Tag Archives: Hero’s Journey

Too Fast & Furious? On Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification

16 Oct

JIANG ZIYA (2020) - Official Movie Site - Get TicketsBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Although studios aren’t giving Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification (姜子牙) the fanfare it needs for an Autumn 2020 release, at least the bonus post credit sequence is in theme! Word of mouth isn’t enough to announce to the world that the sequel to Ne Zha is as colourful and visually spectacular. Eventually, fans of this shared universe will see the heroes we are being introduced to embark on a combined adventure.

This former general of the celestial army was banished from Kunlan, a city in the clouds which represents one of several heavens, because he disobeyed his lord’s order to kill Su Dajin, who is possessed by Nine-Tailed (Ji Guanlin), a fox demon. But before he could execute her, she showed how her supernatural life connects to a mortal, Xiao Jiu (Yang Ning), a young girl. He can’t destroy a soul at the cost of another.

Continue reading

You Can’t Break The Haunted Swordsman at LAAPFF 2020

2 Oct

The Haunted Swordsman (2019) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available to viewers in Southern California (excluding San Diego County) from October 1, 2020 at 12pm PT to October 31, 2020 at 11:59pm PT. Click here to watch the film on Eventive.

If Studio Laika ever feels they’re stuck on what to make next, they should talk to Kevin McTurk and give him the chance to realize The Haunted Swordsman as a full length film. His work may not be mainstream, but the Japanese folklore about the spirit world he’s borrowing from certainly is! His Kickstarter page reveals how the spooky narrative would develop, and his use of Bunraku Puppet Theater must be seen to be believed. It’s nearly photo-realistic, and the puppeteers are hidden from view to move scale figures in alluring detail. The spook factor is something even The Addams Family would approve of.

Laika made a name for themselves with their equally haunting works, Coraline and Kubo & the Two Strings. Their ability to generate box office hits is very hit or miss. Certain groups will love puppet theatre, but for the masses, CGI has sadly tainted the spectrum. McTurk’s previous short won him accolades. The Mill at Calder’s End earned 14 awards and Guillermo del Toro purchased Grimshaw for his traveling museum exhibition At Home With Monsters.

Continue reading

Going From the Streets of Fire to a Road to Hell at 24 MPH

12 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Although action/sci-fi filmmaker Albert Pyun created a spiritual successor to Walter Hill’s Streets of Fire, not everyone is going to take the Road to Hell right away. It’s a distinct type of film—more confusing than anything else—until the last act, where the connections to the original are made. This director certainly has a fondness for Hill’s work, but I have to ask if the creators would endorse the direction in “part two.” Most likely not when considering they had ideas in place for a trilogy had only the movie been a box office success.

I was reminded of this cult classic not too long ago and found an interview with Michael Paré on Forbes from last year saying he was open to giving new life to this neo-noir wild west romp. Whether Cody and McCoy would both return after riding off to the sunset is debatable. They left “The City on the Edge of Forever,” for a tougher life. In Pyun’s work, Cody went back to serve his country one more time and Ellen became that legend Fish promised. But somewhere along the line, she died. Her musical legacy is remembered when her daughter decided to follow in mom’s footsteps.

Continue reading

When It’s Not Two Frozen for Arendelle’s Future

30 Nov

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Mild Spoiler Alert

“Show Yourself” may not be the definitive musical number to inspire in Frozen 2. Unlike the first film with its spectacular set pieces, this sequel tries too hard to offer refreshing ideas. It’s tough to outdo “Let it Go” because of its many meanings. This sequel at least delivers a story which answers a few questions, has a cultural sub-context which will definitely be of debate for years to come, and looks at how this kingdom continues to survive.

The expected economic examination is ignored. Instead, we find Elsa (Idina Menzel) acting a little off lately. In the side-lines, Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) is trying to figure out the perfect moment to propose to Anna (Kristen Bell). As the trailers have shown, the Queen of Arendelle must heed the siren’s call.

Continue reading