

I am hoping to have more people getting to know about this movie. It was a box-office flop, and I can only wonder about the reason for the same in North America. May be people misunderstood and expected the wrong thing from this movie. The reviews were positive to mixed, but things didn’t work well with the audience. This movie is an adaptation of a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by Jeanne DuPrau which was published in 2003, and this lone flick which remains the only one in the franchise is known by the name, City of Ember.

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The movie was released just about two months after the release of the last book in the series; The Diamond of Darkhold – but thanks to the terrible reception by the audience, it remains the only movie of the franchise, with any hope for a sequel lost without hope. City of Ember is a movie which deserved more. May be it released a little bit too early, considering the increase in the viewership of English movies now and also the better love for the movie adaptations from books. It can do well with a reboot during these times.

City of Ember has a very interesting setting. It takes us to a dystopia which has existed for a long time after something like an end of the world had happened. The human civilization is limited to this world underground which is actually running short of supplies. As the new world was established inside a giant cave, the generators falling apart meant continuous darkness and the trouble with plumbing works happened to be other reasons along with the food shortage. As the leaders refuse to accept the doom and won’t allow an exploration to the outside, there is no easy way out.

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The movie uses the idea of the dystopia, and how it chooses to remain the same without going to explore the other possibilities due to concern, fear, anxiety and thoughts of losing power. The present city gives them what they want, and it goes on and on in the same way without any change, and it has worked for them. So, even in a distant future with things seemingly getting worse, they have that feeling that everything will get back to normal and everything will be all right.

The design of the world is indeed special and has a special dark beauty for itself. The performances add to the total charm. Saoirse Ronan leads the team with that charm that not many young actresses could come up with. It might be one of those movies which established her talents so early. Harry Treadaway follows and he does a significant job in keeping side efficient. I would still say that even with fair performances from the rest of the cast, nobody can match the leading lady on the screen.

City of Ember itself is a reflection of our present world in which the situation is getting worse and nobody cares. The only difference is that our planet can still be saved, and an escape is not the best solution. But the much needed qualities to inspire the same is missing, and people were fed with a need to win at any cost, right from their childhood – so it will actually be a strange thing if someone actually bothers about the humanity as a whole without caring for the personal gains.

***The images used in this blog post are cropped from the screenshots taken from the movie.

TeNy

The Judgment is Here

I was wandering through the hot topics which were running, and this week’s In(di)spire topic instantly caught my attention. It was about reviewing a great movie or a great book which failed to get the attention of the mainstream audience. I thought about it, and finally managed to keep the idea vampire-free. It was difficult, but I decided to choose a movie which failed at the box-office, and not many people I know realize its strength either. At the same time, it is also one of those movies which has a name with most of the people confuse with the spelling.

The reviews were positive, but it couldn’t bring people to the theatres at that time. Even I missed the movie on the big screen, but thankfully, it comes to Star Movies very often. This movie has one other speciality. Some time after its release, after it had disappeared from the theatres, people realized that it deserved a sequel, and the Facebook Page demanding a sequel has more than double the total number of likes which the movie has. With over one lakh fans hoping for a sequel even as the first part did bad business, this movie is Dredd.

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I am confident that Dredd would have been a big hit if it had released these days. Mad Max: Fury Road with its post-apocalyptic mayhem was a huge success, and Dredd is much bigger than that in action, adventure, chaos and themes. The 1995 Sylvester Stallone and Diane Lane starrer Judge Dredd based on the same comics actually had better collection with negative reviews. I would say that Dredd was lost somewhere in between due to no fault of anyone associated with. If you consider the situation here, Dredd was never a character well-known, and needed more boost.

Dredd thrives on its imagery, of a future metropolis among the wasteland Mega-City One, a world of extreme violence where judges manage the law and order in the streets as they are police, judges and executioners, all at the same time. Among these criminals, some of them reign supreme, and one such figure is the queen of crimes, Ma-Ma (Lena Headey). The Judges Dredd (Karl Urban) and Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) will go to the two hundred storied tower where she rules, as three men are skinned alive and thrown from the top. But Ma-Ma will seal off the building with them inside and make sure that no more judges will come that way. Judges don’t think so though.

