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Is Dune Doomed Because This Film is a Two-Parter?

24 Oct

DUNE 2021 Movie Poster: duneBe Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Star power won’t necessarily make Denis Villeneuve’s Dune the most memorable. Names like Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, and Jason Momoa will bring their fans in, but they’ll be disappointed. Just how often they are on screen is no different than the 1984 product. Back then, the stars included Sting and Max Von Sydow. Even Patrick Stewart had a role before becoming widely known in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Ultimately, this film’s success depends on a willingness to sit through a 150min long movie. The many introductions made the pacing tough to get through. Also, Frank Herbert’s very dense work is not for everyone. In a nutshell, the saga he created is about whoever controls the drug, Melange, can hold the galaxy hostage. It’s known as “The Spice” and it can give frequent users prolonged life and psychotropic abilities.

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Comparing the Old with the New: Universal Classic Monster: Icons Collection in 4K

10 Oct

Universal Classic Horror Monsters Scaring 4K UHD Blu-ray October 5th |  High-Def DigestBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available to purchase on Amazon USA

The Universal Classic Monsters will shine this Halloween. All the icons from the Golden Age of Cinema from this studio–Dracula, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man and The Wolfman–have been given a recent restoration, and now they’re in 4K! The quality is beautiful, and the hard slipcase booklet is a sweet way to keep the discs intact. It features the poster used when the film first came out.

There’s some film grain and audio buzz, which is to be expected, in the product. I’m glad some of the celluloid feel is kept, while the frame rate is increased.

Anyone who collected these older works from one medium to another over the years knows the challenges involved. Whether that’d be from VHS to DVD to Bluray and now 4K, there’s only so much the preservation team can do before putting the original negatives back in the vault. Dracula will be glad, and The Invisible Man can rest in peace.

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Vancouver International Film Festival @40 Years! and Genre Picks

2 Oct

Reviewed: New Logo and Identity for Vancouver International Film Festival  by Cause+Affect | UX AgencyOctober 1 to 11th * Various Venues * Vancouver, British Columbia

The Vancouver International Film Festival is terrific in spotlighting international films and don’t always have a wide selection of genre picks. When they do, especially during their ruby anniversary year, there’s reason to cheer! Anyone who’ve missed seeing a few films from Fantasia have a second chance here!

Most of these titles are geo-locked to this province and in-person attendence is most likely capped. Anyone with questions can also read the Health & Safety Guidelines in the official VIFF website.

On my list of notable pieces to view are:

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The Fabulous Filipino Brothers at the LAPAFF!

2 Oct

Items- Rukus Avenue Music GroupBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Aratani Theatre @ JACCC
Oct 2, 2021
8:00 pm

Dante Basco‘s wicked sense of humour, or love of his own family dynamic in The Fabulous Filipino Brothers, defines much of his life in the streets of Pittsburg, California. The question of how much was real life versus fictionalized has me wondering how this Wonder Years type of film came about. Or should that be Malcolm in the Middle? They’re definitely boyz n the hood, in the non-traditional New York sense, with a touch of hip hop in an excellent soundtrack that I hope gets an album release.

This slice of life comedy about four Filipino brothers is very likable. I want to be part of their pamilya. Between their independence and dependence, their stories look at different sides of dealing with life’s many hurdles. A lot of it deals with inter-personal relationships outside of the homestead. I doubt they are parodies of themselves, but Dante, Dionysio, Derek, and Darion Basco are distinct personalities, and it wonderfully gets played up through the eyes of a camera lens.

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Three Filipino Films at LA’s Asian Film Festival in Review

30 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Playing at the Regal L.A. LIVE: Barco Innovation Center will be a treat for those looking to expand their horizons with Filipino produced works. One is actually Canadian because that’s where the director is from (Fanny), but as for why this county matters, it’s easy to see how their influence is shaking things up in the art house cinematic world. Sadly, these works run nearly back to back with each other, and this guide can help those locals decide on which work deserves to be seen.

