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Bill & Ted Face the Music and Their Franchise Future

8 Sep

Bill & Ted Face the Music poster.jpgBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on VOD

SPOILER ALERT

Bill and Ted still have an insurmountable task to accomplish in Face the Music. They still have to make that song to bring harmony to the universe. The pseudoscience and sociology behind being able to achieve that is hard to grasp as not even the Oa who created the Green Lantern Corps can promise universal peace. As cinema’s most lovable doofuses would say, being happy means being excellent to each other.

The story by Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon is not too perplexing. Time travel stories often struggle with its own internal logic, and this film is no different.

The film is brilliant at realizing this mantra because the future shelves of Bill and Ted simply forget their own credo and need reminders. They are cruel to their past shelves. It’s sort of funny, but I can’t help but wonder when each future iteration decided to be nasty. Part of it has to do with how they failed as musicians. Sadly, the film doesn’t spend any time about them as family men. Their wives are concerned for their wellbeing and suggested couples therapy to “separate” them. Just why their kids adore their fathers is mind-boggling.

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TheNFB at the 2020 Vancouver Film Fest!

6 Sep

The world premiere of Sundance award-winning Vancouver filmmaker Jennifer Abbott’s new feature doc The Magnitude of All Things (Cedar Island Films/Flying Eye Productions/NFB) tops a powerful lineup of National Film Board of Canada (NFB) produced and co-produced documentary and animation at the 2020 Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), taking place September 24 to October 7.

Two NFB feature docs by acclaimed creators are also making their BC debuts:

  • Inconvenient Indian by Michelle Latimer, a filmmaker, producer, writer and activist of Algonquin, Métis and French heritage.
  • John Ware Reclaimed by Cheryl Foggo, a Calgary-born filmmaker, author and playwright whose work often focuses on the Black Canadian experience.

The festival is presenting two NFB animated shorts:

  • The Great Malaise by Quebec animator and illustrator Catherine Lepage.
  • The Fake Calendar by Meky Ottawa, from the Atikamekw Nation in Quebec, produced through the Hothouse program.

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Oh My Punch Drunk Boxer

2 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

North American Premiere

Playing at Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020 On Demand till Sept 2 (5pm EST). Buy your virtual ticket here.

My Punch-Drunk Boxer ( 판소리 복서) could do with a shorter run time if it wants a knockout at the box office. This film is trying to balance being a rom com and sports drama at the same time. As any trainer will tell you, focus!

This Korean film moves to a beat of its own and it can succeed, had it been broken up to two films than one. It almost copies what the protagonist is up to and moves in time to a style that Byeong-Goo (Uhm Tae Goo), a boxer turned ne’er-do-well, developed when he was at his prime. Sadly, an incident ended his career and now he’s doing menial tasks for gym manager, Mr. Park (Kim Hee-won).

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Thoughts and a Review of Malzieu’s Une Sirène à Paris

2 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Fantasia Festival 2020

Played Aug 27 & 30th, 2020

Mathias Malzieu is a type of French movie maker whose output is very minimal because he’s the front man to a very active music band, Dionysos. The last film is an exquisite and haunting Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (2013). One detail I noticed is in how the soundtrack in his latest film is like this prior work because of one signature tune over variance. It works with the last film because of the cyclic motif, but here it doesn’t quite ring.

More music is needed in the live action Une Sirène à Paris. Gaspard (Nicolas Duvauchelle) has one song to win Lula’s (Marilyn lima) heart, and it’s ironic because usually it’s the other way around on who woos whom. The translated title is A Mermaid in Paris, which may seem unusual. Anyone who knows their classical mythology will recognize a siren (usually more bird-like than fish) no matter how it said in another language. She’s a mythical creature whose sweet melody lures sailors to their death.

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