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?

Advertisements

What’s Up Week 27: Slowing Down

As the coverage season (at least for me) approaches, things are slowing down mostly because time becomes less and its the process to just not burn out on certain types of writing before getting to the main thing.

READING

Lifelike

  • Lifelike by Jay Kristoff

Currently reading: The Serpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars

Its been a long time but I finally wrapped up Lifelike (and got a mild sunburn in the process). I have some pros and cons to Lifelike for sure. Putting obvious fatigue and and being preoccupied with other things aside, Lifelike did take me a little while to get into so I have some issues with it but at the same time, its a good comparison for Jay Kristoff as a solo author writing sci-fi and his ideas while comparing them to when he teams up and co-wrote the Illuminae Trilogy. That review is coming up soon-ish.

PLAYING

Seeing as it was an event coverage weekend, gaming was not really that much at home. Instead, I did try out a few games at Montreal Comiccon. You can find the recap of the Indie Game Zone HERE. Below are some games that we had a chance to try out:

I linked up the Steam pages in case you ever are interested and wanted to check it out!

Other than that, its been pretty much the same as I’ve been on the move mostly so playing mostly mobile games:

  • PinOut
  • Two Dots

I’m going to be honest that I don’t think gaming is going to be too vibrant. But I have skipped two mobile games roundups for Game Warp so the hope is to get one of those up by the end of July as I have been playing a lot of mobile games.

WATCHING

the virgin suicides

  • Lick the Star (short)
  • The Virgin Suicides

Movies and Tea is still in its After Hours episodes with only one of three episodes released. Due to my busy schedule, Elwood and I had decided to get the first episode Season 3 recorded to just get things started. Our next author, in case you don’t follow the Movies and Tea Facebook page, is Sofia Coppola. We chose her for multiple reasons. One of them being that her movies are more dramatic which definitely is a change from Paul W.S. Anderson and Guillermo Del Toro. We kick off with The Virgin Suicides, which I had seen only a few years ago but I don’t think I reviewed because I couldn’t quite grasp how I felt about it overall. This time though, I tried really hard to make sense of it all and notice the little things. I’m not going to talk too much about it as you can hear it all on the upcoming episode.

BINGING

Stranger Things S3

  • Umbrella Academy (Season 1, 2019)
  • Stranger Things (Season 3, 2019)

Currently binging: Love Signal, River Flows To You, “My Highness” The Class Monitor

Back to some Netflix TV binging for us this past week as the husband was on his vacation (well, staycation). I wanted to check out The Umbrella Academy for the Montreal Comiccon and wrapped that up during the beginning of the week. Maybe on Canada Day. Then the husband got really excited about Stranger Things Season 3 launching on Thursday and started that up right away so despite media coverage season, I still found some energy to watch it and I think, we binged it over evenings. I’m prioritizing the TV binge for Stranger Things and Umbrella Academy so it should come out over this month some time. Its already in the works.

As for the currently binging stuff, My Highness should end next week whereas River Flows To You and Love Signal is still in early stages. For the moment, I’m not starting anything new until after July. At thats the plan…but you never know with a new season for Queer Eye, Sugar Rush and Orange is the New Black coming up in July, its going to be hard to resist.

That’s it for this week’s Whats Up!

Montreal Comiccon 2019 – What to Do and See

Montreal Comiccon

I’ve been covering Montreal Comiccon for the last few years mostly for Game Warp and shared some of the cosplay and hauls over here but have never really talked about Montreal Comiccon in depth. This year, I’m thinking that there are some fun little bits to highlight as a beginner’s guide to Montreal Comiccon, in case you are in town and might consider it a fun event or think its one that you’d like to check out at some time in the future (just a guideline since guests and such change every year, as expected).

The 11th annual Montreal Comiccon starts today on July 5th and runs throughout the weekend to end on July 7th at Palais de Congres in downtown Montreal. Over the three days, there are over 200 activities including panels, workshops, concerts, masquerade, improv, board games, screenings, autographs sessions, photo ops and more related to all things pop culture: anime, movies, TV, comic books, gaming.

