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All Things Predator(y) from the Past Week

13 May

Just when one tease is not enough for the upcoming The Predator film, other news quickly followed. This multimedia franchise has a lot coming to sate the fans of this monster hunter come Fall and Winter.

In summary, the trailer shows its tough to knock a beast down, and following the success of the miniseries, Predator: Hunters, two more Predator projects from Dark Horse Comics will be coming later this year! After the movie, new fans can look at what’s coming from this publisher and become immersed into the broadened mythos.

From the press release:

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Returning to the Fold: MtG Arena & Hopes Before the Apr 26th Update

25 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Magic the Gathering: Arena is Wizards of the Coast‘s next digital iteration of Stainless Games’ Magic Duels. They have taken over development and have created a glitzier version which I appreciate. This update sports a new engine to allow for easier integration of new cards (and perhaps old too) when this product comes out of Beta testing. This change may happen very soon. On March 26th, new features will open up and Dominaria is being added. I am more excited to play this new set more so than owning the cards.

I played this set during the prerelease weekend and did better than expected. The practice I got in with the video game helped me win a few games than be smeared. WotC’s goal to bridge the two formats worked. Soon, I can ditch Duels in favour of Arena once the testing tag is removed. I may still continue to show up at some local game store events, but I feel like I’m done “paying” to play. As long as Arena has a mode for casuals, I will be sold on this new product. I have far too many hobbies where I sink just as much money into, and those I’m not too deep into will have to go. Daily quests for coin rewards are far more appealing to take on. Packs of cards now have wild cards that can be exchanged for specifics pieces. This feature is terrific, such that nailing any card is possible. To do this for the physical game means spending a lot of money for multiples of a killer card.

In the Beta product, this product focuses on player vs player battles. Coming changes include “best of one” events (no clearer definition is offered in the press release), an improvement in how to earn currency and added features. I am hoping narrative elements (much like in Duels for starting players) will be included, and perhaps also a test mode for experimental decks. Playing against opponents around the world is enjoyable, but I want a space where wins and losses are not recorded under DCI league. Supposedly, this feature is available in Magic Online; however, this iteration is as old as the Commodore PET displayed at the Royal BC Museum — it’s not a user-friendly system.

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Is the Time Right for a Disney’s Gargoyles Reboot?

3 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The past few years have shown fond properties remade for a new generation. Duck Tales was one which started broadcasting last year. Now into its second season, Ben10 is going strong. Over the long weekend, ReBoot started streaming on Netflix (USA & other regions other than Canada). Coming later this year is yet another iteration of Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Also on the list is Invader Zim, Muppet Babies and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

In a random conversation with fellow older geeks, one pal suggested TailSpin ought to be next. I feel not every show from Disney Afternoon can make that comeback. If Darkwing Duck can appear in Duck Tales, could a spin-off be coming? My show was Rescue Rangers and it was the reason why I never got any homework done (until much later in the day). Gargoyles was also part, and the team behind crafting this fantastic series did a wonderful job. Not only did it tug at many literary allusions but it also pulled from various mythologies to craft a world that was steeped in folklore. Some were in plain sight, watching the ongoing trials of man, and others preferred to remain in secrecy.

Released over the holiday weekend is a fan trailer recreating a few moments from the opening sequence of Gargoyles. This CGI treatment shows the technology is here to bring this show to the next level. Some shots are from New York City proper, and others are digital. The blend worked very well. However, to nail the perfect voice-over is hard; I kept on wanting to hear Keith David’s voice instead of this poor man’s version. This product is a fan film. I had to disengage some filters. This tease ultimately worked. I pulled out my DVDs and started watching the series again .

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2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival Interstellar Elder, A Review

12 Sep

Waterfront Theatre
1412 Cartwright St
Vancouver, BC

Wed, Sept 13 — 5:00pm
Thu, Sept 14 — 10:30pm
Fri, Sept 15 — 6:40pm
Sat, Sept 16 — 12:30pm
Sun, Sept 17 — 5:15pm

The Vancouver Fringe Festival is in full swing and one show I heartily recommend is SNAFU Dance Theatre‘s Interstellar Elder. This physical performance comedy has been touring the Canadian Fringe scene and I have hopes for it to continue touring in the States next. The joy needs to spread, much like how anyone can trace the International Space Station across the night sky from anywhere around the world. This presentation brings moments from PIXAR’s Wall*E to life and the pathos from the movie Passengers into a live show. Kitt (Ingrid Hansen) is the spaceship’s “sleep custodian” and she is a geriatric which adds to the irony of who is taking care of whom. Is it the spaceship or her? She did not wake up by accident.

Somebody has to maintain the systems of this cryogenic spaceship waiting for the Earth to become habitable again. Sort of like the computer animated film, humanity made a mess of things; centuries will have to pass before the planet can be repopulated. At least thirty human generations will have to pass and to see how Kitt deals with this fact drives this show. At the same time, she also carries on as best she can and weighs in on the consequences of waking up a fellow passenger to take the loneliness away.

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