Tag Archives: Comedy

[Fantasia 2019] The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale. When Bites Are Not Free!

31 Jul

Image result for The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale posterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

South Korea certainly has a handle on the zombie epidemic. Whether that’s with a period movie with Rampant (see review here) or the crowd-pleasing Train to Busan, the latest titled The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale (기묘한 가족) is a zom-com that’s basically a Looney Tunes style cartoon with Shaun of the Dead as the hook. Director Lee Min-jae makes his debut and I feel this movie has cult-favourite written all over it! He knows which films from zombie culture to take inspiration from and crank it up a notch.

The action takes place in Poongsan, a remote South Korean village, where the folks there do not even know what a zombie is. Man-Deok (Park In-hwan) is simply wanting to take a vacation. His son Joon-Gul (Jung Jae-young, Castaway on the Moon) and his pregnant daughter-in-law, Nam-Joo (Uhm Ji-won) are a handful. When middle-son Min-Gul (Kim Nam-gil) comes home because he has nowhere else to stay (he lost his job), life is a touch more problematic. Nobody realizes a straggler into town (Jung Ga-ram) is a member of the walking dead and the bites Man-Deok!

Continue reading

Advertisements

[Fantasia 2019] When There’s More than One Island of Cats, A Movie Review

29 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on
Region 2 DVD/Blu-ray
Sept 4

Played at Fantasia 2019
July 28, 2019

Whether the reverence of cats is explored in manga—like What’s Michael—is played at within a cat cafe or is studied through folklore, there’s no denying these felines have a power over us which we love seeing. In the Japan, Tama is a station master at Kishi Station who greets nearly every traveller. Even the building itself was redesigned in her honour.

The star of Island of Cats even takes on this name, but here, this felis catus is a he and his master is Daikichi (Shinosuke Tatekawa), a retiree/widower. His son lives on the mainland and his wife died two years ago. This old man has no desire to move off his idyllic paradise.

Continue reading

[Fantasia 2019] The Stardust Brothers are Back and Where to Find Them

25 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The Stardust Brothers has no relation to Ziggy, and nor it firmly rooted in 80s nostalgia. The Legend of the Stardust Brothers (星くず兄弟の伝説) is a movie that’s simply bonkers. I found a sprinkling of inspiration from Spinal Tap, a weighty nod to The Blues Brothers and a zaniness ala The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night. I’m more inclined to say The Monkees, because I watched too much of this television show when I was a wee lad.

Relative unknowns, a crooner Shinga (Shinga Kubota) and a punk rocker Kan (Kan Takagi) from rival pop bands are paired into a hilarious manzai synthpop singing duo. To understand their rise to fame is far too gonzo to make sense of it all. This film is an experience–beginning with a black and white sequence until colour is splashed on screen–about these two parading their music to unimpressed lounge patrons. Where these two are performing now is ironic, and if the audience they are singing to care, I’d be surprised if they get an ovation. As any band will tell you, life after that initial moment of fame is different.

Continue reading

[Fantasia 2019] We Are Little Zombies, A Movie Review

17 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

We Are Little Zombies is a misleading title. While the situation borders on black comedy, perhaps the terror lays in what four 10-year-old tweens are facing: isolation. When they have to face grief at the loss of their parents, just how they react is a complex mix of juxtapositions worth studying. Writer/director Makoto Nagahisa tosses a lot of imagery at viewers. It’s like watching FLCL for the first time.

Hikari (Keita Ninomiya), Ikuko (Sena Nakajima), Ishi (Satoshi Mizuno) and Takemura (Mondo Okumura) can give Wednesday Addams a run for her money. They have no hope for their immediate future. When nobody seems to want them, relatives included (they are suspiciously missing in this narrative) all they have are each other. They met at the crematorium and after a lengthy backstory told in flashbacks, they decide to form a band. Their idea to express their life through music–which I have to label bubblegum punk.

Continue reading