Blog Tour: His to Defend (Spotlight)

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HIS TO DEFEND
BY: RHENNA MORGAN

HIS TO DEFEND

Publication Date: October 14, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Length: 384 pages

Book one of NOLA Knights, the heart-stoppingly sexy spin-off series by Men of Haven author Rhenna Morgan

His world. His rules. Her love.

Though his methods may be rough, when it comes to protecting what’s his, Russian vor Sergei Petrovyh’s heart is always in the right place. That’s never been more true than when the gorgeous Evette Labadie asks him for a job. He knows enough to keep his hands off someone as beloved by the locals as Evie, but there’s something about her that calls to him—no matter how badly he burns to make her his.

Don’t think Evie hasn’t noticed the powerful Russian mafia boss who makes her favorite diner a regular stop. How can she not? He’s as hot as his reputation is dangerous. But everyone in her struggling New Orleans neighborhood knows he’s the man to turn to. And right now she needs money to get her son out of trouble.

Her other needs—needs she knows damn well Sergei can more than satisfy—will have to wait.

Evie soon finds herself playing Cinderella to a man who, despite what people believe, is definitely more prince than villain. She can’t help falling deeper in love with each passing day. But when a turf war between Sergei and a rival brings violence to her doorstep, Evie must come to grips with loving a man who will do anything to defend her…or walk away from her best chance at a happily-ever-after of her very own.

ADD TO GOODREADS

EXCERPT

Evette pinched the business-size check from her former employer a little tighter and glared at the cleaning company’s logo in the top corner. On any other Friday, the money would have meant inching closer to some semblance of security for her and her son, Emerson. A step toward unraveling the mess she’d created for her life. Today, the unexpected termination that had come with her weekly pay felt more like a sucker punch to the gut. Yet another obstacle to overcome after too many damned years running the gauntlet and never even glimpsing the finish line.

Maybe she could get a job cleaning at one of the hotels. God knew the French Quarter was packed with them, and she was pretty sure she could count on regular shift work, like the office cleaning crew she’d been on. Though, how she was going to land one by Monday when it was already close to 4:30 on a Friday afternoon was beyond her. And landing something quick was the only way this latest setback wouldn’t force her into dipping into Emerson’s school fund. Plus, there was the hurdle of what would happen if they called her old company for references and found out she’d been fired for a security breach.

Not. Good.

The commuter bus swung onto Tulane headed toward Mid-City, and Evie’s spirits sunk a little lower. If someone had told her when she was growing up that she’d be a single mom living in one of New Orleans’s rougher parts of town at twenty-eight years old, she’d have laughed in their face. She was going to be a fashion retail buyer—or at least have some kind of career in fashion. She was going to travel the world. See things. Know people. Adventure her way through life and suck it dry.

Then her mom had died, and she’d gone off the rails.

She sighed and slunk a little farther down onto the hard plastic bench, the run-down stores, bars and restaurants along the roadside passing in a blur while the vibrations from the bus’s engine rattled clear to her bones.

Get knocked down seven times, stand up eight.

If she had a dollar for all the times her momma had said it and all the times Evie had echoed it in the last eight years, she’d be driving a Porsche toward the Garden District right now instead of a barely livable apartment.

But her momma had made it.

Mostly.

Raised Evette through her tumultuous preteen years after her daddy’s death and made it look easy. It hadn’t been until a year after Emerson had been born and Evie had found the courage to read some of her mother’s journals that she’d realized just how much of a challenge her mother had really faced. How much she’d given up and how alone she’d felt through every second.

Evie understood it now. Knew to her very marrow the sacrifices that had been made on her behalf.

And she’d thrown it all away nursing her grief.

Resolve and a whole lot of stubbornness revved her energy and forced her taller in her seat. Pity was what had gotten her into this mess to begin with, and she’d be damned if she went that route again.

