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The Webs that Bind Into the Spider-Verse Together

24 Dec

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Very soon, if not already, a ranking of all the Spider-Man movies made to date will appear. In my list, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 is the best. I am hard pressed to say which is number two, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse or Homecoming. Both are terrific in their own ways. For visual direction, the Spider-verse wins hands down. The same applies to Aquaman–both films are competing for holiday dollars. Both are worth seeing together; it can make for a fun night during the holiday week! Fans can feed off the energy of one to continue into the other.

The mix of different design elements made presenting a comic book in the big screen format truly come alive. This movie is a game changer for future works to come, much like how Dick Tracy stuck to a specific colour palette. The 3D presentation did not always pop. When it did, the illusion was to have the webhead navigate in a space like I was watching it with VR goggles. Unlike Ghostbusters (2016), where part of the IMAX screen was cropped to have effects blast out of the screen, this one keeps it all within the frame. The illusion of flying on air was certainly there.

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The Freemakers are Back in LEGO Star Wars: All Stars!

18 Dec

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

The Freemakers are back! Well, sort of… time has passed since they joined the Resistance. Just when this story takes place is in the present, and Moxie Freemaker is the main protagonist of LEGO Star Wars: All-Stars.  The family makes appearances and we get an origin tale that is not convoluted. In these shorts, we also see Rowan making waves since meeting Luke in “The Power at Jakku.” Much has he become in the ways of the Force.

The shorts made its debut back in October as a series of shorts, and not everyone noticed. The longer 24-minute episodes have two tales and I’m in favour of these because the tales are meatier. They are a lot more enjoyable since it does not focus on Roger. They also help complete the roster of translating the diverse cast into LEGO mini-figure format. Although they are technically non-canon material, references to key moments in the series are made. Should this transition into casting real-life performers to play the animated characters, I would appreciate it. The shorts are being repeated on Disney XD, are available on Disney NOW (to cable tv subscribers) and freely available on YouTube. Altogether, they make for a terrific filler while waiting for the next live-action film.

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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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