Double Feature: Varsity Blues (1999) & A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits (2016)

It feels like quite a while since I did a double feature but that might be because I’ve been taking a little movie watching break and binging some more TV that I never happen to write about (but I will, I promise). A bit of a mixed bag here although you could call this a young adult/adolescent pairing? I don’t know when A Cinderella Story for this one takes place. Its usually around the high school phase as well.

Varsity Blues (1999)

varsity blues

Director: Brian Robbins

Cast: James Van Der Beek, Jon Voight, Paul Walker, Ron Lester, Scott Caan, Amy Smart, Eliel Swinton, Ali Larter

A back-up quarterback is chosen to lead a Texas football team to victory after the star quarterback is injured. – IMDB

Those who know me know that I’m a huge fan of Paul Walker, as a human being and truly do miss his presence since he had done some fantastic work in Fast and the Furious as well as other movies. I’m sure that I’ll be doing something in the Sunday Lists very soon. With that said, I haven’t seen Varsity Blues before where he plays the supporting role of Lance Harbor, the injured star quarterback mentioned in the plot summary above. The main character here is played by James Van Der Beek. Going into Varsity Blues blind did give me quite the shock because it is quite an intense film especially in the sense, of how Jon Voight’s character as the coach of the team.

Varsity Blues is quite generic in the coming of age sports film but it shines in its performances and the cast member. The movie also has some pacing issues particularly in the beginning however the second half of the film does redeem itself quite a bit as that is where I was truly invested into the movies. It touches a lot on say the future of the dreams but also brings into other realities of say race and prejudices as well as unreasonable ambitions and doing/fighting for what is right and following your heart instead of what others perceive as your future or the path you should take.

I was a little underwhelmed by the film as its fairly average but the decent performances does make it worth a watch.

A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits (2016)

a cinderella story if the shoe fits

Director: Michelle Johnston

Cast: Sofia Carson, Jennifer Tilly, Amy Louise Wilson, Jazzara Jaslyn, Thomas Law, David Ury, Sven Ruygrok

A contemporary musical version of the classic Cinderella story in which the servant step daughter hope to compete in a musical competition for a famous pop star. – IMDB

I have no idea how these A Cinderella Story is still going on. I think I’m missing like the third one if this one is the fourth one. I do like the Hillary Duff one with Chad Michael Murray which started it all. Its one I watch every once in a while for the obvious reasons that the cast is spectacular with Jennifer Coolidge as the absurd mean stepmother role. The next one after that was Another Cinderella Story with Selena Gomez which I didn’t love but enjoyed since it had some cute moments and lovely dancing and singing moments. I didn’t bother with the third one since I figured this stuff wasn’t worth my spending money on it so to fill up some background noise and uninvested movie viewing, I put this on because I saw it on Netflix. I know no one in this one and its all quite rinse and repeat. There’s some dancing and the opening thing of singing and dancing seems like this female replica of Grease’s Grease Lightning part. However, this one is just bad. The humor is not funny. The acting is meh. The singing and dancing is okay. The story is generic.

It was something of a waste of time but then I mean, as background noise, I guess it fit the bill but I wouldn’t watch it again.

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My Weekly Adventures #65: The Endless To-Do List

Well…it seems after crazy time comes a lot of not free time but calmer times. I had a debate about whether to post for this Weekly Adventures but I figured I should at least do a short one. I mean, what do I do? Talk to you every time about weeding? You know when things get halted in conversation, the fall back is weather so…let’s do that.

Montreal has had some fantastic weather. Honestly, its been two awesome weekends. I’ve gotten a lot of prep work in the garden done and it still feels like a long way before I’m anywhere near ready to start planting next week. Its gotten me motivated to get back into my own groove and get back into this positive mood that I actually haven’t felt in a little while. I’m having my own mental struggles over a ton of stuff and sometimes, its hard to explain to others how I just enjoy my own little space to do my stuff efficiently and connect with my own thoughts, because some people don’t function that way. A topic for another day to dive into.

