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Creation Myths Are Abound in LEGO NInjago! Or is that Shakespeare?

19 Apr

FEAF8B65-87BA-4019-8023-1AB5133A9AD0On Teletoon
Sundays 6:30am PST/ 9:30am EST
Spoiler Alert

In LEGO NInjago, the latest episodes show the team are in rough waters in Seabound. The broadcast of this series has been quick, and hopefully there’ll be no lull while waiting for the next season. To pump out new stories requires drawing from various literary sources and this series is no stranger to adapting Arabian Knights or even Shakespere, to which I believe this latest version is taking inspiration from.

In last weekend’s episodes, “The Wrath of Kalmaar” gets the team blamed for the death of a beloved king as a coup destroys the peace in Merlopia. This aquatic world has lived in relative obscurity and not everyone agrees to King Trimaar’s decision to be a peaceful civilization. As long as the surface and underwater realms are blissfully unaware, the coexistence is only marred by Prince Kalmaar’s general hate for the other. 

This squid-man’s mention of the human realm polluting the oceans is almost missed. I caught the reference and think the writers are missing an opportunity to teach viewers an ecological lesson. This realm may have been a playground for the serpentine before the The First Spinjitzu Master arrived, and comparisons can be made–who has the right to reshape worlds in their own image? “The Tale of Benthomaar” may say more, and I hope one day, a spinoff series can further explore the details.

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Is Dzhanik Fayziev’s Cosmoball a Grand Slam?

11 Apr

Amazon.com: Cosmoball [Blu-ray]: Viktoriya Agalakova, Svetlana Ivanova,  Mikhail Efremov, Dzhanik Fayzie: Movies & TVBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Well GO USA
Available to order or stream online on Amazon USA

The Russian made film, Cosmoball is out, and will it score a home run? Technically, the game is a high tech spin of rugby, and anyone familiar with the cartoon Galactik Football to which this film is based on will recognize a few ideas.

Dzhanik Fayziev, Andrey Rubanov, Drew Row and Twister Murchison are the screenwriters of this campy science fiction superhero epic, and it’s a doozy of a tale. This work crams in three different story threads. Some of it is inspired from recognizable sources: Bloodbowl (the Games Workshop miniature battle game) mixed in with Quidditch for the sport, Farscape for the world setting and the Avengers franchise for the big bad. Cherno can be related to Thanos; he drives the plot in his desire to escape prison.

Anton (Georgiy Bestaev) is this film’s protagonist and he can teleport. He realizes his abilities after an accident and he gets recruited for this intergalactic game. The fate of his home planet is at stake, and he has to learn how to play well with others.

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The Highs and Lows of Godzilla vs Kong

5 Apr

Godzilla vs. Kong.pngBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Playing at select theatres, on HBO Max and Apple TV
Spoiler Alert

To say Godzilla vs Kong is leaning on the ape winning is obvious in the first few minutes of the movie, and we see him as a giant monkey than fierce beast from Skull Island. He’s been domesticated and I’m not fond of this idea. 

Although fiercely independent, the Monarch Organization can exert a bit of control because this titan has a relationship with a very young mute girl, Jia (played by newcomer Kaylee Hottle). She’s the last of her tribe who once worshipped the furry guy as a god, and Kong chose to save her instead of the entire tribe. Their home got razed by that weather system which surrounds it, and this group felt a sense of duty to do what’s right after the incident decades ago–they helped awaken a lot more monsters than they bargained for.

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Five Animated Picks to Enjoy Easter With!

3 Apr

Over the Moon (2020) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Easter is forever tied with a certain spiritual tradition and before being adopted in to Christianity, it was about the rebirth of the land. That is, in a pagan world, people were celebrating the return of Spring! Those who are not religious can still spend this long weekend making merry in front of the television, or go out to enjoy the fresh air.

While I encourage spending time outdoors than in front of the television, those who are immune-compromised don’t have a lot of choice. Here are my picks on what to enjoy at home that doesn’t have to be very preachy about this long weekend. Sometimes it’s just about being able to hug a bunny!

Over the Moon (2020)

Available on Netflix

This heartfelt flick introduces a spunky Fei Fei, who is forever lost. Her mom passed and the last thing the two did together was when the girl was gifted with a bunny. At the same time, she’s determined and believes its possible to get her mom back, but she has to meet the Moon Goddess and make that wish. While her family is able to move on, she isn’t, and builds a rocket to ride on in order to meet the deity.

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News of the World Makes It’s Call on Home Video

24 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Universal Studios Entertainment
Spoiler Alert

Sometimes no news is better than fake news in the one subplot featured in Paul Greengrass‘s movie, News of the World. The film is imbued with a subtle reminder of race relations while life in the wild west was hard. The Civil War is over, and people are still trying to figure out what side they are truly with. The collision between the cowboys, indians, and immigrants makes up one layer of this movie adaptation of Paulette Jiles‘ novel of the same name. Another is about the journey of one very lonely individual.

Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks) is a Confederate veteran of the US Civil War, and after losing this battle, he has no reason to fully live. To make ends meet, he travels from town to town to offer his services as a town crier of sorts. He reads the local paper out aloud in town halls, to deliver the news to those who can’t read. Plus, he hasn’t seen his wife in years. Hanks’ performance makes me wonder if Kidd is kidding himself about his occupation. He sees home as a disease. Johanna (played by Helena Zengel), to whom he has to deliver to her next of kin, proves to be more of a boon than a bane of his life.

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