Game Warp Podcast: E3 Impressions Part 2: Playstation, PC Gaming Show & Nintendo

Part 2 of E3 Impressions are here!

This time, we talk about the last three conferences. Not a lot of people have covered the PC Gaming Show but as I am the independent games fanatic, it felt like one that I had to check out and it was well worth it to see some of the smaller games getting highlighted with a little more details from the developers themselves. In this episode, we talk about the PC Gaming Show, Playstation and we wrap up with the Nintendo Spotlight event.

Before we wrap up the episode, we discuss whether the new upcoming Nintendo Switch games has made us want to pick up the new console and which conference appealed to us the most?

Thanks for watching! Hope you enjoyed!
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Which game announced are you excited for?
Are you planning on picking up a Nintendo Switch eventually (if you haven’t already)?

Unboxing: FabFitFun Summer 2017

Its been a while since our last Unboxing but finally, the FabFitFun box is here for Summer 2017 season. There were a few customized choices for this one and I’m always excited to check out the summer box, especially since last year’s had a lot of good stuff.

Let’s check it out!

I actually ended up giving the cosmetic item away to my sister-in-law who will make much more use with it than me since its for photography and picture perfect and whatnot and she does that on the side. Its always fun to share the awesome stuff. 🙂

Thanks for watching!
Hope you enjoyed!
What did you like in this box?

Remembering James Horner Blogathon: The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

As always, hitting the brink of the deadline, here is my entry for the 2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon hosted by Film Music Central. Last year, I took a look at Once Upon a Forest for this blogathon and it was a great one to revisit. You can check out the review here. This year, I decided to check out another family fantasy film adapted from a children’s book series that I haven’t read called The Spiderwick Chronicles. I’m a huge fan of Freddie Highmore as a child star, even now in Bates Motel. I think he’s fantastic and for a while, I did take the time to catch up a lot of his movies a few years back and this was one of them. I’m excited to have a reason to revisit it and hope that the magic is still as charming as I remember.

Let’s check it out!

The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

spiderwick chronicles

Director: Mark Waters

Cast: Freddie Highmore, Mary-Louise Parker, Nick Nolte, Sarah Bolger, Andrew McCarthy, David Strathairn, Seth Rogen, Martin Short

Upon moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with their sister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeries and other creatures. – IMDB

The Spiderwick Chronicles is a fun little fantasy adventure children’s movie featuring a double dose of Freddie Highmore as both Jared and Simon Grace who along with their sister, Mallory (played by Sarah Bolger) are taken to a home that their mother inherited from their great aunt while she goes through a separation. Jared takes this the hardest and after a fight realized that there is something in the walls. As he chases it down, he finds a secret room accessible by a dumbwaiter and there he finds a book that warns him to not open it. Being a child, of course, he does. Whether it was an act of rebellion or thoughtlessness or curiosity, this opens up a realm of fairies and other more dangerous creatures that have been seeking this field guide of the magical creatures to use it as a way to control the world. This one dangerous individual is a giant ogre, Mulgarath (voiced by Nick Nolte). Some of the gentler creatures who create quite the comedic relief is Hogsqueal who looks like a hog and is obsessed with birds (voiced by Seth Rogen) and the protector of the book, Thimbletack (voiced by Martin Short). Its fun adventure with some pretty cool CGI effects and an all around entertaining story. While the start might show some over acting in Freddie Highmore, he soon settles quickly as they put away the family and sibling rivalry and jump fairly quickly into the meat of the fantasy world and its just a quick ride to the end.

Spiderwick Chronicles

As this is a blogathon for James Horner, its important to discuss the score. James Horner makes some of the best orchestral scores that help build the atmosphere. Here he carries mystery and suspense when the world is first discovered, then takes us on a musical journey that aids as the adventure picks up where these siblings bond together and truly find their courage as they plot their protection for their home. The score compliments and accentuates the adventure particularly. Adding onto a well-executed film to begin with, this makes it even more engaging to watch. Its hard to ignore the seamless score that James Horner puts together for Spiderwick Chronicles.

Sarah Bolger is a familiar face now. While I have yet to check out Into the Badlands, I’ve seen her as Princes Aurora in Once Upon a Time and especially in Emilie, a psychological thriller released last year that was very well put together. I can’t remember if I had actually written a review but its a great movie that truly showcases her acting skills and the potential she has. Her sister role as Mallory brings a sense of balance, not because she’s a girl but also because she’s very tough as she wield her fencing sword in all her fights. Its an impressive character.

