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The Vintage Tempest’s Picks for a Streaming Video Holiday Season

10 Dec

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Getting into the yuletide spirit is not tough. As the days count down to the holidays, some folks include video content to include making merry with. As for what’s new, Anna and the Apocalypse sounds like fun and this Zombie Christmas movie is finally getting theatrical distribution. I saw it listed for the Whistler Film Festival, but to attend for just this one film made me reconsider, especially when funds are low.

At home, many television classics can be enjoyed instead of rented. These days, that means putting in the queue to watch off of Netflix or iTunes. At least with YTV, I can have them playing in the background. This Canadian station is showing fond classics dating as far back as the ’90s. Elsewhere, I’m sure a local television network is doing the same. For something different, I’m tackling the difficult choice of wading through what’s available for streaming.

Online services offer a mix of old and new shows to enjoy. This list includes both and these are programs which made an impression on me. These shows are or will soon be easily accessible on services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Crave, iTunes or Hulu.

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When Ralph Breaks the Internet, Who Will Save the Day?

28 Nov

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

When Ralph Breaks the Internet, Fix-It-Felix cannot help. The trailers see this villain turned hero (voiced by John C. Reilly) take on the World Wide Web, and should everyone be afraid? As long as he does nothing dim-witted, no. When he fears to lose his best friend, Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), trouble ensues–but not without some action adventure dramedy.

This sequel has a lot to visually pack in. They are all Easter Egg material which requires an at home viewing with a pause button than to deal with at a movie theatre. I laughed at how self-aware it was when considering the visit to the digital version of Disneyland. At this tale’s core is a terrific examination of the relationship between these two main characters. Change is inevitable. The difficulties they face not only as close friends but also in who they are is key to this film. Can they function more beyond their programming? This theme was explored with Ralph in the first film, and now it’s Venellope’s turn.

Trying to stay true to what they are and holding on to self-doubts may be okay for some folks, but for others, it can do more harm than good. The young girl wants to spread her wings. She’s become tired of the routine in her game; nothing new exists for her to explore. Although her status as a glitch is not as important, it becomes a factor later.

To see how Ralph develops is key. When considering he is from another era, seen as a two-dimensional character from a video gamer’s perspective, and he grows as a real-life person, he becomes more relatable. In a modern game, he is three-dimensional. There’s more to him than that of a house smasher. He has feelings which need to be expressed. Spoilers follow:

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[VIFF 2018] A Look Into the Animated Mirror, Darkly with The NFB

25 Sep

National Film Board of CanadaBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The Vancouver International Film Festival runs from September 27 to October 12th, and this year’s selections from The National Film Board of Canada ranges from horror to introspective to humour. Of the latter, Alison Snowden and David Fine’s Animal Behaviour (see review here) gets a home-side engagement, and Jay Cardinal Villeneuve’s Holy Angels has a big screen debut.

In the animated front, the following shorts are making their BC premiere and are worth noting:

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There’s Alchemy to be found in Netflix’s The Dragon Prince

23 Sep

Netflix’s The Dragon Prince is a curious beast. This action adventure fantasy series gets far more intriguing in the latter half of the nine-episode season. It combines some high fantasy style trappings from Lord of the Rings with the humour from Avatar: The Last Airbender. When considering series co-creator Aaron Ehasz was head writer and director of the latter, he’s bringing some of that award-winning formula into this new work instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.

In the world of Xadia, the elves are not your traditional kind. They are the protectors of dragon-kind. They are also different looking. In addition to their pointy ears, they sport satyr-like horns and speak with a Gaelic lilt. When considering the literary figure hails from Scandinavian and British sources, this oddity is not too weird. For the humans, they seem very atypical. Of course, a handful of them will do anything it will take to become absolute rulers.

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