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Romulus & Remus: The First King … But Who’s the only King?

23 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Well GO USA
Release Date: Sept 24, 2019

Romulus and Remus, we know the legend about them, but have we ever seen a movie about the founding of Rome? Despite the debate over how this city truly developed (there’s another account concerning a lady named Roma), what this movie, The First King (Il primo re), by director Matteo Rovere offers is plenty of true grit. Filippo Gravino and Francesca Manieri co-wrote the screenplay with this filmmaker, and what I saw is the relationship of the two brothers as they struggle against a greater enemy–destiny–as who will ultimately be leader.

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The NFB Defines The Physics of Sorrow

19 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Georgi Gospodinov’s “The Physics of Sorrow” is animated by Theodore Ushev (best known for Blind Yaysha), and this director/artist’s approach is hauntingly beautiful. It made its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 5-15, 2019) and is produced by the National Film Board of Canada. I suspect this animated short will have a few more cinematic screenings before becoming available online. I recommend the big screen version because of the artistry put into the work.

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The Future is Frightening in Kung Fu League

17 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Distributor:
Well GO USA

Release Date:
Sept 17, 2019

Be prepared, humble students of Kung Fu League (功夫联盟)! This film is an enjoyable silly romp where real life and fictional legends Wong Fei-Hung (Vincent Zhao, Once Upon a Time in China), Ip Man (Dennis To, Wu Dang), Chen Zhen (Danny Chan, Kung Fu Hustle) and Huo Yuan Jia (Andy On, Black Mask 2) are plucked out of time to help manhua artist Fei (Ashin, Lead vocalist of the Taiwanese rock band Mayday.) have the courage to ask Bao’er (Madina Memet) out for a date. He’s had a crush on her for the longest time but his insecurities get the better of him.

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The Case of Hana & Alice Finally Arrives Sept 17th!

15 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Distributor:
Shout Factory! & GKIDS

Release Date:
Sept 17, 2019

Just how “Hana and Alice” met from the 2004 live action film of the same name was revealed in 2015 in the anime The Strange Case of Hana and Alice (花とアリス殺人事件). Although fans of Shunji Iwai‘s original work did not expect him to produce a prequel, I’m sure this deeper look into the trials and tribulations of what these young women faced during their developing friendship is welcomed. No knowledge of the prior movie is needed in a mostly Shōjo product. I was curious because of the suggestion of the paranormal becoming involved, and a murder mystery is always great to get the attention of viewers not into this subgenre.

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