Double Feature: Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) & The Lodge (2019)

A little of an early announcement that this the last double feature for August. Double Feature will resume in September however, don’t worry, movie reviews will be the main focus for the next two weeks. The double feature is wrapping up the rentals that I’ve been working through. One is an movie that released earlier this year as video game adaptation Sonic the Hedgehog and that is paired with independent horror movie, The Lodge.

Let’s check it out!

Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)

Director: Jeff Fowler

Cast: Ben Schwartz (voice), James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell

After discovering a small, blue, fast hedgehog, a small-town police officer must help him defeat an evil genius who wants to do experiments on him. – IMDB

Video game adaptations seem to be more and more of late. Maybe its the surge of video game popularity or something but Sonic the Hedgehog is a fairly classic game and its one of my faves and because of this and the cast involved, it was one that I had on my radar. With the pandemic happening, it was something that just fell through until it circulated around on the rentals list. Sonic the Hedgehog has a similar tone to Pokemon Detective Pikachu and it has to do with aiming towards a younger audience for the most part and having the family/children’s live action with CG animated characters mesh.

With that said, Sonic the Hedgehog does manage to deliver on the children’s elements and a lot of the essence of the characters involved. There’s quite a bit of charm to each of them. Its a harmless and entertaining movie that aims to be an enjoyable experience and lands on its comedic points. For the older audience, it might be the charming element of Jim Carrey going back to his comedic roots like The Mask and Ace Venture: Pet Detective style with some jokes and movements really giving those vibes a lot as he portrays the villain Doctor Eggman.

Sonic is voiced by Ben Schwartz which is a fun character in general, both portraying the speedy blue hedgehog and as an actor himself. He is a good choice for the role and works it out really well. Sonic in CG animated form is pretty hilarious as well. Paired up with a rather dynamic performance by James Marsden, its a fun ride. There are some truly over the top moments but with the cast and material on hand, its rather expected.

The Lodge (2019)

Directors (and co-writers): Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz

Cast: Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Richard Armitage, Alicia Silverstone

A soon-to-be stepmom is snowed in with her fiancé’s two children at a remote holiday village. Just as relations begin to thaw between the trio, some strange and frightening events take place. – IMDB

The Lodge is a slow-paced atmospheric horror film. Its filmed in Montreal (where I am) which is why a lot of the road going up to the cabin looks incredibly familiar to myself which makes the isolated lodge in the familiar gloomy winter landscape feel even more unsettling. The Lodge builds on its quiet moments and its subtle sounds and creating this dark atmosphere. Whether its between the characters stuck in this lodge or dealing with the past and the events that happen, its all comes to spiral out of control even after the twist is revealed. It shows the dynamic and mentality between children and adults as well as the unsettled and unhinged mind. The setting creates a lot of the atmosphere to build up this story giving it the isolation and separation and even helplessness when things go bad.

At the same time, a lot of the movie is built up by its characters. The abrupt moments at the beginning and the simple-minded thoughts of children dealing with their soon-to-be stepmother and the nonacceptance of this new person in their lives followed by the dark past of said person all comes into play. Riley Keough delivers an outstanding performance as Grace, the soon to be stepmother who is trapped in this lodge with the two kids who are mostly ignoring her with the brother Aiden, played by Jaeden Martell being a big influence on the situation and having some unsettling moments of his own. Jaeden Martell made quite the performance in IT: Chapter One (review) previously and in The Lodge, its a different dynamic in his character.

The Lodge excels in its atmosphere and its characters and the surprise element that creeps along in the background until its final reveal. The way it concludes also takes a shocking path. This movie resides in knowing the least possible going in and experiencing its story so I won’t say any more. I do highly recommend it.

That’s it for this double feature!
Have you seen these two films? Thoughts?

15 Anticipated Films of 2020!

2020 is here! As we look forward at 2020, I know that its going to have a lot more unexpected releases come out but with what I have researched so far, this is a quick little list of 15 anticipated films releasing in 2020 that I’m looking forward to. There is no guarantee that I’ll get to see it in the theatres judging from last year’s theatre visits but here we are, the list in the order of release dates.