Labadie women didn’t quit. Didn’t give up. They faced whatever they needed to face, and they smiled doing it. Eventually, she was going to find a way to give her and Emerson the world. She just might have to scrimp a little longer and get more creative to make it happen.

Where to buy His to Defend

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Google Play
Kobo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

rhenna Morgan

A native Oklahoman, Rhenna Morgan is a certified romance junkie. Whether it’s contemporary, paranormal, or fantasy you’re after, Rhenna’s stories pack romantic escape full of new, exciting worlds, and strong, intuitive men who fight to keep the women they want. For advance release news and exclusive content, sign up for her newsletter at http://RhennaMorgan.com. You’ll also find all of her social links there, along with her smoking hot inspiration boards.

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Blog Tour Schedule

October 14th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Spotlight) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/
Vivianna MacKade (Guest Post) https://viviana-mackade.blog/
Didi Oviatt (Review) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com
Romance Book Binge (Review) https://romancebookbinge.com/

October 15th

I’m All About Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/
Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

October 16th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
Cup of Books (Review) https://cupofbooksblog.wordpress.com/
Jane Hunt Writer (Review) https://www.jolliffe01.com/blog

October 17th

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/
The Bookish Mrs. Harding (Review) http://thebookishmrsharding.home.blog

October 18th

Misty’s Book Space (Review) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com
The Cozy Pages (Review) http://thecozypages.wordpress.com/

…..

October 21st

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com
I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com
Literary Dust (Review) https://literarydust.wordpress.com/
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

October 22nd

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com
Tranquil Dreams (Spotlight) https://klling.wordpress.com/
Inked and Blonde (Review) https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/

October 23rd

Wrong Side of Forty (Review) https://wrongsideoffortyuk.wordpress.com/
Tsarina Press (Review) https://www.tsarinapress.com

October 24th

Past Midnight (Review) http://pastmidnight.home.blog

October 25th

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
Book Dragon Girl (Review) https://bookdragongirl.com
Crossroads Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

Blog Tour Organized by:

R&R Button

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Double Feature: Love O2O (2016) & Escape Room (2019)

DOUBLEFEATURE (6)

Welcome to the a long overdue double feature. There’s nothing in common with these two films. I skipped over a few movies that I saw in between everything in the last month or two that I don’t really want to write about. You can see what I watched and ratings over on my Letterboxd so here we are with this random double feature with Love O2O (also called Just One Smile is Very Alluring) which is a Chinese romance and then the second is a horror movie from earlier this year called Escape Room.

Love O2O (微微一笑很倾城, 2016)

love o2o

Director: Tianyu Zhao

Cast: Angelababy, Boran Jing, Yu Bai, Janice Wu, Songyun Tan, Yi Cheng, Jiuxiao Li, Xian Li, Zijie Wang

A college stud tries to level up his relationship with a computer science major after becoming attracted to her skills in an online role-playing game. – Netflix

Its odd to see that a movie adaptation and a TV series adaptation of a novel is done in the same year however that is what happened with Love O2O. Both are available on Netflix right now and I had recently reviewed the TV series HERE. Its hard to not compare the two so while the movie is a much more shrunken size of the TV series with some of the characters in the movie version carrying multiple roles that different people played in the TV series. I have never read the source material so I don’t know which is the more accurate adaptation. The movie did get released before the TV series in 2016 so it works fairly well as a standalone film.

Love O2O is pretty fun. Perhaps because there is comparison, the film feels much more rushed because it has limited time to cover different elements from romance to fulfilling a game development dream and friendship which are three elements that make this story really good in the first place. The film itself works best because its one of the more positive stories on all elements. Sure, it adds a little drama with the young developers and friends hitting their first roadblock but it never breaks out of the idea of being a team and staying positive and working together to move forward. The message here is one that deserves a lot of attention and encouragement.

On the romance side of things, Angelababy works really well as the female lead. She fits the role very well especially with her interaction with Boran Jing. They do have a certain level of chemistry. Its hard to really picture Boran Jing in a romance film like this usually but oddly, he kind of grows on you because the character still fits him. It could all come from comparisons to the TV leads as well for myself and expectations but the differences here work also.

