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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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Thoughts on Reboot: The Guardian Code 20 Episodes & On The Great Escape

20 Dec

Surprisingly, the second half (season) of Reboot: The Guardian Code (RtGC) is a vast improvement over its weak start. The narrative takes an air of an espionage thriller and a binge watch of all twenty episodes show a grand design which I am enjoying. Canadian broadcaster YTV aired all the episodes and is still airing them, while on Netflix, two seasons exist. Shades of Disney’s TRON colour the digital landscape, and that’s only because this film introduced me to the idea of becoming part of the digital universe is possible; the spirit of the user remains in every bit of code they create. Those pulses of energy within the machine is life too.

Throughout other shows, these ghosts in the machine are real. In cyberpunk literature, this idea is nothing new. When considering RtGC has three agencies interested in acquiring this technology–the Sourcerer, Megabyte and the Department of Internet Security–their interests are not for the greater good. They are not out to mend or defend.

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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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Takeaways from Doctor Who Series 11

18 Dec

The latest season of Doctor Who being led by a new showrunner and after a  massive binge-watch and rewatch, I found the season has its specific hits and misses. Chris Chibnall is at the helm of the series now and he is best known for developing BBC’s Broadchurch. Instead of intense drama, five episodes of the ten-episode run plays with the concepts traditional in many a tale of terror. The two most prominent were “Arachnids in the UK” and “The Witchfinders.”

Jodie Whittaker is very likable as the new Doctor. She gives the character an erratic quality similar to David Tennant’s time in the role and has the tendency to be scattered. As the later episodes show, there’s an energy that’s undeniable. She’s more empathetic to others, and this can make for interesting contrasts to previous incarnations.

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