Announcing the Ultimate Decades Blogathon 2022

Drew's Movie Reviews

Hello, friends!

With the start of the new year comes the first step towards this year’s Ultimate Decades Blogathon! That’s right, my blogathon partner Kim from Tranquil Dreams and I are once again teaming up to host our annual blogathon. Like last year, this year’s Ultimate Decades Blogathon will look at movies throughout the decades that were released with the same last digit as the current year. That means all entries for the blogathon must have been released in years that end in “2”. For example, 2012, 2002, 1992, etc.

Kim and I would love to see you participate in this blogathon. If you are interested in participating here are the details:

  • Choose and review a movie (or movies) that was released in a year that ends in “2”
  • Tell us in a comment or via email your selection(s) for the blogathon
  • Email your entry to Kim, kim.tranquildreams@gmail.com, and…

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My December 2021 Adventures + Overview of the Year

After an entire year of pandemic (and ongoing from the previous year), we’ve finally reached the end of 2021. Its a tad wild and yet 2021 went by incredibly fast despite all the sitting at home, watching TV, playing games, and finding other ways from our own homes to connect with friends. Of course, the blog is not about that and while here took a little slowdown in the last few months mostly for personal IRL reasons, I still think it was very much needed. With that said, a little look at some simple activities in December. We will end with an overview of 2021: some simple numbers, and top 10 lists. You know, this is the normal deal on the last day of the year.

Christmas Decorations

Beyond Monet

Before things started getting worse in Montreal, we managed to make it to the Beyond Monet exhibit. Monet art is something that means a lot to me as art is something is what reminds me of my childhood with my father. With that said, this exhibit was quite the show as its a 360 wall of Monet art that flips through the details of each collection while pairing it with classical music (in majority, there was some opera as well).

OVERVIEW OF 2021

Its the end of 2021 and with that, its time for some quick numbers! First of all, we are dropping blogging statistics this year because its really not something that was top on my list this year. However, let’s focus back on the content that was consumed.

  • Total films watched: 215 movies
  • Total books read: 9 books
  • Total TV series binged: 69 seasons

Top 10 First Time Watches

  1. Hand Rolled Cigarette
  2. Vicious Fun
  3. Dreams On Fire
  4. The Final Girls
  5. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  6. Inglourious Basterds
  7. Better Days
  8. The Dressmaker
  9. Hello! Tapir
  10. Beyond The Infinite Two Minutes

Top 10 TV series

  1. Flourish in Time
  2. Baking Impossible
  3. Our Secret
  4. Squid Game
  5. Moonlight
  6. Lost In Space (Season 1-3)
  7. Love Crossed
  8. A Murderous Affair in Horizon Tower
  9. Use For Our Talent
  10. Sweet Home

Overall, 2021 was a decrease in content in general for film watching in general. The actually movie watching for 2021 releases was all focused on what was accessible on streaming services or online. Some of which is still waiting to be written up. Less posts written, less movies watched, a new podcast (which is currently in hiatus for rebuild), more TV watching (I believe since I didn’t track it last year), an unbelievable backlog of movies and TV series to write up reviews and a whole lot less books read is where I’m at as we approach this year-end. However, its been a crazy year in real life so I think all things aside, its amazing that things are still running the way it is.

Drop by tomorrow to see the 2022 upcoming plans post!
There’s some little changes and announcements!

Movies and Tea #48 – Raw

Next episode of Movies and Tea is here! We continue on the Female Directors season as we check out French body horror film Raw! Head on over to Movies and Tea to give it a listen!

Movies and Tea

The season long celebration of female directors this time looks the French Body Horror Raw written and directed by Julia Ducournau in which first year veterinary student vegetarian Justine (Garance Marillier)finds herself with an unsatisfiable craving after being forced to eat meat during the traditional hazing of the new students.

Music on this episode

Wild Love – Jim Williams
Finger Scene – Jim Williams

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Movies and Tea #47 – A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

Next episode of Movies and Tea is here! Female directors season continues as we look at a very unique pick with Iranian vampire film, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. Head over to Movies and Tea to give it a listen!

Movies and Tea



The season long celebration of female directors this time looks at Ana Lily Amirpour and her take on the vampire movie A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night were in the Iranian city Bad City a skateboarding vampire ispreying on the men who disrespect women.

