Tranquil Dreams Podcast #5: What’s Up 2021 Week 8 & 9

As things slowly get back to normal, podcast will hopefully get back on track. This episode, What’s Up 2021 is recapping Weeks 8 and 9 of the year through the reading, playing, watching and binging. In all categories, its fairly unbalanced as expected as the 2 weeks aren’t really focused on this other than a lot of work. Either way, what can we do? Its over now and I can only look back and talk about what’s gone on. Plus, there are some really cool discoveries so hopefully, I will share some fun new titles for you all to check out if you haven’t already. As a note, its been a heavier focus on movies and TV these 2 weeks.

I’m playing a game of catch-up right now and vouched to do 2 weeks here and then another 2 weeks What’s Up episode coming up next for Week 10 & 11 and then things should get back to normal on a weekly basis. Fingers crossed since work will pick up soon and these podcasts can’t really be done in advance a lot so it might go back to a biweekly format. We will see in time!

I’m still polishing this series and with the pandemic and work schedule a little crazy, my routine has taken a little switching up every few weeks causing this inconsistency and a little hard to find a set time to record and edit throughout the week. Bear with me as this (hopefully) calms down. I keep saying it but workload has been abnormally elevated so its hard to really tell at this point.

Either way, hope you enjoy this episode and let me know what you think and what you’ve been reading/watching/binging/playing!

Related links:
Hayao Miyazaki Ranking
Spirited Away – Movie Review
Fight Back To School – Movie Review

Music in the Episode:
There It Is by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4519-there-it-is
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Listen to the Show:
Anchor
Spotify
Google Podcasts
Breaker
RadioPublic

Moxie (2021)

Moxie (2021)

Director: Amy Poehler

Cast: Hadley Robinson, Lauren Tsai, Alycia Pascual-Pena, Nico Hiraga, Sabrina Haskett, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Sydney Park, Anjelika Washington, Amy Poehler, Ike Barinholtz, Marcia Gay Harden

Fed up with the sexist and toxic status quo at her high school, a shy 16-year-old finds inspiration from her mother’s rebellious past and anonymously publishes a zine that sparks a school-wide, coming-of-rage revolution. – IMDB

Adapted from the 2015 novel of the same name by Jennifer Mathieu (which I’ve never read), Moxie is a story about a group of high school girls finding their voice to speak up for the double standards faced with girls, making this a rather type of coming of age story. Its not focused particularly on love but much like other stories, its finding themselves but having the courage to also own up to their own choices, making not too different from other coming of age story in terms of execution however in its theme, it does speak clear on various real issues that girls may face in high school or as they are growing up and even has a reveal on an issue in the film that reminded me of the 2015 documentary called The Hunting Ground.

Female empowerment and the inequality that is present in many places is something that definitely needs to be addressed. In this case, empowering younger girls to speak up about their discomforts is a good place to start as they could be viewed as preys to bigger issues in the future, probably one of the strongest conversations from the film between main lead Vivian (Hadley Robinson) and Lucy (Alycia Pascual-Pena) as they discuss how to fit into the school by avoiding and laying low and accepting the status quo but the latter feels like there shouldn’t be a need to hide herself and just be who she is without being bothered. As a standpoint of the issue it wants to show, Moxie definitely picks a good topic and even showing it through girls teaming up to stand up for what is right and against the status quo. It all makes for some good moments in the film.

When looking at the characters though, at times it feels like there are issues of character development and possibly something that seems to affect the whole execution. Yet again, I haven’t read the source material so its all based on the movie as its own story and not an adaptation. For one, the character of Vivian, while has the right motives and a decent character development also creates some mixed feelings especially near the end when there’s a turning point which causes her character to have a certain “volcano eruption” moment. In some ways, it fits the age of her character and probably the inner struggles she has with the whole situation and just finding the courage to stand up and possibly talking before thinking. However, there’s something about her character that I haven’t quite pinpoint that seems to be a little off for myself. It might also be that the story itself feels like the flow of events is a little odd. There are some good and effective moments and even manages to gather in the different sides from different girls and their backgrounds and what holds them back. Every girl has their own story.

The movie also highlights the school environment rather well, whether its the uncomfortable teachers in face of the sensitive topic or the principal who is afraid to make certain situations too big that it affects the school reputation. This leads certain jock students to think that they can do whatever they want including making others feeling uncomfortable. Perhaps one of the things that makes this feel very close to reality is the ranking of girls or categorizing them which suitably is the catalyst of the situation. There is some props that need to be given to Patrick Schwarzenegger who does deliver a very convincing role as the “bad guy” and perfectly dislikeable.

