All Revved Up for the Fate of the Furious

27 Apr

furiousposter_0By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The ride is not over for the gang in The Fate of the Furious (F8). This franchise is still going strong since its beginnings in 2001 and even though it hit bumps along the way, I was thrown off and did not want to necessarily continue following until word of mouth coaxed me back.

Director F. Gary Gray keeps the visual action moving at a steady pace. There was never a dull moment and I had to whoop at the introduction fondly recalling how this film franchise started — all about racing — before dealing with heist scenarios and counter-espionage. While some knowledge of all the films is helpful before going to see this latest entry, at least I still remembered the basics:

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Reading Mokoto Shinkai’s “Your Name” as a Monomyth

25 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Plenty of praise and examinations have been given to Makoto Shinkai‘s Your Name since its debut last year. Although this film is essentially a romantic comedy, I was more enamoured with the mythic elements. This filmmaker took the best from other cultural traditions and wrote a Twilight Zone style story which I liked. This movie has an East clashing with the West attitude. It shows when Mitsuha Miyamizu (Mone Kamishiraishi), a young girl from a rural part of Japan, yearns for a life in modern Tokyo and makes the mistake of wishing upon a falling star.

She wanted to shirk cultural traditions and from there, I knew where this film was going. Since classical times, spotting such a fireball was often feared more than regarded as divine intervention. If a prayer is said upon seeing it, just what happens can go any which way. In this film’s case, both are considered!

Comet Tiamat is getting closer to the Earth and it is the raison d’être for how this tale comes together. She’s not always a creation goddess but is also representative of primordial chaos. This chunk of rock and ice could have been given any name, and some viewers may wonder why this Babylonian figure is used? My theory is that this name was chosen to make viewers of this anime aware that this film is a shōjo product through and through. Her essence is everywhere. From the Earth to the Heavens, in the offerings at the shrine and coming visible at twilight, a sense of omnipotence can be felt as she comes closer to Earth affecting the main character, Miyamizu-chan.

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Video

[Trailer] May the Force Be with “Mom and Me” Beginning May 5th

23 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Mother’s Day is not until May 14th, and for some families, they go all out to pay tribute to the matriarch of the family. Some moms may do what they do raising their children out of how they were raised and others only want the best. Mother and Me is a very moving documentary by writer-director Ken Wardrop and it will see its premiere May 5th in theaters and on VOD.

The Hollywood Reporter describes this product as “nicely judged mirror on life and feelings,” and FilmIreland says this film “captures the universal experience of motherly love perfectly.”

From Liberty Talk Radio, Joe Cristiano explores how the manliest men from the manliest state in the Union, Oklahoma, feel about their mothers. He gets them to call in to talk about their relationship with their moms on air, and in what this documentary shows, there’s bound to be surprises that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

No, The Lost City of Z is not about Zombies! An Analysis & Review

21 Apr

the_lost_city_of_z_28film29By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The Lost City of Z
is one of those rare films which does not glamorize the pulps, where exploring the world means danger in every turn! Many old-time radio shows over dramatize these stories so listeners are invested to tune in next week, and not many — at least to my knowledge — lay the world grounded in reality. They are more like heroic fiction than anything else. When considering this biography takes place circa 1912 and spans nearly two decades, there’s a lot of ground to cover.

This film written and directed by James Gray does a fantastic job of detailing the life of adventurer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) from his days of being an intrepid socialite to explorer to soldier (and back), and his conflict with “high society” which led to whether or not he is accepted amongst his peers because of something his father did. Ultimately, this film is about father and son relationships instead of seeing how Nina (Sienna Miller) stayed devoted to him. Some may say he is out carousing through jungles in search for a lost city and fighting in World War I as a means of escape. He knew he had a duty to his country than to his family, and while the latter plight gets explored to a tiny degree, I doubt a full look at his family life could have been done. Sacrifice had to be made to emphasize which narrative matters. In this movie’s case, the various conflicts tends to focus on matters of male ego, especially when he has a rival of sorts in the Royal Geographical Society.

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