Music on this episode

Gelaye – Radio Tehran
Black Sunday – Federale

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Fantasia Film Festival 2021: Don’t Say Its Name (2021)

Blood in the Snow Festival’s 3 day virtual festival on Super Channel is starts today (Oct 29th) and runs through until October 31st. The first film to kick off this evening is Canadian horror thriller Don’t Say Its Name!
I checked it out during Fantasia earlier this year but if you didn’t see it, here’s your chance to check it out! Its airing at 9pm EST on Super Channel.

You can check out the program for this weekend’s virtual BITS Festival on https://www.bloodinthesnow.ca/

The festival continues in person at the Royal Theatre in Toronto from November 18th to 23rd with another set of films.

Tranquil Dreams

Don’t Say Its Name (2021)

Director (and co-writer): Rueben Martell

Cast: Madison Walsh, Sera-Lys McArthur, Julian Black-Antelope, Sheena Kaine, Carla Fox, Samuel Marty

When a young passionate activist of an indigenous community is killed unexpectedly, a string of mysterious murders suddenly show up with no murderers in sight but with witnesses who don’t see anyone present. As local peace officer Mary and Park Ranger Stacey join together to investigate, they realize that it is related to the mining company WEC who has been approved to drill on their tribal lands and that something of a supernatural form could be protecting against it.

Don’t Say Its Name is a 2021 Canadian horror thriller. Set in a snowy indigenous First Nations community, the film also features a mainly female cast also mostly with indigenous backgrounds. There are not nearly enough films in any genre with First Nations voices and this one having…

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Book Tour: Ekleipsis: The Abyss by Tamel Wino (Review)

Ekleipsis: The Abyss
By: Tamel Wino

Expected Publication Date: October 29th, 2021
Genre: Horror/Anthology

SYNOPSIS

Ékleipsis: The Abyss is the second short story collection by the award-winning author.

Tales of depravation and insanity are woven together with unrelenting style and depth, scrutinizing human nature’s degeneration when compromised by tragic, vicious circumstances.

These complex, wretched individuals and the irremediable conditions they are desperate to claw out of—or into—invoke the unfathomable question: What devastation are we truly capable of when left with no way out but down . . . into the obscurity of the abyss?

” It is at times appalling, strange and outright frightening, but Wino’s way with character development is outstanding. The display of artistic creativity and character creation really sets “Èkleipsis: The Abyss” apart in the field of short story collections.”
Reader Views

“The stories are well-packaged and generally have the feel of watching a syndicated crime drama. Fans of this form of entertainment will likely enjoy these well-crafted stories about everyday people whose lives are shattered by lunatics.”
The US Review of Books

“Wino’s writing is vivid, unsettling and filled with brilliant hints that contribute to the exhilaration of its pacing. Ékleipsis: The Abyss is a clever and creative horror offering worth checking out.”
―Independent Book Review

” Tamel really captured that essence of society and the dark side of people. Readers will appreciate the dark undertones of this horror anthology. Ekleipsis: the Abyss will surprise you more that you can imagine.”
―Literary Titan

Add to Goodreads

Available on Amazon

REVIEW

Ekleipsis: The Abyss navigates through six different stories of insanity and vulnerability as it goes through the horrors of human nature. The six stories all differ in the content and the skeletons that are hiding in each of their closets making them all relatively intriguing reads. As with most anthologies, there are always stories that stand out more than others. Looking quickly over them, they each do have their own sense of unsettling and sinister moments.

You can group the stories into two different styles. The first three stories having more resolved endings, while the second half consisting of the last three stories all have more a open-ended approach. Right off the bat, it starts off with “Marlene” which feels like a much more familiar tale of paranoia and delusion. Its one of the more normal unfolding of its premise but does show its craft and the writing that makes its a rather fun read and sets up a great tone for the rest of the stories to come. “No Place Like Home” takes a turn to dive into a warped family unit full of replacement, manipulation and suspense. Its one that does grab rather well but the ending does feel a little abrupt. However, the premise is rather solid. “En Prise” is where the strength of dialogue and tension truly builds the best as it lingers around two characters that are developed really well through their conversation. The conversation is an odd and dangerous one and yet, so intriguing as its almost like two people seeing whose bluff works the best and who is actually telling the truth and whether this tactic will work in the end. Its both a clever approach and very well-written.

