What’s Up – Week 28: Fantasia Films Take Over!

Fantasia Festival has started at the tail end of the week. Other than the TV binge, everything else will progress slowly for the next three weeks as movies flourish. With that said, let’s see whats up!!

READING

The serpent-Bearer

  • The Serpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars by C.S. Johnson

Currently reading: Within by Clare C. Marshall

Light reading is definitely in the picture. As I finished up The Serpent-Bearer graphic novel, the review only goes up later with the blog tour. After Montreal Comiccon, I decided its high time to get around to last year’s book purchases and make it to this year’s sometime this year preferably. Within is the first one to read, mostly because its a lighter book to carry around as I venture around long treks to the festival with my Chromebook.

PLAYING

Linelight

Currently playing: Linelight

Currently hooked on Linelight, a minimalist indie puzzle game that I picked up during the Steam Summer sale. It definitely lives up to expectations and has an amazing soundtrack. I’m still in the first world of puzzles so its going to be a while until I finish it but its a nice gaming dose everyday.

WATCHING

little monsters

  • The Hate U Give
  • Creed 2

Fantasia Festival movies

With Fantasia about, its hard to not pick one of the movies that I’ve seen at the festival and hope that it circulates soon to a big screen or digital or something or another. I can’t say that I’ve seen anything too horrible this week however my first movie at Fantasia definitely had the best balance, execution and pacing out of the all the movies in the first 4 days of the festival. Almost all the reviews should be up so you can check out the links above in case you missed any of them. I can’t not give a mention to The Hate U Give which was an amazing movie (and makes me want to read the book) while Creed 2 was a disappointment. As for Fantasia, other than Little Monsters winning my heart, Paradise Hills was also pretty neat with some fantastic ideas especially for the sci-fi fantasy fans out there.

BINGING

Your Highness Class Monitor

  • “Your Highness” The Class Monitor

Currently binging: Love Signal 2, River Flows to You, Go Go Squid!, The Coming One III

Your Highness Class Monitor ended early in the week. I have some thoughts about this one and it had a lot to do with a change in perspective in how I felt about the characters and a bit of disjointedness in the series. I have a huge delay in TV binge right now that I’m working hard to catch up on but I might get this one done before, if I find time. However, in the currently binging is mostly new shows as I start River Flows to You and Go Go Squid!, the latter definitely winning my heart so far.

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

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Guest Podcast: MBDS Showcase (Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist/Little Miss Sunshine)

Who knew that I’d be back doing movie podcasting as a guest, right?

I love video game podcasting. Its been a fun, new and great adventure. For this episode, my Game Warp co-host Elwood Jones, who is also the host of his own podcast, Mad Bad and Downright Strange Showcase asked me on a second time to talk about a pair of movies in his 1001 cult film list that he aims to work through. The first time is this one HERE, and it was actually how we ended up meeting up and then soon after, started up Game Warp. A nice little story of how friendships happen on blogging and also why I love doing this so much.

On that note, last time we picked a pair of Hong Kong action films. This time around, I wanted something I was familiar with and remained slightly light so we went with a pair of movies that I love to absolute bits, which also gave me the excuse to watch them again and they are Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist and Little Miss Sunshine! Who knew that I missed movie podcasting so much, right? With that said, it was a fun episode to record.

Here it is! (I can’t embed the player for Podomatic somehow so please click on the link to open up the player.)

https://podomatic.com/embed/html5/episode/8280642?autoplay=false

Hope you enjoyed it!
Remember to check out MBDS Showcase if you enjoyed!

Netflix A-Z: How I Live Now (2013)

Next up in the Netflix us How I Live Now! I have been meaning to watch this since its release. I am a huge fan of Saoirse Ronan. I have yet to see a movie I dislike of hers. I am hoping to catch Brooklyn soon. With this indie focus on this round, this was the obvious choice.

Lets check it out!

How I Live Now (2013)

How I Live Now

Director: Kevin Macdonald

Cast: Saoirse Ronan, George MacKay, Tom Holland, Harley Bird, Anna Chancellor, Danny McEvoy

An American girl, sent to the English countryside to stay with relatives, finds love and purpose while fighting for her survival as war envelops the world around her.-IMDB

How I Live Now is a good indie drama. The standout is the attention it takes to build its characters, particularly Saoirse Ronan’s Daisy. Her character is one with a lot of inner conflict and as the world embarks on the brink of World War 3, her control is lost as she finds someone worth her distraction and worth her fight and focus. In comparison, many other characters don’t have as much with the exception of her little cousin, Piper. This aspect of relationships is where it gets a little blurry. What is acceptable, is her love interest her cousin, her mother’s sister’s son? That had me a little confused but quickly pushed it aside.

How I Live Now

The setting of How I Live Now is also quite good. While it takes us in an indie drama and adds in a young adult romance, it is more of a coming of age story for Daisy as she learns what is worth her time and embraces what she wants for herself and how she wants to live. Hence the title. At the beginning, we follow Daisy gain a fondness and break out of her control and focus on whatever it is that fleets through her mind. It is carefree until it isn’t. How I Live Now puts in a fictional situation (because it is World War 3) of living in the times of war that makes it desperate and escalates the danger and obstacles. The war aspect is also treated in extremes especially in various scenes. There is a dramatic take (as it should be) when approaching the effects of war as the country salvages what they can and it never draws out what is actually going on but definitely highlights on turmoil.

How I Live Now

We can however take some of the blurry plotlines as perhaps a lost in translation deal. How I Live Now is adapted from a novel of the same name. While I haven’t read the novel yet, it does beg the question as to whether the scenario itself was half hidden or that some issues were not highlighted, leaving questions like what is the actual relationship between Daisy and her cousins, especially the love of her life Eddie. There are questions as to why the war all started and why there seems a division between the military and perhaps rogue gangs that took advantage of the turmoil. There was a questions as to what happened to Daisy and why she has all those thoughts in her head. There are a lot of questions that could be answered and perhaps if it was all added into an 100 minutes movie, it would make it convoluted. However, there is a part of me that felt like something wasn’t complete at the end. And perhaps that the focus wasn’t built enough for us to care about some of the younger cast in order to feel for them when they were all split apart.

how i live now

Regardless of its minor flaws, How I Live Now is a good independent drama. One that takes a different approach to young love in a brutal near-future setting when the world is collapsing at the brink of war. It is a coming of age story for Saoirse Ronan’s outstanding performance as Daisy as she finds her focus and hope for things that truly matter to her and turn them into a motivation. Its her choice how to live as her world falls apart and slowly comes back together. A very good message portrayed in a pretty effective way with some great performances: How I Live Now is worth a watch, especially if you are like me and adore Saoirse Ronan.

Have you seen How I Live Now?

Next up is I selection! Any guesses?