Game Warp Podcast: Interview with Alice & Smith

Elwood and I sit down with game developer Patrick Greatbatch from the company Alice & Smith. They are the masterminds behind the first Permanent Alternate Reality Game (PARG) called The Black Watchmen. From there, they have been building up games expanded from the same universe. Ahnayro: The Dream World currently is on early access on Steam with two tables ready to be deciphered. Our impressions of the Early Access version of Ahnayro will be coming up on That Moment In as well as The Black Watchmen

Also, at the time of recording, they had just launched the Kickstarter campaign for their next game also in the same universe but as the military hacking unit of The Black Watchmen called NITE Team 4 which is at this point is heading towards their third stretch goal.

We talk about what PARG is and the mindset behind building community based games as well as creating these puzzles and atmosphere that The Black Watchmen universe is set in. Patrick also tells us a lot of fun stories from the wonderful community they have built.

Thanks for watching!
Remember to subscribe and like if you enjoyed it over on Youtube as well! Every little bit helps us out!🙂

Dinner: Oven Roasted Tricolor Carrots

I have a confession to make. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Tricolor Carrots, Brussel Sprouts and Portobello Mushrooms. I see this obsession particularly with the Tricolor/Nantes Carrots to last a while. So far, I’ve found the best way to do them is oven-roasted. I actually would like to replicate what I tried in Kelowna at Basil & Mint Restaurant. Those carrots were absolutely delish. Its because of that that when I went to Atwater Market a few weeks ago, I got a bag of these carrots and amazingly, also the second reason why I love buying carrots is that they can be preserved for a good while.

This is a simple recipe and I’m sure someone else has probably done it but I did put this together on my own.

Oven-Roasted Tricolor Carrots



10 Tricolor Carrots (or Nantes carrots), scrubbed and cleaned
2 tbsp Avocado Oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
1 tsp Herbes de Provence (or as you see fit)

How to make it

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Lay carrots in a single layer on top of the parchment paper.
  3. Drizzle oil over the carrots.
  4. Sprinkle on the Herbes de Provence.
  5. Put in oven for 20-25 minutes or when carrots are tender enough for your taste.

Simple and easy is what I usually aim for. We paired this up with Tourtiere which is a meat pie. Plus, Tricolor carrots have a sweeter taste, especially my favorites are the purple ones with the orange center that taste a little like sweet potatoes. Plus, Herbes de Provence is one of the best herb blends for making a lot of different varieties of food from pork chops, chicken, turkey and even vegetables. It is our go-to spice for a quick solution that packs a little extra taste.

How do you like to cook carrots?

Opinion Battles Round 21 – Favourite Tom Cruise Role

The next round of Opinion Battles is here! Round 21 is all about sharing our favorite Tom Cruise roles! This one wasn’t hard to find since I’m not exactly a Tom Cruise fan but I do love him a whole lot as Ethan Hunt in the Mission Impossible franchise and the recent ones have just been totally awesome!
The other choices are pretty great also. I’d have to say that his role in Collateral crossed my mind for a split second.😉
Which Tom Cruise role do you like?
Head over to see the other selections and drop your vote on who you agree with most!

P.S. I realized that I forgot to reblog the last round on our favorite Clive Owen roles and you can head over and check that out on Movie Reviews 101 sidebar and drop your vote as well! The poll should still be running!

Movie Reviews 101

Opinion Battles Round 21

Favourite Tom Cruise Role

Tom Cruise is arguable the biggest movie star in the business today and over his 30 plus career he has become one of the most popular choices for a range of different films. Nearly always the leading man and his willingness to take on the most dangerous stunts. While he will always be surrounded by controversy because of his attachment to Scientology no one can question his ability as an actor.

If you want to take part in the next round of Opinion Battles we will be taking on our Favourite Franchise Serial Killer and you will need to have your entries sent to 30th October 2016.

Darren – Movie Reviews 101

Vincent – Collateralvincent

Vincent is a hitman who has come to Los Angeles to kill a certain number of people, he hires a taxi to drive him…

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Halloween Marathon: Evil Dead 2 (1987)

We are back to continue the Halloween Marathon’s second featured franchise. It is time to give Evil Dead 2 a go. After the less than enthusiastic feeling I had about the first one, I can’t say I am too excited but I need to be objective and let’s just say, it cannot be any worse in the character development for Ash, right? Plus, my incredible Game Warp Podcast cohost (also MBDS podcast host) assures me that the second one is better. I trust him and his movie preferences so let us move on and get this started!

