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Pokémon GO 5th Anniversary Weekend In Review & What’s Next?

18 Jul

Pokémon GO's Fifth-Anniversary Event Features Shiny Darumaka and More |  Pokemon.comBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Let’s be realistic, Pokémon GO fever continues because the player base wants those mega candies. The offer of a new pocket monster, namely Meloetta, a new mythical creature, got the music aficionado in me excited and who doesn’t want a Rock Star Pikachu? I prefer to have a punk rock version, but what I really want to see is a stuffed doll to add to my collection. I’ll be keeping my eyes in the official Pokemon Center website.

The weekend’s anniversary event was about offering hordes of pocket monsters–a quarter of them great to use (and grind to power up) in battle league–and a smorgasbord of Legendaries. Players can also finish their Pokedex by seeking out the latter. The day offered a fair balance of paid and unpaid chances to catch those demigods. Those who bought the event ticket also have 18 Raid Pass chances to grab ’em all. That’s a terrific value in price for those gamers who regularly invest in raid passes to battle in them all.

The difference maker is in whether players are staying indoors (dodging the heat or pandemic) or venturing far to find them. I did a bit of both on the two days, and only went home when the sun was really overheating my smartphone. 

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This Summer’s for Walkin’. Navigating the Pandemic, Comic Cons and Ausair

12 Jul

SDCC 2020 Exclusive Marvel Zombies Deadpool Bust by Gentle Giant, and MEA  Maximum Venom 2-Pack by Beast Kingdom - The Toyark - NewsBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Ever since the pandemic hit, I wanted a reusable mask instead of having disposable ones nearby. Amazon is still rife with tons of sellers because some parts of the world are still in lockdown or very slow in vaccinating their populace. As the Summer season is in full swing and people are hankering to travel, just where folks can go depends on whether border restrictions have eased. Some countries have physical comic book shows going on, but if people can’t get there from afar, there’s nothing anyone can do but wait or have proof of being vaccinated. Most operations are still asking that people wear a face covering.  

The delta variant is concerning. I don’t see an immediate future where masks aren’t mandatory. I predict mask usage will be required at indoor events–especially conventions and concerts–for the rest of the year. As for what brand I’ll be using, that’s still up in the air.

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10 Summer Blockbuster Movie That Still Sizzles

2 Jul

Guardians of The Galaxy Poster: 30+ Printable Posters (Free Download)By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The summer season is in full swing, and so are many more theatres as restrictions ease. Yes, some of us will be hiding in those well ventilated movie houses with the air conditioner jacked up. Assuming everyone is vaccinated, there’s no worry for an outbreak to happen. In my years of going to the theatre, my definition of an ideal marathon (or way to beat the heat) are the following, ranked to my number one pick.

Guardians of the Galaxy
Released: August 1, 2014

If Starlord and his gang can’t destroy a sun, then I don’t think anyone else can–short of a Celestial. Although we don’t want that to happen (it’d cause the death of any nearby civilizations), we can dance along to this hilarious action packed adventure and origin story of the gang going up against Marvel Cinematic Universe’s baddie, Thanos. Well, not yet, but this work properly gives him that backstory to know why he is who he is. He can snuff out a star without a problem.

Music is going to be a bit of a theme on this list, as next up is…

Grease
Released: June 16, 1978

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as teens in love imagines the glory days, the 50s when romance was innocent. The movie popped into the theatres at the height of when the television show Happy Days was popular and the music is the word. Some kids may have that summer fling that can blossom to true love, but is it? People can dream. But to dowop the what dreams may come ideal makes this film a must to relive what many grandparents (or older parental units) may have gone through themselves.

Hairspray
Released: July 20, 2007

Admittedly, I have a soft spot for works Travolta appeared in, including this adaptation of the musical. He shows that even under heavy make-up and prosthetics, that he can still strut his stuff. The real hero is technically Tracy’s (played by Nikki Blonsky) who must fight against racism and stigma in the sweltering summer of 1960s Baltimore. The music is even more infectious, and you just have to dance along to it by the end!

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) — The Movie  Database (TMDb)

Pirates of the Caribbean:
Curse of the Black Pearl

Released: July 9, 2003

Sailing the seas isn’t safe in this film (or the next one), but for quintessential viewing (especially for fans of Disney products), this introduction to a franchise shows its possible to adapt a ride to a film, complete with an irrepressible antihero to boot! Like him or not, Johnny Depp is a character and when he completely tosses himself into the role, he’s a hoot to watch!

Spider-Man 2
Released: June 30, 2004

Sam Raimi’s masterpiece is just that. He gave us a mad scientist whom we come to understand, a superhero going through the ropes of being an overnight sensation and a threat that can destroy the Earth! The concept is the epitome of every single comic book for the past few decades before the post-modern wave gave us brilliant writers who’ve upped the ante to delve into the psyche of why these heroes do what they do. Plus, with the trademark style Raimi is known for in his Evil Dead films, we have an everyman’s film to appreciate.

