2016: Favourites in Horror

Don’t Breathe

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2016 have had some very interesting horror movies; among them, the one which I would consider to be not just my favourite horror movie, but also my favourite flick of the year, is Don’t Breathe. It might look like a home invasion movie in the beginning, but it certainly happens to be more than that. It has the best use of atmosphere and darkness, and lives up-to the title making sure that we don’t breathe as things move forward. Well, as long as you hold your breathe, you are watching this movie in the right way.
Read full review at: http://moviesofthesoul.com/2016/12/09/dont-breathe/

Lights Out
This is one movie that will make you more afraid of the dark than you have ever been. With one creature as the centre of attraction, as it appears with the darkness and disappears with the light, this movie has its scares at the right place. The fear of darkness is where one can strike the best, and this flick seems to realize that right from the beginning. Lights Out is based on a 2013 Swedish short-film which used this same concept of the creature appearing and disappearing with the absence and presence of light.
Read full review at: http://moviesofthesoul.com/2016/12/24/lights-out/

The Conjuring 2

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Getting more popular for its demon nun than the rest of the things, this one surely has almost everything working in its favour. Becoming almost as good as the original, you can trust the paranormal sources on this one. If you have watched the original flick, you will need to watch this sequel too, and if you haven’t, still you need to check this one out. You see a franchise that surely knows what it is doing, and so there can be no doubt about watching this one. The one question that remains is about how many sequels you will need.
Read full review at: http://moviesofthesoul.com/2016/06/22/the-conjuring-2/

10 Cloverfield Lane
Among all the horror movies, this might be the more divergent, being more in the genres of psychological thriller and science fiction, even though the latter is less visible. A great improvement from the miserable movie which was Cloverfield, this spiritual successor makes use of minimum resources to bring the best effect here. With Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman making the best use of the tale, we have the kind of movie which is clever enough to work the best with what it has.
Read full review at: http://moviesofthesoul.com/2017/01/11/10-cloverfield-lane/

Before I Wake
Becoming more than just a simple horror, there is some beauty about this flick; of dreams as well as nightmares. Its own creature is also something that we will remember a lot. It is not the darkness that this one will make you afraid of, but it is the fear of sleep that will drive this one forward. The firector, Mike Flanagan has provided us some of the most interesting horror movies, and this one also gets added to that list. Along with the same, we have Kate Bosworth who leads the way here.
Read full review at: http://moviesofthesoul.com/2017/01/12/before-i-wake/

The Witch

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Being different from most of the horror movies that keeps coming to us, this one will catch your attention, in one way or the other. Anya Taylor-Joy as the protagonist, Thomasin is really good in this one – makes sure that the level is raised. This tale of a Puritan family facing what seems to be the forces of evil in the woods will bring a different of the horror, and there is success related to the same. The movie might be slow, but it is surely a steady. It deserves to be watched by more.
Read full review at: http://moviesofthesoul.com/2016/05/08/the-witch/

Ouija: Origin of Evil, The Boy, The Monster and The Neon Demon
These four movies are entirely different from each other, but leaves a mark in their own ways. There is this sequel to Ouija which is a big improvement from the first movie – it has one possessed child and more scary moments raising it above its predecessor. With a doll as the centre of everything and having Lauren Cohan as the right protagonist, The Boy is a movie which many people are sure to like. The Monster is a very interesting horror movie too, and The Neon Demon will stick to being different, also creating separate effects for each person.
Read Ouija: Origin of Evil review at: http://moviesofthesoul.com/2017/01/13/ouija-origin-of-evil/
Read The Boy review at: http://moviesofthesoul.com/2016/05/10/the-boy/

***The images used in this blog post are from the official Facebook Pages of the respective movies.

TeNy

What Needs to be Remade

How much do we help of a person in need? Ranjith Sankar’s directorial debut talks about the same in the form the 2009 movie Passenger. He has brought the genre of social thrillers to full power into cinema, and he continued the same into the less efficient Arjunan Sakshi starring Prithviraj Sukumaran and Ann Augustine. Even though that movie also brought a picture of the society and criticized the system from the government to the police and the other people in charge, and reiterated the common man’s need to take the responsibility for the society, it was nothing like Passenger.

