Tag Archives: Martial Arts

G.I. Joe: Origins From the Perspective of a Long Time Fan

28 Jul

Snake Eyes G.I. Joe Origins Movie Poster.jpgBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Spoiler Alert

Trying to rejuvenate interest in a more than a half century old toy line can be tough. Not even Snake-Eyes–the most popular character–can save the franchise. He’s not even a G.I. Joe in the self-titled Origins film. It may be the first in a series which redefines key characters, and giving them a history to make them edgier than the typical cartoon portrayal. 

Just where Snake-Eyes (Henry Golding) learned martial arts is still a mystery. This  movie shows him as a diamond in the rough and this actor certainly knows how to play that up. There’s a lot of emotional baggage he has to shed before he can be that Ultimate Ninja. He first has to learn the way of bushido, and perhaps his heritage too. The latter is quickly revealed, but I hoped for more. I find the story really odd since it barely scratches the surface in what this individual knows as honour.

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Undercover Punch & Gun Finds Its Way to Home Video June 8th

6 Jun

Blu-ray, DVD & Digital release: 'Undercover Punch and Gun' - Far East FilmsBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Well GO USA
Streaming now on Hi-YAH!, and available to pre-order on Amazon.com.

The hottest talents from Hong Kong are the highlight in Undercover Punch and Gun (潜行者), and the eye-candy this film offers is very pleasing, even for the martial arts enthusiast. This movie originally came out in 2019 as Undercover vs Undercover. I doubt the producers were intending to make a play on Mad Magazine’s Spy vs Spy even though the concept is almost similiar.

As for which title is better, I’m glad the rename is used. This bare bones release is appropriate. The standard trailers and English dub (I watched in Mandarin myself) make up this home video edition.

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Thoughts & Theories after Ninjago Seabound’s Finale & What’s Next?

23 May

FEAF8B65-87BA-4019-8023-1AB5133A9AD0On Teletoon Canada
Sundays 6:30am PST/ 9:30am EST

Spoiler Alert

The finale to Ninjago: Seabound is not at an end. It’s merely a huge part two and there are still threads to tie up. “Nyad” and “Turn of the Tide” make up the finale and it’s a tearjerker. Nya is fighting Kalmaar mono a mono, and elsewhere, Jay’s combat vehicle gets damaged. He may well drown if he’s not rescued soon. Sadly, by the time help arrives, he slips into a coma. Nya can’t bear to see him this way and realizes sacrifices must be made for some good to happen.

The Water Ninja learns how the tale of Nyad ends and she’s ready for change. She opens her katras up to accept another entity (or energy) to enter. She’s doing something similar to Jean Grey in Marvel’s X-Men (Uncanny, #101-108) comics by accepting the Phoenix Force. An interesting parallel must be made though. As she rises out of the water, the whirlwind is like Nadakahn’s (the villain from season six) dust tail. However, she is aware of who she is despite what Wu said, “Whatever you’re hearing, whatever you’re experiencing. Fight it, Nya. Remember who you are. Remember.”

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The Calm Before the Storm with Ninjago: Seabound

17 May

FEAF8B65-87BA-4019-8023-1AB5133A9AD0On Teletoon Canada
Sundays 6:30am PST/ 9:30am EST

Spoiler Alert

Sometimes these small chapters in Ninjago Seabound are simply teasers. “The Calm Before the Storm” shows how far Jay and Nya’s relationship progressed. It’s easy to realize that something will separate these two when considering how truly yin and yang they’ve become. The future Jay saw in the Ice Labyrinth (“Grave Danger”) may well be in trouble unless the plan mapped out for the series has a solution.

True to the legend, Wojira is an embodiment of a tempestuous sea and he looks just as fierce as Godzilla! The carnage reminds me of the Tōhoku tsunami of 2011 and it may well be intentional. Even the minted King Kalmaar has trouble controlling her. One fact is certain, he needs the beast to drench the surface world if he’s to rule over it. Thankfully, not every Merlopian agrees with this warlord’s edict.

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Who’s the Master of the Sea in Ninjago’s Latest?

9 May

FEAF8B65-87BA-4019-8023-1AB5133A9AD0By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

On Teletoon Canada
Sundays 6:30am PST/ 9:30am EST
Spoiler Alert

The latest pairing of Ninjago is a very welcome one. “Papergirl” shifts the tale to Antonia, a newspaper carrier. She doesn’t think she’s doing enough with her life, and her co-worker (and friend) Nelson tries to dissuade her from leaving. The Storm Crystal that the ninja team and Kalamarr wants lands in Antonia’s newspaper basket by accident and she’s told to flee with it instead of handing it over. She almost bests the Prince in an exciting chase around the city.

When he finally has time to question this ordinary girl, he wonders if she’s Serpentine, Oni, Elemental Masters or Vermillion. None of them have bested him, and he feels like he’s met his match. Amusingly, her response shows that an ordinary person can do extraordinary things when they put their mind to it. It’s a terrific message. This character appeared in “The News Never Sleeps!” and “Would You Like to Enter Prime Empire?” These alternate outings shows she often get the job done whenever the city goes into hell in a hand basket. In “Game Over,” see helps a child as everyone else is fleeing. As a symbol of courage, we can all learn from her.

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