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.
By James Robert Shaw
(The Wind up Geek)
Sometimes for a con going big or go home can be dangerous. When your event makes a single guest your draw, going big can be a good thing. As in the case with Van Isle Con, Vancouver Island’s upcoming comic and cosplay convention, having Moana‘s co-director Chris Williams as your guest of honor is a very smart move. Sure, Williams doesn’t have the muscles of Dwayne Johnson (who voiced Maui), and okay, maybe he can’t sing like Auli’i Cravalho (Moana), but what he does have is a lot of talent and experience when it comes to creating films for all ages to enjoy.
William’s earliest credits are as story contributor for Disney on animated feature films such as 1998’s Mulan, The Emporer’s New Groove, and Brother Bear. More than just an ideas man, Williams also performed story artist duties on films Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, Tangled, Frozen (where he voiced Oaken), and the Academy Award winning Zootopia.
By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
While most of Europe aired the new Ben 10 rebooted series since fall of last year, fans from North America are still anxiously waiting. Teletoon Canada offered a sneak peek Monday night for what’s to come in Spring. This new series is better off packaged as two episodes for the time-slot it is given instead of 10 minutes (giving a lot more time for commercials), before jumping to another show.
Given that the intended audience is for kids with limited attention span, the 10-minute format is satisfactory. But I’m craving longer tales, and am hoping by binge-watching a bunch of episodes back to back will reveal a greater story arc.
Tonight’s broadcast sees Ben Tennyson (Tara Strong reprises the role) learning responsibility. His access to the internet gets taken away until he cleans the Rust Bucket, a camping van that he, his cousin Gwen (Montserrat Hernandez) and grandfather Max (David Kaye) rides in throughout their many adventures. When the alien Fly Guy attempts to steal it because it reeks of garbage, this boy has a lot to do before his family returns! Amusingly enough, they are off to visit a bat guano cave.
By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)
For those of you who love cats or even own one or two (or three), you’ve come to realize (as I have) that cats come with incredible power. They may not fetch a stick or even a ball like our canine companions, they are more than willing to look silly chasing a bit of yarn, tossing a fake mouse laced with catnip, or bravely explore a brown paper bag. But the true power of cats comes from their ability to inject themselves into whatever we are doing at the time, no matter how important, and cause us to stop and pay attention to their kind. In a way they are saying “I want to be loved, now.”
That appears to be what is being told to Hikaru Shirosu, a talented pianist and singer from Japan. In his latest video we get a behind the scenes look at a video he produced for YouTube back in 2013. Shirosu found the video on an old SD card. Posting through his official Twitter the artist stated of the video: