Tag Archives: Based On Book

[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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The Pulps, Russell Mulcahy and In Like Flynn on VOD

22 May

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on Amazon PRIME
Released by Blue Fox Entertainment

Amongst Gen Xers, Russell Mulcahy is a very recognizable name. He’s the directorial talent who brought Highlander (1985) and The Shadow (1994) to life. With works like Tale of the Mummy (1998), Mysterious Island (2005) and The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior (2008), fans can surmise he has a love for the pulps. The visual narrative he offers in this genre makes him the ideal choice to direct In Like Flynn, a biopic about the life of Errol Flynn before he went to Hollywood and became world famous. When he got the call, he was on a jet to Australia faster than this miscreant can down a shot of old whiskey.

Although many actors played Robin Hood over the years, the big question is which actor was the most memorable? Everyone agrees it’s Erroll, hands down. His life story made him perfect for not only this role–like Robert Downey Jr did with Iron Man–but also as Captain Blood. According to Mulcahy, he came to define more than one generation of the action hero status quo; he stuck to playing swashbuckling roles for most of the early part of his career. Also, Warner Brothers gave him no choice when he expressed interest in other kinds of roles later in life.

In what this director did not know about the man, the team of writers–Corey Large, Marc Furmie, Steve M. Albert and Luke Flynn (grandson)–helped explain. While this movie does not reveal everything you want to know but was afraid to ask, thankfully this actor has his memoirs (namely My Wicked, Wicked Ways) to sate those salacious appetites. To find the right person to play Errol wasn’t too hard.

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