Tag Archives: DVD Review

When A Horse’s “Spirit” Goes from “Untamed” to Trained

4 Sep

Spirit: Untamed | JB Hi-FiBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

DreamWorks Entertainment
Available on Streaming Platforms, Home Video
Amazon USA Purchase Link

DreamWorks Spirit has a sequel, and viewers don’t need to know the Netflix series or past iterations to enjoy the latest release. The CGI animated update certainly reveals how this franchise has evolved with the times. It’s a different beast when compared to Stallion of the Cimarron (2002). They are all set in the Wild West–even though many years have passed between story to story. This latest focuses on the girl attempting to tame a horse, who conveniently shows his independence, and establishes a relationship with.

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[Fantasia 2021] Who’s the Master with Dreams & Monsters? Mad Gods?

19 Aug

Mad God (2021) - IMDbFantasia Film Festival 2021
Available to Stream on Aug 22 & 24
Tickets purchases available here.

Mad Dreams & Monsters is available in The Monster Collection (Amazon USA Link)

Anyone who saw Phil Tippett: Mad Dreams and Monsters before going to see Mad God at Fantasia Film Festival is ahead of the game when getting to know how this film came to be. No prior knowledge is necessary, but this documentary by Gilles Penso and Alexandre Ponce will help. It’s a love letter to the man, and every film he made movie magic in. It includes his contributions to television (The Pillsbury Dough Boy) too. 

The transition to filmmaking took place when he met Dennis Muren who was looking for talents to staff Industrial Light & Magic. He is the creative mind behind realizing Dejarik, a weird chess-like game that Chewie and R2D2 played in episode IV and since then, his cinematic legacy was set in stone. The fact he had to recreate it for the new trilogy meant looking for those original molds and casts. 

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When Ninjas Don’t Make Up Hydra in this Movie Review

3 Aug

Japanese Action Film 'Hydra' Coming to Hi-Yah! Streaming Service July 2,  Disc and Digital July 20 From Well Go – Media Play News

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Well GO USA
Release Date: July 20, 2021
Available on
Hi-YAH! Streaming Service and DVD

Takashi is silent and deadly, everything a ninja must be. When compared to G.I. Joe Origins: Snake Eyes, I wish Masanori Mimoto (better known for Yakuza Apocalypse) got to play this character instead of Golding. Here, this individual is subtle in his approach to safeguard the patrons to his bar. Part of the movie uses silence, the perfect way to introduce a former ninja. These days, he’s a chef.

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Barely Scratching the Surface on the “Skinwalker”

18 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

October Coast
Now Available on VOD & DVD

It’s rare to get a movie about the Weird West these days. When it concerns Skinwalkers, also the title, I couldn’t help but want to look at Robert Conway’s film. His take in what the Indian legends of these shapeshifters are about is easier to understand, but it has nothing to do with recent investigations of a certain highly secure ranch. I secretly wanted his work to connect to the latest folklore, but alas no signs of aliens from Mars are spotted here.

Instead, we have a very traditional horror tale set in the yesteryears of American colonization. Two cowboys disturb a grave and the chaos that erupts is true to form. The items they stole are haunted, and are a beacon for the spirit to follow. This director also tosses in a few moments in how locals treat the indigenous tribes. And when the dead want justice, there’s certainly hell to pay. If only a voice for the tribal children lost in the residential schools in Canada also existed….

The film begins by showing two cowboys (Nathaniel Burns and Conway) not knowing any better about the stuff they found. Instead of a creature completely ethereal trying to be reasonable with these grave-robbers, it’s simply out for blood. Real-life interpretations of the Skinwalker say it can take on the shape of anyone. So why couldn’t it become someone these robbers know and try to be reasonable? Ghosts are rarely that in entertainment, but when considering the human mind can’t comprehend the paranormal, their flight instead of fight response is normal.

I like the setup and there’s an air of trying to be authentic, but there are times the dialogue doesn’t always measure up. In what is basically a zombie film, anything that’s authentically characteristic about the folklore of the Skinwalkers is not there. Maybe this filmmaker should’ve spent more time reading Louis L’amour than going for a Wild Wild West (the TV series) meets Evil Dead.

3 Stars out of 5

Undercover Punch & Gun Finds Its Way to Home Video June 8th

6 Jun

Blu-ray, DVD & Digital release: 'Undercover Punch and Gun' - Far East FilmsBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Well GO USA
Streaming now on Hi-YAH!, and available to pre-order on Amazon.com.

The hottest talents from Hong Kong are the highlight in Undercover Punch and Gun (潜行者), and the eye-candy this film offers is very pleasing, even for the martial arts enthusiast. This movie originally came out in 2019 as Undercover vs Undercover. I doubt the producers were intending to make a play on Mad Magazine’s Spy vs Spy even though the concept is almost similiar.

As for which title is better, I’m glad the rename is used. This bare bones release is appropriate. The standard trailers and English dub (I watched in Mandarin myself) make up this home video edition.

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