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Five Animated Picks to Enjoy Easter With!

3 Apr

Over the Moon (2020) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Easter is forever tied with a certain spiritual tradition and before being adopted in to Christianity, it was about the rebirth of the land. That is, in a pagan world, people were celebrating the return of Spring! Those who are not religious can still spend this long weekend making merry in front of the television, or go out to enjoy the fresh air.

While I encourage spending time outdoors than in front of the television, those who are immune-compromised don’t have a lot of choice. Here are my picks on what to enjoy at home that doesn’t have to be very preachy about this long weekend. Sometimes it’s just about being able to hug a bunny!

Over the Moon (2020)

Available on Netflix

This heartfelt flick introduces a spunky Fei Fei, who is forever lost. Her mom passed and the last thing the two did together was when the girl was gifted with a bunny. At the same time, she’s determined and believes its possible to get her mom back, but she has to meet the Moon Goddess and make that wish. While her family is able to move on, she isn’t, and builds a rocket to ride on in order to meet the deity.

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News of the World Makes It’s Call on Home Video

24 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Universal Studios Entertainment
Spoiler Alert

Sometimes no news is better than fake news in the one subplot featured in Paul Greengrass‘s movie, News of the World. The film is imbued with a subtle reminder of race relations while life in the wild west was hard. The Civil War is over, and people are still trying to figure out what side they are truly with. The collision between the cowboys, indians, and immigrants makes up one layer of this movie adaptation of Paulette Jiles‘ novel of the same name. Another is about the journey of one very lonely individual.

Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks) is a Confederate veteran of the US Civil War, and after losing this battle, he has no reason to fully live. To make ends meet, he travels from town to town to offer his services as a town crier of sorts. He reads the local paper out aloud in town halls, to deliver the news to those who can’t read. Plus, he hasn’t seen his wife in years. Hanks’ performance makes me wonder if Kidd is kidding himself about his occupation. He sees home as a disease. Johanna (played by Helena Zengel), to whom he has to deliver to her next of kin, proves to be more of a boon than a bane of his life.

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Shine On, Gattaca, You Crazy Diamond! (in a Rough)

22 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Sony Entertainment

Release Date:
March 23, 2021

Andrew Nicol’s thought-provoking Gattaca is looking very shiny in its 4K upgrade. Fans of this film will find the Sony’s investment into smoothing out this classic movie–where perfection and subterfuge are central to the plot–a fitting call to the concept of cleaning up the flaws in the film stock.

This movie stands the test of time. It’s a gorgeous film which looks visually sharp on a 4K screen. The science of looking at original film negatives on a computer and the mathematical process involved to make this sleek and deadly thriller look pristine requires both machine logic and humans mutually agreeing which is better. Only the human eye can tell.

This film was shot in 35mm photochemical film stock. Any noticeable grain on the original or intentional use of soft imagery through the lens was light when looking back at my DVD. Also, it doesn’t help when my 4K television does its own upscaling to give a simulated higher resolution on the screener version I examined; a 2160p version wasn’t available at the time. Kudos must still be given to the team behind the colour grading fixes, though.

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The Prince’s Voyage Set To Land May 18th!

20 Mar

This spring, Shout! Studios invites you to embark on an extraordinary journey with The Prince’s Voyage when this highly anticipated animated feature debuts on a two-disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD) and Digital on May 18, 2021.

Directed by the venerable French animator Jean-François Laguionie (The Painting, Cannes Palme d’Or winner Rowing Across the Atlantic) and Xavier Picard (King Arthur and the Knight of Justice), this movie is a beautiful and exciting movie adventure that promotes acceptance and diversity. Available for the first time on North American home entertainment shelves, The Prince’s Voyage Blu-ray Combo Pack contains insightful bonus content and is a must-have for collectors and animation enthusiasts.

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So What’s With the Music in Earwig and the Witch?

18 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

GKIDS & Shout! Factory
Now Available on Streaming (HBOMax)

DVD/Blu-Ray Release Date:
April 6, 2021

Spoiler Alert

Long time fans of Studio Ghibli’s works will find their decision to transition to CGI jarring. The production quality and advanced character design–the motion of the figures–is just not there. They don’t have the decades of experience other teams (like DreamWorks or PIXAR) have. It’s all new to them. Despite this setback, debuting Earwig and the Witch (アーヤと魔女) on television and the CGI quality doesn’t overshadow the tale by much.

Goro Miyazaki explains his reasoning behind the production design in one featurette offered in this home video release (it comes with a handy checklist of other Ghibli films for completionists to explore). Viewers can decide if his choice is for the better or worse. By mid-act I got accustomed to it and became more invested in the hilarious antics Erica Wigg (Kokoro Hirasawa) goes through with the help of her new pet to become a woman of the house.

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