Tag Archives: Charlize Theron

You Can’t Shake Atomic Blonde

31 Jul

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

I’m fairly sure the producers and directors behind Atomic Blonde wanted to avoid a huge cliche when selecting the music for this film. When I first read about how well this film is doing in the festival circuit, I wondered if Blondie’s song, “Atomic” might get used. Thankfully, it was not and much of the soundtrack is focused on bringing to life the atmosphere of a war-weary Berlin. Nena’s “99 Luftballoons” is certainly indicative of that spirit and even Peter Schilling’s “Major Tom” (heard in German no less!) hits the point when communication is cut between what’s going on in Germany with the rest of the world.

The cold war is coming to an end, but for Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron), a top level agent for M16, there’s still one more mission. She has to retrieve a microfiche containing a list of double-agents smuggled to the West, but things go awry when there’s an individual who has memorized it and the KGB will stop at nothing to get it.

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Can You Imagine Kubo and the Two Strings in a Heavy Metal Concert …

25 Aug

kuboBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

Technically, in the movie Kubo and the Two Strings, the protagonist is playing a three-stringed shamisen (a lute). This instrument was originally a Chinese creation and it was introduced in Japan in the 16th Century. There is a tonal quality which always gives me shivers upon hearing, and when this movie’s early trailers came out, just waiting for the final product had me in anticipation for a very long time. To get me into the mood, I was oddly humming along to AC/DC‘s “Hells Bells.”

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Trying to Turn The Huntsman: Winter’s War from Fairy Tale to Saga

28 Apr

huntsmannew1

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

When I first heard the Mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is in a retelling of the Snow White tale because the story is now in the public domain, the first thought that came to my mind is if (the original movie and) the sequel The Huntsman: Winter’s War can be told from a grandiose Viking perspective? I see it trying to go that route, but the narrative is forcing the fairy tale aspects in a bitter direction.

I skipped the first film because I’m not a big fan of Kristen Stewart. This latest version caught my eye because of Jessica Chastain‘s work in Interstellar (2014) and The Martian (2015). I enjoyed what she brought to the table in those science-fiction films. In fantasy, that world is ridden with tropes where not every “once upon a time” is all that fascinating anymore. In the details I’ve noticed, the Anglo-Saxon imagery permeates and I had to wonder why the mirror, when viewed in closeup, is decorated with runes. Could Loki be involved?

When the new villain is Freya (Emily Blunt), I can not help but wonder if her character might be based on the divinity of the same name from Nordic lore. This goddess of war and death rules the afterlife and she leads the spirits of dead soldiers into battle. She leads the fights for the thrill of the hunt instead of the cold-hearted rule of the people (like Ravenna [played by Charlize Theron] did in the first film). She’s sometimes connected with the heavenly Valkyries of lore. They find the slain to take to Valhalla. Although this movie twists the legend around by spiriting children away (from murdered parents) to become the Huntsmen, the ideology suggests a darker world. These kids have their innocence stripped so they can become ideal soldiers. Instead of a goddess, she’s a mutant with the ability to create ice from the moisture in the air.

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