Tag Archives: Commentary

Connecting the Dots in the Insidious Series and The Last Key

5 Jan

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The Insidious series is one of those guilty pleasures where I hope some answers are given about Darth Maul — er, The Red Faced Demon. The previous films, which I had to see again before penning this article, and the latest, The Last Key, do not necessarily follow in a logical order. This franchise is taking just as long as the Paranormal Activity series to offer answers. I fear I will have a complete head of gray hair by the time any will be offered.

One great jump scare is offered with this latest film. I was wondering when it would leap at me. It’s very rare for me to get startled. Specs and Tucker (Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson) are hilarious as always. This movie’s saving grace is with how well-developed the character of Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) is. She defines this franchise.

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[Spoiler Alert] Which Stars Shine Bright in The Last Jedi?

18 Dec

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By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

After the events from The Force Awakens, both sides are in disarray. The First Order lost their planet destroyer (technically a new Death Star). The trailers and opening scroll in The Last Jedi reveal the Resistance will have to start running for their lives as the bad guys are hot on their heels.

As mentioned in my review of the previous film J.J. Abrams crafted a love letter to the fans. He offered plenty of nostalgia to enjoy and made sure the digital technology got exercised to its fullest to make those moments count. Watch it too much, and everyone will agree it’s basically A New Hope.

There’s no denying that Star Wars, in all its other iterations in the animated front, comic books and novels, are built on a lot of tropes George Lucas created and improved upon from Episode IV to VI.  They range from classic one-liners and visual moments we always get excited by. From exhilarating trench sequences, varied variations of a ‘speeder bike’ chase to crazy aerial dog fights, is it even possible to add anything new? Writer/Director Rian Johnson offers a bit of the same old thing with a great new look and injects some fantastic narrative spins not everyone saw coming.

In what I loved after a second viewing (I bought tickets for Thurs and Friday) is with how actor Benicio Del Toro chewed up the scenery. To say more and to read ahead contains major spoilers.

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What Else is in the Future for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow other than Kamandi?

9 Apr

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

After one massive binge watch of the last few episodes of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, “Aruba” is a satisfying end to the season. I was more interested in Rory’s story than Sara’s. The former rogue offered more to like because he slowly started to care for his teammates and learned to think for himself; that’s a tale to enjoy. Sara’s story is just as important, but most of her saga would be lost if fans did not see how she developed as a character in CW’s Arrow. Although her problems were recapped in Legends, to understand it did not feel the same as seeing Rory and Snart thrust into roles they initially did not like.

I am disappointed in the fact the Legion of Doom is a small group. Instead of a large organization and handing out parts of the world to fellow criminals (Black Mantis can own the sea and Grodd own the jungle), I did have to wonder why other time sensitive individuals did not show up to fix this aberration. The Legends can not be completely alone in this massive universe. Although the heroes who could do something were killed after the alteration by Eobard Thawne, surely someone from out of time can help. Even the villain Epoch, Lord of Time, should have taken notice and say, “You can’t do that!” as he wanted to rule all of reality.

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Where are the Ties that Bind the “Fellowship of the Lance” in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow?

26 Mar

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

There are times DC’s Legends of Tommorrow is simply coasting on a riptide of fun bits for geeks to take interest in. Tried as I might, to see if there was anything great about the last two episodes “Land of the Lost” and “Moonshot,” there was not much to truly write about as special. All it did was show how the team still needs to figure themselves out, spotlight Victor Garber’s musical talent in more than one episode and retrieve parts of a mystical weapon. The latest had something which spoke to me since I am a King Arthur enthusiast and I wondered who would play J.R.R. Tolkien. Jack Turner (Stitchers) does a great job at bringing to life an interpretation of this author whom I’ve admired since reading Lord of the Rings in high school.

Like the seminal books, some series require a Deux et Machina to give a saga a particular focus. After a slow start, the season unveiled an item to focus on. In the aptly titled, “Fellowship of the Spear,” the team is still divided like the fragmentary weapon and there’s more development in seeing what Rory (Heat Wave) is going through. I love his backstory and the obvious parallels he has with Gollum/Sméagol is a huge easter egg I’m sure many have picked up on. The way it is being handled suggests he has it in control in one episode and others, there’s not enough to see he is still struggling with it. Is his hallucination real? Apparently so, and I’m wondering at which point in history did the Legion of Doom take Snart from? My guess is that it was sometime in the past, before he and Rory joined the Legends. He’s all snark, pardoning the pun.

Also, the pieces of how each episode ties in (aside from searching for the spear) as a whole looks better when seen in sequence than left to viewers to wait week after week. I’m looking forward to seeing how the final two episodes are going to play out in the next two weeks. “Doomworld” will obviously look at a remade world but is “Aruba” in reference to a particular island in the Caribbean or something else?

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