Tag Archives: The Mummy

Returning to the Fold: Playing Magic the Gathering’s Pre-release Hour of Devastation

9 Jul

mtg__hod_prerelease_product

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

I have not played the customizable card game, Magic the Gathering (MtG) for a very long time. In the past, I enjoyed how this game played with the legends from an ancient exotic world or looked at a genre (especially horror) in new ways. The best legacy era expansion sets are Arabian Nights and The Dark. I eventually stopped playing because folks with plenty of money to buy those great cards made me feel I could not compete and I did not find the world they created for MtG all that engaging. Finding casual games at gaming stores was tough.

Also, I wanted Wizards of the Coast to offer a new Middle Eastern themed set. The legends and lore of Ancient Egypt are the most requested and everybody knew it. Twenty-three years later since the release of Arabian, this company finally delivered with Amonkhet. The subset Hour of Devestation looks great. I saw cards showing the designers were looking deep into to Kemetic lore get the mystique right. The first set only whetted many enthusiasts appetite.

Pre-release challenges at gaming stores occurred over the weekend and I thought why not, let’s jump in. I know the core game mechanics and I am playing Magic Duels. Hopefully, I will not suck going up against experienced players. At least the field is level in the sealed game-play format. I went to a store where I did not feel intimidated. Out of the four stores in town, only one looked hopeful. It was not an overstuffed operation and it smelled clean. I plan on playing again this coming weekend (July 14-17) when this expansion hits all retail outlets.

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Could the Gods and Monsters in The Mummy Want Their Humanity Back? An Analysis

12 Jun

mummyposterBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

Whoever wanted to revitalize Universal Studio’s vast catalogue of monsters into a new Dark Universe needs a lesson in understanding what made their golden era great. In the 40’s, the studio executives simply wanted to combine terror and comedy to reinvigorate box office sales, especially in-between or following a World War. The scares are delightful in Dracula (1931) and the laughs were genuine in Abbott and Costello meets Frankenstein (1948). I feel these two are milestones of an impressive and unintended plan to unite properties.

The whole notion to have a host of these beasts meeting or allying was never considered during these early days. What happened back then was more like a happy accident. Also, the latter film was assembled due to this studio suddenly owning the contracts of these comedians after they merged with International Pictures and producer Robert Arthur suggested pairing the boys with Frankenstein’s monster.

Fast forward to now, the intention to craft a shared world to compete with other studios (namely Marvel Entertainment’s) than to find effective pairings of star power with a property is questionable. Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise are neither exactly huge draws in every world-wide market. When considering the types of roles that earned them their best reputation, Depp can play a terrific smarmy pirate and Cruise that action-hero super-spy.

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R.I.P. The Mummy (1999-2008) Retrospective

5 May

the_mummyBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Before Stephen Sommers version of The Mummy gets fully buried in the wake of the upcoming 2017 film next month, I have to fondly recall the elements that I enjoyed from this past iteration. The 1999 film was heavily inspired by the pulps. Although its star, Rick O’Connell (played by Brendan Fraser) would gladly let his son Alex keep the world at peace, I do not think a consortium existed to help develop the continuity needed for the spin-off material.

If that was the case, I imagine the character of Anubis would play an important role throughout the entire saga instead of being a background character for the first two movies. He is the god of death, and before Osiris landed in the Underworld and succeeded to the role, was in control of many a person’s fate should anyone die within his domain, the land of Egypt.

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Resurrecting Familiar Tropes in The Mummy (2017) Second Trailer

13 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

After looking at the second The Mummy trailer multiple times in the past few weeks since its release, I still can not shake the feeling I have seen this story before. I’m not as excited as the first trailer has led me to believe.

While I plan to see how this reboot helmed by director Alex Kurtzman and written by Jon Spaihts and Christopher McQuarrie pans out, I am setting the bar low because of what I have seen in past and present products about bringing dead Egyptians back to life. King Tut must be rolling in his grave; A film about his haunted tomb sounds like a better idea than where the creators are going with this film. At the same time, I’m left wondering if all the studio producers wanted is to take the best from what Stephen Sommers created from his trilogy and make simple creative changes to make this reboot seem original. After reading the fourth issue of Hammer Comic’s The Mummy, I’m finding I’m liking their story better. At least cults and hungry devourers from the afterlife are involved than a secret agenda which Dr Jekyll (played by Russell Crowe) no doubt harbours.

Much like Rick O’Connell, Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) is a soldier fighting in a war, and after a building gets blown up, he stumbles across a tomb (actually, a prison) which he makes the mistake of disturbing. He may also have a past that connects him to the Mummy (Sofia Boutella). Jenny (Annabelle Wallis) is just as smart as Evie and has knowledge of Ancient Egypt’s lines of pharaonic successors. As revealed in the first trailer, birds come crashing upon the transport plane carrying the sarcophagus, and as for whether the corpse was awake to summon them, that’s a detail not revealed. Maybe someone has read from a book to awaken The Mummy and to cause the carrier to crash. Everyone should be dead, except for Morton, and Jenny provides all the back story that’s needed to get people interested in this film up to speed.

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