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Hey Ricky, Oh Lucy! is not What You Think … A Movie Review

12 Jun

oh_lucyBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Atsuko Hirayanagi’s Oh Lucy! is an indie film which can easily evoke feelings of self-pity for those believing they are in the same boat as her. When life tears you down, you are middle-aged and have nothing great to look forward to in life, just what can you do? Some people will get a handle on it and add excitement. Others feel resigned to their fate. They stop trying. I know of a certain person like that and can only feel sorry for him. All I can hope is that one day he will wake up, and achieve happiness. In my experience, that’s not easy to do unless chances are made, and risks are taken.

In this film, I wonder if Setsuko (Shinobu Terajima) even has people she can call true friends. This actress is terrific at creating a deadpan attitude and to go into that place to convey what looks like eternal sadness. She’s simply trying to survive life in the concrete jungle known as Tokyo. After witnessing a suicide in the subway, her reaction and lack of empathy make me wonder how rough can life in the city be? I lost a good buddy decades ago. He had the pressures of living up to family expectations and the Japanese societal norm. We had good times hanging out when he was still in Canada, but when the family decided to go back to Japan, things changed.

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Batman Ninja invades Home Video! DVD Review

27 May

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Before fans of Batman’s animated products can ask, Batman Ninja is not an Elseworlds product. That’s Gotham by Gaslight. With this direct to video product, Gorilla Grodd made a time displacement machine which went awry. It sent everyone back in time. Depending on how close the heroes and villains were to the epicentre, they were thrown to all the way to Japan despite the fact the battle took place in Gotham, at Arkham Asylum, somewhere along the Western side of North America.

Bats arrives two years later in a village and learns Penguin, Poison Ivy, Deathstroke and Joker established themselves as feudal lords. Each reign over a territory and are fighting amongst themselves to determine who shall rule. This change in history may well stick—where are the Legends of Tomorrow when you need them?

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Riding Bean is Mounting a Comeback on Kickstarter!

21 May

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Fans of Kenichi Sonoda has been asking him for years if there will ever be a Riding Bean sequel and at long last, he’s off to the races to make it happen through crowdfunding. The Kickstarter page shows he is at the halfway point.

To make a full-length original animation video or movie cost a lot of money. To make a short is not beyond reason. His goal is to produce a five minute piece. Should support skyrocket they will give value back to the fans by extending the length of the work. A 24-minute production is not beyond reason, but to hire the talent and get back the cast to voice this production will require time and perhaps investment by other folks within the industry.

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Gunsmith Cats Purrs on Kickstarter!

17 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Just in case fans of older anime have not heard, Gunsmith Cats (GSC) is getting a video upgrade. No, we are not talking about 4K, but the Kickstarter crowd funding project for the ultimate Blu-ray edition started a few weeks ago, and it exceeded the goal, at the time of writing, by three times! My expectation is that it will hit a multiple of five by the campaign’s end.

This work was first published in Kodansha’s Afternoon (from 1991 to 1997), and translated by Studio Proteus for Dark Horse Comics for an international release. Its success meant omnibus collections. Following the sequel, Burst (2004 to 2008) continued the adventures. The anime was released in 1995. While it was not as verbose as the printed material, completists enjoyed this complementary work.

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