Archive | DVD Reviews RSS feed for this section

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.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Star Trek DS9: What We Left Behind Lands on Home Video!

6 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Release Date: August 6, 2019
Distributor: Shout! Factory

Spoiler Alert

Special Offer: The special edition contains a second Blu-Ray disc with additional material, and is limited to 1,500 copies. It is only available on ShoutFactory.com

The regular home video release of the documentary Star Trek DS9: What We Left Behind includes what’s left on the cutting room floor to make this look back of this series perfect. Usually the amount of clips offered may reach up to six, and sometimes a dozen. I was dumbfounded to find 17 in all! And one of them addressed my most favourite episode, “Take Me Out to the Holosuite.” The set up at the end credits explains it all. I highly recommend watching this work completely to the end.

Not everyone will have seen this work at its limited cinema and convention screenings. When I first heard of it, I did not have the spare funds to support the Indiegogo campaign. For those who did, a bevy of exclusive material can be found in the video vault on the official website.

Continue reading

Life on the Penguin Highway is Never Sane

4 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Distributor: Shout! Factory
Release Date: August 6, 2019

The anime adaptation of Tomohiko Morimi’s novel, Penguin Highway, is coming to home video! Those who have not seen this anime last year at Fantasia 2018 either had to wait for a local (film festival) screening or this Tuesday. Life is certainly a highway for young Aoyama (Kana Kita), a 4th grader with an IQ of about 105. He aspires to be a scientist, and hopes to visit the moon one day. But first, he has to answer the question of why penguins–who typically prefer cold arctic conditions–are in a sleepy suburb of humid Japan.

He meets a young woman whom he calls Lady (Yuu Aoi) who works at his dentist’s office, and they form an unlikely friendship. Life at school is rough. He’s rather stuffy since everyone identifies him as a nerd. As a result, he’s constantly teased and bullied. He can stand up for himself but he is stronger when his two friends are there to help. Ultimately, the narrative does not differ from, for example, Trollhunters. His just-as-nerdy pal, Uchida (Rie Kugimiya) tries but Hamamoto (Megumi Han) ends up being more handy. The threesome eventually even has the bully team up to deal with a mysterious orb found in a meadow nestled deep in a forest. Just what it is, nobody knows.

Continue reading

There’s No Need to Be Afraid of The Big Bad Fox

15 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Release Date: July 16, 2019
GKIDS and Shout! Factory

The Big Bad Fox (Le Grand Méchant Renard et autres contes…) is a delightful, hilarious children’s book by Benjamin Renner and it’s animated counterpart is just as whimsical. The breezy watercolours featured in this hand-drawn work was very meditative. The poke at simple life was just as illustrious to the work I also recall in the printed Winnie the Pooh books.

The film released two years after the publication (2015) and what it offers are three shorts within a variety show format featuring Pig (Justin Edwards), Rabbit (Adrian Edmonson), Duck (Bill Bailey) and the titular Fox (Giles New, Pirates of the Carribean movies). More barnyard creatures pepper the background and this parable has a lot to offer to keep the kid in me entertained for years to come. This work is all ages friendly!

Continue reading