Fact is, Love O2O as a film has less depth because it doesn’t have the time to explore a lot of what its tackling. The story itself works better as a TV series but there are a lot of elements here that make this fun watch and still works in its own way.

Escape Room (2019)

Escape Room

Director: Adam Robitel

Cast: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Jay Ellis, Tyler Labine, Deborah Ann Woll, Nik Dodani, Yorick Van Wageningen

Six strangers find themselves in a maze of deadly mystery rooms and must use their wits to survive. – IMDB

It seems that the theme of 2019 is to make sure that there are no more fun and exciting activities in life to do as a lot of them are potentially great horror movie premises from seeing Aquaslash which make water slides slasher territory to now Escape Room being too real for its own good for its participant, its really a crazy world out there. All jokes aside though, Escape Room is a premise with a lot of potential seeing as its kind of like Saw pretty much but without the gruesome bits of losing body parts and bloody messes. With an entire cast other than Deborah Ann Woll that I had never seen, this one didn’t seem to have the star power (or maybe it did and I wasn’t aware) and had a decent premise and had the potential to do well. Did it? Its a yes and no answer for that one.

Its a yes because the escape room elements worked really well for the most part. The setup from the starting reception area that turned out to be the first room that turned into a gigantic oven all the way to solving one area to the next, the stakes were higher and higher. At the same time, the story was meant to link together with one character as escape rooms tend to be structured as while also giving a reason for why these six strangers were chosen to take part in this escape room. I’m not going to sell that this movie isn’t a whole stretch of imagination on that point because most people if they received a mysterious cube inviting you to participate in an escape room game probably wouldn’t accept it, no matter the prize because even if it wasn’t a death trap, its probably a  scam because normal people, let alone corporations, won’t give away free money. However, point is, the movie does make the effort to give these characters justification to why they even chose to accept to join this Escape Room game in the first place obviously without knowing that it was a sinister plan. So with that said, while some of the characters were slightly annoying, they did have a certain balance to it all.

Where it doesn’t work is that the final act really lets it down. For one, the movie starts where the final act will potentially happen at the end of the film which already is a big giveaway on who makes it and doesn’t in the grand scheme of things. It isn’t a good way to make these things happen especially if character elimination is part of the whole game. With any of these thrillers, there has to be a twist to give it the surprise element and in this case, it is so very obvious.  Going right back to my point on why the film doesn’t work, the final act is just pushing the story too far and then it doesn’t end but decides to wrap things up some more while teasing a second film (probably if it does well). Its a pity because the potential was there and it was pretty thrilling even if some rooms was just more of a passerby than a piece of a complex puzzle.

TV Binge: Love O2O (微微一笑很倾城, 2016)

Moving on from Rush of the Dead Summer (review), I really liked Zheng Shuang as the female lead and went to look for her other TV series. Luckily, there was one on Netflix called Love O2O. The other title is One Smile Is Very Alluring, which is the title of the movie that was released which is also available on Netflix that I hadn’t seen yet. Love O2O opened up a ton of talented young actors and actresses that will lead to some of my future TV series choices (as you will soon find out).

Love O2O (微微一笑很倾城, 2016)

LOVE O2O

Director: Liu Yu Fen

Cast: Shuang Zheng, Yang Yang, Xiao Tong Miao, Jun Feng Niu, Ye Cheng Zheng, He Zhang, Bai Yu, Vin Zhang

Xiao Nai is a gaming expert who, courtesy of his basketball skills, academic excellence, swimming talent and game company presidency, also happens to be the most popular student on campus. When he first comes across the gorgeous computer science major Bei Wei Wei, the infinitely talented wunderkind immediately falls in love. But it’s not Bei’s looks that he notices; it’s the ridiculous mastery with which she is commanding her guild and owning everyone in an online multiplayer game that makes her impossible to forget. Now, Xiao Nai must use his skills both in real life and online to capture the adorable but dorky Bei’s heart. But does their love have the XP to succeed, or will this relationship never level up? – MyDramalist

If you want to check out Love O2O, you can find it with English subtitles on Youtube or its also on Netflix.