On interesting fact to know is that all kids five and under go in for free all three days, while kids ages 6 to 12 get free admission on Friday and Sunday.

Here’s some of the highlights of whats to come over this weekend, for further info, you can find the schedule HERE.

GAMING

Set in the vibrant game development scene of Montreal where not only multiple AAA studios has their offices or headquarters, there are even more independent game developers lurking in every corner. One of the big highlights of Montreal Comiccon for gamers is the Indie Gaming Zone. Indie Gaming Zone will have many game developers showing off their games recently released and in development along with their playable demos so that you can experience it and share your thoughts with them as well.  We will be  having coverage for the Indie Game Zone over at the Game Warp Blog (as well as on That Moment In) during this weekend.

In other gaming highlights: Dreamhack doesn’t hit Montreal until September but before that, you can get a taste of it at the Dreamhack Gaming Zone where there will be a VR station to try out some VR games while also having a PC Freeplay Zone. You can also find the Tabletop Gaming area where there will be an assortment of board games to try out with your friends. While if you are in a more competitive mood and up for a challenge, there are activities for Combat Archery and Rage  Academy (Axe-Throwing) that you can check out.

Gaming also has a good few panels. From the more technical game concepts like Fantasy Map-Making to Narrative Nightmares & Lessons Learned which will talk about writing video games to the basics of launching your game via crowdfunding, Crowdfunding 101. There are also panels on specific games like Jurassic World Alive, Overwatch and Watch Dogs 2.

MOVIES & TV

Movies is a big part of the pop culture with multiple franchises having their cast show up to talk in Q&A panels. At the same time, they are also available for photo ops and autographs. Some of the highlights would be Harry Potter franchise has James & Oliver Phelps and  Tom Felton. Set in the same universe, Dan Fogler from Fantastic Beasts movies is also there. Star Wars fans can see Ray Park.

Disney fans will be happy to find Jim Cummings, the voice actor of Winnie the Pooh and Darkwing Duck as well as Paige O’Hara, the voice actress of Belle in Beauty and the Beast. You can also find Ethan Peck from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (who might be there for the more recent Star Trek: Discovery) while in the superheroes movie world, Shazam!‘s Evan Marsh is also present. Fans of Highlander and Mortal Kombat can see Christopher Lambert in a panel. For fans of Quentin Tarantino films, you can also check out the panel with Michael Madsen.

The guest of honor does have to go to Elijah Wood who has not only TV series under his belt but also The Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as various indie horror films in his filmography.

This year’s TV-related guests has an incredible line-up. There will be The 100 panel with Bob Morley, Eliza Taylor and Tasya Teles. The much more recent The Umbrella Academy has Robert Sheehan and Cameron Brodeur also in a panel together. Lana Parilla will be there if you are a fan of Once Upon A Time.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

Of course, that is just touching on the categories we cover here. Anime, cosplayers, comic book artists (Dan Parent, Kevin Eastman, etc) as well as wrestlers, MMA (Georges St-Pierre) and kickboxing figures will also be there this weekend. If you need a break, the Artist Alley and Exhibition Hall is always a nice place to check out a ton of cool merchandise and of course, some great art from different artists based on pop culture in their own style.

That’s it for this general guide!
We’ll be covering Montreal Comiccon and will be having Day 1, 2 and 3 recaps.

What’s Up – Week 24 (Somewhat) Back to Normal

What's Up

As we reach almost the halfway point of 2019, things are starting to come together again. Its going to be short-lived because July could possibly be super busy again. However, for now, there’s a little bit of everything this week.

READING

Lifelike

Currently reading: Lifelike

As I reach the halfway point of Lifelike, I’m starting to have a better idea of the story and its decent, especially in terms of the ideas and creativity. I’m still not too sure on how I’m feeling about the whole thing just yet. It has a good few action sequences but then some bits have some pacing issues in the first half.

