Tag Archives: CGI

Who’s on Second? Lupin the III or The First? And Landing on Home Video

20 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Limited Screenings
Japanese Language with Subtitles
October 21

Please local listings for showtimes

Coming to Digital
December 15, 2020

Steelbook, Blu-ray and DVD
January 12, 2021

Lupin the Third joins the long line of anime heroes given the CGI upgrade, and honestly, he looks terrific! This master thief’s legacy will continue for as long as Monkey Punch wants. Whether or not it’s on hold since he passed away last year, I’m sure other directors have ideas on how to continue this gentleman thief’s adventures for years to come. But for anyone new to this popular character, I recommend checking out The Castle of Cagliostro (Netflix link) before seeing this movie.

Simply titled Lupin III: The First, this outing shows how this family line continues on their quest for the Bresson Diary. It was thought to be lost, but it has since been found. The actual book is tucked in a very elaborate clock-like tableau that, if opened, reveals notes to some ancient treasure even Alexander the Great would want. Well, maybe, but to say too much will ruin the reveal.

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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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Video

New Frozen 2 Trailer Goes North!

11 Jun

Frozen 2 Movie PosterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The new teaser trailer for Frozen 2 is exciting for the majesty invoked, and in what it’s telling, Elsa (Idina Menzel) magical powers may have come from other supernatural sources. Or, as the Northern setting suggests, could she be of the faerie folk? I’m only guessing here, but this new offering released today gives fans a lot of reasons to be excited about this film when it plays in theatres in November.

She’s backed by her sister, Anna (Kristen Bell), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf the snowman (Josh Gad) and Sven the reindeer in a quest to save the kingdom. This time, it’s not from human invaders, but rather supernatural ones. Together, they have to go north perhaps to discover her true nature and find out what granted her these powers. Or was she born with it?

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It’s Alive! Fullmetal Alchemist is Alive on Netflix

28 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Watching a retread of a favourite anime as live action can be hit or miss. The earliest I have seen is Lone Wolf and Cub (1972) which introduced me to the genre. This series of films were awesome. The Guyver (1991) was cheesy and Space Battleship Yamato (2010) was one that barely worked. That piece was difficult to compress an epic story arc into one movie. Netflix’s version of Death Note (2017)  can not compare to the Japanese productions decades prior. It did not have enough meat. When considering the Japanese production of Fullmetal Alchemist is now on Netflix, to see this adaptation is a must.

I have read the first few books, and the tightened narrative and visual design had me captivated. With thanks to current CGI rendering technologies, Al simply looks fantastic. Not every bit of the digital action is top-notch. In later parts, when audiences are staring at armies of the undead, the realism takes a dive and I could swear I’m watching The Mummy Returns all over again.

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