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Finding a Touch of Shakespeare in Disney’s Christopher Robin

8 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

After seeing Disney’s Christopher Robin, I have to buy The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh to watch all over again. Part of my youth was spent fondly seeing these cinematic classics of the Silver and Bronze Age. In the live action front, it will forever be TRON. In the animated world, it’s a tie between three works: Winnie the Pooh, The Great Mouse Detective and The Sword in the Stone. The themes behind all these works are nearly the same, and it defines why I enjoy Gargoyles. I followed a significant portion of Disney Afternoon’s programming even as I was older, and the New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh always brought out the child in me. This series did not share the same gravitas as the films, but I still had to watch it. It was food for the brain as I did my homework.

Part of the appeal of this newest entry is the nostalgia invoked. The introduction is also very sentimental. Good ol’ Pooh Bear is given an update. They are stuffed dolls than actual animals and I am sure a massive merchandising revamp is coming. With this franchise completely reimagined, I am wanting to play with them much like Robin once did. Funko POP beware, you now have a worthy challenger to the button-eyed empire. I find these new imaginings just as appealing as the Disney which introduced me to them.

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How’s Gone is Netflix’s Extinction? A Movie Review

4 Aug


By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

One part thriller and two-parts apocalypse, Extinction is a film on Netflix trying to make Michael Peña an action star. He’s not Die Hard material (yet). He’s better known for his comedy and when in his element, he certainly shines. Put him in roles where he’s a second banana like Ant-Man, not so much. His diversity as the lead star just needs the right director to help bring out. Filmmaker Ben Young comes close in this futuristic work about a man just wanting a simple life.

In this film, he’s an engineer by day and troubled soul at night. His family is worried after hearing about his dreams. They seemingly foreshadow an alien invasion. Peter is confused more often than not, (which is perfect for Pēna to play up) but for saving his family in these prolonged “dream sequences,” he’s no Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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Breaking Down Gojira, Living at the City of the Edge of Battle

31 Jul

Image result for Gojira, City on the Edge of BattleBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

For a brief moment, I thought TOHO animation‘s curiously titled Gojira, City on the Edge of Battle (決戦機動増殖都市) will become a Star Trek episode. Knowing Mecha Gojira would appear, I thought about Hasbro’s Transformers and a city transforming into a figure like Trypticon than Metroplex. Thankfully, this movie is nowhere close to realizing that, but I knew Mecha Gojira was making a comeback. I wondered how?

Part two is on Netflix. While it’s tough to beat a theatrical presentation, as it was presented in Japan, anyone with a 72 inches (or more) television will be in for a treat. The surround sound mix is very good, and it requires more oomph to make the windows of my home to rattle. I bought a 7.2 audio receiver so I can have two subwoofers than one and hoped to test it out with the right movie. This film comes close to tearing down the house.

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King Cohen, The Documentary

29 Jul

Image result for king cohenBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Upcoming Screenings:
August 3rd, New York City,
Alamo Drafthouse

for a complete list,
please visit
www.kingcohenmovie.com

Larry Cohen is the maverick filmmaker, if not a sociologist in disguise. He treats cinema as a reflection on life and he coats it with a ginger touch so that there’s perhaps one degree of separation than direct outright commentary. If moviegoers have not heard of him yet, they will in the documentary, King Cohen.

His early life story is quickly told, and to understand why he loved the movies meant talking to those close to him, and those who worked hand-in-hand. Filmmakers Martin Scorsese, J.J. Abrams, Joe Dante, John Landis, and Fred Williamson also express their thoughts about this magic man. But for those who were on set, they often mention his clash with the Hollywood system. I can only imagine the arguments should studio executives visit the set. Perhaps, even funnier is in how he went about “securing permission” when filming at public spaces. The best story has to come with how he went about making Q: The Winged Serpent (1982). Today, the production assistants would do a lot of wrangling to ensure safety. Cohen did not have that luxury and the chaos is nicely described. As a viewer, it’s hard not to laugh.

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