Tag Archives: PIXAR

How Can The Incredibles 2 Be Topped?

16 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

  • Spoiler Alert!

Brad Bird‘s The Incredibles is a perfect send-up to many a past superhero comic. Not only does it explore familial issues (the core of what this franchise is about) but also it continues to examine the public perception of what kind of purpose do these Supers serve. The subplots introduced in the first film get further analysis, and the resolutions are far from being complete.

This second chapter does not get too deep with the whole “Gods and Monsters” aspect which defines many a DC film. To stay light-hearted needed this filmmaker’s magic touch. PIXAR’s mantra focuses on matters of the heart and togetherness instead of the difficult choices heroes have to make: Is it possible to save everyone from harm?

In the first movie, Mr. Incredible aka Bob Parr (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) yearned for those bygone days of simply saving the day. He has an ego the size of his heart. To do good is tough, and he’s not out to showboat. He wants to protect the little guy, but not everyone agrees to his method. The public despises superheroes because they can potentially cause more harm than good (somebody has to clean up the mess they leave behind), and only a handful of folks support them. He gets recruited to do good deeds but little did he know the peoples involved have their own agenda. The sequel flips the situation around by having Elastigirl / Helen (Holly Hunter) getting the adventure and seeing Bob at home, dealing with raising a nuclear family. The plot is a retread and it works well enough to highlight reversed gender roles. Bob gets to clean the dishes at home and Molly gets to be Mrs. Fantastic.

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The Life, Times and Advances in Puppetry with Mike Quinn

14 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Mike Quinn is a man of many cinematic trades—a talent mentored by Jim Henson and Frank Oz—and he sees a bright future for puppetry, a style of performance theatre. His passion for it predates meeting these two icons and he is fully aware of its rich history. At an early age, he staged his own live puppet shows for family and friends, and he was always encouraged to pursue his dreams.

This form of entertainment can be traced back to the days of early man. Some simply manipulated the stuffed dolls with their hands and others took the form further, like to have a light source cast upon them so their shadows are projected upon a larger surface. This technique not only helped make them become larger than life but also create a mystique to enthral many a viewer. Quinn is well aware of the many styles of puppetry that can be used to tell a story. In the 90’s, his shift to work behind the camera showed his passion also included directing. He worked on many a TV pilot in the UK and said Mira Mara was one program where he brought in skilled shadow puppeteers to perform while a human actress was regaling fantastic tales to a cast of puppets. It went to full series production, was filmed throughout Wales and Scotland, and was broadcast in Gaelic speaking countries.

“I think this style is a very poetic and abstract artistic way of doing visuals. I also enjoy watching a different form known as bunraku (Japanese puppet theatre). You have three people working a full figure on a tabletop. They are usually seen behind the puppet, sometimes dressed in black, partially visible … they study forever to be very precise. It’s incredible!” observed Quinn.

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10 Most Anticipated Animated Films for 2018

30 Dec

By Ed Sum
The Vintage Tempest

Plenty of animated films will be coming in 2018 for the discerning connoisseur to consider. Disney and PIXAR do not dominate the market, and to offer enough international flavour is what makes this list different from others. While a strong anime theme persists, offered here are my picks for the 2018 year. Not every film have a set date; they are confirmed to come out within the year at least.

This list is organized into the most highly anticipated to “least.”

Godzilla: Monster Planet

Anyone living in Japan saw this movie already and the word is that this film is very good. The expectations from fans living elsewhere are high since this work is coming from the studio who birthed Gojira, and the look is epic.

Humanity had to flee the planet in order to survive this beast’s wrath, and now they want it back. Hopefully the advancements in technology can placate the behemoth! No date is given for the global Netflix release. Perhaps this movie will get a limited cinema screening first, where this film deserves to be seen, before heading to the streaming service.

Peaking into the Layers of Folklore in Pixar’s Coco

24 Nov

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Despite reports of Disney•Pixar having a troubled start in the development of Coco, the movie I saw in all its charming glory and the reveal of how many anthropological experts were acknowledged in the movie credits certainly put any concerns to rest. The fact Hispanic illustrator Lalo Alcaraz was one such person hired on to ensure accuracy made this animated take in what Día de Muertos is about all the more enjoyable. As a group, these people insured this animated film is culturally relevant. Together, with director Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 2 & 3) and writers Adrian Molina, Jason Katz and Matthew Aldrich, they made a film that’s true to the spirit of many past Pixar films, where keeping family ties is important.

Not everyone is fully aware about what the Day of the Dead represents. As a film about young Miguel Rivera (Anthony Gonzalez) wanting to be a musician instead of a cobbler — against his family’s wishes — just what he has to face in his journey is an adventure. From the land of the living to the city of the dead to find his great-great-grandfather, all he wants is someone’s blessing for what he wants to do for the rest of his life. Upon stealing a guitar in a mausoleum, he inadvertently enters the afterlife and pretty soon, he meets his deceased relatives. They are, pardoning the pun, aghast and side with his great grandmother’s desire to keep the family away from ever enjoying music. None are allowed to listen to it or perform.

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