Underwater (January 10)

The first quarter of the year is usually fairly lackluster in what it has to offer. At least anything offered before March but somehow, I’ve been pretty impressed, in general with Kristen Stewart’s roles of late, even if I still have a few to catch up with. Being a fan of underwater movies and somewhat of an enclosed location setting, Underwater looks pretty good. I’m just hoping that the trailer doesn’t reveal everything that makes this one as thrilling as it looks.

To All The Boys: P.S. I Love You (February 12)

Being highly obsessed with To All The Boys I’ve Love Before, its been a long wait for the sequel. Its probably not going to be as good as the first movie, seeing as the source material also wasn’t as good in its second book in the trilogy as well. However, I’m sure its still going to tick all the boxes of a feel-good romantic comedy especially as the entire cast of the film are such charming characters.

Sonic the Hedgehog (February 14)

Its really a hit or miss situation here that can happen. It doesn’t have the appeal of say Deadpool Pikachu with Pokemon Detective Pikachu but it does have James Marsden and Jim Carey which are two actors that I like quite a bit. Plus, if you grew up with Sonic the Hedgehog as I have, its one that was probably eventually going to happen and something that its hard to not be slightly interested to see how it all goes.

A Quiet Place Part II (March 20)

While I had some issues with A Quiet Place, its not doubt that it was a pretty decent movie with a nice concept for horror and it did live up to most of my expectations. A Quiet Place Part II seems a little more by the books as the world seems more about discovering how much of humanity is still alive. If its anything like the previous direction, it should still be a lot of thrills. Finger crossed!

Disney’s MuLan (March 27)

I’m well-aware that the Disney live adaptations haven’t really been much of a success for most people. For the ones that I have seen, they are acceptable. However, Mulan making the anticipated list has to go mostly to the fact that Mulan is one of my favorite stories and its animated film was not so long ago that its a classic in my mind so its not as comparable. At the same time, the star power here in its cast is pretty decent and if not, its a full Chinese cast so thats always something to be excited about it, especially when Jet Li, Donnie Yen and Gong Li are all part of the film.

No Time to Die (April 8)

I’m far from a James Bond fan as I have so many films from the first few Bonds that I haven’t seen. But, I’m a pretty big fan of Daniel Craig as James Bond and have seen all of them. Seeing as this one is the last one with Craig as James Bond, it’ll be one to not miss, even if its after it hits home release.

Antlers (April 17)

Its hard to really tell when any horror movie is going to be any good. The premise here is pretty decent. The trailer looks fairly creepy. It has Guillermo Del Toro as a producer which is a good sign. Plus, Keri Russell is in it (and she proved that she does well in horror films in Dark Skies). It looks promising and hopefully will live up to it.

Black Widow (May 1)

Black Widow has been the Marvel movie that has been one that been waiting forever. While Marvel movies are quite formulaic at this point (as are most superhero movies) and rather saturated and I’m still a few Marvel movies behind and frantically catching up before they leave Netflix, Black Widow is one that will be very intriguing to watch especially since she’s pretty much been involved in all the phases of MCU but never got any movie of her own and always had a minor supporting role.

Fast & Furious 9 (May 22)

There doesn’t seem to be a trailer for Fast & Furious 9 yet but as a big fan of the franchise, no matter how ridiculous it all gets, its one that we will definitely find time to catch in the theatres. Its always going to be interesting to see what crazy levels its going to go.

Wonder Woman 1984 (June 5)

I’m not usually a huge fan of the DC universe films but Wonder Woman film was a pretty decent movie. Its enjoyable and Gal Gadot makes a great Woman Woman. The trailer seems to be rather on point with what made its first one enjoyable so here’s hoping that it will be the same. Its probably not one that I’ll catch at the theatres but still one that would be interesting to see at some point.

Monster Hunter (September 4)

No trailer yet for Monster Hunter movie. Its a smart move to make a movie out of it especially after the game was released last year with decent success. It’ll be nice to see where Paul W.S. Anderson takes the movie. Sure, he’s done some questionable movies but if you haven’t caught our look at his filmography on Season 1 of Movies and Tea, its well worth a listen as we definitely appreciated his work a lot more as there’s some pretty good defining elements. Plus, while I’ve had conversations with friends who say that its not admirable that he casts his wife a lot, but I’m a fan of Milla Jovovich and it’ll be interesting to see what role she does in Monster Hunter.

