Baring Down on Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book & Fond Recollections of a Tale Spin


By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Disney‘s live-action update to The Jungle Book shares a few visual and narrative similarities with its 1967 counterpart. While it’s a fun nod, I thought the nostalgia was unneeded. In what I enjoyed was a look at a darker, if not more violent, road to adulthood for a child found in the woods. A few scenes will most likely frighten toddlers but for youths, they may handle the bloodshed better. In the animal kingdom, these beasts have to scrounge for their meals and in this version, part of the tale is about the survival of the fittest.

Part of why I love this world is because of Tale Spin . This Disney Afternoon cartoon used characters from this work, introduced new ones (Don Carnage is a hoot) and placed the irrepressible Baloo the Bear (voiced by Phil Harris in the ’67 film, Ed Gilbert in the ‘toon and Bill Murray in this live-action film) in the lead role. Murray nails the adorability factor easily. While there’s no denying Gilbert was following in Harris’ footsteps for tonality and characterization, the generational factor is key to defining which version is going to be the most loved.

Continue reading “Baring Down on Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book & Fond Recollections of a Tale Spin”

Tut: Little Accuracy but Plenty of Fantasy. A Review


By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Spike TV’s Tut is a hefty melodrama that puts Cleopatra (1963) to shame. When the last of the pharaohs was simply trying to preserve a world that would later be unseated by the Romans, so too did the young boy king try to restore order prior to the rule of his father, Akhenaten. To change from a polytheistic society to monotheism was not welcomed by everyone. The worship of the Aten was deemed too radical. Tutankhamun sought to restore an old world order so that many Egyptians living outside of Thebes would welcome him. But his rule was a short-lived one. He had an inner circle of people conspiring to unseat him for their own sordid reasons. Not all of them were concerned about their country’s spiritual identity and that’s the basis of this three-part mini-series. Their motivations lay nowhere near what historians have ruled through meticulous study of the mummy and stories told on this king’s tomb walls.

Continue reading “Tut: Little Accuracy but Plenty of Fantasy. A Review”

Just What is Ender’s Game?, A Movie Review

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)


* Spoiler Alert

Not everyone will be familiar with or have read Orson Scott Card‘s book, Ender’s Game, that the movie of the same name is adapted from. Writer/Director Gavin Hood did an interesting job with the first episode of this universe spanning saga but he was too heavy-handed in his translation of some of the book’s elements. To see the hero Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) get bullied throughout and see him deliver ‘justice’ to his aggressors was too much. When adults and the media are saying the best response is to not provide these bullies an audience, Wiggin does quite the opposite. Some people may well ask just what does that make him?

Apparently, he’s a prodigy. He is likened to Napoleon and Caesar, and the dialogue is interesting enough to keep audiences glued to wondering what will become of Ender. There’s this pathological aggression in this character that the bigwigs, a military force simply known as the International Fleet, took notice of. If they knew that he was ‘The One,’ then some people will have to wonder when he will turn Darth Vader upon the forces he’s being trained to fight against.

Continue reading “Just What is Ender’s Game?, A Movie Review”

%d bloggers like this: