Superhero Stuff

Is anyone fed up or getting superhero movie fatigue? Not me. I hope the MCU carries on and on for a long, long time. As well as the DCEU grows and makes more movies and becomes as successful as the MCU. I do not see myself ever getting tired of it, though I do think more than 3-4 superhero films a year can be tedious.

I am excited about the upcoming films like Auquaman, Captain Marvel & the as of yet unnamed 4th Avengers film. I hope there will be a Ben Affleck Batman movie (or 2 or 3) and we are going to get Shazam, Wonder Woman 2, Cyborg & The Flash as well a new reboot Green Lantern film as well  by the time 2020 is done and dusted. That is good pacing.

Unlike a lot of fans I never was a big comics fan. I read some Superman, Batman, a bit of the Avengers, some Iron man, Thor, a bit of Green Arrow & Green Lantern and The Flash as a kid. Spiderman on tv as the cartoon but never read many comics and watched Batman & Superman movies and Wonder Woman on tv. I had never heard of Black Panther, Dr. Strange,  Deadpool, The X-Men, Captain Marvel etc until the movies were announced. My superhero was the Phantom, whose comics were very popular in India and which I read after moving here back in 1987.

Sicario

Sicario (Hitman) is a 2015 American crime thriller film directed by Denis Villeneuve, written by Taylor Sheridan and starring Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, and Victor Garber.

After leading a successful FBI raid at a suspected Mexican cartel safehouse, where they discover dozens of decaying corpses and a booby trap that kills two policemen, agent  Kate Macer is recommended by her boss for a Department of Justice special joint task force, overseen by Matt Graver (Brolin) and the secretive Alejandro Gillick (del Toro), to apprehend the Sonora Cartel lieutenant Manuel Díaz (Bernardo Saracino). Assured that the task force will bring Díaz and those responsible for the safehouse incident to justice, Kate joins even though her partner Reggie Wayne, isn’t asked to join.

They travel to Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, with a large force including Mexican Federali agents, to extradite Díaz’s brother and henchman, Guillermo Diaz and to preempt a possible ambush, the team kills several suspected Mexican cartel gunmen — shocking the conscientious Kate. Alejandro tortures Guillermo and learns that there’s a tunnel Díaz uses to smuggle drugs into the U.S. Reggie & Kate have apprehensions of the task force’s illegal and seemingly inexplicable methods. Finally, Matt reveals that the objective is not to apprehend Díaz as originally suggested, but to disrupt his drug operations to such a degree that Díaz will be summoned back to Mexico by his boss, elusive Sonora Cartel drug lord Fausto Alarcón. By following Díaz, they will bring Alarcón to justice.

While commiserating at a bar, Reggie introduces Kate to Ted (Jon Bernthal), a friend and Phoenix police officer. Kate and Ted go to her apartment, but as they become passionate, Kate realizes Ted is with the cartel. In the ensuing struggle, Ted begins strangling Kate, when Alejandro suddenly appears and subdues him. Alejandro and Matt reveal that they used her as bait, knowing the cartel would target her after she was seen at the bank raid. Alejandro and Matt torture Ted into revealing the names of other officers working for Díaz. Díaz is being recalled to Mexico, as they hoped.  Kate questions the good news, pointing out that they have no jurisdiction in Mexico. Matt states that she and Reggie were simply being used, as working with U.S. law officers grants the C.I.A. legal permission to continue.

Angered, Reggie advises that he and Kate leave the task force, but she insists on joining a task force raid on the tunnel to learn more about the operation’s true nature. At the Mexican end of the tunnel, Kate sees Alejandro kidnapping one of Díaz’s drug mules, a corrupt Mexican police officer named Silvio (Maximiliano Hernández). Kate attempts to arrest Alejandro for his illegal act, but he shoots into her bulletproof vest before driving off with Silvio. Realizing that Alejandro is operating illegally with the task force’s support, and that there was never any intention of bringing Alarcón and Díaz to justice through legal channels, Kate confronts Matt. Matt explains that they are attempting to return to a time when a single cartel, Medellín, ran the drug trade.

This monopoly gave the U.S. more control. Alejandro, a hitman who worked for Medellín, was brought on to topple the Sonora Cartel by assassinating Alarcón, thus reducing cartel competition. Alejandro’s own motive is revenge: Alarcón had ordered the murder of Alejandro’s wife and daughter. In Mexico, Alejandro forces Silvio to drive him to Díaz, kills Silvio, and forces Diaz to continue to Alarcón. Reaching Alarcón’s estate, Alejandro kills Díaz, all the guards, and the entire Alarcón family. Alejandro appears in Kate’s apartment, and forces her at gunpoint to sign a waiver legitimizing the operation. As he leaves, she aims her pistol at him, but cannot bring herself to pull the trigger. In Nogales, Sonora, Silvio’s widow watches her son’s soccer game. The game is briefly interrupted by the sound of gunfire, before continuing.

At times I lost interest but at times I was pulled in deep and was enthralled by the events unfolding in the movie. I thought Blunt & Del Toro were fantastic as was Brolin. It’s a would recommend for people who like crime/cop movies and thrillers. 7.5 outta 10!

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a 2018 American science fiction adventure film and the sequel to Jurassic World (2015). Directed by J. A. Bayona, it is the fifth installment of the Jurassic Park film series, as well as the second installment of a planned Jurassic World trilogy. Derek Connolly and Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow both returned as writers, with Trevorrow and the original Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg as executive producers.  Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, B. D. Wong, and Jeff Goldblum reprise their roles from previous films in the series, with Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, Isabella Sermon, and Geraldine Chaplin joining the cast.

