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Internationalizing the Monster Hunt with its Sequel (捉妖记2)

18 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The only reason why the supernatural beasties in Monster Hunt (捉妖记) are cute than frightful is to make this product accessible for youths. The first film released in 2015 was very successful at the box office.

Three years later, the sequel is chiming in Chinese New Year! This latest live-action CGI marvel directed by Raman Hui (Shrek the Third) has more enthusiasm going for it. The team he assembled adds nuances which are globally recognized than making it a piece of traditional Chinese Fantasy — namely in world construction ala Harry Potter and the addition of musical numbers ala Walt Disney. Also, this tale is far more sentimental.

The adventures of Song Tianyin (Jing Boran) and Huo Xiaolan (Bai Baihe) continue. Although separated from Wuba, a creature that looks like a fat radish with a mop of grass hair, they still wonder how he is doing. The familial bond is important in this tale.

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Bringing Ethel and Ernest to Animated Life, A Movie Review

14 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Ethel and Ernest (voiced by Jim Broadbent and Brenda Blethyn) is a very nostalgic and sentimental animated film about these two individuals. It has an illustrative style reminiscent of Tintin. Based on the graphic novel of the same name written and illustrated by Raymond Briggs, this product certainly brings to life the ragtime era of Edwardian London in its opening act. Technically, the year is 1928 and all of this era’s sublime and romantic nature is the highlight. The music is recreated in its vintage glory and it steals the show. I was happily humming along.

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Tsukino Con by Night – Observations

12 Feb

On day two, Tsukino Con at night has the feel of being an entirely different show. It’s a nerd fiesta of adult’s only events and it’s not always about Japanese Animation. Rick and Morty fans can rejoice! Also on this list is the raunchy Swimsuit Showdown. Yes, this show requires bloopering out language and the craziness that goes on, but it’s the highlight of the second day. To hear the crowds bring the house down only shows how popular this event is. It has been running for at least 6 years. Newcomers can recognize who are regular attendees when everybody knows their name. Other panels like Whose Sassy Line is it Anime or The Room of Shame in this year’s event listing only had this reporter curious. To run around in a cold windy winter’s night was not my choice to discover everything, but it is a reason for why I should consider attending next year’s show.

For me, interest in watching cosplay, new anime or music videos during the day is limited. They’re staples for many a show and I’ve traveled far and wide so I’ve done the gambit. The variety of panels is dependent on the ideas applicants pitch. Overlap is inevitable. With this type of event, more people are keen to put on their favourite costume to and walk around in. As I was people watching, not everyone who was dressed up was a Japanese Animation character. Cat Noir from the cartoon Miraculous was seen walking around, Black Cat (not the one pictured below) from Marvel Comics graced the exhibit hall and a Stormtrooper did not try to stop anyone, inquiring about a droid.

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Thoughts on Toho’s Creation of Godzilla: Monster Planet

10 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

  • Spoiler Alert

Toho Picture‘s Gojira: Kaijū Wakusei (Monster Planet) had me asking a lot of questions and I had to view it at least three times to see if any answers lay buried in the layers.

Netflix’s quiet release of the first film of the series had me excited, and the tease it made has me thankful that the wait to see part two will not be too long. When considering Kessen Kidō Zōshoku Toshi (literal translation: Decisive Battle Mobile Breeding City) arrives May 2018 in Japan, it’s safe to assume the worldwide release by Netflix will be near the end of the year — if not beginning at the start of the next, if I’m to assume there’s a pattern. For the last film of this animated trilogy, it could sedge way to new live action films, or look at an earlier chapter altogether.

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