Evil Dead 2 (1987)

Evil dead 2

Director and co-writer: Sam Raimi

Cast: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley, Ted Raimi

The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holes up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack.-IMDB

Evil Dead 2 is no doubt better than the first one. One of the main pros of this movie is that it embraces its campiness and takes us for a more comedic ride which yields more laughs while still having some good creepy horror. It does start a little slow and the beginning seems to want to connect the previous movie by somewhat rehashing it a tad and getting us caught up if we didn’t see it before. That is a good move. Bruce Campbell’s character also takes a while to build. For a a little bit of the movie in the beginning, he still drove me a little crazy with his indecisiveness and sentimentality however, the development of his character is embraced much better to resemble a rather memorable character with some extra fun moments. Evil Dead 2 is very similar to the first movie however, it improves on the bits I didn’t quite like about the first one so that is a plus.

Evil Dead 2

Evil Dead 2 is definitely going in the right direction. I had some doubt as the movie started and I was trying to figure out whether it was really a continuation or whatnot. By the time, we knew that Evil Dead 2 was heading into an odd and quirky route especially as we watched Ash go a little nuts with the evil spirits. As we watch him slowly spiral downwards, we also see a development in his character whether it is his more frequent one-liners and his silly and over-exaggerated expressions and then transforming into a bad ass. This is where we know that it is going to start being a fun ride. Plus, the characters in this one get a little more screen time so they have a little more time to have some meaning to them although none of them really mean anything to particularly Ash when two are here in relation to the man who essentially released the evil spirits or at least initiated it and two others was just there for the ride and earning some extra money but ended up getting stuck. However, even the cast in this one carries a much better tone in the way they are than the original.

Evil Dead 2

Evil Dead 2 has one thing that a lot of movies has and you know, a similar flaw was apparent in the first movie and that is lack of logic in some parts. It is much better in terms of having characters that are smarter but in contrast there are also ones that are incredibly stupid as well. Just saying that if one of the characters freak out about needing to find someone in the woods, in the place of Ash, I would have recounted everything that happened to his friends and then his hand and so on so forth. One of these facts has got to be convincing enough. But, I stand behind Ash in this one because he also demonstrates a lot of common sense and logic near the end especially when trying to end this once and for all.

Evil Dead 2

Overall, Evil Dead 2 improves on the original a lot. There is a very good balance of odd, creepy and funny. In many ways, it embraces its campiness much better. I have my questions on certain parts. Most importantly, I’m starting to see Ash in a much better light. Perhaps he is not the iconic character yet but his character has developed a lot in this one and has turned into one that I can get behind.

With that said, I do look forward to seeing how things unfold in Army of Darkness and I am hoping  (after many people have told me) that it will be an absolute blast.

Have you seen Evil Dead 2?
Come back next week for the review of Army of Darkness!🙂

Halloween Marathon: Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015)

What is a Halloween Marathon without bringing into some guilty pleasure in the form of Sharknado 3, right?

If you didn’t see my reviews for Sharknado and Sharknado 2, you can find them HERE and HERE! To save you some time, I am a huge fan of Sharknado in all its guilty pleasure and absolutely horribly fun stupidly ridiculous everything. Sharknado 2 was a little over the top, you know. It is kind of like Sharknado 2 was saying to its audience. You know what? You like stupid and brainless entertainment, just let me turn that to an eleven and see what you think about that. Except they turned it to 15 and it just got way out of hand. It was still a ton of fun. I won’t lie that I turn on Sharknado when I really want to just laugh at ridiculous stuff and not think. It is probably why it takes me so long to watch the next sequel.

Here we are! I celebrated the start of my second week of vacation and I did it as a staycation with a gloomy weekend afternoon watching Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!

Let’s check it out!

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015)

Sharknado 3

Director: Anthony C. Ferrante

Cast: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Cassandra Scerbo, Frankie Muniz, Ryan Newman, David Hasselhoff, Mark Cuban, Jack Griffo

A monstrous tornado unleashes ravenous sharks from Washington, D.C., all the way down to Orlando, Florida.-IMDB

Man, Sharknado 3 is notched even higher in the ridiculous department. Honestly, I thought it was mad fun except with a whole lot of unnecessary stuff and gratuitous gore and massive stupidity. Its like cheese to twenty and dumb to infinity. That doesn’t mean that it is a “bad” movie. “Bad” because it is no doubt bad but you know this redeems itself a little from the second one. Sure, I am being extremely lenient with the third one only because I just don’t know how to criticize it because it is not meant to be criticized. Sharknado franchise is this wonderous world where it is 0/10 in quality and yet for those who like the mindless stupid fun, its like a 6 out of 10 with this last one. I mean, spoiler alert…they freakin’ fight sharks in space AND Tara Reid’s character April is pregnant and also goes to space. Is that even safe? Throw common sense out the window, because you sure don’t need it for this one at all.

