Tag Archives: Fantasy

Internationalizing the Monster Hunt with its Sequel (捉妖记2)

18 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The only reason why the supernatural beasties in Monster Hunt (捉妖记) are cute than frightful is to make this product accessible for youths. The first film released in 2015 was very successful at the box office.

Three years later, the sequel is chiming in Chinese New Year! This latest live-action CGI marvel directed by Raman Hui (Shrek the Third) has more enthusiasm going for it. The team he assembled adds nuances which are globally recognized than making it a piece of traditional Chinese Fantasy — namely in world construction ala Harry Potter and the addition of musical numbers ala Walt Disney. Also, this tale is far more sentimental.

The adventures of Song Tianyin (Jing Boran) and Huo Xiaolan (Bai Baihe) continue. Although separated from Wuba, a creature that looks like a fat radish with a mop of grass hair, they still wonder how he is doing. The familial bond is important in this tale.

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Could there be a trilogy with the new Jumanji? A Late Movie Review & Thoughts

19 Jan

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

More eyes were on Star Wars: The Last Jedi last month than Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. After all, it’s tough to beat the Robin Williams classic. When compared to movies of today, the effects are dated and a lot of blue screening was done to get animals to overlay with the human actors. The 1995 film had elements which played around with the themes of taking responsibility for one’s actions.

Flash forward to the 2017 film. The premise skirts around a few of the original themes, but instead simply have fun with it. The world is expanded upon and it feels like Temple Run, the mobile and online game. If anyone plans on taking the treasure, they better be darn sure they can escape! Instead of a board game, the product transforms into a video game and sucks new people into its world, like the 1982 film TRON.

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Top Five Most Anticipated Nerdy Films for 2018 that are not Marvel or DC

17 Jan

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

With the month of January in full swing, this new year offers plenty of films to look forward to. Not all of the lists have to include that comic book film. Yes, I will go see it, but no, Infinity War is not in my top five of the must-see. The better story from the comic book world is Infinity Gauntlet. This tale is told through short moments in the various films and during the credits. While that cannot be stitched together coherently to its own product, I feel that’s a missed opportunity Kevin Feige of Marvel Studios did not want to get explored; the War movie is a two-parter which puts this film out of the running for being a truly 2018 product.

Other movies I’m excited to go see are:

Iron Sky: The Ark (Feb 15, Germany)

This movie is technically a comic book product, but it is one that is non-American. The first film had an amusing premise of Nazis living on the moon and they decide to invade the Earth in 2018.  This year is happening now and fortunately, we do not have to worry about any real-life invasions.

Honestly, we do not know as the year has just begun, but to see this series of films which seems to borrow on the crazy conspiracies conjectured by Ancient Aliens will have some curious in how much fiction is going to imply reality. In this film’s case, it’s with two university dropouts (from China) who set out to decode a strange message coming from the moon. Somehow, the Illuminati get involved!

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From Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms to Industrious, Can It Happen?

28 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

CodeName Entertainment’s Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms is a game designed by fans of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) for fans. This product is basically a hack and slash, and it has the potential to be a whole lot more. If only there was an “Advanced” option ….

From what players can use, ranging from dwarves to hawk-headed demi-humans, the diversity is quite good. Each of them is unique in their own way, and I’m not quite sure if they all need to be unlocked. That will depend on the player and this game is all about experimentation. Not all of them needs to be in play. Only up to nine slots are available in the game to position these warriors. Usually, in a table game, seven is the maximum before a Game Master feels overwhelmed micro-managing. Marching order is important. Typically, players will want their best at the front, berserkers second and stealth at the back.

My favourite character is Jarlaxle, a drow who can do sneak attacks. On screen, he disappears from one side and reappears on another to stab monsters in the back.

Newcomers should be careful though. The first scenario is a tutorial to get used to the relatively simple interface and how this game works. This adventure can be finished quite quickly and afterward, the character’s level resets.

Bruenor (the first character you start with) is back at level one. Given time, these characters can be leveled up to the triple digits if players decide to remain in one scenario, but who would want to do that? Just how a character’s level scales is very different from the pen and paper version of the game.

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