Overall, Moxie is a good coming of age story. What works here is definitely the issue it wants to highlight and the message that it delivers. There are some issues of execution affecting a bit of the character and pacing however, the whole girl rebellion is one that definitely is worthy a watch as some of these issues in high school may carry on to bigger things and deserves to be seen. If anything, this movie has made me want to give the source material a read to see how it is similar or different.

Blog Tour: The Littlest Dinosaur by Bryce Raffle & Steven Kothlow (Review/Giveaway)

Welcome to the tour for the most adorable story, The Littlest Dinosaur by Bryce Raffle and Steven Kothlow, illustrated by Tessa Verplancke! We also have a fantastic giveaway — Digital Prize Packs which include the ebook copy of the book, two desktop wallpapers for the computer, two cell phone backdrops, plus three printable activity pages including colouring two book pages and a maze.

The Littlest Dinosaur
By: Bryce Raffle & Steven Kothlow
Illustrated by: Tessa Verplancke

Publication Date: November 2nd, 2020
Genre: Children’s Literature

SYNOPSIS

Ty, The Tyrannosaur just wants to make a new friend.

Sadly, the other dinosaurs are all afraid of his sharp teeth! So Ty must go on an adventure to find a dinosaur brave enough to be friends with a Tyrannosaur.

ADD TO GOODREADS

REVIEW

While children’s books isn’t exactly a staple in our household, its always fun to give a read at a simple picture book and screen it for my friends and their little ones. The Littlest Dinosaur caught me with its cute illustrations from its book cover of a little dinosaur. Being a fan of The Land Before Time as a child, dinosaurs are fascinating characters for stories.

The Littlest Dinosaur is a simple book to read and yet, between the lovely and cute illustrations of Ty’s adventures as he tries to make friends with the other dinosaurs he encounters. Being a Tyrannosaur, he is caught in prejudices of how dangerous he could be as they all would be his snack. That’s until he meets The Littlest Dinosaur who doesn’t have these prejudices and listens and helps correct the views. It has a pretty decent and positive message about accepting those around you and learning about them before forming prejudices. Its rather witty on how it plays with some fun little details of what Ty likes and the little encounters.

The illustration also brings a lot to the picture book. Its captivating and colorful. The art style is really nice. The different settings also have their own little fun designs. Plus, all the dinosaurs are different types and each illustrated with different colors and shows their characteristics.

There’s a lot to love about The Littlest Dinosaur. Its simple enough for young children to enjoy as a story and has a nice message behind it that kids can slowly learn and has all the cute illustrations to be fun to look at.

Purchase Links
The Littlest Dinosaur
Amazon
Lulu
Lulu Hardcover

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bryce Raffle was the lead writer for the video game studio Ironclad Games. He also writes stories for young adults and designs book covers.

Steven Kothlow is making his debut as a children’s book writer. He hopes to tell many more stories that help spread a message of diversity and inclusion especially in children’s literature.

Tessa Verplancke is a sound designer by day and an illustrator by night. She lives to tell stories through as many mediums as possible.

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE

March 8th

Reads & Reels (Review)
Didi Oviatt (Review)
I Smell Sheep (Review)
@geauxgetlit (Review)
Lunarian Press (Review)
@_yay_books (Review)

March 9th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight)
@dreaminginpages (Review)
Bonnie Reads and Writes (Review)
Book Dragons Not Worms (Review)
@kathreadsya (Review)
Michelle Meng’s Book Blog 4 (Review)
Books Teacup and Reviews (Review)

March 10th

B is for Book Review (Spotlight)
Jessica Belmont (Spotlight)
@jodys_ig (Spotlight)
Books Rambling and Tea (Review)
@joanna.zoe (Review)
The Faerie Review (Review)
@brendajeancombs (Spotlight)

March 11th

The Invisible Moth (Review)
@devoured_pages (Review)
Ruby Red Romance Review (Review)
Tranquil Dreams (Review)
@bookishqueendom (Review)

March 12th

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight)
Tsarina Press (Spotlight)
Book Review Crew (Review)
Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review)
Sophril Reads (Review)
Bookish Laura (Review)

GIVEAWAY

Giveaway: International

To win a digital prize pack which includes the ebook copy of the book, two desktop wallpapers for the computer, two cell phone backdrops, plus three printable activity pages including colouring two book pages and a maze, click the link below to enter!

ENTER RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY HERE

Blog Tour Hosted by:

R&R Book Tours

Movies and Tea #28 – Zodiac

The next episode of Movies and Tea is here! We move along with the David Fincher films as we discuss Zodiac! Head on over to the blog or any of the podcast platforms to give it a listen! Hope you enjoy!