The last two weeks was a lot of housekeeping for the blog and my house and my life. I’m trying to get things back on track, find back my own positive thoughts and just think a little about improving. One of the latest things I did was finally update my  About Tranquil Dreams page in the menu which I realized wasn’t updated in 2017. Oops~ You can check that out as well, especially if you are new here and want a snapshot of the versatile amount of topics. You can find it HERE.

Before we begin, the last few Weekly Adventures have been about a lot of behind the scenes stuff going on and segment revival and recaps. I promise you that after this Victoria Day weekend, things absolutely get busier with Montreal events and such.

Gardening 2018 has Begun!

tulips

The first Gardening 2018 post has gone up. Lots of plans and lots of things to accomplish to get to the final goal. The last two weekends (and some weekday evenings) was all about getting ready for our Victoria Day long weekend to get things in ground and in pots. You can find that post here.

To be honest, this week has no update because 75% of my gardening stuff this weekend was making sure the vegetable patch was grass-free, finding new perennials that came out in the sea of grass so that my husband knows to not mow over my plants and a ton of weeding. So much weeding and so much more left to do. The only update are the blooms and no worries, an update is coming very soon! 😉

Avenue of Daydreams – Changing its Look

For some of you who are new here, I used to do a ton of photography and writing when Tranquil Dreams first started. However, that faded in the background. However, in the spirit to channel a more creative outlet rather the reviews and lifestyle stuff I do here, I opened up another blog called Avenue of Daydreams. Its really sporadic content but the previous theme had issues of not being a mostly photography blog so it wasn’t showing up stuff as I wanted so in the last two weeks, I stopped my procrastinating and got around to changing it up. I might change it again but so far, I like it better already.  Its clean and nice. So in case, you want to see a lot of more artsy pictures that I take with my phone and my DSLR and the sporadic writing piece, Fifty or maybe edited Nanowrimo past novel, that is where you will find it all. I might revive the Out of This World Travels segment but just working on the time allocation first.

You can check out (and follow if you enjoy) right here.

Getting Into Shape – Segment Revival

WORKOUT ROUNDUP

I didn’t write about resolutions this year but I wanted to get back into working out so much. Feeling fit and strong and healthy makes me feel good. Working out is painful but also challenging and rewarding. The positive vibes that comes with focusing on getting a workout routine done or pushing to go that extra kilometer in the run is honestly irreplaceable. As I fit working out back into my schedule, things are shifting around a little bit more. You may notice the sporadic posting schedules and that is just a preliminary side effects. Things will settle down once it becomes a part of my routine.

With that said, its the revival of the Weekly Workout Roundups. They go up every Sunday afternoon (or whenever I finish the Sunday workout). You can find the first one from last week HERE.

Overdue Dentist Appointment

Its been at least 3 years since I’ve been to the dentist. To make a long story short, my dentist basically retired 3 years ago and between getting married, his retirement and our procrastination and then red tape of acquiring dental insurance from my husband’s insurance from work, its been way overdue and boy, do I know it? My friend referred me to a new dentist. The technology now is astounding when I first went in for exams and teeth cleaning. I came out of that with 6 cavities, meaning two visits back to the dentist. The first visit was more urgent and done as this post goes up. Definitely a good experience since funnily enough, I’m more nervous of the pain from the anesthesia needle than the actual cavity filling process. Man, am I happy that I have insurance now! The grown-up moments in life, right? One more visit to go and more frequent cleaning sessions to make up for the last few years to hopefully get my teeth and gums healthy again. Yet another stage to taking care of my own well-being.

South Burlington, Vermont – Day Trip

Hello Vermont (for a day). Recently, I learned about something called Cookie Butter that is sold at Trader Joe’s. To my knowledge, we don’t have Trader Joe’s in Canada and my friend told me about his trip to South Burlington, which happens to be where the nearest Trader Joe’s to us is, so I tagged along for a quick trip across the border to the US. We went to three places and well, I’ll tell you all about it in this afternoon’s post (because this one seems to be getting a little too lengthy).

