Archive | Editorial RSS feed for this section

Beyond Ready Player One. On Technology and the Music

5 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

  • Spoiler Alert

The virtual reality (VR) interfaces we have today has not drastically changed in Steven Spielberg‘s adaptation of the book, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Futurists have to believe advancements in neural interfaces and holo projection will fill in the gap instead of advancements in the hardware used today. The former is vaguely suggested and the latter, none is even considered. This movie is not comparable to The Matrix or The Congress. Amusingly, a joke is made when nature calls. Unplugging is required.

Even in the future 30 years from now, folks are still wearing those darned headsets! I am having neural seizures since not everyone is going to have full command of their senses to believe the world they are jumping into is real. The IMAX 3D presentation hardly jumped; much of the visual treatment was flat. The music featured, however, was amazing and it spoke to me. Although for this glimpse into virtual reality, when my first exposure into this discourse is with William Gibson’s Neuromancer, the bar is set high. This work is neither at Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell level of exploration, even though the story offers a fleeting tease of what could be.

Continue reading

Advertisements
Video

Is the Time Right for a Disney’s Gargoyles Reboot?

3 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The past few years have shown fond properties remade for a new generation. Duck Tales was one which started broadcasting last year. Now into its second season, Ben10 is going strong. Over the long weekend, ReBoot started streaming on Netflix (USA & other regions other than Canada). Coming later this year is yet another iteration of Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Also on the list is Invader Zim, Muppet Babies and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

In a random conversation with fellow older geeks, one pal suggested TailSpin ought to be next. I feel not every show from Disney Afternoon can make that comeback. If Darkwing Duck can appear in Duck Tales, could a spin-off be coming? My show was Rescue Rangers and it was the reason why I never got any homework done (until much later in the day). Gargoyles was also part, and the team behind crafting this fantastic series did a wonderful job. Not only did it tug at many literary allusions but it also pulled from various mythologies to craft a world that was steeped in folklore. Some were in plain sight, watching the ongoing trials of man, and others preferred to remain in secrecy.

Released over the holiday weekend is a fan trailer recreating a few moments from the opening sequence of Gargoyles. This CGI treatment shows the technology is here to bring this show to the next level. Some shots are from New York City proper, and others are digital. The blend worked very well. However, to nail the perfect voice-over is hard; I kept on wanting to hear Keith David’s voice instead of this poor man’s version. This product is a fan film. I had to disengage some filters. This tease ultimately worked. I pulled out my DVDs and started watching the series again .

Continue reading

Capital City Comic Con Recap & What’s Next in Victoria, BC

20 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The reports are in – Capital City Comic Con in Victoria, BC is a resounding success! Many attendees, myself included, enjoyed the vibe which flowed throughout the three days and my biggest concern was in how well the lines of people are managed. Overall, it went very smoothly. Smaller events mean shorter waits, and during the times I visited the celebrity guest section, the crowds were never overwhelmingly big. Even the talents who attended appreciated the relaxed atmosphere. All of this positive attitude means this event will continue for years to come.

Patrick Warburton was outspoken about what he and fellow guests thought about this city and well managed this show was during his Q&A.

One detail I have to get off my chest is when I hear talk about (this) Comic-Con. I often jokingly say back “Which one?” This event needs its own code to distinguish it. 4C is the unofficial shorthand name (C4 is Winnipeg’s show). For me, a veteran of the convention scene, Comic-Con is the San Diego, California event. They own the name, sad to say. and the fight over ownership was brutal.

This garden city event was a very relaxed one on Friday. Unlike the huge shows which have a lot to take in, I often have to pick one aspect to focus on and miss the rest. At ECCC, I do not have the time to diverge to play Magic the Gathering or enjoy any role-playing events. With three days, maybe I could. With 4C, I entered a model building contest, caught a bunch of pokemon (yes, I’m still playing that game) in a timed event, played a miniatures battle game (more on this later), talked to one of the guests at length (Mike Quinn is wonderful and multifaceted) and went to a handful of panels. I was not here to shop. When I do, I go to larger nerd celebrations to seek out the elusive than exclusive.

Continue reading

Fondly Recalling Don’t Stave & Still Waiting for the Cartoon!

16 Mar

analisis-dont-starve-fBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

From one foodie to another, midnight snacking is heavily encouraged in Klei Entertainment‘s video game, Don’t Starve. This product arrived on multiple platforms back in 2013, and from time to time I come back to playing this game, especially when the nights are long (mirroring the game), I feel isolated from the world at large and feel very, very alone.

Since then, this product has expanded into new directions. The Shipwrecked edition had me thinking of Théodore Géricault’s majestic painting, The Raft of the Medusa.

In the original game, my avatar (known as Wilson) is wandering through an arcane world steeped in Victorian mysticism. Coming later this year is Hamlet, and the Shakespeare in me is very excited to see how this play is going to be adapted into video game form. This company has been busy with developing other properties like Oxygen not Included and Griftlands; their visual style is what keeps me coming back to the company webpage to admire what’s next. With their core game, Don’t Starve has a strong cult following, yes I’m left hungry for more.

Continue reading