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Go No Power Rangers or Go See It? A Movie Review

23 Mar

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
* Minor spoiler alert

The Power Rangers movie has the potential to be better than its “original” product — a hodge-podge of American shot storyline mixed in with fighting footage from Toei’s Super Sentai series. Thankfully, as a product from a single producer with a think tank of creative minds, it’s not as much of a mixed product, but a well to do update of series still beloved by those who love tokusatsu (entertainment emphasizing special effects more than character drama).

This film offers all the right tones in the opening act which no doubt showed the producers are aware of Power/Rangers, the fan film. Praised for its darker story and lamented because it was not for kids (it is gory violent), I wondered how deep the back story would get. I enjoyed the opening moments since it hinted towards this bloodier direction. As a PG-13 rated film (there’s some bad words said and a LBGT character), I was a little dismayed but did wonder how long this movie will take to get past all the origins and team-building exercises to get to the big fight which marks the last act of every television episode.

But is this movie better than the dubbed parody Dynamen which premiered on Night Flight? While this other show introduced me to this world with its hilarious send-up and mix of 80’s music, hopefully the series I truly adored does not jade what I have to say. While I care little for this decade’s modern music, this movie released by Lionsgate is wildly entertaining. It is set to look at problems some youths face today. Mind you, I will not be drowning my sorrows at a Krispy Kreme, since none exists in my hometown and I ignored this laughingly blatant product placement.

When you get used to seeing a lot of Michael Bay style films over the years to which this film obviously draws its style from, there comes a time where switching the brain off during these type of movies is a must. You watch it for the eye candy and I must admit, those Zords (the mechs the Rangers pilot) look cool! The look of the bad guys is another story, which I’ll get into later.

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Japanese Artist Hikaru Shirosu Upstaged by Cat in Latest YouTube Video

4 Mar

hikarushirosuprofileBy James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

For those of you who love cats or even own one or two (or three), you’ve come to realize (as I have) that cats come with incredible power. They may not fetch a stick or even a ball like our canine companions, they are more than willing to look silly chasing a bit of yarn, tossing a fake mouse laced with catnip, or bravely explore a brown paper bag. But the true power of cats comes from their ability to inject themselves into whatever we are doing at the time, no matter how important, and cause us to stop and pay attention to their kind. In a way they are saying “I want to be loved, now.”

That appears to be what is being told to Hikaru Shirosu, a talented pianist and singer from Japan. In his latest video we get a behind the scenes look at a video he produced for YouTube back in 2013. Shirosu found the video on an old SD card. Posting through his official Twitter the artist stated of the video:

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Day Two of Tsukino-Con 2017: Panels and a Fist Bump from Takahata 101

27 Feb

Tsukino-Con 2017 poster art by Bomhat.

Tsukino-Con 2017 poster art by Bomhat.

By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

I must say this almost every year: I swear I need to find lodgings in or around the University of Victoria (UVic) campus when Tsukino-Con is on. Saturday was a late start for me (again) but this was due to more than the time of travel from where I reside to Gordon Head. There was an added case of business before pleasure. I think the two things I must look into next year are finding accommodation on the UVic campus and bringing along a laptop to type an article between panels.

A number of Saturday panels caught my eye. One was a drawing session and chat on the subject of Osamu Tezuka’s Tetsuwan Atomu (Astro Boy) with Canadian Comic Hall of Fame artist Ken Steacy, the TeamFourStar Q/A with voice actor Takahata 101, Nanohabridged: Table Readings and Auditions Part 1, and the annual Tsukino-Con Swimsuit Showdown. Sadly, of these I only made it to two.

In hindsight, I would’ve included the Vikes Improv panel. I’ve heard they’re good but with years of watching improv on shows like Whose Line is it Anyways? (UK and American versions) and Canada’s own Don’t Lick the Pig, I was still suffering from improv burnout.

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Advance Tickets Go on Sale for Cyberpunk Animated Film ‘Blame!’

24 Feb

blamemovieposterBy James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

Advance tickets went on sale Saturday Japan time for the computer graphics animated film Blame! (pronounced Blam!). Based on the short story by Tsutomu Nihei (and later serialized from 1997 to 2003), this film has been animated by Polygon Pictures whose work has been seen in the television series Knights of Sidonia (シドニアの騎士), Transformers Prime, Tron: Uprising, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Yuki Moriyama from the supernatural horror anime series, Aijn (亜人), is the character designer. Cast members are Takahiro Sakurai as Killy and Aya Suzaki as Cibo. Director is Hiroyuki Seshita.

Tickets are retailing at 1500 yen (tax included). It appears you not only get a cool ticket in return but you also get a mini poster and original large format sticker (quantities are limited for both items).

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