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The movie is full of stylish violence which never really gets out of hand except for the blood – the limits are maintained. There is a lot of action involved and the efficient use of Slo-Mo and not the usual slow motion makes the sequences amazing to watch; there is an artistic beauty like never before. Slo-Mo is a drug which reduces the user’s perception of time heavily, and it is a smart excuse used here to make use of the slow motion in an efficient way and yet not disrupt the pace and flow of the movie. It would have been even more joy to watch it in 3D, but we all have missed that!

The cast brings some unbelievable amount of strength to this movie. Karl Urban does the incredible with most of his face covered. The character never removes the helmet, and it is a depressing thing that even as he continues to make nice impact in the leading role in a lot of movies, none of them have gone on to become big hits; not Pathfinder, not Doom and not this one. He brings the surprise here and so does Olivia Thirlby. It is an exceptional performance from her too, with her psychic side as well as in the role of a judge. I would say that this is her best ever; it is strong, emotional and stylish.

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Lena Headey makes one of the best female villains of all time. You might not even recognize this Cersei/Gorgo if you weren’t told. This is too good from her. That is not all. The world design, the judges costumes, the weapons, the interiors, all have been nicely adjusted to create a realistic and yet stylish environment and sequence of events. You need science fiction, crime drama, action thriller or something with a relevant theme? Dredd got them all, and it just needs you to watch it. Star Movies is there to make sure that you do.

TeNy

Kingsman or King Kong?

I accept the fact that most of the world did like the movie which they call Kingsman: The Secret Service. But, I have to disagree with saying that “everyone liked that movie”, mostly because I could find nobody in the theatre or rather the multiplex of my choice liking this movie. May be it is because we are more of common people who choose to think different. Come on, this movie is not even original. Adding random sexual joke in the end adds to nothing. Still you might ask why? Here are the reasons.

Kingsman is not working in its genre: Kingsman: The Secret Service is a complete failure in its genre of spy action comedy as it somehow manages to be unfunny throughout its run, and the best scenes of the movie were already shown in the trailer. It is surely not action comedy, and even if you divide that in the middle, there is not much gained. About the spy stuff, it is too boring and a lesser version of what we have seen in many movies.

Here is a movie that worked in its genre. May be new generation needs more nonsense.

Here is a movie that worked. May be the new generation needs nonsense instead.

It has nonsense in the form of violence: This movie makes no sense with its violence as it has the most disgusting and the most boring scenes of violence, with people being torn apart, their heads being blown up and a hatchet to the head become amazing. I would say that if any kind of violence which is shown on the screen becomes enjoyable as comedy, it only shows a certain amount of degradation that occurs in the minds of the audience.

The script makes no sense even for a braindead zombie: There are dumb movies and there are incredibly dumb movies – among them, this movie has found a new low. Get Smart and Johnny English were so much smarter, but the problem with the critics and the new generation people is that they go for cheap jokes, and it is the reason for the glorification of this movie. They actually misguided me into watching this ridiculous movie which stands as the worst of the year so far.

The failure to know what is comedy: Whatever this movie feels as comedy doesn’t even exist. There was not even one little moment of laughter among he audience when this movie was going on and that shows how much this movie degenerated into something boring and ridiculous. It fails to pay tribute to the movies that it mocks, and is also a complete failure in bringing the fun element. It is like a bloody drag that happens from the beginning to the end. Yes, there is the message to be an idiot, that this movie provides.

Do you know what makes a good spy action comedy? Not Kingsman, but Get Smart.

Do you know what is a good spy action comedy? Not Kingsman, but Get Smart.

