Tag Archives: Netflix

It’s better to Fight, than Let the Monster Run

26 Feb

Monster Run (2020) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on Netflix

The idea to adapt the American book into a Chinese film, Monster Run, is odd. This country is better off taking concepts from their own vast catalogue of lore than to look across the Pacific. The plot outline of Monster by A. Lee Martinez is also very familiar.

Some ideas are good, like the comic relief from a smart-mouthed animated piece of paper and a heroine who is not fully aware of her psychic abilities. Ji Mo (Jessie Li) can see monsters. However, she is not in full control of her abilities and she thinks she’s an odd duck. She’s like Pai in the Japanese manga Sazan Eyes by Yuzo Takada, innocent and cute. However, she doesn’t have Sanjiyan’s confidence, another personality hiding within her, to control the beasts. That belongs to her rival, Lotus (Kara Hui).

Meng (Shawn Yue) is the only person who can help. One night, while Mo is handing out flyers for the grocery store she works at, he is hunting for a nearby sleeping beast. Their meeting wasn’t easy; he is a conceited fool, as annoying as Han Solo when Leia first met him, but in control of the situation with Paper, his partner (voiced by the scene stealing Qiao Shan) providing support. This possessed piece of stationery is hilarious and the many forms he can fold himself into give this film an air of originality!

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How to Cinematically Rock Chinese New Year 2021

12 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Chinese New Year is today and while it feels late when compared to previous year, that’s because this celebration follows the tides of the moon. A few new films from this country are attached to this time of the year but this time ’round not so much thematically.

Not to flog a dead horse (or ox, as this year represents), the pandemic has done enough to cause problems for the timeline when certain movies are released. Some are developed with the hashtag #blockbuster in mind, and others to show renewal.

Only three works in the fantasy front pop because there’s no more. I hoped for Deep Sea to debut, and it’s no doubt delayed. In what we can enjoy after their release in the homeland and in other territories by Well GO USA are:

Gods: Nezha Reborn
Feb 12-15

This modern update of Nezha sounds very promising, especially when the trailer takes on tones of Akira, Blade Runner and Mad Max! What can go wrong? If you’ve enjoyed White Snake from a few years ago, then Light Chaser Animation Studios and Warner Bros Eastern Division have a hit!

Synopsis: Three thousand years ago, both humans and gods faced a great catastrophe. Not wanting Nezha’s soul to escape the net of heaven and earth, they placed him into a cycle of constant reincarnation. However, the dragon clan’s grievances towards Nezha did not let up, and Li Yunxiang, who had the primordial spirit of Nezha, lived in fear for his life. With the East China Sea at stake, Yunxiang will have to fight alongside Nezha to defeat the dragons and become a hero. [© Far East Films]

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On the Finale of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Lovecraft & Its Future

13 Jan

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

SPOILER ALERT

Netflix’s supernatural series concerning a certain teenage spell-caster has sadly ended. The past seasons had The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina dealing with a lot of issues not only about life as a half-witch, half-mortal but also with her role against adversaries far more experienced than her in matters of what exists in heaven, hell and in between!

The installation of cosmic horror–namely the works of H. P. Lovecraft–is very well done. Instead of directly referencing specific Elder Gods, the concepts of what they represent are given a fresh new spin. I had wondered just how the pagans from the previous season would summon them. I half expected grandiose incantations and a lamps exploding as they enter, but–because of budgetary concerns-the beings sulk into the narrative. They appear as humanoid forms and are simply known as “Terrors.”

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Top Ten Animated Picks to Look Out For in 2021!

3 Jan

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

In the animated front, the films I’m really excited for are from China. Getting the news from this country is tough, and the studios are mum about what’s next in the Fengshen Cinematic Universe! I tried contacting a Vancouver studio supposedly involved and they never responded.

Because of the pandemic, a lot of production work shifted to either finishing at home or was put on hiatus. The workflow may well have slowed down too. Thankfully, there’s some good news: one particular Japanese animated title is coming very soon.

I’m hopeful the international release is not too much later.

Evangelion: 3.0+1.0
Thrice Upon a Time
Jan 23 (Japan)

The Rebuild tetralogy was on infinite hold when Hideaki Anno was off building Shin Godzilla. Anyone who has seen the original anime will know the general premise–young teens saving the Earth from a holy battle–but with the Illuminati like conspiracies going on, they are locked in an even different secret war. However, this reboot is huge, and it’s one I’m refusing to see one by one over several years. The wait is finally over so fans can see this re-imaging in its entirety.

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What’s New and Old for This Year’s Christmas Special Viewing?

21 Dec

Angela's Christmas Wish review - bringing the warmth back to the seasonBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Many animated Christmas specials (from 19xx to 2000) are considered tradition, and others–the newer stuff–are jockeying for position as a fan favourite in today’s holidays. Of the channels I’m subscribed to (or are part of my regular network package), the content is not feeling as fresh as it could be. YTV is generally my go to channel, but these days, this station is including programming that mixes up decades and a few new things as staples for the season.

They offer a bit of new content. There’s plenty of top ten or twelve, but I’m tightening the belt on making it five!

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