Movies and Tea

On this episode we are joined on this episode by Nicholas Rehak (French Toast Sunday) to breakdown the True Crime Thriller Zodiac following not only the hunt for the illusive serial killer who taunted the police with cryptic cyphers but also the men who tried to track him down and the effect the case had on each of them.

Further Viewing

Seven
All The Presidents Men
Spotlight
Wolf Creek
True Detective (Season 1)
Natural Born Killers
Memories of Murder
Cardinal (Season 1)

Music on this episode

Three Dog Night – Easy To Be Hard
Keith Mansfield – Funky Fanfare
Donovan – Hurdy Gurdy Man

Listen to the Show

Anchor
Itunes
Spotify
Google Podcasts
Stitcher

View original post

Music Obsessions – March 2021

Welcome to the next Music Obsessions! March is here and this past month felt like there was lot of music..but in reality, there actually wasn’t. Either way, still a few things to share!

My Love – 乐华NEXT

Big fan of the boy group Next who don’t release a whole lot of new singles as a few of them do have their own individual music as well, however when they do, its always really cool performance. I do like the rhythm of the song overall.

Shake That Brass – Amber Liu
(Produce Camp 2021 Performance)

I could have used the original music video for Amber Liu’s Shake That Brass but I actually prefer this performance so here we go. One of my discoveries from Produce Camp 2021 is their mentor Amber Liu who is rather talented and cool. This song is so fun!

戒菸 Quit Smoking – 李榮浩 Ronghao Li

After mentioning a mentor for Produce Camp 2021, I do have to mention one from Youth With You 3 and its one of the trainee first ranking performances that lead me back to this song. I had heard it before but never really paid a lot of attention to it. Not sure if its a current mood or whatnot but somehow, I really like it this time around and its been on replay quite a bit. Plus, the music video is done really well.

HIP -Japanese ver.- MAMAMOO

A Japanese trainee group performed this song as their first ranking on Produce Camp 2021 and it was pretty fun so I hunted down the original. I just love the rhythm and style of the song. I haven’t really watched the music video much but the song itself is super fun to listen to. I’m starting to realize that a lot of upbeat music is making my list this month. I guess it has to do with the fact that its keeping my energy level high.

非你不可 Just U – 謝霆鋒 Nicholas Tse & 泰山樂隊 Tarzan

I don’t know if anyone remembers last year when there was the band competition show called Me To Us which I absolutely loved and shared some of the music at the time. Its why this song means so much more because the winning band Tarzan finally gets a new song and its with their mentor Nicholas Tse, who for those who frequent here know I’m a mega fan of for the last 20 years or something.

That’s it for this Music Obsessions!
I rather quick one this time but hope you enjoyed!
What have you been listening to lately?

Ultimate Decades Blogathon 2021 Conclusion

Its time for the conclusion of Ultimate Decades Blogathon! A big thank you to our participants and my co-host as well all the readers! Head on over to Drew’s Movie Reviews for the full conclusion post!

Drew's Movie Reviews

Hello, friends!

I hope you enjoyed the new format of the blogathon. While Kim and I had fun looking at everyone’s picks for their favorite films from a spotlight decade, we wanted to shake things up a big after covering 50 years of film. Switching to a format that spans decades opens up for many more possibilities. Our participants did not disappoint! We had films reviewed that were released just one decade ago all the way up to 10 decades ago! Here is the full list of participants and entries for the sixth annual Ultimate Decades Blogathon:

Drew’s Movie Reviews – Bridesmaids (2011)

Tranquil Dreams – Spirited Away (2001)

 Plain, Simple Tom Reviews – The Kid (1921)

MovieRob – The Maltese Falcon (1931)

Movies and TeaThe Devil’s Backbone (2001)

18 Cinema LaneThe Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

Often Off Topic – Through the Decades (1971 –…

View original post 313 more words

Ultimate Decades Blogathon 2021 Wrap-Up: The Cannonball Run (1981) by Drew’s Movie Reviews

After 2 weeks of entries and my final review over at Drew’s Movie Reviews yesterday, its time for Drew to wrap up with his second pick and the last entry for this year’s blogathon! He chose to revisit 1981’s The Cannonball Run.


Synopsis 
An eclectic group of racers take part in The Cannonball Run, a race from Connecticut to California.

Review 
Look, I know The Cannonball Run might not have the best reviews out there, but you know what? I enjoy the hell out of it. Maybe it’s because this was one of the first films I had available on DVD so I regularly watched when I was younger. As a result, I might be tainted by nostalgia but there’s something about this film that keeps me coming back to it and laughing all these years later.

