As our holiday lockdown continues, we’re keeping very much to ourselves and waiting for our virtual game night with the normal NYE crew, I’m taking a little time to relax and put together the last post of 2020! Suffice to say that My December Adventures is less adventures and much more a recap of the year to the current highlights of the blog. Let’s go!
The only thing to highlight for December is that the Holidays Marathon happened. It was fairly well planned but not as well executed! However, it still happened and its all updated on the page HERE.
Its time for the recap of this year and where we’re at now. I want to skip through stats in general this year as its something that I’ve looked at fairly little although I am happy that in 2020 in terms of views did go up compared to the past year or two (at least from a quick glance).
Honestly, I’m a little surprised that the TV Binges for the Chinese dramas are ranking top posts for what I released this year. Some posts that I put a lot of heart into so I’m glad that they did top the list. I did 3 of these thinking that it was just for my own liking and not thinking anyone would be too interested. The Top 10 all time is not anything from this year but some older posts.
Books: I had set a goal of 25 books for the Goodreads Challenge and ended up reading 26 books.
According to My Year in Books on Goodreads, I read 5,129 pages with an average rating of 4.1 stars (which is fairly high).
While the ratings might change if I were to go back to look, the books that have made an impression:
Buried In My Past by Eva McKenzie
Blackthorn by Terry Tyler
Undead Ultra by Camille Picott
Conscience by Jonathan Pongratz
The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Movies: According to Letterboxd, I watched 267 movies this year. I know that I did watch a whole bunch of short films that weren’t on the list and some festival films as well. So its definitely a little more than that number.
My top movies watched in 2020 (doesn’t have to be released in 2020):
One Cut of the Dead
Sheep Without a Shepherd
The Oak Room
TV: With over 15 TV binges sitting in backlog from this year alone, I have some work ahead of me. However, here is the list of 8 TV series that I saw this year (not all aired in 2020):
I’ve been focusing on Chinese dramas lately and because of that, it will bring in some changes for 2021. However, as we wrap up 2020 , I just couldn’t choose 5 so that’s how we’re at 8. And that isn’t even mentioning some of the variety shows that I watch which is a huge amount as well.
I’m sure all of you have better things than to sit around reading my recap on the year (despite the pandemic situation) so a much shorter post than previous years. By the way, this post published marks the 300th post published this year. The only little stats that I want to share. Its definitely not the best years in terms of posts but in terms of views, I think its been very good. Plus, I can’t remember the number of followers last year but I’ve past the 3000 followers mark so its pretty awesome!
With that said, that’s it for the December Adventures and 2020 recap! I have some small changes for 2021 that I’ll announce tomorrow!
Moving right along now into Week 13 of 2020! This week’s recap was the first official week of self-isolation. While life didn’t change much except for moving work to my home office and its been a whole more of deliberately staying at home, the good thing is that writing is definitely more on track and I’ve found more time to do other things in these different categories. On the positive side of things, we’re progressing!
Currently reading: Blackthorn
Blackthorn is moving forward FINALLY! I’m finding time to read again, although not quite as much as before. However, I’m definitely hitting the meat of the story as I hit almost halfway. I do plan on finishing it soon as I have another book to start reading very soon in preparation for the next blog tour.
Currently playing: Demon’s Tilt, I Love Hue, I Love Hue 2, Happy Color, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine
Definitely moving forward with a lot more games this week. Still mostly focused on mobile for relaxation and then checking out other games on Xbox Game Pass for PC. I’m debating to keep it a little longer than the three months since I have a few other games to check out that might take some time to finish like Ori and the Will of the Wisps and Guacamelee 2! As for this week, I started up Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, an indie game that is really narrative and part choice-based to direct the story in a different way. I just realized that the game is fairly long (like 10 hours) and I’m only like an hour into it so I still have some gaming to give more thoughts on it. On another note, I’m trying to use this time to get more gaming posts up. First line of business is the revival of Mobile Games Roundup!
A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
The Guardian Brothers (2016)
Aliens (1986, rewatch)
Alien 3 (1992, rewatch)
A ton of rewatches this week and really only one new watch. I had postponed The Guardian Brothers so long that I felt like I wanted to rewatch it to get a review out. We’re really ahead for Movies and Tea recordings so you can kind of guess who we chose for Season 5 seeing as I went ahead to revisit some Alien movies. The husband actually did watch all the first 4 but I actually fell asleep (because of fatigue and not the movie’s problem) for Alien and then I’m not a fan of Alien Resurrection so, no surprise, I actually dozed off also. Either way, it helped to catch the little details. I’m actually surprised that I haven’t reviewed the Alien franchise yet. I had thought that I did so I might be doing a Sunday Lists posts to rank the movies thus far!
