Podcast: Guest on Asian Cinema Film Club for God of Cookery

Its with great pleasure that I get invited onto my Game Warp co-hosts other podcast project with Stephen of Eastern Kicks to talk about 1996’s Stephen Chow comedy God of Cookery. While its probably not my favorite of Stephen Chow movies, our discussion was a fun one as we got to share our love for his work and what works for this movie and why this might be a good entry point for many that shows off who Stephen Chow is at his best before his outstanding directorial and/or acting roles in Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle as well as 2016’s The Mermaid.

As I figure out a great way to introduce Hong Kong cinema into my blog, guest duties on Asian Cinema Film Club definitely made me feel all great about it because Stephen Chow was my entry into film initially.

Since embedding Podomatic players don’t exactly work here (or I haven’t figured it out yet), here’s the link:

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/acfilmclub/episodes/2018-01-17T14_43_23-08_00

Thanks for listening!
If you love all kinds of Asian Cinema, remember to check out the AC Film Club’s other episodes!

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Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection, Volume 1 by Hope Nicholson

All the backlog of 2017 is finally done with books! Moonshot is the first book of 2018 to be read. I’m going through my book hauls from last year so Toronto Comiccon yielded this book and another that I have just started to read as I’m writing this up. AH Comics are the ones who put this compilation out of Indigenous stories told by various illustrators and writers. I had picked up this one and gotten Titan: An Alternate History, where you can check out that review HERE.

Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection, Volume 1
by: Hope Nicholson

moonshot

From traditional stories to exciting new visions of the future, this collection presents some of the finest comic book and graphic novel work in North America. The traditional stories presented in the book are with the permission from the elders in their respective communities, making this a truly genuine, never-before-seen publication. MOONSHOT is an incredible collection that is sure to amaze, intrigue and entertain! – Goodreads

Moonshot is a beautiful indigenous comics collection. The variety and the diversity of its stories really had a wonderful touch to the traditions and storytelling nature that the culture has been known for. For myself, there is a lot of unknowns since I have never dug deep however ever since I’ve played the game Never Alone, its somewhat peaked my interest in learning more because there is just so much to learn from the different tribes (if that’s the right world). Each story is preceded with a blurb about the story’s origins and the approach it takes. Some of them stay true to the roots and look at possibly one angle of retelling while some has taken a story and injected into a futuristic world however still managing to portray its essence. Its genuine and knowledgeable while being entertaining as well.

Moonshot is a collection of 13 stories and while I really don’t want to have to evaluate each of them, here are the few that I liked the most:

  • Vision Quest: Echo: This story kicks off the compilation in such a creative way. It says in the beginning introduction blurb that its told uniquely in Indian Sign Language. There is a beauty of seeing the story unfold through elaborate pictures put together like a collage in some ways. Its a powerful and meaningful story told in such an effective way.
  • Ochek: What grabs me the most about this story is its art style and how it tells the story with anamorphic creatures heading out to look for warmth to help their families survive the cold harsh winter. It links it to the well-known constellations which adds on a new meaning and lessons to this story.
  • UE-Purcase: Water Master: A lovely twist of this story shows how lessons learned in these stories are timeless as this story is retold in the collection set in the distant future where people live out in space. The world here and the art along with the story is told so well.
  • Strike and Plot: Also set in the future, Strike and Plot resembles a lot of the story of God of Thunder and Lightning because here the sons posses the power of lightning and electricity respectively. They are sent on a mission that comes back with an unexpected outcome. The art and the world is very nice and the story is engaging.
  • Tlicho Nàowo: This story takes place on Halloween however, it is a story about paying respect to spirits and ancestor and the herds that feed them. The meaning stems deep and is a nice extension of how the indigenous Tlicho would celebrate their Halloween.
  • Ayanisach: Ayanisach means ‘he who tells stories of the past’ in Cree. With that said, this story uses a brilliant art style set in the future to emphasize the importance of storytelling to learn the past to improve on their future. Also one of the final dialogue in the story.

To be fair, a lot of the stories here are very stylistic. Whether it is the way that they choose to tell it in their words and/or the art style. These six are really the ones that appealed to me the most however, I was impressed by all of them. Its an enjoyable read and one that is very educational and entertaining as we learn about different groups (tribes? not sure how to say that) from different places in North America and their stories. Its definitely a creative way to share it.

We’re 7! [Vlog]

Hello all! Today is a special day! Tranquil Dreams turns 7 today! 

According to WordPress, my blogiversary is actually in October but I launched the blog officially back in 2011 on January 17th as I started up the mission to be positive and from there, its truly expanded into a slightly imperfect, most times disorganized, full of procrastination and a journey full of lessons and new things sort of versatile little world.

I’ve wanted to do a vlog for my blogiversary for at least the last 3 years but always bailed out due to not liking it so much. After 3 takes and still not being too satisfied with it after a ton of editing, I decided to just upload it! Its slightly longer than I would like, but I tend to ramble, more so when I’m sick apparently, so forgive me if this gets boring. The idea is that I’d like to thank you all for being a part of this Tranquil Dreams journey!