Set 3 years after the events of Jurassic World, a  small team of mercenaries arrives on the abandoned Isla Nublar to collect DNA from the remains of the Indominus rex at the bottom of the park’s lagoon. After successfully collecting a bone fragment, the team’s survivors barely escape the island following attacks by the Mosasaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex. As a US Senate hearing debates whether Isla Nublar’s dinosaurs should be saved from an impending volcanic eruption. Mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm testifies that the dinosaurs should be allowed to perish to correct John Hammond’s mistake of cloning them. Hammond’s former partner, Benjamin Lockwood, summons Claire Dearing, who has started the Dinosaur Protection Group to save the animals, to his Northern California estate.

Lockwood and his aide, Eli Mills, reveal a plan to relocate the dinosaurs to a new island sanctuary and Claire is needed to help reactivate the park’s dinosaur tracking system to locate the animals, particularly Blue, the last surviving Velociraptor. Although they are estranged, Claire recruits Jurassic World’s former Velociraptor trainer and Blue’s alpha, Owen Grady, to help capture her. Things go wrong and it turns out that Mills has hired a mercenary team led by Ken Wheatley to capture 11 dinosaurs on the black market. They also use Blue. They will also unveil the Indoraptor, a new genetically-modified dinosaur created by geneticist Dr. Henry Wu using Indominus rex and Velociraptor DNA. Wu wants Blue’s DNA to create an enhanced Indoraptor but after Blue is shot and bleeding badly, paleo-veterinarian Zia Rodriguez uses T-Rex blood, that Owen and Claire took from a doped up Rex, for a transfusion.

At the  Lockwood’s estate, Mills & Gunnar Eversol auction the dinosaurs and the Indominus rex fetches a royal sum of $30 million. After his granddaughter, Maisie, informs Lockwood about the auction, he confronts Mills, who murders him. Maisie is later revealed to have been cloned from Lockwood’s deceased daughter and is the reason John Hammond, who opposed human cloning, ended their association. The dinosaurs are transported to Lockwood’s estate and caged. Zia and Franklin narrowly evade capture, but Owen and Claire are apprehended and confined. Owen incites a Stygimoloch into breaking open their cell. They find Maisie, who leads them to the auction where the Indoraptor is being sold despite Wu’s protests that it is a prototype.

Owen disrupts the proceedings by luring the Stygimoloch into the room. In the ensuing chaos, Wheatley tranquilizes the Indoraptor to extract a tooth as a trophy, but it feigns sedation and escapes, killing him, Eversol, and others. The Indoraptor hunts Owen, Claire, and Maisie throughout the mansion. Zia releases Blue, who attacks the Indoraptor, causing it to fall through a glass roof to its death. When a hydrogen cyanide gas leak threatens the caged animals, Maisie is unable to let them die and frees them, despite Owen’s objections. The Tyrannosaurus devours Mills and tramples the Indominus bone, destroying it. Owen, Claire, Maisie, Zia, and Franklin escape safely, while Blue and the other dinosaurs escape.

In a new U.S. Senate hearing, Dr. Malcolm declares the beginning of a Neo-Jurassic Age, where humans and dinosaurs must learn to coexist. The closing scenes show the freed dinosaurs roaming wilderness and outer urban areas.

To be honest this film did not capture my attention and imagination the way the first two did and the previous movie did. It just lacks actual thrilling moments and is kinda predictable to be suspenseful at all. I do love the way they did the dinosaurs. I give it a 7.5 outta 10!

Child’s Play

Child’s Play is a 1988 American slasher film directed and co-written by Tom Holland, and produced by David Kirschner from a story by Don Mancini. It is the first film in the Child’s Play series and the first installment to feature the character Chucky. It stars Catherine Hicks, Dinah Manoff, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, and Brad Dourif.

This is a classic horror franchise and film which I watched at the age of 14 I guess, which was in 1990. I remember a cousin of mine telling me about it and I’ve watched it twice and today was my first view of the movie since those early 90s. I also remember renting the 2nd & 3rd films in the franchise and I have also seen Bride Of Chucky on cable a many years ago.

Charles “Chucky” Lee Ray is a criminal & serial killer who is shot by homicide detective Mike Norris on his way to a getaway car. His accomplice, Eddie, panics and leaves him behind. Charles is shot in the leg and tries to hide in a toy store nearby but Norris follows him and fatally shoots him from afar.  Realizing that he is soon going to die, he transfers his soul into a “Good Guys” doll via a Haitian Vodou spell. A bolt of lightning causes the shop to explode. Mike survives the explosion and enters the shop, only to find Charles’ dead body and all the “Good Guys” dolls on the floor. With the store destroyed and a crime scene, the doll ends up being taken by a hobo who sells it a day later for a smaller rate to widow Karen Barclay, who’s son is turning 6 that day.

Later that evening, Karen’s friend Maggie Peterson babysits Andy and is annoyed when Andy disobeys her saying that Chucky wants to watch the news. After putting Andy to bed, Maggie is hit in the face with a hammer and falls out the window to her death. The police search the apartment. Detective Norris deems Andy a suspect, much to the annoyance of Karen, who orders Mike and the police to leave once they complete their investigation. The next day Chucky gets Andy to skip school and head to Eddie’s lair. While Any is urinating Chucky sneaks into Eddie’s lair, turning off a stove’s pilot light but turning up the gas. As Eddie shoots the stove, the house blows up, killing him. Andy, once again a suspect, is placed in a psychiatric hospital. That night, Karen discovers that Chucky’s batteries were never inserted, and that Andy was telling the truth about Chucky functioning on his own power. While she is inspecting the doll, Chucky comes to life, bites her arm, and escapes.

She finds Norris and shows him the bite wound that Chucky made. He does not believe her and leaves. Chucky tries to strangle Mike from the backseat using a cord but Mike burns Chucky with a cigarette lighter. After that, Chucky attempts to stab Mike. Mike shoots him and Chucky retreats. After that, Mike finally agrees to help Karen. Chucky tortures John, the voodoo practitioner who taught him the spell him, and he says that the longer he stays in the doll, the more human he will become that he has to transfer his soul to the first person who he revealed his true identity to which is Andy. Before bleeding out and dying, John tells Norris that although Chucky is a doll, his heart is fully human and vulnerable to fatal injury.

