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Fantasia Film Festival 2022’s 15 Top Picks to Feast Upon

5 Jul

Fantasia Film Festival

Fantasia Film Festival is back as an in-person event in 2022! There’s over 80 films being offered during the course of the two week event in Montreal, Quebec, and if I was to average two a day, that’s barely scratching the surface. There’s also all the special events, panels, and  shorts to consider and they will be held at the Concordia Hall,  J.A. de Sève cinemas, the Cinémathèque Québécoise, Cinéma du Musée and McCord Museum.

Ticket pre-sales will open at the end of this week, on July 9, 1:00 EST, and people travelling this event might want to consider booking their hotels now. Anyone still concerned about the pandemic are advised to still wear face masks and use personal descretion until the Health Authority declares otherwise.

Polaris-movie-film-action-revenge-2022-Viva-Lee-Fantasia-posterThe film to begin the festivities is Polaris, a Canadian sci-fi eco-adventure and I get the feeling its a work that’ll rival the cult film, Turbo-Kid (2015). I’m glad to say that I got the early bird ticket on a few flicks.  One work I admire is The Witch 2: The Other Side (review link), which received limited screenings across North America courtesy of Well GO USA. Another is The Girl From The Other Side which first screened at Fantasia 2019 as a short, and this year, it’s been expanded to a feature length movie! It’s a parable that I throughly enjoyed (review link) when it played at the Los Angeles Asian Film Festival a few months ago. All the detailing in this work really must be seen on the big screen!

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Riki the Rhino Aims to Tease with its Conservational Message

5 Jul

Riki the Rhino PosterUncork’d Entertainment
Available on Google Play Beginning July 5th, 2022

Riki the Rhino can easily get missed when parents are looking for wholesome animated films for their kids to watch. Thankfully, this film can be streamed too, as it’s uncertain if every big box store will carry the home video release.

This work not only teaches the value of friendship in the same vein as Disney’s The Lion King, but also animal conservation. In order to deal with the latter in a non-violent way, the fights are no less threatening than what one sees at Spanish bullfighting.

It won’t win huge awards because CGI is less than stellar. The production and pixel art is similiar to the effort put behind A Turtle’s Tale, and that’s only because in other countries (Indonesia, in this instance), the production houses don’t have the computer render farms PIXAR has. However, in terms of its narrative, every word and action counts here.

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Ninjago. From Water to Crystallized, Nya’s Fate is the Focus in the Latest.

3 Jul

Ninjago CrystallizedTeletoon Canada
Saturday 9:00AM (PST)

The fifth and sixth episodes of Ninjago Crystallized is all about showing how Nya transitions back to mortal form. However, she won’t be in ship shape to help with the ongoing investigation regarding the Vengestone just yet.

“Public Enemies 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5!” focuses on the Ninjago team planning a heist, and there’s nothing spectacular to say regarding this chapter. The title says it all since the team is planning to steal Aspheera’s staff. It’s awaiting transportation to a new safe house. Without it, the serpent queen can’t restore Nya. The team makes a decision to go rogue since the mission is about saving one of their own.

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What’s Next Niantic, After Daring to Cancel Transformers: Heavy Metal?

1 Jul

Pokémon Go creator Niantic announces Transformers: Heavy Metal AR game - Polygon

The shakeup at Niantic Inc. cannot go unnoticed. As published on Entrepreneur 360, Tristan Rose wrote, “According to Niantic’s Crunchbase profile, Niantic, the developer of Pokémon GO, has raised $770 million over 5 rounds giving them a post-money valuation in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion as of November 23, 2021.”

And eight months later, this company is laying off workers (up to 90, according to Bloomberg) and changing priorities. In other reports, John Hanke wrote in an internal email to say this company is “facing a time of economic turmoil” and had already been “reducing costs in a variety of areas.”

The shift is unusual, and many fans are speculating.

The effect on upcoming products means cancelling them altogether. Not only was Niantic to help market and distribute Transformers: Heavy Metal, a Pokémon GO like game, but also they were to produce three other games using the same engine. Whether that’s a good or bad thing, fans can’t say. Very few people may have seen a demo. I wasn’t too excited myself when I offered my opinion about it, but I’d still try the game out. The website for this game is still online at time of writing.

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Is it Foolish to Say Ninjago’s “The Shape of Nya“ “A Mayor Problem“?

27 Jun

NinjagoTeletoon Canada
Saturday 9:00AM (PST)

The concern about the mysterious Vengestone buyer and why he’s smuggling a lot of this rock around becomes the focus in Ninjago’s latest pair of episodes. However, the team can’t decide on what to do next unless Nya is present to help soothe tensions within the team. They bicker over everything until she finally appears and reveals how they can help restore her. The only problem is that they’ll need the help of an enemy.

To save this heroine will be tough. It may come at a cost much later into the series. As for exactly what that’ll be will depend of this season is taking ideas from the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. I don’t believe this subplot will be of grave concern. So far, the story concerns finding out who is smuggling this rock and what his plans are for it.

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