He had also shown the problems faced by someone who wanted to start a new business venture in Kerala with Punyalan Agarbattis and a different perspective in Molly Aunty Rocks!. But each and every time we watch Passenger, we realize that none of them can be a match to this debut movie from the same director. It was there on television on the day before yesterday too, and one has to wonder how it manages to be so fresh even after being watched so many times. I have watched it more than twenty times myself, and it was the big reason why I watched Arjunan Sakshi on the first day itself.

In the life of modernity, what is it that we can do for the society?

In the life of modernity and tall concrete, what is it that we can do for the society?

The story has Sathyanathan (Sreenivasan), a common man who works in a private company as the major protagonist. He is one of those simple people who goes to work in the city and comes back to his place in the regular passenger train. He finds happiness in the simple things like the local temple festivals, talking about news with the friends and having a few cups of tea. There is nothing special going on in his uncomplicated, predictable life which goes on and on, as he follows the machanical procedure. But as he is the last among his friends to get to down, one day, he falls asleep and misses the station near his place.

On the day on which he falls asleep, he wakes up to find that he was sleeping for so long, and asks another person Nandan Menon (Dileep) about the present situation. After a few moments of humorous conversations, they get down at the Guruvayur railway station and separates. But as Nandan is suddenly kidnapped by a group of goons in a car, Sathyanathan wishes to help, but is caught in a situation in which he can do nothing. He decides to travel to the man’s place inform his people about the same. But it is about more than what meets the eye, as he is a lawyer fighting a case against the home minister, and his wife is a leading journalist looking into the same case.

The journey of life continues, but at the end, what do we earn?

The journey of life continues, but as we reach that end, what do we earn?

There are no songs in this movie, and there are no stereotypes either. But life of the common man caught in a strange situation is brought to light here in a realistic manner. There is nothing spectacular done by the protagonist, but simple acts, as he goes on to make a difference without trying to be the superhero. There is a certain amount of simplicity in the portrayal of the character by Sreenivasan as he perfectly fits the role of a common man, something which might not have been the case with a superstar added. It is the kind of role which suits him without anything special added to it.

Dileep also plays a role which has no heroism, despite the character consistently trying to bring a change in the society while fighting the powerful politicians and businessmen in a legal way. Meanwhile, Mamta Mohandas has played the role of a determined journalist hoping to bring change in the society, with a lot of strength. Jagathy Sreekumar plays the man who wants to hold on to the political power in any manner possible, and Nedumudi Venu plays the character who is a reluctant helper and he turns the man who realizes his duty as the story gets tougher and things get to the next level. I would love to have Irrfan Khan or Naseeruddin Shah in the lead.

Passenger is a movie which should have been remade in many other languages, and not something like Bodyguard. With its situations, Passenger asks a question to the common audience about why one should help a fellow human being when there is a chance. It asks the common man to understand that one simple help might mean many things, and may be this helping hand can bring a big change in the society. May be someone will think that he or she is not capable of that change, but it is the sincere attempt that makes all the difference in the end because none of us know what results it can bring despite we being the weaker ones. It needs go further like the original Drishyam to be remade like Drishyam in Bollywood.

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me at Aluva (Alwaye) on my Sony Cybershot Camera.

TeNy

Thrillers Make it Home

This is a day on which nothing interesting happens. Still, today is the day meant for making some unknown thriller movies popular, or at least a little better known. This is not about Inception, Silence of the Lambs, Se7en, Shutter Island, Hannibal, Red Dragon or the rest of those popular ones, as they are better known that even those superhero movies. I have added more than one kind of thriller, and with these movies, horror and philosophy mostly joins with the thriller genre to create the impact provided. I would start with the movie which has its situation in the title itself.