Chucky attacks Andy at his home but Karen and Norris arrive and stops Chucky from completing the ritual to transfer his soul to Andy. Chucky slashes Norris Mike, then goes after Karen and Andy. Soon, the pair trap Chucky in the fireplace and burn him alive. Karen and Andy leave the room to help Mike, but a heavily burned Chucky follows them and attempts to kill them, since burning him alive didn’t work. Chucky is again thought to be killed when Karen shoots off his head, arm, and leg. Mike’s partner Jack Santos arrives at the apartment, and disbelieves the trio’s story just before Chucky’s body then bursts through a ventilation duct and tries to strangle Jack. During the struggle, Karen tells Mike to aim and shoot at Chucky’s heart (as John told them to do) which Mike does finally killing him.

While Mike, Jack and Karen go to the hospital, Karen turns off the bedroom’s lights and Andy looks back at Chucky’s burned remains before closing the door. This itself in an indication to the audience that the producers wanted to make sequels from the beginning – Andy’s look indicates that he knows that this is not the end. They did a great job finding the right innocent kid for the role. Brad Dourif, who had 3 appearances in Star Trek Voyager as a psychotic Betazoid,  is an apt choice for the mainly voice role as Chucky and he and Catherine Hicks (from Star Trek IV : The Voyage Home) are the Star Trek connection to this role. 7.5 outta 10!

The Beyond (2017)

The Beyond is a 2017 independent science fiction thriller film written and directed by Hasraf Dullul. It was Dullul’s first feature film as a director and is loosely based on the 2014 short film Project Kronos. The movie is shot like a documentary. The cast is mostly working actors like Jane Perry, Nigel Barber, Noeleen Comiskey, etc.

In 2019 an anomaly, nicknamed The Void, appears above the Earth. Communications are disrupted, there is a power outage on the International Space Station (ISS), and an astronaut, Jim Marcell, goes missing (presumed dead). Alex Grant (Barber), Head of Exploration Missions, reveals that this isn’t the first time the anomaly has been encountered, as it first appeared in 1990 when it was visible for two months before mysteriously disappearing. The Space Agency, run by Gillian Laroux (Perry) sends probes into the anomaly. Communication with the probes is soon lost, but data analysis reveals it might be a wormhole, with a planet-like structure on the other side. Cosmologist Jessica Johnson (Comiskey) argues that this could be a first contact event. Despite resistance from her team, Laroux wants to send astronauts to investigate further.

Astrophysicist Professor Jakob Brukiehm (David Bailie) who says it would be suicidal to send  to send astronauts to investigate further due to the gravitational waves. The only feasible solutions he says are robotics or probes. Strange orbs then begin to appear in the sky and The Void starts emitting waves. Concern rises about the threat posed by The Void and The Spheres. A secret US military organisation offers its classified robotics technology – Human 2.0 – to help solve the Space Agency’s dilemma. Human 2.0 was designed to fuse human brains with synthetic bodies to create more robust soldiers. The US military argues this technology will allow the Space Agency to send an astronaut successfully into The Void.

After they go through a few candidates, wheelchair user and drone pilot Carl Roberts (Tom Christian) is selected. However, the procedure to fuse Roberts’ brain with the synthetic body fails and Roberts dies. After struggling with her decision, Jessica Johnson volunteers to be the next candidate and this time the procedure is successful. The US military also produce a Human 2.0 soldier to accompany Johnson on her mission, with this version containing unspecified weaponry. Johnson and the 2.0 soldier are launched into The Void, with Johnson reporting beautiful lights before disappearing. Five days later the mission returns unexpectedly, but when the capsule is recovered only Johnson is in the craft, with no sign of the Human 2.0 soldier. The craft looks like it has been in space for a very long time.

By the time Johnson regains her consciousness, scientists retrieve data from her brain and discover several years of memories have been made – far more than the week since she was launched into The Void. As people begin to panic, military begin to attack the spheres. Johnson wakes up and reveals what she remembers after the communications blackout. She says there was a lot of light and when she closed her eyes the Human 2.0 soldier was mysteriously transported out of the craft. She says the soldier looked fearful and kept looking at his arm, which detonated like a nuclear bomb. She passed out and awoke on a planet. On the planet she met Jim Marcell who communicated to her that everything was going to be okay. The Space Agency is sceptical about Johnson’s memories, although Laroux is hopeful this means Marcell is alive and The Void and The Spheres are not malicious.

The solar system is them destroys and debris heads towards the earth Suddenly The Spheres begin to change and form a protective barrier around the earth. The realisation dawns that the presence of The Spheres has been completely misinterpreted as an attack, whereas they’d been sent to protect the earth. The Void disappears. Marcell is detected in the Arizona desert unharmed but without any memory of what has happened. In the aftermath of the events, a new solar system appears, with another planet almost identical to earth, offering new hope for humanity. The film ends with Human 2.0s on Earth 2.0 encountering the lifeforms from The Void.

A very ambitious and original storyline and film and it shows how much you can do with a very limited budget. The documentary style makes it almost credible but it also makes it lack excitement and energy. 6.5 outta 10!

RIP Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds, the wisecracking 1970s movie heartthrob and Oscar nominee, has died at the age of 82. He reportedly died in a Florida hospital from a heart attack with his family by his side. The moustachioed megastar underwent heart bypass surgery in 2010. Reynolds is survived by his son, Quinton. He shot to fame in 1972’s Deliverance, becoming a Hollywood legend with his roles in Smokey and the Bandit, The Cannonball Run and Boogie Nights. Reynolds’ breakout movie role was in 1972’s Deliverance, which told the tale of four friends attacked while on a canoeing trip in rural Georgia. The box office hit netted three Oscar nominations and made him a Hollywood sex symbol.