PLAYING

Cris Tales

  • Cris Tales (Demo)

E3 has wrapped up and while there wasn’t a whole lot of demos to check out online in the aftermath, Cris Tales was a game that caught my eye at the PC Gaming Show and offered a debut demo on Steam which I got to check out. Its definitely one that I’m looking forward to even more after playing the demo. There full voice over for the characters for the dialogue, the combat system is pretty cool plus the animation is gorgeous.

WATCHING

the perfect storm

  • Tracers
  • Ultraviolet (2006)
  • The Perfect Storm (rewatch)

I have to admit that I’m going through a bit of a slump in the movie reviews department lately. It might have to do with all the lackluster movies I’ve been watching. While things are looking slightly better this week, I had hoped to get more movies done. But things should change soon, seeing as TV series are slowing down a little (unless I find something else to get obsessed over). My choice for this one has to go to the rewatch selection of The Perfect Storm which I watched for the upcoming Remembering James Horner Blogathon over at Film Music Central. However, aside from some below par acting, Tracers actually wasn’t as bad as I had thought it might be.

BINGING

le coup de foudre

  • Le Coup de Foudre (2019)

Currently binging: Love Timing, Accidentally in Love (rewatch), Your Highness My Class Monitor, Great Escape

Probably currently ranking the top favorite Chinese drama I’ve seen in the past year, Le Coup de Foudre is one that I’m excited to talk about because its written so well and the characters are also done really well and tone is also balanced. This is one TV binge that I’m looking forward to do. Of course, I’m also doing some rewatching of Accidentally in Love. Great Escape is coming to an end soon, as it only has one wrap-up episode left and Love Timing has 2 episodes left so I’m almost out of variety shows also. Its a good thing because as festival season starts in July, I don’t want any distractions anyways. Although, the plan now during the hopefully quieter season is to finish up those series that I started but didn’t finish (Flipped, Mr. Swimmer, All Out of Love and Behind the Scenes).

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

What’s Up Week 23

Week 23 is upon us. This week was pretty average and it was a lot of gathering energy and preparing (as much as possible) for the E3 2019 event. I’ll talk more about that in the Playing section. As for now, let’s just see what’s gone on this past week!

READING

Osgoode As Gold

  • Osgoode As Gold (Toronto Comics #5)

Currently reading: Lifelike

Taking a moment to dive into graphic novels was a nice change in pace. Osgoode As Gold from Toronto Comics was pretty good. The stories each had their style just like anthologies are and because of that, there is a lot of creativity set in the bustling city of Toronto both set in reality and fantasy. The review for it should be coming up soon. After much debate, I decided to read Lifelike, which is a solo project from Jay Kristoff who is the co-author of The Illuminae Files which I love a ton. I’m still fairly early in Lifelike so lots to see before I can say how I feel about it.

PLAYING

 

Its E3 time everyone! No games except preparation for the event then a lot of press conference coverages and recaps to put together.
If you missed it, we covered all the key conferences and whatever other smaller ones, we will be doing in the podcast recap. I’m not sure what will be done by the time this post goes live but for now, here are our recaps. It was a fairly star-studded occasion so maybe it’ll bring some movie fans who aren’t gamers yet to test the waters.

E3 always gives us a kick in the behind to get back into gaming with a lot of demos and new releases to want to try out or add to our long list of games to play.

WATCHING

I Am Mother

  • Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong (rewatch) Review
  • I am Mother (2019)
  • The Super

Currently watching: Tracers

I don’t usually do a currently watching for movies but I happen to be in the middle of a movie since the weekend and haven’t had time to return to it just yet.

As for the movies watched last week, the first was a rewatch for Friday Film Club. You can check out our double feature HERE. The next two movies were chosen by the husband for the weekend viewings. His first choice went to the newly released sci-fi Netflix Original, I am Mother which has its issues but overall, its a pretty decent movie. The second is The Super which I don’t really want to talk much about right now as its held up by probably one element and a lot of it falls apart.

