Tag Archives: Commentary

VFFOnline: Are We Doomed by Becoming an iHuman?

6 Feb

Image result for ihuman posterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Streaming Online
at the Victoria Film Festival
Get your pass here to view beginning Feb 5th, 2021

Note: Available to view for residents in British Columbia

To become an iHuman is less about what applications can benefit from the use of artificial intelligence, but more on how that information is used. There are pros and cons, as everyone knows, to giving birth to a SkyNet from the movie Terminator. Is the human species doomed? Thankfully, not yet.

This documentary directed by Tonje Hessen Schei is very telling. It’s scary when considering it lists who is interested in making use of machine guided decisions. And it’s not with monitoring the habits of smartphone and computer users worldwide.

We already know about the ways Google and Facebook are using your data. The latter tracks your likes and dislikes. Even on Amazon’s mass marketplace, where you can buy anything (it’s not just about books), the website knows your tastes; when you flip to its video streaming service, the television programs you may not have heard of are on top of the recommended list!

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On the Finale of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Lovecraft & Its Future

13 Jan

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

SPOILER ALERT

Netflix’s supernatural series concerning a certain teenage spell-caster has sadly ended. The past seasons had The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina dealing with a lot of issues not only about life as a half-witch, half-mortal but also with her role against adversaries far more experienced than her in matters of what exists in heaven, hell and in between!

The installation of cosmic horror–namely the works of H. P. Lovecraft–is very well done. Instead of directly referencing specific Elder Gods, the concepts of what they represent are given a fresh new spin. I had wondered just how the pagans from the previous season would summon them. I half expected grandiose incantations and a lamps exploding as they enter, but–because of budgetary concerns-the beings sulk into the narrative. They appear as humanoid forms and are simply known as “Terrors.”

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Back to the Past with Wonder Woman 1984 and the Future of the DCEU

7 Jan

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

On HBO Max and limited theatre screenings.

Wonder Woman is a heroine for all ages, and Gal Gadot is embracing the character lock, stock and barrel. In the comics, she represents the independent woman. The first film gave us hints of where she came from, and this sequel continues down a similar path.

The prologue is set back in the island paradise of Themyscira and teaches the very young Diana Prince (Lilly Aspell) an important virtue–you can’t take shortcuts to get ahead. Perhaps including being careful in what you wish for should be added too. The rest of the film attempts to explore the latter in Max Lord (Pedro Pascal), a business executive with less than stellar credentials. He wants a high life. The fact someone loved him enough, and they had a son suggests he was truly happy once. But he’s a single parent, and I’m curious why he isn’t with his kid more. The picture isn’t complete. Just why he is interested in ancient artifacts is not made clear either.

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Halloween isn’t Over Yet with Amazon Prime’s Truth Seekers!

3 Nov

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

SPOILER ALERT

Nick Frost is the lead in the team of Truth Seekers on Amazon Prime. Together, with Samson Kayo, Emma D’Arcy and Susie Wokoma, they make up the quad of would-be paranormal investigators, Gus Roberts, Elton John, Astrid and Susie. They don’t realize the places they are exploring are related. The setup is everything I believe Ghost Wars on Netflix wanted to be, but didn’t ultimately take off. The only difference is with how comedy is injected into the characterizations than the situation.

By the end of series one, just what this gang has to deal with goes beyond chasing down ghosts around South England. They don’t even realize they are stumbling into a global sized conspiracy of Dalek-sized proportions! Pop culture references aside, I think Pegg took an idea from a classic Star Trek episode and went further with it. In reality, it all boils down to what the Draecepta Mortnorum, a book of spells, represents as a tome of untold power.

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