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Sarik Andreasyan’s Guardians to Hit Shelves Sept and Dec 5th

17 Aug

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The Guardians are coming. No, we are not talking about the Guardians of the Galaxy. Instead, a Russian-based team of superheroes will appear at Wal-Mart on September 5, 2017! This film is landing in America courtesy of Shout! Factory and will debut as a DVD first, and a Blu-ray on December 5th. Both will feature the English dub and original audio track (Russian), but at time of press, an official trailer by this distribution company is not available yet.

No reason is given for the delay of the higher definition version. When considering some of the stylistic effects work seen in the trailer, the wait for the latter will be worthwhile.

Part of this film’s appeal is in how it makes use of all the visual tropes known to represent the symbolic history of Russia. The Guardians is Sarik Andreasyan’s (American Heist) answer to the X-men. Although this group is similar to the Winter Guard (both have feature a were-bear as part of the team), this movie is by no means a carbon copy. A few people may look at Kahn as this film’s version of the Winter Soldier (Captain America).

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My Hopes for Stargate: Origins, an Editorial

5 Aug

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The news arrived a few weeks ago during San Diego Comic-con (SDCC) about a prequel series for the Stargate franchise. Afterwards, I had to rewatch the movie, read the novels, see the entire television series to find clues to answer myself about what I loved from the franchise which defines the experience and maybe answer where Origins may go.

In the episode “Torment of Tantalus,” Catherine Langford (Elizabeth Hoffman) revealed how the science team managed to activate the wormhole transportation tube. She lost her fiancée, Ernest Littlefield (Paul McGillion) in those early experiments and I can see how the 10 episode series can expand on this central plot. No details were offered at SDCC other than Mark Ilvedson and Justin Michael Terry are attached to writing this pilot season. The only detail revealed is that it will revolve around the daughter of archaeologist Paul Langford (who discovered the mysterious metallic ring). The timeline is tight. Filming is supposedly starting in August.

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Valérian & the City of a 1000 Planets Flounders in Space

21 Jul

valerian-v-poster-full-highres

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

Luc Bresson is a filmmaker with a fantastic range of movies under his belt. He can craft incredible material, namely The Fifth Element, and provide quality children’s entertainment in Arthur and the Invisibles. I particularly enjoyed his adaptation of the comic book The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec to film but with Valérian and the City of a Thousand Planets, something got lost in the translation. His latest film had an exciting start and was off to the races with its two prologues.

Sadly, it loses steam by the third act and I found myself not caring for the hero, Valérian (Dane DeHaan), saving the day. He has to prevent an alien race from going extinct and show to Laureline (Cara Delevingne) that he’s serious about pursuing a relationship with her. Val is a philanderer, and Laureline wants nothing to do with him. They are a meant to be a crime busting duo of time-agents who should implicitly trust each other much like how Mulder and Scully have to in The X-Files. The trust needs to be earned if she is to accept his proposition to marry. This early plot reveal could have defined the entire movie, but it gets ignored during massive set pieces which communicate a different story.

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Could War for the Planet of the Apes Be The End of the Saga?

13 Jul

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
*Spoiler Alert

No previous knowledge is required to get up to speed before War for the Planet of the Apes. This third and possibly final film of the trilogy recaps the essential bits of lore needed to show that life on Earth is bad not only for ape-kind but also the humans. The Simian virus has taken its toll on humanity and it’s an ongoing threat which is evolving before the survivor’s very eyes. Those who are still around have banded together in enclaves and think extermination is key to reclaiming their position in the animal hierarchy.

Caesar (Andy Serkis) is the leader and he just wants his tribe to be left alone. They are not at completely at fault for the calamity. However, there are soldiers who think otherwise. Colonel (Woody Harrelson) leads a nearby army faction thinking he can do what’s best. Unfortunately, his motives do not jibe with other groups, and he’s considered a renegade. After he killed the wrong apes in a midnight raid, these two leaders are going to face each other head on. Well, that’s if nothing else gets in their way. Both are facing their own demons.

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