The second half of the anthology kicks off with “All Day and A Night” which is a rather intense story as prison guards talk about their extreme schooling program to tame the new inmates to two people on a hunting trip when things during the trip take a turn for the worse when things get out of their control. In terms of story development, this one does take a more predictable path however, the whole descriptive element of very vivid right down to the ending. “Blue Devils” is a different type of story and probably in the whole group feels like it falls a little short. Its premise is rather similar, the description is done well and yet the characters also feel a little empty. It is still a dangerous situation and there is some intensity to it but it all feels fairly familiar that it loses its exciting element a little. The whole anthology ends with “The Descent” which dives the deep into human nature/psyche as the main character experiences this hero complex or adrenaline rush that changes his perspective of life and finally spirals into something much more insane. In some ways, this one does pack a lot of surprise especially in how it ends.

Ekleipsis: The Abyss is really quite an outstanding horror anthology. Human nature is a great premise for horror as a lot of other horror writers have proven before as its hard to grasp the extremities that the darkness and instability and insanity can take a person. There’s a good variety demonstrated in each of these stories which also dive into different settings and premises. It keeps the read very refreshing as it moves from one story to the next. Each has decently executed twists and while one or two felt like it had some little issues, the overall feeling was still a rather entertaining and intriguing read.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tamel Wino is a Canadian fiction writer from the resplendent British Columbia whose works focus largely on degeneration of sanity and morality. He studied Health Sciences and Psychology, which only furthered his interest in human nature.

With inspirations including Alice Munro, Joe Hill, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood and Edgar Allan Poe; Tamel’s expositions are strongly grounded in traditions of dark fiction. Yet, with his bold narrative voice and incisive plot construction, Wino is paving a new movement within the space.

When he’s not reading or scribbling away on his laptop, Tamel loves listening to jazz, rewatching good ol’ classic shows and traveling.

Ekleipsis | Facebook | Instagram

GIVEAWAY

Giveaway: Signed copies of Ékleipsis and Ékleipsis: The Abyss
a Rafflecopter giveaway

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE

October 25th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight)
Liliyana Shadowlyn (Spotlight)
The Faerie Review (Review)
Latisha’s Low-Key Life (Spotlight)

October 26th

Rambling Mads (Review)
Phoebe’s Randoms (Spotlight)
Stine Writing (Spotlight)

October 27th

@tiny.bibliophile (Review)
@bookaholic__reviews (Review)
B is for Book Review (Spotlight)
Sophril Reads (Spotlight)
Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight)

October 28th

Tranquil Dreams (Review)
PoptheButterfly (Spotlight)
Sadie’s Spotlight (Spotlight)
I Smell Sheep (Spotlight)
Gryffindor Bookish Nerd (Review)

October 29th

@rosyreadz (Review)
Nesie’s Place (Spotlight)
@authormalmccartney (Review)
Haddie’s Haven (Spotlight)

Book Tour Organized by:

R&R Book Tours

Halloween Marathon 2021: TV Binge- Deadhouse Dark (Mini Series, 2021)

Deadhouse Dark (Season 1, 2021)

Creator: Enzo Tedeschi
Directors: Denai Gracie, Joshua Long, Rosie Lourde, Megan Riakos, Enzo Tedeschi, Rachele Wiggins
Cast: Nicholas Hope, Anni Finsterer, Gemma Bird Matheson, Ryan Morgan, Lauren Orrell, Naomi Sequeira, Barbara Bingham

A series of six short horror stories anchored by a woman who receives a ‘mystery box’ from the dark web, and then discovers the sinister secret it hold – IMDB

Deadhouse Dark is a 2021 horror anthology mini series where it takes six horror shorts to create each of its episodes. Unlike horror anthology film, this one doesn’t have that linking main story that pulls together all the pieces instead this all feels like different stories set in its own sort of darkness with different horror elements added to each of the stories giving each of them a new set of characters and a different subgenre to tackle. Its not a bad idea to that as a lot of the great horror directors do start of directing shorts and its a great way to share some great premises (just look at another recent Shudder Original release, Martyr’s Lane which also started off as a short story premise and turned out to be a fantastic full length feature).

Of course, the issue here is that what makes things a tad more confusing is that it tries to link certain elements specifically in one episode, the fifth one which has items from a previous episode and a character from another previous character and pulls together those pieces to give a feeling that there is an interconnected feeling while it more instills a feeling of whether there is more connection in the other episodes that were missed prior which at least for myself, I couldn’t seem to pinpoint. Put the interconnected issue aside, each of these shorts are still pretty good. The twist it takes and the surprise element mostly lands in execution. Some leaves a space for the unknown and others have its own purposeful ending. It definitely feels like most of them are still pretty unique and creative in how its all scripted.

