Tag Archives: Action

Discovering Art History with Ruben Brandt, Collector

1 Mar

VIFF: Ruben Brandt, CollectorBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Please check local listings for a theatre near you or check online here.

Ruben Brandt, Collector is a tour de force which spotlights not only some of the greatest works of modern art but also honours the filmmakers of auteur cinema. The raison d’être is because this character suffers from nightmares, and it brings them to life in animated form. This Hungarian film is amazingly rich in detail and escapist style art. These paintings attack Ruben and he believes by owning them, he can tame his dreams. This motivation may seem odd for the psychiatrist turned criminal mastermind. He’s convinced his patients to steal for him.

Wily Mimi (Gabriella Hámori), Brawny Bye-Bye Joe (Matt Devere), Hacker Fernando (Christian Niels Buckholdt) and Big Boned Membrano Bruno (Henry Grant) make up this ensemble and Detective Kowalski (Csaba Marton) is hunting for them. He knows these thieves can not resell these works in the black market, and in order to get them back, he will have to get into the minds of these wily robbers.

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Arriving in Home Video, Ancient Korea is Rampant with Zombies!

27 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Ancient Korea has a problem and it’s coming from two fronts. Night Demons are everywhere, and there’s a plot to overthrow the Young dynasty (Josen period, 1392–1897). To say which is worse, fans of Asian horror will have to see. Rampant is now out on home video by Well GO USA Entertainment.

The bonus materials are light. It consists of a making-of and behind the scenes piece, discussing production elements. With this work, attention is more with the story! The set design is spot on to bring this feudal period to life.

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From Manga to Film, Alita: Battle Angel Reaching Zalem & Sequel Hopes

25 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez’s live-action adaptation of Yukito Kishiro’s Gunnm (Alita: Battle Angel in America) barely scratches the surface of what the 28 volume manga is (including Last Order and excluding Mars Chronicles which is still ongoing). Ever since Cameron announced he secured the rights in 2000 to bringing Gally’s (her name in the original manga) story to the cinema, I wondered if all the series will be covered. The anime barely scratched the surface. According to Polygon, this producer secured the rights for future video treatments and no further animation is likely to happen.

This film uses most of the American naming conventions than stick to the original. The CGI and motion capture technology to realize what Cameron wanted was not there and the wait for this film was frustrating. Cameron’s first idea was to turn the heroine into a Joan of Arc type figure and thankfully Kishiro corrected him. Gally is a rōnin. She serves no master. It makes sense, because in all her travels in the manga, she either had to leave people she cares for behind or they will die. This detail was revealed in a taped Q&A in early screenings of this film and to have this manga artist give his nod of approval is a good sign.

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Aquaman, A Textbook Case of A Hero’s Journey …

22 Dec

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

‘Tis the season to enjoy being Aquaman. Jason Momoa is clearly having fun in the role, and his charm sells this latest DC Extended Universe product. Zack Snyder has executive producer credit and James Wan is directing. This Fast and Furious director sticks to what he knows best and translates the screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall into glorious sequences straight out of Lord of the Rings, Clash of the Titans (no surprise here, when considering David’s past work), Blade Runner and Indiana Jones.

Of the latter, it was too short and I wished for more. The visual treat of the underwater sequences is certainly overwhelming and lives up to recreating Neo Atlantis perfectly. I hoped for a more classically nuanced work (in reference to Plato’s Timaeus) and while not out of place, the archeological moments were not too much of a letdown. Balancing the origin of a superhero story with the big tease of them in the Sahara must have been tough.

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