Archive | Movie Reviews RSS feed for this section

Flipping through Different Chapters in The Booksellers at Victoria Film Festival 2020

11 Feb

nullBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Feb 13 | 5:30 PM | Parkside
* a limited amount of tickets is held at the door for purchase.

Hitting select theatres worldwide in March.

Bibliophiles are a unique lot, and I’m one of them. To understand what we represent is more than just about admiring a bunch of typeset paper with pictures slabbed in between two hard pieces of rectangular cardboard and reading it from time to time.

The Booksellers is a fascinating documentary. I belong to not only the comic book but also the antiquarian world. The discourse suggests how it influenced the arts. I can see how dada influenced hip hop, but surrealism?

Although the interviewers slips into tangents from time to time, the only thing missing is adding a bit of dialogue about sequential art. I’m certain we had a few seconds of the Yellow Kid (a reprint?) on a window display, but this subculture was not discussed at all. I did not expect any, though any note would have added to this documentary since collecting books is as synonymous as collecting autographed baseballs.

Continue reading

[Victoria Film Festival 2020] Entering the Vast of the Night, A Movie Review

9 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Spoiler Alert

When much of the movie takes place in the Vast of the Night, the movie theatre (or your home video setup when it arrives to streaming) better be colour corrected to enjoy the picturesque nuances crafted by director Andrew Patterson and cinematographer M.I. Littin-Menz. Even the use of solid blacks for long moments of dialogue gives a sense of you’re listening to a radio play than a feature length film.

The technical work behind this micro budget film is nothing but short of brilliant. I suspect the cameraman used a drone to create a beautiful long tracking sequence which stretched from one end of a small town to another. The tale, without giving too much away, deals with themes common for the era it’s set in–fear of the cold war and a threat nobody expects.

We’re not talking about what’s happening south of the border either. In Cayuga, New Mexico, all seems normal. The two nerdy teens, a self-assured Everett (Jake Horowitz) who works at the radio station and a very gabby Fay (Sierra McCormick), a switchboard operator, are the focus. Both performers have a sweet chemistry as they try to figure out what’s going on in true Hitchcock fashion. They are very capable of solving the best crimes in ala Nancy Drew too. It’s easy for me to know the outcome because of my enjoyment of this sci-fi suspense genre, but these kids are in the dark until the adults they are in contact with reveal an unsettling truth. To know more, this review is split. Huge spoilers are coming.

Continue reading

[Victoria Film Festival 2020] What Lurks Behind the Men’s Room is Music

7 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Feb 7 | 6:30 PM | Capitol 6
Feb 14 | 12:15 PM | The Vic

For Vi er Gutta (original title) or The Men’s Room is a sombre documentary about a men’s choir who don’t have much of a future for themselves. This movie length work by Petter Sommer and Jo Vemund Svendsen follows “The Male Choir,” a band of merry men who should be burdened with uncertainly. They are 40 somethings by my reckoning. Every Tuesday, they get together and sing the blues. It’s laced with references about women, whisky and wine one day, or that desire for rockstar fame in another. Ivar is their conductor. He helps the team fine tune their singing voice and honestly, they’re quite good. The music is therapy for them.

When they learn their lead has cancer, the plot is simple. Just how long does he have? They’ve been asked to open for Black Sabbath–no easy feat–and they better be on top of their game.

Continue reading

Capping off the Lunar New Year with White Snake

3 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Producers:
Light Chaser Animation Studios
Warner Bros. Far East

Released by:
Shout! Factory & GKIDS
Feb 4, 2019

Arriving just in time to cap off the Lunar New Year is the home video release of the Chinese computer animated movie, White Snake. While the world is waiting for the release of Jiang Ziya, the intended release for 2020 to celebrate the Year of the Rat, thankfully, the romantic action comedy does something different to think of this year differently: we have a tale of romance, perseverance and true love.

This release also works with Valentine’s Day coming up next! Here, we have more than a simple tale about two star-crossed lovers. They come from two distinct worlds. One is a mortal and the other a spirit. It’s far different from but has connections to Chinese Ghost Story from decades ago. How can you control fate? Destiny is a key theme in this work. For a full review, please click here.

Continue reading