QUOTE/SCENE

love o2o

STORY

Love O2O is probably one of the more light-hearted and positive Chinese dramas that I’ve seen so far. While there is some drama between friendship, work and relationships, it never over dramatizes and drags out a situation for too long. Perhaps this gives it less depth but the story itself knows how to focus on the positives of each relationship and give its a positive way to solve some of the issues here. There are conflicts that show up especially when dealing with the MMORPG world where the online relationships also result to the expectations and rumors and bullying that happens as well. At the same time, the story is set in the second half on the game development world and the hurdles that they end up facing.

Love O2O

While the story lies mostly in the real world, a portion of it is still in the fantasy world, more the in-game world where they have a lot of computer graphics. They have fighting bits together and has a whole relationships that comes out of there as well as giving it a lot of fantastical elements of online dating via the in-game elements. Its pretty charming to say the least but also has a side warning of how sometimes there can be cases of mistaken identity or lack of communication or misunderstandings and the fragility of building your friendships online rather in-person. The story itself does blend itself well together and as the series moves along, less and less is hidden in-game and more in reality.

LENGTH/PACING

Love O2O has the fantastic length of 30 episodes which borders on my personal belief of the upper limit of where an idol drama usually should be.

The execution and pacing here is very good. 30 episodes with the amount of characters and story arc gives the story a sufficient amount of character development while also giving the story a chance to focus not only on the romantic angles but also touch of friendship, bromance, family, etc. The majority of the story is set over the happenings of a budding relationship that starts at the end of a university semester and the summer time and then jumps forward at the end to push forward the timeline and give it a proper ending. That is a good way to do it because life is always full of crazy events but sometimes its those first moments when its goes from ultra sweet to building a solid foundation. Its why Love O2O doesn’t drag at all and stays fun from beginning to end.

CHARACTERS/CHEMISTRY

love o2o

If we look at characters and chemistry, our main leads and couple is Wei Wei, played by Zheng Shuang and Xiao Nai, played by Yang Yang. They are fantastic together and probably one of the best TV ships that could happen (in my short Chinese drama time). What works for them is that their characters are almost perfect from the outside and we soon find out that they each have their similarities and balance between them. Its in their actions and their pure intentions for each other that makes them so charming to watch. Plus, their relationship sprouts of Wei Wei adoration of Xiao Nai and idolization as he is the good-looking and smart senior student in school who all the girls swoon over, while as the show goes on, you can see that Xiao Nai doesn’t care of those things but rather its love at first sight on his side that he knows that she’s the right one and doesn’t know how to be a good boyfriend and just tries his best to protect her and support her.

love o2o

On the other hand, the second leads are Er Xi (Mao Xiao Tong) and Cao Guang (Bai Yu) who are the opposite of the main leads couple because they start off disliking each other, which is the more typical way of how most romantic leads start out in these dramas. However, these two are very fun characters while both of their story arcs have a slight frustrating moments, both regarding each other as well as in terms of friendship and crushes.

love o2o

Finally, relationships can be bromances and Love O2O thrives in that department, whether its the bromance between Xiaonai and his roommates, which turn out to be his work team as the series moves forward after their graduation or the girl friends (who really do have less part here) of Weiwei. However, the bromance here is fantastic especially as the friendship expands to a fifth member of the group as they get into the work space area. They add the fun and comedy also which rounds out the story a lot to keep it very light-hearted.

Finally, we take a look at the “enemies”. Be it the love rivals or the schoolyard internet bullies or the competing companies for the projects, it falls into the tone here because as frustrating as they can be, they never feel that harmful especially when they always find some positive outcome or enlightenment for the characters, which is nice to see because it keeps the series in a very positive light and gives hope especially to the younger characters who find their way. Its in the details of the script and the writer for this series manages to keep a good balance and remember the tone that its going for.

