Tag Archives: Top 10

All Fired Up 4 Star Wars Day with LEGO!

4 May

LEGO Star Wars DayMay the Fourth Be With You! On Star Wars Day, some fans may well be watching the ennealogy in full–which will take all afternoon and night–and others will have other ideas in mind. That can range from having a themed party with friends or even simply partaking in some other aspect that defines what being a fan is about–sharing fun times with like-minded people! (or enjoying a light saber challenge)

I plan on dedicating some time to play LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. I’m still undecided if I’ll only focus on Luke Skywalker’s hero’s journey or the entire family. That could take all day, or I can spend part of it enjoying the various animated series for some light-hearted fun. Or I can finally get around to building that LEGO AT-ST. I adore the whimsical, humorous nature of the fan-made videos–especially when the characters mumble. I’ve been wanting to have some fun stop-motion animating that mini-walker as it’s been on my bucket list (and was animated in stop-motion in Return of the Jedi) for a long time!

I can have various series running in the background while I’m building. The following is my ranking of the various series from best to worst, and the links go to where one buy them on Amazon USA or stream. With no surprise, one series is totally tops without being too overboard with the silliness that defines the LEGO brand.

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Top 10 Must See Picks at the 2022 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

2 May

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

The 38th edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is taking place very soon and for fans of cinema across the sea, the films being offered this year covers a nice wide gamut of topics, themes and genres that examine some aspect of Oceania. There’s experimental, short and feature length films. Like previous years, this event will include an online portion for those still concerned about the pandemic and be geolocked.

The following are my picks of the 2022 season. Some are genre works, and others, documentaries. Making the list again is Waterman, which is a must see about the visionary who helped make waterboarding an Olympic Sport.

Clicking on the links will take you to the LAAPFF’s webpage to purchase tickets.

FROM VISIONS TO REEL SHORTS PROGRAM

A legacy program with the film festival that has welcomed award-winning filmmakers early in their career. Experience a range of storytelling styles from the next generation. The future is now.

STILL LIFE SHORTS PROGRAM

A collection of animated stories from near and far. An array of visuals from the canvas, stage, and screen. These images of still life will move you.

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A Nerd’s & Safety Guide to the 2022 Victoria Film Festival

8 Jan

Logo HeaderFilm festivals are continuing to be half in-person and half online as the world enters into year three of the pandemic. Sundance cancelled their physical edition and will be fully digital. It’s tough to say if smaller events in cities like Victoria, British Columbia will follow suit. As long as there’s no huge spike in hospitalizations, all anyone can do is stay informed to what the policies are should they want to attend in-person.

People going to a Victoria Film Festival screening must present their vaccination card and id. The check-in process should be even more machine-operated/contactless. When patrons are not eating or drinking, a mask must be always on. Additionally, there’s no advanced booking of seats for distancing between groups. This organisation isn’t likely to have enough volunteer power to enforce by doing high temperature checks, so everyone has to do their part to keep others safe. 

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It’s A DreamWorks Christmas Watch List!

23 Dec

The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper (Short 2005) - IMDbI have to admit, every Holiday season, I’ll either have an Ancient Aliens or DreamWorks Animation Holiday Marathon.

The standard rinse and repeat of particular Christmas classics can get stale, and I thought it’s time to take a look at what’s been added to this studio’s collection of holiday themed shows. This catalogue hasn’t been updated for years, and I’d welcome a new home video release of the past twenty years of animated programming they’ve developed. 

The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper (2005)

There’s actually two episodes featuring these penguins–Private, Rico, Skipper and Kowalski–attempting to spread holiday cheer. 

With Caper, Private goes on a search in New York to find a present for Ted, a polar bear. But he gets found by a human and the rest of the team has to rescue him. It’s a fairly fun episode, but my preference is with the season two episode “The All Nighter Before Christmas.”

As the zoo prepares for Kidsmas, things go awry when King Julien interferes and Skipper has trouble being Santa. Typical for the series, things get chaotic and it’s up to someone to fix things up.

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Ghost Stories for the Holiday Season (Part One)

15 Dec
Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past fly over the town.

Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past fly over the town.

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

In a 2017 article on Smithsonianmag.com, the plea was made to bring back the ghost story for the Christmas season. Colin Dickey wrote, “Telling ghost stories during winter is a hallowed tradition, a folk custom stretches back centuries, when families would wile away the winter nights with tales of spooks and monsters.”

Another character said, “A sad tale’s best for winter,” Mamilius proclaims in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. He added, “I have one. Of sprites and goblins.”

And the titular Jew of Malta in Christopher Marlowe’s play at one point mused, “Now I remember those old women’s words, Who in my wealth would tell me winter’s tales, And speak of spirits and ghosts by night.”

It’s a tradition I’m honouring cinematically. It’s too easy to always include Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and instead of this titular classic, I’m choosing which of the many adaptations I consider worth revisiting. This list is divided into two parts. One which mentions the holiday in the film and perhaps takes place during. The other is broader, using Winter as a metaphor. The movie has to be good. No rotten tomatoes are going to be mentioned here. Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is mentioned far too many times and I’m going for the lesser known works.

The Curse of the Cat People - Wikipedia

Thanks go to Bloody Disgusting for the original list, to which I pruned. I tightened the criteria because a ghost has to be crucial to the tale:

The Curse of the Cat People (1944)

This tale set during the holidays is a sequel to the original, and it’s described by Bleeding Cool as a feel-good tale rather than of pure horror. It’s a sweet coming of age tale which stars Anne Carter as Amy Reed, who befriends the ghost of her father’s first wife whom she’s never been told about.

This work is more fantasy than anything else, but it still contains the essential elements that define a ghost story.

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