Unknown (2011): Liam Neeson rules the show in this psychological thriller which has us on the edge of our seats. As a thriller, its ability can’t be questioned as the suspense is well-built and maintained to reach an end where everything comes together and there is nothing lost in the process. It tells the story of a man who travels to another nation, but after an accident, can’t seem to be back with family again as his wife refuses to accept him as her husband – another person has taken his place there. In this adventure to find one’s place, Diane Kruger plays the supporting character, and she also does very well.

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Shuttle (2008): Knowing when to improve the pace and how to go on to make its point, Shutter is an interesting thriller with a message. Peyton List and Cameron Goodman nicely plays the ladies who are lost in rather unknown territory as the driver of their cab turns out to be not just a driver. There are many thrilling moments and twists keep happening to help the story unfold as the movie go through into the final revelation. There is some blood and gore, but never reaches a high level. This is not to be confused with the horror movie Shutter, which released in the same year.

Clinic (2010): Based on the real incidents which features the abduction of newborn babies, the movie has six pregnant ladies who wake up in the middle of nowhere with their children removed. The suspense about this unknown world is maintained very well in this movie. Tabrett Bethell does a wonderful job here, unlike what she was supposed to do in one of the most ridiculous Bollywood movies ever, the doom of logic which is called Dhoom 3. There is also a final shocking twist in store. All the actresses in this movie has done a good job, and there are not many male characters in this one who gets much screen-time.

The Grey (2011): Liam Neeson plays the newfound leader of a group who are stalked by wolves waiting for an opportunity in the cold. Based on the short story called Ghost Walker by Ian MacKenzie Jeffers, this one is more like a survival thriller or adventure thriller. It even has a powerful philosophical side running through. For the abusers who hate humans and go racists in the name of dogs, they should be happy because there are no dogs hurt in this movie, but only the wolves. I had to clarify this for them because they see anything and will start hating humans for no real reason. Well, some hate for the fellow humans averted is that much of goodness restored for humanity. Full review here.

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The Cell (2000): I have watched half of the movies directed by Tarsem Singh and this is his best as I know. This comes with a very interesting concept which brings things together. It sends us into the dark world inside the mind of a serial killer, as a virtual reality device allows one to enter there and collect information. Also note that Jennifer Lopez is the heroine here. There is a lot of artistic beauty in this dark psychological thriller. This one brought variety and life to the genre long before there were more twists added. Well, one has to imagine how worse it would be in the minds of the new age racists who have come up with an idea to hate humans in the fake pretence of loving dogs, as the focus is on skin colour.

After.Life (2009): This one might not be suitable for all kinds of viewers, as the pace is slower, and it is more interested about giving the viewers more philosophical thoughts about human existence, and what it means to live or die in a world which doesn’t really care. Who is alive and who is not, is a question that goes beyond reality. Liam Neeson and Christina Ricci are the two people who are present throughout this movie, and in the creepy atmosphere of a morgue. Liam Neeson had his usual strengths with simplicity, and Christina Ricci was stunningly good as a person disconnected from life so much that her being alive never ceases to be a mirage. It makes you ask questions.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of the movies.

TeNy

Your Cabin in the Woods

Horror is forever; just like the vampires. There are only a few full horror movies which can claim to have 91% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and in the last three movies, no entertaining horror movie has managed to gain that. Do mark that I don’t consider the overrated flick, The Babadook as entertaining – I am still to figure out what brought the better ratings for that one, and I will write about it when I do find out the truth behind the same. Even The Conjuring did fall short, and so it is a great achievement that one movie has made among the usual ones.

The name of this movie can be guessed from the title itself – it is The Cabin in the Woods which did excellent with the critics and good at the box-office, but still remains a rather unknown title in South Asia. Well, it never really released here, and may be it could have got a theatre after the release of The Conjuring, after which all those horror movies started releasing one after the other, none really making the same impact with the audience. The Cabin in the Woods just came a little early, and the big horror fan teams were not active at that time.