There are quite a few characters in The Cannonball Run and the movie tries to focus on as many of them as possible. These characters are varied and entertaining but because the film tries to focus on all of them, the first half of the film’s breezy hour and a half run time is spent before the titular race even begins as it introduces them all. Also because of the large cast, they get barely any development. Now unfortunately, this also applies to the main core of JJ (Burt Reynolds), Victor (Dom DeLuise), and Pamela (Farrah Fawcett). We do get to know more about them than those around them but it’s still the bare minimum. Given the caliber of the cast list, many of the actors and actresses are wasted, providing little more than what feel like extended cameos.

Given that the film centers around racing, it’s odd (or should it be no surprise?) that the pace is disjointed. As I said before, about half of the film is consumed on the setup. Then the next portion is spent jumping from racer to racer as they make their way across the country. Some of these segments are fantastic while others can be removed completely and it wouldn’t change the film in any way. Then it really slows down before (spoiler alert) becoming a foot race towards the finish line. The movie was shot quickly (it was filmed in 36 days and many of the actors only worked for two or three days) and it feels like much around the production was rushed as well.

Now, so far I have given only criticisms of the film but now I’m going to contradict myself. I said earlier that one of the negatives of this film was that the main characters barely receive any development. The Cannonball Run isn’t about its characters, it’s about the race. The race is an excuse to have a diverse cast characters, played by a who’s who of actors and actresses of the time. This variety is one of the film’s aspects that I enjoy the most. Not all of the actors bring their A-game but regardless, nearly all of them are loads of fun and I find their humor entertaining. And when the characters are being introduced, there are some truly memorable setups.

The gags continue all through the film. Some land spectacularly while others spectacularly miss. As I’ve said before about comedies, humor is very subjective. Meaning that if this isn’t your style of humor, you aren’t going to enjoy The Cannonball Run very much, especially since it doesn’t offer much else. But for me, the slapstick and gags throughout the movie is the kind of humor I enjoy, especially from this era of comedies.

I thought The Cannonball Run was GREAT 😀 Although this film came out a little before my time, I usurped my dad’s DVD of the film into my own collection when I was younger and watched it often; I couldn’t get enough of it! As I have watched this film more and more without the lens of youth and blissful ignorance, the flaws have become more apparent over time. Nonetheless, I still find myself coming back to The Cannonball Run and finding it good for some quick, cheap entertainment. Because of my relationship with this movie , I have come to sincerely understand that sometimes it isn’t about the quality of the film but your experience with it that makes it meaningful to you.

Trailer 

Cast & Crew 
Hal Needham – Director
Brock Yates – Writer
Al Capps – Composer

Burt Reynolds – JJ McClure
Dom DeLuise – Victor Prinzim
Farrah Fawcett – Pamela
Jack Elam – Doctor Nikolas Van Helsing
Roger Moore – Seymour
Dean Martin – Jamie Black
Sammy Davis Jr. – Fenderbaum
Adrienne Barbeau – Marcie
Tara Buckman – Jill
Terry Bradshaw – Terry
Mel Tillis – Mel
Bert Convy – Brad
Warren Berlinger – Shakey Finch
Jamie Farr – Sheik
Rick Aviles – Mad Dog
Alfie Wise – Batman
Jackie Chan – Subaru Driver #1
Michael Hui – Subaru Driver #2
Joe Klecko – Polish Racing Driver
Norman Grabowski – Petoski
George Furth – Arthur Foyt
Peter Fonda – Chief Biker


To see the full of entries for Ultimate Decades Blogathon 2021, please go HERE.

Ultimate Decades Blogathon 2021 Wrap-Up: Fight Back To School (1991) by Tranquil Dreams

It’s for the wrap-up posts! Kicking things off is my own selection which had a last minute change due to the passing of Man-Tat Ng the past weekend and ended up with the choice of 1991’s Fight Back To School as a tribute of sorts to him and Stephen Chow comedic pair that I grew up with . Head over to Drew’s Movie Reviews to check out the full review!

Drew's Movie Reviews

Hello, friends!

Today we begin to wrap things up for the sixth annual Ultimate Decades Blogathon. Starting the closing festivities is my wonderful co-host Kim. I can’t say enough how much you need to be following her blog, Tranquil Dreams, but I’ll say it again: you need to follow her blog. She posts on a variety of topics and I guarantee she has something there you will like. Kim specializes in Asian cinema, which is the topic of her post here today. For her second post of the blogathon, Kim shares her review of the 1991 Chinese film Fight Back To School.


