Game Warp Podcast: 2017 Gaming in Review (with guest Insomnia Knights)

After a rather longer than usual hiatus due to the technical difficulties I’ve talked about  here before with my computer which does the video editing, we’re finally back with an overdue 2017 in review episode with our darling friend and guest Insomnia Knights. We talk about our thoughts on 2017 games and some games that stood out for us as well as some little tangents on Telltale Games and our feelings about the Nintendo Switch now that its finally released and has a few games released.

Do remember that this is 2 months after our recording. Better late than never, right?

Thanks for watching! Hope you enjoyed!
What are your thoughts on 2017 in Gaming?


P.S. I Still Love You (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before #2) by Jenny Han

If you missed the review of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, check it out here.

Rarely do I have back to back book reviews of the same series but To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was so awesome that I couldn’t resist to finish up the sequel, P.S. I Still Love You. And here we are with the review.

P.S. I Still Love You
(To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before)
by: Jenny Han

p.s. i still love you

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once? – Goodreads

Let’s just get this straight that P.S. I Still Love You is still quite the page turner. I finished it almost in one sitting and that is something that I haven’t done in quite a long time. However, as a sequel, this one does fall flat every once in a while. A few things going on here was fairly generic and I wasn’t particularly in agreement with some of the choices that Lara Jean made. But, one thing is for certain, Jenny Han writes and crafts some fantastic characters.

The Song sisters each are fun to read in their own way along with their dad in the little moments that they have. Lara Jean in particular is our girl here as the main character and she is very believable. 31 year old me may not agree with her choices but I still think back that 19 year old me in my first relationship when I had my first love and how I felt a lot of similar feelings. What is love, right? What is the right way to fall in love? Everyone approaches it differently and so does Lara Jean and Peter. Everyone also has their own burdens and baggage that they don’t want to share or just can’t.  It brings in the question of trust and loyalty. And its these traits that make them realistic and believable. Be it Lara Jean or Peter or the new addition, John. Its hard to wipe away the fact that they all are great to read and its even more apparent how well the characters are crafted and easy to connect to when their decisions evoke different feelings as I read it.

P.S. I Still Love You puts Lara Jean into a dilemma as she approaches her first real relationship. Its essentially the emotions of how much space to give and what type of girlfriend she wants to be and really how many barriers can you set or even how many rules can you make to prevent heartbreak? All these questions come together to craft up this first love and first relationship experience. Add in another love interest and neglect and lack of self-confidence and there you go. I mentioned before that this story has its faults of being generic but it delivers on being realistic although there are some aspects here that I don’t quite agree with. With that said, its more of a personal preference that I nitpick upon. It doesn’t wipe away the fact that this is a very fun novel to read.

Overall, P.S. I Still Love You is a worthy sequel. It lacks a little bit of the quirk and individuality that stood out in the first book, however its realistic and engaging characters definitely made this one a page turner.


Moana (2016)

Its a lovely Sunday morning! Nothing like talking about some Disney! Today’s we look at 2016’s Disney film, Moana.

Moana (2016)


Director: Ron Clements, John Musker, Don Hall, Chris Williams

Voice Cast: Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, Alan Tudyk

In Ancient Polynesia, when a terrible curse incurred by the Demigod Maui reaches Moana’s island, she answers the Ocean’s call to seek out the Demigod to set things right. – IMDB

The 2016 Disney film went to Moana. There was a lot of love for it because of its story and its strong female character and that this story isn’t the traditional princess finding a prince story but an independent girl following her destiny and saving her island. For all the above, I do like Moana a lot.



Is Moana my favorite Disney movie? It isn’t. I can think of a few that are better crafted. However, it is a solid entry and a nice way for Disney to embrace the stronger women image. We had started seeing it in Frozen with Elsa and now at Moana, she truly is doing what she can without the added love story (like in Mulan). There is nothing wrong with love stories and for my own roots, I loved to see Mulan get its spot in Disney even if the story was never about love but about her courage, bravery for her family, much like Moana’s is. Seeing that Moana took the angle to simply avoid the love story angle and be about her getting over her obstacles was a really nice take. Moana also is colorful and visually appealing. It has to do with the warm setting and the vast open sea adventure that she takes. It still has the magical element which works well. In terms of characters, it also has of course, Dwayne Johnson who plays Maui, the demigod who caused all the problems in the first place and she has to find to fix it all. There are some cute sidekicks like the Moana pig and a silly one which is a weird and dumb chicken called Heihei. The grandmother plays the other role as an inspirational figure and something of a guiding light.



Finally, a Disney film isn’t one without its musical elements. Moana definitely has a few fun and catchy songs. Our house is obsessed with You’re Welcome. The mention of it usually has that song stuck in our head for a while (guess what song is in my head now…). I can’t say that I love the soundtrack all that much though. It has some fun songs but nothing stuck a whole lot. But that might be because its so new and I haven’t watched it a ton of times. As nicely constructed and visually appealing as Moana is, its still somewhat of a good but not great experience. I love what its trying to do and it honestly all works together but somehow, I feel like its missing a certain grab for myself and I’m not completely sure why.

However, putting my own preferences aside, Moana is a well-crafted film. Its one that will have elements for both adults and children alike especially with its colorful environment and fun songs as well as its inspiring and silly characters, both human and animals. Its is a nice direction for Disney to take and I appreciate all of what it has achieved with Moana. Hopefully, we will be seeing more of these sort of films which help empower women characters and send them on some fun and adventurous quests.

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

And the first of my list of anticipated movies for 2018 was released as a surprise Netflix launch after the Super Bowl. To see what other movies made my 2018 anticipated list, check it out here. We did watch The Cloverfield Paradox that night and it definitely reflects on the backlog that it took this long to share my thoughts on it now. Lets check out the third movie in this Cloverfield universe.

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

cloverfield paradox

Director: Julius Onah

Cast: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Bruhl, John Ortiz, Chris O’Dowd, Aksel Hennie, Ziyi Zhang, Elizabeth Debicki, Roger Davies, Donal Logue

Orbiting a planet on the brink of war, scientists test a device to solve an energy crisis, and end up face-to-face with a dark alternate reality. – IMDB

The Cloverfield “franchise” (since there is only two other movies) has taken its viewers for quite a ride. To be honest, they benefited the most from a very strategic surprise and mystery sort of promotional campaign which keeps its audience guessing and the intrigue and anticipation is what drives most of it. I’m a fan of both Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane. Both had its issues but were entertaining and effective for what it tried to do. Of course, to link the two universes together was where it does fall apart a little. In this third installment of Cloverfield, The Cloverfield Paradox takes us to space with a bunch of astronauts who are trying to achieve a risky experiment that will essentially save Earth’s energy crisis. Just looking at the summary above, it already highlights some of the generic elements that you can expect in The Cloverfield Paradox. During the movie, elements of Event Horizon and Evil Dead will definitely be comparable here. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily as long as its executed well and for the most part, The Cloverfield Paradox is action-packed and suspenseful with hints of humor here and there and visually, its pretty lovely to watch. Is it a ground-breaking or memorable movie experience and lives up to the hype? No, it really isn’t. I watched it about a month ago and honestly, its starting to fade away. It did however make me want to revisit Event Horizon, a movie that has a criticism but I personally love a lot.

the cloverfield paradox

While the story and direction worked okay, despite its familiar territory, the cast here also portrays some very generic qualities of a space crew. There are a lot of familiar faces and to be fair, they all did a great job in their roles, even Ziyi Zhang (who I’m not a huge fan of). Chris O’Dowd provided the humor the story needed along with some of his banter with other characters. There was suspense and mystery surrounding some of them as well which kept it intriguing. There was drama particularly in the main character, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who delivered a nice performance. However, the problem was that the short run time and the pacing of the story gave these characters a lack of depth. We never had enough time with any one of them to make it feel remotely connected to sense a loss when they were in peril. The story itself kept it action-packed and constantly propelling it forward with accidents, deaths, dangerous situations, mystery, suspense and it was all over the place keeping the audience on its toes but somehow where it fell flat was the characters. I did like the international aspect of the characters because it had constant foreign language and some subtitle reading which kept it authentic.

cloverfield paradox

At this point, we have to look at The Cloverfield Paradox and how it fits into the franchise. If we talk about self-contained, well, this franchise is definitely self-contained since the connection sometimes seems like a rather far-fetched idea. It felt the same way with 10 Cloverfield Lane where the final part that somehow supposedly links back to its first movie was where I found it at its weakest. The same applies here, in fact, The Cloverfield Paradox is definitely the weakest link so far. It lacks an original story and lacks powerful characters. In terms of depth and connection, it actually just adds more questions to the whole Cloverfield world. At this point, the Cloverfield franchise is really just an anthology series with movies set in the same universe. Its not necessarily a problem but something more about this universe would be nice. I mean what is this universe afterall? When are these films set? We can assume that Cloverfield is the first film where we see these creatures or aliens invading the world. The world’s fallen apart in 10 Cloverfield Lane and definitely in The Cloverfield Paradox. What is the timeline though? You know, its nice to tease and play the guessing game and they have a strong promotional campaign team but at a certain point, it stops being fun and starts being just frustrating to follow, especially when if The Cloverfield Paradox is the commencement of the downward spiral in its quality.

cloverfield paradox

There are obvious entertaining elements of watching The Cloverfield Paradox. I didn’t hate it but thinking about it more, it felt quite shallow. They had a good cast that delivered good performances, a generic story that was visually done really well but still was very predictable and it had a mix of genre elements of riding between being serious and funny. However, The Cloverfield Paradox could have been any old sci-fi movie if it didn’t have the Earth segments. There are entertaining and tense, suspense-filled elements that work in the thriller world. Its decent for a one shot watch but honestly, it was a disappointment from the expectations after the first two films. I sure hope that if the Cloverfield world continues, it will take some time to try to find a more apparent link in the universe and add a little more substance.

Double Feature: A Bigger Splash (2015) & Baywatch (2017)

Time for the next double feature! I’m back on Netflix trying to get through some A-Z sequence, which I’ve failed the last few times due to different interruptions. I have a lot of catching up to do so here’s another go!

Let’s check it out!

A Bigger Splash (2015)

a bigger splash

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Cast: Tilda Swinton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ralph Fiennes, Dakota Johnson

The vacation of a famous rock star and her boyfriend in Italy is disrupted by the unexpected visit of an old friend and his daughter. – IMDB

A Bigger Splash is already set for success with its stellar cast. I’m personally a fan of everyone here, except maybe Dakota Johnson but that is only because I haven’t really watched anything from her or I don’t remember since I’ve a few of the titles listed on IMDB. I know she’s in Fifty Shades of Grey but I haven’t seen that either. I will however say that in terms of acting and the location, A Bigger Splash has set itself up with quite a nice touch. This cast acts their pants off (in some cases, literally) because its quite the psychological drama here as we dive into the relationships. The story takes place mostly in the present however, we still see the past of how Tilda Swinton’s character Marianne was when she was dating Ralph Fiennes character Harry and then how Harry sets her up with this younger director, Paul played by the incredibly handsome and talented Matthias Schoenaerts.

I can’t say that I was particularly charmed by the story itself so much as the characters themselves. The four characters here were distinctive in their own way and they each have their own mysteries and depth to explore. The contrast of the characters was what caused a lot of the friction. It was a test of tolerance and acceptance and just change in life that brought on different perspectives. In fact, that was the most thrilling part to watch the relationship and the tensions build throughout the film. However, it makes sure to have these diverse characters to still have these fun moments as much as the quieter moments.

Overall, A Bigger Splash is quite the movie experience. Its most attractive part is its visual location and its cinematography as well as its complex characters.

