What’s Up 2019: Week 41

Tranquil Dreams (45)

Festival mode is back for this week’s recap! It was a busy week of a few things that came up and had to get added into the crowded to-do list, not to mention the other little things in the offline reality. Either way, I elevated the multitasking to a whole new level and here we are!!

READING

Hope

Currently reading: Hope by Terry Tyler

Deciding between writing festival reviews and reading has been the most part finding its own balance to make it all happen. Hope is luckily progressing well and probably still in the last push before the blog tour post needs to go up. It has an intriguing plot and setting and for the most part, its not the lack of a good plot thats stopping me from being more on track on the whole reading front.

PLAYING

A Life in Music

  • A Life In Music

Having finished this free mobile game just recently, nothing is in progress. A Life In Music is categorized as an educational game which looks at Italian Opera as well as meshing in a story about two strangers who meet spontaneously and separate as they follow their passions. Mixing visual novel story telling with a little rhythm is quite a nice little twist. I’m playing some more of the long form mobile games lately to clear out some of the downloaded games on my phone to eventually delete and free up some space.

WATCHING

Diner

  • Adam Devine: Best Time of Our Lives
  • The Ranger (2018)
  • Little Joe (2019, Review)
  • Evil Dead (1981 rewatch, Review)
  • Evil Dead II (1987 rewatch, Review)
  • Army of Darkness (1992 rewatch, Review)
  • Color Out of Space (2019, Review)
  • Family Romance LLC (2019, Review)
  • Evil Dead (2013, Review)
  • Diner (2019, Review)
  • Adoration (2019)

Kicking off the week with the Netflix stand-up comedy by Adam Devine which was better than I expected and then being called up as the backup for The Lambcast podcast for The Evil Dead franchise brought on a sudden rewatching to add into the schedule while managing to shift my Festival du Nouveau Cinema to make it all work out. Its been a busy first few days trying to make the most of the long Thanksgiving weekend. Clocking in 5 movies at FNC 2019, the standout film for this week goes to Diner which is the movie I’d foresee myself gladly rewatching  and having a blast every single time although Color Out of Space definitely has its really great elements also.

BINGING

Well-Intended Love

Currently binging: When I Grow Up, Relation Ship, Dream Space 2, Well-intended Love, Soft Memory

Nothing is quite finished this week. Between these currently binging ones, Netflix series Well-Intended Love is nearly done although definitely nothing too crazy and might have gone a little long. I’m not sure yet as I’m in the final few episodes. Mango TV’s Dream Space 2 is also reaching its final episode in the next week so that will wrap up soon as well. The newly started one is Soft Memory currently on Tencent (available on Youtube), its alright right now but I’m having some logical issues with some of the plot. I’m only 4 episodes in so who knows how it will go!

That’s it for this What’s Up!
What have you been reading/playing/watching/binging?

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What’s Up 2019: Week 40

Tranquil Dreams (44)

We’ve swapped to the start of Q4 of 2019 now. Halloween is around the corner and festivals are coming up. I’m trying to catch up with a lot of movie watching and wrapping up TV series that I started and just piling up on content before the festival comes around. There’s also a lot of reading and gaming to do that I’m not sure I’m really on track with. I’ll give a little update on certain things in each of their sections below.

READING

Sketch by Didi Oviatt

  • Sketch by Didi Oviatt

Currently reading: Hope by Terry Tyler

Finished up Sketch this week which is a nice little thriller novella. Didi Oviatt has quickly become an author on my radar since I have enjoyed all the stories I’ve read from her.

Talking about the Goodreads Reading Challenge, I’ve made the executive decision to lower the books amount because at this point, its not going to happen but made it still challenging for the realm and decreased it to 35 books, and still 4 books behind which might still have a chance of catching up.

PLAYING

Lie In My Heart

  • Lie in My Heart (2019, Review)

Currently playing: A Life in Music

A huge thanks to the dev of Lie in My Heart reaching out to us to try out his visual novel. Since visual novels are more my domain, I took this over for myself to do.

