What’s Up 2019: Week 38

Tranquil Dreams (43)

Welcome to Week 38 of What’s Up! We’re almost done the 3rd quarter of 2019! Fall is almost here and things are definitely going back on course. Everything is almost back on track and next week, we should be seeing a lot more of the signs of October horror themed things coming into the picture (although one thing here actually is going to be for October). At the same time, I’ve also reactivated my Shudder subscription and should keep it for at least 2 months or so unless something else fun comes out and holds my interest after that.

Let’s check it out!

READING

Since September

  • Since September by Noelle MacLeod (Review)
  • The Dragon Head of Hong Kong: An Ava Lee Prequel by Ian Hamilton (Review)

Currently reading: Hope by Terry Tyler

Two novellas definitely made up the majority of my reading this week. I wanted something fun to break between the blog tour reading and decided to finally get around to continue on the Ava Lee series by Ian Hamilton which pretty much never disappoints. I’m a good few books behind on the series as it is so I’m hoping to catch up with it especially since the Kindle versions have been on sale on Amazon lately. With that said, both books were pretty fun to read. Since September had a Girl Interrupted vibe to it and The Dragon Head of Hong Kong was a prequel that talked about how Ava Lee started her job which is interesting as it comes after the first phase of the series ends.

PLAYING

kaiju big battel: fighto fantasy

Starting next: Kaiju Big Battel: Fighto Fantasy

Since this week, I’ve been focusing mostly on some mobile games to wrap up the Mobile Games Roundup, the plan to start Kaiju Big Battel: Fighto Fantasy was delayed which will hopefully be the restart/comeback of our Game Warp restructuring to go back to our initial roots of having an episode for Game Warp per month with a highlighted game. We will try to get some new releases in there but games will be decided on our collective interest to discuss and obviously accessibility. However, we are still somewhat restructuring and finding our footing again in writing reviews and slotting time to record for Game Warp and such so there may still be changes but the effort to get back to action is there.

WATCHING

mary poppins returns

Two rewatches this week of films that I really do love quite a bit and they are both for Movies and Tea as one is our After Hours Shark week pick and the other is my pick. Its coming up on Movies and Tea in the coming weeks so I won’t talk too much about it but you can check out my reviews when I first saw the films.

With that said, I caught up with Battle at Big Rock which is a short that supposedly follows Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom which I haven’t caught up with yet. Regardless, it  feels fairly standalone and was pretty fun. You can find it on Youtube. As for my recommendation this week for a fresh new feature film would be Mary Poppins Returns. I still don’t think doing a follow-up was necessary but in terms of how it lands, its very similar in set-up to Mary Poppins but it still has a fun and musical vibe to it.

BINGING

million pound menu

  • Million Pound Menu (Season 2, 2019)
  • The Mist (Season 1, 2017)

Currently binging: Relation Ship, Dream Space 2, Super Vocal 2, When I Grow Up, A Discovery of Witches (Shudder)

I never reviewed the first season of Million Pound Menu but I did catch up with the Season 2 of it this past week as its one of the newer releases on Netflix. I’ll be talking about that one in a TV binge. We ended up finishing The Mist as well which I can’t say is anything to call home about but TV binge for that one fits into the October horror month so I’ll have that out in next month to also help out with the progress.

The first signs of using the Shudder is showing up already with the mention of Tigers Are Not Afraid in the “Watching” section. We’re halfway through A Discovery of Witches which is Shudder series starring Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer. So far, its alright. A lot goes on so it feels a little convoluted.

As for currently watching, Youku finally released their version of those matchmaking reality shows on Youtube called Relation Ship. After this one, I’ll be doing a huge post on this type of variety show because I’m still very inspired about this subject. Other than that, its When I Grow Up which is a trip for some celebs, father and son/daughters duos who go on the trip in a camping/hiking style that brings them together or understand each other better. Its interesting because renowned actors from Hong Kong like Tony Ka Fai Leung and Elvis Tsui (who was in Stephen Chow films as supporting roles) as well as some popular China stars. Its nice to see some of these renowned stars now finally participating in these reality shows that shows their personalities more.

That’s it for What’s Up Week 38!
What have you been reading/playing/watching/binging?

Since September by Noelle MacLeod

SINCE SEPTEMBER
by: Noelle MacLeod

Since September

*Book received in exchange for honest review*

For Sheridan St. John, things just haven’t been the same since September.

It’s early autumn when wall-flower Sheridan and her best friend, Cyndi, move to the city to begin their lives as young adults. On their own for the first time – and away from the harsh criticisms of Sheridan’s mom – the girls are enjoying their new independence. But after a wild night of partying, Sheridan’s grip on reality starts to weaken. When a gruesome tragedy then strikes her family, she’s convinced it’s all an epic nightmare… one from which she must somehow awaken if she is to survive. – Goodreads

Since September is a thrilling little psychological ride. Whether it lands in the horror zone is still on a fairly light degree although the imagery of some parts are done pretty well to give a good idea of the gruesome bits and the more creepy psychological bits. Structured as a novella, the story paces itself really well to never actually have any mundane down moments and it wraps together the false sense of security for its character Sheridan while also giving it some gripping moments which gives a lot of credit in the writing itself. Although the endgame is fairly obvious, Sheridan doesn’t know and having more knowledge in this case gives her character the space to develop a bit on why she is the way she is.

