Remembering TRON Part 2 — What’s Still on the Game Grid

23 Apr

Tron_LogoBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Most of the games developed after the release of TRON or its sequel Legacy try to be faithful to the source material, but there’s no denying the original arcade game is the best. It had four different types of games available to play, and if the user is highly skilled, can plow through it in one go. Given the limits of the technology at the time, it did not recreate every single moment like the film, but it was a terrific product. With home computers, some of it was translated over, or developed into a new product.

Checked and re-checked is this list of products still available to play. Some were not easily reobtainable (this avid TRON enthusiast has a budget known as a hobby allowance) and had to be replayed in the making of this list.

I’m still hopeful a future is out there for a third film. The last “new” product is barely two years old, meaning that interest is alive. TRON is simply laying dormant, that’s all. Continue reading

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On Rampage and Its Salute to Toho Films

21 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Somewhere along the way, the movie adaptation of the video game Rampage forgot its video game roots. The monsters were once human. They were mutated from the craziest of sources and to tell the entire backstory is a movie in itself! I’m okay with this core change. It would have made for an amusing B-Movie horror film back in the 50’s, but these days, the demands are elsewhere.

Audiences want it loud. Production studios want realism. For me, I have too much of a cat’s curiousity. I want to see what kind of story can materialize from many an 80’s arcade game. Not all of them had enough of a narrative to begin with.

No matter what, Dwayne Johnson, can do no wrong. His natural charm and the investment he makes into the roles will usually get me buying a movie ticket for. Even when he was a wrestler, this guy is the only reason I paid attention to the WWE. I can smell what The Rock is cooking, and that’s his natural charm. When he has that pearly white smile, you know you are in for a ride. He makes anything he appears in just that gosh darn fun.

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The NFB Takes on Annecy with Animal Behavior & More!

19 Apr

National Film Board of Canada

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The National Film Board of Canada is getting ready to take on Annecy International Animation Film Festival with five shorts going into competition. This event takes place in France from June 11 to 16th, and is considered by many as a great event to premiere unique animated works. This year, they are honouring Brazilian animation and music in this art form will be the spotlight. Fantasia and Allegro non Tropo are classic works, and to learn the composers behind them will be talking about the process will make for a nice contrast to the sneak peaks I have seen from the NFB.

Filmmakers Alison Snowden and David Fine have a screening of Animal Behaviour (Zoothérapie), and it has a sweet charm to it that I like. This team is better known for the celebrated Bob and Margaret, and I am very reminded of the same type of humour in their short. The series follows the lives of these titular characters in a mundane manner and by the end of an episode, the feelings that emerge are from 70’s TV show, Happy Days. Viewers are simply left smiling. With the short, caricatures of today’s concerns can be found. Are we truly in control of our lives? Cheryl, the praying mantis, has boyfriend problems; Lorraine, a leech, suffers from separation anxiety; Todd, a pig, has an eating disorder, Jeffrey, a bird, has pangs of guilt; and Linda is an obsessive-compulsive cat.

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Gunsmith Cats Purrs on Kickstarter!

17 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Just in case fans of older anime have not heard, Gunsmith Cats (GSC) is getting a video upgrade. No, we are not talking about 4K, but the Kickstarter crowd funding project for the ultimate Blu-ray edition started a few weeks ago, and it exceeded the goal, at the time of writing, by three times! My expectation is that it will hit a multiple of five by the campaign’s end.

This work was first published in Kodansha’s Afternoon (from 1991 to 1997), and translated by Studio Proteus for Dark Horse Comics for an international release. Its success meant omnibus collections. Following the sequel, Burst (2004 to 2008) continued the adventures. The anime was released in 1995. While it was not as verbose as the printed material, completists enjoyed this complementary work.

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