Tag Archives: Based On Book

Cleopatra in Space Needs to Come to Netflix America!

22 Dec

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Currently available on Netflix Asia

I’m not sure which version of Cleopatra should appreciate more–the sci-fi action Cleopatra 2525 or animated Cleopatra in Space. Both involve the titular character getting thrown to the future with a despot wanting to rule the galaxy. Problem is, neither are ready to be involved in an ongoing conflict. The former is campy pulp action style fun in the style of Hercules The Legendary Adventures or Xena Warrior Princess. Jennifer Sky (who played the titular character) continued working in Hollywood after this series, but she never got that breakout role which would take her to the brightest stars.

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[Fantasia 2019] It’s Not Quite Endless Love w/ White Snake

27 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Distributed by GKIDS

The latest animated film from China about the Legend of the White Snake is making its rounds at film festivals, like Fantasia 2019. As a prequel, the setup is simplified. White Snake (白蛇) defines Xiao Bai as the main character. Her story is familiar, and is no different in scope when compared to William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet or even Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge.

This computer animated work is very Disney-esque–complete with the prerequisite sidekick comic relief. When a medicine-man (not wanting to be a snake catcher) Xuan (Tianxiang Yang) rescues Bai (Zhang Zhe), her anmesia results in her having to figure out who she is. The story begins with us knowing that she is a spirit from the mountains–a white snake–attempting to attain that higher level of harmony (immortality, according to the subtitles–which makes little sense when spirits are technically very long-lived). However, a memory is holding her back and what she learns which makes up the film is one of sorrow and sacrifice.

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[Fantasia 2019] Akane’s in Wonderland, A Movie Review

17 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Akane’s (Mayu Matsuoka) life may seem boring, if not downright depressing in Keiichi Hara‘s The Wonderland (バースデー・ワンダーランド). Her birthday is coming up and she should be happy. When she’s asked to visit Aunt Chii (Anne Watanabe) on the other side of town just to pick up her own celebratory gift, it’s a safe bet her world is going to be turned upside down. The tones this film borrows from Lewis Carroll’s work cannot go unnoticed.

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There’s No Need to Be Afraid of The Big Bad Fox

15 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Release Date: July 16, 2019
GKIDS and Shout! Factory

The Big Bad Fox (Le Grand Méchant Renard et autres contes…) is a delightful, hilarious children’s book by Benjamin Renner and it’s animated counterpart is just as whimsical. The breezy watercolours featured in this hand-drawn work was very meditative. The poke at simple life was just as illustrious to the work I also recall in the printed Winnie the Pooh books.

The film released two years after the publication (2015) and what it offers are three shorts within a variety show format featuring Pig (Justin Edwards), Rabbit (Adrian Edmonson), Duck (Bill Bailey) and the titular Fox (Giles New, Pirates of the Carribean movies). More barnyard creatures pepper the background and this parable has a lot to offer to keep the kid in me entertained for years to come. This work is all ages friendly!

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