Tag Archives: Fantasy

Rating He-Man & The Masters of the Universe Compendium

19 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Everything you ever wanted to know about He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (MoTU and She-Ra too) can be found in A Character Guide and World Compendium (available to preorder on Amazon), due to hit shelves May 10th. This voluminous tome is perfectly organized into sections to make finding information quick, and the fact the entries are further subdivided, based on either the toy-line, comics or animated series, makes for a great way for fans of this franchise to keep the facts straight!

Of course, I had to read the entry for Skeletor and The Sorceress right away. The sheer amount of information found for these two is staggering, and I love the dedication the research team put forth to collect images from various sources (including foreign adaptations) and photograph (i.e. the toys) to include. Even though some of the information can be found online at a wiki source, there’s something to this atlas which makes for a great conversation piece among nerds. The bonus of ownership is that this codex is reasonably priced.

While it will take time to read through all the entries in prep before a game of MoTU Trivial Persuit, I’m ready!

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Examining the Lore behind DreamWorks’ Trollhunters

27 Dec

trollhunters_posterBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Netflix has a hit with DreamWorks Trollhunters. I binge-watched this entire action-adventure heroic fantasy in one sitting over the holiday weekend and once done, I was craving more. After a good rest, I watched it again. This time, I looked for the details.

There’s a lot of lore to appreciate in the world that Guillermo del Toro and the Hageman Brothers (Dan & Kevin) put together. This producer’s approach in handling the dark fantasy is easily apparent and the series writers crafted a broader story (from the book of the same name) which I found familiar and fun. They crafted a dynamic narrative that’s on par with the storytelling and character development I enjoyed from Transformers Prime.

In this world, these trolls have been around for millenniums and the amulet that grants the wielder a magical suit of armour was made by King Arthur’s Merlin. This realm is occupied by changelings, golems and gnomes. More creatures from fairy tradition will no doubt be coming because the dwarves are suspiciously missing. I love to see a crossover with Disney’s Gargoyles but sadly, I know that will never happen. The fact these creatures avoid the sun is quickly explained in the opening act.

In modern day, the humans are unaware of this troll universe. A bridge divides the two realms and access can only be granted through a special crystal. The peace was good until Gunmar the Black thought the divide prevented good eating (destroying man) to be found. Although the war was waged with none of the human world the wiser, his presence has been a bane in troll history. Not every underground denizen felt the same way as this dark warrior.

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Ed’s Top 10 Picks of the 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival

29 Sep

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival starts today and their selection of animated films and nerdy delights is fantastic! From a few television spotlights to films, this year’s event is of particular interest to me because the industry is paying attention to the coming thing  — virtual reality. From an industry exchange and VR pass to a discussion on how it affects storytelling in a cinematic medium, I am interested. This new technology to immerse audiences into a virtual world is challenging, and just how storytellers and filmmakers can use the medium certainly needs to be discussed. Does the story work like a choose-your-own-adventure book or is the narrative just that much more difficult to curtail? If the viewer is in total control, they can navigate anywhere. This industry panel will certainly explore it all for much of the day.

With a unique catalog of horror and animation films, I just wonder if I can see it all? or will I have to limit what my budget can allow? At least I have this top ten list of what I has my eye in this year’s programme:

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The Adventures of Puss in Boots Continues. A Season Two Review

27 Dec

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

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A new season featuring The Adventures of Puss in Boots premiered Dec 11 and there’s an equal amount of episodes to enjoy. Puss has to face new threats in his quest to restore the protective barrier that once kept the town of San Lorenzo safe. He encounters new enemies and befriends the oddest of fairy tale creatures along the way. The humour that makes this series fun is intact and the cat has new dangers to face. A few of the new threats seem misplaced when considering the desert setting but this world is that of the weird west instead of ocean adventures. If Shrek is somewhere, he’s simply a marshland away.

Not all the episodes are worth checking out. Like the first season, the criticisms I made remains the same for this latest instalment. After a strong first episode (“Dragon”), the next two are not as strong. Mole men and mermaids do not belong in this oddball animation that’s trying to carve a niche in DreamWorks fairy tale universe. After a mixed start, the narrative does get better, and some much-needed character development takes place for the supporting roles.

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