WATCHING

  • The Purge: Election Year (2016, Review)
  • Donnie Darko (2001)
  • Boar (2017, Review)
  • Get Out (2017, Review)
  • Hereditary (2018, Review)
  • I Used to Be Normal: A Boy Band Fangirl Story

Pretty much on track for watching schedule before heading into festival season. Its been a busy week full of different commitments and things to do. Two of the watches are for Movies and Tea and should be recorded by the time this post goes out. While the horror double features should also be all done. All the links are above so I will just say, Get Out is my top pick for this week’s viewings. If you haven’t seen it, go see it!

BINGING

  • Gilmore Girls (Season 1 rewatch, Review)

Currently binging: When I Grow Up, Dream Space 2, Relation Ship, Well-Intended Love

When things go crazy and I get stressed with life and work, I always go and watch Gilmore Girls and so, it has started yet again. However, I did feel slightly guilty about this being a little slow and repetitive so started up a Netflix Original Chinese drama series called Well-Intended Love which got greenlit for a 2nd season with the same cast. Which seems to be a rarity for Chinese dramas oddly. Either way, I am halfway done and supposedly the plot twist was the dealbreaker for this show. I can’t quite say that it is for myself as I had another scenario that if that one happened, well, then it would have been a real dealbreaker and it didn’t so I am okay with it so far. Nowhere near my top 5 C-drama of the year for sure but its entertaining enough.

That’s it for this week’s recap!
What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?

The Dragon Head of Hong Kong: An Ava Lee Prequel (#0.5) by Ian Hamilton

Ava Lee Series – previous book reviews

Book 1
Book 2
Book 3
Book 4
Book 5
Book 6

The Dragon Head of Hong Kong: An Ava Lee Prequel
(An Ava Lee Series #0.5)

The Dragon Head of Hong Kong

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Young Ava Lee is a forensic accounting who has just opened her own private firm. One of her clients, Hedrick Lo, has been swindled of more than a million dollars by a Chinese importer named Johnny Kung. Desperate, Lo persuades Ava to find and retrieve the monies owed. Ava goes to Hong Kong, where she plunges into the dangerous underground collection business and meets a man who will forever change her life . . . – Goodreads

It always seemed a possibility to go back to the beginning. As Ava Lee Series step into a new era for its series, it definitely is good to give a wave to the first phase (what I’d call it) and see how Ava Lee got started in this business with Chow Tung (aka Uncle). The Dragon Head of Hong Kong refers to Uncle and how they met through her first case doing forensic accounting and realizing that while she could hold herself in most scenarios. In some others, realistically, she still needed some support. While hesitant to deal with Chow Tung at the beginning, as you would with strangers, its about trust and connections in her business and how her business with Uncle starts as partners, based on mutual respect and business requirements.

In that sense, The Dragon Head of Hong Kong is done really well. We see a much more younger and perhaps, slightly more naive Ava Lee who goes into this tough but never quite seeing too far and taking a lot of it by chance. However, there’s still signs of her character having those traits that she still has in the current books but just less refined. Its still the tough Ava Lee at work. At the same time, this book is fairly short in comparison to the other books in the series and rightfully so, since the story isn’t too complex, at least much less complicated than the current ones and involving less people but gives a foundation of how everyone whether its family and business falls into place. Therefore, the book is fast-paced with a lot of action on the pages and still doesn’t forget a lot of the key characters in the main series that we’ve grown to expect and love.

Its a little backwards to do the prequel after the series turning point (or looking at the release date, right before the last book that leads there). However, it does work. The Dragon Head of Hong Kong shares not only a first look at Ava Lee and Chow Tung but also gives the basic landscape of how she came to those items that she holds preciously in her life and does a good job and giving those connecting points, giving the current series some more substance and meaning to little things that didn’t get explained (or if it was, never thoroughly). Prequels aren’t always necessary but in this case, it was a fun quick read and was appreciated (for me).

What’s Up 2019: Week 37

Tranquil Dreams (15)

As the weather cools down, summer is coming to an end and festival seasons are also slowing down. Still stuck with a cold, its been an all around odd week but still fairly productive. Week 37 is here and with a good dose of reading, playing, watching (and rewatching continues) and of course, my favorite, binging!

