Uncharted (2022)

Uncharted (2022)

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Cast: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Antonio Banderas, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle, Steven Waddington

Street-smart Nathan Drake is recruited by seasoned treasure hunter Victor “Sully” Sullivan to recover a fortune amassed by Ferdinand Magellan, and lost 500 years ago by the House of Moncada. – IMDB

Based on the Uncharted video game franchise developed by Naughty Dog, the film is set with a young Nathan Drake on his first recruit with Sully for some treasure hunting action as they try to use their wits and Drake’s know-how to finish up what his brother Sam started before his disappearance while outrunning a Moncada heir and his highly paid team. There are two ways to look at this film: the first would be in the accuracy and efficacy of its adaptation to the games itself and the other way would be for the normal movie-goer who doesn’t have any or little knowledge of the game and treats this as a straight-forward action adventure treasure hunt film. Luckily, I fall a little in between these as the game follows one of the later games which I am not as familiar with but also have a decent knowledge of these main characters, Nathan Drake and Sully so I will try to touch on both of these angles.

Looking at this from its adaptation angle, perhaps the biggest discussion amongst gamers would be whether Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg are suitably as Nathan Drake and Sully respectively. In that sense, its the biggest issue with the film perhaps as this element works better on the star power for the normal movie goer than them feeling like these two characters from the video game. Whether from the idea of appearance, even if they put Drake in the game’s outfit, or the idea that their personalities match with that of the game, some dialogue does match up but it still lacks a little something that these characters’ bring in the game, giving them a very different feeling. If there was a character that felt very similar to its video game version, that would be Chloe Frazer portrayed by Sophia Ali and still, it lacks a bit of sass. However, the film does work with a very straight-forward plot, while this might be a let-down for something expecting more, it is pretty entertaining overall and adds in certain cinematic cues and cameo that links back to the game whether its the Naughty Dog sticker on the suitcase or a Nolan North cameo appearance along with the CGI camera pan through certain puzzle elements which bring in those game parallel.

With that said, looking at this from purely an action adventure film, there is no doubt that this feels generic from a plot angle but then the point remains on how much expectation was put into it based on the trailer versus the normal context of these types of films. Uncharted is an entertaining movie experience. It has some over the top CGI which is almost reminiscent of the Fast and Furious movies (and you probably already know what scene I’m referring to) but also has the element of the banter between Drake and Sully which can be fun at times even if it revolves mostly around how much trust they can put into each other. The villain here is a bit two fold as you have Antonio Banderas as Moncada but also Tati Gabrielle as Jo Braddock who is more dangerous as she is more than just a rich man with a bunch of minions. The action pieces are pretty fun and the adventure and puzzle element is done rather well also especially when you get into the big finale with a change in setting from the big city to the vast open seas.

Overall, Uncharted might not be quite the video game adaptation that people want especially from the angle of its main characters Drake and Sully mostly since they are missing a bit of the pizzazz these video game characters however if talking about the plot itself, while generic for an action-adventure film but it actually does match up to the game well enough. Movies like these truly depend on what you expect out of them. For myself, there are some flaws in terms of casting choices from the video gamer side however as a popcorn flick, the entertainment level is still a good time.

*Uncharted is currently available on digital on April 26th and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on May 10th*

*Screener provided by TARO PR*

What’s Up & Adventures – April 2022

Welcome to this month’s wrap up for What’s Up & Adventures for April 2022.

April is always a crazy month work-wise and adding in a lot of the current situation, its been a lot more bonkers as well. Hence the later than usual recap post. While adventures is a little lacking, we have been getting things together in general. Lets take a quick look at some fast updates before we jump into the much more interesting Wha’ts Up portion.

New Season – Movies and Tea Podcast

While I am still working through the reblogs for the previous season, Movies and Tea blog and our podcast platform everywhere is already updating the new season of the podcast as we go through our Quentin Tarantino season. For myself, its a whole new adventure since its almost three quarters first time watches.

You can check it out over at the blog HERE or on most podcast platforms.

