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A New Urban Legend is Born in Mandy, A Movie Review

15 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

  • Spoiler Alert

No, Mandy Bloom (Andrea Riseborough) is not the wife/girlfriend of Paul Bunyan. When this movie by director Panos Cosmatos is titled after her, this character’s role is critical to driving the motives of another woodsman to a brink of madness. They were happy once. He’s a nobody about to become a somebody (more on this later). This woman is very forlorn; Riseborough is perfect in this role, offering pathos in her moments of sadness. Because of events that occurred in her youth, she never felt quite right. She prefers to live a life in isolation but yet, her feelings for Red (Nicolas Cage) when they first met, runs deep. The two are soul mates. One day, on her walk home, Jeremiah Sand, a priest of sorts, takes a liking to her and orders his minions to her kidnap her. Linus Roache must have been channeling Billy Drago’s trademark style of villainy, as I was sold instantly!

If you have not seen this movie yet, I advise checking it out sooner than later. It might stick around until Halloween, but it’s already nearing the end of its run at some theatres.

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My Pet Dinosaur Now on VOD, A Movie Review

11 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The Australian film My Pet Dinosaur is finally getting American side distribution. It’s now on VOD platforms like iTunes and Google Play. For those who remember either the plush toy made by American Greetings or the animated series made by Nelvana, some people, like myself, may wonder if filmmaker Matt Drummond drew from this product as inspiration.

Although the pup dino looks very blue, this connection is hardly enough to say he did. When Jake Emory (Jordan Dulieu) creates a dinosaur out of mixing up random chemicals with contaminated water, the critter that emerges is cute as buttons. Eventually, an attachment forms. This lad and his brother Mike (Harrison Saunders), lost their father, and are taking it out on mom. This particular subplot does not feel as developed. Enough can be understood to realize they are not over the loss of their father, and they feel the need to act out.

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That’s no Venom in Sony’s Rehash of Marvel Comics’ Favourite Antihero

5 Oct

Venom poster.jpgBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

Ever since Venom hit the pages of Amazing Spider-Man #300, his fame meter can hardly outshine another star-studded film debuting the same weekend. The movie’s action is essentially Terminator 2 on steroids and given a The Streets of San Francisco vibe. The title character does not feel the same as the one represented in comics. Without an arch-nemesis, this anti-hero lacks punch. I wanted to see the white Spider-Man logo across his chest. Without it, the interest in this film was minimal, other than to see how well the CGI works this time around.

The version in Spider-Man 3 had Sam Raimi’s trademark touch on it. The effect looked cheap. With digital effects far superior now, the goo looks wonderfully slick, and to see the story from Eddie Brock’s (Tom Hardy) perspective is the right choice. He’s a television reporter who cracks down on local cases Geraldo Rivera style, and when he asks the wrong questions to Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), the CEO of Life Foundation, he is out of a job. He also loses his girlfriend and has taken to drinking.

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The Predator, A Review & My Hopes for a Shared Universe

19 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

  • Spoiler Alert

Ever since Arnold Schwarzenegger put the smackdown on a lone alien hunter Predator on screen, this creature left a huge mark in the world of sci-fi and pop culture. After countless crossovers into comic book universes, I find leaving him in 21st Century Fox‘s own shared universe makes for better tales. Throughout many millennia, this hunter species took down dinosaurs, strange aliens, primeval man and elite fighting units. Ultimately, the movies are about who is this galaxy’s apex warrior.

No sequel or followup will ever surpass the testosterone pool from the original film. The Predator tries, but without the widespread recognition of the actors, some people may ask who are these stars? Those performers whose career shone brightly the 80’s are very well known and they still are to this day.  The talents from this decade are only recognizable if fans have seen their work. From Chuck to Hatfields & McCoys to Game of Thrones, thankfully the roster is decently represented. The characters these performers played represent the best of the best for that division of the military; quite often, they are in a situation where the fight is about the survival of the fittest.

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