Apr 6 2013
George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight has Kal Penn on as a guest.
Apr 4 2013
The first movie in the series was 1959′s The Mummy starring Christopher Lee & Peter Cushing. In 1895′s Egypt archaeologists John Banning (Cushing), his father Stephen (Felix Aylmer) and his uncle Joseph Whemple (Raymond Huntley) are searching for the tomb of Princess Ananka, the high priestess of the god Karnak. As John suffers from a broken leg, he is unable to join his father & uncle as they enter the tomb. Despite the warnings of a local man named Mehmet Bey, forbidding them to enter the tomb and telling them or a curse, Stephen and Joseph ignore him, and discover within the sarcophagus of Ananka. While alone for a few minutes Stephen reads from the Scroll of Life and screams off camera and is found in a catatonic state. 3 years later he comes out of the catatonic state back in England and sends for his son and tells him that when he read from the Scroll of Life, he unintentionally brought back to life Kharis (Lee), the mummified high priest of Karnak. Kharis s sentenced to be entombed alive to serve as the guardian of Princess Ananka’s tomb as punishment for attempting to bring her back to life out of forbidden love. Now, Stephen tells his disbelieving son that Kharis will hunt down and kill all those who desecrated Ananka’s tomb.
Mehmet Bey, a devotee of Kharis, comes to England in the guise of a businessman and has the mummy shipped to him. While being transported to Bey’s mansion, the two men driving the cart drop the box into a bog. Later, using the Scroll of Life, Mehemet exhorts Kharis to rise from the muck, then sends him to murder Stephen Banning. When Kharis kills Joseph Whemple the next night, he does so before the eyes of John Banning, who shoots him with a revolver at close range to no effect. With John being the next possible victim, the unbelieving & skeptical Police Inspector Mulrooney is assigned to solve the murders. While Mulrooney investigates, John notices that his wife Isobel bears an uncanny resemblance to Princess Ananka. Mehemet Bey sends the mummy to the Bannings’ home to slay his final victim. However, when Isobel rushes to her husband’s aid, Kharis sees her, releases John and leaves. Suspecting Bey, John later pays a visit to the foreigner’s house, much to the latter’s surprise. Once John leaves, Bey has the Mummy go on a second attempt on John’s life. Kharis first knocks Mulrooney down and then finds and starts to choke John. Alerted by John’s shouts, Isobel once again causes Kharis to release him. When Mehemet orders Kharis to kill her, he refuses and kills Mehemet instead when he tries to finish her off himself.
The mummy carries an unconscious Isobel into the swamp, followed by John, Mulrooney and other policemen. John yells to Isobel and when she regains consciousness, she tells Kharis to put her down. The mummy reluctantly obeys and when Isobel has moved away from him, the policemen open fire, causing Kharis to sink into a mire, taking the Scroll of Life with him.
The Curse Of The Mummy’s Tomb came out in 1964 produced, written and directed by Michael Carreras, starring Terence Morgan, Ronald Howard, Fred Clark and introducing Jeanne Roland. The plot is unrelated to the first one and features a different mummy legend. In 1900 a mummy known to be Prince Ra is discovered in a tomb by Egyptologists John Bray, Sir Giles Dalrymple & French Professor Eugene Dubois. Professor Dubois’ daughter, and Bray’s fiancee, Annette is also part of the crew as an Egyptology expert. As the movie opens, Dubois is fleeing across the desert, pursued by Bedouins. They catch the old man, stab him to death, and then cut off his left hand. All the artifacts in the tomb are brought back to London by the project’s backer, American showman Alexander King (played boisterously by Fred Clark). King who plans to recoup his investment by staging luridly sensational public exhibits of the Egyptian treasures, goes about promoting the exhibits and has several photographers and news reporters around at all times.
However things start to go bad for all concerned when the mummy starts to come to life and proceeds to kill off various members of the expedition. Characters are bludgeoned to death, blood spilt and in the film’s most memorable scene, the mummy crushes the head of an unlucky Egyptian beneath his huge foot. Annette acquires an admirer, an amateur Egyptologist by the name of Adam Beauchamp (Terence Morgan), who seems to know a little too much about Prince Ra-Antef and the circumstances of his death. Beauchamp reveals that Ra was killed in exile when his younger brother, Be, sent assassins out to get him and that the assassins cut off the prince’s left hand as proof that they had accomplished their mission. Beauchamp turns out to be Be reincarnated and is out to get a bride for himself in the afterlife. Bray, Hashmi Bey (an Egyptian trying to get the artifacts sent back to Egypt) and an English policeman attempt to figure out what’s going on and put a stop to it.
Adam convinces Annette into running away from England with him. The mummy chases after Adam who uses the words from a medallion to stop him but gets clocked. The cops, John and Hashmir Bey find Adam & Annette who tells them of the mummy. Later, the mummy attacks John and when Hashmir pleads with the mummy he crushes the Egyptian’s head and escapes. Annette ponders why the mummy is after Adam. He takes her to his lair filled with Egyptian artifacts. The pharaoh had cursed Be for killing Ra; Bea is cursed with eternal life until RA’s mummy kills him. Later the Mummy appears and attacks Annette on Beauchamp’s command. When John and the cops head to the rescue, Beauchamp has the mummy carry Annette off. The mummy takes the medallion and keeps Adam from stabbing Annette. The mummy kills Beauchamp and while walking tears the ceiling down which collapses on him. John and the cops find Annette.
3 years later The Mummy’s Shroud was released by Hammer which was directed by John Gilling. Set in 1920 a team of English archaeologists on an expedition find the lost tomb of the boy Pharaoh Kah-To-Bey. In flashback scenes we see the story of how Prem, a manservant of Kah-To-Bey, spirited away the boy when his father was killed in a palace coup and took him into the desert for protection. Unfortunately, the boy dies and is buried. The expedition is led by scientist Sir Basil Walden and funded by business man Stanley Preston. Preston’s son Paul, expert linguist Maggie Claire de Sangre and Harry Newton are the others in the expedition. They ignore the dire warning issued to them by Hasmid, a local Bedouin about the consequences for those that violate the tombs of Ancient Egypt and remove the bodies and the sacred shroud. Just as they open the tomb Sir Basil is bitten by a snake; he recovers, but has a relapse after arriving back in Cairo.
Preston takes advantage of this and commits him to an insane asylum, to take credit for finding the tomb and Prince’s mummy himself. Preston, much the hero of the media as he has led a rescue search to find the expedition that they had considered to be lost, soaks up every extra minute with the press and poses for photos as often as he can, much to his wife Barbara’s embarrassment. Meanwhile, after being placed in the Cairo Museum, the mummy of Prem is revived when Hasmid chants the sacred oath on the shroud. The mummy then proceeds to go on a murderous rampage to kill off the members of the expedition, beginning with Sir Basil after he escapes from the asylum. The mummy kills of the others in various fashions having photographic acid thrown in Harry’s face and throwing Basil from a window. The local police conducts several investigations following each murder and forbid the remaining members of the expedition from leaving the country. Stanley Preston attempts to bribe his way out and sends out his assistant Longbarrow to purchase tickets. Longbarrow is killed in the night when he breaks his spectacles and doesn’t see the mummy lunging for him. Barbara meanwhile chooses to stay back in Egypt until the investigations are over.