Let’s check it out!

READING

The+Moonlight+Pegasus+cover+ebook

  • The Moonlight Pegasus (Review)

Currently reading: Since September (43%)

Its been great getting back into reading which also helps that I’ve been finding some nice reads. After blitz reading through The Moonlight Pegasus which was quite a fun book, I just forward to Since September which is a psychological thriller-esque novella. Novellas are really nice to break between books and Since September, although I’m not even 50% done has been pretty nice. The endgame is quite obvious but I feel like its slightly deliberate and I kind of appreciate it for how its all set up.

PLAYING

injustice: Gods among us

  • Injustice: Gods Among Us

Currently playing: still in debate…

I finally got back to wrapping up the Injustice: Gods Among Us. Well, “finishing” since its not all done because I’m not that skilled but I have a pretty good idea of whats a part of the game and how it all feels on top of the story mode (which I had finished previously). I’m going to be working on a review for it to get things moving again over at Game Warp. If I can even get one or two reviews done in a month along with the monthly mobile games roundup, I’m going to be pretty happy. Goals, right? Let’s see how it all goes.

WATCHING

The Beguiled

  • Letters to Juliet – rewatch (Review)
  • The Beguiled (2017)
  • How It Ends (2018) (Review)

As we move along with Movies and Tea, The Beguiled tops my movies of this past week. I guess that says a lot about how the podcast recording at least on my point of view will turn out. Still, thats coming up soon. I’ve been rewatching movies that make me feel good, mostly because its keeping me more positive. Going back to watch Letters to Juliet, I’m starting to realize that while I still enjoy these little romantic comedies, I’m starting to see a lot of the flaws in it more but meh, its still enjoyable enough. At the same time, How It Ends review has already gone up. Its not great but you can see my thoughts in the written review instead. It also rings the bell that I’m running out of films for the double features..yikes!

BINGING

The King's Avatar

  • The King’s Avatar (2019)

Currently binging: Dream Space 2, Super Vocal 2, The Mist (Season 1), When I Grow Up

The King’s Avatar has sadly finished! Its bingeworthy and all around really fun to watch. It has zero romance and all about professional e-sports and tournaments and about a renowned e-sports player who has to start over and builds his own team while training some unexpected underdogs to get back into the professional leagues. Its motivating and fun and just inspirational. To be honest, its a breath of fresh air because it really puts the spotlight on the little conflicts in this career and this world as well as moving between reality and giving some great animation for all the fighting and battling sequences involved in their matches. Its a series to get away and truly embodies why gaming is great (even for myself who isn’t really huge on e-sports). I’m hoping that they find a way to move into a Season 2, although if they do, I’m fairly certain, they will start pulling in more dramatic elements like family and romance.

On the other hand, while Dream Space 2, Super Vocal 2 and a new variety reality show called When I Grow Up is going on right now, the husband decided to start up the TV series, The Mist which is currently available on Netflix. We’re about 6 episodes in (out of 10) and to keep things simple, I’m not too impressed so lets just say, at this current point, I’m not surprised it got cancelled. Either way, we’ll be working on wrapping it up over the weekend probably.

That’s it for this What’s Up!
What have you been reading/playing/watching/binging?

What’s Up 2019 – Week 36

Tranquil Dreams (42)

Its been a crazy weekend to say the least. Between doing coverage for Dreamhack Montreal for Game Warp and then the area where I work having a gas leak and being shut down causing a day off when I really couldn’t afford it but then it can’t be help and finally getting caught up in the rain which has resulted in my current cold and cough which the collective happening of everything up there is why it has been more quiet than usual over here.

READING

the moonlight pegasus

Currently reading: The Moonlight Pegasus by C.S. Johnson

I’m well underway with reading The Moonlight Pegasus with a little slowdown due to Dreamhack coverage and in general, the whole sickness thing giving me less energy and focus. However, I’m still moving forward to hopefully get it done before the blog tour swings around. Reading is my current priority whenever and I’m glad to do so because while The Moonlight Pegasus is fairly lengthy, its actually quite good. I have a few flows of events and reasonings behind why it works so far so looking forward to see how it ends.