That same year Reynolds broke a publishing taboo by posing for a nearly nude centrefold in Cosmopolitan magazine, which he later said was a “really stupid” idea His career peaked in 1977 when he played trucker Bo Darville in action comedy Smokey and the Bandit. Only Star Wars grossed more at the box office that year. Other memorable credits included his 1974 role as a jailed former NFL player leading his fellow inmates in a grudge football game against their prison guards, in The Longest Yard, or The Mean Machine, as it was renamed for UK viewers. The movie was remade in 2005 with Reynolds starring as the team coach.

He also appeared alongside Dolly Parton in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, a 1982 comedy musical. One of his last hits, The Cannonball Run, released in 1981, starred Reynolds as an outlaw race car driver. It spawned several sequels. But his work went into freefall in the 1980s and his finances were ruined by failed investments in restaurants and a Florida football team. Reynolds made a 1997 comeback playing a porn film director in Boogie Nights, which won him an Oscar nomination. He was married twice, firstly to British actress Judy Carne in 1963, but they divorced two years later amid accusations of her over-spending and his infidelity.

Reynolds went on to marry American actress Loni Anderson in 1988, but that also ended bitterly in 1993. They adopted their son, Quinton. He also had an on-off relationship with co-star Sally Field, who he later said was the love of his life. In 1996 Reynolds filed for bankruptcy with nearly $11m in debts. In 2014, he was forced to sell many prized memorabilia, including the Golden Globe award he won for Boogie Nights. He penned two autobiographies: My Life, published in 1994, and But Enough About Me, in 2015. Up until his death, he had been set to appear in a Quentin Tarantino movie about Charles Manson – Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.

The Masked Killer Returns

I maybe a fairly recent fan of the Halloween movie franchise – I watched the Rob Zombie versions first back in 2012 and the original series of movies in 2013 – and I may have only watched all the movies twice in my life, but I have my strong opinions about this franchise. I respect all the movies even though I have my hatred of some of them (I’m looking at the pile of cow dung that was Halloween : Resurrection) I still have strong feelings about the upcoming movie Halloween (2018 ) ignoring all the sequels of the original 1978 movie.

It’s 40 years after the original and we are to only consider the events of the 1978 original and ignore everything else. And it’s supposed to be the final ever Halloween movie as declared by the franchise’s creator, John Carpenter. In this film, where Laurie Strode comes face-to-face with Michael Myers for one final confrontation. With Jamie Lee Curtis back on board (and Carpenter serving as an executive producer and the film’s composer), one can’t feel but excited but I still feel that they are pissing on the sequels which made the franchise have such a strong and large fan following.

Anyways, I will be waiting for the film and if it comes in theatres here, I will buy a ticket and watch Mickey and Laurie face off for the final time.

The Whole Truth

The Whole Truth is a 2016 American thriller film directed by Courtney Hunt and written by Nicholas Kazan. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Gabriel Basso, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Renée Zellweger, and Jim Belushi. The film was shot and set in Louisiana.

The movie is about the trial of a murder – Mike, a 17 year old boy, has admitted to stabbing his father, wealthy lawyer father Boone Lassiter. Defense attorney Richard Ramsay, who has worked with Boone and is a family friend, is asked by Boone’s widow Loretta Lassiter, Mike’s mother, to defend her son. Problem is Mike won’t speak to anyone, even his mother and his lawyer and seems to react with hostility towards Richard. The trial starts and it is shown by the defense that Boone was a drunkard and abused his wife physically and verbally (in front of friends at a party as one neighbour admits to when called to the witness stand). The neighbour’s son, who has had a crush on Loretta, has seen her being roughly treated by Boone.

Ramsay enlists the help of a young lawyer Janelle as his assistant, who is determined to find out the truth about what happened.  Loretta now testifies that Boone did indeed verbally and physically abuse her many times, with the most recent time on the day of his death. After Boone assaulted her, she went into bathroom to have a shower. When she came out, she saw Boone was already dead and Mike was standing near his corpse. Ramsey presents a health report as evidence, which proves her injuries. Mike finally speaks and says he will speak in court but won’t tell Richard what he will say. Mike affirms in court that his father did frequently assault his mother, but that was not the reason he killed him.

Mike reveals that Boone had molested him many times throughout his teenage years, and he wanted to go to a further university to escape from his father. He also states that Boone was angry over this decision and raped him on the flight, and was attempting to do so again before he left for college. This caused him to fight back at his father and lead to him stabbing Boone with a knife. The prosecutor requests the flight attendant to be recalled, who insists that she did not notice Mike being sexually assaulted by his father. However, Janelle (with suggestions from Mike) reveals that the flight attendant had an extramarital affair with the pilot, and lied in court to avoid being discovered. This information was enough to discredit her testimony and win support from the jury.

After reconsidering Mike’s testimony and his mother’s reactions, Janelle confronts Loretta outside the courtroom. She deduced that Loretta killed Boone after being assaulted, and Mike was merely trying to take the blame himself to protect his mother. Loretta angrily denies this accusation. Ramsey does not take Janelle’s theory seriously and dismisses it. The jury announce their decision: Mike Lassiter is found not guilty of murder. Ramsey congratulates Mike, but Mike asks to speak with him in private. Mike approaches Ramsey outside of court and reveals that he saw Ramsey’s watch at the scene of the crime and angrily accuses Ramsey as the one who murdered his father.

After everyone leaves, Ramsey thinks about the actual events – he was having an affair with Loretta as she was unhappy in her abusive marriage and kills Boone who became suspicious of his wife’s infidelity. They planned to disguise it as self-defense and Loretta beats herself with a stone to fake injuries & bruises but  but before he and Loretta could tamper with the crime scene, Mike returned home. Ramsey hastily escaped from the Lassiter house, and Mike subsequently planned the series of events to protect his mother. He then leaves the courthouse.