Scared for his life Stanley Preston, after repeated attempts to evade the murder investigations and flee for his own safely, is murdered in a Cairo sidestreet by the avenging mummy. All ends happily thanks to the intervention of remaining members of the party, Paul Preston and Maggie, who succeed in destroying the Mummy in a very dramatic and beautifully staged finale.
And finally the last movie is the series, Blood From The Mummy’s Tomb came out in 1971 and stars Andrew Keir, Valerie Leon, and James Villiers. Directed by Seth Holt the story was adapted from Bram Stoker’s novel The Jewel of Seven Stars. An expedition led by British archeologist Professor Fuchs (Keir) attempts to locate the cursed tomb of an evil Egyptian princess, who name has been eradicated from history. Her body, found 2000 years after her death, is still youthful and perfectly, unnaturally preserved. At the same moment that they find an amulet bearing her name – Princess Tera – and they say it out, Fuch’s wife back home in England delivers a baby and dies immediately. Obsessed by her beauty, Fuchs has her shipped to his house where he builds secret shrine in his basement. Each member of the expedition is given one of the artifacts surrounding her tomb – a cat’s statue, a skull head of a wild cat and a snake statue – for safe keeping.
As his daughter Margaret grows, it is clear to see that she bears an uncanny resemblance to the Princess. As she approaches her 21st birthday she starts experiencing strange dreams about Tera in the past. Corbeck, one of the members of the expedition, is working to restore Tera to life and a new reign of terror, and with his help Margaret – under the influence of Tera – kills the other desecrators of Tera’s tomb one by one and brings the artifacts back to the makeshift tomb. Even Margaret’s boyfriend who tries to intervene gets killed in a car crash caused by Tera’s power. Corbeck, Margeret and her increasingly unhinged father start the ritual to awaken the princess. Professor Fuchs finally sees sense and convinces her to stop the ritual; together they overpower and kill Corbeck. Tera awakes, and in the attempt to stop Tera, the Professor is killed. After a long struggle, Margaret stabs Tera in the heart and she dies. In the end, Magaret wakes up from unconsciousness and finds herself in the hospital. Her whole body is wrapped in bandages and she is trying to say something.
Whew that was a long post. I’d have to say that the Mummy series pales in comparison with the Dracula series (even the bad ones). The first one from 1959 is excellent, with great performances by Lee & Cushing, and I give it a 9 outta 10! I give the second two movies a 5 outta 10 – the stories are very similar and the acting talent is at best passable. For the last one, the biggest draw is Miss Valerie Leon’s twin assets and man is she gorgeous! 6.5 outta 10!
Apr 2 2013
Here’s a huge blast from my past. Mad Mission (or Ace Go Places as it was known in Hong Kong) is a series of action-comedy movies that are parodies of the James Bond film series. The series began in 1982, with the first two films directed by Eric Tsang. Although a total of 5 movies were made with the same main cast and a further 6th with a new set of actors, it’s the first two that we shall be talking about here in this post. These are the two that I remember from my childhood in Kuwait and which my friends and I loved a lot; so much that we would try and reenact some of the scenes with dialogues (which are dubbed in English).
The first movie was called Aces Go Places or Mad Mission or Mad Mission 1: Diamondfinger (in the US) came out in 1982 directed by Eric Tsang, and starring Samuel Hui, Karl Maka & Sylvia Chang. A suave, smooth burglar Sam known as ‘King Kong’ steals a set of illegally purchased diamonds during a transaction being done in a large skyscraper – in a daring caper followed by ride his bike through the building stairways and taking it inside an elevator. However his associate was killed before he could divulge where he stashed the diamonds. The diamonds are also being tracked by a European criminal known as ‘White Gloves’, hired by the Chinese mafia who had setup the sale of the diamonds. Caught by the cops Sam tries to make up for his thieving ways by teaming up with an Cody Jack (called Albert ‘Baldy’ Au but named for famous tv detective Kojak), a bumbling police detective from the United States. Both work together to try to find the hiding place. Sam’s associate had left clues by having coordinates tattooed on the butts of two girls he had dated.
The two heroes are supervised by Superintendent Nancy Ho (called Hot Tongue in the English version), who has a temper. What follows is a mad & hilarious chase to find the two girls and get their rear ends photographed in order to get the full coordinates. The two heroes almost get killed by the father of one of the girls and his men. The walrus-like Don wants Sammy dead…or rapidly approaching rigor mortis. As Kodyjack and Hot Tongue befriend our five-finger discounter (hoping to trick him into revealing the whereabouts of the cut carbons), their lives all become endangered as elaborate plots and ambushes meet their every move. After one dangerous event when both of the guys gets hurt, they avoid getting in trouble with Hot Tongue by pretending that Cody Jack has the hots for her. On hearing this, the tomboyish Hot Tongue turns all weak-kneed and goes ga ga for the bald detective and they have a double date dinner with Hot Tongue’s sister joining them. As they finally find the diamonds and are able to fight off the villains.
In the sequel Mad Mission 2 or Aces Go Places 2 which came out in 1983 sees the return of our friends Sam, Cody Jack & Hot Tongue. The Hong Kong Mafia hire Black Glove also known as Filthy Harry (a Clint Eastwood lookalike dressed in a combination of Dirty Harry & The Man With No Name) to retrieve the diamonds from Sam & Cody Jack. Sam is attacked in his apartment by a huge robot and he fights it off by smashing his tv onto it’s head. He jumps out to the pool and takes off in his awesome bike chased by goons on bikes as well as in cars. And guess what – his bike turns into a water bike as soon as it hits the sea! However, a local gang lord who also wants the diamonds sends his rather cute & pretty employee Juliet (Sue Wang) to his new place, pretending to be running away from goons. Sam fights them off easily and falls for the pretty girl. She tricks him into helping her robbing a bank and he just manages to escape from chasing cops and heads straight to the wedding of Cody Jack & Hot Tongue. Later he asks the newly married couple of help against the gang lord – Cody Jack & Sam try to crash their office but in typical Cody Jack fashion he bumbles and they barely make it out with the help of Juliet.