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day kind of was a bust for us. My in-laws were supposed to drop by to celebrate but only my father in law made it since my mother in law wasn’t feel too good so wanted to rest. We understood that. However, we still got some family time as my husband helped his dad get his car ready for the season. We had gotten groceries to get a little barbecue going. Honestly, we only barbecue when we have ample time put out since as my husband puts it, “we don’t have a proper BBQ”. Either way, we had three people so we made 6 foil packets. 3 foil packets included sausages, zucchini, bell peppers, garlic and Portobello mushrooms) and the other ones were garlic butter sliced potatoes. We got our sausages at Charcuterie Frick. They were two different flavors, so we used one of each. The first was Quebecoise, which is ham and maple syrup and possibly one of my faves from this place. The second was my husband’s choice and it was basil chicken with sundried tomatoes. Both were really delicious and the foil packets, which was a little oversized were pretty decent. We enjoyed the lovely weekend together and that is what matters. We did give our father in law a basket of flowers and Mother’s Day card to take back with him.

Cute Kitty Pic

cat

That’s it for these adventures!
A lot of segment revivals and updates and housekeeping in general!
Its been really busy with little things and adding healthy habits into my life.
Hopefully in a few weeks, it will be a part of my routine. We will see, won’t we?

What have you been up to?

Double Feature: Minions (2015) & Monster Trucks (2016)

Welcome to the next double feature!

I feels like a while since I’ve actually done one of these. If you’ve seen my What’s Up, I’ve actually seen quite a few films just never seemed to get time to write one up. Either way, I needed something light and fluffy so I went to the Family and Children part of Netflix and chose these two on two separate days. Maybe the stress and brain deadness helped me enjoy them more than I would normally would which puts it in a class of their own.

Either way, Minions and Monster Trucks were both movies on my list that I wanted to check out and I did. Let’s go!

Minions (2015)

Minions

Director: Kyle Balda & Pierre Coffin

Voice cast: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan, Jennifer Saunders, Geoffrey Rush, Steve Carrell, Pierre Coffin

Minions Stuart, Kevin, and Bob are recruited by Scarlet Overkill, a supervillain who, alongside her inventor husband Herb, hatches a plot to take over the world. – IMDB

Minions have definitely made a name for themselves as the silly sidekicks in the Despicable Me movies. The biggest question when this movie was announced was whether they were able to carry a movie by themselves with their random gibberish talk and unknown past. Of course, Minions focuses on this point and gives them an origin story. Why not, right? Everyone is doing it and it seems that they are well-deserved especially since Penguins from Madagascar also got their own film just before (I think..don’t quote me on timeline of movie releases). With that said, while the origin story of Minions does feel a little odd and generic, they are still them. They offer a kind of entertainment that comes with the family entertainment category and works in the world of villains as they represent their group to find a worthy villain to follow and end up at Villain Con.

Minions

Its hard to not like Minions. To be honest, I started the movie without a lot of expectations. However, it did offer the entertainment I wanted but with a few surprises along the way such as the excellent voice cast they had for the other characters from Sandra Bullock’s Scarlet Overkill to her husband, Herb voiced by Jon Hamm. While I believe I had learned about those before the movie and I only remembered it when they appeared as they are the main villainous roles here, the big surprise for me was the voices of the Nelsons, a family of robbers that give them a lift to Villain Con where it was voiced by Allison Janney and Michael Keaton. They have such distinctive voices, especially Allison Janney that I knew right away it was her and just loved it. Since we’re on the topic of voice acting, Minions having their own film does highlight their mesh of languages from moments of French to Spanish and probably other ones that we personally don’t know.

Overall, Minions was an entertaining movie to say the least. Was it necessary? Probably not. I still like them more as the Despicable Me sidekicks characters. However, this movie did have a great voice cast for its other characters which gave it a fun touch which worked in its favor a whole bunch. But then, it could be because I like Sandra Bullock and Allison Janney a ton.