Baby Things and Preparation

I have really held off on talking a whole lot about the pregnancy since my little not so hidden announcement at the beginning of the year or last month’s office move/nursery setup. As the nursery starts shaping up and my due date is a little over a month away and the last stretch of preparation shows up, its fine time to talk about something probably not so important but something I always thought was a somewhat memorable moment if and when I had a baby and its buying the first pair of shoes.

Not to mention, one of April’s highlights was going for the second ultrasound as the first one had a minor little abnormality which was all normal in this one. All around good news so far plus seeing the much bigger baby then was a pretty touching moment.

What’s Up – April 2022

Books

  • The Girl On The Train (Review)

Currently reading: Nevernight

Still relatively on track with reading as I try to use the commute to the office to read as much as I can. The Girl on the Train is a pretty decent read. I do hope to watch the adaptations at some point.

As for the currently reading selection, Nevernight has a world building which is pretty extensive but there are some elements that I am finding a little annoying. I am still fairly early in the book so I don’t want to make any judgments quite yet especially since beginning of books are my usual hurdle.

Movies

  • Virus (1999)
  • You vs. Wild: Out Cold (2021)
  • Ronny Chieng: Speakeasy (2022)
  • The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021, Review)
  • Desperado (1995)
  • Knives Out (2019, Review)
  • Rebecca (2020)
  • The Invisible Man (2020, Review)
  • The Sadness (2021, Review)
  • The Crazies (2010, Review)

Movies are still going relatively strong this month. Even the writing is pretty on track as well. The movie reviewing writing slump is slowly going away. With that said, this month was full of fun film discoveries from all genres. Nothing really disappointed too much except one or two. The interactive film You Vs The Wild: Out Cold was kind of a snoozefest but these things are never too long so it helps fill up some time when I couldn’t decide what to watch next. As for recommendations for this month, Knives Out, The Mitchells vs. The Machines and The Invisible. If you don’t mind a massive trigger warning and gut-wrenching gorefest, The Sadness is a decent choice as well.

TV

  • Another Me (2019)
  • Archive 81 (2022, Review)
  • Falling Into Your Smile (2021)
  • Bullsh*t The Game Show (2022)

Currently watching: Yes I Do (Season 3), Who’s The Murderer (Season 7), Gypsy, Falling in Love With a Scientist, Infinity and Beyond

Looking at the TV list, it sure feels like eons ago that I finished Another Me at the first half of the month. Probably because the TV series had a lot of issues for the most part and hit a whole new level of melodrama that started bothering me. The ending did kind of redeem itself a little though. The film version which I have yet to see did get lots of praise so I will hopefully watch it at some point.

With that said, Archive 81 is a cliffhanger ending and cancelled Netflix series which is somewhat of a pity since it is pretty good. Netflix did add Falling Into Your Smile which is a Chinese drama that I had my eye on last year but its from a channel which geo-locked the series when I wanted to watch it. Highly recommend. This might just be the series for me to get back into some form of TV binge for the Chinese dramas since I am so behind on it.

Games

  • Erica
  • Football Game

A light gaming month to say the least. Both of these games were fairly short in content. Erica is an FMV game which is basically an interactive film with 4 endings running at around 2 hours per run. Considering that I didn’t do the run again and did some research and think the ending I got was the good one, I just left it at that. The second game, Football Game is a short point and click game which is a little bit laborous with little favors and tasks which all comes down to a deeper story for the thriller as it came to a rather vague but depressing ending. I will try to get a review up for these two over at Game Warp but its a daunting since game reviews have fallen into the abyss for myself.

Cute Kitty Pic

That’s it for this Adventures and What’s Up for April 2022.
Hope you enjoyed! Let me know if you’ve been up to some exciting stuff.

Announcement: Ultimate Decades Blogathon 2022!

Welcome to the 7th Annual Ultimate Decades Blogathon hosted by myself and Drew’s Movie Reviews.

Following last year’s suit in the new blogathon style, the Ultimate Decades Blogathon continues on with our numeric progress as we celebrate our favorite movies released in a year ending in “2”. That means you can pick any movie from 1922, 1932, 1942, 1952, 1962, 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002, 2012 and if are super on your game and have already watched some new releases worth talking about, feel free to talk about something from 2022. As usual, we allow for doubles in selections to keep it easier for everyone and see what movies stood out for you in any of those years.