Baywatch (2017)


Director: Seth Gordon

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfanesh Hadera, Jon Bass

Devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon butts heads with a brash new recruit, as they uncover a criminal plot that threatens the future of the bay. – IMDB

For those who actually  had Baywatch, the TV series to compare with, they probably would have a lot of bad stuff to talk about. My husband definitely had his comparisons. However, I only watched maybe like 2 episodes of it in passing glance when I was young so I don’t really have anything to compare the source material. With that said, I am also a big fan of Dwayne The Rock Johnson because his films, no matter how dumb it may be, is always a harmless, entertaining time. Its mindless entertainment which happens to work in the beginning of 2018 as I’ve never been so busy and stressed before. With that said, there are obvious flaws with this film and it won’t be for everyone and its obvious it wasn’t since it got some incredibly low scores (aka 18% on Rotten Tomatoes).

To be honest, there is a lot of dumb jokes and bad humor however, in some really weird way, I spent a lot of time both laughing at the movie for its stupidity but also some time laughing at some of the other jokes. Is this my typical type of comedy film that I’d watch, or even a first choice? The answer is absolutely no. However, it was a surprisingly entertaining viewing experience. However, I do think that it is a movie that is in the completely mindless entertainment. Its for those who want to just shut off your brain completely and can enjoy some silly humor and extremely over the top action sequences. If that isn’t something you enjoy, then Baywatch is definitely not going to work.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Its felt like a while since I’ve dived into a YA and Romance novel. Separately, I’ve read each of those genres and nothing has really stood out in a while however, I’ve heard some good things about To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before so I was pretty excited to check this one out and toss those doubts out the window and give this one a chance. I didn’t know that this novel was the first book of a trilogy. The third book will come out this year, so its time to check it out, I’d assume.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
(To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1)
By: Jenny Han

to all the boys i've loved before

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?
Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control. – Goodreads

There’s something so honest about reading To All The Boys That I’ve Loved Before that pulled me into the story right from the beginning. Its been a while that I haven’t been that immersed into a book. Jenny Han definitely has a nice touch with bringing the Song girls to life and particularly our main character here, Lara Jean. Usually, we get stories about being chased or wanting a guy really badly. This story takes a refreshing new angle of how when the boys she loved before learns about her feelings, particularly one that she shouldn’t be having feeling for and she decides to fake it with another guy she used to love both sides trying to find their own way out that she gets caught up in something she doesn’t really understand anything about.

Its important to realize, and its what makes this story great that love comes in many forms as we grow up. When we do encounter love the first time, it might not be so apparent to realize until an epiphany hits and that can come at any time. Regardless, it takes courage to let go of fear of being hurt to hop into a relationship, no matter how old, and its because of all this, that To All The Boys That I’ve Love Before truly grabbed me. It tugged a little at my heartstrings but also gave a lot of really fun and satisfying moments while also giving enough drama and friction to make it engaging to keep wanting to see where Lara Jean’s choices would lead it.

At the same time, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before also feels a bit like a teen comedy, something like The Edge of Seventeen or The First Time sort of thing, where its not only about the romance but also about Lara Jean’s personal growth as she embraces her feelings. People frequenting here probably hear me talking about that a lot, but thats because I always find the best stories, any kind of stories really, excel when they manage to create characters that change and grow. They learn to be a better form of themselves and the people that are around them contribute to them learning how to not be afraid to dig a little deeper in themselves and take chances which is exactly how Lara Jean’s character is. She’s not only smart and caring, but while she stays in her little space and doesn’t stand out, she learns how to break out of that shell and see her worth and find her confidence.

Overall, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was an absolute page-turner. To tell you  how much I loved it, I actually picked up the second book right away and have started reading it as this review goes live. I guess however, that this does take me to a final point which I always talk about in series and thats self-containment. This book literally ends on a cliffhanger, while I’m not a huge fan of that, it feels fairly obvious what her cliffhanger was leaning towards so it was a little easier to forgive. With that said, the book did so many things right and I loved how it was structured and written and the characters that I ended up giving it 5 stars on Goodreads, so I guess that shows how much I do love it.