However she double crosses them again, leading them to her ‘uncle’ who is in charge of a large bank/ jewellery vault and she robs them leaving Sam & Cody Jack in the lurch again. Sam & Cody Jack run from the chasing cops (not once did Cody think of flashing his badge at them) and though Sam escapes, Cody lands in the police station. Later our 3 heroes are given the go ahead to try and capture the mafia goons with support from the Hong Kong police. After a funny incident in which Cody finds Sam a date, Juliet reconciles with Sam and promises to be truthful with him. Sam makes Cody pretend that the girl is Cody’s date instead, which is seen & overheard by Big Wang and the snitch calls Hot Tongue, who proceeds to hit Cody with a baseball bat and the detective literally lands his face in a bowl of soup. Later Sam & Juliet attempt to get the warring couple back together at a Valentine’s day party in a club. When Hot Tongue is propositioned by a man in the club, a huge fight ensues with Sam, Cody Jack & Hot Tongue beating off a bunch of guys.
Later they set out on their mission; Cody Jack & Sam meet with the ganglord who sets bombs with timers on each of them and tells them to meet up with Filthy Harry in an enclosed barge. Inside the barge they are attacked by a huge robot – but this time Sam is prepared. He has his “magic box” which contains a set of smaller robots armed with missiles and lasers and they destroy the larger robot. After the come out they find that the ganglord has been captured and is killed by drowning. The duo then ride off to meet with Hot Tongue who awaits them in a special car fitted with gadgets and missiles and fight off Filthy Harry’s men and destroy them. Later Sam finds that the bomb strapped to him is defective and he removes it easily but Cody Jack is almost out of time. A deranged man claiming to be the FBI cuts the straps and it explodes, saving Cody Jack.
Silly, lots of fun, fast action kung-fu, gadgets & cool stuff and funny. Give it a watch. I give both movies an 8 outta 10!
Mar 30 2013
Based on J R R Tolkien’s 1937 novel The Hobbit and serving as a prequel to the Lord Of The Rings trilogy (also based on his novel The Lord Of The Rings), The Hobbit : An Unexpected Journey is the first of another trilogy set in Middle Earth and which brings much happiness to us fans of the universe and Tolkien’s books. Directed by Peter Jackson the movie’s screenplay was written by Jackson, his longtime collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens (who also co-wrote The Lord of the Rings), and Guillermo del Toro, who was originally chosen to direct the film before leaving the project in 2010.
The movie has grossed over $1 billion at the box office, surpassing both The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers nominally and was nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. It was also nominated for three BAFTA Awards. Here are some of my points from the movie:
I just have to give this film a 9 outta 10! Slightly longish but that’s ok.
Mar 26 2013
Malayalam cinema lost an iconic figure and an extremel talented and beloved actress as Sukumari passed away today. The 74 year old versatile character & comedic actress passed away at a private hospital in Chennai following a heart attack. The veteran star of Tamil and Malayalam cinema was admitted to the hospital for burn injuries that she suffered a month ago.
Sukumari has acted in Malayalam and Tamil films mainly since she was 10 years old. She was born in Nagercoil, Tamilnadu in 1940. Sukumari is a first cousin of the Travancore Sisters, Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini (their mothers are sisters). The total number of her films is presumed to be about 2500. She has also done movies in Telugu as well. In 2003, she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India for her contributions towards the arts. In 2010, she won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Namma Gramam (2010), a bilingual in Tamil and Malayalam.
She has donned the role of mother, grandmother, aunt and many other to various actors in the stardom. My first memory and fondest is of her in the Anglo-Indian and oddly named Miss Dick called Dickammayi by the other characters in Boeing Boeing, a moody chef whose ex-military husband eloped and married her sister. Similarly my next favourite character that she portrayed was as Maggie Aunty in Vandanam.
She will be sorely missed for her acting talent and her comedic presence. RIP Dickammayee!
Mar 26 2013
If you have seen the 2007 hit Knocked Up, you’d recognize the couple who play the lead in this movie (and not just the actors). This Is 40 was written, co-produced and directed by Judd Apatow, who also helmed Knocked Up and stars stars Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, who played the supporting roles of Deb & Peter in the previous film. The film follows the lives of middle-aged married couple Pete and Debbie as they each turn 40, with their jobs and daughters adding stress to their relationship. Returning as their daughters are Maude Apatow & Iris Apatow who are now ages 13 & 8 respectively. Albert Brooks, Jason Segal, Megan Fox, John Lithgow & Chris O’Dowd also have supporting roles in this comedy.
The movie is a comedic look at the family and especially Peter & Debbie and the changes that happen as you turn 40. Debbie is not happy that Peter used a viagra before they had sex and makes him stop, angered at the fact that they are growing older. They spend a weekend celebrating her 40th birthday, doing things that she wants and also go on a wild weekend to a resort where they get high off of “special cookies”, and fantasize out loud about ways they would kill each other. After speaking to her friends Jason (Jason Segel) and Barb, Debbie decides to improve her marriage and family through exercise, and becoming more connected with their parents. She tries to reconnect with her estranged biological father and invites him out for lunch. Deb makes Peter dump his cupcake habit and tells him to stop giving Peter’s layabout dad Larry (Albert Brooks) money – his dad has another wife and young triplets – and although Pete goes to visit him, he is unsuccessful at giving him the news, and still agrees to give him money to support his lifestyle. Peter’s record label business is suffering and his latest act, veteran rocker Graham Parker, is not making enough sales despite heavy publicity and support from Green Day’s Billy Joel Armstrong. Debbie than finds out that she is pregnant.
Suspecting that Desi (Megan Fox) one of her employees is stealing from her boutique shop, Deb takes her out to a nightclub planning to confront her with her suspicions. Debbie and Desi meet several players from the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team at the club. Debbie awkwardly finds out that one of the players wants to hang out with her and possibly sleep with her. She is proud that he wants to have sex with her, but admits that she is married, has two kids, and is pregnant. Afterwards, Debbie drops Desi off at her house, and confronts her about the money, saying she’s been taking money to buy drugs. Desi reveals she is able to afford nice things because she is also an escort. Later, Debbie meets up with Jodi, who confesses that she stole the money to buy Oxycontin. Debbie fires her and leaves. Meanwhile, Pete and Debbie are having to deal with Sadie and Charlotte fighting all the time, which results in arguments between the family. There’s a whole little subplot about the two kids and watching Lost and the fights between the girls are funny. As this goes on Deb’s & Peter’s relationship starts going a bit sour.
On Pete’s 40th birthday party, he argues with his dad about the money he wants from them. Debbie argues with her dad about not spending too much time in her life, and how his is perfect. Oliver then explains that his life is not perfect, and how he has always cared about her and loved her. Later, Pete overhears Debbie talking about her pregnancy, and rides out of the house on his bicycle in anger. Larry & Deb go in search of him and find Pete getting knocked out in a fight with a car owner who crashed his door against Pete. Debbie and Larry take Pete to the hospital, where Larry apologizes for everything, and Debbie forgives him. Debbie and Pete talk later and Pete explains that he is actually thrilled about having a third baby, and that he doesn’t feel trapped, so the two reconcile. Sometime later, Pete and Debbie are watching a small concert with Ryan Adams performing. Debbie then suggests that Pete should sign him to his label and plan to talk to him as they finish watching the show.