Monster Trucks (2016)

Monster Trucks

Director: Chris Wedge

Cast: Lucas Till, Jane Levy, Thomas Lennon, Barry Pepper, Rob Lowe, Danny Glover, Amy Ryan, Holt McCallany

A young man working at a small town junkyard discovers and befriends a creature which feeds on oil being sought by a fracking company. – IMDB

Cheesy family entertainment is really what Monster Trucks is. Its pretty dumb when I think about it now but somehow, it still was a pretty fun little flick. Perhaps its because Jane Levy is pretty cool and I’ve enjoyed her films from Evil Dead (review) to Don’t Breathe (review) and its nice to see her not in something horrifying. The story in Monster Trucks is very simple and basic so great for some brain shut off time while keeping very much to the family entertainment as there isn’t any vulgar language or even a lot of romance for that part. The main focus was really on the creature here, simply named Creech by Lucas Till’s character, Tripp. Creech is something of an odd creature that flew out of a fracking operation as they discovered some oil-feeding creatures. There are your normal set of cast of characters as the big bad corporation sends out their meanest hencemen to hunt down Creech so to keep their operations going. There’s the scientist who has had enough of the crappy ways and wants to do good for these creatures. And of course, a little bit of teen romance as Jane Levy’s smart nerdy girl role, Meredith bonds with Tripp over the many adventures with Creech as they hide him out in the broken truck and he runs it with his many tentacles.

Monster Trucks

Among the action and chase sequences and over the top moments, the true treasure that I loved the best was definitely Creech. It was dorky and hilarious. While it couldn’t talk, it had so many expressions. It reminded me a lot of something like Totoro from My Neighbor Totoro and Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon. The toothy smile and the fascination for doing adrenaline rush things along with its crazy stunts and having so much enjoyment out of it while scaring the heck out of Tripp. The movie was never in the control of Tripp or Meredith, it was all Creech’s show and its that unpredictability that makes this rather generic film have a little heart and quite a few laughs. Its always fun to learn about new creatures and their designs and that is what gives Monster Trucks its uniqueness.

Overall, no, Monster Trucks is not a masterpiece or maybe not even good in many aspects especially in its generic storyline. However, its creature Creech is the star of the show and along with some cute and clueless moments between some of the characters, it makes some harmless family entertainment with some laughs and simplicity.

That’s it for this week’s family themed double feature!
Have you seen Minions or Monster Trucks? Thoughts?

Double Feature: Deidra & Laney Rob a Train (2017) & Equals (2015)

Time for the next double feature! I’m aiming for a double feature every week now! Exciting stuff, right? Yay to organization! As usual, these are quite alphabetical randomness. Deidra and Laney Rob a Train seemed like a fun movie and Equals seems like a more dramatic romantic thing. I’ve been having this desire to bring some justice to figuring out whether Bella is a bad character or whether its Kristen Stewart. You might see a few more of her movies popping up here as I try to find more of her movies depending on what Netflix has to offer obviously.

Let’s check it out!

Deidra & Laney Rob a Train (2017)

deidra and laney rob a train

Director: Sydney Freeland

Cast: Ashleigh Murray, Rachel Crow, Myko Olivier, Tim Blake Nelson, Danielle Nicolet, David Sullivan, Sasheer Zamata

After their mother ends up in jail, two sisters turn to train robbery in order to support their family. –IMDB

Heist, coming of age and a rag tag family brings together Deidra & Laney Rob a Train. Its about sisterhood and high schools as much as surviving and sustaining their living conditions. In many ways, Deidra and Laney Rob a Train was a pleasant surprise. While it had some flaws, the film was a lot of fun to watch. Their inexperience and how their youth brings in some interesting choices for their props and such in their robberies. At the same time, their family consists of a mom who breaks down at the beginning. Their dad turns out to be this bad influence full of bad records which poses as a bad father figure and can lead to why they are pushed into a rather extreme way to try to keep up with their expenses for the sisters. At the same time, the sisters here also show maybe not enough of their sister relationship but does give each of them their own space for the characters to grow as Deidra prepares to head to college and Laney tries to find the confidence she needs to see herself in a different way and not get trampled on and looked over.