Sharknado 3

What does make Sharknado endearing is that they can call back to their cast, especially the main character Fin, played by Ian Ziering. He is the bad ass this franchise needs and possibly banks on since he has some cheesy and funny one liners and kills sharks with chainsaws and is willing to always be a hero to save and protect his family. In his mind, if he saves the world in the process than even better. Fin is a great character because he is quite honorable. He sometimes makes some ridiculous things and the Sharknado franchise has made him do over exaggerated things and meet over the top people. At the end of the day, he is still a cool guy to watch. I have to say that I kind of liked Tara Reid a little more from the previous ones. She stands her own ground. I don’t think I’ve ever truly liked her character as April because her role and what happens to her makes the least sense at times.

Sharknado 3

Moving on, this time, we see the return of Cassandra Scerbo resuming her role as Nova who from the first movie’s sharknado trauma has launched a life goal of tracking and eliminating these disasters with the trusty help of Lucas (played by Frankie Muniz). I like the character of Nova quite a bit. I mean, she is here for a ton of sex appeal. There is no doubt about that especially when there was the one shot where her and Fin jump out of a helicopter or plane or something and land in the waters of Universal Studios Park and walk out in their underwear because you know, you have to keep your weapons and toss out your clothes in times of danger. The most laugh out loud moment of the entire film..kind of. On top of that, guess who else is here? Well, I guess you won’t be as shocked by it than I was if you aren’t a Shark Tank viewer. Mark Cuban has a cameo role here as the President of USA and he gets kind of cheesy bad ass like everyone else here. And of course, David Hasselhoff plays as an astronaut who also happens to be Fin’s father. Which explains how he had access to go out to space to shut down this Sharknado/Hurricane disaster.

Sharknado 3

 Overall, if you were on board with the first Sharknado and embraced what it is. The Second One and Oh Hell No! sequels are pretty much amped up from that. Yes, at many times, it overdoes it a little and it gets incredibly improbable but no one goes into this movie with their brain turned on. If you are able to turn off your mind, this is a good choice. As ridiculous as this one was, somehow I liked this one a tad more than The Second One (which I don’t remember a lot of except for jumping on sharks and the final scene). It isn’t quite the so bad its good level that Sharknado reaches but Oh Hell No! has its own little ridiculous bits to make it worth it. Its able to not take itself seriously and expects its audience to do the same so Sharknado isn’t for everyone. If you liked the first one, you probably will enjoy this one to a certain extent!😉

Have you seen Sharknado 3? Are you a fan of the franchise?

Vancouver & Kelowna: Vancouver Aquarium & Lynn Canyon Park

We’re finally here! The recap of the final day of vacation over on the Canadian West Coast. For this one, we took up our courage and headed to the Vancouver city central towards Stanley Park to go to Vancouver Aquarium and get an indoor activity before heading out to Lynn Canyon Park & Suspension Bridge. We talked with some of the locals there (my mom’s friends) and they told us that Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is almost as pretty as Capilano Suspension Bridge which charges more and is higher. This is a great choice for it being free and having just a lower canyon but still really  nice to walk through.

Vancouver Aquarium

As you can see, Vancouver Aquarium has all sorts of stuff, its not just fishes and rays and giant turtles and sharks. It also has monkeys and birds, etc. It is a pretty cool experience. Something else I like is that they don’t do a lot of shows with the animals. Only the dolphins are in these shows. The porpoises and belugas up top are actually in a training session which is like the trainer talks about these animals and how they came here and their story while giving them a little workout explaining why certain moves helps them to make sure they are healthy. In other cases, they also talk about the wildlife preservation centre that people can call if they ever believe that a marine animal is in danger and needs their assistance so that they can get them healthy and send them back to the wild. While I haven’t seen the documentary on Blackfish, I like the fact that it may be because of things like that documentary which make aquariums more aware about their transparency on how they are treating the animals with them.

Regardless of that, I like going to aquariums quite a bit and Vancouver Aquarium isn’t exceptionally different but they have their forte and is a rather educational process. They have a few different species of animals. My favorite is always the jellyfish tank and also seeing the porpoises and also going to the touch tank and getting to touch rays.

