The Emperor’s Sword Takes a Slice at Chinese History

The Emperor’s Sword is a quasi-historical film which went from one streaming service in China to Hi-Yah! Network to home video release.

The Emperor's Sword Film Review – Drop The SpotlightWell GO USA
Available to stream or purchase on Amazon USA

Not to be confused with the Warhammer 40k weapon of different renown, The Emperor’s Sword (乱世之定秦剑) is a quasi-historical film which went from one streaming service in China to Hi-Yah! Network to home video release. There’s no bonus material to explain the finer details to which the tale comes from, and as for how much of what’s presented is real depends on how well one knows their Chinese history.

This tale takes place during the Qin Dynasty where “The Seven Gentlemen” (The Virtuous, The Wisdom, The Polite, The Valor, The Brave, The Vigor, and The Wise) are brought together to guard a sword that’s fabled to bring peace to the land. But to prevent the wrong people from taking absolute rule, this blade was split into two. If the parts ever reunite, problems are going to rise. Meng Tian (a real general) will have to deal with the mess. He protects one half of this blade. Elsewhere, Zhao Gao (also real) makes a grasp for power. He kills the current emperor (fictionalized) and his son, and with no surprise, the only survivor, Xue escapes with the sword. She barely survives and what we get is a merry chase through parts of China.

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Yahoo! New Buckaroo Banzai Adventures Are Coming!

Buckaroo Banzai Book CoverRelease Date:
August 10, 2021

Available to pre-order on Amazon USAir?t=wiupgeatthmo 20&l=am2&o=1&a=150672213X

The long-anticipated sequel to the sci-fi novel and motion picture The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension is finally here! As told by the Reno Kid to Buckaroo Banzai chronicler E.M. Rauch (Buckaroo Banzai novelist and screenwriter), this novel reintroduces everyone’s favorite scientist-surgeon-entertainer-daredevil as he sets off on a brand-new hair-raising adventure in Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League, et al: A Compendium of Evils!      

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The Mythology and The Legend of Tomiris

The Legend of Tomiris is a dramatic film about the real-life figure from Massagetae, and she’s as powerful as Queen Cleopatra!

Legend of Tomirs
Blu-ray available to purchase on Amazon USAir?t=wiupgeatthmo 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B089TRZPNR

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)


Available on Amazon Prime and Home Video

Xena: Warrior Princess may well have taken inspiration from a certain ancient Kazakhstan queen. After watching The Legend of Tomiris, the real-life figure (well played by Almira Tursyn) from Massagetae, I like to learn more! This region of Central Asia is largely unknown to most westerners. She’s inspired the Amazonians of lore, but I say she’s done more than simply unite the people of the Great Steppes. Her silent ferocity shows no fury like a woman scorned. In this film’s case, killing her husband and child led to a climactic battle against the invading Persians.

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All Hail the Popcorn King, A Review

null 1By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

If you look hard enough, playing at select film festivals is the documentary All Hail the Popcorn King. This biography about celebrated author Joe R. Lansdale is just as much of a celebration of his career, and sadly, the home video release was limited edition. It sold out faster than you can shoot a gun at a zombie! He’s known for penning the hilarious cult classic Bubba Ho-tep–a personal favourite of mine. Amongst animation fans, he penned a handful of notable episodes of Batman: The Animated Series.

Although no stone is turned in this work, the emphasis on his literary material stands out because a unique Texan style atmosphere permeates much of his work and really has to be analyzed.

The interviews with Joe Hill, Bruce Campbell and Amber Benson (to name a few) nicely add to learning why Lansdale is loved. He’s a special talent. The fact he was chosen to finish an Edgar Rice Burroughs story speaks about his mastery with the pulps. Apparently, his imagination was sparked when he listened to those old time radio programs. He especially loves those programs, like Flash Gordon, Green Hornet and The Shadow. Some of which became television programs and others, celebrated movies–but the love for the pulps has not been the same since the new century.

The crazy dreams he had after chowing down on his wife’s greasy (lard-coated) popcorn apparently led to many of the stories he wrote. If that’s the case, I shouldn’t be too worried about those LSD trips. They may even be wonkier than John Carter’s adventures. Who knows tho’. But for anyone who only knows some of this author’s materials, this documentary is a must see to learn about what else he’s dabbled in. Hopefully a new pressing of the disc can be made, as this work is considered essential viewing.

With luck, if all fans scream loud enough, perhaps Hansi Oppenheimer of Squee Projects LLC will listen.

4 Stars out of 5


Straight up We’ll Climb in this GKIDS Rerelease of The Wind Rises

This GKIDs re-release is a step above from the prior Disney version. The transfer is essentially the same. We get a few added videos, like “10 Years With Hayao Miyazaki Documentary” and “Film Completion Press Conference.”

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Watch it online or buy at Amazon USAir?t=wiupgeatthmo 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B08FF8D4T6

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

GKIDS & Shout! Factory

Release Date:
Sept 22, 2020

The question of which North American Studio Ghibli home video release is worthwhile to own depends on how consistent the package design is between each distributor’s release. I tried to obtain all the region two releases but as home video player technologies changed, I adapted because I favoured high definition over a low fidelity DVD format.

The changeover of rights is not confusing. Disney got the license for certain films, and if the title was deemed “too adult,” it was a Touchstone Pictures release. Universal Pictures handled the non-Miyazaki products, and over time the Mouse conceded. GKIDs and Shout! Factory took over distribution. I’m at the point of filing away my cases and making a custom binder to store my many versions and not worrying about how my collection looks on the media shelf. With The Wind Rises now on Bluray, I can say my collection is more or less complete.

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