Thanks for watching! 🙂

At least you can see here why I shy away from vlogs so much or any video content with myself talking..haha!
However, I am serious about the idea to have more video content and probably things less lengthy at about 5 to 10 minutes.

Recap: Goodfood #11

Goodfood has really been a great experience so far. We’ve learned so much about foods from different cultures and also, learning how to make different meals and just seeing what works for us and doesn’t. This box has some really interesting ingredients and recipes that we were looking forward to try out because it looks tasty. The highlight for this box was kumquats which I’ve seen before as it is an asian citrus fruit but never actually cooked anything with personally. These boxes have also helped us fall into a fantastic routine where we alternate cooking weeks between us so that we get to both share the cooking and the dishwashing responsibilities (for the most part). A little slice of our everyday lives shared here as well, I suppose!

Let’s check out the menu!

Spiced Vegetable Tagine with Couscous

Spiced Vegetable Tagine

My husband volunteered to make this meal which was incredibly sweet of him, especially with these vegetarian meals, they are just a chopping nightmare. I’m possibly the clumsiest and slowest chopper in the world so anything with this amount of chopping just means, I’ll stand there for the at least 30% longer than the recipe says chopping away carefully so that I don’t end up chopping my finger or something. However, the Spiced Vegetable Tagine was great. It had sweet potatoes and eggplants and zucchinis and the tastes meshed together perfectly. My only deal with it is that I’m not a fan of this type of couscous so I really would prefer to not use this type anymore. The sauce did however help make it blend in a little better.

Roasted Chicken, Potatoes & Nantes Carrots with Kumquat & Shallot Pan-Sauce

goodfood

The highlight of the box was kumquat and it was incorporated in the sauce here. Making this dish was pretty fun. It was some roasting and the way they roasted the chicken first with cooking on the pan and then popping it in the oven actually makes the chicken have a fantastic texture. On top of that, the sauce matched well and the vegetables balanced out the flavors and spices. Both my husband and I loved this meal a lot.

Potato & Pea Baked Samosas with Mango Chutney & Boston Lettuce Salad

Goodfood

We’re not big on any of the meals that have Indian spices mostly because it makes the house and fingers smell like the spices at least the next 24 hours. I scrubbed and the faint smell on my fingers were still there. However, for myself, it was worth it. I thought the samosas were really fantastic. The mango chutney Goodfood provided meshed with it perfectly and the filling was delicious and easy to make. My husband was okay with it but not too enthusiastic.

Ground Pork Bulgogi Bowl with Marinated Cucumbers and Jasmine Rice

goodfood

We’ve been a huge fans of these bowls and one pot meals and stuff like that. Its really nice and efficient. They are easy to put together. The recipe here works really well as its smart to start marinating the cucumbers right at the start of the menu. It also added a little bit of vinegar in the rice that gave it a nice touch. The meal itself was delicious and simple but worked well together. My husband was a huge fan of it as was I. A definitely winning recipe here.

Overall…this box was quite the winner. We had two meals where we both loved a lot. One where we liked quite a bit and only one meal that we were split on. My fave does have to go to the roasted chicken though. I learned quite a bit from that meal alone especially since we love cooking chicken.

Bring it On: Worldwide #Cheersmack (2017)

Finally, the last movie of 2017 went to a rather random choice of watching the latest Bring it On called Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmack. Its really not that out of the world since the last time I watched all the Bring It On was when I was preparing for New Year’s Eve dinner a few years back. I guess the brainless entertainment part of these films tend to make them okay to put on as it doesn’t take a lot of attention and energy. I honestly don’t have high hopes for this one but I figured why not, since I had already seen the previous five (or something).

Let’s check it out!

Bring it On: Worldwide #Cheersmack (2017)

bring it on worldwide cheersmack

Director: Robert Adetuyi

Cast: Christine Prosperi, Jordan Rodrigues, Gia Lodge O’Meally, Sven Ruygrok, Sophie Vavasseur, Stephan Benson, Vivica A. Fox

When Destiny (Prosperi), captain of three-time national champions “The Rebels,” is challenged to a global cheer showdown by an edgy new team called “The Truth,” the Cheer Goddess organizes a virtual battle for squads from all around the world. – IMDB

Over the past five Bring It On movies, I have learned to embrace its formula. Some of them are pretty silly to watch but because of the cast or some cool cheerleading moves, it somehow still is in my memory a little. Unfortunately, Bring It On: Worldwide Cheersmack really doesn’t have much of that. It is incredibly flawed and frankly, there were moments that were downright annoying. If you venture here for a while, you do know that I am quite lenient on certain films particularly of the guilty pleasure variety but there was no guilt and no pleasure. I did however spend a lot of time rolling my eyes.

