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“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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Netflix’s Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy Hardly Lays Seige

9 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Ever since the Prime Wars trilogy and Cyberverse moved the action away from Earth and made the focus on the robots in disguise home world, keeping up with Hasbro’s ever changing Transformers franchise is not always worthwhile. The missing elements which made up why I loved the Generation One series and Prime (2010) are gone. In what’s missing is the idea of making a toon for kids to enjoy.

The War for Cybertron trilogy is more for the long time adult fan who always wanted that backstory told. The narrative that’s developed for part one of a three part arc is very dark and bleak. It hardly laid “siege” on my interest. Bumblebee is not the same fun loving bot that we know of. Megatron’s agenda to dominate gets a bigger development arc which suggests Rooster Teeth, Allspark Animation and Polygon Pictures were looking at some of IDW’s published works and going further with it.

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I’m All Abuzz with Bumblebee the Movie

6 Jan

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

Anyone who played the Transformers War or Fall of Cybertron games will be in for a treat in the opening act of Bumblebee. I heard about the buzz and still had a bit of trepidation with the designs. I’m glad I was wrong and when I found time to see this film, not only did it take on familiar tones from How to Train Your Dragon in the relationship of a troubled young girl and her “pet” car but also, the nostalgia play was bang on. Anyone who saw Transformers: The Movie (1984) will know what I am talking about.

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Transformers: The Movie (G1) Gets Special Engagements & Preview Starting Sept 27th!

9 Sep

Transformers-movieposter-westFans of the original Transformers cartoon (affectionally called G1) living in Canada should mark their calendars. The animated film where [spoiler tape censored] will screen at select Cineplex cinemas beginning Sunday, September 30 at 3:45 p.m. (local time). In the States, it will begin on September 27th. For showtimes, please check local listings or online here. This beloved classic has been meticulously remastered, restored from the original film elements, and transferred in HD.

I will be present quite simply because I still remember Starscream giving the finger in an early cut when I first saw this film long ago. It has since burned into my memory, and whether a print still survives with these scenes put back in, my hope is that this screening shall offer it. Either way, I just need this affirmation that what I saw in my youth was not a figment of my imagination.

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The Pros & Cons of the Five Anticipated Films of 2018

1 Jan

solo-a-star-wars-story

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Not every upcoming movie for 2018 will get fully embraced. To make a top five list is more challenging because the interest for these films is just not quite solid.

Whether the film involved is plagued with production problems or franchise fatigue is setting in, the reasons can vary. The worry with this first film is not because the principal directors were let go, but can reshoots fix a film? In this case, it’s the actor who defined the role than casting someone younger to take the mantle. I feel shades of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull will be on the thoughts of many considering going to see this movie.

Han Solo (May 25, 2018)
Nobody can replace Harrison Ford as Han Solo. Nobody. Not even the actors who played younger versions of the characters he made famous get remembered for these roles. Okay, Sean Patrick Flanery is wonderful in the Young Indy series when he was a teen and he put a lot of effort in the role to not only sell the show but also become quite the sex symbol himself. The age difference from a young teen on television to an adult in cinema helped make this transition work.

Alden Ehrenreich is an okay substitute to show when this scoundrel was at his best. Whether the masses will accept him is the big question. The secondary issue is when this story will take place. Since the idea is to spotlight a younger version of the character, the hive mind is most likely not going to have this film lead out to Solo travelling to Tatooine  anytime soon. Rumours suggest this movie will be a Western, and this idea can work to see this scoundrel turn saviour for the day. However, to follow up on the heels of The Last Jedi is going to be tough. Expectations will be very high, and if this film does not deliver, perhaps Disney / Lucasfilm will have to reconsider if these side-stories are needed at all.

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