To help with your movie choices from any of these years, here’s a list of the releases from each of the years mentioned above:

The details of this blogathon:

  • Any movie released in a year ending in “2” is a valid choice. They are not limited to those in the list above as I’m not quite sure if those cover foreign film choices but that is always an option as well.
  • You can choose to do more than one review. Just let us know in advance.
  • The reviews will be posted to our blogs so make sure to submit it to us (if you plan on posting on your blog as well, let us know so that we give you the release date so that you can pair it with our release schedule).
  • Submission Deadline: February 13th (if you need more time, let us know in advance and we can absolutely work it out)
  • Blogathon starts on February 21st
  • Email submissions to kim.tranquildreams@gmail.com and/or Drew at drewt510@gmail.com. Please notify us in the comments below or by email if you plan on participating.
  • You can tag us and help us promote using #UltimateDecadesBlogathon

Welcome all to join! You can be from any platform since your review will be posted on our blogs. We look forward to your choices and submissions. Feel free to use the banner above to show off your participation. If you know anyone that would be interested in joining, please help us spread the word. The more the merrier!

The Parent Trap (1998)

Fun fact about me: I’m a huge fan of Lindsay Lohan when she was a young actress even up to her teenage roles, probably ends around Mean Girls. I remember that I have no idea how I landed on watching The Parent Trap when I was young but it was long enough ago for me to not really remember too much of it. This was a pretty fresh watch. However, I’m big on these twin movies. I still love It Takes Two to absolute bits. After a month of horror, its high time for some more family fun sort of movies. I was saying that it was teen comedies but I think the correct term of it is family features mostly in November. Sometimes, we just gotta take it easy especially when my mind is in high panic phase or at least it will be soon if it hasn’t already.

Let’s check it out!

The Parent Trap (1998)

The Parent Trap

Director: Nancy Meyers

Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Quaid, Natasha Richardson, Elaine Hendrix, Lisa Ann Walter, Simon Kunz

Identical twins Annie and Hallie, separated at birth and each raised by one of their biological parents later they discover each other for the first time at summer camp and make a plan to bring their wayward parents back together.- IMDB

The best way to start this write-up is to first say that I haven’t watched the original The Parent Trap so I’m taking this one as a standalone, which it should be, even if it is a remake. The Parent Trap is kind of your cliche family movie. In many ways, I prefer It Takes Two over it if we were to compare, especially since there are many similarities between the two and I like the Olsen twins a tad more than a double of Lindsay Lohan. However, she does do a great job especially realizing that at a young age, she could do the British accent and the normal, plus there was some pretty fun parts. The Parent Trap isn’t a long movie either and carries some pretty entertaining times.

The Parent Trap

First of all, the cast is pretty good. Playing the father is Dennis Quaid who I do enjoy watching from time to time. Oddly, most of them are family films, except for Vantage Point. However, the fun isn’t exactly with these two adults meeting again and rekindling their love in a few days and putting all differences aside. The over the top character of Meredith, makes for some funny moments especially when she reacts quite funnily and as annoying as this character would be in real life, it offers a comedic element. My favorite character, other than Lindsay Lohans, have to go to the characters Chessy and Martin (portrayed by Lisa Ann Walter and Simon Kunz respectively) because they play the father’s sister and the butler on the mom’s side and was the adults pulling the strings and they were just hilarious together.

Parent Trap

The Parent Trap does have some fun characters and that really elevate the movie quite a bit. The very young Lindsay Lohan is remarkable and cute. Probably one of the extremely shining moments of this rather cliche movie. In fact, having two Lindsay Lohans here shows the diversity of her acting. She doesn’t come off as bratty either. In fact, we actually can see the innocence of the two little girls here who really are hidden in the dark about having a twin and then not really understanding what made their parents fall apart but having that immense desire to put them back together since they are single still. Life (and love) is more complicated than that but the simplicity of Hallie and Annie does make for many fun moments.