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The Cabin in the Woods is not just horror, as it is also a slasher. Another thing that it manages to be is to become a satire on the movies which can be classified more into the category of torture porn than anything else. It can also be considered as a horror comedy which makes fun of the use of violence, nudity, torture and sadism in those movies which uses them for no reason instead of integrating them or working them as necessary part of the flicks. The Cabin in the Woods doesn’t add them as stupid fun, but uses them effectively to mock a few other flicks which have brought the genre down.

There are horror movies which have used all the elements in the right manner, and while making use of those which never did along with becoming the satire, The Cabin in the Woods actually becomes that horror movie which is never to be missed. It also knows where to use the elements and when to stop. Even its bloodiest moments are controlled, and never going beyond a certain limit. The dumb movies like Kingsman: The Secret Service which tried some of the similar things and miserably failed becoming the true nonsense, which was strangely appreciated, can actually learn from this movie.

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Kingsman: The Secret Service was a bloody stereotype which should have been blown right out of the theatre, as it is kilometres away from being funny or interesting. It couldn’t go on to become a satire and glorified all the possible stupidity. Meanwhile, The Cabin in the Woods manages to become every good thing that this year’s spy movie couldn’t. The people without the ability to think differently will still consider this one as just another horror movie. It should happen with a lot of people, and so a warning has to be issued related to the same.

This movie uses the idea of the “deserted cabin” which has been successfully used in many other horror movies. The movies which used it successfully include the Evil Dead franchise, and Cabin Fever has it in the name itself; I Spit on Your Grave and Wrong Turn had their own cabins, and here, we use the perfect example of the same, and at the same time making fun of the whole setting. This one has college students at an abandoned cabin, and a number of horror cliches are unleashed on them leaving them with no option but to fight them off watched by unknown people.

Dana Polk (Kristen Connolly), Holden McCrea (Jesse Williams), Marty Mikalski (Fran Kranz), Jules Louden (Anna Hutchison), and Curt Vaughan (Chris Hemsworth) are the five people left for the fate this time. The performances are really good, and they themselves make fun of the stereotypes used in horror movies. There is also a final twist in the end, and the movie itself becomes a reflection of how horror movies are made, or a thought about what would happen if reality shows were made based on horror rather than the repeated things that are shown on television. This is fun, and it works on brilliant idea, that of more than one existence – as a horror, comedy, satire, slasher, thriller and also that of a separate existence in the mind of a horror lover and inside a possible reality show.

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

TeNy

Please Let Them In

There was a time when I was depressed about how the vampire movies were being made. Byzantium was a relief in that case, and before that movie, there was another flick which brought a certain relief, but it was even more unknown and didn’t do much at the box-office either. It was not that well-received because people were really not expecting this kind of a vampire movie, which they will consider not their kind of entertainment and also not the kind of horror that they want.

Well, the situation was more about making a choice. But it also meant that another vampire movie which had the true essence had to go down. It is never a good sign for a true vampire lover who wishes to keep the vampire essence closer to the vampires rather than mixing or bringing it to the human side so much that it makes one wonder if the resultant creature is a human in a vampire disguise. So, it is once again up-to us to bring such lesser known movies further attention.

Based on the novel Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist and also coming after a Swedish movie of the same name had already released, this one has a lesser reception. Let Me In has managed good critical reception though, even as most of the people who have watched the Swedish original are stubborn and not ready to watch or accept this because they were too attached to that one. You don’t usually see this much critically appreciated movies in the horror genre, and Let Me In is not just about horror.

Chloë Grace Moretz is the future: She has been one amazing child actress, and now into even more mature roles

Chloë Grace Moretz is the future: She has been amazing.

Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a boy neglected by his parents and bullied by other students at school, has a girl called Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz) arriving to live next door with her father Thomas (Richard Jenkins). She is pale, acts strange, has no friends and wishes to have no acquaintances outside what seems to be her small world of two. Still, the boy and girl soon become good friends, but it turns out that the latter is not what she is actually believed to be. There are mysterious deaths happening in the neighborhood, and soon, it is the father who goes missing.

Bullying is a central point in this movie and the movie speaks against it. It is the major factor on which the protagonist’s life is developed, as he remains hopeless, and feeling eternally weak before the bullying students until he meets the girl, his first real friend and a strange source of power. The relationship between the two develops slowly, but beautifully, without any exaggerated additions. She is the strength that he has longed for, and as the movie reaches the end, the two are good enough to compliment each other, as he finds the strength to resist the bullies.

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The vampire’s need for blood and their hidden lifestyle is shown without the style and glorification that it had with some of the movies of the time. There is nothing that much of beautiful about it here with being the creature of the night. There is not even the strange mystery which is often equated with beauty. Things are rather clear here. It is not that interesting being the immortal vampire. The need for blood is beyond control and the requirement of hiding is so much. There is no usual kind of entertainment, but there is the skill of story-telling and the strength of strong emotions in display here.

The kids are too good in this movie; there is not much about the adult characters here though. Chloë Grace Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee come up with incredibly mature performances. The former adds a very significant strength to the adaptation, as she works through her vampire-self with elegance in this movie. She adds her own charm to the character, and once again proves herself as the future of the movie world. You will surely need to watch Let Me In, and may be the Swedish version, Let the Right One In depending on which one you get. Here is another #UnknownMasterpiece.

TeNy

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

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

And then the TV Series

I have developed a love for TV series only recently. The case of Game of Thrones has been of eternal recommendation. Everybody loves that one, and Sherlock has its long list of admirers, and after this writing is complete, I hope to create more for Hannibal too. The next to watch on my list are VikingsSpartacus and Breaking Bad. I made the choice to skip True Blood and The Vampire Diaries as a Twilight reminder came up and that was shocking.

SHERLOCK [Seasons: 3. Watched: 3]
Rating: 8.9/10 @TV.com

sherlock

For a long time, I had believed that Robert Downey Jr. is the only one who could be Sherlock Holmes, and I have even considered the man the one true Holmes and less identified him with being Iron Man. Benedict Cumberbatch is not the only person who changed my views on the true Sherlock, because there was Martin Freeman as Doctor Watson and Lara Pulver as Irene Adler. Jude Law was very good, but Martin was so perfect in the role. Rachel McAdams was the cutest Irene with that hair style, but Lara Pulver became more of that character. Now I have two favourite people each for all three of these characters.

I might still prefer to watch Holmes with that older setting because it is the one true investigator from my childhood, but with this cast, Sherlock TV series is always a joy to watch. It was only the third season which was a let down for me, and the credit for the same goes the very last episode, as “His Last Vow” left me less interested. The secret of identity of Watson’s wife and the villain with Appledore Mind Palace felt ridiculous; it was only the possible return of Jim Moriarty that gave me the desire to wait for the next season. Season Two was my big favourite and Season One also felt awesome.

GAME OF THRONES [Seasons: 5. Watched: 5]
Rating: 9/10 @TV.com

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I came quite late to the Game of Thrones fan club which meant that I had to watch four seasons in a week and also got to watch the fifth episode soon enough. The result is that now I am left waiting with so much desire to know what happens next; the fifth season’s end had me desiring to know what is next, more than ever. There is no other program which has kept me with such desire to know what happens next, and never in my life has so many of my favourite characters been dead. Well, the Vampire Team has hoped that some of these dead people join the group (only those with heads on the necks).