At the same time, being a heist/crime film, these girls’ train robbing days are interrupted by the appearance of a train investigator (or whatever his title is) Truman who starts sniffing around to figure out who the perpetrators are as he hunts around. While Truman is somewhat of a goofball, his appearance only emphasizes how we’ve bonded with Deidra and Laney and start feeling a sense of anxiety for whether Truman will catch up with them and what will happen when and if he does.

With a fair share of fun and ambition, along with some coming of age plots and family, Deidra and Laney Rob a Train is a nice Netflix Originals to catch. It definitely exceeded my expectations and hits a lot of the feel-good moments with some of the humor here which works pretty well. All in all, a very worthy movie to check out.

Equals (2015)

equals

Director: Drake Doremus

Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Kristen Stewart, David Selby, Guy Pearce, Jacki Weaver, Kate Lyn Sheil

In an emotionless utopia, two people fall in love when they regain their feelings from a mysterious disease, causing tensions between them and their society. – IMDB

It seems that my connection to both Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart performances are very one toned love stories, Warm Bodies and Twilight respectively. With that said, the story told here is something of a Romeo and Juliet forbidden love sort of scenario. The futuristic world achieves peace through eliminating emotions and feelings which are thought to be engineered between conception and birth so when someone has this, they have Switched-On Syndrome (aka SOS). Not surprisingly, Silas (Nicholas Hoult) and Nia (Kristen Stewart) both end up having different stages of SOS and are attracted to each other but need to hide it away. There’s a lot to like about Equals. The futuristic world and the idea of it works to a certain extent, the color palette in the scenes also complement to the mood a lot and then there’s the soundtrack that also works well, particularly in the scenes where Nia and Silas spend time together and embrace their feelings in secret.

However, there was a shred of weird sense as I watched Equals that something didn’t work and yet I couldn’t pinpoint what it was. Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart was decent. They worked for the material provided to them. Although, there was a few scenes that Nicholas Hoult’s character felt odd in the beginning but did seem to grow on me as the movie moved along. Perhaps a portion of oddity had to do with the fact that this future had a lot of ignorance to make what seemed incredibly obvious between Silas and Nia especially as their feelings grew stronger and it feels slightly contrived. At the same time, the futuristic Romeo and Juliet does work except the ending felt like it wanted to be different but actually might have made it more predictable. Although, there is a supporting role with Guy Pearce and  personally like him a lot although his roles are usually not enough to show off his acting. Either way, I appreciated his role here.

Overall, Equals is an alright film. I have mixed feelings about it. Technically, cinematography, soundtrack and world building, it does such a great job but when it comes to the story, it is more generic which makes the characters and their acting also be reduced to more generic qualities. However, in the grand scheme of looking at Kristen Stewart works, this one is alright.

Finding Dory (2017)

Baking Through Disney has hit quite the snag but I am working on catching up on some Pixar and Disney titles in the meantime. I needed a lighthearted movie and decided to give Finding Dory a go.

Lets check it out!

Finding Dory (2017)

Finding Dory

Director: Andrew Stanton & Angus MacLane

Voice Cast:  Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Hayden Rolence, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy

The friendly but forgetful blue tang fish, Dory, begins a search for her long-lost parents, and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way. – IMDB

Following the success of Finding Nemo, Pixar continues in this universe with Finding Dory. While it still features our favorite father and son clownfishes, this time’s star is Dory and her search for her parents and where she came from. Dory is a great supporting character in Finding Nemo but the question here is whether she can carry an entire movie by herself and that was also my hesitation. Other than the Toy Story trilogy, lets just say that I’ve been disappointed with Pixar sequels so this one had the same idea as making a movie out of the Minions from Despicable Me (which I haven’t seen but will soon since it just landed on Netflix) and Penguins from Madagascar (which I have seen and reviewed here). They turn out fun and a good time but never quite has the meaningful and memorable punch that some of the Pixar movies have been able to deliver.