Independence Day
Released: July 3, 1996

No top ten list can be complete without mention of the celebrations that take place on the first week of July. That’s mostly in North America, but elsewhere, it’s hard not to see the star-power of Will Smith shine. Fresh off his television series, everyone knew this personality will go far, and he did! He blew up one huge alien ship. It’s no spoiler by now in how it’s done or just how big that mothership is.

Amazon.com: (27x40) Back to the Future Michael J Fox Movie Poster: Prints:  Posters & Prints

Back to the Future
Released: July 3, 1985

Who doesn’t want to go back in time with Michael J. Fox? Honestly, the entire trilogy must be watched to bolster that theme of young love, interfering with that romance and then fixing it so you’ll live to see tomorrow. The soundtrack made the first in the series even more dynamic because they were either rightfully selected or composed specifically for.

The attention on Marty, Doc Brown (and Jennifer) made up the basis for the first two films. Its focus on how to make Lorraine (Lea Thompson) happy made up for one layer of the narrative. The third film, in my opinion, diverged to a point where I say its standalone because the demand was huge to bring back Fox and Lloyd.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Released: July 3, 1991

James Cameron knows how to make action films and this sequel show what he can do with computer animation in film. Earlier attempts were lacklustre at best, and for him to be pioneer (especially concerning the T-1000) says a lot about how he earned my respect. He gave us a great film of contrasts. We see that in a spunky kid with a muscle bound guardian. From the T100 to the 1000 series, we learn thin is in and having a shrewd intelligence of a computer can help find hollow victories. That’s until the end where the only way to save the present is to destroy the future–utterly.

The Blues Brothers
Released: June 20, 1980

Anyone who loves Saturday Night Live during the 80s will know who these brothers are. They’re a fictional pairing (created by Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) who loves to sing the blues. On the small screen, there’s no story about who they are and why they do what they do, other than to sing covers of various songs already made famous by greats like Taj Mahal.

On the big screen, we get that origin story and why they’re notorious. They’re ne’er-do-wells. Thankfully, Jake got to see the light and wants to save the orphanage where they were raised. The crazy extended chase that results (they somehow manage to get the ire of a local cult and the law) while making stops to sing their best tunes makes for a must watch for the season.

Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark Movie Poster 24x36 – BananaRoad

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Released: June 12, 1981

Different people will define the pulps according to what they like about them. For myself, it’s about the quest and high-stakes adventures that go on to which this franchise successfully kept the action going.

Honestly, the idea to pay tribute to the science fiction B-movies in the last film, Kingdom of Crystal Skull, was a terrible one and it should have stuck to lost worlds, forgotten artifacts and the Nazis. Well, we have to deal with the many loves of Indiana Jones too, and the television series did a terrific job on that. But to know how it all started defines my top #1 pick.

Sorry Star Wars, but you’ve lost me when The Mouse took over and never released A New Hope, unedited on bluray or 4K. 

 

“No Hope” for a Franchise. Transformers: Heavy Metal AR

16 Jun

Pokémon Go creator Niantic announces Transformers: Heavy Metal AR game -  PolygonBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The battle for which faction will occupy Earth is not likely at the core of the upcoming mobile AR game, Transformers: Heavy Metal. The media’s abuzz about bringing this Hasbro property to the videogame world again, and honestly, I’m not excited. I’m more curious in when the reboot will be brought back to the screen again (recent Netflix program notwithstanding).

Niantic Inc is involved in the development cycle, and early images suggest this product may well be another Pokemon GO clone. Seattle-based software house, Very Very Spaceship (known for Truck Stars) is leading the development. This four-year-old business doesn’t have a lot of recognition to get some fans excited.

This company is a self-described, “motley crew of space faring designers, engineers, artists and storytellers from the Pacific Northwest and beyond. For the past three years, under the leadership of BAFTA winning founder Sean Vesce (Never Alone, Tomb Raider Series, Mechwarrior Series), we have been solving the problems of the unknown for incredible partners like Google, Microsoft and others. We are a tight-knit group of makers thriving in our undiscovered future, making shared game experiences in AR, VR, Geolocation, Live Streaming and more. In addition to our client work, we develop and release original indie experiments like the recent Knife 2 Meat U, available at our itch.io page.”

Considering how huge Transformers fandom is, Hasbro’s quality control division ought to squash any bumblebees.

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Does Anyone Really Want a Highlander Reboot?

23 May

Highlander (1986) Movie Review from Eye for FilmBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

There can only be one Highlander movie, and that’s the original. This film’s cult appeal lies in the music and how immorality can be a curse. The finer points which included Ancient Celtic beliefs on taking and owning an opponent’s severed head were probably added later. To do so means possessing their power. “The Gathering” these Immortals felt the calling to was not limited to one culture. Whoever survived to become the last gained knowledge to help advance humanity. But they must feel the pain of everyone who died by their blade and face their ghosts. If they survived this trial known as “The Quickening,” then the winner becomes mortal with the powers of ESP.

I’m rather worried that the reboot of this franchise will not live up to everything the original offered. The sad fact is that studio executives wanted to crank out this product as cheaply as possible and hire talents considered hot properties back then. Nothing has changed over the years.

Attempts to reboot the series have had its hurdles. While the original producers seem to be okay with it, not everyone in the fandom community is, myself included.

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