The movie is a bit too long and goes aimlessly in some places. It’s not as funny where it should be and I feel the focus should have been more on the two of them with their daughters. It does offer some funny moments that will tickle your funny bone. But I don’t understand why a father would chose to sit in the toilet without locking the doors – Debbie walks in on him twice in the movie! 7 outta 10!
Mar 22 2013
Sinister is a supernatural horror movie released in October of 2012 directed by Scott Derrickson and written by Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill. Starring Ethan Hawke, the movie uses found footage along with usual cinematography. Apparently Pagan deities can shoot and edit super 8 films! Let me tell you – Pagan deities kick so much ass when compared to the Abrahamic god & his stooges.
Ellison Oswalt (Hawke) is a true-crime writer who has his glory days 10 years ago. He is struggling to sell his books now and is desperate for a big seller. On hearing about the death by hanging of a family of 4 from a tree, he moves his family to the same house that they lived in in hopes to do enough research to get a best seller. He doesn’t tell this to his wife Tracy or his two young kids, who just think that they moved house to save money. Ellison intends to use the murders as the basis for his new book, and hopes that his research will turn up the fate of the family’s fifth member, a little girl named Stephanie who disappeared following the murders. On the night that they move, Ellison finds a box in the attic that contains a projector and several reels of Standard 8 mm footage that are each labeled as if innocent home movies. After he kills a scorpion that startles him discovers that the reels, labeled like home movies are actually footage of murders of 5 families. The first shows the family member having their throats slit in bed (Sleepy Time ’98 ), being burnt to death in a car (BBQ ’79), being drowned in their pool (Pool Party ’66), being run over by a lawn mower (Lawn Work ’86), and the hanging that opened the movie (Family Hanging Out ’11).
The viewings begin even more disturbing when Ellison notices a demonic looking figure in each of the films, seemingly watching the murders and perhaps being the mastermind. He also finds a symbol shown in each of the houses & childish drawings depicting the murders, along with crude sketches of the demonic figure, identified as “Mr. Boogie.” With the help of a deputy who happens to be a fan (the rest of the town folk do not approve of Ellison writing a book on the murders and profiting from the family’s deaths) Ellison discovers that the murders depicted in the films took place at different times, beginning in the 1960s, and in different cities across the country. He also learns that the families were all drugged before being killed; and that a child from each family went missing following every murder. He also consults with a local professor Jonas who is an expert on the occult hat the symbols are that of a pagan deity named Bughuul (Nick King), who would kill entire families so that he could take their children into his realm and consume their souls. Ellison soons starts to get haunted by the decaying figures of the 5 missing children, with lights & the projector getting switched on in the middle of the night and his son’s night terrors start to flare up. Ellison’s young daughter Ashley who paints on the walls in her room also paints an image of one of the missing girls in another room.
One night he sees the decaying children watching the reels of film in the attic and is spooked by Bughuul. Ellison tells his wife to wake the kids and pack up as they are leaving for their old home. He later gets a call from prof. Jonas who sends his scanned images of Bughuul which are partially destroyed because ancient cultures believed that Bughuul lived within the images, and that they acted as portals between his realm and the mortal world. To Ellison’s horror, he then finds the same box of reels and a projector in his attic, with an extra section called “extended cut endings”. Next the deputy calls and informs him that he has discovered a link between each of the murders: Every family had previously lived in the house where the last murder took place, and each new murder occurred shortly after the family moved into their new residence; by moving, Ellison has placed himself and his family in line to be the next victims. Ellison watches the new films which depicts the missing children coming onscreen following each murder, revealing themselves to be the killers before suddenly disappearing. Before he can react, Ellison becomes light-headed; inspecting his coffee cup, he finds a note reading “Good Night, Daddy” and a green liquid inside the cup before losing consciousness.
As he wakes up he finds himself, his wife & son gagged and tied up and Ashely filming them with an 8mm camera, promising to make him famous again. shley then proceeds to murder her family with an ax, using their blood to paint images of cats, dogs and unicorns on the walls. Her work complete, Ashley views the Super-8 film of her murders, which concludes with an image of the missing children watching her. The children run when Bughuul appears & lifts Ashley into his arms and disappears into the film with her. The last scene we see is of of the box of films in the Oswalt family’s attic, now accompanied by a reel labeled “House Painting ’12“, followed by Bughuul, hiding from the side, scaring the crap outta us!
Scary with a few jumps and scares, I enjoyed it but it did disappoint as I expected a whole lot more. It is a good horror movie to watch without being disgusted by an overdose of gore & blood. 7.5 outta 10!
Mar 20 2013
Ok, let me tell you from the get go, this is a very predictable movie. Cheesy in places, corny in places and there’s a 100 such movies in various languages with the same type of storyline and a different sport/activity in which the hero excels in. The outcome is predictable yet you find yourself rooting for the underdog hero. Just change the sport – which in this case is Mixed Martial Arts and the UFC. There’s something in us that wants to be in the shoe of the kind of hero as portrayed by Kevin James and be the one who persists despite all the naysayers and the odds stacked against him.
Needless to say that despite knowing all this in advance and predicting the story I still wanted to watch it – because I like Kevin James. Plus the lovely Salma Hayek is in it! What more do you want? Directed by Frank Coraci, written by Allan Loeb, Kevin James and Martin Solibakke, Here Comes The Boom also has Henry Winkler & Bas Rutten with a special appearance by Joe Rogan as himself. James plays Scott Voss, a one time high school & college wrestling champ, who went on to become a high school biology teacher. Initially he excelled as a teacher as well and won awards for his work, but 10 years on he finds himself a disillusion 42 year old man going through the motions in a school struggling to stay within their budget. The only time he seems motivated is when he tries to get a date with the sex school nurse Bella Flores (Hayek) but she keeps turning him down. When the principal announces a budget cut which means that the school will have to stop their music programme and let go of the music teacher Marty (Winkler), Scott can’t stay silent. Concerned for both his colleague and his students, Voss attempts to raise the $48,000 necessary to keep the music program alive.
At first Scott tries to work as night instructor for a citizenship class. While helping a Dutch immigrant Niko with extra classes at his home, Scott realizes that Niko was a former mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. While watching UFC at Niko’s apartment, Voss learns that the loser of the fight receives $10,000, which gives him the idea of raising the money by fighting in MMA himself. Voss then begins fighting in small MMA fights and gradually gaining more and more money for the school with training from Niko and Niko’s friend Mark DelaGrotte and support from Marty. Whenever he gets hurt he goes to Bella for a patch up and they slowly become closer and share moments of affection without actually dating. Scott also regains his passion for teaching and gets his students more involved in their classes. He also becomes a hero in his school for his efforts and has a brief notoriety in Youtube. Scott also helps his brother become a chef for the father of one of Scott’s students, so that she doesn’t have to spend her free time helping in the restaurant. This allows her to pursue her dream of music, while he pursues his dream of cooking.