As I expect for a lot of more people to die, I keep my trust on Tyrion Lannister. I was sure that the character played by Sean Bean had ninety nine percent chance of dying, but I should have kept it at a higher level. I have loved how the characters change and twists happen throughout the movie, and how those unexpected things come out of nowhere. I have special love for the undead, and I will also support a few minor characters whose names shall revealed after their deaths. Until now, I am sure not to love only one character, Sansa Stark, and everybody knows it. In the end, Game of Thrones is just the truth about humanity.

HANNIBAL [Seasons: 3. Watched: 2]
Rating: 9/10 @TV.com

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Based on the characters in the novel Red Dragon by Thomas Harris, Hannibal arrives to take the gore and psychological horror to another level – rather too violent for the normal viewer; a lot more than Game of Thrones, and much more disturbing. Most of us might know Hannibal Lecter as Anthony Hopkins who received the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal in Silence of the Lambs. Here Mads Mikkelsen comes up with another brilliant performance as the psychiatrist and serial killer who plays mind games with the FBI. Hugh Dancy plays Will Graham, the FBI special agent who discusses his problems as well as the cases with the devil himself as he descends into an abyss of terrifying minds. The murderers are many, and cops are less here! And there are amazing quotes flying everywhere.

I have watched only two seasons of the series, and found them too interesting to stop. Caroline Dhavernas is another complicated addition, as her intelligent character remains clueless for most of the time in the two episodes. Laurence Fishburne of The Matrix, Othello and Event Horizon makes a powerful impact here. Lara Jean Chorostecki as Freddie Lounds is fun, and Kacey Rohl as Abigail Hobbs is one cute addition in a world of chaos. You also get to see the Scream Queen and the Grand Lady of Horror Movies, Katharine Isabelle who plays another character with her own special weirdness. Almost everyone is strange and a possible serial killer, and that makes this series really special 😀

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of these three television series.

TeNy

You are Right Here

Shymaprasad’s Prithviraj Sukumaran-Nivin Pauly starrer Ivide releases today, and with shows at the malls as early as 9:15 in the morning, the talks might already be out in a few minutes, and the opinions will be all around the internet with praises or disappointment. This is actually a movie for which the fans have waited for long, and the trailer has managed to catch the attention too. Ivide has been the talk of the world around, and there is nobody I know who doesn’t want to watch it.

The first reason you need to watch this one is because this is the first commerical movie from the skilled director Shyamaprasad who is trying to go another path this time. He has been the maker or fine movies for so long, and they were rather the classics which got a lot of critical appreciation and many awards. Akale which was well-adapted from The Glass Menagerie remains his best work, but you have to see this movie which is going to show the crowd-pleasing side from him.

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Then there is Nivin Pauly and Prithviraj Sukumaran sharing the screen for the very first time. The former has made big impact in a very short time and is a crowd favourite while the second has established himself over a long time claiming the throne of the grand young superstar of Malayalam movie, and these two are the future of the industry without any doubt – it will be a pleasure to see these two together, and the theatres are going to be flooded due to the same reason.

Nivin Pauly plays a different character here unlike what he has been playing, and this one seems to have some dark shades (Da Thadiya‘s villain was just a fraud); his ability to play the someone of the other side is going to be displayed here while Prithviraj Sukumaran plays the role of an investigative officer again, and this is a role which has always suited him; he has been the new classic cop after Suresh Gopi in the Malayalam movie industry and this is surely going to take his skills in such roles to another level.

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We haven’t seen Bhavana for some time now, with her last Malayalam movie being a lesser watched Angry Babies in Love, while Koothara only had her in a smaller and less noticed role. It is a pleasure to have her back in Malayalam, as she has been a favourite for so long. Shyamaprasad has got the cast right for all three of the main stars because this is a powerful combination as Nivin and Bhavana comes together for the first time too as something that many people wished to see together for a long time.

The thriller efficiency has been high in the Malayalam movie industry for the last few months, with Memories, Drishyam, Angels, Mumbai Police, Saaradhi and many others managing to keep the level from coming down – the first two have been legendary as Jeethu Jospeph made them score big time. This one though, is going to go bigger from the crime thriller with its possible drama elements, and we will have the lives of three major characters full on the screen with a possible love triangle of past and present.

