Saturday, October 31, 2015

REC 4: Apocalypse (2014) Spain

When the source followed straight to the isolated lab.





Genre:
Action, Horror, Thriller.


Tagline:
"It's time to get out."


Original title:
[REC] 4: Apocalipsis (Spanish)


What's in:
As always on-topic discussion, Very less off-topic drag, Spoilers as synopsis, Dialogues.


Length:
Approximately 7-minute read.


Review:
     It looks like been ages. I know the movies (the previous three), but can't remember the scenes. A quick recap would have been helpful, but I did not do that and went ahead with this. That's the reason I hate to follow television series on the broadcast which drag one season for over 6 months. This was the fourth film in the [Rec] film series and third in the story continuation after first two. The third installment was set in the parallel timeline to that before one, but off the track narration. In this, an old woman character was brought on-board to make sure the third film was not an offbeat from the series.

     Except the opening few minutes, the rest of the story takes place on a moving ship. Kind of similar to 'Sector 7', though both the flicks are entirely different. The ship is used as a laboratory to develop a vaccine for the deadly disease which turns humans into the flesh eating zombies. It is protected by the armed paramilitary force. Somehow the virus breaks loose, the infection spreads out quickly through the various platforms like lab monkeys and foods. How the survivours fight to remain alive in the nowhere of the ocean is the remaining narrative. If there is a way, how they make it out that comes with the intensified gore battle between the undead and the living.

     I never expected another film in the series, I thought it was a trilogy, but after seeing this I felt the idea was not that bad after all. Just like the 'Jurassic Park' movies, the fourth movie puts the franchise back on the track after the third was derailed. The first film was so good and a bit scary too, followed by another decent movie. Like I mentioned the third flick was different, but a sustainable one to the theme and title.

 I don not know what was going on,
but luckily I was not there.

     This story starts off with a slow, until the third act where the pace picks up rapidly. Not scary, but towards the final sequences, it was very fast and edgy. The way it concluded, the outro scene was a hint for another film in the franchise. But in my opinion, it should have ended with three films or with this one. Hoping for a better one if there is going to be another [Rec], because my rating in numeral declining by one point following the each sequel.

     I think the suspense should have maintained well. There were some tiny twists and turns on the weak movie plot, but I anticipated the final twist and it did not deliver with that effectively. I know the theme was built on the situation, not depended on prolonged story. Because the action speaks more than any kind of development to give a clean vision on happening. After all, most of the horror movies follow the same sutra, but sometimes the horror-dramas exclude it and this is not one of that.

     Its a collective performance, individually, not noticeable. Because it does not follow any particular character. Though the character Angela, the television reporter was the centre of the attraction as it marks her comeback who was main in the first two films. The filmmaking was compromised, I mean it was not 'found footage' style movie as should have been. Because where this story set in does not demand such kind of cinematographical portrayal. Also avoids the dark atmosphere that used to scare us, especially the night vision screenplay was critical in the earlier two films to creep out the viewers.

     The title for this installment was 'Apocalypse', but that does not make any sense what they show in the exit scene. Should have called it 'Zombie Ship' like 'Ghost Ship'. I feel it is worth a watch, only to keep updated the [Rec] film series, because if they make a phenomenal 5th movie, we don't have to go back to 4th for continuation.



Similar movies:
REC series, Sector 7, Phase 7, Grave Encounters, VHS, Cloverfield, The Tunnel.


Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


External link(s):
HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial

Friday, October 30, 2015

Monster Hunt (2015) China, Hong Kong

Man always solely wanted to dominate the world and its other species.





Genre:
Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy.


Original title:
Zhuo Yao Ji (Mandarin)


What's in:
Always on-topic, Some off-topics too, Spoilers in form of synopsis, Dialogues.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     As far I remember I've not seen any Chinese or the Hong Kong movies in the past 12 months. So I have heard about this film a lot that it was the China's highest domestic gross movie ever. Since then I have marked it to check it out as much soon as possible and after the watching with a high expectation I'm here right away. I've been watching movies since my childhood, but it became serious after the 'The Two Towers'. So first I'm a fantasy film fan before becoming neutral. But still sometimes I'm very keen on them like I was for this one.

     In the present era, we've zombies, superheroes, vampires, werewolves, aliens, robots, so on varieties for making a good entertaining flick. But just half a millennium ago when there was no motion-picture, but literature and the stage play, there were only good vs bad, god vs devil, man vs monster and beasts. So the modern creations were sci-fi and the old ones are fantasies. After CGI is becoming very flexible, the filmmakers are on the race to get on-board into one of those genre franchises. So nowadays we are witnessing head-to-head contest between these two genres, but a great treat for the movie fanatics like me.

