Everyone of my readers knows Hollywood (I strongly assume anyway) and I guess the vast majority has also heard of Bollywood (the Indian counterpart centered in Mumbai) but were you aware there is also a Nollywood? If you cannot guess, the etymology of Nollywood is Nigeria + Hollywood. Nigeria has quite a history of film making and the whole industry is virtually unknown over here. I hope I can change this to a small degree.
And thus, it is with great pleasure I present Vultures of Horror to you. This is the very brief synopsis:
When may a revival be expected when the wickedness of the wicked grieves and distresses the innocent. Kwame’s family are enemies of progress and their victims have had enough.
„God bears with the wicked but not forever“
An intriguing edgy thriller that shows that evildoers face the consequences of their own actions.
The movie has a very strong Christian message, and I mean: VERY STRONG. Also, it is tailored to the tastes of its target audience and their expectations, so if you find Bollywood movies hard to relate to, Vultures of Horror will take „hard to relate to“ to a whole new level.
Also: The film (which is the first in a whole series) was shot using a budget that was possibly lower than the original Blair Wich Project, so do not expect anything comparable to Deadpool. Just sit back, relax and enjoy what I think is already a classic:
I really have to look deeper into Nollywood. I am already very interested Nigerian literature (the late Chinua Achebe being my favourite author together with H.P. Lovecraft) and I am sure there have to be movies with a less pronounced moral/Christian message.
Kylo Ren, the villain you hate to love but you love him anyway. He has already made it into the hearts of many Star Wars fans, has spawned memes and parodies and is in short a firmly entrenched part of Star Wars canon and geek/pop culture now.
While he was the main active antagonist in The Force Awakens, he came across as a far more nuanced and conflicted character than any of his predecessors except for his grandfather at the very end of Return of the Jedi.
Kylo Ren also makes some remarks during The Force Awakens and acts in certain ways that makes me think he is not quite as much on the Dark Side as you might expect. I also think he is not quite on the Dark Side on purpose.
Let me elaborate:
In the first trailer already, Kylo Ren says „I will finish, what you started“
In the same scene he also asks his grandfather for help. His grandfather is Anakin Skywalker, who was Darth Vader right up to minutes before he died. Darth Vader was redeemed by Luke Skywalker and became Anakin Skywalker again who upon bodily death became one with the Force and turned into a Force Ghost can be seen clearly in this (original and unaltered) still from Return of the Jedi:
There is no way I can imagine that Kylo Ren would not have been aware of the final fate of Anakin Skywalker. Luke surely shared it at one point with Leia and either or both of them must have told Ben Organa-Solo / Kylo Ren at some later occasion.
Also, it has to be noted that it was Anakin Skywalker, not Darth Vader, who sired Luke and Leia.
Anakin Skywalker was, believed to be the one chosen to destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force, see this clip:
Again: „I will finish, what you started“
Anakin Skywalker (redeemed) actually destroyed the Sith by killing the last Sith, Darth Sidious. He managed to fulfill one part of the prophecy concerning „The Chosen One“ but he did not manage to bring balance to the Force. Kylo Ren has set out to achieve this. If he would truely be on the path to the Dark Side, why would he ask his redeemed grandfather for help who became a force ghost and joined Master Yoda and his teacher Obi Wan Kenobi? It only makes sense if he wants guidance to bring balance to the Force. Also, Kylo Ren is not a Sith, he is a Knight of Ren (from what we know now, anyway). The Sith are still destroyed.
Further, I am under the impression he has still more Light Side in him than he wants to. He has to become darker to be balanced. This is why he killed his father, but later sucks when he fights Rey. He needed to kill Han Solo to get closer to the Dark Side but never wanted to kill unless it is necessary for his plan.I think he does not really want to kill Rey, because he realises she is his „emergency off-switch“. Should he fail and be consumed by the Dark Side, she will still be capable of stopping him. Alternatively, he could see her as a deciple for later. She is a Force user and has shown both noble heroism and rage. She is not a Jedi yet. She could still become a balance Force user, capable of weilding both sides.
It is also noteworthy that Kylo does not Force-choke people who failed him and his rages seem almost comical. He is not that evil and has to act out his rages forcefully in order to become properly enraged as one would expect from someone strong in the Dark Side. There is still more good in Kylo than is good for his plan.
If this is all true, why was he looking for Luke? I guess it was not to kill him. I speculate he wanted to win him over andor capture him in order to share some insights he gained from the Dark Side, also, let him in on his plan and maybe team up with him in order to kill Snoke. Or he simply wanted to check wether Luke was dead or not. Maybe his plan was to first kill Luke and then Snoke, leaving only him, the only one remaining with training in the Light and the Dark Side. Here opens another venue of speculation: Maybe Rey’s entry messed up Kylo’s plan because he did not factor in another Force user who would oppose him. Maybe this will be a major driver in the upcoming movies.
So, I think Kylo Ren is a double agent, not for the Jedi, but for his own agenda, which is to bring balance to The Force.
Here it is, the long-awaited first sequel to the original trilogy which ended with Return of the Jedi. I was a whole week late and had to do my best to avoid spoilers on various channels.
I was really jittery when I bought the ticket and then sat down in the cinema. I had heard good things but was still unsure. The memory of The Phantom Menace was still clinging to my mind like Mynok snot.
My worries were completely unfounded.
The short review: The Force is strong with this one!
Now for the longer one:
Right from the beginning, The Force Awakens, feels right. A clandestine meeting where important information is traded and then the action starts: Stormtroopers arrive and actually prove themselves to be able to hit something.
From this point forward, tension and action never leave the movie, you always get at least one of the two. The new main characters, Rey, Finn, Poe, Kylo Renn and BB-8 are each introduced in their own way and very fittingly and they fill their roles perfectly. The only time they get eclipsed as the main characters of the story is when Han Solo and Chewbacca make their entrance. After all, who could steal the show from those two living legends?
The new locations introduced are reminiscent of places well known to fans but are only a reminder, a view that touches a memory. They are not cheap copies of something that worked once before. One thing that is unique about The Force Awakens is how it handles the Force and how people who are strong in the Force experience the universe, especially when other things connected to the Force are involved.
The Force Awakens adds a lot of depth to the Star Wars Universe. We now not only get a female lead that is actually vital in driving the plot, we have a non-white lead and we have female combat personel on both sides. We also get a look into how the Empire used to and now the First Order recruits Stormtroopers.
The whole movie also feels more real than any of the prequel trilogy did, which had an almost plasticy feel too it. The old grit of the original trilogy is back. J J Abrams said on a number of occasions that he would go back to animatronics, masks etc. instead of using (and abusing) CGI. He was true to his word and the movie is all the better for it.
The Force Awakens is also full of little details, winks and nods to its predecessors, I caught a few but trying to find them all the first time I watched the movie would have been too distracting, so I guess I have to watch it again (and again, and again!)
Coming back to the characters, although Rey clearly takes center stage and is one great character and destined to [redacted] I thought Finn was more interesting. A reformed Stormtrooper with absolutely no social skills trying to do what his conscience tells him is the right thing. He is the accidental hero, and he gets to play with all the things (literally) the great ones of the first trilogy got to play with. The same is true for Rey, but she is [redacted]. I really love Rey, she is strong, independend, [redacted] and quite obviously a great person with a destiny, but Finn is something new, a character with no parallel in neither of the two previous trilogies.
And then there is Kylo Ren… The villain you hate to love but trust me, you will love him. He is everything Anakin Skywalker in the prequel trilogy should have been but failed to be. Kylo Ren brings more nuances to the Dark Side than either Vader, Dooku, Sidious, or Maul did. I am really looking foreward to seeing him in Star Wars VIII.
One thing I found lacking, though: The plot is far from original. The parallels to [redacted] are too obvious. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed The Force Awakens. I have already pre-ordered the DVD. J. J. Abrams has successfully ressourected the franchise from the ashes of the Prequels.
Disney keeps the excitement high and all of us glued to the screen with yet another teaser being dropped while the time to the grand reveal of Star Wars – The Force Awakens shrinks down to just over a month. Much of the footage in this one is known from previous trailers and teasers, but a few new tantalizing scenes to fuel speculation are also in there.
A while ago I featured the horror short film Love is a Grave. Now the company behind this movie is up to something new:
The year is 1868. In a swamp near the Louisiana Line, a man goes to the Crossroads to resurrect his lover.
And that is already everything known up to this point. The teaser trailer already looks promising, take a look:
There is an upcoming Indigogo campaign, starting at the 17th of August, I keep you posted and will follow this closely myself. It is not quite Herbert West, but hey, you can’t have Cthulhu and his Mythos everywhere, can you?
This is another gem that came in through the ætherbox.
Long after the last great cities have crumbled, Eugene is the last botanist on the planet,
in fact he may very well be the last of our ill-fated species.
Trapped indoors by an endless winter storm since he was a child, Eugene has but one friend:
OLIVE – his undersized, undernourished tree that is overborne with pesky flies. Together, inside of their ramshackle cottage built of spare parts, apocalyptic debris, and plain ol’ rubbish, their companionship has stood the test of time and decay.
But, as Olive’s sparse leaves begin to dry up and fall, this bond is in peril. As their only source of water, an intricate mechanical aqueduct clogs up and grinds to a stop, Eugene must meticulously clean and rebuild the aqueduct – racing to save life on Earth as we know it.
What an interesting and postapocalyptic-steampunk idea. I also like the quasi-ice-age setting. I added my own thoughts and story to a German steampunk universe set during an ice age on earth.
The story is intriguing, as is the concept artwork:
And this is the pitch, some background and the story behind the story and the movie:
Also, this is a very different take on the postapocalyptic and Steampunk settings, because Steampunk is rather optimistic in general but this project is set against a pretty harsh background and it is set in the distant future without any postapocalyptic or steampunk high-tech. From the information taht is available at the Kickstarter page, the aqueduct and the whole cottage is made from debris and junk. Ancient material and if there is any high tech somewhere, it has long since stopped functioning.
So, Olive promises to be a very uniqque and different movie experience, and, if you check their site, it is backed by an amazing array of talented people from the business. I am looking forward to seeing it completed. If you are interested, lend your support here: Olive – Kicktarter.
2015 is not a good year for living legends, it seems. Christopher Lee has passed on at the venerable age of 93.
Christopher Lee was one of those actors that do not need an introduction and he has very likely played more iconic roles over a greater period of time than any other actor in living memory, if ever.
Hammer Films‘ Dracula, Saruman, Count Dooku, to just name a few. On top of that, he had his own heavy metal project and was with British Intelligence during World War 2.
Rest in Peace, Sir, your memory will live on, you will be sorely missed. Send my best regards to your friend Peter Cushing.
When this blog was young, I featured a short piece called Lightning in the Bottle in two separate postings. Now, almost five years later, the creative head of Lightning in the Bottle, Drew Hall, has contacted me again.
He has teamed up with some amazing talent such as Alex Funke, Oscar winner for VFX on Lord of the Rings, to create an original Steampunk universe for the movie Aether: Rise of Specter.
The movie is not based on an alternate version of Earth but some other place entirely, with no connection to Earth at all. As Drew says:
Aether is a steampunk inspired science fiction film set in a world of flying cities, massive airships, and ghost towns. On the tiny island of Deos, the citizens in the small town of Specter struggle to survive, as the wealthy floating city of Wavelinde looms overhead serving as a constant reminder of oppression. Meanwhile, a storm is building in the savage mines held by the Bruewen. War is coming.
I have seen the trailers, outtakes and behind the scenes you can find at Drew’s Vimeo Channel, and I must say, they look amazing, the artwork, too!
I am talking about this (it’s just an appetiser!):
And here is a gallery with concept art and stills:
And now, make your way to their website and find out more, there is so much more! Let yourselves be amazed, this looks like the kind of indie Steampunk movie I have been waiting for, an original setting, stunning costumes and FX, mystery, adventure… Can’t wait to see the final product!