Pretty tame movie, it looks very low budget and I am not sure what actors of the calibre of Reeves, Zellweger & Belushi found attractive in it. It could have been way, way more entertaining and better. 6 outta 10!

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : STAR TREK ALIEN SPECIES

As most readers and people who know me personally will know, I am a huge Star Trek fan aka Trekkie. I love the franchise to death and it is my favourite scfi & favourite anything of all time. So if I were not following humans in the future, what alien race would I like to see stories about? Here is my top 11 alien races from the Star Trek universe.

  • Klingons
  • Vulcans
  • Ferengi
  • The Borg
  • Cardassians
  • Romulans
  • Ocampa
  • Xindi
  • Trill
  • Bajoran
  • Betazoid

Jealous Movie & TV Fan

I often have wished that I lived in another country, one in the West. This is due to many reasons. I know the saying that the grass is often greener on the other side but yeah it can’t be worse off low interest unsecured loan than what I have now. Let me give you a few things that I am jealous of when I watch and compare with what I have versus what they have. I spend most of my free time on YouTube and I check out a lot of things like for example people’s collections of DVDs and Blu-rays. CDs are dead but these two physical media is still a great one to have.

I keep checking out various collection and overview videos, various new releases and boxsets and see the awesome displays, I get jealous. Not only are our choices here limited but it’s also too fucking expensive. A person can get a certain sci-fi shownboxset for around $100 or say even $80. The same set when I checked for Indian online prices they show up for 1/3rd to 1/2 or even more of my monthly salary! And I make a very good salary or let’s say a quite decent salary.

This divide is why people in India and other developing nation’s choose to go the Torrent route. It’s not even comparable. Same for collectibles and stuff – it’s just so much more better in the UK, Canada, the US, Germany and rest of the continental Europe. I wish this could change as I hate having to stoop to that level or go for cheap knockoffs or bootlegs.

The Strangers

The Strangers is a 2008 American slasher film written and directed by Bryan Bertino. Kristen (Liv Tyler) and James (Scott Speedman) are expecting a relaxing weekend at a family vacation home, but their stay turns out to be anything but peaceful as three masked torturers leave Kristen and James struggling for survival. Writer-director Bertino was inspired by real-life events: the Manson family Tate murders, a multiple homicide; the Keddie Cabin Murders, that occurred in California in 1981; and a series of break-ins that occurred in his own neighborhood as a child. Made on a budget of $9 million, the film was shot on location in rural South Carolina in the fall of 2006.

This is the kind of movie that makes me ask the question; why do Americans build or buy houses that are either in the woods or in a secluded place? Nothing good comes out of it people! This is a home invasion film that happens to a couple, James and Kristen, who have come to James’s secluded family summer home after attending a friend’s wedding. They are both sad and irritable as James had planned a romantic night for them and proposed to Kristen but she apparently said no and they are breaking up. A strange girl knocks at their door at 4 am asking for Tamara and she leaves when they say she has the wrong house.

James goes to buy cigarettes and Kristen hears banging on the door that scares her. She knows someone is in the house when her charges goes missing and a smoke detector is removed and is startled by a man in a mask outside the window as well as the Dollface, the girl from earlier, trying to get in. She slams the door shut and calls James. James comes home and is spooked by Dollface and he and Kristen try to leave in his car but the strangers smash their truck into their car. Back inside the house, Kristen and James find a shotgun and wait for the intruders in a bedroom. Their friend Mike comes over as James had called him to come pick him up and James mistakes him for an intruder and shoots him dead by accident.

While trying to get outside and find help both of them are caught and attacked and they wake up to find themselves tied to chairs. Kristen asks, “Why are you doing this?”, Dollface replies, “Because you were home.” The strangers then unmask themselves to the couple offscreen, and take turns stabbing the couple before leaving the home. Two boys distributing religious pamphlets find the door open and Kristen, who isn’t dead, screams for help as the movie ends.

Disturbing for sure, scary in a non-supernatural way this film set over a night is effective in parts. I give it a 7 outta 10 for the scares.

Scorched Earth

Scorched Earth is a 2018 Canadian-American post-apocalyptic science fiction/action film directed by Peter Howitt starring Gina Carano. Supporting cast include John Hannah, Ryan Robbins, Patrick Gilmore, Patrick Sabongui & Stephanie Bennett.

It’s a post apocalyptic futurist movie where the earth has had brutal climate changes, colloquially known as the Cloud Fall. The combination of pollution and relentless mining of Earth’s resources through industrialism has left the environment nearly unlivable and extremely hostile to human habitation. People trade using the barter system and water purifers nd silver, ground up to line the interior of breathing masks, to keep out a painful and fatal airborne disease known as Black Lung. Cars are mostly banned and anyone caught driving such a vehicle was given the maximum sentence, and numerous people have become bounty hunters, bringing in drivers and other lawbreakers in exchange for tabs and silver, dead or alive.

Carano plays Atticus Gage, a bounty hunter who after killing Chavo, a female outlaw, freeing several pilgrims in the process. After she collects her bounty from Sheriff Grubbs in New Montana, and her mentor Doc he tells her of the massive sum on the head of Thomas Jackson, an unusually industrious outlaw who is building a shelter-town for criminals, calling it Defiance. She takes on the persona of Chavo, as everyone in her group have died. She makes an impression on Jackson though his right hand man Lear is suspicious of her. Gage endears herself to Jackson by saving his life when Grubbs and a posse sneak into Defiance to try taking him out. Jackson decides to include Gage in his plans, which includes enslaving the entire region to work in the silver mines near his town, he offers Gage 15% of the cut of the profits in exchange for her services as a gunfighter, and unintentionally revealing a scar on his forearm, which Gage’s sister had made when she bit him, before he killed her.