PLAYING

Featured Image -- 30597

On hold for Dreamhack Montreal! I am still working on some games for this month’s Mobile Game Roundups however.

Gaming was put in the backseat. I’m trying to wrap up some final things with Injustice as Dreamhack Montreal coverage wraps up soon. Here’s the coverage for Day 1 HERE and Day 2 HERE.

WATCHING

IT Chapter Two

  • Antisocial (2013) rewatch – Review
  • The Boy Next Door (2015)
  • Pitch Perfect (2012) rewatch – Review
  • IT: Chapter 2 (2019)

Seeing as going to the theatres is a very rare thing in my current life, our highlight of the week was going to see IT: Chapter Two. We probably wouldn’t have gone on an event coverage weekend but I did have a Lambcast recording which is currently live and you can find HERE. I’ll share the written review for the movie soon.

BINGING

Meeting You

  • Meeting You (2019)

Currently binging: The King’s Avatar, Dream Space 2, Super Vocal 2, Love is Deep

Keeping things a bit more tame on the TV side of things, I actually have been planning a post and then landed on the show called Meeting You which is pretty much the same as Dream Space sort of style where its a dating show sort of thing but just from another channel. Either way, its all about comparison since I’m working on a post about these types of show and how they compare and whether they are good or not in concept. As this week ends, The King’s Avatar enters into their final week ramping up to the ending, Dream Space 2 and Super Vocal 2 are somewhere in the middle right now and Love is Deep is done but I’m still 4 episodes from finishing the series. All very good shows so I’m trying to find time between writing and everyday things to fit it in when I can.

That’s it for this What’s Up!
What have you been reading/playing/watching/binging?

What’s Up 2019 – Week 35

Tranquil Dreams (14)

READING

Twisted Pines

  • Twisted Pines by Lane Baker

Currently reading: The Moonlight Pegasus

It sure feels good to be back to doing some reading especially when I took the long weekend to sit back and just do that for a little while. It also helps that Twisted Pines got pretty intriguing. YA and Sci Fi seem to be the combo that is my main 2019 genre grouping. Its pretty good so far but I will be moving away from it gradually especially as I started reading The Moonlight Pegasus to do some turbo reading and get a review out for the upcoming blog tour.

PLAYING

injustice: Gods among us

Currently playing: Injustice: Gods Among Us

Injustice: Gods Among Us has been in the backlog for a long time, lining up to be played. This weekend, I needed to get back to gaming and decided on an early Sunday morning to start it up. I’m done the story mode but just taking a few sittings more to explore what other modes and stuff are available before probably getting back to some game reviews over on Game Warp.  We are slowly getting things back in operation over there.

WATCHING

Aquaman

  • Aquaman (2018)
  • The Bling Ring (2013)
  • IT: Chapter One (2017) rewatch (Review)

Not a ton of movie watching going on still but we are gradually catching up with the DC movies, luckily they don’t seem to rely too much on any order or else Aquaman would have been a much less enjoyable bit. I’ll talk about my issue with DC films soon when I review Aquaman but there were some okay moments and Jason Momoa as Aquaman is decent. I can’t say that Aquaman is my favorite watch out of the movies this week but its the newer selection and not a rewatch. IT: Chapter 2 is around the corner and we’re going to be seeing it opening weekend if everything pans out so with Chapter 1 hitting Netflix, we decided to give it a watch to refresh our memories a little and it still holds up pretty well. As for The Bling Ring, its for Movies and Tea’s current season and the podcast should be up in a few weeks so I won’t talk too much about it.

BINGING

Hyperdrive

  • The Coming One 3 (2019)
  • Hyperdrive (Season 1, 2019) REVIEW

Currently binging: The King’s Avatar, Love is Deep, Super Vocal 2

I’ve already shared a ton of love for Hyperdrive right now. Its a great competition series and so much fun to binge. Fast cars, adrenaline and obstacles plus some fun competitors to know more about. It was a blast. You can check out the review linked above.

