Monday, January 23, 2017

Underworld: Blood Wars

Released Year: 2016
Directed by Anna Foerster

Casted by:
Kate Beckinsale as Selene
Theo James as David
Tobias Menzies as Marius
Lara Pulver as Semira
James Faulkner as Cassius
Charles Dance as Thomas
Bradley James as Varga
Clementine Nicholson as Lena
Peter Andersson as Vidar
Daisy Head as Alexia
The remaining vampire covens are on the verge of being wiped out by the Lycans. Both species are searching for Selene: the vampires seeking justice for the deaths of Viktor and Marcus, and the Lycans, led by Marius, intending to use her to locate Eve, whose blood holds the key to building an army of vampire-werewolf hybrids.

Semira, a council member of the Eastern Coven, wishes for Selene to be granted clemency so that the latter can train the Eastern Coven's neophyte Death Dealers. To that end, she enlists Thomas to plead Selene's case before the full council. Thomas succeeds and Selene arrives at the Eastern Coven with David. Selene is betrayed by Varga, Semira's ally and lover, who poisons the former and slaughters the Death Dealers at the behest of Semira. Semira begins draining Selene of her blood, which she intends to drink to gain Selene's power, but is interrupted when Thomas and David come to Selene's rescue. In the ensuing fight, Thomas is killed delaying Semira and Varga so that David can escape with an incapacitated Selene.

The pair seeks refuge with the Nordic Coven. They are pursued by Alexia, an Eastern Coven vampire dispatched by Semira, who consumes the blood from Selene and strengthened by its ingestion but unfamiliar with the enhancements. Selene and David arrive at Vador, the stronghold of the Nordic Coven, where Vidar, the Elder, reveals that David was the son of the High Elder Amelia, making him the legitimate heir to the Eastern Coven.

The Nordic Coven is attacked by Marius and the Lycans, who were alerted by Alexia, Marius's mole and lover. The Nordic vampires, led by Vidar's daughter Lena, fight with Selene and David. Selene engages in single combat with Marius, who demands to know Eve’s location; Selene insists she does not know the location, being confirmed by Alexia by tasting some of Selene's blood. Marius sounds the retreat for his troops and Selene, no longer wishing to live, slides herself under the now-broken ice of the lake.

Upon Alexia's return to the Eastern Coven's castle, she informs Semira of the events at the Nordic Coven. Semira kills her, revealing to have always known of Alexia's treachery, and has been manipulating Alexia for her own ends. David returns to the Eastern Coven and presents himself as its rightful heir. Semira is arrested by none other than Varga, whose ultimate loyalty is to the rightful leadership of the coven. She is subsequently imprisoned in the dungeons. The coven comes under attack by Marius and his forces. The Lycans blow holes in the castle's walls, letting in sunlight, killing most of the vampires. David continues fighting, only to find himself face to face with Marius. Selene suddenly reappears, wearing a Nordic appearance and coat over her normal Death Dealer uniform. It is revealed that the Nordic Coven revived her and in doing so enabled her to develop new abilities. She swiftly begins dispatching the Lycans, as the rest of the Nordic Coven, led by Lena, join the fight. While Selene is making her way through the castle, the guards in the dungeons are killed by Semira, who then escapes from her cell. Selene and David find Marius, but David is waylaid by Semira. As Marius and Selene's fight continues, a drop of Marius's blood lands on Selene's lips. She is suddenly flooded by a series of blood memories in which Marius finds Michael. She sees Marius capturing Michael and slitting his throat in order to collect his blood and consume it. Believing that Michael is dead, she bites her own wrist, using her own blood memories of the time she has spent with Michael, Eve, and David to fuel her rage. Although Marius has transformed, Selene rips out his spine, killing him instantly. David manages to kill Semira. He shows Marius's severed head to the Lycans, who decide to retreat.

In the aftermath, Selene, David, and Lena are chosen as the new Elders. It is revealed that after being resurrected at the Nordic Coven, Selene was reunited with Eve, who has been following her mother.
L² Scored: 10/10

L² Comment:
This should be the final installment of this movie which i finally scored it a 10/10 on this one and only movie out of the whole series. To me, Underworld all these while is a good movie but not really that great comparing to others series of movie. From the first movie 2003 till 2016, 13 years have passed and our Beckinsale is getting older, maybe its better to end the series after all when it is doing well instead of leaving us a bad memory instead :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Underworld: Awakening

 Released Year: 2012
Directed by Måns Mårlind & Björn Stein

Casted by:
Kate Beckinsale as Selene
India Eisley as Eve
Theo James as David
Michael Ealy as Detective Sebastian
Kris Holden-Ried as Quint
Charles Dance as Thomas
Stephen Rea as Dr. Jacob Lane
Six months after the events of Evolution, both the government and the general public have become aware of the vampire and lycans existence. A program to study and potentially harness their powers soon escalates into an all-out genocide. Shortly after the "Cleanse" begins, Selene and Michael are captured by humans. Due to her enhanced vampiric traits, she is imprisoned in cryogenic suspension.

