[Victoria Film Festival 2017] Redefining the Ghost Story with Personal Shopper

mediaBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

This movie will get a wider release in the USA on March 10.

To delicately write and direct a ghost story often means understanding the underlying aspects of what makes this sub genre a delight to watch, if not read. Most stories are focused on an individual feeling isolated instead of terrorized and in some cases, the protagonist feels like a great weight is upon him or her. To be free means all of that is lifted.

The appeal of Olivier Assayas’ movie, Personal Shopper, is in how this subject is gently explored. He does a great job of making a film that is more of a thriller than a Woman in Black style spookfest. The heroine in this story, Maureen Cartwright (Kristen Stewart), does not like her job of being a fashion barista for celebrity-model Kyra (Nora Von Waldstätten) whom she rarely sees and fortunately (or not) she has a side job of being a medium. She can sense dead people and perhaps help them move on. But when she has her own dead weight of dealing with the death of her twin brother is more gifted, just what she’s looking for is actually closure. She is waiting for a sign from him.

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American Ultra is certainly Outlandish, A Review

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

new-american-ultra-posters-arrive-for-comic-con-new-poster-for-american-ultra-497864If Shaggy Rogers of Scooby-Doo fame ever meets the stoner Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) in American Ultra, he better start running away now! This amusing action-comedy-romance explores the life of a clueless young adult who has the skills of a trained assassin. He knows how to utilize it but when he’s spent a good part of his life wonderfully sedated, some of those special skills he knows are not as well honed as they could be. Neither is this movie.

The bigger plot that unfolds outside of Howell’s world is more interesting than the cat-and-mouse game where Howell’s involved. The onus is on Adrian Yates (Topher Grace), a high-ranking CIA operative trying to impress his superiors. He ordered the hit on Howell in order to erase the people involved in a CIA program to create sleeper agents.

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