Spiderwick Chronicles

In terms of the double Freddie Highmore, Jared and Simon have relatively different personalities and it gives them a more unique character and lets us see the difference other than how they dress. Freddie Highmore wasn’t great in the Jared role when he starts but it might just have to do with his difficult child act and once it was dropped, it was really fun to watch, even though Jared is more of the central character here.

 

In terms of voice actors, we have Nick Nolte as the baddie. For a children’s movie, it worked really well. I was pretty invested into the movie and the villain even if he didn’t really show up that much and there was one part where he was human and the transformation was pretty cool. Other than that, Thimbletack (Martin Short) and Hogsqueal (Seth Rogen) are really fun to watch in a silly way. Their creatures themselves are rather creative and in a somewhat adorable way, they are pretty appealing. I have to say that Hogsqueal could have had more screen time although as a non-Seth Rogen fan, I actually thought this was a great performance but it had to do with this silly character that added a lot of entertainment value.

Spiderwick Chronicles

Overall, The Spiderwick Chronicles is a fun and fast-paced fantasy adventure movie. It has great performances all around and a good balance of comedy and adventure, making it incredibly entertaining and engaging to watch. The CGI is done very well and not to mention, a well-executed story that is accentuated by a great score.

Have you seen The Spiderwick Chronicles? 

Dessert: Chocolate Mousse

Father’s Day was almost a week ago and its taken me this long to get this going. Mostly because I misplaced the recipe. These things happen and I’m able to share it now. Full disclosure that a few years back, I did attempt to make Chocolate Mousse and it was a failure to say the least. Something along the lines of a chocolate liquid. Although, apparently, it still was a delicious chocolate-y drink. With more kitchen tools and more experience, we decided to give this a second shot and with a new recipe.

This time, I’m working with Food Network Magazine’s Chocolate Lover’s Handbook, called Chocolate-Chestnut Mousse but modified it to not use chestnut puree. We did end up using a replacement for it to give it a thicker consistency. We used a roasted nut chocolate spread and it worked really well. Here’s how it look. (Sorry for bad presentation)

Chocolate Mousse

Serves: 4 (halved from the original 8)

Ingredients

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup chocolate spread
1/8 tsp pure almond extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
1 cup heavy cream

  1. Put the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring, until melted, about 2 minutes. Blend the chocolate spread, almond extract, salt and 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and fold in half of the melted chocolate.
  2. Beat the heavy cream and the remaining 1 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar with a mixer until soft peaks form. Reserve 1/2 cup for topping. Fold one-quarter of the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate spread mixture, then fold in the rest. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Divide the mousse among dessert glasses. Top with the reserved whipped cream. Remelt the remaining chocolate in the microwave, if necessary, then drizzle on top.

Surprisingly, chocolate mousse is pretty easy to make, although very hard to get the right consistency. This recipe worked really well. I’d venture to say that if you don’t have fancy chocolate spread that Nutella might work also or peanut butter even. It probably would still have similar results. I did this one the night before I had to go over to my in-laws and bring this over and that also helps. However, ours didn’t have the drizzle because I did make a mistake and put too much confectioners’ sugar so had probably instead of the 1 tablespoon for the whipped cream mix, I had two because I read it wrong.

Of course, if you do want to do the actual recipe, it serves 8. Double all the ingredients from the list above and replace the chocolate spread with chestnut puree.

Despite the mistake in the ingredients, I think not putting the drizzle worked to balance the taste. My in-laws liked it a lot and said the sweetness was just enough. My husband also liked it a lot. Unfortunately, because of the heavy cream and the semi-sweet chocolate, it had milk so I couldn’t try it out for myself.

Have you made Chocolate Mousse? What recipe do you use?

Game Warp Podcast: E3 Impressions Part 1: EA, Microsoft, Bethesda, Ubisoft

The new episode of Game Warp Podcast is here!

Its been a crazy run with E3, the Top 10 lists and finally, our wrap-up of the conference. This year, we split it into two parts. The first covers the impressions of Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Bethesda and Ubisoft’s conferences. We talk about the games that caught our eye and also Xbox One X and what it means to a current Xbox owner and a non-Xbox owner. Does it change our views? Would we get one now that its the “most powerful” console available.

Sit back, relax and join us while watching some screenshots and trailers as we discuss these first four conferences.

Thanks for watching! 🙂

What conference did you enjoy? What games are you the most excited for?
Part 2 will be coming in a few days so remember to go subscribe so that you don’t miss it (or any other videos we have coming up).
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Double Feature: A Stork’s Journey (2017) & The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

As I work through maintaining a little bit of everything every single week, here we are with the double feature of the week showcasing a free movie for a limited time on Google Play Store called A Stork’s Journey and 2016’s teenage coming of age favorite, The Edge of Seventeen. Going into both of these is completely fresh, for one, I just saw Storks and this is A Stork’s Journey, a movie I know nothing about, while on the other hand,  I don’t know much about The Edge of Seventeen, but Hailee Steinfeld has yet to convince me that she is a young actress to watch out for. Maybe this will be the one to do it.

