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New Threats are in Store in Star Trek: Picard

26 Jan

Image result for star trek picardBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

On CBS All Access, Crave
and speciality channels.

Spoiler Alert

Star Trek: Picard brings back a franchise some fans believe to have strayed far from everything that was beloved. Whether it’s about space exploration or making a social commentary about the times, I love the series for the characters. Jean-Luc is stern; over the seven-year run of Next Generation, we saw how he suffered and we saw how he developed. Sir Patrick Stewart seems to be showing his age and it works to highlight the golden years of his life.

Part of the new series relies on viewers recall of the films which continued the series in an extended form. With a story that picks up many years after the movie Nemesis, the captain retired. He’s having nightmares, and the life thereafter is a little more rough than kosher. That’s until Dahj (Isa Briones), a young lady appears at the family vineyard begging for help.

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The Stakes were Never Big in Netflix’s Dracula

6 Jan

Image result for bbc dracula posterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Just how many reimaginings of Bram Stoker’s Dracula do we need? Let me count the works from this century: there’s at least a dozen—Untold, Dark Prince, and Reborn are perhaps the closest they can get to the book’s lore. The rest sticks around even after being “killed” so he remains a threat to humanity.

Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) and Steven Moffat (Doctor Who) developed this latest take and it’s a curious mix of period drama and Hammer style horror. This three-part series has each episode nearly movie length. Like the novel, it begins conveniently enough with Jonathan Harker (John Heffernan) visiting the Count (Claes Bang) and Mina (Morfydd Clark) swearing her eternal love. The nobleman has other plans and his lust for both the male and female gender goes nowhere fast. Either he’s too decrepit to get off, or those tones brought down for Netflix’s broadcasting standards.

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Cleopatra in Space Needs to Come to Netflix America!

22 Dec

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Currently available on Netflix Asia

I’m not sure which version of Cleopatra should appreciate more–the sci-fi action Cleopatra 2525 or animated Cleopatra in Space. Both involve the titular character getting thrown to the future with a despot wanting to rule the galaxy. Problem is, neither are ready to be involved in an ongoing conflict. The former is campy pulp action style fun in the style of Hercules The Legendary Adventures or Xena Warrior Princess. Jennifer Sky (who played the titular character) continued working in Hollywood after this series, but she never got that breakout role which would take her to the brightest stars.

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Dark Horse Comics’ The Mask is Back! & Running for President?

23 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Publisher:
Dark Horse Comics

Released Oct 16, 2019

I’ve been a fan of Dark Horse Comics’ The Mask way before the movies and cartoons. While these alternative takes were fun and light-hearted, I missed the darker quality which existed in the comic books. I kept up when it was shuffled to Mayhem–back when this franchise’s future was in doubt. When other versions took precedence (and the publisher had crossovers, including with a certain clown prince of crime), I took a break.

I’ve been wanting to see this franchise return to its roots and “I Pledge Allegiance” serves up a lot of blood and vindictiveness. This latest chapter can not be any timelier due to the political climate of our times. I’m also amused the first issue is coming off the heels of the just as socially charged The Joker movie.

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