Tag Archives: Comedy

How to Celebrate Hungry Ghost Festival Aug 15th

14 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Ghost Month will reach its perigee on August 15th. At the Hungry Ghost Festival (盂兰盆节), these once human souls are permitted to visit the living world and some may visit their descendents to see how they are doing. On this day, we venerate them with happiness and acknowledge their existence. We save the first row in any performance venue for them to sit there. Anyone who tries may well feel a chill!

This time of the year is a different sort of Halloween. As for what believers can do in preparation is to beware of certain practices lest the spirit attaches itself. This can range from avoiding wearing clothing that is red or black to not killing insects crawling around–they may be someone’s grandparents reincarnated. The best thing to do with the latter is to catch and release the critter outside.

Superstitions aside, some fans of horror cinema may opt to get into the mood. Instead of scaring ourselves silly, we may opt to look at supernatural comedies. My choices have to fit the criteria of how the spirit world interacts with reality. Instead of a top five, I have six on my list. In my culture, we consider this number lucky. Amongst my favourites that are distinctly Asian and PG-13 in tone are:

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The Vintage Tempest’s Nerdy Picks: Victoria Fringe Festival 2019 Edition

10 Aug

August 21 to Sept 1
Victoria, British Columbia

Summer in Victoria, BC can never feel complete without going to the Fringe Festival! This event has been defining the local arts scene for the past 34 or so years now with its unjuried selection of local and travelling acts. I always gravitate to the nerdy type shows, and to get my zombie on does not always happen every year. Intrepid Theatre, the organizers, cemented my love for their show with Z-Day: The Anthem for Post-Zombie Apocalypse by Jay Mitchell. I’m thankful some of that past is preserved on Youtube, but that’s not why I keep going.

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Hey Abbott! We had an Anniversary & are in High Definition!

8 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Release Date:
November 5, 2019
Available in US & Canada

The Abbott & Costello fan in me wants to buy the upgrade Shout! factory is offering come the end of the year. The Complete Universal Pictures Collection is getting the high definition treatment and I hope further information will be released to say if they are true remasters or transfers from the previous edition.

The only difference is with including It Ain’t Hay. Two editions exist of the prior DVD release. One was packaged in a keepsake box and the later version were in amaray cases. Due to legal issues with the estate of Damon Runyon (one of the characters), there was a delay in getting a home release out.

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Life on the Penguin Highway is Never Sane

4 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Distributor: Shout! Factory
Release Date: August 6, 2019

The anime adaptation of Tomohiko Morimi’s novel, Penguin Highway, is coming to home video! Those who have not seen this anime last year at Fantasia 2018 either had to wait for a local (film festival) screening or this Tuesday. Life is certainly a highway for young Aoyama (Kana Kita), a 4th grader with an IQ of about 105. He aspires to be a scientist, and hopes to visit the moon one day. But first, he has to answer the question of why penguins–who typically prefer cold arctic conditions–are in a sleepy suburb of humid Japan.

He meets a young woman whom he calls Lady (Yuu Aoi) who works at his dentist’s office, and they form an unlikely friendship. Life at school is rough. He’s rather stuffy since everyone identifies him as a nerd. As a result, he’s constantly teased and bullied. He can stand up for himself but he is stronger when his two friends are there to help. Ultimately, the narrative does not differ from, for example, Trollhunters. His just-as-nerdy pal, Uchida (Rie Kugimiya) tries but Hamamoto (Megumi Han) ends up being more handy. The threesome eventually even has the bully team up to deal with a mysterious orb found in a meadow nestled deep in a forest. Just what it is, nobody knows.

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