On What Raya and the Last Dragon Lacks…

8 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon is a very paint-by-numbers animated film which lacks originality. We are introduced to another princess with her pet, and we get to visit a distinct part of Asia! If I had to say which movie knows its mythology, Moana wins hands down!

The world of Laos, Malaysia and Indonesia is the spotlight in this latest film and sadly, the missed opportunities I noticed are plentiful. The distinguishing features of each region aren’t really played up and the story lacks a spiritual significance. Each nation has lost their focus ever since a magical crystal that can keep the Druun–rejected shadowy entities from Studio Ghibli’s Mononoke Hime–shattered.

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On-Gaku Our Sound and the Post Punk Movement?

6 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Shout! Factory
Release Date: March 9, 2021

Defining On-Gaku: Our Sound will not be easy. We hear a cacophony of musical genres, and not all of them are mainstream. Perhaps it’s because Writer/Director Kenji Iwaisawa was very DIY in his approach. He went old school (hand-drawn) to craft this unique film, and his art style is very non-traditional. We don’t get the wide-eyed manga work. Instead, it’s a mix of Constructivism, Minimalism and maybe Dada. The way he draws his character’s eyes tells all here, and the fisheye look gives his character designs a quality which is very hypnotic.

I particularly like the fluidity found when rotoscoping frames of a film camera onto paper. I’m fairly certain Dire Straits music video “Money for Nothing” is an influence and instead of being very artsy, the technique is more earthy and subdued.

The home video release has a great selection of featurettes which not only goes behind the scenes but also gets you in the mood to see the film again! Even better are the live performances of nearly half the soundtrack!

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Video

The Masters of Spinjitzu Heads into Season 14 This Weekend!

4 Mar

Teletoon Premiere Date

March 7, 2021

Please check listings for showtimes in your area.

The next season of LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu may well go full on Island of Doctor Moreau! Or should that be discovering the secrets of this franchise’s version of Easter Island? Officially, the story is about rescuing Misako, Master Wu, and Clutch Powers. They went on an expedition and the trailer suggests what they are searching for is an amethyst crystal. When Clutch is involved, I’m guessing the team up was to search for some relic about this world’s past.

This concept behind this chapter might be appropriate to celebrate the tenth anniversary year of the series.

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All Eyes are on Superman & Lois

4 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Thankfully, Superman & Lois‘ entry into the Arrowverse is a departure from all the other DCEU television shows. When most of these programs are dealing with superheroic adventures of the title character to save the Earth (or someone) from a villain of the week, this take has a different focus. These parents have to teach their values to the next generation!

The world found here continues with Tyler Hoechlin playing Clark Kent. I still have trepidation whenever he’s in Kal-El mode. He’s certainly gained some mass since appearing in Supergirl, but the look doesn’t work. Part of the reason is that his hair is too slicked back. Over the years after Reeve took on the role in cinemas, finding the ideal actor who can fill in the suit (after his passing) has been tough. Brandon Routh’s swagger makes playing Supes easy and he easily channels the awkwardness of being a Clark that Christopher made famous.

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