Finding Dory

The good part is that Finding Dory delivered everything I expected it to be. It was fun and silly and had some hilarious characters and moments. Was it a necessary movie? Probably not. Its fairly easy to see where the story was going to go but it was a cute, especially the baby Dory was absolutely adorable. It had a nice message about family, just as Finding Nemo had but somehow, it felt like it still lacked a little bit more substance, maybe its because it felt so much like watching a Finding Nemo movie that it lacked some uniqueness. There’s been a lot of sequels for everything kind of movie in the last decade (maybe longer) so its hard to not hope that a sequel can deliver a little more.

finding dory

With all that said, Finding Dory excelled with some fun characters to match up the vibrantly forgetful Dory, voiced by the ever so talented Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen herself makes me happy so its hard to not love having an excuse to watch Dory’s origin story. Dory, Marlin and Nemo are exactly as fun as you would expect them to be. Of course, some of the new characters really did make it a lot of fun. Hank is a cranky octopus who wants to escape the aquarium and helps Dory only to get her ticket out of there. In the process, his many octopus abilities helps them out a lot while still realizing that a big scary octopus like him still has his fears. On the other hand, much nicer sea creatures here is Dory’s childhood friend, a whale shark called Destiny who they used to talk to via the aquarium pipes and Destiny’s aquarium neighbor, a Beluga whale who had a concussion and thinks he lost his sonar abilities. All of them together is absolutely a riot and its a ton of fun to watch.

Finding Dory

Overall, Finding Dory is a fun entertaining adventure and while there was some predictability in it, its still an enjoyable Pixar film. Pixar always comes with great animation and colorful palettes. The underwater aspect gives it this cool touch. While still the movies and has some level of imagination is a nice entry point for kids to know about different underwater creatures, I would imagine. Other parents who post about kids reaction to animated films probably would provide a better opinion on this. I loved marine animals (and still do) since I was a kid so whale sharks, beluga whales and colorful tropical fish, etc are all my favorite things so this movie really hit the spot for me on that level.

My Weekly Adventures #57 (actually its been a month…)

Welcome back to the first 2018 Weekly Adventures post!

As usual, we skipped one to do the What’s Up 2018. If you missed whats coming up in 2018, you can check it out HERE. Nothing too late since I’m still struggling to catch up with some of the 2017 backlog and get it all out. Especially with this week being quite spotty and missing out on 3 days which is something I hasn’t happened in a long time. Work and balancing adding in a workout routine and trying to just be healthier and house stuff like taking down Christmas and such is starting to prove to be quite crazy at the beginning of 2018.

Regardless, I will catch up in the coming week and get it all out next week hopefully! Let’s see what happened this past month!

Christmas Eve Party

Christmas Eve Party is a tradition that we have with in-laws. My mom comes along with me and we have a great time together just hanging out while chatting and eating. It was supposed to our turn to host this year but things took a turn for personal reasons and we ended up going to my sister-in-law’s instead.We had a great turnout in food and everyone had fun. Gift opening was always entertaining. We got a lovely gift card from my in-laws and sister-in-law and her husband for a restaurant in downtown called Les Enfants Terrible which we’re definitely looking to find a time possibly in the summer to go because its on a top floor and probably would have a nice view in the summer and maybe a terrace or something.

Boxing Day

Boxing Day happened of course. As per tradition, I went out with one of my friends to go spend some money efficiently and get in on some great deals. I won’t expand too much on it but you can find my Boxing Day Haul in this post HERE.

Holidays Gathering

Next gathering we had was with my girl friends. I skipped the last gathering because I just couldn’t make it with a clash in schedule. Its been forever since I’ve seen my girl friends so it was great to actually head out to meet up at a housewarming and holiday gathering potluck at one of the girl’s new place. Delicious food and awesome company go hand in hand and we definitely had both as we sat around catching up and having some laughs.