Doing a quick breakdown of the episodes aka each of the short films, the first episode “Halloween” set in Halloween that has this fantastic play on time and darkness. It has a very strong twist that connects all the bits together from the beginning and ending. The second episode “No Pain No Gain” is one of the weaker episodes as it feels like a more familiar type of story even if it is inspired by the Blue Whale social media challenge which tells the story of a competitive track runner who is willing to do anything to win leading her to accept the training from a renowned coach who gives her a dangerous progression of daily tasks to complete. The pacing and execution is not quite as engaging. “The Staircase” feels like a found footage that ends up discovering more than they bargained for with some lurking in the unknown depths. “A Tangled Web We Weave” that follows a man on a date dealing not so subtly with a rat problem (for gamers, it has some serious reminders of Layers of Fear strictly from the rat problem angle and whether its real or in his mind) which takes a rather intriguing turn.

Much like “Mystery Box” which is is probably the most intriguing of the whole batch as it has a strong element of suspense and mystery which unfolds into a rather unexpected reveal at the end. Its a solo performance with a woman who opens a mystery box at her doorstep. The cinematography and atmosphere is my favorite even if the horror element is much more subtle. Ending the series is “My Empire of Dirt” that sees a ‘death midwife’ helping a sick elderly woman clean up her apartment in preparation for a peaceful death. This one has its own shock value and actually is the most disgusting of the batch since its rummaging through a dirty environment especially when there’s something hidden which is haunting this place.

Deadhouse Dark is a pretty fun overall. One or two of the snippets is a little subpar whether its acting or execution however, they are all rather creative and have some decent twists which land fairly well. It also has a lot of different subgenre which is always fun in any horror anthology format. In a nutshell, my favorite has to be “Mystery Box” which isn’t exactly pure horror but it stands out the most as it gave me the most unexpected twist. Deadhouse Dark might be like many anthologies where it has its hits and misses but its still well worth a watch.

Movies and Tea #45 – Girlfight

Next episode of Movies and Tea is here as we continue on with our Female Directors season and look at Karyn Kusama’s directorial debut film Girlfight. Head over to Movies and Tea to give it a listen!

Movies and Tea

Continuing our season long celebration of female directors on this episode we look at both the directing debut of Karyn Kusama aswell as the acting debut of Michelle Rodriguez as a wayward teenager living in Brooklyn who finds an outlet for her agression and frustrations with life through boxing.

Further Viewing

Million Dollar Baby
Whip It
Southpaw
The Invitation
Creed
Raging Bull
Cinderella Man
Chasing Dream
Crying Fist
Tokyo Fist
Step Up
Bend It Like Beckham

Music on this episode

Theodore Shapiro – La Toro
Keith Mansfield – Funky Fanfare
Theodore Shapiro – Decision

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Movies and Tea #44 – Clueless

Its Season 7 of Movies and Tea! This season is our first themed season which looks at notable female directors and their works. The first to kick things off is Clueless! Head on over to give it a listen!

Movies and Tea



Kicking off our season long celebration of female directors is Amy Heckerling’s Clueless a modern day adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel Emma as Beverly Hill’s high school student Cher tries to find a purpose in life.

A classic film from the 90’s while also staring a who’s who of young talent who would nearly all go on to become big stars in the wake of the films release.

Further Viewing

Edge of Seventeen
Sixteen Candles
Pretty In Pink
Booksmart
American Pie
Clueless (TV Show)
Gossip Girl (TV Show)

Music on this episode

Cracker – Shake Some Action
Keith Mansfield – Funky Fanfare
Jill Sobule – Supermodel

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After Hours: One Cut Of The Dead

Welcome to the next episode of Movies and Tea as we continue with the last episode of this season’s After Hours with my pick of One Cut of the Dead, a Japanese zombie film which works in elements of found footage and one take and its fresh and clever. Head over to Movies and Tea and give it a listen! Of course, there are some spoiler alerts so best to listen after you’ve seen it. A strong recommendation on my part!

Movies and Tea



Elwood and Kim look at the Micro-budget zombie comedy “One Cut of The Dead” which might also be one of the freshest takes on the genre in years as a film crew attempt to film thier zombie movie only for a zombie outbreak to disrupt thier filming…..or does it.

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