Bring It On Worldwide Cheersmack

Bring It On: Worldwide Cheersmack is lacking in many things. It tries to add suspense to its story by bringing in a mysterious squad called The Truth Squad. However, that falls flat because the mystery doesn’t stay hidden for very long. There were a lot of ridiculous over the top moments and a lot of forced dialogue. Vivica A. Fox played the Cheer Goddess which had some interesting outfits but it was so very weird to watch perhaps even bordering cringe worthy. I’m not going to point out the formula because these movies clearly have that because I’ve always defended that formulaic films when done well with their own twist do have some entertaining factors but this one sadly missed the mark.

bring it on worldwide cheersmack

I don’t like just putting down films because obviously, trying to make films are hard especially when its the 6th one. I personally think Bring It On should probably be left alone at this point but then, some people believe that Step Up should be left alone like 4 films ago but I still enjoy them so what do I know, right? With that said, I did find a few positives here. For one, I liked the love interest here, Blake played by Jordan Rodrigues. I has come to my attention that he is in a TV show called The Fosters which I’ve heard of but never seen. Its on Netflix so I’ll try to check it out soon. Aside from that, there were some nice messages here enforced through the relationship between Blake and Destiny, our main girl here who needs to put down her ego and of course, Blake is the one who helps her see the important things in life other than her popularity. A respectable and important message to sometimes put aside social media and the internet and embrace real life and real people and notice the beautiful things around us. Finally, I can’t decide if its a pro or a con so I’ll take it as a respectable homage from the team here to put into their routines for the finale a few tastes of some of the past inspired difficult moves in previous Bring It On films. Why I don’t say that because I am no cheerleading expert and Canada doesn’t seem to have any cheerleading competitions (but I don’t look for it so we might) like in the US so I only know about cheerleading stuff through the five previous Bring It On movies and I don’t remember it all that well so they look familiar to what I remember being the highlight breakout moves that win the routines in previous Bring It On films but I can’t be sure. However, if it is, then call it copying if you want to be negative but I’d say its giving some respect to previous movies for the fans, I suppose.

bring it on: worldwide cheersmack

Overall, Bring It On: Worldwide Cheersmack is a rather lackluster viewing experience. The angle here somewhat works as it does seem to want to step towards the Step Up style in their films of meshing different styles together and the movies are done in a similar sort of formula meshed with a Bring It On formula. It doesn’t fully execute mostly because the characters here are quite annoying and lack in depth. There is a lot of the convenience of a decision that drives the film and you can see the conflict that it wants to put forward from the decision a character makes.

Announcement: Ultimate 70’s Blogathon!

Hello, my lovely friends!

Today is a special day! Drew from Drew’s Movie Reviews and I will be hosting our third blogathon this year! Following our past two year’s theme, we are continuing the Ultimate Decades. We went forward in time last year to the 90’s and now we’re going to the past as we dive into the 1970’s.

I’m excited to announce the Ultimate 70’s Blogathon!

Ultimate 70's blogathon

Why 1970s, you ask? 1970s had a lot of great films that came out. For starters, the second half of the decade saw the beginnings of some great franchises from being hunted by a giant lethal alien Xenomorph in Alien to being pumped up by Eye of the Tiger in Rocky. Of course it doesn’t stop there. The world was introduced to the frightening Michael Myers in Halloween and the shores of Amity Island was terrorized by a shark in Jaws. Of course, we can’t forget the more lighthearted movies that took us into a dancing and singing musical world in The Rocky Horror Picture Show which showed us how diverse Tim Curry’s acting is as he transformed into a mad scientist/transvestite as well as John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John experiencing a life-transforming love in Grease. And of course, we also got introduced to the Corleone family and their ruthless mafia ways in Godfather.

Just look at all those selections! I’m sure all of you have your reasons of what started your love for 70s movies whether you grew up with it or later was introduced by some iconic title. 70’s is a little before our time but we have found our love in 70’s film nonetheless and like previous years, we will be kicking off the blogathon with our choices.

For this blogathon, here’s our question for you: What 70’s movie do you love? What sparked your love for the 70’s? What movie do you think is a movie representative of the 70’s as a starting point? 

Ultimate 70’s Blogathon is quite simple like previous years. The rules are straight-forward: You can choose and review whichever movie you’d like as long as it was released in the 1970s. Preferably, it is a choice that inspired your love for this decade whether its one that you love watching over and over again or one that you grew up with or the movie that you simple love.

Ultimate 70’s Blogathon kicks off on February 12th, 2018. We have allocated 3 weeks to sign up and get us your posts. The deadline to send us your reviews is February 4th. However, we do fully acknowledge that everyone is busy so if you do need more time, just send us an email to tell us and we can plan accordingly. We will be posting it alternating between our two blogs so please remember to submit to us your review. If you do plan on posting it on your blog/website as well, do tell us and we will match up the posting day.

We really hope that you can participate! You can tell us whether you can participate in the comments below or send us an email at kim.tranquildreams@gmail.com and drewt510@gmail.com. We love to have your choice as a surprise so if you participate, please email us your selection as well. 

We’re looking forward to seeing all the choices and submissions! Feel free to use the banner above to show off at your sites! If you know anyone that might be interested in joining in, do spread the word! The more the merrier! 🙂

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?