Fight Back To School (1991)

Fight Back to School movie poster

Director (and co-writer): Gordon Chan

Cast: Stephen Chow, Man Cheung, Man-Tat Ng, Roy Cheung, Chi Yeung Wong, Gabriel Wong, Barry Wong, Dennis Chan, King-Tan Yuen

“A SWAT team leader is going undercover at a high school to retrieve a stolen gun…

View original post 652 more words

My February Adventures

In a blink of an eye, February is over! A tad late, much like everything else in February. Its really unbelievable probably because the first two months of every year is just a pile of deadlines overlapping each other for work so I don’t really know what’s going on in actual life. Work is just taking a real good hit on my energy accumulated from the past year, so I just gave up on forcing myself to get some crappy post up and taking longer to release better content but less frequent. Hopefully you all have been enjoying the little content that I have posted up.

With that said, Montreal is definitely looking much more like winter in February. Some lower temperatures and a few snow falls and one or two snowstorms. With curfew still in place and things gradually opening back up more, its been rather mixed feeling on the whole situation in Montreal about how its improving on the pandemic front. The numbers sure look better but…as this post goes up, spring break (aka what started up the pandemic last year) is also happening.

With that said, all the everyday life stuff caught up, here were some few highlights of February! There’s not a lot as you can probably imagine but still, here we go!

Valentine’s Marathon (kind of)

Like past years, I tried to get a Valentine’s Marathon going! Try being the key word here. It was probably the last amount of posts and the furthest from the actual tentative schedule that I had initially planned. Still, I tried to do the most I could. I still managed to get my highlight post to end the marathon done and less movies meant some better picks overall. You can check it out HERE.

Ultimate Decades Blogathon 2021

We’re halfway through Ultimate Decades Blogathon currently (well, in the last week of it). The changed format is pretty cool and the selections by our guests have been very interesting for sure. If you haven’t caught up with it, you can check out the entries HERE.

Chinese New Year Celebrations

Chinese New Year came around on a super busy phase and with the pandemic, it was a very simple version. I did manage to pick up some beautiful flowers. The bouquet split into 2 vases: one just tulips and the other of the rest of the batch. My mom also gave me some forsythias. The flowers did give the house a nice burst of energy and aliveness.

International Packages Arrived

I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided ordering online was a good idea. BUT, everything arrived after the expected over 1.5 to 2 months time. The first from Hong Kong (ordered at end of November) as I had this weird rush while browsing through an online store in Hong Kong to find a film and ended up picking up three movies, 2 of them that still hasn’t popped up on any online streaming service over the span of the wait. I can’t wait to watch them.

Next is a bunch of T-shirts from QwerTee (ordered end of December) which I didn’t take a picture of when I got the package so here’s a few of them. I have a Digimon Agumon Digivolve that’s currently in the wash and I also got my husband a FF7 Continue screen. It might have taken a while to get here but the quality is pretty nice. They do have some pretty good designs.

Update: Tranquil Dreams Podcast

As some of you may have noticed, Tranquil Dreams Podcast has been far and sparse and that mostly has to do with the real life job that’s taken over my life. With that said, as much as I wanted to do the podcast, I just took into consideration that there was no way that I could do it. However, instead of going back to the old written format, which I did for 3 weeks, I’ve decided that podcasts will aim to be weekly but if they aren’t, then the podcast itself will cover the missing weeks, just for my own organization sake and not having to flip back and forth as its a bit crazy some times to track. However, it will not exceed every 2 weeks.

You can check out the most recent episode HERE.

Cute Kitty Pic

My work companion when I’m working from home
She tends to sleep and snore a lot so its really just moral support that she offers

That’s it for February adventures. Nothing too exciting!
What have you all been up to?

Movies and Tea #27 – Panic Room

Next up for Movies and Tea Podcast as we continue through David Fincher season is Panic Room! Head on over to Movie and Tea blog to give it a listen! Hope you enjoy!

Movies and Tea

Our season long re-evaulation of David Fincher’s filmography continues with “Panic Room” in which a mother and daughter move into a new house with a very unique selling point…. it’s panic room which certainly comes in handy when a trio of men break into the house. The only problem is what they want is in the Panic Room.

We look at the problematic making of, the last minute casting changes and Fincher ever evolving visual style and more!!

Further Viewing

Phonebooth
Don’t Breathe
Flightplan
Inside Man
Escape Room

Music on this episode

Keith Mansfield – Funky Fanfare

Listen to the Show

Anchor
Itunes
Spotify
Google Podcasts
Stitcher

View original post