Tag Archives: Essay

On Why Not Everyone Will See Todd Phillips’ Joker

6 Nov

Image result for joker movie posterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Just a little more than a month since the release of Joker, I simply don’t have the interest to see Todd Phillips’ box office smash hit. Enough has been spoiled online, where just going will simply be a waste of time. In the DC Comics universe, many writers ranging from original creator Jerry Robinson to Alan Moore (The Killing Joke), have done their character study and to add another take feels like overkill.

From animation to video games, not all of these clown prince(s) of crime are going to behave the same. Some will take on the chilling appeal ala Charles Manson and others are just troubled individuals. The Joker, for me, is an embodiment of chaos. His mania developed to a point where he can’t pull off a caper without getting Batman getting involved. This version never commits anything low-key.

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The A, B, C’s of Paranormal Investigation (Part One)

25 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Halloween is a very enjoyable time for many. Whether that’s with an event taking place—like attending a live theatre production, a book reading, a horror movie marathon or a paranormal investigation—it’s simply a time to either be merry to get your spook on. Getting closer with the spirit world these days is easy and it has come a long way. In the early part of the 20th century, the choices were generally with seances. Folks could indulge in contacting loved ones.

Even the annual tradition of contacting Harry Houdini became part of the paranormal tapestry. He passed away on All Hallow’s EveHe promised to his wife Bess that if either should die first, they’d attempt to contact the other and had a code word to prove communicating with spirits is possible. Over the years, the methods of doing such a thing have improved and organizations have formed.

Technology-wise, newcomers have many more tools at their disposal. For the casual investigator, all they need is a willingness not to bring in their own (spiritual) beliefs into a case. Many veterans believe this can taint the data. Having an open mind on the fact hauntings are not rooted according to culture helps. These experienced folks generally agree a good common sense, a basic camera and an audio recorder are all that’s needed.

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Where’s the Longevity in Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity after 10 Years?

7 Oct

Image result for paranormal activity releaseBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The Paranormal Activity franchise ended many years ago. and some fans may argue it’s been a trailblazer for the found footage genre. Anastasia Hanna of mxdwn.com thinks so, and I have the opposite opinion. It’s been 10 years since its wide theatrical release on Oct 16, 2009 (technically 12 if you count the film festivals), and the last film was about three years ago. Unless there’s a steady stream of this franchise, interest will pitter off.

The impact of this franchise faded with the passage of time. This series has always been a social experiment from the get-go. It’s designed to see how many people will react to the jump scares than to follow the trail of clues offered in all the movies made to date. Blair Witch did a better job with this particular subgenre of horror films since it felt realistic. It did not depend on sequels to make a lasting impact which gets imitated in comedy variety shows and in pop culture. After six films, there’s nothing to even truly recall other than the one ‘scary’ scene where the bedroom door swings open and the fate of Katie and Micah unwinds for all to see.

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Unmasking M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable Trilogy & Glass

14 Apr

Release Date: April 16, 2019

Although M. Night Shyamalan‘s Unbreakable trilogy took nearly twenty years to finish, the wait was certainly worth it. Ever since I saw the first film, I could not help but think of the line from Snow White, “Mirror, mirror on the wall who’s the fairest of them all?” Instead of considering the response from the Disney movie, I feel another meaning can be pulled from it. Anyone who has looked upon this reflective surface is asking to themselves, “Who am I, really?”

Not everybody will like what they see of themselves reflected back. With titles in part two and three suggestive of different mental states, I have enough theories going on in my head wanting to break down what this auteur’s films are about. The bonus material which comes in the home video release of Glass, however brief they are, offer more than a few teasing answers and confirmations in what I already believe. Upon seeing all three films again, back-to-back, I have a few theories.

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