The Circle Brazil (Season 1, 2020)
Currently binging: Skate Into Love, Me To Us, Youth is You 2, The Singer 2020, J-Style Trip
Lots of TV back on the radar now. Three Week Event of The Circle Brazil wrapped up and its still such a great concept as a show. With different countries and different players, the game changes and its a refreshing way to see the outcome. Its great since The Circle France is around the corner and what’s even better is that now I can watch it with more ease as I understand French!
As for currently watching, J-Style Trip released its next episode with guest star JJ Lin exploring Singapore in a 2 part trip. The first part is whats available and pretty fun since I’ve liked JJ Lin as a musician as well and fits so well since he had just did a live online concert with friends for his birthday. I finally got started with Me to Us and I love it SO MUCH! Not hard to since I can’t help but fangirl over Nicholas Tse who in his late 30s is still AWESOME! So much style on stage! As for Skate Into Love, this series is one of my most anticipated this year since I like Janice Wu as an actress in TV series and she was pretty quiet in 2019 and so far, its been really fun! Its supposed to be the part 2 of a trilogy following Ashes of Love (review). Plus, its only 40 episodes, which is fairly modest for Chinese dramas.
That’s it for Week 13’s recap! What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?
For new readers, welcome to Tranquil Dreams. I’m a blog that doesn’t quite follow the successful route of blogging (meaning to focus on one topic), instead I’m a fan of doing what I like and just using this as an outlet of doing the things I love. They primarily make up 4 categories: Movies, TV, Books and Food. There are weekly and monthly segments and a whole bunch of random spontaneous things going on. Now that the introduction is done for anyone new here!
Let’s check out plans for 2020! Note that a few little changes but not too many. I’ve indicated where the main changes are. 🙂
2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge: 25 books
Last year, I set a bunch of books that I wanted to read and then didn’t get around to reading 90% of them, I’d say. Its probably because I forgot about it at one point being busy with everything else. This year, I already have about 5 books set for the first 3 months which is a great start as it all goes towards blog tours and such. I’m not going to say which one and will leave it as a surprise. The goal is to participate in blog tours and then work through a ton of TBR books on my bookshelves and Kindle. I won’t change the 25 books this year and if I exceed, then so be it. In general, its been a struggle to find reading time especially in the second half of the year.
Movies are staying relatively the same. I’m hoping that I will still be able to get the media accreditation for film festivals like in 2019 as that is always a lot of fun and brings in some really nice film discoveries. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it always brings in a nice refreshing change to the normal fare on Netflix. Fingers crossed on that, right? 😉
As for movies, we will be keeping the double feature usually around 1-2 per week, depending on time. Full single reviews are for theatre viewings and festival screenings. The normal themed months still apply:
February: Valentine’s Romance
October: Halloween Horror
December: Holiday Films
This year, I’m thinking of doing some themed months randomly so that I can catch up on various genre of films. Its still in the air whether I’ll do it as A-Z or simply as random screenings.
As for any other things, I’ve neglected my Sunday Lists in general and will hopefully be aiming to get one a month. I’ll set a Sunday per month for that.
TV has really turned into a Chinese drama series deal since middle of 2018 and that will continue this year. I’m hoping to get a few of the TV binges that I didn’t do last year done this year as I didn’t do any for my Top 5 shows last year and that seems sad as they were all very accessible on Youtube and/or Netflix.
Aside from that, Netflix series are the other focus and perhaps Shudder depending how long I keep the subscription. A short little no change section at all: TV binge for Chinese dramas will keep the normal format I have and may actually use a part of that format for any other series I watch as well.
After getting through the top 3 categories of focus here, its time to take a look at the random other segments at weekly or monthly frequency.
[change] Wine Recap will wrap up with its final one with December 2019 and it will be over. I’m no wine connoisseur and the whole 2 year experiment of doing it has really helped me appreciate wine better but its becoming more of a chore to write it up. I’ll share some of it on Instagram instead so feel free to follow me over HERE.
My Adventures: I’ve already changed it to a monthly segment in the middle of 2019 and it will remain that way. I’m finally happy with the structure so we’re keeping this as the fun and more personal post.