As his story gets more popularity, he finds out that the UFC had approached Niko to offer Scott a fight in their league but Niko turned it down due to jealously. When confronted Niko apologies and tells Scott that he had gotten injured just before he was to debut in the UFC and was momentarily jealous of Scott – a 42 year old former college wrestler who is making a name now. They patch things up and get Joe Rogan to meet with them where Rogan gets Scott a match against Ken Dietrich, who opponent had to cancel. With much fanfare Scott, Niko, Mark & Marty travel to Las Vegas and have an enjoyable evening at the hotel. However Bella calls Scott and tells him that the Vice principal, who was entrusted with the funds has been embezzling both from the winnings and the school, meaning all his effort so far has been lost. Almost giving up hope Scott he can get $50,000 if he wins the fight and decides to go ahead with the fight. At the arena, Scott is touched to see that Rogan has arranged for Scott’s school band and some of the teachers to attend the fight.
As the fight begins Dietrich decides that he is going to teach Scott a lesson and goes all out against the debutante. Scott staggers and struggles for a couple of rounds before landing a few kicks and punches of his own. Barely in the match after a few rounds, he earns Dietrich’s respect for persisting. At the end going on pure will & adrenaline, Scott lifts and smashes the experience fighter onto the mat knocking him out and winning the fight. As the crowd goes wild, Scott’s team celebrates with him. Scott gets $50,000 for his victory, and saves the music program at his school. As the movie ends, Niko and the rest of the ll the students of the citizenship class become American citizens. Scott is shown enjoying the music being played in the school.
Whatdaya think? Cheesy, corny, predictable as hell? Yes but the MMA factor does make it stand out from the crowd and I felt that Kevin James deserves a lot of credit for making it real. A good afternoon’s watch 7 outta 10!
Mar 17 2013
Well yes I add this to science fiction as well since it’s about aliens and spaceships and the origin of humans and how aliens have affected our creation. The Guyver is a 1991 scifi-action movie based on the Japanese anime series Guyver. The idea behind Guyver is that a powerful alien race came to earth in the distance past before mankind ever existed. Their experiment was to created the ultimate organic weapon and thus created mankind. With the addition of a special gene into man, they created Zoanoids – humans that can change form at will from humans to humanoid mutant creatures. The leader of the Zoanoids at present is called the Zoalord who has formed a powerful corporation called Chronos to aid in his agenda for world domination – while humanity remains ignorant of the existence of the mutants. Among the alien remains on earth was found the guyver unit – a bio boosted body armour that makes the wearer superhuman. But the Zoalord has no idea how to activate it and has his scientists working on it.
In the first movie, The Guyver, a scientist Dr. Tetsu Segawa, steals the unit from the research lab in order to give it to his contact in the CIA, agent Max Reed (Mark Hamill) but is killed before he can reach the agent. Dr. Segawa hid the unit among some trash & garbage boxes. Reed and the CIA try and find out the murder and question the scientists daughter. Sean Barker, a martial arts student, and boyfriend of Dr. Segawa’s daughter Mizky, accidentaly finds and activated the Guyver unit while being bullied by a street gang and becomes the Guyver when the unit fuses with him. With incredible strength, speed, agility and weapons along with the armour, the Guyver must protect his love interest from the Zoanoids. The only weakness in the armour is the glowing ball on the helmet – removing it causes the armour to collapse and Sean is killed and dissolved when the head goon Zoanoid does it to him. However his dna is saved in the unit and later at the Zoalord’s lab when another Zoanoid tries to fuse with the unit, Sea is recreated and fights his way out. He kills the Zoalord and his thugs but agent Reed is killed as he was exposed to Zoanoid experiments to turn him into one himself and was pulled out too quickly. Although Sean and Mizky leave safely, it is revealed that one of the Zoanoid goons has survived and that they have infiltrated the CIA as well.
This movie is so badly acted and the actors chosen are almost idiotically ham acting – especially the Zoanoids goons, which includes Michael Berryman. Mark Hammil, with a mustache, was criticized as making “an unearned paycheck for a onetime A-picture star” in a lame movie that only has some good action scenes and costumes. Jack Armstrong is useless as a hero. Vivian Wu plays Mizky and comes across as a real dumb version of the ‘lady in distress; an Oriental version of the dumb blonde who just screams and cries in the movie. And she speaks like her tongue is too big for her mouth. Jeffery Coombs also has a small role as one of Zoanoid scientists. Really bad acting but the Guyver is cool and there are some good fight scenes. 4 outta 10!
The sequel Guyver : Dark Hero came out in 1994 and is lot more serious compared to the campy feel of the original. A year later a troubled and tormented Sean (played by David Hayter) is struggling to come to terms as the Guyver. He has lost friends and his love due to his outbursts and lives alone, fighting crime but also susceptible to moments of pure rage. He sees on tv about what seems like an animal attack that people think is a bear in the woods and is drawn to an archaeological dig in Utah that turns out to be funded by Cronos. Sean makes his way to the area and meets Cori (Kathy Christopherson), one of the archeologists who agrees to take him to her father, the lead archeologist at the dig and gets him a job there. At the underground cave, student archaeologists are unearthing the cave paintings, which resemble guyvers and other alien images, similar to ones that appear to Sean in his dreams. They later unearth a fantastic looking alien spaceship that looks like it’s organic. At night Sean hears a man being killed and attacks the Zoanoid that seems to haunt the grounds.
The next day the people explore the alien ship and Crane, the lead representative from Chromos at the site, gets his hands on what the corporation wanted all along: another Guyver unit. Sean meanwhile approaches one of the room that pulsates and it talks telepathically to him; he asks for the unit to be removed but it offers him no answers. Anyways, the Chronos employees seem to be in charge and take the new guyver unit away. Cori’s father is a Zoanoid himself but is blackmailed by the corporation employees to be silent. Cori discovers that what the employees plan to do, she is caught by them and is taken away. Her father mutates and attacks the others but is outnumbered. Sean, who is looking for Coris, sees them and activates the guyver unit and fights them off and kills them. He, Cori and her father return to the dig where the Chronos gang has everyone at gunpoint. Atkins, an FBI agent under the guise of an acheologist, rescues the others but is held up the Zoanoids himself, when his fellow agents are killed. Crane asks Sean to join them but is refused and then the Zoanoids fights the Guyver & Cori’s dad. Crane uses the second guyver unit on himself and seems to become more than a match for Sean but in the end Crane is destroyed by an energy force that blasts from the Guyver’s chest.
