Annabelle: Creation – Breaking the horror sequel trend

Director – David F. Sandberg

Cast – Talitha Bateman, Lulu Wilson, Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto, Stephanie Sigman.

Rating – 3.5/5

It has been a recurring trend in the film world for horror movies in the series succeeding the original to be extremely dull and disappointing. After capturing the horror genre all over the world with Conjuring in 2013, the makers New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Pictures, tried to cash in on the success with Annabelle in 2014 and Conjuring 2 in 2016. As predicted, lacklustre script, typical music and cheap scare tactics resulted in a less than worthy follow up to the widely loved Conjuring series.

Now, it seems the trend has been broken with the recently released film ‘Annabelle: Creation’. This is the fourth film in the series so far and the only one which has been able to live up to the expectations of the first film in the series.

As the title suggests, the film focuses on the origins of the eerie doll Annabelle around which the series has been based. The fact that the doll is not just a fictional imagination makes it even more sinister.

Interesting camera angles add to the already strong visual language of the film. From the image of a cross in a dark room to the gory scenes resembling the crucifixion, the director David F. Sandberg has been able to add so much more character to Annabelle: Creationthan your everyday horror movie.

The story revolves around a group of young girls who have come to live with the Mullins after their orphanage closed down. Accompanied by Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman), the story develops after one of the orphan girls Janice (Taliha Bateman) along with her sweet best friend Linda (Lulu Wilson) find the ominous doll in a room which is supposed to be locked up and is prohibited entry to. Janice, weakened by polio, becomes the easy target as it is common logic that the weak and innocent are the easiest targets for evil forces.

Sandberg has been able to master the portrayal of fear in his characters and this fact has somewhat been able to overshadow the gaps in acting in many scenes. Fortunately, after a good build up in the first half, the movie is able to lead up to an equally gut wrenching climax. The audience are at the edge of their seats as the director has been able to show the common scary tricks and go beyond them to surprise and shock the viewer at the same time.

The barn sequence in the film truly scared the wits out of the viewers. The religious imagery and commentary on the relation between religion and evil in the film has been done beautifully. The narrative of the story has been able to finally connect the entire series as one and not just separate spin-offs under the same banner.

Truly, Sandberg has been able to do some justice to the film. For added kicks, opt for a late night show and enjoy this film which is finally giving a sequel worthy of the Conjuring series.

 

‘Wanted’ actor Inder Kumar suffers cardiac arrest, passes away

Bollywood actor Inder Kumar, popularly known for his supporting role in Salman Khan starrer ‘Wanted’ passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest at his residence in Mumbai on Friday, July 28. He was 45.

Making his debut in 1996 film ‘Masoom’ as the lead opposite actress Ayesha Jhulka, Kumar acted in almost two dozen films in his career including some well-known movies like ‘Wanted’, ‘Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge’ and ‘Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi’. He is also known for portraying the character of Mihir Virani in Ekta Kapoor’s TV soap ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’.

Inder Kumar’s former father-in-law Raju Kariya revealed the tragic news. He is survived by his second wife Pallavi Sarraf and daughter Khushi, who was from his first wife Sonal.

The actor last appeared in 2011 film ‘Yeh Dooriyan’ and was to also appear in in a film titled ‘Who Is The First Wife Of My Father’, which is still waiting for a release. Kumar was currently playing a role in a film titled ‘Phati Padi Hai Yaar’.

His last rites were conducted on Friday along with the cremation held at Yaari Road Shamshaan Bhoomi.

Sources: TOI, NDTV

Dunkirk: Nolan strikes again

Cast: Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Harry Styles, Mark Rylance

Director: Christopher Nolan

‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’, ‘Interstellar’, ‘Inception’…it is absolutely a treat that Christopher Nolan manages to give it to its audience in terms of entertainment blended in quality. And as one watches, one wonders till what point of time this man can keep producing such movies.

But as a Nolan fan and a movie enthusiast in general, his work is not only about the creativity in terms of ideas he brings or the camera work or the direction itself. It is about the narrative he binds it in; and ‘Dunkirk’ is a sublime example of the same.

‘Dunkirk’ is an interwoven tale of three stories running parallel at the same time frame in France where 400,000 soldiers wait to be rescued in one of the biggest retreats in World War II. The story divided in three parts ‘The Mole’, ‘The Sea’ and ‘The Sky’ is told through some amazing amount of camera work and some heavy music by maestro Hans Zimmer.

The music itself is devastatingly stunning; filled with regret, tension, expectation and hope complemented with Nolan’s narrative creates magic in the screens.

One can criticize the lack of major characters, but war doesn’t have heroes, it has men who desperately try to survive each moment of the day.

