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Top Animated Features to Look Forward to in 2020

22 Jan

nullBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The 2020 season of animated features is big, and we’re going to see the return of Gru! With streaming video platforms now the norm, distribution is not limited to what’s playing on the big screen. In what I offer is a list of coming works that I’m personally very excited for.

Not a lot of anime is mentioned in this list save for one. They are a unique world onto itself and deserves its own list.

Las Leyendas: El Origen
April 17

Anyone who has watched Netflix’s Legend Quest will be in for a treat! The Hispanic horror-comedy directed Ricardo Arnaiz and produced by Mexican animation studio, Ánima Estudios has gained a loving reputation. It shares the same DNA as Gravity Falls and the character designs are not too different. Instead of a brother and sister team, the tale focuses on a boy who can talk to dead people.

Leo San Juan is your take-charge kind of personality. His companions include a ghost girl, Teodora; a loony old knight, Don Andrés, the mythical dragon (if he can be called that), Alebrije; and two calaveras (skeleton kids), Finado and Moribunda. This film is the origin story about them.

They have to help a human infant who looks trapped in the afterlife. Whether this baby walked through the Espejo Eternal (“eternal mirror”)–a portal that separates the Realm of the Living and the Dead—by accident or not, the details are uncertain. Finando and Moribunda has to protect the tyke from what may be the Mexican version of Charon. As a side-story, I can’t help but be excited for what two skeleton kids can do to keep this franchise ongoing.

Scoob!
May 15

Yes, I’m a sucker for a good Scooby Doo mystery. In this reboot, we see how a pup without a name get named and how he met Shaggy Rogers. Soon, the rest of the gang are reintroduced in modern fashion. It’s weird to not see Fred sporting his trademark ascot, but with a franchise that’s 50 years old, modernizing it is a must. Even Daphne and Velma get an update to their dated look.

As for whether or not this film is a step in the right direction for keeping interest alive, I’ll take a look. This film brings a handful of classic Hanna-Barbera characters into the fold in a not all to surprising shared universe concept. As long as Captain Caveman and Blue Falcon is done right, it’s all good.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
May 22

With this third film, the huge selling point is to see when Spongebob met Gary, his pet snail.

There’s more to their relationship which holds them together. When the gastropod gets snail napped by the sea god Poseidon, my biggest question is why? Does the mewing mollusc possess something the god need? Or is Gary a snail on a mission from god?

The shenanigans will no doubt be crazy, but as long as we get a good story instead of a lengthy sitcom, I’m curious in where this film will go and hope I won’t need earplugs in the end.

Soul
June 19

Joe Gardner is the Soul Man. Well, not quite yet. He’s dreamed of making it big, but is instead a middle school music teacher. When an accident robs him of this life, hopefully his afterlife will be better (or not).

He has to help others who are not as hopeful if he’s to earn his wings. When his heaven (or is that purgatory?) is “You Seminar,” the concept seems scarier than sitting in on a long motivational Ted Falk.

When PIXAR is behind this work, the story will be inspirational. The Jazz soundtrack will no doubt be the driving force behind this work.

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Evangelion: 3.0+1.0
June 27

After 13 long years, the complete Rebuild of Evangelion is finally here! I’ve been holding off watching these set of films (well, except the first).

When Hidiki Anno took time off to make Shin Godzilla. I’m not complaining. He’s a master of his craft, and I feel he can do not wrong. With this final release, I can plan for a weekend of seeing all the films together and try not to cry.

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Looking Back with Candice Woodward & Realizing Toy Store Time Machine

12 Jan

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on Amazon USA, Google Books and at the store, Cherry Bomb Toys.

Toys not only fuel but also power the imagination. Candice Woodward’s debut children’s book, Toy Store Time Machine: Robots in Peril, shows how important they are to any child’s growth and how this philosophy matters. Not only does it teach good wholesome values but also it’s a fun read! She’s the second in her family who’s now published. Her sister, Olivia, has her own dark fantasy series. Getting recognized in the competitive market of children’s literature is difficult, and while she did try with major publishers, this new author realized self-publishing with Balboa Press is the best way to get her ideas out.

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The Stakes were Never Big in Netflix’s Dracula

6 Jan

Image result for bbc dracula posterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Just how many reimaginings of Bram Stoker’s Dracula do we need? Let me count the works from this century: there’s at least a dozen—Untold, Dark Prince, and Reborn are perhaps the closest they can get to the book’s lore. The rest sticks around even after being “killed” so he remains a threat to humanity.

Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) and Steven Moffat (Doctor Who) developed this latest take and it’s a curious mix of period drama and Hammer style horror. This three-part series has each episode nearly movie length. Like the novel, it begins conveniently enough with Jonathan Harker (John Heffernan) visiting the Count (Claes Bang) and Mina (Morfydd Clark) swearing her eternal love. The nobleman has other plans and his lust for both the male and female gender goes nowhere fast. Either he’s too decrepit to get off, or those tones brought down for Netflix’s broadcasting standards.

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Top Blockbuster Films to Look Forward to in 2020

4 Jan

Image result for dolittleBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Plenty of films are coming this year to make Disney the dominant force in entertainment again. Good or bad, this company is the engine that keeps on churning them out.

Tom Holland is keeping busy as details for the third Spider-Man film are being hammered out. As much as I like to see a certain anvil shaped villain enter the fore, it’s unlikely and the next film feels like it’s two years away than happening soon. After the success of Far From Home, I’m wanting more of this brand of Marvel and Sony Pictures magic!

On the live action front, I’m honestly impressed The Mouse is bringing the first title back to its roots. Thus begins a chronological list of films worth checking out:

Dolittle

January 17, 2020

Robert Downey Jr. will forever be remembered as Tony Stark Jr., aka Iron Man. Some may even cheer as he’s also Sherlock Holmes. Very few fans of this man will recall he was Chaplin—perhaps the best work he’s done in his prime. Now this man of a thousand characters is the seminal Doctor Dolittle, a Disney film which finally honours the setting to which the original stories by Hugh Lofting took place. Star power is definitely needed here.

Love those movies or hate ’em, I had no problems with Eddie Murphy’s version. They were made during a time as he shifted from a raunchy comedian to family guy. The studio was willing to take a chance on him, including suggesting a next generation to keep the franchise alive (which thankfully never happened)

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