Tag Archives: Crime

What Will It Take for Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey to Recoup?

4 Mar

Image result for harley quinn birds of prey posterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Harley Quinn is a tough nut to crack. When she more or less helped form the Birds of Prey, the question of who is the protagonist and antagonist almost needs to be asked. To save viewers from the confusion, the longer movie title of (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) took too long so say in one breath. And it took far too long for me to finally decide to see this film. I was lucky to see it before it completely disappeared from theatres.

Margot Robbie loves playing the psychiatrist turned psycho killer. That much is certain. If she doesn’t run far enough away from her former shackles–The Talking Heads notwithstanding–she’ll never truly be free.

I remember the television show from decades ago and it generally worked. The movie counts on fans not remembering that iteration and redoes how Harley pretty much helped form the Birds. Unfortunately, this film sadly doesn’t come out as very memorable. It’s more of a setup for later escapades.

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Livin’ on a Prayer with Takashi Mike’s First Love

27 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Released:
Feb 11, 2020

Well GO USA

Spoiler Alert

Takashi Miike is a filmmaker best known for his wry, dark humour. Some of his best films include the crime-exposition with Ichi the Killer and a live action adaptation of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure which I can only describe as gloriously over the top. My love is with the no-holds barred Full Metal Yakuza. When these movies have a manga (cartoon) grindhouse style approach, I’m usually hooked! In his exploration into the criminal underbelly of Tokyo in First Love has a lot going on, and plenty to pack in! If processing the subtitles is too hard, this region one home video release comes with a dubbed version. I do wonder if the region 2 version comes with Miike’s Japanese commentary though…

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Dark Horse Comics’ The Mask is Back! & Running for President?

23 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Publisher:
Dark Horse Comics

Released Oct 16, 2019

I’ve been a fan of Dark Horse Comics’ The Mask way before the movies and cartoons. While these alternative takes were fun and light-hearted, I missed the darker quality which existed in the comic books. I kept up when it was shuffled to Mayhem–back when this franchise’s future was in doubt. When other versions took precedence (and the publisher had crossovers, including with a certain clown prince of crime), I took a break.

I’ve been wanting to see this franchise return to its roots and “I Pledge Allegiance” serves up a lot of blood and vindictiveness. This latest chapter can not be any timelier due to the political climate of our times. I’m also amused the first issue is coming off the heels of the just as socially charged The Joker movie.

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[2019 Fantasia] Beware The Gangster, The Cop and The Devil … Times TWO!

21 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Screens at Fantasia 2019
Extra showing on July 28
Auditorium des diplômés de la SGWU (Théâtre Hall)

Well Go USA

Plenty of idioms come to mind with this handsomely suave and sinister film from South Korea. The Gangster, The Cop and The Devil is a mix of a crime and thriller genre, and it’s hard boiled enough to have me guess who is worse. We have Tae-suk (Kim Moon-yul), a brutal policeman going vigilante on organized crime, Dong-soo (Dong-seok Ma), a gangster who could probably put musician Psy to shame for his sense of style, and K (Kim Sung-kyu) the serial killer who made the mistake of targeting Dong-soo. When this Al Capone wannabe’s reputation is tarnished, he has to do what’s right, and the film is a twisted cat-and-mouse game where no matter who gets whose desserts, the bloody outcome is going to be more than cherry red.

Cop and thief gang up, for lack of a better term, to go after the killer. The action is intense, and the film is all fortune for lots of glory! Plenty of action takes place in the streets, and the wry black humour is sharp. Even though the slow moments drag out the film, the wait for the next bloody conflict makes up for it.

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