Essentially, the story is split into two parts: before and after the turning point event that changes the location pretty much. The second part is similar to the likes of movie Girl Interrupted, which is somewhat of a spoiler but is a compliment because of all those supporting characters in this space. Its important to have those supporting characters as they elevate the story a little more, giving it a bit of humor or the life it needs or the encouragement to move forward for Sheridan’s character. These supporting characters are all fairly shallow and that has to do with the novella territory which is a short length story so lacks the depth for growth.

This is a novella so to avoid any more spoilers, I’m going to wrap up. Overall, Since September is a fun read. Its a pageturner for sure. The story is character-driven and Sheridan is a good character to navigate. There still leaves some mystery to her at the end but the pieces presented in this story works together well enough. My only thing here is whether the readers figuring out the twist before the character revelation was deliberate or the fault of dropping a few too many clues beforehand. There is a very fine line in navigating the realm of psychological stories and while some scenes felt a bit repetitive in structure, decreasing its psychological horror elements, however there’s still a nice sense of thrills and the set-up at the beginning is done pretty well also.

Goodreads score: 4/5

What’s Up 2019: Week 37

Tranquil Dreams (15)

As the weather cools down, summer is coming to an end and festival seasons are also slowing down. Still stuck with a cold, its been an all around odd week but still fairly productive. Week 37 is here and with a good dose of reading, playing, watching (and rewatching continues) and of course, my favorite, binging!

Let’s check it out!

READING

The+Moonlight+Pegasus+cover+ebook

  • The Moonlight Pegasus (Review)

Currently reading: Since September (43%)

Its been great getting back into reading which also helps that I’ve been finding some nice reads. After blitz reading through The Moonlight Pegasus which was quite a fun book, I just forward to Since September which is a psychological thriller-esque novella. Novellas are really nice to break between books and Since September, although I’m not even 50% done has been pretty nice. The endgame is quite obvious but I feel like its slightly deliberate and I kind of appreciate it for how its all set up.

PLAYING

injustice: Gods among us

  • Injustice: Gods Among Us

Currently playing: still in debate…

I finally got back to wrapping up the Injustice: Gods Among Us. Well, “finishing” since its not all done because I’m not that skilled but I have a pretty good idea of whats a part of the game and how it all feels on top of the story mode (which I had finished previously). I’m going to be working on a review for it to get things moving again over at Game Warp. If I can even get one or two reviews done in a month along with the monthly mobile games roundup, I’m going to be pretty happy. Goals, right? Let’s see how it all goes.

WATCHING

The Beguiled

  • Letters to Juliet – rewatch (Review)
  • The Beguiled (2017)
  • How It Ends (2018) (Review)

As we move along with Movies and Tea, The Beguiled tops my movies of this past week. I guess that says a lot about how the podcast recording at least on my point of view will turn out. Still, thats coming up soon. I’ve been rewatching movies that make me feel good, mostly because its keeping me more positive. Going back to watch Letters to Juliet, I’m starting to realize that while I still enjoy these little romantic comedies, I’m starting to see a lot of the flaws in it more but meh, its still enjoyable enough. At the same time, How It Ends review has already gone up. Its not great but you can see my thoughts in the written review instead. It also rings the bell that I’m running out of films for the double features..yikes!

BINGING

The King's Avatar

  • The King’s Avatar (2019)

Currently binging: Dream Space 2, Super Vocal 2, The Mist (Season 1), When I Grow Up

The King’s Avatar has sadly finished! Its bingeworthy and all around really fun to watch. It has zero romance and all about professional e-sports and tournaments and about a renowned e-sports player who has to start over and builds his own team while training some unexpected underdogs to get back into the professional leagues. Its motivating and fun and just inspirational. To be honest, its a breath of fresh air because it really puts the spotlight on the little conflicts in this career and this world as well as moving between reality and giving some great animation for all the fighting and battling sequences involved in their matches. Its a series to get away and truly embodies why gaming is great (even for myself who isn’t really huge on e-sports). I’m hoping that they find a way to move into a Season 2, although if they do, I’m fairly certain, they will start pulling in more dramatic elements like family and romance.

On the other hand, while Dream Space 2, Super Vocal 2 and a new variety reality show called When I Grow Up is going on right now, the husband decided to start up the TV series, The Mist which is currently available on Netflix. We’re about 6 episodes in (out of 10) and to keep things simple, I’m not too impressed so lets just say, at this current point, I’m not surprised it got cancelled. Either way, we’ll be working on wrapping it up over the weekend probably.

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