Family Dinner

This holidays has been back to back to back dinners. You’ll see as right after our holiday gatherings above, the evening after, we went over again to my sister-in-law’s place to have a slightly smaller gathering for a pre-New Year’s celebration. She made turkey that took hours to do but it turned out fantastic. She made some french onion soup. Mine was cheeseless which was a thoughtful move and then used lactose free milk for her mash potatoes. It tasted delectable. Another fun evening.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations
(aka: Mini Battle of Ingredients)

The holidays craze has definitely put a slight hiatus for our Battle of Ingredients. Even with New Year’s Eve slated in, we didn’t quite get a lot of it done in time. Consider this a mini Battle of Ingredients. Phoebe made the prosciutto wrapped asparagus which turned out great. I was thinking that I was going to roast veggies but I ended up making the veggies in a pan instead. I can’t say that mine turned out that well. It felt slightly raw so I had to pop it in the microwave to hopefully remedy it but Phoebe’s dish was really delicious. My mom made a turkey which was also quite tasty.

Fret not, despite still in somewhat of a craze on our end, we’ll figure out this Battle of Ingredients scheduling and get back on track. 🙂

New Workout Regime in 2018 (& how we are being healthier)!

As I feel the ab and leg pains from the currently in progress 2nd week of a 6 week program that I set on Nike Training Club app, I’m actually feeling quite good. The holidays was a weird mush of feelings. As much as I was excited for the holidays and decorated rather early and got everything together, the holidays hit me quite hard. Maybe it was just that I had a lot of time to think and reflect and 2017 was a very tough year and we went into the holidays in somewhat of a bad mood (at least for myself). Reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the new year always brings some odd emotions. With that said, I’m getting back to my positive self and I want working out and being healthy from it to give me the confidence boost and the feeling good vibes mostly from it. My husband and I are both hopping back into being healthier this year. Together, we’re aiming to be more active (hiking, running, strength & endurance training), eating healthier by cutting out as much processed food as possible, and being nicer to the environment as in using biodegradable cleaning products and such. Working out has been on track despite the crazy schedule and I’m pretty  happy about it. I’ll try to get an update on how things are progressing on that front.

Winter Storms

Montreal has been a crazy roller coaster of weather. December storms started early. Christmas week was a deep freeze zone as we entered the -40 Celsius zone. Bring on the double layered pants and socks and triple layer clothing. It was in a fairly freezing mode all the way till the last two days which rained and melted almost all the snow from before away and then on Friday to Saturday within 14 hours, we got a lovely 36cm of snow. This was on Saturday morning as the storm was tapering off. We were pretty much snowed in. I shoveled a bit before having to head out to a chiropractor appointment but my husband did a fantastic job and shoveled the rest for 2 more hours as I went off to do groceries as well . Every day life stuff, right? 😉

Miscellaneous Other Stuff

My Weekly Adventures is a day earlier than usual this month. Its because I missed one but also because tomorrow, I have an announcement coming up! Remember to drop back to check that out!

Aside from that, what other miscellaneous stuff am I thinking about. Unboxing will possible fade out this year. I made the move to cancel the FabFitFun box. Its a pretty costly expense that while I like, can’t seem to be justified anymore. We do have another Meowbox coming up but after doing massive cleaning this year, I realize that I still have a lot of unopened cat toys sitting around so I might forego that one as well. I’ve talked about vlogs and other video segments for the blog so I’m definitely working on something to get that together or maybe doing a What’s Up Wednesday video segment instead. If you have any suggestions on video content you’d like to see here, leave a comment and I’ll try my best to work it out!

I honestly had other miscellaneous stuff and now as I’m typing this out, I’ve forgotten all about it.

Cute Kitty Pic

It might not seem cute but when I’m in the shower, this is what she does. You know, my little guard cat…who runs away when she hears anyone approach. Effectiveness is zero but the thought is admirable 😉

Upcoming stuff:

  • 2017 leftovers: Gilmore Girls Season 5 binge, Bring it On: Worldwide #Cheersmack, Stranger Things Season 2
  • Announcement tomorrow
  • A new segment coming up
  • Blogiversary!!!