I’ve pretty much wrapped up most of my Chinese reality/variety shows now and only have Super Vocal 2 still high on my radar while I forgot about Dream Space 2 which might say a little about how I feel about the participants of that show. I’ll get back to it soon since its still not even halfway through. For currently watching though, strongly urge you all to check out The King’s Avatar currently updated 10 episodes weekly on Netflix because its a lot of fun especially for gamers as its a TV series about professional e-sports and such. Its the rare story that doesn’t have a love story and completely about teams and gaming and the pursuit of success and of course, friendship.

That’s it for this week’s What’s Up!
What have you been reading/playing/watching/binging?

What’s Up 2019 – Week 34

Another week has passed by. As always with weekends away, its a bit slower. If you missed yesterday’s post on Fan Expo Canada, we headed down there and met up with a fellow blogging friend. First time there and not as media so it was relaxing and just did a ton of stuff that I enjoyed although would have wanted to check out all the South Building stuff but didn’t have time. Either way, things moved along a little but some things that happened over the weekend that I was away in Toronto obviously didn’t end up wrapping up.

READING

Wild Dark Times

  • Wild Dark Times by  Austin Case (Review)

Currently reading: Twisted Pines by Lane Baker (9% done)

Wrapped up Wild Dark Times last week right in time for the blog tour. The review is up already and linked above so I won’t talk too much about it but it was a really fun read and lived up to the premise when I read the synopsis and decided to check it out. That’s always a plus. I like books that play up on real things and add the urban fantasy element to it and shows off the author’s creativity. However, I started up Twisted Pines now. Thanks to the author Lane Baker reaching out to me years after his previous one that I also reviewed HERE. I literally just started up the book and its a converted version so its tough on the Kindle so might switch back to reading on the PC to make life a little easier for my eyes sake.

PLAYING

NOTHING! I played nothing this week. I was away and didn’t play anything on my phone. During the week, I was getting the weekend chores done before leaving for the weekend away so took up most of the evening time. Nothing is all I got here.

WATCHING

the fanatic

  • A Home With A View (2018)
  • Split (2016)
  • The Fanatic (2019, Advanced screening)

Less about how I’m recommending this film but rather the fact that I saw the advanced screening for The Fanatic at Fan Expo despite some issues that occurred but was eventually fixed and we did get to see the rest of the movie. Most of the movies that I saw this week was middle of the way. Probably I’d recommend A Home With A View the most because Split was alright but not great and The Fanatic was alright and not great for probably the same reasons where the actor showcased did a good job but it thought it was being more clever than it actually did in execution. It sounds mean but they really aren’t bad films and I’ll talk about it more in the upcoming reviews.

BINGING

we grew up

  • We Grew Up (Season 1, 2019)
  • Heart Signal (Season 2, 2019)

Currently binging: Super Vocal (Season 2), The King’s Avatar, Hyperdrive, The Coming One 3

I wrapped up the finale for both of the Tencent reality shows that I was watching last week as they aired their last episode. Both of them were pretty good. I’ll do a big post comparison on the concept for the romance/relationship thing for Heart Signal and other shows that I’ve seen before because I think its a good one to talk about and a nice little concept and they each have pros and cons. The show that just pulled at my heartstrings even though I’m not a parent is We Grew Up. I was a bit conflicted with the concept of a reality show focused on some really young kids learning to be independent despite them making all kinds of safety precautions that’s also apparent in the show. However, in the end, it does highlight a lot about the whole growing up in China and just in general parenting and young kids and how they adapt. Its pretty neat and honestly, there are some heartbreaking moments between the siblings but at the same time, there are also some funny moments as kids will have.

As for the currently binging stuff, I’m absolutely enamored with The King’s Avatar currently updated weekly on Netflix. My husband and I are watching Hyperdrive together and well, Super Vocal 2 is the competition show on my radar that I’ve generally caught up with to their latest episode.

That’s it for this What’s Up!
What have you been playing/reading/watching/binging?