Ultimate 70s Blogathon Finale: Dirty Harry (1971) by Drew’s Movie Reviews

Time sure flies by when we’re having fun! After 3 weeks of entries, we have reached the final day of the blogathon. We always swap things around for the final wrap-up day so today, over here, I’ll be sharing my darling co-host Drew‘s final review with his thoughts on 1971’s action thriller Dirty Harry which brings in a much needed mention of Clint Eastwood. Of course, you will find my review over on his blog some time today. First, let’s check out what makes Dirty Harry his choice for the Ultimate 70s Blogathon!

dirty harry

When a killer calling himself ‘Scorpio’ (Andrew Robinson) begins terrorizing San Francisco, Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) must bring him to justice.

Clint Eastwood is a household name. To older audiences, he’s an action star. To younger audiences, he’s an award-winning director. In either case, it is hard to find an actor whose career is as prolific or diverse as Eastwood’s. In the early 1970s, he was transitioning from his western roles to more modern day ones. That transition began with Dirty Harry.

Many action movies tend to forego character development to instead focus on the big action pieces. Dirty Harry isn’t much of an exception but just barely. Throughout the film, we learn little bits and pieces about Harry’s past and character traits. We get just enough character development to get a deeper understanding of who Harry is. This was a great move on the writers’ part because since this is the first installment with Harry, there shouldn’t be too much focus on what’s beneath the surface. But at the same time, the small bits that were laid out can be picked up in future sequels without taking away from this film.

For most of the movie, Harry spends his time hunting down the killer going by ‘Scorpio.’ However, Scorpio is not Harry’s greatest adversary of the film: it’s the law. Throughout the movie, Harry tries to bring Scorpio to justice. However, Harry learns that ‘the law’ and ‘justice’ are not always the same thing. It’s an interesting concept to think about and one that frustrates Harry continuously throughout the film.

Eastwood’s background in westerns transfers well into a modern setting. Harry could be seen as a Man with No Name or Josey Wales in an urban setting; An urban cowboy, if you will. Harry’s introduction is one of my favorites in cinema. When he casually walks up to a bank robbery, takes out several of the robbers and delivers his famous lines is absolutely spin-tingling. You know right away the kind of character Harry is.

This also leads into one of the flaws I see in the film. For an action movie, it is unevenly paced. The ends carry the brunt of the action, with the middle doing the little character exploring I mentioned above and follows Harry searching for Scorpio and dealing with bureaucrats. I appreciate the development and smaller moments among the action but this film would have benefited from a better balance of those elements.

As enjoyable as Dirty Harry is, there are better 70s movies. Nevertheless, I chose this as my entry for the Ultimate 70s Blogathon for a different reason: it’s influence on the action film genre. This movie laid the groundwork for a no-nonsense hero, like John McClain, John Rambo, or Paul Kersey. Harry Callahan was the type of character who took matters into his own hands, regardless of the rules. This approach to the action hero showed that audiences would, and could, enjoy grittier action films, fundamentally changing the genre’s landscape.

I thought Dirty Harry was GOOD 🙂 Revolutionizing the action genre, it was grittier and had a different hero than seen in films past. With a cool character introduction and classic action hero one-liners, Harry Callahan is a stylish and memorable character. If there had been a better balance between the action sequences and other scenes, I probably would consider this a great movie instead of just a good one.

Favorite Quote
Harry: I know what you’re thinking: Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?


Cast & Crew
Don Siegel – Director
Harry Julian Fink – Screenplay / Story
Rita M. Fink – Screenplay / Story
Dean Riesner – Screenplay
Lalo Schifrin – Composer

Clint Eastwood – Harry Harry Guardino – Bressler
Reni Santoni – Chico
John Vernon – The Mayor
Andrew Robinson – Killer
John Larch – Chief
John Mitchum – De Giorg