OVERALL

Love O2O definitely is one of my faves because of its positivity. There are more tears of joy and happiness and swooning over cute and endearing moments as well as being touched over the perfection of Xiaonai as a boyfriend who thrives in communication and trust over Weiwei no matter what other people say and believes his own eyes and experiences. Its span of touching different modern day themes and issues especially as we navigate the online landscape whether in gaming or blogging. It manages to focus on the love here but also give it a good dose of friendships as well as the reality of school, work and the challenges in life overall. Its charming and fun, romantic and cute, inspiring and positive: all the things I like about TV series.

TV Binge: A Love So Beautiful (致我们单纯的小美好, 2017)

The first to show up is one accessible to most because on Netflix. International stuff, yay! I probably should have written the Meteor Garden one up first since that was how I landed on watching this one. Oh well, that one is coming up just it is a whole lot more work for that one so here we are at A Love So Beautiful. Its also perfectly timed because another story from the same author was also adapted called Put Your Head On My Shoulder (致我们暖暖的小时光) is currently playing on WeTV channel on Youtube.

While I’ve been reviewing a lot of Chinese variety shows, this is the first drama that I’ll be talking about and after some thought, I’m going to work on a few points that I think should be discussed as a general outline for future TV binge posts to make it easier to write up, especially for the Chinese series.

A Love So Beautiful (2017)

A Love So Beautiful

Creator: Yang Long

Cast: Shen Yue, Hu Yi Tian, Gao Zhi Ting, Sun Ning, Wang Zi Wei, Monica Lv

It starts off with high school classmates Chen Xiao Xi and Jiang Chen who are also neighbors. Xiao Xi, a cheerful girl who doesn’t study much, is expressive about her admiration towards Jiang Chen, the popular guy known for his looks and high grades. Together with their fellow classmates the funny Lu Yang, athletic but loyal Jingjing, and cool swimming team member Wu Bo Song, they embark on high school life to university until their adult life. – MyDramaList

STORY

A Love So Beautiful is adapted from To Our Pure Little Beauty by Qianqian Zhao. The story revolves around the very outwardly Chen Xiao Xi (Shen Yue) who professes her love directly to Jiang Chen (Hu Yitian) at the beginning of her senior high year, which kicks off the ton of the film. She tries to impress him and in turn be a better version of herself to match up to him. The story itself is cute and hilarious because she does a lot of little things that most of the time backfire or becomes very awkward. However, there is this heartwarming element of coming to age and finding herself especially as she grows up. Its this lightheartedness of the story and how its delivered that makes the few years in high school and their step into university and then adulthood become such a fun experience (most of the time, because this is still a drama). The tone of the series sets itself up right at the beginning and it maintains it. At the same time, what helps it in the storytelling is filling in those little moments at the end of every episode to give a hidden moment or just the inner thoughts of a character (mostly used by Jiang Chen since he talks less). At the same time, the story focuses on the friendship of five friends that also gets sparked from the first episode onwards.

LENGTH/PACING

A Love So Beautiful clocks in at 23 episodes with shorter 20 minutes special to make total 24 episodes. Each episode is about 40 minutes long. Those are one of the most fun to watch as the episode lengths are very reasonable and episode count is also very restricted giving it the space to be paced fairly quickly with enough development to give all the characters space to grow but never linger on anything too long.

