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Millennium Actress and her Wonderful Life is Coming to Home Video this Week!

8 Dec

Release Date:
December 10, 2019

Some viewers of anime will most likely think Que Sera Cera when looking back at those fond memories offered in Satoshi Kon’s seminal classic Millennium Actress (千年女優). The upcoming home video release this week is perfect for the Holiday season; watching this film is much like catching It’s A Wonderful Life. Both works are classics for a reason.

The anime was the Grand Prize winner in the Japan Agency of Cultural Affairs Media Arts Festival back when it first released in 2002. It also took home the Ofuji Noburo Award at the 2002 Mainichi Film Awards, and honoured with the Orient Express Award at the 2001 Festival de Cine de Sitges.

This rerelease is a remastered which saw limited theatrical release over the summer. For the winter, it will live again.

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Every Breath You Take with Funan, on Home Video Dec 3rd!

2 Dec

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Release Date:
Dec 3rd, 2019

GKIDS & Shout! Factory

Funan is a deeply personal look into the life and times of Chou (voiced by Bérénice Bejo) when she faces more than a life separated from her family. Her story is based on writer/director Denis Do’s own experiences. It’s mostly about the stories his mother passed down. Her trials of wanting to reunite with her loved ones following the Cambodian uprising of the Khmer Rouge regime was difficult. This switch of power took place in April 1975 and lasted till 79.

Do hits a home run with the screenplay. The dialogue about how this new political party supposedly can do good seems brash. I see it as a conflict of one man’s ideals versus another’s in a matter of national pride. The English dub is reasonably well done, even though I switched to watching the French language version; translations can only go far and I wanted to see this work as it was originally intended. As I watched this heartbreaking movie, I can’t help but think the lyrics to The Police’s song, “Every Breath You Take” take on new meaning here. The story of love, loss and hope is every bit as powerful as the song because, quite literally, the new regime’s eyes are everywhere and ready to strike (for all the wrong reasons).

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Buñuel in the Labrynth of the Turtles

20 Nov

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Released:
Nov 12, 2019

GKIDS & Shout! Factory

Mild Spoiler Alert

Ask any modern art critic what this medium is about, and you’ll get a variety of answers. It’s either a social call to arms, a reflection of life or nothing at all. Sometimes it’s easier to understand a talent’s work by examining the life and times. Anyone studying early film is likely to come across the works of Luis Buñuel. The animated look of this auteur by Salvador Simó is a captivating analysis and one I had to view a few times.

Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles concerns his attempt into the making Las Hurdes (Land Without Bread). The filmmaker was near broke because his last movie (L’Age d’Or) branded him a heretic and he needed a new investor if he’s examining an impoverished region with a higher than usual adoption rate. Also, the medieval conditions he saw was something he had to express (through surreal imagery) to the world through his own profound use of visual shock therapy.

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When Boot Hill Wouldn’t Do … Eminence Hill VOD Review

4 Nov

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Uncork’d Entertainment

VOD & DVD Release Date:
November 5, 2019

Robert Conway’s skill in the horror genre is served well in Eminence Hill. This film title sounds like it should be a video game but instead, it’s a feature film that got limited theatrical screenings before coming out on VOD (Google Play and iTunes) and DVD tomorrow. Unlike Silent Hill, the horror elements are very light. It’s subdued enough to a degree where Rod Serling would approve–if made into a Twilight Zone episode. When considering a format, a lot would have to be cut to fit into the time slot and that would help with this film’s pacing.

When Royce’s (Clint James) gang finds themselves in a self-serving community trying to recapture Ruth (Anna Harr), a girl they kidnapped, life isn’t going to be easy for the outlaws in a tale set in the wild west. She finds herself at a hidden community, and these homesteaders seem innocent enough. Their ‘pious’ life hides something else.

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