The Parent Trap

Most family movies work with a formula, and The Parent Trap is no different. However, it is surprisingly entertaining and has lots of great moments. Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Quaid, and the other cast are all having fun with their respective roles and giving us some cool characters. In that end, that is what matters, right? Lots of movies are formulaic, especially with the amount of sequels and remakes that we get in one year nowadays, but the feeling we get out of some of these family movies carry weight. The Parent Trap is a at many times not only fun but has its fair share of heartwarming moments as well.

Have you seen The Parent Trap? How about the original? How do they compare?

Game Warp Podcast: ‘Costume Quest 2’ Review

Halloween has arrived for us at Game Warp. We know that the traditional horror games whether they are classics or indies, are always a popular choice. Look at me, I took the opportunity to start Until Dawn. Granted, I am not done yet. However, we decided to be more family-friendly and did Costume Quest 2, the sequel to 2010’s Costume Quest.

We only knew the basics going in but a game with collecting candies and kids in costumes sounded like the perfect fun we needed especially after our creepy Playdead double feature last month.

What is Costume Quest 2? And what is it all about? It is a cartoon RPG quest game about young siblings, Wren and Reynold who realize that the evil dentist, Dr. Orel White is concocting an horrible plan to eliminate Halloween. They head back into the past to try to figure out why Dr. White turned that way and then ends up in a dystopian future where its already happened. It is up to them, their friends and a ton of costumes to help them on this journey. There are main quests and optional side quests to discover along with various places to go through from past to future.

Remember that if you enjoyed to click on the subscribe and like to get more gaming content! Drop by on our Facebook and give us a Like there for up to date gaming news every single day!

Thanks for watching! Hope you enjoyed!
We at Game Warp wish you all a Happy Halloween! 🙂

P.S. I will be running a Twitch stream a few times this weekend to continue Until Dawn!
Or maybe play Spooky’s Jumpscare Mansion and maybe a few other horror games! 

Halloween Marathon: Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)

Sigh…the first movie to come unexpected in the Halloween line-up. I will tell you a little story about why I was hesitant to actually see this. I actually turned it on in the background one day and didn’t watch much of it but the dialogue itself and just the loud noises bombarding my ears made me cringe so bad and curse in pain respectively. The reason this still ended up being a thing was because I had to get some writing done and the husband decided to play it since I already had an idea of what this movie was about so yeah… low expectations and play!

Let’s check it out!

Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)

silent hill revelation

Director and co-writer: Michael J. Bassett

Cast: Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Sean Bean, Radha Mitchell, Malcolm McDowell, Martin Donovan

When her father disappears, Heather Mason is drawn into a strange and terrifying alternate reality that holds answers to the horrific nightmares that have plagued her since childhood.-IMDB

 Silent Hill is a video game adaptation. At this point, there’s a whole lot of bad feelings towards how they are. In fact, maybe David over at That Moment In has a point when he wrote this piece about how video game adaptations will never quite work HERE. His feelings are really about Lara Croft and perhaps more action-based games, just like how I was picturing how to do Layers of Fear as a movie. My point is that, I haven’t played Silent Hill much but horror games and horror movies are starting to merge in my mind. Why? Because these people are forgetting the key of horror. Sure, jump scares are important but they are only relevant when the atmosphere has helped create it with adding mystery and suspense and getting the audience/player involved. That also affects the effectiveness of well-designed disturbing characters but put them in an unengaging movie. Plus, jump scares are about actually feeling scared, not startled by loud noises bombarding our ear drums. Those are all faults of Silent Hill: Revelation.

Silent Hill Revelation

Silent Hill Revelation provoked a lot of ideas for opinion pieces which I don’t actually do here. Fact is, there is a lot of cliche dialogue here. I can’t say the performances are bad. They did the best with what they had in terms of dialogue. How many times have you heard the answer to “Go to Hell” in some paraphrase form of “You haven’t noticed? We’re already there.” And obviously going where everyone tells you to not go and heading straight for danger. There’s a lot of eye rolling moments like Kit Harington’s character, Vincent who has in reality only known the main character Heather, played by Adelaide Clemens for a grand total of 2 days and has somehow fallen in love or seems to know her super well or like “known you all this time.” When all means a total of 24 hours, you have some problems of convincing me, buddy. But these are all faults of the dialogue. And it continues on to other things just don’t piece the story well enough together.