Better action comedy movies: Yes, there are too many of them, and as I have mentioned earlier, there are so many of spy comedy films which are actually funny unlike this piece of nonsense. There are better Indian movies which do nicely with action comedy, and the only thing that this movie manages to be is the Hollywood model of Besharam and become one of the worst movies ever – you don’t listen to the critics with this one; this is plain stupid.

I don’t usually waste my time writing reviews about stupid movies, but this is not that much of a review. This is just a collection of things that came to my mind while I came out after the show, with a few things added from what people were talking about in the theatre. Let me make one thing clear here: it is only when one becomes short of ideas that more and more blood and gore is added to a comedy movie. They are exact opposite things, and it is time that people realize that some things are not supposed to be funny. Movies do need violence because there are situations when it is needed, but that is not funny – it gives out a wrong impression to a mindless new generation. After all, murder, torture and rape, even when brutal in depiction, are funny for some people, isn’t it?

*I agree to what The Telegraph said abut this movie – “obnoxious”, and they have given this movie the right rating – the minimum. ***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of Johnny English and Get Smart.

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TeNy

Story of a Purge

There is something about the new generation people. They are angry, not just plain angry, but so angry that they need to go serial killer on their own people, even their friends and relatives. In that case, what is the chance of the common man whom they witness on the streets? Beware, people; the angry young men can take you on, and be careful when dealing with these people. You don’t know what they are capable of with the anger and frustration which have been going through them.

Some time ago, I had read something about a group of young men abusing and beating up an older man just because they found his vehicle ahead of their “super” automobile. This can’t be considered much different from what the cricket fans have been doing to Maria Sharapova, and yet this is also a case of disrespect to the elders which is the result of “spare the rod and spoil the child”, and the parents also suffer from a child who is not rightly disciplined, and it is such a shame.

This is where the movie The Purge comes to the picture. The angry young men need to purge their emotions and earlier they had chosen Sharapova for the same. A higher option is surely the life of crime and this movie talks about the need for a bigger purge, which means that people won’t have to abuse someone at frequent intervals, like Keralites have been doing with Renjini Haridas, Sreesanth, Prithviraj Sukumaran and Aashiq Abu. It is a shame that it has become so difficult to control negative emotions, and the need for such a purge is rather disgusting.

The purgers caught on the security camera demanding their right to purge or abuse & kill (screenshot from the movie)

The purgers demanding their right to purge or abuse & kill (screenshot from the movie)

Coming back to the movie, it has a period of twelve hours every year set as the time for the purge in which every crime goes. All things become legal, and some people will have the resources to defend while the others will just have to become the victims. The number of purgers will be a lot more than expected, and even your best friends or relatives can kill you. It is a terrible situation, and all this hatred and abuse which is going on in the Facebook pages is actually a kind of purge, a harbinger of something worse.

The Purge has lots of elements which should terrorize people, with the absence of any feeling of remorse or regret among the purgers, the blood and gore, as well as the declaration that these criminals are good, educated youth. That should bring a question about the point of education as we have seen what kind of words a group of literate people use on Facebook, but that would be another story. Here, the purge is about the absence of a heart and a soul.

The Purge has a terrible thing at its centre. The idea of such a purge itself is horrifying, but in the end, this movie is a violent movie with a message against all kinds of violence and has a stance for equality and kindness among all. We all have the tendency towards violence and it can’t be ignored. But the problem is that people only care about violence happening towards their own, or those who are kind of like their own. Otherwise, these people seems to find it okay, and it is impossible for them to realize that it happens both ways.

Yes, the purgers are the educated youth, and literacy can't bring anything unless you choose (screenshot from the movie)

Yes, the purgers are the educated youth (screenshot from the movie)

The tendency for violence will only increase among the upcoming generation as they are introduced to the world of blood and gore at such an early age. They are not disciplined and live the way they want to. Therefore, it is natural to get abused just because some young person rams the car into yours and start abusing you even as it is clearly their fault. You can’t argue with them, as they don’t listen to the voice of reason, and the new tendency is to completely avoid the word of God.

TeNy.