CHARACTERS/CHEMISTRY

A LOVE SO BEAUTIFUL

The main focus of A Love So Beautiful is on five characters. Billed as the main leads is Shen Yue playing Chen Xiao Xi and Hu Yi Tian playing Jiang Chen who both star in their first main roles here. Fighting for Shen Yue’s love and attention is Wu Bosong, played by Gao Zhi Ting. On the other hand is Chen Xiao Xi’s good friends, Lu Yang played by Wang Zi Wei and Lin Jingxiao played by Sun Ning who also have a love tangent as Lu admires Lin and sets out to chase her also. Looking at the characters, each of these five have their differences in their personality and make them mesh together really well. Chen Xiao Xi works with her cute and silly personality but not as invested in school and the more serious things at school, while her best friend Lin, is more of a strong and smart character. Their friendship starts at the beginning of the series and sees it become very strong to almost being sisters. While at the same time, the boys in the series are held together by Lu, who is not so much invested in school who plays almost a male version of Chen Xiao Xi and explains how they always share the same general interests but also argue with each other a lot and its these friendly bickering moments that make for a lot of comedic moments. However, the love triangle is presented as a very skewed one because we know that Chen Xiao Xi likes Jiang Chen and Wu Bosong likes her while we eventually know that Jiang Chen, while always acts cold and indifferent actually can see in his small movements that he does care about Chen Xiao Xi also.

One of the strengths of A Love So Beautiful is in its characters. The way that they focus on the friendships here and the strength of it no matter what happens between them. At the same time, the love triangle is also not frustrating but rather one that its easy to get wrapped up in who is better for Xiao Xi, despite the fact that there is no doubt that she does like Jiang the most from the beginning and her perseverance is one that is admirable to say the least. However, as she gets over and gives more than she gets back (from what she knows), its hard to not feel bad for her when Jiang’s resistance to sharing his feelings eventually becomes to get in his way. Its the moments that we see them together that we also learn a little more about a lot of actions is stronger than talk and their chemistry works because of that. However, a lot of praise has to go to Wu because he really is a great person here as he is the role of ultimate unrequited love but is so great because despite everything he is not only loyal to everyone in the friends group, he also is one of the more simple characters as he has big dreams. What works here is that whether who it is, the differences in each of the characters here give each of their interactions something different and depth and it works in the show’s favor so much.

OVERALL

a love so beautiful

A Love So Beautiful is a fun little TV series in the landscape of Chinese TV dramas. In its high school crushes to romances and friendship, it highlights the emphasizes a lot of positive themes other than its cute romance but it embodies a coming of age for all these characters in each of their own ways, having the courage to step forward to follow their own dreams as well as the importance of family and friends. It takes a more lighthearted, well-paced and cute/fun and heartwarming angle and it works so very well. Its one of my favorite TV dramas so far. One that I willingly rewatch. While I do like all the characters, this series really fortified my love for Shen Yue and her acting and looking at the different role she takes in Meteor Garden (will be discussed soon) and her upcoming roles which also go in different characters, it’ll be interesting to see where she takes her career especially since she keeps a down to earth attitude when in variety shows which gives her a uniqueness to her as an actress. My only real criticism for A Love So Beautiful is how it ends because it feels so random to end that way. In its way, it seems to go full circle but then it felt a little awkward to cut it off where it did.

That’s it for this TV binge!
The first Chinese TV drama binge finally crossed off the list!

A Love So Beautiful is available on Netflix with all kinds of subtitles so its one to check out if this type of series if up your alley.

Ultimate 2000s Blogathon: The Twins Effect (2003) – Asian Cinema Film Club [Podcast]

Kicking off Week 3 of Ultimate 2000s Blogathon is the Asian Cinema Film Club hosted by Elwood and Stephen. AC Film Club is a monthly podcast that takes a look at  different Asian films ranging from Chinese, Korean, Japanese and other films. It doesn’t stop there as you can follow their blog to see monthly mixtapes for a variety of Asian music as well as reviews and essays, etc. You should give them a follow and join them as they are about to pass their 25th episode milestone. For their choice for the Ultimate 2000s Blogathon, they are sharing their podcast of 2003’s Hong Kong vampire action horror film, The Twins Effect.