Lynn Canyon Park

Lynn Canyon Park

Lynn Canyon Park

Lynn Canyon Park

As I mentioned above, we indeed skipped the really well known Capilano suspension bridge. I have been there before when I was around eight years old. However, in my mind, Lynn Canyon Park was really beautiful. It was a rainy day but everything was absolutely lovely just with the rainforest and the tall trees towering over us. It was a great place to go. And a nice way to round up our vacation with a nice light hike around. It didn’t  take too long but was good enough to give us time and energy to head back to the hotel and pack up for our trip home the next day.

Overall, the Vancouver and Kelowna trip was a lot of fun. We had some fantastic scenery and we had an enjoyable time seeing all the relatives. We got to hike and eat some great food and even fangirl over Storybrooke. There are still a ton of activities we didn’t get to do because of time and hopefully we will return again eventually.

This vacation’s post is done now but as we speak I just got back to work this week after a week off for a lovely staycation where did also went out to do some hiking so that will follow for what seems like Vacation Tuesdays here.😉 We do have some day trips planned before winter hits so hopefully this segment will go on for at least another few weeks.

Halloween Marathon: Evil Dead (1981)

Its a new week and we are right on schedule with the second featured franchise, Evil Dead. I only know of this franchise and not much else so Evil Dead is completely new to me from start to finish. The only thing I might know a little bit of is the main dude is an iconic character. See, vague as heck in my mind but its okay, that is why these featured franchises end up here, right? I need to discover what all the hype is about!

Lets check it out!

Evil Dead (1981)

Evil Dead

Director and writer: Sam Raimi

Cast: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker, Theresa Tilly

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.-IMDB

I’m going to be downright honest right here and not even bother to sugarcoat it. A lot of you might disagree with me or just think I’m crazy but I did not like Evil Dead. I’ll explain it and I’ll even tell you what I think works, particularly referring to the premise and designing the set with a seemingly low budget (because 80s movies tend to be in that situation). Evil Dead is kind of like the model of cabin in the woods movies and the characters themselves seem to be exactly what it is about. Maybe it is what started the whole trend. The atmosphere and the design, despite its low budget and campy and dated effects, all work well enough. I know what I’m in for when I start up a 80s movie so I don’t criticize it on that. I even took a few days to settle my thoughts a little on this one before doing the write-up.

Evil Dead

Evil Dead has some pretty poor characters and it is paired up with the really slow pace movie that took forever to take off just didn’t work for me. Let us put the slow pace aspect aside because when it does pick up, there are some incredibly effective getting under your skin creeps, particularly when the possession starts and things start getting serious. After thinking about it a little more, the main issue of Evil Dead is that for what it accomplishes in reality, it takes itself a little too seriously. Its a shame because it sets up quite the mood right from the beginning as they build up the tension of getting into the house and the camera making it always look like someone is observing them. Those parts are pretty impressive to watch even if the swinging chair is hitting the house and stops suddenly and we already know it would or sounds come out of the woods and we know that something is out there, for example.

Evil Dead

What Evil Dead does most poorly is the characters. The first girl, Shelley heads outside with a sound she hears outside. Logically, who would do that? Just walk out into the woods which is in the middle of nowhere and not tell one other person in the house? Fast forward even to after the first possession happens and there is somewhat an idea that a danger has happened and they have heard the tapes and realize that body dismemberment is the only way to stop these attacks at least for a moment. The other characters aren’t quite the focus and we already know that because a lot of camera time is placed the so-called iconic character, Ash, played by Bruce Campbell. Ash is a frustrating character to no ends because he is somewhat of a sentimental fool who would be that perfect man you’d want to see in a romantic comedy but not in a life-threatening situation. He has a heart and that is fine. But after all that has happened, he can’t put his heart to stop the madness that has possessed his friends and that is pure ridiculousness. Perhaps, it gives his character some reality but it was hard to get behind his decisions that would inevitably stretch out the movie with yet another  horror sequence.

Evil Dead

Talking about horror sequences, nothing quite beats the laughing lady which is incredibly annoying and creepy all at the same time. There is one scene that creates a lot of uneasiness and it also created a lot of frustration because Ash could not do what he should to stop it all and falls for the tricks of the demons, in a way, or just his sentimentality takes over him too much. Whatever it is, it was at that moment that I just had enough of the character and wanted him to stop. It also is the moment when I started to wonder what made him so iconic.

Overall, Evil Dead is effective in its own slow pace horror despite its campy and outdated effects. There are some good horror sequences that cause a great deal of uneasiness however, the characters here leaves much to be desired, especially that of Ash who makes me wonder what gave him enough to be the iconic character of this franchise. Hopefully, the sequel will answer that question and give him a much braver and more courageous character.

Have you seen Evil Dead?