It’s possible that Elemental isn’t a fully PIXAR production. It has a lot of Disney elements laced throughout its narrative.
Just how Elemental this latest work from PIXAR depends on what viewers want to read from it. By this film’s end, what I understod led me to getting Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” stuck in my head.
But there’s more to this tale than meets the eye. While this film is gorgeous to behold with the new tricks that can be done with lighting and transparency in CGI to render some photo-realistic details, the tale needs refining. Here, Ember and Wade (voiced by Leah Lewis and Mamoudou Athie) are complete opposites. One is from a fire nation, and the other water. On certain types of diagrams, they aren’t supposed to meet or combine to form combined substances. When this film is about the four primary elements, any other beings created by their joining won’t necessarily be explained.
Usually, ghosting someone means cutting off contact with a person with no explanation at all. It’s an idea which gets reversed somewhat in the paranormal rom-com Ghosting Gloria, and it’s hilarious to redefine what the term means. Also, it’s terrific to get a ghost story that’s not about the scares either. The rights to this movie has been acquired by FilmSharks to distribute and remake says a lot. I’m rarely a fan of the latter and my guess is that the studio wants more special effects than what’s featured.
Comparisons to the Rocky franchise can easily be made. The hero’s journey is three of Stallone’s films compressed into one; both protagonists developed punch drunk syndrome–hence the title.
By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
North American Premiere
Playing at Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020 On Demand till Sept 2 (5pm EST). Buy your virtual ticket here.
My Punch-Drunk Boxer ( 판소리 복서) could do with a shorter run time if it wants a knockout at the box office. This film is trying to balance being a rom com and sports drama at the same time. As any trainer will tell you, focus!
This Korean film moves to a beat of its own and it can succeed, had it been broken up to two films than one. It almost copies what the protagonist is up to and moves in time to a style that Byeong-Goo (Uhm Tae Goo), a boxer turned ne’er-do-well, developed when he was at his prime. Sadly, an incident ended his career and now he’s doing menial tasks for gym manager, Mr. Park (Kim Hee-won).
Not every Asian is that rich, and nor are they members of the social elite. In Kevin Kwan‘s novel, Crazy Rich Asians, he is out to satirize that culture. The film of the same name certainly glamorizes what is, and how filthy, stinking rich some can become when they come into positions of power. When they are well connected, these people can advance far, and these nuances show up in the book trilogy. When they do not, just where they sit in this chaste society can either be in the lower echelons or high up.
Ultimately, this movie is more of a romantic comedy than a send-up of a who’s who of Singapore. The cultural notes are well placed and they offer nothing new to those who have studied this region. With the soundtrack, I believe it’s a foregone conclusion that in entertainment, the same old set of tunes are used over and over again instead of producers offering new scores to use. I recognized most of the tunes as I regularly heard them in my household back in the day. The fact they are still popular is scary!
Cinecenta University of Victoria Victoria, BC Tuesday, June 14th, 7:00pm and 9:15pm
Also available on iTunes and other VOD platforms.
O. Corbin Saleken’s independent film, Patterson’s Wager, is not necessarily a tough to categorize movie. There are light elements of fantasy and a dash of comedy woven into a charming romantic tale about a dorky insurance agent, Charles (Fred Ewanuick, Corner Gas) trying to find that perfect moment to propose to Audrey (Chelah Horsdal, Hell on Wheels). But when he gains psychic powers that allow him to see into the future by a few minutes, just what can he do with it? Can he use this ability to find that special moment or save the day? This product could have moved like M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable. There’s no villain here but there’s a quest to discover what’s special between two people.
Within this film is a side story about a young girl’s relationship with grandpa which ties into the main story in one huge way. I don’t want to say too much about it since it would constitute a major spoiler. I was very drawn to this secondary narrative because it features one of my favourite all-time performers in a very genial role: Garry Chalk. He’s the voice of Optimus Primal in Mainframe Entertainment’s Beast Wars and played Colonel Chekovin Stargate SG-1.
Folks interested in this quirky film can find it on iTunes Canada and USA. It’s also available on other streaming platforms like Amazon Instant Video, VHX and Vimeo, along with making continued presences at the film festivals. This movie won many awards — like the Best Independent Feature Narrative award at the Winnipeg Real to Reel Film Festival and the Golden Honu for Best Foreign Feature at the Big Island Film Festival in Hawaii — since debuting last year.