Thats it for this Weekly Adventures!
Remember to drop by tomorrow to check out the announcement!
Also, if you have any video ideas, do share them with me: What’s Up Wednesday vlogs or Weekly Adventure vlogs or some movie related vlog.
That’s all the ideas I have for now so maybe all the above will show up. Which would you watch?

Double Feature: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016) & Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

And we’re back with another double feature!

This time its a Netflix  watch paired with a rental. We’re looking at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and Kubo and the Two Strings. I’ve been looking forward to watch these two so its nice to have them done and over with.

Let’s check it out!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)

teenage mutant ninja turtles out of the shadows

Director: Dave Green

Cast: Megan Fox, Stephen Amell, Will Arnett, Laura Linney, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritchson, Tyler Perry, Brian Tee, Brad Garrett

After facing Shredder, who has joined forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman and henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady to take over the world, the Turtles must confront an even greater nemesis: the notorious Krang. – IMDB 

If you missed my review of the first Teenage Mutant Teenage Turtles review, check it out HERE.

To be fair, if you didn’t read the review of the first movie, I enjoyed it as in I like the entertainment factor of it all. I’m always a fan of the shut off your brain and just go on the ride type of movie. Its also the reason why some of my favorite franchises that I’d gladly sit down to watch in the background is Resident Evil and Fast and the Furious. I even like most of the Transformers movies. With that said, I’m still a little iffy with Megan Fox as April O’Neill however, I’m a huge fan of Stephen Amell even after I am currently at least 2 seasons behind from Arrow. This one had a cast that I’m overall a little on the fence about since I don’t quite get the Tyler Perry hype as he’s never seemed to do anything I’ve liked (at least nothing off the top of my head). Now that I’ve laid out more than enough foundation, Out of the Shadows was pretty okay.

teenage mutant ninja turtles out of the shadows

It was definitely entertaining and action-packed. The story was pretty normal with nothing incredibly unique although I did like the fact they had the serum to make those villainous beasts which was the warthog and the rhino. I’ve always like their kind of odd humor of these films and for what it is, there are some pretty awkward moments but it still works to a certain level. To be honest, I liked the Stephen Amell and the turtle moments a lot. We always see the Turtles hiding away and for those of you into video games, Injustice 2 just launched them as superheroes in a way and I feel like this movie did a little something to make them known as the turtles who protect their city in the shadows like vigilantes which you know, is how most superheroes start out in origin stories.

With all that said, this is no masterpiece and I think I enjoyed the first movie more, however, there are some redeeming aspects here that made it worth my while. I like turning off my brain so I enjoyed it for its humor and its entertainment factor.

Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

kubo and the two strings

Director: Travis Knight

Cast: Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes, Brenda Vaccaro

A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armour worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past. – IMDB

Kubo and the Two Strings had so much praise upon its release (and even before). Was it all completely merited? Maybe I wasn’t as big of a fan as a lot of people out there however, Kubo and the Two Strings is above everything incredibly charming. Its art and character design and the music are all so beautiful. The story is a tad generic however, the colors and the use Kubo’s magic was, for lack of a better word, magical. It was hard to not fall in love with everything on screen. Perhaps its the origami and the really nice use of the musical and storytelling elements of it all, I felt a bond with the story. However, the story did have a few pacing issues for myself.

kubo and the two strings

Aside from that, the standout of this was also the voice cast which included Matthew McConaughey and Charlize Theron both great actor and actress respectively and it might be the first time (at least that I’ve heard them) in animated films and only hearing their voices. The voice cast here was really nice with some impressive names. Aside from the two above, there was also Ralph Fiennes and Rooney Mara who both did a fantastic job as well in their more villainous roles.

Is it an incredible film? Maybe not. However, it is a beautiful film visually and artistically. For that, its absolutely worth a watch.

This wraps up the double feature!
Have you seen these movies?