Tag Archives: TV Review

PIXAR’s Toy Story of Terror is a Fun Play on Words

31 Oct

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

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The new ABC Special, Toy Story of Terror is a fun filled homage to the horror classics by keeping the ideas PG-13. There are a few moments that the well-versed fan of horror will pick out, but for the young ones, there’s nothing absolutely scary about it to make one go hiding under the sheets. Well, maybe the screams, but they are well earned. The humour is right on par with PIXAR’s feature film products,

Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), Rex (Wallace Shawn) and Mr. Potato-head (Don Rickles) all return for a nightmare filled romp. The tale seems to continue from where the third Toy Story left off. But when the build ups are wonderfully marginalized by Mr. Pricklepants (Timothy Dalton), to see his observations come true is just wonderfully hilarious. His understanding of what the horror genre of yesteryear is about is spot on. Writers John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton did a great job at penning this screenplay.

These days, horror does not have to be about visceral terror or in-your-face shocks. Everything done here in Toy Story of Terror is old school—the frights are implied. The question of what true horror is from a toy’s perspective is nicely done. Jessie shows that even she has fears too. Most of it centers deals with how neglected she was back when she was abandoned in Toy Story 2. Her character development defines much of this story’s plot, and if more episodes spotlighting each character are made, the potential for more Toy Story related tales may well be in store in the years to come.

To say too much more about this new product would just spoil the fun that ensues. Hopefully ABC will see to repeating this funhouse filled romp every year. Despite the fact that PIXAR shut down their Vancouver, British Columbia office, which was set to produce more Toy Story shorts, the fate of the franchise seems uncertain. At least the Emeryville headquarters will continue on strong.

A Dragon Fan’s Commentary: Breaking down the “Iron Gronckle”

28 Sep

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Fishlegs and two Rocks

The age of scientific discovery is very evident in the second episode, “The Iron Gronckle,” of Dragons: Defenders of Berk. What that means for the astute is in how perfectly other products developed for this series is starting to tie in. The School of Dragons is an online educational game product that focuses on teaching its players scientific method, and if this episode is any indication, maybe it will pave way for more marvels to come.

But so far, nobody has noticed that Alvin and Mildew left a few dragon eggs in the caves underneath the town of Berk. When one of them happens to be a Whispering Death, what that means may not get revealed perhaps till mid-season.

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Breaking down the Next Stage of Dragons: Defenders of Berk

25 Sep

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

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A sure sign that the How to Train Your Dragon series has entered the mainstream consciousness is when it starts to allude to well known movies in pop culture. In this case, the premiere episode of Dragons: Defenders of Berk, refers to the Dragon Training Academy as a secret Flight than Fight Club. That’s because, in the wake of the previous season’s finale where Alvin and the Outcasts finally learn the secret of how to train the dragons they captured, Hiccup’s team has been banned from patrolling the isle of Berk.

Stoick, Hiccup’s father, is afraid that the youths are in over their heads with what’s coming.

The citizens of Berk will face invasion by Alvin’s tribe. It is coming. Hiccup, Astrid, Fishlegs, Snotlout, Tuff and Ruff think they can handle it, but Stoick does not. He thinks they do not have the skills as fully trained warriors. They have to know how to fight.

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Duck Dodgers Season Two DVD Reviewed

22 Jul

Duck Dodgers S2 DVD Cover ArtBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The future is doomed if Duck Dodgers has anything to say about it. Abandoned into a cryogenic stasis for an unknown reason and later discovered in the 24½ Century by the meticulous Dr. Ignatius Q Hi, the only one to blame is but himself. All the tomfoolery that Dodgers engages in this future world could have resulted in seeing him permanently put in the freezer forever, but the people in this era must be extremely patient and forgiving. And fans of this series can finally watch the second season set, Duck Dodgers: Deep Space Duck, that’s set for July 23rd release.

A few people were fortunate to find this two-disc release defrosting a day early. And it is worth playing right away to recall all the idiocy that this duck represents. Eight years may seem long for those fans waiting for this video release (which began back in February) but the wait is certainly worth it. Hopefully the third season will not be too long in coming.

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