Sean, who had learned about the origins of how the Guyver units came to be, about the aliens coming to earth and creating both the Zoanioids and the humans, sends the spaceship back into space, much to agent Atkins chagrin. Coming to terms with his origins and more at peace with who he is now, Sean leaves the dig area with Cori.
The second movie is much more fun, more violent and bloody and has awesome fight sequences. 7 outta 10! The Guyver is cool and I hope they remake this movie series sometime with a bigger budget and better cast & storylines.
Mar 15 2013
With reports out that the trio of main actors from the original triology of Star Wars movies – Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia and Mark Hammill as Luke Skywalker – will reprise their roles in the 7th movie of the franchise, there are comments both for and against this move. An aging trio will be looked upon to act as a transitory bridge from the old trilogy to the new one with the first movie, episode VIII supposed to come out in 2015. And while a lot of fans seem to love that idea, I am not so sure of it myself.
Well if the 3 had minor supporting roles which are more like a nod to the franchise’s origins I think that might work. The main cast of much younger characters could be the children (or grandchildren) of Han & Leia and uncle Luke having trained them in Jedi school. It’s actually been way too long from Return of the Jedi (1983) to now to actually have them in it and be the main storyline – as much as some of us would have wanted them to be. The only clear way I see is to have them play character roles, perhaps even have then appear throughout the next 3 movies who advice and help but not be the main heroes.
I’m looking forward to more movies from that franchise but am skeptical as to how well it’s going to be done. Having said that I’m not one of those who hated the prequel trilogy and that’s also because I don’t happen to worship the original trilogy. They aren’t that great! even though I do like them a lot. So let’s see what’s gonna happen.
Update: On February 5 2013, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed the development of two stand-alone films, each individually written by Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg. On February 6, Entertainment Weekly reported that Disney is working on two films featuring Han Solo and Boba Fett.
Mar 15 2013
I have loved the first two Men In Black movies and seen them several times on cable since their releases. Set 15 years after the first movie and 10 after the second (as in true release) Men In Black 3 is the second sequel and most successful in terms of revenue. Released in May of last year, the movie sees Barry Sonnenfield and Steven Spielberg returned as director and executive producer respectively with Will Smith & Tommy Lee Jones returning as Agents J & K with Josh Brolin appearing as a younger version of K. Jermaine Clement plays past & present versions of the villain Boris The Animal, Emma Thompson, Alice Eve & Michael Stuhlberg have supporting roles.
So what do we have in MIB3:
Most critics & fans have praised the performance of Josh Brolin which was shrewd casting I must say. I enjoyed the movie but miss the fun of the first one. Still enjoyable and I give it a 7.5 outta 10!
Mar 13 2013
Deep Impact is a 1998 movie directed by Mimi Leder and starring Robert Duvall, Téa Leoni, Elijah Wood, Leelee Sobieski, Ron Eldard and Morgan Freeman (as the US President). Most of you must have seen it on cable if not in the theatres, as they kept showing this movie for many years on cable all the time. The movie shares a similar premise to Armageddon, which also came out in 1998, although there it was an asteroid that threatens the destruction of all life on earth (you say tomato I say… ) and although the latter made more money (perhaps due to the more famous cast) this one was slightly more appreciated by the scientist community and well, even I like this one more than the latter, which is a cheese-fest as far as I am concerned.
I hadn’t seen this film in several years, perhaps since watching it a few times in 1999-2002 period but most of the movie was fresh in memory as I sat down to watch it again last night. For those of you who remember it, a young high school student and amateur astronomer Leo Biedermann, discovers a new bright object in the sky while on a school project and shares his discovery with astronomer Marcus Wolf who realizes that the object is a comet on a collision course with Earth. While trying to get the information out, he however is killed in a car crash but the government does find out about it a little later. A year later ambitious journalist reporter Jenny Lerner picks up the story about the resignation of the Secretary of the Treasury (James Cromwell in a tiny role) and rumours about ‘Ellie” thought to be a mistress and approaches him about the official story being that his wife is ill. As she leaves Jenny is accosted by FBI agents who take her to US President Tom Beck. Beck tells her to wait two days before making the discovery public, thinking that she got wind of all the details. Turns out that ‘Ellie’ is not a mistress but is ‘E.L.E” – Extinction level Event, much to the shock of Jenny.
Two days later the president has a large press conference which is widely televised and reveals the truth; the comet, named Wolf-Biederman, is 7 miles (11 km) wide—large enough to cause a mass extinction, and possibly wipe out humanity, if it hits Earth. He also announces the joint venture with Russia to build a space craft called ‘the Messiah’ to transport a team of astronauts, who will land on the comet and destroy it by exploding it with nuclear weapons. After landing on the comet, the crew members plant nuclear bombs 100 meters beneath the surface. When the bombs are detonated, the ship is damaged and loses contact with Earth. Instead of being destroyed, the comet splits into two smaller rocks nicknamed “Biederman” (1.5 miles (2.4 km) wide) and “Wolf” (6 miles (9.7 km) wide), both world-threatening. A last-ditch effort to use Earth’s missile-borne nuclear weapons to deflect the two chunks of the comet also fails. The president declares martial law and reveals that governments worldwide have been building underground shelters. The United States’ shelter is in the limestone caves of Missouri. The US government conducts a lottery to select 800,000 ordinary Americans aged 50 and under to join 200,000 pre-selected scientists, engineers, teachers, artists, soldiers, and officials.
The movie is much less about the heroism of unlikely candidates that save the world and more a softer, thoughtful and personal approach to the impending destruction of life on earth. Jenny who has been estranged from her father, who had divorced her mother and remarried a much younger woman, gives up her spot in the evacuation to a colleague who has a young baby, and chooses to reconcile with her father and face death on the beach near their summer house where they share a lot of happy memories. Her mother choses to enjoy a nice meal, dress in her finest jewellery and outfit and kill herself weeks before the event. Leo and his family are take to the caves but his new bride Sarah’s family is missed out on the list. She stays back and initially Leo’s family forces his to leave without her but Leo hitches a ride back and finds Sarah. Sarah’s parents make her leave with Leo on a motor bike and take her baby brother with them and save themselves. The smaller comet the impacts in the Atlantic Ocean creating a megatsunami and millions of other people perish as the tsunami destroys the Atlantic coasts of North and South America, Europe, and Africa.
The astronauts in the Messiah decide to to undertake a suicide mission with the remaining nuclear warheads. After saying goodbye to their loved ones by video conference, the ship reaches the fragment and enters a fissure to blow itself up, which breaks Wolf into much smaller pieces that burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. So although a lot of cities & land were destroyed and millions were killed, most of the earth survives and reconstruction & rebuilding starts for the world to recover. Jon Faverau, Blair Underwood, Kurtwood Smith, Vanessa Redgrave & Denise Crosby have minor supporting roles as well. I like the film and think it’s a better movie and holds up better all these years later. 7.5 outta 10!
