Tag Archives: VOD

It’s a Heavy Trip Rock n’ Roll Show

13 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on Amazon Prime

  • Spoiler Alert

Metalheads should unite and embark on a Heavy Trip. This Finnish film sees a local band from the small town of Taivalkoski wishing to make it in the big leagues, but to do so means dealing with a lot of challenges. They have been practising for 12 years! The resistance from the residents (being bullied as queers) and a rival musician makes up the plot, but to be respected is tougher.

To create a sound they can call their own gets amusingly fixed. I do not want to say what it is since it spoils a significant part of the film. Other obstacles include stage fright and a drummer who keels over. No, this isn’t Spinal Tap, but when they are playing in the garage one day, a festival promoter discovers them and invites them to play.

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The Incredible Story of the Giant Pear Sails Away on VOD!

6 Dec

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The cinematic adaptation of Jakob Martin Strid‘s Den Kempestore Pere (The Incredible Story of the Giant Pear) may well have some fans of children’s works wonder how it stands to Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach? Both shine as solid pieces of family entertainment. The Danish work is getting distribution in North America courtesy of Uncork’d Entertainment and is available on VOD services like iTunes and Google Play.

This delightful work is comparable to Hayao Miyazaki‘s Castle in the Sky, Laputa. This filmmaker was the key animator to notable early works like Animal Treasure Island and Puss in Boots, and for this newest film, it may have drawn some inspiration by it. When two anthropomorphic kids, Sebastian (Alfred Bjerre Larsen), an elephant, and Mitcho (Liva Elvira Magnussen), a cat, find a message in a bottle, revealing where J.B. (the Mayor of Sunnytown) disappeared off to, they embark on a wondrous adventure (in a pear).

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The Seven Guardians of the Tomb Aren’t Evil, They are just Misunderstood

11 May

7-guardians-poster.jpgBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

  • Spoiler Alert

Anyone who has arachnophobia is best advised to avoid Seven Guardians of the Tomb, an Indiana Jones styled adventure wannabe horror film starring Li BingBing and Kelsey Grammer. It wants to be like Tom Cruise’s hackneyed take of The Mummy. The sad part is that I was buying the idea when I first heard about this work. I thought the story might follow along the lines of Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. The hunt was on ever since I happened upon mention of this film in a newsletter. It’s finally available on video and on-demand outlets—with my TV service and elsewhere Amazon Prime.

Star power helps draw attention to the film. BingBing is a wonderful talent not only on stage but also on screen. Her role is underutilized with this product. Grammer, no matter what role he takes on, always lends perfect gravitas. He’s amusing as Mason, a character with strong ties to Jia’s (BingBing) family. She has more than enough reasons to not be happy about this fact. When he contacts her to say Luke (Korean superstar Wu Chun), her brother, went missing during an archaeological dig, they form an uneasy alliance.

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What is Hiding in “Asylum of Darkness?” A Movie Review

11 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)mv5bmjeyodm2ndiynl5bml5banbnxkftztgwmjq3odm5mdi-_v1_uy268_cr30182268_al_

Arriving on VOD April 11th.

Does being insane allow one to see the world in a totally new light? Only Jay Woelfel’s horror flick Asylum of Darkness can tell, and oh boy, can he tell! Although the soap opera effects budget and narrative seem distracting, perhaps that was this director’s intention. He’s made a very melodramatic and vaguely supernatural film. With Richard Hatch (in one of his final film appearances) enjoying himself in the role of a doctor (psychologist) trying to calm Dwight Stroud (Nick Baldasare) down, the chuckles are well-earned. This product has a feel of Creepshow meets Dark Shadows.

From inside a padded room, a very beleaguered Stroud narrates, still unaware of all that he’s going to experience in the next few days. Insanity offers foresight into the terrors to come, and this film recalls the style of David Lynch. Not only does this narrative keeps the viewer and Stroud off-kilter but also requires the audience to fully pay attention to the story to realize what is going on in this crazy person’s life.

The tale he tells suggests the world is filled with secret agendas and monstrous beasts in disguise (as humans). The question of who Dwight Stroud truly is gets asked. Is he simply nuts, a serial killer, or someone else? This film moves Donnie Darko style and injects a good measure of Twilight Zone uncertainty into it. There’s a painter Dwight knows whose works “come to life.”

The problem with indie films these days is that it is hard to get noticed by the masses. On the Internet Movie Database, two entries suggest this movie was most likely made in 2012 than recently. In light of Hatch’s death early this year, perhaps acknowledgement for this film can come for those curious in seeing what Hatch has done the past few years after the short, Prelude to Axanar, was made. He’s been very supportive of the indie film-making scene by appearing in them, and this movie is no exception.

3½ Stars out of 5