Shortly after, Jackson took Gage, Lear and several men to capture pilgrims with armored vehicles and armed escorts. Among the pilgrims is Beatrice, one of the women Gage saved from Chavo earlier. She warns the woman to be quiet and patient. While Jackson and his men celebrate, Gage urges Melena, Jackson’s girlfriend, to leave Defiance that night, revealing her identity as a bounty hunter. She apprehends Jackson, but is captured immediately, having been betrayed by Melena, and also identified by Womack, who was now terminally infected by black lung. They briefly torture Gage, then Womack drives her out into the wilderness, and dumps her in a gorge.

She survives the fall, and manages to get back to New Montana, but contracted a severe case of black lung. Doc revives her and tends her wounds, and together, the two plot to take down Jackson and the entire town of Defiance. They liberate Beatrice and the other captives from the silver mine, then engage the entire town. Gage severely wounds Lear, and is saved from a sniper by a repentant Melena. Gage pursues Jackson to the mines and fights with him, leaving him to die in an explosion using dynamites. She returns to the town, where a wounded Doc had managed to dispatch Lear for good, cuts down the corpses hanging in the town entrance, and transports Doc back to New Montana by stretcher.

It’s an average film, a one-time watch which I wanted to see just because of Gina but Ryan Robbins gleeful portrayal of a baddie is also a good reason to check it out. Nothing special. A 6 outta 10!

Hostel

Hostel is a 2005 American horror film written and directed by Eli Roth. It stars Jay Hernandez and was produced by Mike Fleiss, Eli Roth, and Chris Briggs; Boaz Yakin, Scott Spiegel, and Quentin Tarantino are executive producers. It is the first installment of the Hostel trilogy, followed by Hostel: Part II (2007) and Hostel: Part III (2011). The film tells the story of two college students traveling across Europe, who find themselves preyed upon by a mysterious group that tortures and kills kidnapped back-packers.

Two American graduate students, Josh & Paxton, on holiday are backpacking across Europe along with their Icelandic friend Oli. They have a grand time in Amsterdam, acting like total douches and having sex with prostitutes in the read light district. One night, they meet Alexie, who tells them about  a hostel in Slovakia filled with beautiful women, who are willing to sleep with any foreigners. The three friends travel to Slovakia on a train and have a strange encounter with a middle-aged Dutch business man who places his hand on Josh’s knee.

Brushing that encounter off, the three men are joined by two beautiful women, Natalya and Svetlana, at their hostel who invite them to the spa, and later to the disco. Paxton and Josh have sex with Natalya and Svetlana, while Óli leaves with the desk girl, Vala. When they wake up Oli is missing and Kana, a Japanese girl, shows them a pic of him with her friend, saying that he has left with her. At a party that night both Josh & Paxton are given tranquilizers in their drinks and Josh is tied up in an old factory and tortured by the Dutch businessman who cuts his ankles, makes him crawl and then kills him. Paxton wakes up in a store room having fallen unconscious there and tries to find Josh. Svetlana takes him to the factory where he sees Josh’s mutilated body and the Dutch businessman and freaks out.

He is caught by thugs and tied up. A German man severs two of Paxton’s fingers and the American pleads for his life in German. His hand gets free in a tussle and when the German rushes at him, he trips on some blood and cuts his own leg. Paxton takes a gun and shoots the German dead and hides among some hen takes the elevator to the top floor and enters the dressing room, where he changes into business clothes, and finds a business card for the Elite Hunting club, an organization where rich people pay to kill tourists. He also meets an American client, who mistakes him for another customer, and picks up his gun. Paxton then helps Kana, who is being tortured by the American client, kills him and helps her to escape.

In a stolen car they leave the compound pursued by guards. While driving, Paxton sees Natalya, Svetlana, and Alexei, and runs them over, killing them. Paxton and Kana make it to the train station, but after seeing a reflection of her disfigured face, Kana leaps in front of an oncoming train and kills herself. This creates a distraction, allowing Paxton to board another train unnoticed. He then hears the Dutch businessman who is there with his daughter and at a toilet stall, Paxton abducts the young girl and takes her away with him in another train while the Dutch businessman searches frantically for her.

While the first part of this film is downright silly, American frat boys yelling and being obnoxious, drinking and being stupid about sex, the torture part is chilling. 6 outta 10!

The Amityville Horror (2005)

This review was written in 2006 on another blog that I had before this one. I’ve just made a few tweeks.

This is a movie based on the 1977 book which was ostensibly inspired by a real life mass murder in Long Island, New York. A movie was made in 1979, which is still one of my family’s favourite horror movies, although I can’t remember seeing it. And I didn’t know much about the story either, so that left me as a newbie to the movie. It stars Ryan Reynolds as George Lutz and Melissa George as Kathy Lutz. The couple, along with their three children, move into what they believe will be their dream home; unaware that it previously belonged to the DeFeo family, and that Ronald DeFeo, Jr. had murdered his parents and siblings with a rifle the year before. DeFeo had claimed it was the “voices” that caused him to do it. It doesn’t take long for the Lutz family to start hearing ghostly voices, and witnessing apparitions, including the ghost of Jodie DeFeo, who appears to little Chelsea as a friend.

George is the most affected, and he eventually becomes a danger to those around him. In the true story (at least, some believe it to be true) that inspired “The Amityville Horror,” George Lutz woke up demonized every night at 3:15 a.m., the exact time a boy living in his house a year earlier killed his family The local priest is called in to bless the house, and he fails, warning Kathy to leave the house before it’s too late.

There are some creepy moments in the film, which disappointing because it ends so quickly and without proper closure as such. There were so many angles that the movie makers could have tried, in order to really make this an excellent movie. I read that this version is more true to the book by Jay Anson and not the original movie of 1979. Hence people who saw & liked the first movie may have reservations after seeing the 2005 version. The kids in the movie do a terrific job, Melissa George plays a convincing young mother torn between protecting & raising her three kids and the love she has for her new husband.