Mar 9 2013
This is my top 11 James Bond movies out of the 23 that have been released so far. Since I just watched Skyfall, the latest movie in the franchise, this seems like the perfect time for it. While these are the top 11 for me, it’s not in an particular order.
This is my list, what’s yours?
Mar 9 2013
Directed by Sam Mendes, Skyfall is the 23rd Bond movie in the 50 years that the franchise has seen movies being released and the 3rd featuring Daniel Craig as the world’s most famous super spy. The film was produced by Barbara Brocolli and Michael G Wilson and also stars Javier Bardem, Dame Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes & Naomie Harris. As most of you might know by now, Skyfall is the most successful Bond film ever becoming the 14th film, as well as the first Bond film, to cross the $1 billion mark worldwide. As of March 2013, it is the seventh-highest-grossing film of all time, the highest-grossing film in the UK, the highest-grossing film in the Bond series, the highest-grossing film worldwide for both Sony Pictures and MGM, and the second-highest-grossing film of 2012. Wow that is impressive!
On to the movie :
The film won several accolades, including the BAFTA Awards for Outstanding British Film and Best Film Music; the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture; and was nominated for five Academy Awards, of which it won two: Per Hallberg and Karen Baker won the award for Best Sound Editing, and Adele’s theme song won Best Original Song. Visually, I say this movie is stunning and it’s easily one of the best movies out. I give it a 9 out of 10!
Mar 5 2013
So Inspired by the long-time popular board game by Hasbro, Battleship is directed by Peter Berg who also co-produced the movie. The film stars Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgård, Rihanna, John Tui, Brooklyn Decker, and Tadanobu Asano and released by Universal Pictures. I cannot say just how much I was looking forward to the movie when it was first announced but the reviews – both written as well as the ones I watch on Youtube – weren’t very promising and my hopes were dashed. I’ve never played Battleship, infact my only awareness of it is from the Tintin comic book Flight 714 in which Captain Haddock plays the game while on a flight with a cheating billionaire. Released in April, 2012 the movie has made around $304 mil.; a decent enough amount for most. However considering it’s $209 mil budget, the industry would consider the returns as quite disappointing.
The storyline is about another alien invasion film with extremely advanced alien villains, who came to earth after we broadcasted a powerful signal from a communications array in Hawaii to a recently discovered exo-planet called Planet G by NASA and thought to have similar conditions to that of earth. That was in 2005 and now in 2012 they have reached earth. Here’s what I don’t like about the recent spate of these alien invasion movies featuring almost mechanical & one-dimensional aliens, who don’t get any character development or even lines to speak and their whole motivation for invading us seems to be just because we’re an alien race to them. Why do they do that? We can’t talk to them, communication attempts aren’t even done and it’s just a story of David vs Goliath. And ofcourse in most cases we win! Rather than a military and/or Air Force against the aliens, this time it’s the US Navy and with some help from the Japanese and one character who is a living poster for injured veterans, an Army veteran who’s legs were blown off while in combat. And ofcourse(!!!) the aliens are no match for match for an American vet with prosthetic legs and an attitude that could melt the hull of their ships!!!
In 2005 our hero, Alex Hopper, is a slacker who messes up everything he has ever been doing and loving rebuked by his older, more responsible Navy officer brother who sees the capabilities in him. On his birthday a drunk Alex offers to buy a chicken burrito for the object of his affections and breaks into a closed supermarket and is caught by the cops. His brother gets him into the navy where he hopes the discipline and rigors will shape him up into a better & responsible man. The girl, Samantha, just so happens to be the daughter of Admiral Shane, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Coincidence? I think not! So fast forward to 2012 and Alex’s ship joins the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) in Hawaii. His brother Stone Hopper is commanding officer of another ship in the exercise overseen by Admiral Shane. Hopper is in a rivalry with some of the Japanese sailors, especially Captain Nagata, Commanding Officer of a Japanese vessel. Alex is in a relationship with Samantha and dangerously close to being kicked off the Navy for his negligence, tardiness and when he gets into a fight with Nagata, he is told that post the exercise he will be discharged. This is when the aliens attack; 5 alien ships approach earth and their communications ship crashes in Hong Kong, causing heavy damage and casualties there, while four others land in the water near Hawaii. A huge mothership creates a force field, trapping the three warships. The aliens destroy the Samson, killing several sailors & commander Stone Hopper and the Japanese ship Myoko. The John Paul Jones is damaged killing it’s captain and several others. This leaves Hopper, as the highest ranking remaining officer in command of the ship, much to his reluctant and the disbelief of the others.
Some of the aliens on the other ships have taken control of the communications array in Oahu, Hawaii. Samantha, a physical therapist, just happens to be accompanying the retired U.S. Army veteran and double amputee Mick Canales on a hike to help him adapt to his prosthetic legs quite near the array and they see the aliens in action. And they just happen to run into scientist Cal Zapata who informs them that the aliens are using the array to signal back to their home planet. He retrieves a radio that will allow Sam and Mick to contact the John Paul Jones and relay this information. Meanwhile Hopper & his men rescue the Japanese sailors who survived their ship being blown away, from the water and confer with Nagata. Nagata suggests using NOAA’stsunami warning buoys around Hawaii to track the aliens and as night falls the John Paul Jones opens fire and destroys two of the alien ships. After capturing one of the aliens they find out that the aliens are sensitive to sunlight, and decides to lure the third alien vessel close to shore, where they shoot out its bridge windows as the sunrise blinds the aliens. In the ensuing battle, both ships are destroyed. The humans reach the shores and needing a new ship, they acquire the only remaining naval vessel, USS Missouri, which had been decommissioned and turned into a museum. With the help of retired old officers, the crew get the old battleship ready and go after the mother ship. Apparently the highly technologically advanced aliens are no match for old navy vets and rock music – specifically AC/DC!
he battleship evades the mothership’s gunfire and destroys the force field and the ship’s turrets. Alex uses the last shell to destroy the communications array on the island, leaving the Missouri defenseless. Just as the alien mothership is about to destroy the battleship, jet fighters from the RIMPAC fleet arrive and save the crew by destroying the weapons fired from the vessel’s last turret with the forcefield being down. The aliens are destroyed by the combined efforts of the naval forces. At the end of the movie a ceremony is held to honor the Navy personnel and Alex, who is promoted to Lieutenant Commander, is presented with a Silver Star and accepts Stone’s posthumous Navy Cross and is also given command of a ship of his own. After the ceremony, Alex asks Admiral Shane for his daughter’s hand in marriage. The admiral initially refuses but invites Alex to lunch to discuss the matter, referencing how Alex and Sam met. Post rolling of the credits, 3 schoolkids and a handyman run in terror as an an alien hand reaches out of an object they have just opened. Sequel, perhaps?
