Tag Archives: Spoiler Alert

Arr! The Masters of Spinjitzu are Seabound Ho!

13 Apr

Ninjago (TV Series 2019– ) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

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

Spoiler Alert
Please check local listings for other regions.

Nya’s powers are going haywire in LEGO Ninjago. They’re the Masters of Spinjitzu after all, and this year’s set of episodes dropped this moniker in favour of streamlining the series. This latest chapter, titled Seabound, reimagines the team as proper Avengers level heroes. They’re always going after villains somewhere in this continent. They’ve all upped their game and when considering this chapter takes place after The Island, certain threats are bound to return, namely Wojira!

Sensei Wu reintroduces this creature in “A Big Splash.” This titan is of the serpentine class and they have been regular foes in this series. This newest member ranks right up there with The Great Devourer in terms of power, and I’m sure the list doesn’t end there. Fire Fang and the Anacondrai serpent proved to be tough adversaries for Lloyd and the gang. I would not be surprised if they’ve lived a long life, and helped shape this universe in one way or another. Wojira might even have more relatives. She’s blamed for affecting Nya’s ability to control the water element than the Vengestone–this universe’s version of Kryptonite–Miss Demeanor stole. I think it’s a combination of both. The others have been Ninjas longer and faced more threats which rarely affected their powers whereas Nya is still ‘new.’

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VFFOnline: Navigating Nobuhiko Ōbayashi’s Labyrinth of Cinema

8 Feb

Labyrinth of Cinema (2019) poster.jpgBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Streaming Online
at the Victoria Film Festival
Get your pass here.
All films begin Feb 5th, 2021

Note: Geo-locked to residents in British Columbia

Spoiler Alert

Nobuhiko Ōbayashi‘s Labyrinth of Cinema is not only a tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood but also an anti-war film. The many genres this era introduced helped define the shape of entertainment still to come, and its fondly honoured. We see a bit of everything in this film, from animation to comedy to sci-fi, and there’s even a splash of horror offered after a few musical moments. The best bits are with the romances, though.

The films of today are a lot more sophisticated in terms of realism. This filmmaker went old school to make this movie, and he wanted his performers to overact. They are in on the joke. He uses those techniques to emphasize why the modern (nuclear) age is terrible. The realism is just that, and the fiction is in technicolour. Unlike Ishirō Honda‘s intent in Gojira (1954), this work makes a different commentary about why going to war is bad (from the eyes of one side in the conflict). Also included is the fear of where humanity is headed–whether or not any future conflicts to come will destroy humanity. Ultimately, his goal is to show us why engaging in the art of war (and not in the Sun Tzu sense) is bad.

Ōbayashi makes use of humour to hammer in the point. He also broke a lot of rules from movie making 101 when he was in post-production, namely the editing of Labyrinth of Cinema. I was taught to avoid jump cuts in my newsroom videos, but he’s gratuitous in using this technique. The plot here is non-linear, and he purposely micro-budgeted the set design in some of this film’s best romantic moments to make it picturesque, like it’s from a painting. More green screen sets were used to distinguish the many realities explored. My guess is that the only proper place was a movie theatre and everything else was digitally created.

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TheNFB at VFF2021 Part 3: The Myth & Mystery in Altötting, Germany

25 Jan

Altötting (2020) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

National Film Board of Canada
Victoria Film Festival: Animate Me Shorts Program beginning Feb 5th, 2021

Andreas Hykade‘s Altötting is a very personal story about his first time meeting the blessed Virgin Mary and his experiences. He speaks highly of her, as though she was a lover, but the context is far more allegorical–pertaining to her role in 20th Century history–as a lady in waiting for those seeking salvation.

This minimalist animated short is very alluring in its approach of describing the power of her being. The erotic implications are minimal, and whether that was intentional by this filmmaker, it’s hard to say.

As for the experience of seeing the power of her being for the first time, the feelings may well be simliar to how Lucia Abobora, and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, described the angel who came to visit them in Fatima, Portugal and afterwards, the Virgin Mary. But this filmmaker set his piece in a small German town with an equally historical landmark built to honour this person (and be a tourist attraction). The similarity is in how the two are often visited by those in search for a miracle.

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TheNFB at VFF2021 Part Two: Analyzing I, Barnabé

21 Jan

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

National Film Board of Canada
Victoria Film Festival: Animate Me Shorts Program beginning Feb 5th, 2021

Spoiler Alert 

Click here to buy tickets (disclaimer: region locked to BC residents)

Barnabé is a pastor having a crisis of faith. He can’t take it anymore in this ethereal animated short by Jean-François Lévesque.

This character wants to end his life. To see him taking to alcohol to numb his senses is only a start to a wild and woolly ride of his past, his present and what may come in a Dickenson type of tale. The gothic tropes are nicely used to showcase his deterioration, but it’s his journey which takes on a different tone.

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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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