Ultimately, this story is about broken relationships rather than a hunt for treasure.
By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Well GO USA
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Xu Yuan (Tao Guo) may well lose his head in Schemes in Antiques (古董局中局). This Chinese action-adventure flick examines the trade in artefacts, and I’m sure it’s even much worse should other nations get involved. In fact, this movie looks at the role the Japanese had when the head of Wu Zetian Mingtang (immortalised as a Buddha statue) is revealed to be a fake, and the real one must be found.
The story picks up and moves like Tomb Raider (2018) without the blockbuster stunts and huge set design. It works because the budget is spent on getting deeply into the detail about what distinguishes a fake artefact from the real. There’s even some light humour added so that we’re getting a blend of shenanigans from the people who ally with Xu in his hunt for a lost head.
The Lost City of Z is one of those rare films which does not glamorize the pulps, where exploring the world means danger in every turn!
By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
The Lost City of Z is one of those rare films which does not glamorize the pulps, where exploring the world means danger in every turn! Many old-time radio shows over dramatize these stories so listeners are invested to tune in next week, and not many — at least to my knowledge — lay the world grounded in reality. They are more like heroic fiction than anything else. When considering this biography takes place circa 1912 and spans nearly two decades, there’s a lot of ground to cover.
This film written and directed by James Gray does a fantastic job of detailing the life of adventurer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) from his days of being an intrepid socialite to explorer to soldier (and back), and his conflict with “high society” which led to whether or not he is accepted amongst his peers because of something his father did. Ultimately, this film is about father and son relationships instead of seeing how Nina (Sienna Miller) stayed devoted to him. Some may say he is out carousing through jungles in search for a lost city and fighting in World War I as a means of escape. He knew he had a duty to his country than to his family, and while the latter plight gets explored to a tiny degree, I doubt a full look at his family life could have been done. Sacrifice had to be made to emphasize which narrative matters. In this movie’s case, the various conflicts tends to focus on matters of male ego, especially when he has a rival of sorts in the Royal Geographical Society.
There are times DC’s Legends of Tommorrow is simply coasting on a riptide of fun bits for geeks to take interest in. Tried as I might, to see if there was anything great about the last two episodes “Land of the Lost” and “Moonshot,” there was not much to truly write about as special. All it did was show how the team still needs to figure themselves out, spotlight Victor Garber’s musical talent in more than one episode and retrieve parts of a mystical weapon. The latest had something which spoke to me since I am a King Arthur enthusiast and I wondered who would play J.R.R. Tolkien. Jack Turner (Stitchers) does a great job at bringing to life an interpretation of this author whom I’ve admired since reading Lord of the Rings in high school.
Like the seminal books, some series require a Deux et Machina to give a saga a particular focus. After a slow start, the season unveiled an item to focus on. In the aptly titled, “Fellowship of the Spear,” the team is still divided like the fragmentary weapon and there’s more development in seeing what Rory (Heat Wave) is going through. I love his backstory and the obvious parallels he has with Gollum/Sméagol is a huge easter egg I’m sure many have picked up on. The way it is being handled suggests he has it in control in one episode and others, there’s not enough to see he is still struggling with it. Is his hallucination real? Apparently so, and I’m wondering at which point in history did the Legion of Doom take Snart from? My guess is that it was sometime in the past, before he and Rory joined the Legends. He’s all snark, pardoning the pun.
Also, the pieces of how each episode ties in (aside from searching for the spear) as a whole looks better when seen in sequence than left to viewers to wait week after week. I’m looking forward to seeing how the final two episodes are going to play out in the next two weeks. “Doomworld” will obviously look at a remade world but is “Aruba” in reference to a particular island in the Caribbean or something else?