The Twins Effect

The Twins Effect (2003)

Elwood and Stephen kick off 2019 looking at “The Twins Effect” a wonderfully random mash up of vampires, romantic comedy and special friendly appearances?
On this episode, they dive into this star-studded movie vehicle for Cantopop duo “Twins” while also looking at the many scandals which rocked the various cast members.
Stephen has another tale from the dark side of Asian cinema, this time looking at the actress Bai Jing, plus podcast recommendations, 2019 releases much more!!

Further Viewing

Mr. Vampire
Rigor Mortis
Diary
Beyond Our Ken

Shoutouts

The Feminine Critique
Cinema Recall
Forgotten Filmcast
Exploding Helicopter
Simplistic reviews
French Toast Sunday
Blade Licking Thieves
That’s Weird
Debatable

Listen To The Show

Itunes
Podomatic
Spotify
That Moment In


Thanks to Asian Cinema Film Club for joining us with this fun choice! Be sure to check out their podcast every month to see which films they choose to review and expand your knowledge of Asian Cinema! Remember to give them a follow and check out their other episodes

To see the full list of blogathon entries, you can find it HERE.

Double Feature: The Vow (2012) & Who Gets The Dog (2016)

Moving on to wrap up the Valentine’s Marathon (but not officially listed there) is the next double feature for V & W selection. The first is The Vow, a movie that I’ve had on the Netflix list for a really long time and Who Gets the Dog that I have no idea what its about but then I liked Ryan Kwanten from True Blood.

Let’s check it out!

The Vow (2012)

The Vow

Director: Michael Sucsy

Cast: Channing Tatum, Rachel McAdams, Jessica Lange, Sam Neill, Jessica McNamee, Wendy Crewson, Tatiana Maslany, Scott Speedman

A car accident puts Paige in a coma, and when she wakes up with severe memory loss, her husband Leo works to win her heart again. – IMDB

The Vow probably seems like a movie that is exactly up my alley seeing as I do enjoy Nicholas Spark films and such. However, something about  The Vow didn’t really work and that has to be with a few factors. The first is that the establishment of Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum) was a bit rushed in the beginning  and never had the development that made their relationship really worth anything to feel connected to. The second factor is that a lot of the characters were very unpleasant to watch and very cliche characters. Paige’s parents, played by Jessica Lange and Sam Neill were about as predictable as it can get as the parents that had their own plans for their daughter and took advantage of the fact of Paige’s amnesia. At the same time, the biggest issue was that Rachel McAdams’ character was really annoying to watch which is probably the biggest issues if you can’t even cheer for the couple in question.

However, there is one redeeming factor and actually in that time frame of movies, an unexpected factor that worked and that is the fact that Channing Tatum had something of a cookie cutter roles and surprisingly, this one stepped out of it, which is a pleasant surprise. At the same time, Leo’s character was written the best and the character that I remotely cared about and wanted him to succeed and felt bad for him whenever things didn’t go his way.

Overall, The Vow was pretty meh. I didn’t really enjoy it a lot and don’t plan on watching it again. I’m usually pretty lenient on these films but this one felt pretty boring, and things don’t get more formulaic than when I even predicted the exact dialogue a few times.

Who Gets the Dog (2016)

who gets the dog

Director: Huck Botko

Cast: Ryan Kwanten, Alicia Silverstone, Randall Batinkoff, Matt Ryan, Devin Bethea, Rachel Cerda, Amy J. Carle

A couple going through a divorce squabble over custody of their beloved dog. – IMDB

I’m going to be honest that I didn’t have any high hopes for this one. I wanted to watch it for one person, which usually never ends up being a good reason. Who Gets the Dog is fairly predictable in general. Alicia Silverstone and Ryan Kwanten lead this film and its about them fighting over custody over their dogs. Things get pretty over the top and ridiculous. However, its pretty expected how its all going to end because it never feels like these two are separated because they dislike each other. Movies with dogs involved in relationship always tend to have this likeable advantage. There isn’t a lot to criticize here or compliment either. It didn’t feel like a lot happened and then hours after the film, it already feels like its fading. To be fair, the movie has some fun factors even if it takes a bit far sometimes. There are things that don’t exactly work but then its still fairly harmless.

