Tag Archives: Movie Review

The Zen of “Demigod The Legend Begins” at Fantasia 2022

23 Jul

Demigod The Legend Begins

Played at Fantasia 2022 July 23, 2022

Demigod The Legend Begins, is a visual treat. Not only do we get to watch Taiwanese glove puppet theatre on the big screen, but also the story is epic! Through the magic of editing, these characters come alive.

However, I must wonder if Bunraku is the appropriate term to use to describe this style of puppetry. The motions of these medium-sized dolls are achieved via hiding the puppeteers with simple tricks of the camera. Instead of watching a stage show, we are watching it though the eyes of the cinemtographer–where we have medium shots and closeups of the characters instead of wide shots to show these action figures in motion. In truth, this technique is the centuries-old tradition of budaixi—Chinese opera using glove puppetry. This movie updates the music with modern day electric guitars, and I’m fairly sure one song is taking cues from Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.”

When a robe needs to look like it’s rustling, good ol’ fashioned fans are used. When the background needs to come alive, we have CGI replacing those green screen moments. Also, we have some well placed smoke effects and cups of blood to splash around when needed! The presentation is as good as those classic wuxia Hong Kong films from the 80s. But I can’t help but chuckle when they move off camera like a Muppet. That’s okay; Demigod The Legend Begins is not meant to be as perfect as other films using marionation.

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The Deer King Strides Into Theatrical Release Beginning Today!

15 Jul

The Deer KingGKIDS
Limited Screenings Beginning July 15

The Deer King is more than an adventure set in the wild west. The politics that get involved here are complex, and the plot concerns how one secretive order seeks to restore the delicate balance between man and the natural world. In what’s presented, the wolves and deer we find in this film serve a mysterious master, and as the title implies, the latter are everywhere! They are not supposed to be a resource for people to exploit. Instead, they’re a symbol for protection.

Technically, this anime by Production IG is more of a fantasy. The Empire of Zol and the people from Aquafa are at odds; their war abruptly ended when a plague struck the land and devastated one nation. As a result, the other faction feared catching it. The accord forged is shaky, and this tale looks at the state of affairs when Zol dares to resume the fight.

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Thor: Love and Thunder and It’s Connection with The Eternals

13 Jul

Thor: Love and Thunder Poster

Spoiler Alert

MCU’s Phase Four should’ve started with The Eternals and continued into Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness before the latest. No matter how hard I’ve tried to rewatch those Disney/Marvel films prior, I simply turn it off after ten minutes. Plus, ever since Taika Waititi said he’d return to make Thor: Love and Thunder, fans everywhere had high expectations, and he certainly delivered!

Not only did the story bring Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) back, but also, we get to see what has become of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) since joining the Guardians of the Galaxy. And when considering this director brings the same boisterousness from Ragnarök to this latest, I’m excited!

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Lightyear, How Painful Can it Get When Time Stands Still?

21 Jun

Lightyear Movie PosterSpoiler Alert

Buzz Lightyear is a hero for all ages, and the feature film that inspired the toy which Andy from PIXAR’s Toy Story owns is here! While rewatching Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, I couldn’t help but find a few ideas put into the CGI tale.

A few seeds were no doubt sowed concerning season two’s “Lost in Time,” but I’m fairly sure writers Angus MacLane, Matthew Aldrich and Jason Headley were drawing more on the movies of the 70s and 80s–namely Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Flash Gordon–while writing this tale. One detail not everyone will notice is the name of Buzz’s new spaceship, a spaceship named XR-1. It’s a soft nod to the robot from the animated series.

However, this movie introduces Sox (voiced by Peter Sohn), a robotic scene-stealing cat, to lighten up an otherwise dark tale. Chris Evans voices the titular hero, and I think the choice is perfect since he is Captain America after all!

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Top Gun is Sexy when Maverick is Free to Fly Like An Eagle!

7 Jun

Top Gun Maverick

Spoiler Alert

Not much has changed in Top Gun: Maverick. The best takeaway is that both the original and this latest has fantastic music that honours the past and future.

Even the copycat films of the time had its strong musical moments. It’s tough not to forget what Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone” and Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” confirms as part of the presentation. The lyrics establish more than just the tone of the work, but also provide a capsule summary of each set piece.

The story picks up about thirty-five years later, with Captain Pete Mitchell (Tom Cruise) “stuck” in a rut. He’s like James T. Kirk from the early Star Trek movies. Their career is going nowhere, and it took several films for both to find where they belong. Are either of the two an officer or a gentleman? No, they’re both free spirits; they are more than just another ghost rider in the sky. They don’t want to be confined to duty.

This film gets up close and personal. To get those goosebumps when riding that wild wind with a precision machine is what this film aimed for and I say the production team succeeded. There’s some effects shots which even I’m not sure if they are CGI or real.

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