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With the Gopi Sunder effect on music, we are going to have a serial killer in this movie too; we have mostly loved them at least for the last few years, haven’t we? There is going to be another psycho murderer who might be able to take this to another level. Shot completely in Atlanta, this movie is going to take the thrills not only to the Malayalam audience, but also to the Tamil viewers as it has released today, and is running in the theatres right now. All the best to the movie, as the opinions are just on the way!

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the movie, Ivide.

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

Checking Event Horizon

In November 2014, most of us were busy watching Interstellar, and showering praises on the movie like no other. Yes, I have given the movie a very positive opinion too, but what that it brought me was a return to the past, to another movie which I watched years ago. It was not Pandorum, even though it had the protagonists going to populate another planet a long way away from Earth. It was Event Horizon, one of my favourite science fiction horror movies of all times, and undoubtedly the best of space horror.

Released in 1997, I would like to believe that this movie was far ahead of the audience (and also the confused critics) of that time, and that should be the major reason why it wasn’t a hit or could go on to become a much talked about movie at that time despite its interesting ideas. It is in my long list of favourite space movies along with Pandorum which I mentioned earlier. This movie is also supposed to have inspired the video game series Dead Space, up-to an extent, and that is one of the most impressive scary atmospheres ever in a video game based on space.

There is more to the spaceship Event Horizon that you can find with a naked eye.

Event Horizon: There is more to the spaceship that you can find with your naked eyes.

With the last game of that franchise released in 2013 as Dead Space 3, what we should have is a sequel to Event Horizon. Why I am highly in support of the same is because of its idea – it is the story of a spaceship known as Event Horizon which possessed a special, experimental gravity drive in its core. The special ability was that it could generate an artificial black hole and use its extreme gravitational power to bring two points in space-time together, highly decreasing the time taken for the ship to travel through great distances.

The result of the journey of this ship is that it doesn’t just go where it was intended to go. It travels to more than just one star. It travels to another dimension, something of pure, unadulterated chaos belonging to spiritual and physical annihilation of the worst kind. There is the message given “liberate tuteme ex inferis” (save yourself from hell), but this journey to another dimension which can be equated with inferno or hell means only one thing – death and destruction; that brings another Faustian situation here – something not limited to personal devastation.

Pandorum is not far behind in this idea and the horror of deep space. As I had watched Event Horizon as well as Pandorum, Interstellar had a much lesser effect on me. A number of ideas were already there with me, along with the different worlds of the game, Mass Effect. The existence of the humanoids go back to my thoughts about Prometheus, and for me, Interstellar was more of a combination of all these movies and games with the addition of a few unnecessary things, but still enjoyable as the space movie.

As Earth finishes its time, you have to travel to another planet, but how easy is it?

Pandorum: As Earth finishes its time, you have to travel to another planet, but how easy is it?

The idea of how wormholes work, the existence of other advanced humanoids in the outer space, the exploration of other worlds, the astronaut who lose the mind after staying alone in hostile atmosphere for too long, the arriving end of our planet, the properties of another planet or world – none of this is new to me, and therefore considering Interstellar as one of its kind (as I have found on some forums) is lame. Interstellar has something or the other common with the lesser successful movies and video games, and therefore the innovation needed was so less.

As Event Horizon is a masterpiece in space horror, Interstellar has managed to be the same in something else; it is like a pure science lesson which is less applicable to everyone – the skill is in adding a lot of unnecessary science classes to the work and making it less interesting for the common man. Before you watch Interstellar, you need to watch Event Horizon, Pandorum and Prometheus, plus play the two video games, Mass Effect and Dead Space. Thus you can have some Interstellar before having that flick, or rather end up watching a highly indirect prequel to it.

***The images used on this blog post are screenshots from the movies Event Horizon and Pandorum.

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.