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Tales of Arcadia: 3Below Hits Different Highs

24 Dec

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

The next book in the Tales of Arcadia is now on Netflix and anyone interested in what’s after Trollhunters will find 3Below familiar enough. More slapstick is emphasized in this science fiction teen drama. One terrific detail to note is that this race is an energy-based lifeform, not biological. Imaginative fiction rarely considers other forms of sentient life to become the stars and with CGI, the sky is the limit!

In the solar system where Akaridion-5 lays, the united kingdoms led by Fialkov is getting overthrown. General Morando has simple goals, to rule by domination, and not everyone subscribes to his ideals. He rallied enough warriors to follow his cause, but before he can conquer new worlds, he has to ensure no signs of rebellion can take place by quashing all local resistance. Krel (Diego Luna) and Aja (Tatiana Maslany) are the successors to the throne. As Krel’s coronation is underway, the coup is at hand!

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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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Hedgehog’s Home finds its way to The NFB Homestead Dec 17th!

16 Dec

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

All hail the Mighty Hedgehog! No, we are not talking about Sonic from the video games, but rather an innocuous creature of the woods, as imagined by poet Branko Ćopić. Simply titled Hedgehog’s Home, this stop-motion animated short has numerous accolades. It was spotlighted at many a film festival including Annecy and New York back in 2017, and how it’s making permanent residency on the free media servers of the National Film Board of Canada

The music takes some cues from the Wild West and perhaps even the narrative too. As someone from that era might say, “There ain’t no place like home.” Homesteaders back then had to stand their ground against resistance. Whether that’s over land ownership, against others (bullies) or against the aggressive climate (making a new life was not easy), many a theme can be explored. Ćopić‘s tale comes out of his experiences from native Yugoslavia, post-World War II and the folk tradition.

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