Fan Expo Vancouver Gets the S.T.A.R. Labs treatment!

20 Sep

Photo: © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

Fan Expo Vancouver 2017 (FEV) is shaping up to be the place where CW’s The Flash stars and co-stars love to hang out. Announced to the lineup is the appearance of S.T.A.R. Lab’s resident nerd, Carlos Valdes. He plays Cisco Ramon, this series mad scientist. Well, not quite but he may one day get there in some alternate universe.

In our dimension, this talented actor developed his skills in theatre. He studied at the University of Michigan and performed in many a local musical, before joining the Jersey Boys on a national tour. His skills have not been spotlighted fully in CW’s lineup of superhero shows but the time will come. Yes, there was a musical version on The Flash, but some folks may not feel this tease of his talents is not enough.

To see Valdes together Danielle Panabaker at this show November 10-12th, 2017 will no doubt reveal more fun stories from the set. The 2016 show had Candice Patton, Tom Cavanagh and Tom Felton appearing and talking about their work, this year has the scientists, and maybe Grant Gustin will make a surprise appearance. He does appear at large scale conventions. It’s only a matter of time where the demand is there for the organizers of FEV to appear in a flash.

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Returning to the Fold: Thoughts on the Ixalan Release

20 Sep

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

As the release of Wizards of the Coast’s Magic the Gathering Ixalan nears and the spoiler card information is fully released, everything I’m discovering about it is hardly exciting. Set one offers a bit of cool narrative, but I’m still not entirely sold in this mixed genre realm. Plus, the news on the incentive promotion cards for Friday Night Magic changing to token cards next month is more of a deterring factor. Because these participation bonuses are not shiny, I’m not as inclined to participate.

The Davy Jones in me thinks the plunder is slim. The last set drained my funds so I can pick up duplicates of certain cards. Ixalan offers very little I truly want to play with. While Sorcerous Spyglass and Revel in Riches are two nice cards, the appeal of fighting dinosaurs is not all that hot. I still feel going Land of the Lost should be its own entity. I do not mind the vampire pirates as much (I was hoping for a few zombies inspired from Pirates of the Caribbean), but I have a burning question: just how much sunblock are they wearing to in order to cross the sea to arrive at a new world? The folklorist in me is appalled by the fact these members of the undead can cross water. This fact goes against tradition.

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The Rocky Road to Star Trek: Discovery

18 Sep

By Shawn Trommeshauser
(Dreaming in Digital)

Debuting Sept 24, 2017 on CBS (USA), Space (Canada) and Netflix (other countries).

I hope Star Trek: Discovery is great! I honestly do! This series needed a revitalisation ever since Enterprise ended after only four seasons back in 2005. Even though the reboot series of films has kept the series in the public eye, they clearly traded an exploration of science and the human condition for flashy effects, and intense battles.

The ‘Kelvin’ universe movies, as they’ve come to be known as, are fun, humorous adventures, but they are not very good at doing what makes Star Trek special. They certainly lost something along the way in the transition into full-fledged action movies and most people I’ve spoken to agree.

The reboot films have to be given some slack because it’s impossible to build up and maintain the kind of lore and character comradery that the Star Trek TV series offer when you’re limited to a single story every couple of years. And in today’s environment, it would be much more feasible convincing a movie studio to fund a rollercoaster of an action film would be much more feasible than something more along the lines of “Inner Light,” easily one of the best episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation — a much more cerebral story where Captain Picard learns of the culture and fate of an alien civilization when a probe makes him live out a lifetime inside his own mind.

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The National Film Board of Canada Animates Its Way From Ottawa to Vancouver

16 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) will soon be making a presence at two different celebrations across this country. New shorts will be playing at the Ottawa International Animation (OIAF, Sept 20-24, 2017) and afterward make their presence known at the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF, Sept 28-Oct 13, 2017).

The variety that will be found is perfect! From dramas to virtual reality presentations (the Oscar-nominated Blind Vaysha got adapted to this new medium), this studio is embracing the new wave. In addition to Bear 71 (An interactive documentary which looks at the wildlife around Banff National Park), there’s also a retrospective from Theodore Ushev on pioneer Canadian animator, Ottawa’s own Evelyn Lambart, to be excited about.

Three titles of particular note are The Mountain of SGaana (which is also screening at Edmonton and Calgary Film festival), The Tesla World Light and Skin for Skin.
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