Tag Archives: Japanese

Enter the Fat Dragon Hits North America!

19 Feb

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Well GO USA
Playing at select theatres.
Please check local listings.

Enter the Fat Dragon was quite the unexpected movie to launch on Valentine’s Day weekend. It has enough romantic elements to make the idea work. Ultimately, it’s an update of the 1978 film of the same name starring Sammo Hung and stays true to the comedic styling that defined that generation of martial arts films. Yes, we all love Bruce Lee, and when paired with the crazy stunts popularized by Jackie Chan’s prowess, it’s a movie to admire.

Fallon Zhu (Donnie Yen) is having a hard go at life. He’s a police officer who ends up being more trouble than he’s worth because of all the collateral damage caused when he brings down a criminal. Because of this, he gets demoted to the evidence department and that means sitting down alot. He has access to a vending machine with all the worst possible junk food he can have and eventually it leads to him gaining a lot of weight. Plus, he has girlfriend problems.

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Donten: Laughing Under the Clouds Rains Home Feb 4th!

3 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Shout! Factory
Release Date: Feb 4, 2019

All three films of Donten: Laughing Under The Clouds – Gaiden (曇天に笑う) are coming to home video! Based on the manga Laughing Under the Clouds by Karakara-Kemuri, these movies differ somewhat from the television series broadcast back in 2014. The latest chapter, Laughing in Limbo is ongoing, and I’m curious in when this will get animated.

The series is a medieval fantasy, set during the time of the Meiji Restoration. The Samurai are no longer needed and many see the future is with a competent military presence. With the old ways disappearing fast, some have turned ronin and others are simply no longer doing their job….

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Top Animated Features to Look Forward to in 2020

22 Jan

nullBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The 2020 season of animated features is big, and we’re going to see the return of Gru! With streaming video platforms now the norm, distribution is not limited to what’s playing on the big screen. In what I offer is a list of coming works that I’m personally very excited for.

Not a lot of anime is mentioned in this list save for one. They are a unique world onto itself and deserves its own list.

Las Leyendas: El Origen
April 17

Anyone who has watched Netflix’s Legend Quest will be in for a treat! The Hispanic horror-comedy directed Ricardo Arnaiz and produced by Mexican animation studio, Ánima Estudios has gained a loving reputation. It shares the same DNA as Gravity Falls and the character designs are not too different. Instead of a brother and sister team, the tale focuses on a boy who can talk to dead people.

Leo San Juan is your take-charge kind of personality. His companions include a ghost girl, Teodora; a loony old knight, Don Andrés, the mythical dragon (if he can be called that), Alebrije; and two calaveras (skeleton kids), Finado and Moribunda. This film is the origin story about them.

They have to help a human infant who looks trapped in the afterlife. Whether this baby walked through the Espejo Eternal (“eternal mirror”)–a portal that separates the Realm of the Living and the Dead—by accident or not, the details are uncertain. Finando and Moribunda has to protect the tyke from what may be the Mexican version of Charon. As a side-story, I can’t help but be excited for what two skeleton kids can do to keep this franchise ongoing.

Scoob!
May 15

Yes, I’m a sucker for a good Scooby Doo mystery. In this reboot, we see how a pup without a name get named and how he met Shaggy Rogers. Soon, the rest of the gang are reintroduced in modern fashion. It’s weird to not see Fred sporting his trademark ascot, but with a franchise that’s 50 years old, modernizing it is a must. Even Daphne and Velma get an update to their dated look.

As for whether or not this film is a step in the right direction for keeping interest alive, I’ll take a look. This film brings a handful of classic Hanna-Barbera characters into the fold in a not all to surprising shared universe concept. As long as Captain Caveman and Blue Falcon is done right, it’s all good.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
May 22

With this third film, the huge selling point is to see when Spongebob met Gary, his pet snail.

There’s more to their relationship which holds them together. When the gastropod gets snail napped by the sea god Poseidon, my biggest question is why? Does the mewing mollusc possess something the god need? Or is Gary a snail on a mission from god?

The shenanigans will no doubt be crazy, but as long as we get a good story instead of a lengthy sitcom, I’m curious in where this film will go and hope I won’t need earplugs in the end.

Soul
June 19

Joe Gardner is the Soul Man. Well, not quite yet. He’s dreamed of making it big, but is instead a middle school music teacher. When an accident robs him of this life, hopefully his afterlife will be better (or not).

He has to help others who are not as hopeful if he’s to earn his wings. When his heaven (or is that purgatory?) is “You Seminar,” the concept seems scarier than sitting in on a long motivational Ted Falk.

When PIXAR is behind this work, the story will be inspirational. The Jazz soundtrack will no doubt be the driving force behind this work.

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Evangelion: 3.0+1.0
June 27

After 13 long years, the complete Rebuild of Evangelion is finally here! I’ve been holding off watching these set of films (well, except the first).

When Hidiki Anno took time off to make Shin Godzilla. I’m not complaining. He’s a master of his craft, and I feel he can do not wrong. With this final release, I can plan for a weekend of seeing all the films together and try not to cry.

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A Creepy International Movie Guide to Enjoying Halloween

31 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The horror movie experience is subjective when looking at any screaming list of what to watch in the days leading to or on Halloween Day. Any long-time fan will have developed an immunity to certain levels of gore. When I was younger, I was not as hardened. What you see here is one where I reflect to those movies that really got to me when I was a tyke–still discovering what comes naught may.

I break a few entries down to include even more films since they represent a particular subgenre. Here’s my guide for what to view tonight (or any other). For a few of us, All Hallow’s Eve lasts longer. After all, the Day of the Dead takes place November 2nd, but this cultural celebration differs from the American-Celtic tradition.

Häxan
(1922)

Horror films from the silent film era are unique. The more aged the presentation is, the more detached it is from our sense of what modern times entails. Perhaps the way each frame flips or an original cinema screening skips, can jar our belief in reality–whether or not it is dreamlike.

There’s no denying Nosferatu (1922), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (109), The Phantom Carriage (1920) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925) are masterpieces. A bigger question lies in what can truly disturb, or cause nightmares to those not used to tales of the macabre? When this Swedish-Danish work was originally meant to be a documentary that looks at Witchcraft throughout the ages–also this film’s English title–and the gory practices involved that cast them as demons, this film does the job!

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