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Predator: The Original Screenplay is Green for a Reason!

21 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Despite an iffy future for the Predator franchise, I’ve enjoyed the first film for what it was–a tale of who is the alpha. Whether that belonged to man or alien, that was besides the point. Arnold Schwarzenegger and all the heavyweights from that time certainly exercised their testosterone.

The challenge I found was in balancing a “Shootout at the OK corral” type narrative with something of mystery–about alien invaders coming to Earth and in this film, it was all about sport! However, what the first two films created was an intrigue for a species rooted in our primal lore about simply surviving. The mythology was never set in stone. It was made up on the spot as new writers and producers joined the fore. Original producer Joel Silver turned the first treatment that was more pulp science fiction orientated into a cat and mouse style chase.

The sequels and merchandise that followed–including Dark Horse’s foray into cross media projects –had me excited to see just how far back this species visited Earth. I was deadly curious to see how this society works, and now (and no doubt due to the success of William Gibson’s Aliens 3 getting printed), we get to see another screenplay adapted to comic book form! To see how much of Jim and John Thomas screenplay survived will have me very curious, and waiting for this work to hit stands.

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On Isa Willinger’s Hi A.I. and When Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

11 Feb

nullBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Playing at Victoria Film Festival 2020
Feb 12 | 3:15 PM | SilverCity #3

Spoiler Alert

Isa Willinger‘s Hi A.I. is a bizarre and long documentary about attempting to replicate human behaviour. This filmmaker shows how they work in the modern world than science fiction. We all worry about something along the lines of Terminator ala Skynet or I, Robot will take a decade or two more to realize before coders can replicate how the brain works to create that level of uncertainty.

Thankfully, this film is not about the dangers of artificial intelligence. If we can ignore the aspect of trying to put the technology into a human body (it’s still creepy to look at no matter what), the possibilities are endless. We are not there for cognitive ability, but it’s fascinating to see where we are with it now. The creations on display here aren’t ghosts in the shell or a machine either. Gilbert Ryle explains cognizance quite well and reference to his work was brief.

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[Victoria Film Festival 2020] Entering the Vast of the Night, A Movie Review

9 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Spoiler Alert

When much of the movie takes place in the Vast of the Night, the movie theatre (or your home video setup when it arrives to streaming) better be colour corrected to enjoy the picturesque nuances crafted by director Andrew Patterson and cinematographer M.I. Littin-Menz. Even the use of solid blacks for long moments of dialogue gives a sense of you’re listening to a radio play than a feature length film.

The technical work behind this micro budget film is nothing but short of brilliant. I suspect the cameraman used a drone to create a beautiful long tracking sequence which stretched from one end of a small town to another. The tale, without giving too much away, deals with themes common for the era it’s set in–fear of the cold war and a threat nobody expects.

We’re not talking about what’s happening south of the border either. In Cayuga, New Mexico, all seems normal. The two nerdy teens, a self-assured Everett (Jake Horowitz) who works at the radio station and a very gabby Fay (Sierra McCormick), a switchboard operator, are the focus. Both performers have a sweet chemistry as they try to figure out what’s going on in true Hitchcock fashion. They are very capable of solving the best crimes in ala Nancy Drew too. It’s easy for me to know the outcome because of my enjoyment of this sci-fi suspense genre, but these kids are in the dark until the adults they are in contact with reveal an unsettling truth. To know more, this review is split. Huge spoilers are coming.

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The Vintage Tempest’s Picks of the Victoria Film Festival

5 Feb
Image result for victoria film festival 2020

Runs Feb 7 to 16th at various locations in Victoria, BC

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

By my count, I believe the Victoria Film Festival is celebrating 25 glorious years! Congratulations! I remember starting to go see this event when they are younger way back when, with Edison and Leo (2008). catching my attention. As a fan of all forms of animation, I found it tough to find the indie material to watch on the big screen.

After that was The Chef of South Polar (2009) to cater to my foodie interests. This organization has  Feast! (runs in the month of June ) for those who love the theme of food, and B-Fest to celebrate the best of pop culture cinema over the summer.

This local event began in 1995 and grew to include the series, “In Conversation With” and “Jammies & Toons.” Both are worth going to, as this event never fails to get fascinating directors or performers to discuss their work. This year they got Bill Nighy and in no time flat, the event is sold out! I’m not surprised and am sad I was not swift as Davy Jones to snag my ticket.

My picks for this year include: Continue reading