     The first impression was the film's posters which were done similar to the traditional Chinese paintings. Second, the decent trailer, I was displeased with the CGI characters in the clips, but watching them in the full flow movie it looked so much better. One of the best visually stunning Mandarin movies. Despite setting a record at the box office, the budget was doubled after the drug controversy over the original lead actor who was later replaced by another and re-shot his portions entirely including special effect were redone.

 Monsters are the most cunning creatures in the world.
They hide in human skin, dress as human
and speak human language!

     The director had a handful experience from working on some Hollywood projects. Literally, it was his first solo, also the first live-shot directional debut movie and he nailed it. Very disappointing when it comes to the story, because it was just a one-liner which is well known since the inception of motion-picture. Set in the ancient period China when the humans and monsters lived together and later went to the war to dominate each other. Drawn a border between the two worlds that brought peace for the centuries until one day some kind of coup happened in the monsters' side. So the confrontation restores after a few monsters hops on the other side with human. How it all will be solved is the remaining action, adventure with lots of fun.

     Quite similar to current European migrant crises. People who flee from the civil war in the middle-east is not welcomed by the few locals which led to some violence in the refugee camps. In this movie as well, without realising they brought the same environmental situation between man and monster.

     Of course it is a children-cum-adult movie, but killing the cute monsters and cooking them, all of them are kind of gave me a sceptical feeling. Besides, it had romance as a sub-plot and Baihe Bai was so cute. Usually movies from this part of the Earth reminds martial arts. Since the director worked in 'Shrek' films, easily noticeable that some contents influenced from the other industries as well. The human skin thing reminded me the MIB and the song Indian films. The comedies are the uplift along the exciting stunts which fought among the live and CGI characters.

     There are some thing that does not make sense, but in fantasy films those are logical that we can't consider as a flaw. But explanation needs, especially the inspired mythical story from another culture and that is where it quite failed. Overall movie passes the entertainment and quality test, but it is more a family movie and less a youngster's. Definitely a sequel is on the card after the tremendous success, if they fail to bring another movie, it will be their loss. For the foreign audience, especially the western world, it might be an average or an okay movie because of quite familiar with this kind of theme. Anyway, I recommend it for those who enjoy comedy-fantasy films.



Similar movies:
Lady in the Water, The Spiderwick Chronicles, How to Train Your Dragon, The Golden Compass.


Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


External link(s):
HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial


Monday, October 26, 2015

Little Boy (2015): Hollywood

Wars are the scars in the human history.





Genre:
Drama, War.


Tagline:
"Believe the impossible."


What's in:
Largely on-topic, Very very few off-topic, Spoilers in form of synopsis, Dialogues.


Length:
Approximately 5-minute read.


Review:
     I was two minded after seeing its trailer. Because I'm pretty much convinced it is a B movie. But that's not the issue, I usually put my faith on them and take my chances. So what bothered me was the film contents, because the trailed roughly reveals what kind of movie it is, from that I reckoned it should have been a big production house's product. Hence, I believed the visuals could be disastrous, but that was not the case. In fact, it was a remarkable standard, one of the reasons for the movie's success, despite there's no list-A actors in the full fledged roles.

     The boy was much better in the movie than I judged his performance in the trailer. He might have appeared in a few television episodes, but this was his silver-screen debut. A wonderful display and I believe he would bag more projects for this. It was a family film, an emotional drama set during the United States entry into the World War II. Takes place in a small western coastal town called O'Hare about a 7 year old boy Pepper, nicknamed Little Boy who's willing to do anything to bring back his father alive from the war. On the effort he takes up a series of task which later stuns his town and the whole country.

 Do you believe you can do this? 

     The Fascinating thing was, the blend between the real occurrence with the fictitious attachment. People might believe it was based on the real, but it is not. Like I said the graphics were very crucial that matched to any big budget films, unfortunately it was a small portion, but definitely a big deal. It talks about lots of interesting stuff which is inspiring, partially funny and also a children friendly film. Especially it explains quite clearly the difference between religious beliefs and magics which is obviously little kids never understood. So it could help to learn something from other than the textbooks.

     The plus points were the consequences of war (any war), how the people can get affected by the war, bullying, racism and misbelief. On the other hand the minus was too much ingredient in a little movie, fortunately clicked so well. As usual, it was knocked down by the critics who never recognised the art of sentimental works. If you are not one of them or their followers, you are going to enjoy it.

     If it had some big names in the main cast, especially for the father and brother characters, then it would have been roared louder and helped the international markets. As being one of the finest storied movie that highlighted our past mistakes, sadly terribly failed at the box office, but very much could get a cult status because particularly families loved this one so far. Not highly, but simply I recommend it and one of the must see from year 2015.



Similar movies:
The Book Thief, The Water Horse, Australia, Life is Beautiful, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.


Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


External link(s):
HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Absent One (2014): Denmark

The second episode: A new case in the hands.





Genre:
Crime, Thriller.