Silent Hill Revelation Mostly because of the previous point, a lot of what could make this a scary movie turns into one that is quite lackluster. It throws around loud noises to unsettle the audience or utilizes some creepy looking enemies but then particularly the spider-like enemy shows some pretty unrealistic computer graphics and lacks the same level of scares like the blind nurse killers or triangle head. I don’t know the Silent Hill franchise so pardon my lack of knowledge to what these enemies are actually called. With that said, the best part of the movie goes to the triangle head axe-man although I did make fun of him in one part where he operates the horse carousel and you’ll see in the opening moments so not much of a spoiler. Second part is whats below with the blind nurses. The character design and how they move abruptly with sound with their knives or whatever weapons is just so creepy.

Silent Hill Revelation

Overall, Silent Hill Revelation is really hard to love. With badly developed characters and bad dialogue and the overly serious tone and rough CGI, bombarding loud noises to create jump scares, it falls into a lot of bad horror cliches. The story is also not done well to give it some purpose. The only redeeming qualities are for two villains that help give the movie just a tinge of a few better moments. For someone like myself who gets scared incredibly easy, this one didn’t give me any spooks except for two startled jump scare moments.

Have you seen Silent Hill Revelation? Did you like it?

Music Obsessions [October 2016]

Halloween music? I’m sorry! The Halloween month here starts very soon. Announcement coming up! However, I had to get some music out of my system! This week has gone by just way too slow.

Let’s just jump right in!! 🙂

OKAY – The Piano Guys

Better When I’m Dancin’ – Meghan Trainor

Hamilton – An Acappella Medley – Peter Hollens & co.

She Wants Me Dead – CAZZETTE

AND…because its October…let’s just find the first Halloween song that comes to my mind.

MONSTER MASH

That’s it for this month’s Music Obsessions!
Have an awesome weekend! 🙂

April and the Extraordinary World (2015)

Netflix A-Z reviews will be taking a break as I review the movies that I saw on my flights to and from Vancouver. The selection was pretty decent.

The first that caught my eye was an animated film I wanted to see earlier this year called April and the Extraordinary World, which is originally a French-Belgian-Canadian animated movie and the main character is voiced by Marion Cotillard in its orginal French version. That is definitely a highlight. Plus, French animated films tend to have this dark tone but adds a hint of dark humor that works for me. Perfect example would be one of my faves, Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart (review) or The Suicide Shop (review). Still, they hold a unique touch that many animated films don’t often have nowadays.

April and the Extraordinary World (2015)

April and the Extraordinary World

Director: Christian Desmares & Franck Ekinci

Original French  Voice Cast: Marion Cotillard, Philippe Katerine, Jean Rochefort, Olivier Gourmet, Marc-André Grondin, Bouli Lanners,

English Voice Cast: Angela Galuppo, Tony Hale, Tony Robinow, Mark Camacho, Tod Fennell, Paul Giamatti

1941. France asleep in the nineteenth century, governed by steam and Napoleon V, where scientists vanish mysteriously. Avril, a teenage girl, goes in search of her missing scientist parents. – IMDB

April and the Extraordinary World is hard to explain. I don’t mean the plot because they did a great job telling the story and injecting some humor into it. However, despite some silly characters that make them enjoyable and break the serious tone, this animated film is set in a dystopian steampunk world. April has lost her parents and lives by herself with her talking cat. She continues her parents’ and grandfather’s chemistry work to make a serum that will cure illnesses. There somehow holds a strong message about playing God and its consequences.

April and the Extraordinary World

The characters themselves are well done. However, they are as expected. April amd her talking cat, her parents who hold diverging perspectives on their dedication towards the science they are making and their family’s safety. There is the eccentric grandfather who is actually not as crazy and lost as it seems. However this character’s silliness, while at times a little expected and predictable is a joy to watch. And of course, there is a police officer obsessed with chasing them down because the world has banned scientists and its one of the reasons April and her parents got separated. However, this detective is also quite comedic. On top of that, there is a boy that enters the picture as a kind of mole but then becomes tangled into the mess that April discovers. However, the best character is April’s companion, her cat. He is overly dramatic at times, but also thoughtful and intelligent and the dialogue he is given is done well to make him a simple and genuine character to love.