I’m going to just keep this short. Its nothing impressive and yet nothing feels like they did anything particularly bad. Its an average movie: predictable and cliche. The dog played a decent part here. It’s not something that I’d preferably go back to watch but then I don’t feel horrible about seeing it either. Its just forgettable. What else can I say? The movies that are forgettable and indifferent towards are the hardest to write about.

That’s it for this double feature!
Its a very meh romance pairing.
Have you seen either of these films? Thoughts?

My Weekly Adventures: Hangouts, Gaming & Podcast Guest

Welcome to the next Adventures! Its been a bit quiet on my end to be honest. Well, kind of. To be fair, the weather’s been pretty weird and then work’s been in its crazy phase. Still, we managed to get some time to hang out with friends, check out an event and pretty much wrapped up some stuff over here while to try relatively calm about everything. At least my few days staycation is just around the corner so I’m ecstatic for it. Can’t wait!

Dinner: Korean BBQ at Mon Ami

As a replacement for the monthly Battle of Ingredients and to compromise for a busy schedule (and my incredibly messy house that I didn’t have time to deep clean for guests), we decided to head out for a dinner out. The final decision came down to Mon Ami Brossard for All You Can Eat. Its a pretty good deal as it includes a great deal more than just Korean BBQ. It was pretty good but as I was on the verge of getting sick again, I stayed a little further from BBQ food and loved that I could get Bibimbap and a ton of dumplings. Its pretty fun and we had nice chats. Time with friends is always such a great way to stay sane and get in a ton of laughs and good times in general.

Montreal Joue 2019

Montreal Joue 2019

The 7th annual Montreal Joue Festival is happening right now. It has a variety of game-themed events on its program. For myself, the one that interests me most is their video games festival which was held at Marche Bonsecours. Its been a go-to spot for gaming events lately. Overall, there was a lot of rinse and repeat games that I had seen in last year’s various events (but then, I go to almost 90% of gaming events in Montreal so its inevitable). However, it was nice to catch up with some games that have been on radar especially those in development for a while and finally see that they are all getting a release date. The game above is an upcoming mobile game called Feathers of Time which have had my attention for a while. I’ll be doing a recap on it in a few days over on the Game Warp blog (and That Moment In).

Valentine’s Marathon Officially Done

Valentine's Marathon

I know that technically there are like 4 movies that I need to post and they will go up soon by the end of the weekend (hopefully). I need to power through some more of the films to get them watched. However, after watching two great films, the remaining ones are looking a like lackluster. Haha! I’m just kidding…I’ll get to it. However, Valentine’s Marathon dragging further than February is not something I’d like to do. So I’m cutting it off. You will see this format again probably for next year. Its one that I’m enjoying and plan on doing on various months of the year just with more creative themes and maybe not a specific genre.

However, Valentine’s Marathon was pretty great. I achieved the goal of taking movies off My List on Netflix and also managed to discover some pretty fantastic movies. There was a lot of average movies but great films are made everyday so the idea that some showed up is already great. The entire Valentine’s Marathon reviews is updated HERE! Check it out if you think you may have missed any of the reviews.

Asian Cinema Film Club Podcast

I joined Elwood and Stephen over at Asian Cinema Film Club on their podcast to talk about 2012 Hong Kong film, The Bullet Vanishes. They were gracious enough to let me choose and it was a nice discussion we had about it. I never get enough chance to talk about Asian Cinema especially Hong Kong films that I always accept their invite. Plus, any chance to talk about my favorite celebrity Nicholas Tse is one that I won’t turn down. It was super fun as always. Give it a listen and hope you enjoy! Remember to follow them HERE if you haven’t already.

Cute Kitty Pic

That’s it for this Weekly Adventures!
I promise the next one will be a bit more colorful 😉
What adventures have you had?