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Richard Bell’s Brotherhood is Coming to The Rio Mar 14th

10 Mar

Screening at The Rio on March 14th with writer/director Richard Bell, composer William Rowson and star Brendan Fletcher (The Revenant) in attendance.

1660 E Broadway
Vancouver, BC

Coming to iTunes at end of month.

Canadian filmmaker Richard Bell‘s tale of survival is sombre and evocative. His movie set in a not-so innocent age in the early 20th century shows what a Brotherhood truly entails. Based on the real-life incident that occurred in Balsam Lake, Ontario in 1926, one ill-fated trip with far too many people in one canoe across the lake to gather supplies took a turn for the worst. High winds capsized the transport, and much like the Titanic, some took their chances in the cold waters (swimming to shore) and others clung on for dear life until only a few remained.

Creating the drama was tough. Without a strong plot, I thought I’d be watching a dreamy period piece about training the next generation of boys to be the best they can be. The hope is that one may become the next David Currie–recipient of the Victoria Cross (the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy). With this film, it’s more about how each man have to face his own fear and Nature. The camp leaders think the generation growing up is weak and this sojourn will toughen them up. The context is certainly foreshadowed. Bell provides all the key bits of narrative through flashbacks which recount the better days, the earlier days until the night of.

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What Will It Take for Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey to Recoup?

4 Mar

Image result for harley quinn birds of prey posterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Harley Quinn is a tough nut to crack. When she more or less helped form the Birds of Prey, the question of who is the protagonist and antagonist almost needs to be asked. To save viewers from the confusion, the longer movie title of (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) took too long so say in one breath. And it took far too long for me to finally decide to see this film. I was lucky to see it before it completely disappeared from theatres.

Margot Robbie loves playing the psychiatrist turned psycho killer. That much is certain. If she doesn’t run far enough away from her former shackles–The Talking Heads notwithstanding–she’ll never truly be free.

I remember the television show from decades ago and it generally worked. The movie counts on fans not remembering that iteration and redoes how Harley pretty much helped form the Birds. Unfortunately, this film sadly doesn’t come out as very memorable. It’s more of a setup for later escapades.

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The Invisible Man. Can You See Right Through Me?

29 Feb

The Invisible Man (2020 film) - release poster.jpgBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Even though Universal’s Dark Universe plans are no more, it won’t stop me from seeking out The Invisible Man. Leigh Whannell‘s take with the classic H.G. Wells story goes into new places. His modern day discourse even hints at a greater terror–about those methods where stalking comes easy in this digital age. This writer-director is in fine form, adding elements of a possible ghost. How he approached making this tale modern is far more innovative than the Insidious series.

However, we all know that this tale is more of a science fiction tale and the revelation of Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen who barely gets enough screen time for a reason) as a brilliant optics engineer says it all. He’s created an invisible cloaking technology and put it in the form of a suit. It’s the ultimate in espionage, as long as the wearer doesn’t make a stupid move to reveal him or herself.

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Livin’ on a Prayer with Takashi Mike’s First Love

27 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Released:
Feb 11, 2020

Well GO USA

Spoiler Alert

Takashi Miike is a filmmaker best known for his wry, dark humour. Some of his best films include the crime-exposition with Ichi the Killer and a live action adaptation of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure which I can only describe as gloriously over the top. My love is with the no-holds barred Full Metal Yakuza. When these movies have a manga (cartoon) grindhouse style approach, I’m usually hooked! In his exploration into the criminal underbelly of Tokyo in First Love has a lot going on, and plenty to pack in! If processing the subtitles is too hard, this region one home video release comes with a dubbed version. I do wonder if the region 2 version comes with Miike’s Japanese commentary though…

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