Despite all that, I did enjoy the film. You just have to put aside the predictable plot, the American armed forces promotion and the forgettable performances by some of the cast, especially Rihanna. Why must all African-American rap singers & RnB female singers make movies? Is there some unwritten rule in Hollywood? They are terrible at it. In case she says all the predictable stuff; as the missile approaches the alien vessel, the camera closes in on her and she says “boom” – sound effects as well? and pumps her fists at the right times. No acting skills. The action is fast paced and fun but don’t expect anything great from the film. I give it a 7 outta 10!
Mar 2 2013
Directed by Andres Muschietti Mama is a 2013 horror-fantasy movie co-scripted by the Argentinian along with his sister Barbara Muschietti, who co-produced the movie with J. Miles Dale with Guillermo del Toro serving as executive producer. Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau star along with precocious child actresses who steal the show, along with your hearts. The film is based on Muschietti’s 2008 Spanish-language short film of the same name that captured del Toro’s attention and he helped fleshen it out to life.
Mama starts off with Jeffery, a man distraught by the 2008 financial crisis, who kills his partners and then his estranged wife before grabbing his two young daughters, 3 year old (cutie pie) Victoria and 1 year old Lily, and driving off with him in his car. Driving too fast in the snow he crashes the car in the woods but all 3 are unhurt. He takes them to an abandoned cabin in the woods, where he plans to kill them and commit suicide himself but on raising the gun to Victoria, a mysterious figure stops him, drags him outside and snaps his neck. The two young ones stay in the cabin and we see a cherry being tossed to the girls.
5 years pass as Jeffery’s twin brother Nick searches for them and finally a two man search party finds the two girls alive in the cabin but they act feral and are dirty. The girls are taken to a wellfare center and put under the psychiatric care of Dr. Gerald Dreyfuss. Dr. Dreyfuss helps Nick and his goth-punk girlfriend Annabel get custody of the girls, after the older girl Victoria recognizes her uncle (as he looks just like her dead father), much to disagreement of the girls’ maternal aunt Jean. As the new “family” try to settle in, Annabel is disturbed by glimpses of the dark shadowy figure and is reluctant to be with the girls. However on investigating the figure, Nick is attacked by it, falling from the stairs and goes into a coma. With him hospitalized, Annabel is forced to take care of the kids on her own. Meanwhile Dr. Dreyfuss is intrigued by the drawings the girls have made of a mysterious character they call “Mama”, whom they talk to and play with. He hypnotizes Victoria (who can speak normally while Lily mostly giggles and prefers to sleep animal like on the floor under her older sister’s bed and eats while sitting off the floor) and she tells him Mama is an aggrieved mother separated from her child and brings to light the story of Edith Brennan, a mental asylum patient in the late 19th century.
At the end of the interview, Dreyfuss sees Mama, floating as a black substance on the walls and is initially scared off. Annabell herself has a nightmare about Mama’s past; Mama had committed suicide by jumping off a cliff after stealing her baby from the nuns who had separated them. While falling, Mama’s child was snagged on a branch and killed on impact, while Mama fell into the water. Mama never knew what happened to her baby and while searching for them has kept the girls as surrogates. Annabel bonds with Victoria slowly gaining her affection but Lily still prefers playing with Mama. Lucas regains consciousness after having a disturbing vision of his dead brother Jeffrey telling him to go to the cabin in the woods. Meanwhile, continuing his research, Dr. Dreyfuss visits the cabin to research Mama’s presence, and upon trying to photograph her, is attacked and killed. On visiting his office and finding him gone, Annabell steals his notes & laptop and a box holding the remains of Edith’s baby & learns that Edith and Mama are the same person, while Lucas leaves the hospital to search for the cabin. At the house, Annabel finds Lily missing from her room and lying on the ground outside and runs to get her back. She achieves a brief breakthrough with the little girl who initially fights her off but calms down when Annabel kisses her hand – and that’s when a jealous Mama attacks, subduing Annabel and possessing the body of Jean (who had broken into the house to grab the girls) and drives off with the girls into the woods.
Annabel recovers and heads out to the cabin in her car where she meets Lucas and they track Mama walking with the two girls towards the same cliff where her human self had died all those years ago. preparing to relive her suicide by taking Victoria and Lilly with her over the cliff. Annabel offers Mama the remains of her child, and the angry spirit undergoes a more peaceful transformation, appearing human again. But when Lilly calls out for her, Mama returns to her terrifying form and attacks, discarding the remains of her child. After a struggle, Annabel holds onto Victoria who implores Mama that she wants to stay back while Lily cries that she and her sister should be with Mama. Mama encases herself & Lily in a cocoon and jumps off the cliff, hitting the same branch she did in the 1800s. Upon impact, she and Lilly turn into a shower of moths. While hugging Annabel and Lucas, Victoria notices a blue and black butterfly land on her hand, which she believes to be Lilly.
Sad ending. Mama shown upclose is less scarier than when she is a mass of dark scary in the shadows. Well acted and reminiscent of Del Toro’s work. The subtle humour when Lily plays with Mama in a couple of the scenes is fun & scary. One movie I definitely will love over the years. 8.5 outta 10!
Feb 27 2013
Directed by Pete Travis and written and produced by Alex Garland, Dredd is a 2012 film based on the British comic 2000 AD comic strip Judge Dredd. In a futuristic vast dystopian future, the earth is mostly a wasteland and humanity is closed off in huge Mega cities. Crime, corruption and violence rules and only force for order are the Judges, who act as judge, jury and executioner. Back in 1995 the first attempt at bringing this comic to live action film was a commercial & critical flop in Judge Dredd, with Sylvster Stallone as the eponymous anti-hero. Totally unrelated, this 2012 film tries to succeed where the first attempt failed. We have Karl Urban as Dredd with Olivia Thirlby playing a rookie Judge on an assignment and assessment run with him. Lena Hedley plays the villain-ess MaMa.
Got all that? It’s a messy, grimy, colourful, chaotic movie with lots of slow motion – people getting shot, blood spilling out and bullets ripping flesh and ofcourse the massive falling to her death scene for Ma-Ma at the end. I watched it late at night and found the going a bit tedious and the film predictable. It got some good reviews but failed at the box office. I can see why. I love the comic and had some hopes for this movie. 5 out of 10!
Feb 25 2013
Here are the award winners from the main categories (the ones that I’m interested in) of the just conducted 2013 Academy Awards.
Best Picture - Argo
Best Actor - Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln
Best Actress - Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook
Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables
Best Supporting Actor - Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained
Best Direction - Ang Lee for Life of Pi
Best Writing – Original Screenplay - Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained
Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay - Chris Terrio for Argo
Best Original Song - Adele for Skyfall