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Tanks for the Memories, T-34 roars into Home Video this Week!

13 Jun


Available Now
Released by Well GO Entertainment

T-34 is not your Hogan’s Heroes. This Russian made film about such a resilient war machine is more about the people who can drive this tank, than anything else. It’s less about comedy or propaganda. The latter is inevitable, but more often than not, no matter which country the film is made in, the focus is often about the brotherhood forged.

Here, Nikolay Ivushkin (Alexander Petrov) is in the front lines. He quickly gets promoted to tank commander and despite being able to defeat a German Panzer attack, he and driver Stepan Vasilyonok (Viktor Dobronravov) are captured. They are sent to a concentration camp. Three years later, he meets his rival, Klaus Jäger (Vinzenz Kiefer) and is “coerced” to take part in local war games.

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Anyone Can be One of Studio Ponoc’s Modest Heroes

11 Jun

Release Date: June 18, 2019

Studio Ponoc’s Modest Heroes is a collection of tales which shows how life must go on despite the obstacles that come what may. They are all heroes in their own unique way. This collection of animated shorts encompasses a wide range of genres, and it honours the precedent Studio Ghibli set in their films, and that’s to focus on vivid characterization.

Originally, this work would include four animated shorts, but the untimely passing of Isao Takahata did not dampen spirits. To make the theatrical experience a touch more worthwhile, a featurette with founder Yoshiaki Nishimura was included in most screenings, which discusses the design of each piece.

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On X-Men: Dark Phoenix and Tales of Future Past

9 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Writer-Director Simon Kinberg redeemed himself from his involvement in the lamented X-Men: The Last Stand, the third chapter of the saga about mutants just looking for a place to belong in modern human society. This subtext has been running throughout the films and it’s been explored in the past films to varying degrees of success.

His film, The Dark Phoenix, gets a treatment that is not too out there and it works without having to resort to sending the mutants to the moon.

When I have seen all the movies to date and followed the saga of the Phoenix up till the mid-90s (Excalibur, Series one), I had specific expectations in mind. While Kinberg’s work lightly touches upon a few things coming full circle, I suspect The New Mutants will have to provide some answers about the human and mutant relationship before Marvel Entertainment rewrites the mutant chapter for Phase Five of their narrative plan.

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On Godzilla, Ghidorah and the Monsterverse

7 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Spoiler Alert

The epic showdown I’ve been craving since Legendary Pictures acquired the license to play with Godzilla is here! In part two of maybe a trilogy, the world of monsters mankind lives in is filled with hidden agendas and a fear for the future. Our time on Earth may well come to an end. The Titans, monsters capable of mass destruction, will reclaim their territory. Can we live side by side in a symbiotic relationship, as Dr. Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) hopes? Or as TOHO Studio’s animated take suggests, will civilization regress to simpler times?

No real continuity exists between these two studio’s works. Legendary’s version is limited. Only a handful of films can be made before the terms of the contract expire. With a bigger budget, fans can see a massively CGI driven apocalyptic take of monsters ravaging each other and the world. Practical effects can only go so far, and motion capture can do a lot more these days. As this sequel takes place five years later, the Monarch organization is ready for the inevitable. In what they know and have uncovered since–humanity better be afraid!

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