What’s Up 2020: will remain a weekly segment set on every Wednesday to recap the previous week.
[change] Baking Through Disney: has been a neglected segment over here that I’ve tucked away but never forgot about. As I aim to get back into baking, its the project that will hopefully be revived on a monthly basis. One baking day a month seems fairly reasonable.
[change] Goodfood recaps: have been no more since the middle of 2019. It was due to a few bad experiences that Goodfood has finally fixed on their end. I didn’t talk about it at the time and won’t go deeper into it. As I’m not paid to do this and I have to pay for the experience, its becoming a convenience choice for our life so its become less frequent as well. I’ll share some of the meals on Instagram whenever we do order.
Battle of Ingredients: has changed its structure since its beginning. We’ve been talking about how to get things back on track to fit its name but we are also enjoying taking the time to highlight some recipe trials as well as using local Quebec products in our cooking. This one is really supposed to be monthly but we have random hiatus due to our busy schedules.
Ultimate Decades Blogathon is coming back in 2020. We are currently in production phase of getting things together. If you are interested, remember to check back here. We should be announcing it soon.
Music Obsessions: almost got cut but this segment was saved by a recent comment. I enjoy the segment but its the one that does the least well out of everything here BUT at least its a fairly fun and easy post to put together. So its staying without any change, on a monthly basis on the first weekend of the month.
I know we cover a ton of stuff here including Restaurant recaps and other event coverage including shopping hauls and such. It shouldn’t change much on that front. I’m hoping to get some more DIY going on and other things, if possible. However, time is scarce so I’ll do what I can.
I think that generally covers everything for 2020 plans! Its not a ton of changes but I will work on being more organized this year! Happy 2020 and all the best to all of you lovely people!
2020 is here! As we look forward at 2020, I know that its going to have a lot more unexpected releases come out but with what I have researched so far, this is a quick little list of 15 anticipated films releasing in 2020 that I’m looking forward to. There is no guarantee that I’ll get to see it in the theatres judging from last year’s theatre visits but here we are, the list in the order of release dates.
Underwater (January 10)
The first quarter of the year is usually fairly lackluster in what it has to offer. At least anything offered before March but somehow, I’ve been pretty impressed, in general with Kristen Stewart’s roles of late, even if I still have a few to catch up with. Being a fan of underwater movies and somewhat of an enclosed location setting, Underwater looks pretty good. I’m just hoping that the trailer doesn’t reveal everything that makes this one as thrilling as it looks.
To All The Boys: P.S. I Love You (February 12)
Being highly obsessed with To All The Boys I’ve Love Before, its been a long wait for the sequel. Its probably not going to be as good as the first movie, seeing as the source material also wasn’t as good in its second book in the trilogy as well. However, I’m sure its still going to tick all the boxes of a feel-good romantic comedy especially as the entire cast of the film are such charming characters.
Sonic the Hedgehog (February 14)
Its really a hit or miss situation here that can happen. It doesn’t have the appeal of say Deadpool Pikachu with Pokemon Detective Pikachu but it does have James Marsden and Jim Carey which are two actors that I like quite a bit. Plus, if you grew up with Sonic the Hedgehog as I have, its one that was probably eventually going to happen and something that its hard to not be slightly interested to see how it all goes.
A Quiet Place Part II (March 20)
While I had some issues with A Quiet Place, its not doubt that it was a pretty decent movie with a nice concept for horror and it did live up to most of my expectations. A Quiet Place Part II seems a little more by the books as the world seems more about discovering how much of humanity is still alive. If its anything like the previous direction, it should still be a lot of thrills. Finger crossed!
Disney’s MuLan (March 27)
I’m well-aware that the Disney live adaptations haven’t really been much of a success for most people. For the ones that I have seen, they are acceptable. However, Mulan making the anticipated list has to go mostly to the fact that Mulan is one of my favorite stories and its animated film was not so long ago that its a classic in my mind so its not as comparable. At the same time, the star power here in its cast is pretty decent and if not, its a full Chinese cast so thats always something to be excited about it, especially when Jet Li, Donnie Yen and Gong Li are all part of the film.
No Time to Die (April 8)
I’m far from a James Bond fan as I have so many films from the first few Bonds that I haven’t seen. But, I’m a pretty big fan of Daniel Craig as James Bond and have seen all of them. Seeing as this one is the last one with Craig as James Bond, it’ll be one to not miss, even if its after it hits home release.