Let’s check it out!

A Stork’s Journey (2017)

A Stork's Journey

Director: Toby Genkel & Reza Memari

Voice Cast: Drake Bell, iJustine, Jane Lynch

Even though everybody else thinks he’s a sparrow – Richard himself holds tight to the conviction that he is in fact a stork. – IMDB

A Stork’s Journey is a pretty generic story. While there is some fun acting and some cool use of characters and play with words as well as incorporating the modern terms, it still has moments where it does fall flat a little. What does it give an edge is perhaps Jane Lynch doing the voice of Olga, the Pygmy Owl. This is definitely a rag-tag aviary team as Richard sets off to prove that he is a stork by making it to Africa, and on the way meeting other birds which are different in their own way to their own type of bird, be it an oversized pygmy owl or an over the top parakeet that wants to be a singing star and the great amount of techie pigeons that divulge a lot of information. A Stork’s Journey is a simple and innocent journey that pretty much tells us to dream big and never downsize ourselves. We can be whatever we want to be but also accept that we are who we are, big or small, and have our purpose and excellence. Absolutely a family-friendly film and probably geared towards a younger audience.

I mean, I probably wouldn’t pay to see this but it was free on Google Play Store and might still be, if you know, then do leave a comment below. I can’t see the price because I own it now. Its a tad cliche as a bird adventure story which might remind you a little of Rio at parts, but the story that move along fast enough and the animation has some adorable bits and I personally love Jane Lynch and her voice for Olga was really cool. There are some clever word plays and I like those in anything. I’m kind of in the middle here. Its not exact a hit but not exactly a  miss either.

The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

The Edge of Seventeen

Director (and writer): Kelly Fremon Craig

Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner, Hayden Szeto, Woody Harrelson, Kyra Sedgwick

High-school life gets even more unbearable for Nadine when her best friend, Krista, starts dating her older brother. – IMDB

At this point, I’ve watched The Edge of Seventeen once and then rewatched it two more times. I’ve seen The Edge of Seventeen be compared to Sixteen Candles and in some ways, I can see it particularly with an awkward main character who loathes the idea of high school and is really over it. Suffice to say that I like this one a whole lot. Part of it is that the story is written so well with enough awkward dialogue and awesome characters that really highlight the melodrama of being in high school. For Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), this means losing her only friend to her popular and hot (almost perfect) brother who already has everything and takes away her only spark of joy as well. Call this a blessing in disguise, while Nadine flips out in her odd ways and makes some stupid decisions (as you would expect), she ends up meeting Erwin (Hayden Szeto), a fellow classmate who reaches out to her unexpectedly in her time of need.

the edge of seventeen

The Edge of Seventeen is full of great characters. I’d have to say that the highlight is the equally awkward Erwin, played by Hayden Szeto. He took portrayed his awkwardness with silly joke and the dialogue between him and Hailee Steinfeld’s Nadine was a lot of fun. All their scenes were quite fun and meaningful. On the other hand, the scenes with Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson was also really great as its mostly pretty hilarious with his unexpected brutal honesty. Woody Harrelson’s Mr. Bruner is somewhat of a odd support system, his straight forward answers or comments on her situation spoke a lot of the harsh truth and in many ways, as someone that is past the high school phase, it reminds me of why someone didn’t point those things out.

Honestly, its been a while that I’ve seen something so fun with coming of age elements and kind of at a point really tugged at my heartstrings. I’m starting to see that potential in Hailee Steinfeld although, I do believe the fantastic script and the great cast all around made this memorable. I totally recommend this movie!

Have you seen A Stork’s Journey and/or The Edge of Seventeen?

(Sorry for the later than expected post. I thought I had posted this up. Apparently, I forgot to schedule it…)

Game Warp: Top 10 Independent Games Showcased at E3 2017!

As some of you know, I’m in love with independent games. In fact, I’m pretty much really supportive of the independent scene regardless of movies or authors. There’s so much hidden talent there and what someone can create out of passion and creativity (just like us bloggers here) are great. We should help each other out and hope that we all get that big break. One really great thing right now is to see that although still very tough, the indie scene can all have their chances and E3 2017 showed off a good amount of smaller games.

Over at Game Warp, we sifted through the trailers and these are our Top 10 Independent Games from E3 2017.

If you missed out on our Top 10 Mainstream Games, you can check it out HERE!

Thanks for watching! Hope you enjoyed!
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What games made your indie games list this year?