BINGING

Produce Camp 2019

  • Produce Camp 2019

Currently binging: Le Coup de Foudre, Class Monitor “Your Highness”, Love Timing

Honestly, its a lot of the same going on. I’m trying to tone down on TV because I have too much stuff thats just sitting on the pile and not done in every single category. With E3 taking over, it also lowered the amount of time for TV. Plus, I was hooked on the latest episode of Love Timing and kept playing it in the background over and over again. Luckily, there’s a new episode out now. I have to say, that show has increasingly been a fun experience and while I think Dream Space has its merit, perhaps this formula might just work a little better. Still a few episodes to go, so we’ll see how it comes together at this point.

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

What’s Up-Week 22

June is finally among us but the weather here definitely doesn’t feel like its anywhere near the summer. Perhaps its also the reason why we’ve been less in the mood for certain things and more just doing nothing. Whatever it is, this week still went relatively well. There was some time-crunching (particularly in the reading department) and some random spontaneous things (mostly with movie choices) and then some inactive bits as well.

READING

The Space Between Time

  • The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw (Review)

Currently reading: Osgoode as Gold (Toronto Comics #5)

Despite a bit of a time crunch to get the book finished and reviewed for the month-long blog tour for The Space Between Time, it finally was done and the book while unsure at first, turned out to really pull itself together and became one that actually made me think a little about it. The review is already out so you can check it out in the link above. After finishing this second book from Charlie Laidlaw, I have to say that he is a very creative author with some really nice ideas and plot execution. I’m looking forward to what else he has to offer.

Taking a little novel reading break to cut through some of the heavier reading I’ve had, I decided to check out another graphic novel that I’ve had (and I think contributed to on Kickstarter) called Osgoode as Gold which is the fifth instalment of Toronto Comics. I’ve been reading books for Toronto Comics for the last few years and its always delivered. You can check out the review for its 4th instalment HERE.

PLAYING

NOTHING…

We haven’t finished The Witness however also didn’t move forward in it either. I am however playing a bunch of mobile games on the go. Suffice to say that things are a bit behind as May Mobile Games Round-up hasn’t gone up yet but will very soon (if not already when this post has gone up). Its been a bit of a search for games and a lot has gone down to spontaneity and more like a one sitting game than something more long-form hence why not mentioned as currently playing but more suitable for the surprise in the roundup post. I have worked out a list of what to play next so worries. Game Warp took a bit of a hiatus as we sorted out a bunch of other things but we are also resting up to come back in full force with E3 only a few days away.

You should definitely follow our blog to see all the coverage for it including recaps on all the conferences, podcast recaps as well as Top 10 Indie and Top 10 Mainstream Games. It’ll be a busy week or two coming up but we’re gearing up for it.

WATCHING

the ritual

  • Perfect Stranger
  • Red Riding Hood
  • Hoodwinked! (rewatch)
  • The Ritual

Good thing is that movies are back on track. I was running a bit low on the double feature content so had to get to some solo movie watching for the P and R selection. They were pretty average in my opinion but I’ll talk more about it in the upcoming double feature. I ended up doing a rewatch which I realized that I hadn’t reviewed either however, it was for a Friday Film Club HERE. Putting aside the rewatch, the most impressive movie out of what I’ve watched is The Ritual. It had some troupes as does most horror thriller in the woods sort of style has BUT…they do a few things really well and the threat is also put together effectively. Netflix Original movies are a bit iffy sometimes but I’d say this one is a definite win. Review coming up since it seems maybe I’ll have a double R selection also.