After being frozen for twelve years, during which both species have been hunted to the brink of extinction, Selene manages to escape. She soon learns that another subject, whom she initially believes to be Michael, has also escaped. While making her way through the high-tech facility, Selene has visions from someone else's point of view. Believing that Michael is mentally guiding her, she follows these "visions", leading her down a garbage chute into a labyrinthine series of basement tunnels. Here she encounters a young vampire named David, who has been tracking her. They quickly realize that the tunnels are infested with Lycans, who are hunting the subject Selene is connected with. Determined to reach Michael, Selene fights her way through the Lycan pack until she reaches the second escapee: not Michael, but a frightened and confused young girl named Eve.

Using David's van, Selene, David and Eve make their way out of the facility, only to be attacked once again by a trio of Lycans. David manages to shoot a lycan while Selene stabs another; the third smashes its way into the rear of the vehicle, where it bites Eve's shoulder. This triggers Eve's partial transformation, revealing her hybrid traits, as she savagely rips the creature's head in half. Selene realizes that Eve is her and Michael's daughter. Eve is believed to be the key to ending the war by "curing" both the vampiric and lycanthropic "infections". However, despite her hybrid nature Selene soon realizes that Eve's bite wound is not healing and she is rapidly growing weaker. David agrees to take the pair to his coven.

The remaining vampires realize that Eve’s weakness is due to her having not fed in a long time. After reluctantly drinking some blood, Eve's wound heals. Recognizing that the coven does not want her there, Selene gets ready to leave. David tries to convince her to stay and help them start an offensive against the humans by training some Death Dealers, but before she makes up her mind, the coven comes under attack by Lycans. Selene joins the fight and kills many lycans. She then finds herself facing a "Super-Lycan" that heals instantly and is not affected by silver. She is knocked unconscious and awakens later to find that Thomas, David's father, has surrendered Eve to the Lycans in return for them leaving. David dies but is resuscitated. Selene confronts a human detective named Sebastian, who is sympathetic to the vampires due to his now dead wife being a vampire. Sebastian confirms that the Lycans have been traced to Antigen, the corporation dedicated to killing off the immortal species. It is also revealed Antigen run the facility from which Selene had earlier escaped.

Selene discovers that Antigen is actually run by Lycans, who have been posing as humans in order to trick the world's governments into believing the Lycans are extinct. The director of Antigen, Dr. Jacob Lane, is trying to perfect the Lycan race and wants Eve's DNA to do so. The "Super-Lycan" Selene faced earlier is identified as Quint – Lane's son and the prototype for Lycan modifications. Selene and Sebastian infiltrate Antigen to stop Lane's plan and manage to save Eve. Selene comes across Subject 0, she then realizes it to be Michael and attempts to free him by shooting his cryogenic tank. Selene is forced to leave the thawing Michael in order to stop the Lycans from escaping with Eve. After confronting Lane and his son, Selene and Eve return to Michael's tank and find it empty with the ice shattered. Selene states that the world will be hunting Michael and the pair vow to find him first.
 L² Scored: 8/10

L² Comment:
When I stepped into the cinema and watch the final installment movie series of Underworld, I realized that I have not watch the forth installment of this series at all. So I cheated and postpone the post that I should be blogging on "Underworld: Blood Wars" until I watch this :p hehe

Well the 3rd installment movie, Selene was not the main cast which is a bit upset me. But seeing Beckinsale back in here is a big excitement. The time flew and it was 12 years later after the previous 2nd installment movie. Selene was in her deep sleep and never realize her lovable man has gone; but luckily they fuck enough to have a new hybrid baby of their own. The series added in some new character especially Theo James whom is much more hotter than Scott Speedman :) Eve, Selene's daughter appearance has spice up the whole movie as well. But all these while I have feel some scenes or action of Underworld are familiar, after this installment, I confirmed that it is so "Resident Evil" lol~ but of coz Kate Beckinsale definitely hotter than Milla Jovovich.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Great Wall 長城

