Tag Archives: Family

There’s No Place Like Home with The Willoughbys … or Not!

27 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on Netflix

The Willoughbys is a CGI film that doesn’t quite work as a surreal experience like Coraline. It tries, but doesn’t quite nail the fantasy bang-on. It does, however, perfectly hit the various characterizations on the nose. The snobbish bourgeois attitude of the parents is one anyone can easily despise. They are way out there and pay no heed to the children who are left to fend for themselves.

Tim (Will Forte), Jane (Alessia Cara), and twins Barnaby and Barnaby (Seán Cullen) plot to separate from them, but when a very purple toned baby (no reason is given as to why this child is off colour) gets dropped off at their doorstep, all the plans are for naught. The parents hire a nanny, and she gives the kids the love they so need.

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Playing with Fire, or Hero for Hire?

16 Nov

Playing with Fire Movie PosterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Most of John Cena‘s action films under the WWE Studios banner have been a hit-or-miss affair. When he’s playing a caring individual, the charisma shines. When playing military type characters, it’s easy to see why he was in Transformers: Bumblebee; he was straight and narrow. Fortunately, this character chose to side with him despite an auspicious initial meeting.

He’s hilarious to watch when pitted against youths. You see him tough as nails–not wanting to deal with them–and by the end of the film, he’s softened up. Like similar movies concerning children landing into difficult situations because the adult doesn’t understand them (Despicable Me being the best example), the heart of this movie shows how unlikely individuals find each other and become a family.

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Life on the Penguin Highway is Never Sane

4 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Distributor: Shout! Factory
Release Date: August 6, 2019

The anime adaptation of Tomohiko Morimi’s novel, Penguin Highway, is coming to home video! Those who have not seen this anime last year at Fantasia 2018 either had to wait for a local (film festival) screening or this Tuesday. Life is certainly a highway for young Aoyama (Kana Kita), a 4th grader with an IQ of about 105. He aspires to be a scientist, and hopes to visit the moon one day. But first, he has to answer the question of why penguins–who typically prefer cold arctic conditions–are in a sleepy suburb of humid Japan.

He meets a young woman whom he calls Lady (Yuu Aoi) who works at his dentist’s office, and they form an unlikely friendship. Life at school is rough. He’s rather stuffy since everyone identifies him as a nerd. As a result, he’s constantly teased and bullied. He can stand up for himself but he is stronger when his two friends are there to help. Ultimately, the narrative does not differ from, for example, Trollhunters. His just-as-nerdy pal, Uchida (Rie Kugimiya) tries but Hamamoto (Megumi Han) ends up being more handy. The threesome eventually even has the bully team up to deal with a mysterious orb found in a meadow nestled deep in a forest. Just what it is, nobody knows.

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[Fantasia 2019] Astronaut is What Dreams Are Made Of

19 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* North American Premiere at 2019 Fantasia Film Festival.
* Opens theatrically July 26 (select cities)

Richard Dreyfuss is the Astronaut in Shelagh McLeod’s debut movie about old age, dreaming big, faith, and making it into the stars. This actor is well known for such classics, namely Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Both movies helped prepare him to take on a tale about not slowing down.

This actor deserves award recognition for his performance. Angus’ (Dreyfuss) desire to keep going is much like how Sammy Hagar inspires with Van Halen’s song, “Dreams.” Although he is in the twilight of his years, he does not want to be put in the pasture. His grandson Barney (Richie Lawrence) knows it. They also both love stargazing and enjoy talking shop. When considering the elder was a civil engineer, he knows a lot of science relatable to how the universe works, life and everything else. No, the answer is not 42. Nor should it be a marker to gauge against in achieving life’s goals.

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