Antlers (April 17)
Its hard to really tell when any horror movie is going to be any good. The premise here is pretty decent. The trailer looks fairly creepy. It has Guillermo Del Toro as a producer which is a good sign. Plus, Keri Russell is in it (and she proved that she does well in horror films in Dark Skies). It looks promising and hopefully will live up to it.
Black Widow (May 1)
Black Widow has been the Marvel movie that has been one that been waiting forever. While Marvel movies are quite formulaic at this point (as are most superhero movies) and rather saturated and I’m still a few Marvel movies behind and frantically catching up before they leave Netflix, Black Widow is one that will be very intriguing to watch especially since she’s pretty much been involved in all the phases of MCU but never got any movie of her own and always had a minor supporting role.
Fast & Furious 9 (May 22)
There doesn’t seem to be a trailer for Fast & Furious 9 yet but as a big fan of the franchise, no matter how ridiculous it all gets, its one that we will definitely find time to catch in the theatres. Its always going to be interesting to see what crazy levels its going to go.
Wonder Woman 1984 (June 5)
I’m not usually a huge fan of the DC universe films but Wonder Woman film was a pretty decent movie. Its enjoyable and Gal Gadot makes a great Woman Woman. The trailer seems to be rather on point with what made its first one enjoyable so here’s hoping that it will be the same. Its probably not one that I’ll catch at the theatres but still one that would be interesting to see at some point.
Monster Hunter (September 4)
No trailer yet for Monster Hunter movie. Its a smart move to make a movie out of it especially after the game was released last year with decent success. It’ll be nice to see where Paul W.S. Anderson takes the movie. Sure, he’s done some questionable movies but if you haven’t caught our look at his filmography on Season 1 of Movies and Tea, its well worth a listen as we definitely appreciated his work a lot more as there’s some pretty good defining elements. Plus, while I’ve had conversations with friends who say that its not admirable that he casts his wife a lot, but I’m a fan of Milla Jovovich and it’ll be interesting to see what role she does in Monster Hunter.
Death on the Nile (October 9)
After having recently seen Murder on the Orient Express and how that turned out so very well, Death on the Nile is a top anticipated film that we might actually head out to the theatres to see. Agatha Christie is an author that I’m slowly working through her work and I actually haven’t read Death on the Nile (so maybe will add that to my TBR pile). However, it’ll be great to see Kenneth Branagh come back as Hercule Poirot on another adventure.
Godzilla vs. Kong (November 20)
Kong: Skull Island almost made it onto my Top 10 movies of the decade over on Movies and Tea. While I still have to catch up on Godzilla:King of the Monsters, I’m always down for a kaiju movie. Monsters and creature features are up my alley so it seems rather fun to watch Godzilla and Kong battle it out! I kind of saw this coming a few years ago so just hoping that it’ll be as fun as I’m expecting it to be. However, with no trailer, its hard to truly nail down expectations right now.
Uncharted (December 18)
It feels like the Uncharted movie has been in the works forever. At least, it seemed to be something that had been talked about since the 4th game of the actual franchise was released (before the spinoff one). Nathan Drake is a great character and if anything, it would have been sweet to get Nolan North to do the character although its probably a rather demanding role. Tom Holland is Spider-Man in my mind right now so its going to be a little hard to watch him as Nathan Drake, however, the Uncharted stories are usually pretty fun so I’m expecting some great things..although as we all know, video game adaptations really don’t get that well-received and Uncharted’s story has spanned over four games so it really depends what story angle it plans to use. Looking forward to seeing a trailer for it soon.
On the Rocks (TBA)
This list has changed around a little in the last 5 picks added in and after finishing the Sofia Coppola season on Movies and Tea in Season 3, its a director that really has sparked my interest on what she will deliver. I loved her father-daughter relationship movies and On The Rocks is one that brings back working with Bill Murray and features a father-daughter relationship in a more grown-up family relationship. It fits exactly into Sofia Coppola’s wheelhouse (and should be as she is the writer also) and can turn into something subtle and with depth.
Honorable Mentions: Fantasy Island, Gretel & Hansel, The Lodge, The Invisible Man, The New Mutants, Antebellum, Birds of Prey, Bloodshot, Onward, Candyman, Top Gun: Maverick, Tenet, Halloween Kills, Raya and the Last Dragon, Dune, The Dig, Rebecca
That’s it for 2020 anticipated films! These are mostly the bigger movies (without foreign films or indie films as they are hard to track). What movies are you anticipating? Any other ones that I missed? Share them in the comments below.