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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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Nanaimo’s The Body Politic Contr:addiction News, Music Videos & More

18 Dec


By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Nanaimo’s punk-rock band The Body Politic has definite plans to continue touring following the release of their latest album, Contr:addiction. After a small and successful Vancouver Island run last month following the launch on November 17th, plans are not being stalled as Christmas nears. A larger show to play throughout Canada is planned and it should start as early as Spring 2018. For people who can not wait, the holiday season is here to offer to those rockers a digital download of this album. Holiday shoppers can ‘Send as gift’ this album on their webpage here.

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Reflections on Anglicon 2017 & A Photo Album

14 Dec

anglicon-2017By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Over the second weekend of December, the British media convention Anglicon proves not every pop culture event has to be super-sized. This intimate event offered to fans used to corporate shows a taste of what a typical science fiction convention is like. These smaller events offer the same amount of fun — an art show, an exhibitor space for craftspeople (and other similar conventions) to vend from, a space for board gaming, a short film festival and a dance. For the latter, there were two nights for attendees to rock the night away. Even the traditional staples (costume contest) show not all costumes have to be about Doctor Who. A few furries were seen running around, and we’re not talking about Bentley the Corgi, one of the three guests of honour.

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