Tag Archives: DVD Review

The Lightest Darkness, An Exercise in Neo-Noir

12 Jan

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

To say The Lightest Darkness is inspired by film noir is an understatement. To connect it with the styling of Franz Kafka is perhaps just as surreal. Whichever the case, the neo-modernist stylings of this Russian made film make the feelings of being entrapped certainly notable. Two suspects (or is that three) are eyed; Private Investigator Musin (Rashid Aitouganov) is on a missing person case and believes all can be unveiled on a train going nowhere fast.

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TIck Tock, The House With A Clock In Its Walls Chimes in Tues, Dec 18th!

14 Dec

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Horror maestro Eli Roth proves he can make a family-friendly film and still remain loyal to his humble beginnings. When considering certain production elements gave the cast the creeps, I had to chuckle. This admission can be found in the bevy of extras (5 to 7-minute clips) included in The House With A Clock in Its Walls (THwaC) home video release. It’s already available on digital and can be bought online or purchased at media outlets come December 18th. 

Fans of the 1973 novel by John Bellair and newcomers to his works can hear about how his book was adapted. Included are alternate opening and ending sequences which would have entirely changed the tone of the film. Though I have not read the book in years, I do know filmmakers record a collection of ideas, and work with editors to fashion the best narrative possible. Full details of deleted scenes and the creation of can be found listed at the end of this article.

Roth imbues this work with a lingering sense of dread. Screenwriter Eric Kripke is best known for creating Supernatural and to see him writing screenplays with that jovial camaraderie as the series makes this tale shine. The film even slimes it up Nickelodeon style! The terror is soft enough to give goosebumps and when I share the same sentiment as Uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) for rustic looking porcelain dolls, I had to bite my lip. His goal is to find where that clock is and he gives this work the comic relief to make it just as fun as Robin Williams Jumanji. He is aided by Blanchett as Florence Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett). Isaac Izard (Kyle MacLachlan) is the villain, and he makes no bones about it; he wants to turn back time.

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Batman Ninja invades Home Video! DVD Review

27 May

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Before fans of Batman’s animated products can ask, Batman Ninja is not an Elseworlds product. That’s Gotham by Gaslight. With this direct to video product, Gorilla Grodd made a time displacement machine which went awry. It sent everyone back in time. Depending on how close the heroes and villains were to the epicentre, they were thrown to all the way to Japan despite the fact the battle took place in Gotham, at Arkham Asylum, somewhere along the Western side of North America.

Bats arrives two years later in a village and learns Penguin, Poison Ivy, Deathstroke and Joker established themselves as feudal lords. Each reign over a territory and are fighting amongst themselves to determine who shall rule. This change in history may well stick—where are the Legends of Tomorrow when you need them?

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Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders Brings Back Plenty of Nostalgia

12 Nov

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Holy Double, no Triple Take … Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Batman! The Return of the Caped Crusaders should have my coffin buddy co-writer (James Shaw) wake up from his post-Halloween coma, do the Batusi, dust his cowl off (from all the dirt I dumped on him) and fly to the nearest big box store to buy this animated video release and give a review. He loves the 60’s Bat more than I do but his steadfast refusal to review any product on his own is his loss and my gain. Some readers may have wondered why his content is limited / few and far between and I can’t fully explain it.

I picked up this product just because I find the creative heads at Warner Bros Animation never fails to disappoint. Just like the vintage show, lessons in morality are offered and advice in how to overcome obstacles are offered. Maybe James did not hear those messages and apply them to his life.

This video, like the series, is made for the yuk yuks and camp we all recall the TV series represented instead of being taken seriously. Though the show was not blatant in saying we should all be boy scouts, the throwback style was obvious in the many television programs from this era and it is recreated in all its memorable glory. The Andy Griffith Show is the best example of leads imparting infinite wisdom, and other programs like My Three Sons and Bonanza followed suit. Because the two are deputized as duly appointed representatives of Gotham Police, Batman has to remind Robin to do what’s right. From properly crossing the street at a corner instead of jaywalking to get to the other side to stop crime, the humourous examples remain!

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