But the top marks for the movie should go to Ryan Reynolds, who plays a good disturbed character. Reynolds is know more for his goofy characters and his funny roles like “Michael Bergin” in the sitcom series Two Guys & A Girl and as “Van Wilder” in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder (and yeah Deadpool). A guy who normally makes us laugh and wince to hilarious & disgusting antics like farting & stuff, stuns in a total makeover role for him.

I give this film a 7 outta 10!

A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place is a 2018 American science fiction horror film directed by John Krasinski, who stars with Emily Blunt, his real-life wife. The film is produced by Michael Bay’s company, Platinum Dunes,  Principal photography took place later in the year in upstate New York. In A Quiet Place, a family must live life in silence while hiding from extraterrestrial creatures that hunt by sound.

So that’s the premise of this film, which starts on day 89 of the attack. We don’t get to see how the alien creatures landed or we sent to earth and how the destruction started and wiped out almost everyone on earth, including most of the animal life. But there is this one family – dad Lee, mom Evelyn, older deaf & mute daughter Regan, sons Marcus & youngest Beau. They are scavenging supplies in a store and head on their way. Beau plays with a toy spacecraft which he finds in the store and he turns it on – a few seconds later he is killed by one of the creatures before Lee can get to him.

First of all, in this kinda situation why would you have your family walk single file, with the dad carrying the older son, mom just behind him, then the oldest kid and the small kid walking way at the back of the line? That is just asking for him to do something silly (like little kids would do) and get himself kid! It’s bad parenting! Over a year later they live in a farm in the countryside and Evelyn is pregnant and is due. Lee takes Marcus fishing with him and tells him, they can talk next to the waterfall and sound of falling water as the aliens won’t hear them talking softly as the louder noise will distract them. Ofcourse this is also the time when Evelyn has to go into labour and walking down the steps she steps on a sharp nail and drops a lantern.

This alerts a creature nearby & Evelyn hides but flips a switch that changes the exterior house lights to red as a danger signal to the others, and struggles to remain silent during her contractions. Marcus & Lee runs into an old man, who screams after his wife’s body is found and is killed by a creature. A chase happens in the end where a creature is tracking Evelyn, while another hunts Regan. Lee comes to the house, leaving Marcus with some fireworks, which he fires to distract the creatures. Regan and Marcus are chased to a grain silo where the creature attacks them Regan’s cochlear implant reacts to the proximity of the creature by emitting a piercingly loud high-frequency sound that drives it away. The children escape from the silo and reunite with Lee.

Lee sacrifices himself to save his kids and escape to meet mom and the new baby. When the creature returns to invade the basement, Regan, who realizes that the sound made by the implant distresses the creature, switches the device back on and places it on a nearby microphone, magnifying the feedback. Painfully disoriented, the creature exposes the flesh beneath its armored head, which Evelyn shoots, killing it. The family views a CCTV monitor, showing two creatures attracted by the noise of the shotgun blast approaching the house. With their newly acquired knowledge of the creatures’ weakness, the members of the family arm themselves and prepare to fight back.

While the storyline is unique, using silence and sign language to great effect, less backstory leaves me a bit baffled as to how come almost everyone else is dead and no other signs of civilization seemed to have survived. Where did the alien creatures come from, how did they get here, who sent them and set them loose on our planet? The horror is genuinely fresh and the kids do a great job. 7.5 outta 10!

The Time Machine (2002)

I watched several movies during my break from work. The first one was a movie which I seen a few times before but on checking my blog, saw that I hadn’t reviewed it. The movie in question is The Time Machine, which is based on the famous book by H G Wells of the same name and similar to the 1960 movie. Arnold Leibovit served as executive producer and Simon Wells, the great-grandson of the original author, served as director. The film stars Guy Pearce, Jeremy Irons, Orlando Jones, Samantha Mumba, Mark Addy, Sienna Guillory and Phyllida Law, and includes a cameo by Alan Young, who also appeared in the 1960 film adaptation.

However it does not take the entire plot of the book or the previous movie that did stick to the original story. Instead we have a very loose storyline that leaves you not entirely satisfied with the ending. There was so much more could have done with the movie, but it was like they were in a rush to finish the film. Maybe the directors wanted to keep the film short and short it is….it falls way short of my expectations and I think it was a waste to shoot this movie without having a well written script & thought out process. The film is set in New York City instead of London, and contains new story elements not present in the original novel or the 1960 film adaptation, including a romantic backstory, a new scenario about how civilization was destroyed, and several new characters, such as an artificially intelligent hologram played by Orlando Jones, and a Morlock leader played by Jeremy Irons.

After his fiance Emma is killed in a mugging gone wrong, Alexander creates a time machine within a 4 year span. He goes back in time and saves Emma by avoiding the park where she was killed but later that night she is killed by a runaway horse carriage. Alexander realizes that any attempt to save Emma will result in her death through other circumstances. Distraught, Alexander travels to 2030 to discover whether science has been able to solve his question of how to change the past. At the New York Public Library, a holographic sentient librarian called Vox 114 insists that time travel is impossible. Alexander travels to 2037, when the accidental destruction of the Moon by lunar colonists has begun rendering the Earth virtually uninhabitable. While restarting the time machine to avoid debris, he is knocked unconscious and travels to the year 802,701 before reawakening.

The human race has reverted to a primitive lifestyle and the Earth has healed. Some survivors, called “Eloi”, live on the sides of cliffs of what was once Manhattan. Alexander is nursed back to health by a woman named Mara, one of the few Eloi who speak English. He observes the broken moon and suggests that maybe his teachings led to this future. He makes friends with Mara and her younger brother Kelan, one of few Elio who still speak English.  The next day, the Eloi are attacked and Mara is dragged underground by ape-like monsters. The creatures are called “Morlocks” and they hunt the Eloi for food. In order to rescue her, Kalen leads Alexander to Vox 114, which is still functional after 800,000 years.

