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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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All Good Things Does Not Come in 3 in Despicable Me

3 Jul

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The heart of the Despicable Me franchise lies in how to tame the ruthless heart of Gru (voiced by Steve Carell). He’s an eccentric misanthrope who learns the value of community. The first film sees him take advantage of others to further his own gains (until the children he adopts win his heart), and the second movie sees him trying to settle into a parental role. The third film sees him managing the family. He’s married, and the struggles is more with him accepting who he is now.

The children Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Grier) and Agnes (Nev Scharrel) do not play an important role in this outing. They are merely there to remind audiences that Gru is a family man. He’s happily married to Lucy (Kristen Wiig), but after losing their job at the Anti-Villain League (AVL) after a botched attempt to prevent Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) from stealing a huge diamond, just what’s next requires him to evaluate what can he do next? This turn of events has Mel (the leader of the Minions) unhappy and Dru (Gru’s long-lost twin brother) trying to convince him to return to a life of crime.

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Video

Yamato 2022 Lands With a 12-min Preview

17 Jun

2202-part-1-main-visualBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Yamato (the old series or remake) will always have a special place in my heart. While the redo may seem to some fans as unneeded, I will watch it. The crisp new designs, expanded universe and the music … it gets me excited every time! Today marks a release of the first 12 minutes of Space Battleship Yamato 2202: Warriors of Love (宇宙戦艦ヤマト2202 愛の戦士たち), the second film of the series, a week ahead of the theatrical screening in Japan.

Based on the visuals and what I can understand in the piece, planets are being marked. As returning characters celebrate a peace of sorts (from the last movie), Kodai is in conference to hear about yet another threat that’s coming. Gatlantis is sweeping over the universe and approaching Earth.

The bumper on the top right exists to let viewers know about the upcoming theatrical release on Jun 24, 2017 and on the official Bandai Youtube page, pre-sales for a special limited edition blu-ray will also begin simultaneously as this volume will be released July 28th.

Could the Gods and Monsters in The Mummy Want Their Humanity Back? An Analysis

12 Jun

mummyposterBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

Whoever wanted to revitalize Universal Studio’s vast catalogue of monsters into a new Dark Universe needs a lesson in understanding what made their golden era great. In the 40’s, the studio executives simply wanted to combine terror and comedy to reinvigorate box office sales, especially in-between or following a World War. The scares are delightful in Dracula (1931) and the laughs were genuine in Abbott and Costello meets Frankenstein (1948). I feel these two are milestones of an impressive and unintended plan to unite properties.

The whole notion to have a host of these beasts meeting or allying was never considered during these early days. What happened back then was more like a happy accident. Also, the latter film was assembled due to this studio suddenly owning the contracts of these comedians after they merged with International Pictures and producer Robert Arthur suggested pairing the boys with Frankenstein’s monster.

Fast forward to now, the intention to craft a shared world to compete with other studios (namely Marvel Entertainment’s) than to find effective pairings of star power with a property is questionable. Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise are neither exactly huge draws in every world-wide market. When considering the types of roles that earned them their best reputation, Depp can play a terrific smarmy pirate and Cruise that action-hero super-spy.

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