The roles played by Tom Hardy, Harry Styles and Kenneth Branagh are small but are very aptly put.

Dunkirk is Nolan’s shortest movie in terms of length and for some the story may seem a bit incomplete, but for those who dig history and Nolan, ‘Dunkirk’ is a show of an amazing production team who have strived to get every detail right and have excelled in it.

Oscar winning actor Martin Landau dies at 89

Celebrated actor and Academy Award winner Martin Landau passed away on Saturday, July 15. He was 89.

The tragic news was announced by his publicist Dick Guttman. His statement read that Landau died at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles due to unexpected complications during a short hospitalization for an undisclosed illness.

The actor was known for his role in the TV series ‘Mission: Impossible’ and has won an Oscar for his portrayal of a washed-up Bela Lugosi in the 1994 film ‘Ed Wood’. Apart from this he was nominated for Emmy five times.

Landau made his film debut in 1956 with a small role in ‘Pork Chop Hill’, but his first big screen impression was in Alfred Hitchcock’s film ‘North by Northwest’.

Throughout his career Landau has had remarkable ups and downs. He has worked with top directors including Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen and Tim Burton and has delivered acclaimed performances.

The New-York born performer is survived by two daughters, writer-producer-casting director Susan Landau Finch and ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ fame Thesp Juliet Landau, a sister and a granddaughter.

Sources: Indian Express, Variety

Image source: NY daily news

FIR against AIB for defaming the Prime Minister

In response to a complaint by a twitter user Reetesh Maheshwari on official twitter handle of Mumbai Police, Mumbai Police has registered an FIR (50/2017) against All India Bakchod for allegedly disrespecting the “honourable Prime Minister” by using a dog-filter on PM Modi’s lookalike. Mumbai Police, in their tweet, mentioned that the case has been forwarded to the crime branch for defaming the prime leader.

 

This is not the first time that a case has been filed against AIB, in fact another case was filed against AIB back in 2014 when they organised a AIB Knockout, which was supposedly contained controversial content. AIB immediately removed the meme when a series of trolling began by the Modi supporters and Mumbai Police registered a case. The company is owned by Tanmay Bhat, Rohan Joshi, Ashish Shakya and Gursimran Khamba.

 

AIB is known for creating liberal video content on online medium since the time they incorporated their company in 2013. From the time of its inception, AIB has been creating flak for showcasing satirical content with videos like Rape: It’s not your fault, starring Kalki Koechlin; The times of boobs, Harassment through the ages and many others.

Sources: The Hindu, NDTV

Salman Khan to pay compensation for Tubelight

This year too, Salman Khan arrived with his big Eid release, but breaking the ritual, this release of his was not as huge a success as one would have guessed. The bankable star’s Tubelight could not do well at the box office, due to which the distributors have reportedly suffered huge losses. According to HT, there were reports that many distributors and producers were asking for a monetary refund. Salman Khan has agreed to pay an amount of Rs 55 crores for the same.

Salman’s father Salim Khan confirmed the news and was quoted, “When a distributor suffers a loss, the producer needs to show some responsibility and share the burden”. He added that they have also done the same. They met some of the distributors and are trying to come to a middle ground.

Indian Express reported the movie has already made Rs 114.50 crores at the box office in India till now. However, the box office releases such as Baby Driver, Spider Man: Homecoming and Mom are doing well at the ticket counters, leading to a further downfall for the market of Tubelight.

Trade Analyst Komal Nehta also tweeted to confirm, “SalmanKhan has agreed to refund monies to distributors to make up for losses in Tubelight. A lovely gesture. That’s being human!”

Sources: Hindustan Times, The Indian Express

Google Doodle – Eva Ekeblad

Swedish Salonist, countess and agronomist Eva Ekeblad was born today. Commemorated by a Google Doodle, it celebrates her 293th birth anniversary(1724-86)

The first lady member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was born into a noble family – her father was a count, Magnus Julius De la Gardie. 

While she was herself married into nobility, she is known best for discovering a method to extract starch from potatoes. This eventually led to the eventually production of common everyday products such as vodka,moonshine and potato wine. 

What makes this story interesting is that potatoes were at the time in Sweden did not consider potatoes to be edible, they were used for animals instead. 

Eva had heard that in Germany potatoes were used to make alcoholic drinks. She also discovered that the vegetable could be cooked, crushed and dried to manufacture a type of flour, according to the The Telegraph. 

This helped solve a crisis brewing in the country’s food supply. Till then cereals were used to make alcohol and this had let to a shortage of oats and barley. Potatoes changed that. 

It is worth also noting that the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences did not admit another won until 1951, a hundred and sixty five years after her death.

Sources: The Telegraph, The Independent