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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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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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Coming Nov 12th, 2019 is Spirited Away Collector’s Edition!

12 Aug

Studio Ghibli and GKIDS, with distribution by Shout! Factory, will issue Spirited Away in a beautiful collector’s edition release on November 12, 2019. The limited-edition set comes housed in an elegant hard slipcase, with a new 40-page book with stunning art and essays. Featured in a deluxe disc portfolio will be a Blu-ray™ of the film paired with hours of special features and the film’s soundtrack on CD, now available exclusively on disc in North America.

The set is available for pre-order now on ghiblicollection.com.

From the legendary Studio Ghibli, this wondrous fantasy film is one of the best-selling and internationally renowned films of all time, becoming the highest-grossing film in Japanese history in 2001. Winner of the Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature, Hayao Miyazaki’s epic adventure is a dazzling masterpiece from one of the most iconic filmmakers in the history of animation.

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Top Scares from Fantasia’s Things That Go Bump in The East 2019 Shorts Program

23 Jul

Image result for fantasia film festival 2019Runs: July 11 – August 1st
Montreal, Quebec

By Ed Sum 
(The Vintage Tempest)

This year, Fantasia Festival‘s “Things That Go Bump In The East” Shorts Program offers an eclectic mix of animated works which I’m savoring like fine wine. This year featured eleven works and plenty are from the Tokyo University of the Arts. Some of these will no doubt screen at other film festivals. We can find a few online, like Shishigari (a wonderful tale of survival with elements of Mononoke Hime tossed in) and the others–they are worth seeking to get your scream on.

Various cinematic and illustration styles are used to deliver the goosebumps. In what makes these films unique is in how the animators push the envelope not only in how 2D Digital Animation can tell the story but also with how Asian filmmakers are defining an age old genre.

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