Original title:
Fasandræberne (Danish)


What's in:
On-topic, Off-topic, Spoilers, Dialogues.


Length:
Approximately 5-minute read.


Review:
     A follow up to 'The Keeper of Lost Causes' based on the Danish crime-thriller novel of the same name in the original language. That one was a classy, a brilliant initiation in the 'Department Q' series. One of the best Scandinavian detective movie I have ever seen. I expected same energetic, caliber and suspenseful in this as well. But marginally disappointing, yet it stood and delivered to the previous film's standard.

     In this second episode, it was a murder mystery for Carl and Assad to crack it down. They did not choose it, the case did. It was a long pending affair in the department, since then the world has changed a lot. But the father of twins murdered who investigated privately leaves all the required evidence to the Department Q team. Now, where these two deeply dedicated detectives begin, how they dig it and whether they reach the other end of the investigation to uncover everything is the rest of the film.

     With a new target in the hands, the Department Q world expands further bigger than the first film. Takes us to the two decades earlier and narrates some of the key events by introducing new characters. So it also creates curiosity about the happenings around and sufficient suspense where it all went wrong. The prediction was not that hard, but without a clear picture of what happened, I simply failed to make a guess as I do always. The story holds everything back, that's a weak point, but very gripping with those thrilling going after scenes.

 I never met anyone as destructive as him.

     Too much of flashbacks might be the reason for movie to lose the original appeal. It reduced Carl and Assad's screen-space. It was good for this particular plot to develop the story and characters, but did not help what Department Q theme is known for. That was not at all, certainly it was a good story, I'm not arguing with that, but the presentation was not charming enough and the dearth of fine action sequences was a little setback which was absolutely necessary in the cop themed films.

     The movie was shot very well with maintaining the same tone from the first, along great performances by everyone. The difference between Carl and Assad remained, we should say it was maintained as it should be. In any two buddy cop movies, they are always antipodal characteristic. It was like a cliche, but brings the better outcome. These two guys together form a best homicide team in Copenhagen police department. Now the third character introduced in this part, a secretary who loosely hangs around, but out of the league from the perspective of story narration.

     Very much a Danish's answer to the Swedish's 'Dragon Tattoo' films. But in a way the two are not a comparable, if you do, then this one lacks in a long way. Because of the type of cop works are different with completely different universe and environment. After the first two films the director has changed for the third film, which is set to hit the screen in 2016. Hoping for 'A Conspiracy of Faith' to do much better than this one, because many more to follow if that succeeds.



Similar movies:
The Keeper of the Lost Cause, Chinatown, Mystic River, Dragon Tattoo trilogy, Insomnia.


Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


External link(s):
HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial

Monday, October 12, 2015

Black or White (2015): Hollywood

Emotional dispute for an innocent young soul.





Genre:
Drama.


Tagline:
"There's more to family than what you see."


What's in:
Largely on-topic, Some off-topic comparison, None spoilers, Dialogues.


Length:
Approximately 4-minute read.


Review:
     One of the beautiful melodrama of the year. It is a partial courtroom drama and it was about a biracial kid, whose grandparents fight to own the custody. Obviously a sensitive matter, but incredibly written screenplay that balanced both the ways. Such kind of theme is always welcomed, but in this case, again, those critics behind ruining the movie. Should have been in the Oscar race in any category, but it didn't. The reason is simple, about famous people and histories always have the edge over the fictional works in the film world.

     Child custody battle is a most familiar theme, but not a very common. In this, the characters are so special, made a huge difference with an interesting opening plot. At some point I felt scenes were very intensified and old fashioned, but the story and dialogues were not. Lots of emotional scenes involved right from the first frame itself. Especially one of the courtroom scene in the third act which was a turning point in the story was so touching. The families are definitely going to love that particular part.

 Well, there are certain things a man can do,
certain thing a woman can do.

     Top notch performances, especially the Kevin Costner, and Octavia Spencer in some crucial parts. Apart from them it has some cheerful humours. A movie that is not pinpointing the mistakes of the past like some of the recent films depicted, but looking forward to the future and unifying by removing fences. As a living creature, the conflict within is not an invalid, even non-living substances do have when they come together in the form of chemical reaction. So as we're civilised, it must be minimised. Happy or sad ending, it does not matter, because it is simply delivering a message about the difference between good and bad.

     The kid was the centre of the story formation, but the screenplay did not designed her to dominate. Because her presence was the vital than to display stunning performance, as it was a conflict between two different racial people. But, how the kid gets affected if the confrontation gets ugly as the story progresses is the point to develop ahead. So that brings the climax, and you should watch the movie to know how it all ends. I would say it is a very underrated movie and needs immediate recognition. It will going to be one of those movies to be praised in the future.



Similar movies:
What Maisie Knew, Like Dandelion Dust, Losing Isaiah, I Am Sam, Kramer vs Kramer.


Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


External link(s):
HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial