The Power of Grayskull Hits Home Video Sept 3rd! & Other News

20 Aug

Image result for the power of grayskullAvailable on Netflix
Coming to home video, DVD on Sept 3
High Octane Pictures

When Masters of the Universe is looking like the reboot movie to keep an eye on, perhaps it’s time to revisit the merchandise that inspired it. Mattel once lamented over the missed opportunity when an offer crossed the desk of then CEO Roy Wagner to produce Star Wars toys. After seeing how successful that went, they missed the boat. The race was on by many toy manufacturers to produce the next big thing. Sadly, that meant licensing nearly every fantasy or sci-fi movies made under the sun in that quest to find El Dorado. Thankfully, a few creative minds got the right idea, but to maintain the fan base has been a struggle.

The conflict has always been with having associated media to keep interest alive. Randall Lobb and Robert McCallum‘s documentary, THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL: The Definitive History of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe explores the hurdles involved over the years in why this franchise is still reverent. According to a few chiefs at Toys r Us back then, 5-year-olds don’t read comic books. Mattel’s answer was to make a TV show.

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Is Live Action Bubblegum Crisis Vapourware?

18 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The time is right for a Bubblegum Crisis live-action film. The digital special effects needed to pull off such a tale is at a state where people in power armour suits look believable and the robots they are supposed to fight–cyborgs (known as Boomers in the lore)–can look terrifyingly real. Alita: Battle Angel is the perfect example. But where is it?

Since the early part of this decade, nothing has materialized. IGN’s article stated, “Production houses from Singapore, Japan, Australia, Canada, China and the UK will work together on the $30m movie, with a 2012 release planned.” Many years have passed since then, and perhaps the reason nothing has happened is that either the technology is not quite there or they could not find the right performers to play the seminal characters of Sylia Stingray, Priss Asagiri, Linna Yamazaki, and Nene Romanova.

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The Shadow You Are & Deep Within, the Shadow You Aren’t

16 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Released Aug 13, 2019
Well GO USA

Zhang Yimou’s Shadow is a kind of wuxia film to be best watched on the big screen for its details and colour contrasts. After being enthralled, it should be viewed again on home video to understand its complex narrative. I certainly needed it especially since it last played theatrically at Fantasia Fest 2019.

This tragic tale of court drama is the type I feel Shakespeare will love, and if there is a person whom I feel is damned, that would be the king’s Commander Ziyu (Deng Chao). He challenged General Yang (Hu Jun) from a nearby settlement to a duel without royal authorization and this battle complicates things.

King Peiliang (Zhang Kai) wants that city back under his rule. He goes as far as offering his sister Princess Qingping (Guan Xiaotong) as a wife for Yang’s son, and she doesn’t like the idea at all. To make matters worse, the shadow (to which this movie gets its name) is a doppelgänger masquerading as Ziyu while the real one is recovering. Only his wife Madam (Sun Li) knows and if things are not bad enough, she has feelings for the lookalike.

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How to Celebrate Hungry Ghost Festival Aug 15th

14 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Ghost Month will reach its perigee on August 15th. At the Hungry Ghost Festival (盂兰盆节), these once human souls are permitted to visit the living world and some may visit their descendents to see how they are doing. On this day, we venerate them with happiness and acknowledge their existence. We save the first row in any performance venue for them to sit there. Anyone who tries may well feel a chill!

This time of the year is a different sort of Halloween. As for what believers can do in preparation is to beware of certain practices lest the spirit attaches itself. This can range from avoiding wearing clothing that is red or black to not killing insects crawling around–they may be someone’s grandparents reincarnated. The best thing to do with the latter is to catch and release the critter outside.

Superstitions aside, some fans of horror cinema may opt to get into the mood. Instead of scaring ourselves silly, we may opt to look at supernatural comedies. My choices have to fit the criteria of how the spirit world interacts with reality. Instead of a top five, I have six on my list. In my culture, we consider this number lucky. Amongst my favourites that are distinctly Asian and PG-13 in tone are:

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