Tag Archives: Environmentalism

Ainbo, Spirit of the Amazon, Where Forth Art Thou?

27 Feb

Ainbo Theatrical Release Poster.jpgAinbo, Spirit of the Amazon, has done a world tour and the last place this film hasn’t properly visited is North America. This work isn’t listed for theatres (and streaming) yet, and that’s odd when considering its potential. Although developed for General audiences, hopefully other animation enthusiasts can get on board its message of saving forests far and wide.

It’s a beautifully animated film that instils wonder of what life must be like in this region and how unique the indigenous culture here is. At first, I thought the people were of Mayan descent but instead, they’re just Amazonians. An amusing bit of historical inaccuracy is why do they know English? Suspension of belief is needed to get through this fantasy which takes more than a few cues from a certain powerhouse from Anaheim, California.

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Fraggle Rock’s Back to the Rock is an Updated Smash!

30 Jan

Foo Fighters Go Full Muppet on New Song 'Fraggle Rock Rock'

Now on Apple TV Plus

Strangely, I don’t remember Jim Hensen’s Fraggle Rock as being heavy with its varied messages about saving the environment when compared to Back to the Rock. It’s a joy to come return to this world as there’s a lot of updates to make it reverent to today’s generation of children growing up with streaming services instead of television.

I absolutely loved the reintroduction with Rock On. These short form pieces focused on the tunes and the updates with talents like Jason Mraz (who appeared on Sesame Street), Neil Patrick Harris and Alanis Morissette, the remixes are excellent, and truly nostalgic. The music from the rebooted series is noticeably different; they’re more modern pop than the bubblegum of the past.

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Tanagokoro: A Culinary Portrait on Changing the Fishing Industry

5 Nov

STILL Tanagokoro 7By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Vancouver Asian Film Festival
Nov 4-13, 2021
International Shorts Program
Available to watch anywhere in Canada from 11/11/2021 11:00 am to 11/13/2021 11:59 pm

Japanese chef Yoshinori Ishii is more than a trendsetter. He’s out to change the industry in Tanagokoro: A Culinary Portrait.

After a terrific introduction to the man and how he earned his Michelin star (while he was in tenure in London’s Umu), the reason he earned massive respect is because he gives everyone some wisdom. That is, to be a top masterchef, he’ll only ethically harvest food the traditional Japanese way. 

The United Kingdom’s transition to a new method of catch and slaughter was not overnight. He wrote many letters and chatted with various fishmongers and leaders in industry to change how things are done. He used his passion and gift of gab to sway heads, and that’s the true focus of this documentary. This gentle man is the embodiment of Buddha and he’s done more than started change in one country. His teachings are spreading and hopefully soon, there’ll be more converts.

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The Power of Music in Ionia VR

28 Jun

Rhythm of the Universe: Ionia on SteamBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The Rhythm of the Universe is alive in Ionia, the first in a series of virtual reality games about preserving the environment with the power of music. There’ll be seven in total. The first game that’s due soon is a single-player fantasy-adventure puzzle and the trailer was unveiled during UploadVR Summer Showcase by ROTU Entertainment. They are planning on making it available in Q3 for the Oculus Quest, PlayStation VR, and VR capable PC. It’s expected to sell for $9.99.

Five percent of proceeds from the sales of this game will benefit environmental non-profit Wildlife Warriors. Established in 2002 by Steve and Terri Irwin, Wildlife Warriors continues Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin‘s legacy of protecting injured, threatened or endangered wildlife. The latest trailer reveals this family’s involvement with this product:

 

I’m particularly excited about this rhythm game as it’s bound to be different from current products like Beat Saber (the most well known) or Beat the Rhythm. Add on top the fact that I’m a fan of Steve’s mission and his works, the recognition is most likely to get even casual gamers to check this new game out. The fact creature designer Neville Page of Avatar fame (James Cameron) is involved in the design guarantees a certain level of quality control in the final product. In the trailer, the visuals says it all. It feels like the world is borne from Mononoke Hime and Avatar, and what it’ll become is going to be Fantasia 2021. The scale of the fauna found in this world may well put Shadow of the Colossus to shame. Not only are players composing music, but also they must (I assume) use it to tame the various beasts encountered during gameplay.

The teaser trailer (see below) shows off the exquisite beauty of how this world will look like on high-powered VR gaming machines. It’s bound to shine on properly decked out virtual reality PC systems and the PS5 than with older generation machines. Hopefully the mistakes made from Cyberpunk 2027 will not be repeated, to ensure playability across the multiple platforms this game is destined for. Continue reading

Finding The Legend of Hei is Like Coaxing a Cat out of Hiding

11 May

The Legend Of HeiBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Shout Factory

Available to order (when back in stock) at Amazon USA

No feline can be contained in the release of The Legend of Hei (罗小黑战记). Those adorable big eyes of the woodland sprite will win over many cat lover’s heart. Also, this movie about Luo Xiaohei (an elfin) has a unique charm to it which makes me wonder if there’s any merchandise to buy. There’s plenty to choose from on eBay, and the licensing potential is huge. When he’s competing against Kuroneko Sama (from Trigun), the challenge will be in brand recognition in North American markets.

This movie was released in China during the Summer of 2019 and made limited circuits at film festivals the following year before a pandemic halted those plans. This prequel to the lesser known web series is at least more accessible and my hope is for Shout Factory to get the rights to the web series so both are globally available. This title quickly sold out at the shops I checked out today, and even Amazon had trouble keeping up. There’s a book which covers the online tale. When this cat is proving hard to contain, I’m hoping Hei has that forever home in place. (Thankfully I was able to view this title digitally)

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