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Returning to the Fold: Playing Rivals of Ixalan Pre-Release & Ancient Civilizations

15 Jan

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

I do not always need to play every set release of Magic the Gathering, and I patiently waited for Rivals of Ixalan. I hoped it might offer a few gods inspired from Mesoamerican culture and make the game more of an archaeological adventure. That is, to include “traps” to trip up the opponent. While neither happened, it did not stop me from checking out the prerelease over the weekend instead of glossing over the cards online.

Sorry, Jace Beleren, but I forgot about you. I am more interested in finding the fabled El Dorado (Orazca). Six of the seven cards belong to Rivals, and these mana generators work well in both casual and competitive games. Path of Mettle flips to become Metzali, Tower of Triumph. This card deals direct damage to creatures while Azor’s Gateway transition to become Sanctum of the Sun can help bring out those high-cost Elder Dinosaurs into play faster.

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The Vintage Tempest’s Top Picks on What to See at the 2018 Victoria Film Festival

11 Jan

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By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The folks behind organizing the movies at the Victoria Film Festival (taking place Feb 2 to 11th) never fails to amaze with the diversity offered. The 2018 show will not only enthuse independent film aficionados but also appease with movies not only from the land of the rising sun but also the emerald isle. The quirky documentary School Life was previewed. Anyone interested in a lesser-known version of Hogwarts life (sans magic and adventure) will find a different story here.

The opening gala promises to whisk audiences to Scotland with Waterboys. This comedy-drama will make its Canadian premiere here in Victoria, British Columbia. Not to be confused with the band of the same name, perhaps we might get surprised with the party taking place at The Bay Centre‘s Centre Court following this movie.

Special events like Sips & Cinema and the Virtual Reality Workshop are added bonuses. The special guest this year is Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City). Aiden Gillen (Game of Thrones) and Cory Bowles (Trailer Park Boys) round out the initial round of announcements. Gillen can be considered to be playing himself in the film Pickups, a drama about the bizarre life of a jobbing actor suffering from insomnia. Bowles is making his feature film directorial debut with Bad Cop. (link goes to showtimes)

My picks from this year’s show include:

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A Tale of Two Starships

9 Jan

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By Shawn Trommeshauser
(Dreaming in Digital)

  • Spoiler Alert

Ever since Star Trek: Enterprise went off the air in 2005, there has been a distinctly Star Trek shaped hole in television. But in 2017, two shows have appeared to take audiences back into space. The Orville, Seth MacFarlane’s Trek-Inspired show which airs on Fox, and CBS’s own Star Trek: Discovery, the official Trek series that the fans have waited over a decade for.

One show brings the heart and camaraderie of Star Trek back to television while the other only seems to bring the franchise’s name to get attention. I offer opinions based on specific events and elements from both shows which may or may not give away key elements and plot twists.

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The Pros & Cons of the Five Anticipated Films of 2018

1 Jan

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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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