Released Year: 2016
Directed by 张艺谋 Zhang Yi Mou 

Casted by:
Matt Damon as William Garin
景甜 Jing Tian as 林梅 Commander Lin Mae
Pedro Pascal as Pero Tovar
刘德华 Andy Lau as 王军师 Strategist Wang
Willem Dafoe as Ballard
鹿晗 Lu Han as 彭勇 Peng Yong
张涵予 Zhang Hanyu as 邵殿帅 Commander Shao
彭于晏 Eddie Peng as 吴将军 Commander Wu
林更新 Lin Gengxin as 陈将军 Commander Chen
黄轩 Huang Xuan as 邓将军 Commander Teng
During the Song dynasty, a few miles north of the Great Wall, William, Tovar, and three other survivors from a European mercenary group searching for black powder are pursued by Khitan bandits. Upon escaping they seek refuge in a cave, but are attacked by a shadowy monster, leaving only William and Tovar alive, the former having slashed off the monster's hand. The next day, they stumble upon the Great Wall and are taken prisoner by Chinese soldiers, who are led by General Shao, General Lin, and Strategist Wang. The officers have been preparing for a monster invasion which happens once every sixty years. However, they are frightened upon seeing the monster's hand, identified as a member of the Taotie species, as they believed the invasion was still weeks away. Suddenly, a wave of monsters attack the Great Wall, and the soldiers respond with archery, ballistas, and catapaults which throw burning rocks. Lin leads a company of female soldiers who jump off the Wall and are pulled back with elastic cords. The monsters are more intelligent and numerous than the soldiers' expectations, but are repelled with William and Tovar's assistance, which earns the soldiers' respect. Later, William and Tovar meet Sir Ballard, a European who, like them, had ventured east twenty-two years ago in search of black powder, which might be sold for a fortune back in Europe. However, Ballard was also taken prisoner, and has been serving as an English and Latin teacher. The three men discuss plans to steal black powder from the store-room and flee while the soldiers are occupied by battle.

During the night, two monsters manage to climb the Great Wall and kill a guard. Shao and Lin lead a platoon to investigate, but they are ambushed and Shao is killed, leaving Lin in charge. Around this time, an envoy from the capital, Bianliang, arrives with an ancient scroll, which suggests that the monsters are pacified by magnets. To test this theory, William suggests that Lin should capture a monster alive using harpoons laced with sedatives, and delays his escape plans to help. At the next battle, several monsters are ensnared, and William bravely slides down a chain to ensure that an ensnared monster is not freed by other monsters. Tovar delays his escape to assist William, to Ballard's disappointment. The soldiers resist the monsters by fighting vertically along the Wall while tied to a chain, and by using spinning mechanical blades. As the monsters are too numerous, Lin resorts to using black powder rockets, whose existence had been a secret. After the battle, the captured monster is taken to the capital by the envoy. A short while later, a hole is discovered in the base of the Great Wall, which the monsters have used as a bypass, a reflection of their cleverness. While Lin investigates, Tovar and Ballard try to escape, and knock William unconscious for resisting. Some distance away, Ballard abandons Tovar, stealing his horse, but is captured by the Khitans, who accidentally ignite a bomb killing themselves and Ballard. Tovar reclaims the horses, but is captured by Chinese riders.

Knowing that the monsters are nearing the capital, Lin orders the use of an unstable technology, namely hot-air balloons, to reach the capital more quickly. Most of the balloons catch fire and the soldiers fall to their deaths. William boards the last balloon with Wang, following Lin to the capital, where they find most of the city already ruined. However, they think of a plan to kill the queen monster by tying explosives to the captured monster from earlier, and giving the monster meat to deliver to the queen. The three people climb a tower to shoot a black powder rocket to detonate the explosives, during which Wang is killed. Two rockets fail, but the third succeeds, after William throws a magnetic stone at the queen right before the rocket hits. In the aftermath, Lin is promoted to regional marshal, and William forgoes a reward in exchange for freeing Tovar. The two are allowed to return to Europe and a contingent of cavalry are sent to protect them.
 L² Scored: 10/10

L² Comment:
This is the first english-language movie that is directed by Zhang Yi Mou in his 33 years of being a director. He has won a lot of awards in Asian but can he won one from the Western country by this movie, let's see... Using the same concept of his 2002 movie HERO, he used sharp colors to differentiate the team of army in this movie.I love the storyline of the movie, very exciting and new while the way of defensing The Great Wall are fascinating as well. Matt Damon still look superb, being the few only western actor, he managed to shine together with the Asian actor but not overly outcast-ed his fellow actors in the same film, which i think is quite important as well... Of course this movie also let a lot of the Asian actors & actresses has the chance to show their face in Hollywood, good work Zhang Yi Mou :)