BINGING

beautiful youth

  • Beautiful Youth (Season 1, 2019)

Currently binging: Le Coup de Foudre, Produce Camp 2019, Your Highness “Class Monitor”, Great Escape, Love Timing

I’m trying to lower the TV binging right now. Its getting a bit numbing sometimes. However, I did burn through the entire Beautiful Youth season just in time for the season finale to air. Man, that is one good show that I’d love to see them do a Season 2 but with hopefully the same crew or at least a majority of the same crew. Plus, it had such a nice travel and reality show blend while getting to know some of the new talent in the entertainment business. Its a really nice blend especially to see these bromance develop as well. Everything is coming to near end with Great Escape at episode 10 or 11 (variety shows usually has 12 episodes per season) and Produce Camp 2019 also is at their 9th episode with the final live show coming up as well which will also be the last episode. Le Coup de Foudre also is ending soon with only about 6 to 8 episodes left. The new addition this time is Love Timing which is a little past halfway but I just started it, literally one episode a day to catch up. Its a show similar to Dream Space (which was on MangoTV) but run by iQiyi. Plus, a new TV series, Your Highness “Class Monitor” (which makes me wonder if its a same category as Accidentally In Love because of the similarity in their Chinese titles) which is also quite fun so far but I’m liking the second male lead 6 episodes in, which has been a while that I’ve gone back onto that route.

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

What’s Up Week 19

Another week and things are pretty much back on track. Some new things, some currently ongoing and some things finally wrapped up! Its a fun little bit of stuff here and there which is always good.

READING

Justice For Belle

  • Justice For Belle by Didi Oviatt

Currently reading: Crossline by Russ Colchamiro

Working on some ARCs and upcoming blog tour things in the reading department. Justice For Belle releases soon (May 15th) and the review is going up shortly after that time as I wrapped up the novel last week

PLAYING

danganronpa trigger happy havoc

Currently playing: Danganronpa Happy Trigger Havoc

A serious lack in gaming this week but I’m set on working further on Danganronpa while at the same time, I’m trying out some new mobile games for the next mobile games roundup as usual.

WATCHING

Deep Blue Sea

  • The Shape of Water – rewatch (review)
  • Deep Blue Sea

A week of rewatches specifically all for Movies and Tea preparation for recordings! The Shape of Water is the final film in our Guillermo Del Toro season two journey and then we head into our first after hours episode with our shark week selection. As usual, we have three after hours episodes upcoming after The Shape of Water is released. I won’t say too much about it.

BINGING

  • The Brightest Star in the Sky (2019)
  • Idol Producer (Season 1, 2018)

Currently binging: Put Your Head On My Shoulder, Le Coup de Foudre, Dream Space, Produce Camp 2019, Flipped

Finally wrapped up Idol Producer from 2018 which was last year’s season that sparked Nine Percent and a bunch of other entertainment company’s also introduced their own boy groups after their artists have more popularity from this show. I realized that the Idol Producer for this year had actually ended just in April or something so I’ll be checking that out once I’m done with Produce Camp 2019. I realize that I can’t watch two at the time or else I mix up the contestants. As for The Brightest Star in the Sky, that finished up with 2 episodes dropping into the following week and its a really great show. I think that the ending kind of jumped a bit quick to wrap things up in terms of the natural progression of things but it still has its priorities in its plot. I’ll talk more once I get the TV binge done. Just toss it into the backlog pile ;).

Most of the shows I’m watching right now is currently updated every week. Put Your Head On My Shoulder is in its final week or two. Le Coup de Foudre stars the very fun to watch Janice Wu and is also a relatively short series at about short of its halfway point, I think. Produce Camp 2019 is going on at a weekly basis and I do participate on the Weibo voting when I catch it before the time zone difference cut off time. In my mind, there’s slowly a good idea of what the 11 members of this group might be although, the participants keep improving and having different shining points. While Dream Space is supposed to be preparing for its 2nd season but I’m still watching the first one where its a somewhat social matchmaking sort of show but very different from what I’ve seen from the US or Canada and while I don’t review a lot of these shows, I think I might actually talk about it in a TV binge once I finish.

That’s it for this week’s What’s Up!

What have you been watching/reading/binging/playing?