Tag Archives: James Wan

Aquaman, A Textbook Case of A Hero’s Journey …

22 Dec

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

‘Tis the season to enjoy being Aquaman. Jason Momoa is clearly having fun in the role, and his charm sells this latest DC Extended Universe product. Zack Snyder has executive producer credit and James Wan is directing. This Fast and Furious director sticks to what he knows best and translates the screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall into glorious sequences straight out of Lord of the Rings, Clash of the Titans (no surprise here, when considering David’s past work), Blade Runner and Indiana Jones.

Of the latter, it was too short and I wished for more. The visual treat of the underwater sequences is certainly overwhelming and lives up to recreating Neo Atlantis perfectly. I hoped for a more classically nuanced work (in reference to Plato’s Timaeus) and while not out of place, the archeological moments were not too much of a letdown. Balancing the origin of a superhero story with the big tease of them in the Sahara must have been tough.

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A Guide to The Enfield Poltergeist’s Influence on The Conjuring 2 & Beyond

12 Jun

Conjuring_2By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

James Wan’s The Conjuring 2 is very loosely based on the real-life Enfield Poltergeist incident and I believe Wan depends on the tropes (established in his previous works, especially Insidious, and other filmmakers, namely Tobe Hooper / Steven Spielberg’s Poltergeist and Richard Donner’s The Omen), far too much. The setting, plot and set pieces felt too familiar and this storyteller rarely deviates from it. As effective as he is in mastering what’s tried and true, I really hoped he would try new ideas out with this sequel.

The story is accurate in terms of revealing that the activity started when the girls started playing with an Ouija board. When you start communicating with ghosts with this device, they will want to talk back. Unless the proper precautions and sign-offs are used, they will stay until heard! The production team probably only went as far as looking at the Wikipedia entry on this case to add to the tale. While Wan’s production team said they talked to all the people involved in the case, not every incident was used or made important in this film.

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