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Go No Power Rangers or Go See It? A Movie Review

23 Mar

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
* Minor spoiler alert

The Power Rangers movie has the potential to be better than its “original” product — a hodge-podge of American shot storyline mixed in with fighting footage from Toei’s Super Sentai series. Thankfully, as a product from a single producer with a think tank of creative minds, it’s not as much of a mixed product, but a well to do update of series still beloved by those who love tokusatsu (entertainment emphasizing special effects more than character drama).

This film offers all the right tones in the opening act which no doubt showed the producers are aware of Power/Rangers, the fan film. Praised for its darker story and lamented because it was not for kids (it is gory violent), I wondered how deep the backstory would get. I enjoyed the opening moments since it hinted towards this bloodier direction. As a PG-13 rated film (there’s some bad words said and a LBGT character), I was a little dismayed but did wondered how long this movie will take to get past all the origins and team-building exercises to get to the big fight which marks the last act of every television episode.

But is this movie better than the dubbed parody Dynamen which premiered on Night Flight? While this other show introduced me to this world with its hilarious send up and mix of 80’s music, hopefully the series I truly adored does not jade what I have to say. While I care little for this decade’s modern music, this movie released by Lionsgate is wildly entertaining. It is set to look at problems some youths face today. Mind you, I will not be drowning my sorrows at a Krispy Kreme, since none exists in my home town and I ignored this laughingly blatent product placement.

When you get used to seeing a lot of Michael Bay style films over the years to which this film obviously draws its style from, there comes a time where switching the brain off during these type of movies is a must. You watch it for the eye candy and I must admit, those Zoids (the mechs the Rangers pilot) look cool! The look of the bad guys is another story, which I’ll get into later.

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30 Years of Predator, as Revealed By Fright-Rags

22 Mar

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

There’s plenty of special anniversaries going on at some point in the year, and for me, yes, I want to get my inner Predator on! This alien who is out to slay the most dangerous prey from the Milky Way galaxy did not know who he would end up facing in the movie that launched this franchise. John McTiernan’s 1987 film showed Arnold Schwarzenegger saying, “If it bleeds, we can kill it!”

Although there have been numerous sequels, comics, novels, games, and a reboot movie on the way, nothing compares to the original. Personally, I caught a sighting of Dark Horse Comic’s continuation of this world when the first collection came out in June of 89 and I read all the releases since then. In honour of this franchise’s 30th anniversary, Fright-Rags will soon unleash the Predator Collection, a set of mask and clothing to show how much fans like me love this beast. At the same time, perhaps I should get around to finishing painting up my Super Deformed Predator I found a while garage kit hunting. I’m not talking about the Funko Pop! vinyl, but rather a resin kit.

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LANtasy 2017 is Taking Place This Weekend in Victoria, BC, But Will I Go?

17 Mar

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Pearkes Recreation Center
3100 Tillicum Rd
Victoria, BC

March 18-19, 2017

To attend LANtasy 2017 or not to get my game geek on is debatable. At home, I have my three game consoles and a huge collection of Chaosium and GURPs role playing books. I like the idea of playing games with folks with similar tastes as mine. But in what I’m discovering post- Emerald City Comicon (ECCC) is whether or not smaller events can live up to what I enjoy from the bigger shows. Here, I can seek out those rare bits of merchandise, chat with players about those lost games, namely Nephilim, or try tabletop card demos.

I like to browse and wander through a huge hall of exhibitors (I kept on wandering back to Steve Jackson Games at ECCC to view their merchandise) and talk to companies to learn about what’s coming for the “industry” the convention is representing. This Seattle-based show has a floor dedicated to all things gaming, feels more welcoming (the staff here are really helpful and nicer if I had to start making comparisons) and is spaced out. That is, rooms exist to locate games in (controlling noise levels is always important) than to stuff it all into one huge basketball court.

A few local video game developers, namely Codename Entertainment and Piranha Games, are attending and supposedly, they are giving a panel somewhere in the Pearkes Recreation Center. But I can not find further information in where panels are located. It’s not clearly defined when there’s no online map to consult.

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The Vintage Tempest’s Emerald City Comicon 2017 Journal

16 Mar

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Last year, Emerald City Comicon (ECCC) expanded to four days and I attended the full show. By day three, I was sort of bored. I checked out every aspect of the event that spanned three buildings and had the luxury of attending more than one panel. I wondered if it’s possible to attend for a day and get the most out of the con. It’s possible, but I do not recommend it.

I barely had time to look at the TCC level (the other part of the Seattle Convention Center where events were held). The LEGO exhibits were located here and what was offered was mainly for the kids in attendance. Hasbro also had a presence but what they offered was not what I expected. What I was told was that they had Beyblade demos than a full-on exposition of all this company’s many properties. Had there been Transformers and other brands they made toys for, I’d be a kid in a candy store!

Suspiciously missing in the guide is the location of where the modelling club displays their work. I could not find them last year and wondered if they were around this time. They might have been, and if they are, advertising this aspect of the show has been very low-key.

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