Tag Archives: Comedy

Five Animated Picks to Enjoy Easter With!

3 Apr

Over the Moon (2020) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Easter is forever tied with a certain spiritual tradition and before being adopted in to Christianity, it was about the rebirth of the land. That is, in a pagan world, people were celebrating the return of Spring! Those who are not religious can still spend this long weekend making merry in front of the television, or go out to enjoy the fresh air.

While I encourage spending time outdoors than in front of the television, those who are immune-compromised don’t have a lot of choice. Here are my picks on what to enjoy at home that doesn’t have to be very preachy about this long weekend. Sometimes it’s just about being able to hug a bunny!

Over the Moon (2020)

Available on Netflix

This heartfelt flick introduces a spunky Fei Fei, who is forever lost. Her mom passed and the last thing the two did together was when the girl was gifted with a bunny. At the same time, she’s determined and believes its possible to get her mom back, but she has to meet the Moon Goddess and make that wish. While her family is able to move on, she isn’t, and builds a rocket to ride on in order to meet the deity.

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When LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu says, “Enter the Titans!”

14 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Teletoon First Broadcast
March 7 & 14, 9:30am-10am

Spoiler Alert
Please check local listings for repeat schedule.

The Masters of Spinjitzu has an entirely new makeover with The Island. Not only do we see it in the costumes the team are wearing but there’s also a reintroduction to a few fond favourite characters (or should I say beast?) which defines this martial arts fantasy.

This season is the shortest since changing over to the 15 min air format. It helps for even tighter storytelling, but ultimately, it’s as Tommy Andreasen (co-creator of this universe) described–this chapter is “a 44 minute episode” broke up according to acts. Misako, Master Wu, and Clutch Powers are on a quest. The explorer’s club that Ms. Garmadon belongs to cancelled her membership since she never returned from trying to navigate the storm belt off the Southern Coast plate of the continent and it’s up to the gang to find and rescue that expedition.

Th second and third parts tell more about why this location is a threat than the others, and the fourth is the denouement to establish a greater threat.  “Seabound” is the next unit of the grander story arc it will explore the origins of how the Water Spinjitzu Master, Nya, gained her powers. I surmise it’ll reintroduce the dragons and other mighty creatures to this world.

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Will the Chase Ever End in Tom & Jerry, The Movie?

28 Feb

Tom & Jerry (Official 2021 Film Poster).png

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Playing at select theatres (where open) & HBO MAX

SPOILER ALERT

Let’s face it, Tom the Cat can’t catch Jerry the Mouse no matter how hard he tries. Over the decades, these miscreants of their animal genus should be ashamed of themselves. Not even their own kin look kindly at them. Well, maybe the rodent might fare better. The two are rivals. The early cartoons are often about one trying to annoy or outsmart the other.

Their antics can’t carry a movie, and the shorts from long ago are far more effective than any feature length attempts. Those pieces are essentially Mack Sennett slapstick comedies, and the reason we love to watch them is that observing others beat up on one another is therapeutic.

Life is not a bed of roses either. The star is Kayla Forester (Chloë Grace Moretz), out of work and needing a new job. She’s certainly a smooth operator and fibs her way into a hotel management position, and pretty soon these cartoon characters get involved.

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Cracking Open The Croods in the Home Video Release of the New Age

22 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

4K, DVD & Bluray Release
Feb 23, 2021

Movie review can be read here.

Fans of The Croods will definitely have a better appreciation with the new film after checking out the bonus material in the home video release. Even a greater respect is earned after seeing how much time was spent on story development. Joel Crawford and the writing team certainly struggled to figure a balance between the picturesque wonder that makes up this newly expanded universe, and a sequel worthy tale

The finale is established when Eep leaves the nest for good to create a family of her own with Guy. Part two is about the obstacles they face, including testing whether this teenage romance is just that, or can it be more?

Besides the usual package of added material–two new shorts, the gag reel and director’s commentary–there’s deleted scenes (seven pieces in all, and one is a variant of another), a “family album” introducing the characters and the performers providing their voices, the “Evolution of” segment showing how the film was put together, and with four how to activities for kids to do with parents. They include how to draw the Croods and how to make a few tasty delights featured in the film.

This release is far better than the first one. I bought the Walmart variant which came with a Belt stuffed doll. No Sash is spotted yet, but hopefully a future package will offer the two sloths together. This second film has an exclusive which isn’t as exciting–a puzzle and water bottle. At least Target is offering a variant which includes an art book since no official one is being offered when compared to the first film’s colourful tome which is now out of print.

Not to be forgotten in this release is an original animated piece, To: Gerard, which not everyone will take note of. DreamWorks shows they are able to create that PIXAR level magic. This short about an elderly man using the power of magic to brighten the day of a young girl is particularly enchanting (pardoning the pun).

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VFFOnline: Navigating Nobuhiko Ōbayashi’s Labyrinth of Cinema

8 Feb

Labyrinth of Cinema (2019) poster.jpgBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Streaming Online
at the Victoria Film Festival
Get your pass here.
All films begin Feb 5th, 2021

Note: Geo-locked to residents in British Columbia

Spoiler Alert

Nobuhiko Ōbayashi‘s Labyrinth of Cinema is not only a tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood but also an anti-war film. The many genres this era introduced helped define the shape of entertainment still to come, and its fondly honoured. We see a bit of everything in this film, from animation to comedy to sci-fi, and there’s even a splash of horror offered after a few musical moments. The best bits are with the romances, though.

The films of today are a lot more sophisticated in terms of realism. This filmmaker went old school to make this movie, and he wanted his performers to overact. They are in on the joke. He uses those techniques to emphasize why the modern (nuclear) age is terrible. The realism is just that, and the fiction is in technicolour. Unlike Ishirō Honda‘s intent in Gojira (1954), this work makes a different commentary about why going to war is bad (from the eyes of one side in the conflict). Also included is the fear of where humanity is headed–whether or not any future conflicts to come will destroy humanity. Ultimately, his goal is to show us why engaging in the art of war (and not in the Sun Tzu sense) is bad.

Ōbayashi makes use of humour to hammer in the point. He also broke a lot of rules from movie making 101 when he was in post-production, namely the editing of Labyrinth of Cinema. I was taught to avoid jump cuts in my newsroom videos, but he’s gratuitous in using this technique. The plot here is non-linear, and he purposely micro-budgeted the set design in some of this film’s best romantic moments to make it picturesque, like it’s from a painting. More green screen sets were used to distinguish the many realities explored. My guess is that the only proper place was a movie theatre and everything else was digitally created.

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