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In the Hall of the Mountain King with LEGO NInjago: Masters of Spinjitzu

26 Jul

Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu | Free online games and video ...By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Spoiler Alert

Television networks in North America are very behind in keeping pace with the animated LEGO Ninjago property. In Asia, Master of the Mountain, season thirteen of the Masters of Spinjitzu series, is now available. It may well head west, to broadcast in Europe next before crossing the Atlantic for the Americas.

In SDCC@Home’s programming lineup, I hoped the LEGO Company would make some mention. No recent announcements were made since season twelve is now broadcasting in the States. Whatever the reason is for the delay, fans will have to wait or subscribe to  foreign streaming sites to watch this latest chapter.

The series is showing no signs of slowing down. A new direction for the boys (and girl) in red, white, green, blue and black is to see them leave the Ninjago kingdom and explore another. Perhaps this time much further away. They’ve done the trip to other dimensions enough times. These other realms are simply representations of other cultures or are aspects of the paranormal.

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Enter the Jayster in LEGO Ninjago: Prime Empire

18 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Episodes 1-6 available through Cartoon Network app / on demand

Airdate:
North America – July 19, 2020
Other Territories – Repeat

TT Games can learn a lot from Prime Empire, the latest season of LEGO Ninjago finally airing in North America. I’ve played enough of their products to see their licenced products from this toy line have hardly ever changed. The platform puzzle solving coin gathering engine rarely includes concepts unique to each franchise. For the most part, players are blasting or punching enemies in a non-violent manner rather than fully reliving highlight moments—ranging from racing simulations to martial arts fighting—from their favourite movie.

The story for season twelve offers a lot of ideas I wish to see in a game and in a TRON: Legacy sequel. Unagami is essentially MCP. He’s a self-aware program created by Milton Dyer to deliver players the ultimate experience and he’s also feeling very confused. He wants to find his creator and go mono a mono.

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Scoob! Without the Doo?

19 May

Scoob 2020 film poster.pngBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

It’s not tough to know what the minds behind Scoob! are up to in this reboot of a beloved franchise. This modern update is a mixed bag, designed with moments to appease long-time fans and have a plot for dog-lovers to enjoy. Plus, there are a few in-jokes that pays tribute to this series’ humble beginnings.

This film serves to reintroduce the gang and set up the fact other Hanna-Barbera properties can come in. I’m all for the shared universe and hope to see Space Ghost!

In what I miss is the completely supernatural angle of the gang busting ghosts. Hopefully later films will address this shortcoming, but as for bringing Blue Falcon and Dynomutt in, the idea is not new; they’ve teamed up before. The idea in this story is to explore man’s relationship with their beloved canine between different series. The same rule is applied for Dastardly, but where’s Muttley?

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On Aliens, UFOs & Proximity with Eric Demusey

9 May

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Arrives on VOD
May 15, 2020

DVD Release
July 7, 2020

Eric Demusey is a Los Angeles based filmmaker making his directorial debut with a young adult sci-fi drama Proximity. As part of the creative team who made the fantastic intro title sequences you see on Stranger Things, Game of Thrones and Tron Legacy, his experience showed he was ready for the next step. Plus, his passion is not limited to special effects work which gave him his start. Nearly everyone working in this industry has a story to tell.

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Instead of focusing on getting people to believe in UFOs, this movie explores the lasting effects of those who have been abducted and experimented upon for unknown reasons–hence the title. In this tale set in today’s trying times, this creator does not rewrite Fire in the Sky.

I was reminded of this story because of the introduction–where loggers in Alaska are whisked away by a UFO and the trauma we witness is far worse. Fast forward a few years later and change the setting from the boonies to a metropolis, Issac (Ryan Masson) gets his moment with an alien encounter, and tries to figure out what this all means. What he deals with has less to do with horror and more with trauma management.

When considering this movie was made on a budget, Demusey has to be creative in how to make those special effects shots work without overspending. For fans of FX films and UFOs, this movie has a lot of detail to love, and I spoke to him courtesy of Shout! Factory.

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