Lumpia with a Vengeance #1 - Comics by comiXologyLumpia with a Vengeance

Oct 1, 8:30 pm

It’s rare to find a movie that mixes superheroes up with food. Lumpia is one of those rare films not very widely known, but somehow it gained a cult recognition. It was a sophomore work of Patricio Ginelsa Kuya and its Filipino-American representation made this work unique.

The sequel shows this superhero is back with even more egg rolls! Normally, I’d be all over this like I am to this deep fried goodness it extols. There’s so many flavourful regional variants, and I’d eat them all up. In this sequel, perhaps a second serving isn’t needed. While it’s fantastic to get caught up with the people from the first film decades later, including seeing this avenger take on a side-kick, this story needs editing. 

The world has gotten bloated. The lengthy run time is the problem and we’re dealing with a lot of unneeded subplots. Part of the tale includes Kuya taking on a side-kick. Rachel (April Absynth) wants to help in the fight. Her high school is flooded with bad guys selling drugs hidden in the egg rolls.

It’s terrific to see a few big names, like Danny Trejo, become part of this narrative, but I think this film doesn’t need all this this added celebrity support. I’d fare better on its own merits than further world and character building.

3 Stars out of 5

The Monsters Without (2021) - IMDb

The Monsters Without

Oct 1, 2021
9:00 pm

The Monsters Without is a fun action-fantasy-adventure that delves into the folklore of the Philippines.
Here, the monsters want to reclaim the world. The only organization able to do something about it is P.H.A.S.E. They operate much like M.O.N.A.R.C.H. in Legendary’s Godzilla. The cast are specialists from different countries and the hope is that they can come up with a way to save the planet.

When a rogue Yablo decides it’s time for a new future for his species, it’s up to Setsuko (Christina Yr. Jun) and her fiance, Rommel Romero (Jake Macapagal), to do something about it. They have a lot of friends to help, but is it enough?

This film by Randal Kamradt has a lot to like. It’s a loving tribute to the monster films of the 80s. Anyone who thinks we don’t have enough Filipino genre style films will be in for a treat. It’s tough to keep track of all the creatures, and a checklist is required. There’s a vibe that’s recognizable for those who love Harryhausen’s stop motion films and Ghostbusters.

Plus, there’s a familiar enthusiasm from Yr. Jun’s performance. She’s like Sydney Fox (Tia Carrere) from Relic Hunter, and a woman to be respected. Her resiliance on the field is what kept me interested. I’m hoping for a sequel after this film gets picked up for a proper theatrical release after its debut at this festival. I wouldn’t be surprised for WELL GO USA to pick up the title, but that’s not likely to get a home video release until next year.

4 Stars out of 5

Fanny: The Right to Rock (2021) - IMDb

Fanny: The Right to Rock

Oct 1, 2021
7:00 pm

For upcoming screenings, please visit the official webpage.

The music industry has forgotten about Fanny, a Filipina American garage band who shot to fame in the early 70s. In the excellent documentary, The Right to Rock, their legacy is examined with a fine-tooth comb to understand the life and times of the founders–June and Jean Millingtonand the world they left behind since they folded in 1975. Just what they dealt with was not restricted to the racism they faced. There was also misogyny.

Their carefree LGBTQ attitude makes any movement of today look like a third attempt for proper recognition. Bonnie Raitt, Joe Elliott, Kate Pierson, and David Bowie loved them. A few visited their retreat and got to jam. This group predated later acts who would emerge from the same decade. On this list includes Joan Jett, Go-Gos and The Bangles. Most of them cite this group as their inspiration. 

This work by Bobbi Jo Hart suggests they’re planning a massive comeback. These musicians still got it, and as for whether there’ll be another album, it’s hard to say after the release of Fanny Walked the Earth (2018). This documentary was filmed during the making of and was released early this year.

5 Stars out of 5

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