Tag Archives: Guillermo del Toro

Season Three of Trollhunters is Not an End but a New Beginning

29 May

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Sadly, all good Trolls must come to an end. No, the species are not going extinct in the finale of DreamWorks Trollhunters on Netflix but instead, Jim Lake Jr’s rite of passage into manhood is. Minimal spoilers will be revealed as this series has become a definitive hero’s journey for viewers of all ages to appreciate.

Most of the main characters are richly developed and Richard Hamilton’s books (The Way of the Wizard takes place after “For the Glory of Merlin” and Welcome to the Darklands in between seasons and two) fills in the blanks. The mythology takes a few cues from Arthurian tradition and this latest season does a triumphant job at exploring the virtues of what defines the knight. Traditionally, they should be on generosity, courtesy, chastity, chivalry and piety. This animation sees valour, justice and courage just as important.

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Examining the Lore behind DreamWorks’ Trollhunters

27 Dec

trollhunters_posterBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Netflix has a hit with DreamWorks Trollhunters. I binge-watched this entire action-adventure heroic fantasy in one sitting over the holiday weekend and once done, I was craving more. After a good rest, I watched it again. This time, I looked for the details.

There’s a lot of lore to appreciate in the world that Guillermo del Toro and the Hageman Brothers (Dan & Kevin) put together. This producer’s approach in handling the dark fantasy is easily apparent and the series writers crafted a broader story (from the book of the same name) which I found familiar and fun. They crafted a dynamic narrative that’s on par with the storytelling and character development I enjoyed from Transformers Prime.

In this world, these trolls have been around for millenniums and the amulet that grants the wielder a magical suit of armour was made by King Arthur’s Merlin. This realm is occupied by changelings, golems and gnomes. More creatures from fairy tradition will no doubt be coming because the dwarves are suspiciously missing. I love to see a crossover with Disney’s Gargoyles but sadly, I know that will never happen. The fact these creatures avoid the sun is quickly explained in the opening act.

In modern day, the humans are unaware of this troll universe. A bridge divides the two realms and access can only be granted through a special crystal. The peace was good until Gunmar the Black thought the divide prevented good eating (destroying man) to be found. Although the war was waged with none of the human world the wiser, his presence has been a bane in troll history. Not every underground denizen felt the same way as this dark warrior.

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Thoughts on Crimson Peak’s Paranormal Heritage, A Movie Review

20 Oct

crimson-peak-movie-poster-largeBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Crimson Peak is hardly melancholy as most Gothic pieces of literature flow. The tale here moves in Jane Eyre fashion, focussing on a romance, with bits of The Turn of the Screw and Fall of the House of Usher mixed in. When Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) is introduced as a confident young woman wanting to become a writer in the same vein as Mary Shelley, just what’s odd is her sudden conversion naivety as she’s swept away by the loving charm of Thomas Sharpe (charmingly played by Tom Hiddleston), a gentleman inventor from England. He’s arrived in Old Boston, circa 1890, to convince a board of rich businessman to invest in his operation.

There’s this rich red clay on his land that can be a boon to the construction industry. These bricks can be tough as nails when properly mixed, but it’s also symbolic to a detail that ties this film together. The deep crimson quality suggests something else. Writer and director Guillermo del Toro makes sure all the symbolic interpretations of this colour are examined. From warning, love, courage and hate, just what exactly this brick like tone represents depends on the individual and culture. For Edith, if only she understood the signs. She should have. As a writer, she has to know that the world can be explained with allegory and metaphors. There’s the potential for anything she sees or experiences to contain a deeper meaning. She’s smart for one-act and is dumb in the remainder. Perhaps that’s because of the poison that’s working through her system to numb her senses. A lot of thought is required to process the story that del Toro has penned with Matthew Robbins. Not every detail is properly explained for some people to understand. Some of them might be mistaken for plot holes.

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Examining Pacific Rim’s Video Release: The Bonus Disc & Beyond

22 Feb

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)


Fans of the giant robot genre should take note: the “limited edition” video release of Pacific Rim is worth picking up for the packaging alone. It makes for a very cool display piece, and it ranks up there with other specially designed products like the Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection, presented as a chest, and Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One, contained in a suitcase. The bonus is that this simple 3D display piece is far cheaper than the other two, and it can still be the center of attention on any collector’s shelf.

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Pacific Rim Delivers Plenty of Scale and Memories

12 Jul

by Ed Sum


Plenty of heavy metal thunder can be found in Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. Once the action happens, this film’s many battle sequences are fast and furious, and that’s how real fights should be wrought. Anything drawn out makes those moments slow. Audiences must be tired of Matrix-style “hang-time” effects by now and this film is anything but. Plenty of striking visuals can be seen in this movie that is very different from del Toro’s previous products.

Even the 3D finally offers some punch. Out of all the movies that have been converted to 3D in post, this film is the best of them all. Not one moment feels flat.

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