April and the Extraordinary World

Another aspect about April and the Extraordinary World is the world creation. The gadgets in this steampunk future gives it a unique touch. From the flying devices to the tone of the France they have created, it is like a depressing yet enchanting experience. The music itself is pretty good. The animation itself and art style of the entire film is unique especially when most animated films have computer graphics influences. This one looks hand drawn and brings us back to a comic book sort of feeling. Its simple but still very nice in the choices in the artistic touches.

April and the Extraordinary World

Here’s where I’m a little hesitant in saying that April and the Extraordinary World is an outstanding movie. Rotten Tomatoes rates this at 98% fresh. I agree that a lot of the film is done right however, there was a hint of familiarity in this film that seems to pay tribute to a lot of Studio Ghibli films. After some thought, that isn’t a bad thing because they do it great justice especially choosing the steampunk world they did. It helps to create a  more unique experience and as always the dialogue is what creates the difference between this perhaps only being influenced by Studio Ghibli but still keeping it its own piece.

All in all, April and the Extraordinary World is a fine animated film. It has many elements that are done right. While it gives off hints of inspiration by a few Studio Ghibli films, it still manages to stay unique with its world and tone. The characters are enchanting and the story engaging enough. It does drag in various parts but the film is a decent length which works in its favor to keep the plot moving forward.

Have you seen April and the Extraordinary World?

Movies From the Hat IV – #1 – Kim’s Pick – How To Steal a Million (1966)

MovieRob is a true movie watching monster in all the best ways! He is quickly approaching his 2500th movie review and to commemorate the amazing and outstanding milestone, he did another Movies From the Hat. MovieRob and I don’t quite have the same tastes in movies especially since the first time around, I recommended a movie that he downright hated and remains one that I love a lot. So far, its not too bad. I figured for 2500th milestone that I’d go with a classic with my fave actress Audrey Hepburn. I’m honestly surprised he hadn’t seen it before. Head over and check out his review of How to Steal a Million! 🙂

If you don’t follow MovieRob, remember to follow him and check out his awesome reviews!

MovieRob

This is my 2460th Review

Thanks to Kim of Tranquil Dreams for this recommendation.

Here are her thoughts on the film.


how to steal a million “Don’t you know that in his lifetime Van Gogh only sold one painting? While I, in loving memory of his tragic genius, have already sold two. ” – Charles

Number of Times Seen – 1 (28 Aug 2016)

Brief Synopsis – A forger and his granddaughter enlist the help of a professional thief to help steal a copy of a priceless piece of art before it is examined which will lead to their undoing.

My Take on it – When Kim recommended this to me, I was quite surprised that I had never heard of this one before because it fits the genre of crime caper/comedy that I have always enjoyed.

The fact that it was directed by William Wyler was the real clincher for me to want…

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Music Obsessions & Something Else [September 2016]

Can you believe it? September is here! That means autumn is just around the corner!

I’m falling away from the Sunday posts for these music obsessions but I think it fits well for kickstarting a Friday as well! When I started this post, I couldn’t really think of music that has really been impacting me this past month. I’ve been gaming or binging TV series instead of watching movies or listening to music. It is really my fault. Maybe there will be less selections, or maybe not. You’ll see right now! 🙂

We’ll add a little extra with one  other videos that I’ve loved watching over and over again!

CLOSER – The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey – Sam Tsui, Kirsten Collins, Lia Kim, KHS (Cover)

Fireflies – Bassjackers ft. Luciana

Graveyard – Kura

This Time – Lea Michele (Glee Final Season)

I Lived – Glee (Glee Final Season)

and the little extra bit..with lots of magic!

I guess this posts shows that I’ve just finished binge watching Glee Final Season! If things are on track, the post should’ve gone up earlier this week but no guarantees since as I’m typing up this one, its not done yet 😉 Also, I just love that magic show on the channel Sam and Niko. Plus, I also love their main channel, Corridor Digital. These guys put out some of the most entertaining and creative videos.

What songs have you been listening to on repeat?