Alex goes to an underground cave and is capture by the Morlocks and taken to an area where Mara sits in a cage. Alexander meets an intelligent, humanoid Morlock, who explains that Morlocks are the evolutionary descendants of the humans who went underground after the Moon broke apart, while the Eloi are evolved from those who remained on the surface. The humanoid Morlocks are a caste of telepaths who rule the other Morlocks. The Morlock explains that Alexander cannot alter Emma’s fate, because her death is what drove him to build the time machine in the first place: saving her would be a virtual impossibility due to temporal paradox. He then reveals that the Morlocks have brought the time machine underground, and tells Alexander to get into it and return home. Alex does but fights the Morlock and ages him by pushing him outside of the machine’s temporal bubble.

Alexander stops in the year 635,427,810, revealing a harsh, rust-colored sky over a wasteland of Morlock caves. He goes back and saves Mara, destroying the rest of the Morlock by starts the time machine and jams its gears, creating a violent distortion in time. Pursued by the Morlocks, Alexander and Mara escape to the surface as the time distortion explodes, killing the Morlocks and destroying their caves along with the time machine. Alexander begins a new life with Mara and the Eloi. Back in his own time, his housekeeper is talking with Philby, Alex’s best friend, who offers her a job in his household as he knows that Alex isn’t coming back.

I like this movie a lot but there are two many changes that don’t seem to fall in properly and the explanations of the newer themes and changes takes away the simplistic yet romantic charm of the original storyline. Nevertheless I still like it enough to rate it a 7.5 outta 10!

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : Steven Spielberg Directed Movies

Steven Spielberg is the greatest movie man of our times. His movies will go down as some of the best cinematic experiences of all time. This is my top 11 favourite films of his which he directed and so none of the ones he only produced make the list. That might be for another day.

  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Adventures Of Tintin
  • Catch Me If You Can
  • Jurassic Park / Jurassic Park : Lost World
  • Schindler’s List
  • E.T.
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Jaws
  • The Indian Jones Movies
  • The Terminal
  • War Of The Worlds

Deliver Us from Evil

Deliver Us from Evil is a 2014 American supernatural horror film directed by Scott Derrickson and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The film is officially based on a 2001 non-fiction book entitled Beware the Night by Ralph Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool, and its marketing campaign highlighted that it was “inspired by actual accounts”. The film stars Eric Bana, Édgar Ramírez, Sean Harris, Olivia Munn, and Joel McHale in the main roles and was released on July 2, 2014.

Three marines find an underground cavern and when they explore it it goes all dark and they start to scream. Three years later, Bronx detectives Ralph Sarchie and his partner Butler are called to investigate a domestic cheapest secured loans abuse situation. When they get there the man Jimmy, one of the Marines, tries to say things are cool but when the cops see the wife with bruises and a blackeye, he bolts and escapes. Sarchie catches up to Jimmy and makes the arrest; although, not without suffering a sizable wound to his forearm that will require stitches. The officers notice that Jimmy’s fingernails are cracked and bleeding, and they assume that he is mentally ill or high on drugs.

At the Bronx a woman throws her baby into a moat and the cops investigate finding her in a feral state rapidly recites the lyrics to “Break On Through (To the Other Side)”. Sarchie notices a painter inside the lion enclosure. He enters the pen to interrogate the mysterious man, but he is attacked by the lions and barely escapes. The deranged woman is taken to the precinct where a Jesuit priest, Mendoza, who comes on her family’s request and he asks a bunch of questions to the cops. At another domestic disturbance at a house where light bulbs instantly burn out and candles will not remain lit, cops find the body of one of the painters who were working on the basement, David Griggs. Sarchie & Butler find a picture of Griggs with Jane Crenna and the child that she threw at the zoo at the desceased’s apartment. In another picture, Griggs is pictured in his Marine uniform with Jimmy Tratner and a third Marine, Santino. They realize Santino must have been the painter at the zoo.

Mendoza believes that Jane is possessed by demons, and he explains that there is secondary evil created by humans and primary evil which comes from demons. Sarchie is skeptical, but when he reviews the surveillance footage with Butler, he hears strange noises and sees things that Butler does not. Sarchie returns to Jimmy Tratner’s house and finds a wall that was being painted in Jimmy’s home office. He scrapes away the paint to find a pictograph of an owl. At Sarchie’s home, his daughter lies in bed as a stuffed owl stares ominously at her from a shelf in her bedroom. She is awakened by strange noises and frightened. Sarchie has scraped finds a bizarre mix of Latin and ancient pictographs and some hard drives with footage from Tratner’s deployments and watches the full footage from the palm grove in Diyala.

In the cave, the soldiers found a carving of the same message that is on the wall in Tratner’s home as well as the basement and the zoo wall. With Mendoza, he visits Jane Crenna in the mental hospital and shows her the message from the cave. She savagely bites Sarchie’s already wounded forearm.Mendoza decodes the message as a kind of bridge between Christian and pagan theology which would theoretically allow demons a door to the human world. He explains that certain people are more susceptible to such messages than others. Mendoza goes with Sarchie and Butler to an apartment building where they are attacked by Santino and Jimmy Tratner. Tratner is subdued by Mendoza’s cross. Santino overwhelms and eventually kills Butler.

At Sarchie’s home, his daughter is once again awoken during the night. Her stuffed owl rolls off the shelf and advances towards her bed. As she runs screaming from the room, she sees Santino in the hallway. Sarchie arrives home to find Santino in his living room. Santino warns that he has abducted Sarchie’s wife and daughter. Santino is brought to the precinct where Mendoza and Sarchie perform an exorcism on him. Sarchie’s wife and daughter are located in an Alphonsus Painting van at a storage facility. The film ends with the baptism of the Sarchies’ second child.

While it started out and had some promise, the movie turns out to be another one of these stupid Christian theology and mythological nonsense which is propaganda by 2001 non-fiction book entitled Beware the Night by Ralph Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool. Disappointed. 6.5 outta 10!