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Remembering TRON Part 2 — What’s Still on the Game Grid

23 Apr

Tron_LogoBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Most of the games developed after the release of TRON or its sequel Legacy try to be faithful to the source material, but there’s no denying the original arcade game is the best. It had four different types of games available to play, and if the user is highly skilled, can plow through it in one go. Given the limits of the technology at the time, it did not recreate every single moment like the film, but it was a terrific product. With home computers, some of it was translated over, or developed into a new product.

Checked and re-checked is this list of products still available to play. Some were not easily reobtainable (this avid TRON enthusiast has a budget known as a hobby allowance) and had to be replayed in the making of this list.

I’m still hopeful a future is out there for a third film. The last “new” product is barely two years old, meaning that interest is alive. TRON is simply laying dormant, that’s all. Continue reading

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The NFB Takes on Annecy with Animal Behavior & More!

19 Apr

National Film Board of Canada

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The National Film Board of Canada is getting ready to take on Annecy International Animation Film Festival with five shorts going into competition. This event takes place in France from June 11 to 16th, and is considered by many as a great event to premiere unique animated works. This year, they are honouring Brazilian animation and music in this art form will be the spotlight. Fantasia and Allegro non Tropo are classic works, and to learn the composers behind them will be talking about the process will make for a nice contrast to the sneak peaks I have seen from the NFB.

Filmmakers Alison Snowden and David Fine have a screening of Animal Behaviour (Zoothérapie), and it has a sweet charm to it that I like. This team is better known for the celebrated Bob and Margaret, and I am very reminded of the same type of humour in their short. The series follows the lives of these titular characters in a mundane manner and by the end of an episode, the feelings that emerge are from 70’s TV show, Happy Days. Viewers are simply left smiling. With the short, caricatures of today’s concerns can be found. Are we truly in control of our lives? Cheryl, the praying mantis, has boyfriend problems; Lorraine, a leech, suffers from separation anxiety; Todd, a pig, has an eating disorder, Jeffrey, a bird, has pangs of guilt; and Linda is an obsessive-compulsive cat.

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Is the Time Right for a Disney’s Gargoyles Reboot?

3 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The past few years have shown fond properties remade for a new generation. Duck Tales was one which started broadcasting last year. Now into its second season, Ben10 is going strong. Over the long weekend, ReBoot started streaming on Netflix (USA & other regions other than Canada). Coming later this year is yet another iteration of Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Also on the list is Invader Zim, Muppet Babies and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

In a random conversation with fellow older geeks, one pal suggested TailSpin ought to be next. I feel not every show from Disney Afternoon can make that comeback. If Darkwing Duck can appear in Duck Tales, could a spin-off be coming? My show was Rescue Rangers and it was the reason why I never got any homework done (until much later in the day). Gargoyles was also part, and the team behind crafting this fantastic series did a wonderful job. Not only did it tug at many literary allusions but it also pulled from various mythologies to craft a world that was steeped in folklore. Some were in plain sight, watching the ongoing trials of man, and others preferred to remain in secrecy.

Released over the holiday weekend is a fan trailer recreating a few moments from the opening sequence of Gargoyles. This CGI treatment shows the technology is here to bring this show to the next level. Some shots are from New York City proper, and others are digital. The blend worked very well. However, to nail the perfect voice-over is hard; I kept on wanting to hear Keith David’s voice instead of this poor man’s version. This product is a fan film. I had to disengage some filters. This tease ultimately worked. I pulled out my DVDs and started watching the series again .

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Internationalizing the Monster Hunt with its Sequel (捉妖记2)

18 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The only reason why the supernatural beasties in Monster Hunt (捉妖记) are cute than frightful is to make this product accessible for youths. The first film released in 2015 was very successful at the box office.

Three years later, the sequel is chiming in Chinese New Year! This latest live-action CGI marvel directed by Raman Hui (Shrek the Third) has more enthusiasm going for it. The team he assembled adds nuances which are globally recognized than making it a piece of traditional Chinese Fantasy — namely in world construction ala Harry Potter and the addition of musical numbers ala Walt Disney. Also, this tale is far more sentimental.

The adventures of Song Tianyin (Jing Boran) and Huo Xiaolan (Bai Baihe) continue. Although separated from Wuba, a creature that looks like a fat radish with a mop of grass hair, they still wonder how he is doing. The familial bond is important in this tale.

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