Death on the Nile (October 9)

After having recently seen Murder on the Orient Express and how that turned out so very well, Death on the Nile is a top anticipated film that we might actually head out to the theatres to see. Agatha Christie is an author that I’m slowly working through her work and I actually haven’t read Death on the Nile (so maybe will add that to my TBR pile). However, it’ll be great to see Kenneth Branagh come back as Hercule Poirot on another adventure.

Godzilla vs. Kong (November 20)

Kong: Skull Island almost made it onto my Top 10 movies of the decade over on Movies and Tea. While I still have to catch up on Godzilla:King of the Monsters, I’m always down for a kaiju movie. Monsters and creature features are up my alley so it seems rather fun to watch Godzilla and Kong battle it out! I kind of saw this coming a few years ago so just hoping that it’ll be as fun as I’m expecting it to be. However, with no trailer, its hard to truly nail down expectations right now.

Uncharted (December 18)

It feels like the Uncharted movie has been in the works forever. At least, it seemed to be something that had been talked about since the 4th game of the actual franchise was released (before the spinoff one). Nathan Drake is a great character and if anything, it would have been sweet to get Nolan North to do the character although its probably a rather demanding role. Tom Holland is Spider-Man in my  mind right now so its going to be a little hard to watch him as Nathan Drake, however, the Uncharted stories are usually pretty fun so I’m expecting some great things..although as we all know, video game adaptations really don’t get that well-received and Uncharted’s story has spanned over four games so it really depends what story angle it plans to use. Looking forward to seeing a trailer for it soon.

On the Rocks (TBA)

This list has changed around a little in the last 5 picks added in and after finishing the Sofia Coppola season on Movies and Tea in Season 3, its a director that really has sparked my interest on what she will deliver. I loved her father-daughter relationship movies and On The Rocks is one that brings back working with Bill Murray and features a father-daughter relationship in a more grown-up family relationship. It fits exactly into Sofia Coppola’s wheelhouse (and should be as she is the writer also) and can turn into something subtle and with depth.

Honorable Mentions: Fantasy Island, Gretel & Hansel, The Lodge, The Invisible Man, The New Mutants, Antebellum, Birds of Prey, Bloodshot, Onward, Candyman, Top Gun: Maverick, Tenet, Halloween Kills, Raya and the Last Dragon, Dune, The Dig, Rebecca

That’s it for 2020 anticipated films! These are mostly the bigger movies (without foreign films or indie films as they are hard to track).
What movies are you anticipating? Any other ones that I missed? Share them in the comments below.

Unboxing: Arcade Block [February 2016]

We’re back with another unboxing! We’re at our last block for a little while.  We will be resubscribing eventually but for now, my husband and I have decided to de-clutter our house before getting any more of this (among many of the reasons). Arcade Block is a lot of fun but I’ll be having some fun stuff coming up still! 🙂

Let’s check out February’s Arcade Block!

Arcade Block [February 2016]

Map of Hyrule Towel Set [Exclusive]

Arcade Block

Arcade Block

More Zelda gear! I swear, Arcade Block never ceases to remind me how I’m behind on Zelda games and just getting into this world. I’m not sure its my type of game though, to be honest.

Sonic the Hedgehog Drinking Cup [Exclusive]

Arcade Block

Arcade Block

OMG! Hands down! My most excited moment in this unboxing! I love Sonic to pieces and I’ve always wanted a drinking up like this, you know, those double walled ones? Yeah, I love it! 🙂

Hyrulian Treasure Chest [Exclusive]

Arcade Block

Arcade Block

This is yet more Zelda but its a pretty cute box.  I can take out that cardboard and gem thing and use it to store little tidbits of office supplies or something 😉 Super adorable!

Bit.Trip Collection Video Game [Exclusive]

Arcade Block

Arcade Block

The first thing my husband did when he handed this over to me was that I could play it on my computer.  Deal is, my friend built my computer and at that time, it was for other purposes that didn’t require a graphics card and now that I’m getting back into gaming, I kind of need it but this one probably doesn’t and that is what he means.  I’m pretty intrigued at checking this out 😉

Mushroom and Pipe Shakers [Exclusive]

Arcade Block

Isn’t this adorable? I’m not sure it beats my Pacman Ghosts one though but the idea of stacking it up is really awesome! I’ll figure out somewhere to put this 😉

Pokemon Evolutions T-Shirt [Exclusive]

Arcade Block

As usual, we wrap things up with the T-Shirt.  This time, its the 20th anniversary for Pokemon. Its been 20 years? Wow! Now, I’m starting to feel a little old. There were also two other ones which were different patterns and was blue or orange. I think it looks really cool! 🙂

Overall…A great February Arcade Block as always.  My favorite goes to the lovely shirt design and the Sonic Drinking Cup. We got games and shakers and those are both fun and useful! In general, I can make use with everything here and that is what is always great about Arcade Blocks.  I’m definitely coming back in a few months after we get some more organizing in our house done.  Its been dragging on for too long and we need to figure some stuff out before committing to this again.  However, we do have another box subscription which is why this could be set aside for now.

There are some fun stuff planned coming up, either events or unboxing or whatnot! I promise you more fun times! Always remember that when I set something aside, I always have thought up some sort of alternative 🙂

What gear do you like in this Arcade Block?

Unboxing: Arcade Block [July 2015]

Monday was a fantastic day.  Weird to say it about a Monday, right?

Well, I had a really hot weekend, weather-wise that got me a sunburn while eating a lot. I’ll talk about that in another post soon.  Sun and fatigue from running around the festival and everything going on in life kind of crashed and hit me this weekend and my body just wanted to sleep A LOT. So I passed out early at night and woke up a little earlier than normal, got a ton  of stuff done.  Long story short, it was a great weekend that made Monday great, even if we got a crazy thunderstorm.

Because of the thunderstorm that lasted for hours on and off, when I got home from work, my two mystery boxes were at my doorstep, soaked in rain. To make sure there wasn’t any damage, I did the unboxing without my fiance so while I kept the other box as a post (which will be up soon), I did the unboxing for the Arcade Block as a video. Its the first time I did editing on YouTube directly and I haven’t vlogged or made a video in a forever (maybe a few months ago at least), so umm…if its boring, I’m sorry…But I tried and its less than 7 minutes long so its worth it!

Hint: The gear is awesome! 🙂

What did you think of the gear in Arcade Block this month?

Which do you prefer: Unboxing videos or posts like THIS?

I wasn’t planning on posting this up but its kind of a timely thing to post these unboxing ones.  And I’m having quite a traffic jam of posts over here from stuff needing to be written (Festival film reviews) and a ton of other things because I’ve been out late all the time for the Festival. Enjoy!! 🙂

Arcade Block: February Unboxing!

Welcome to another Arcade Block unboxing! No video this time (but I promise I will have one for the next one).

I actually received my Arcade Block back at my own place (which I STILL haven’t moved into) on Monday.  After I managed to hurt my knee bad enough to not walk from helping assemble an IKEA dresser on Sunday, I finally managed to move with much less pain after 4 days.  Yay! Which also means, I can now drive over and open it with my boyfriend. Double YAY!

(Sidenote: You never realize how amazing walking is until something hinders it. Cherishing life moment)

If you’re a Zelda fan, you may envy me…just saying 😉

I haven’t played much Zelda but I intend to when I save up for the 3DS that I hopefully will purchase later this year. Thats the goal at least.

Enough rambling! Lets check out the February 2015 Arcade Block!

1) Link Plushie!

Arcade Block February 2015

2) Sonic the Hedgehog Buildable Figures

Arcade Block February 2015

And after we open it…

Arcade Block February 2015

Shadow the Hedgehog

So far so good, going right into my display cabinet, not on the My Little Pony level though 😉

3) Starfox Coffee Mug!

Arcade Block February 2015

Starfox Coffee

If there’s anything we have a lot of at our place, its mugs.  But you know what? I like this one a lot! I know nothing about Starfox but its a fox and I like foxes.  Thinking about all these mugs, I should have a mega tea party..haha! Okay, writing posts at 1am apparently makes me say silly things…and have weird ideas.

4) Zelda Map Mousepad

Arcade Block February 2015

I know this map has a name for the place, but I can’t remember it without the info card.  Thats how much I lack knowledge of Zelda. I will use this though.  It sure beats my pile of paper.

5) Pacman Keychain (and it makes the chomping sound!)

Arcade Block February 2015

I’m geeking out over this.  You know that high pitched voice that I made for the Tetris notebook in the last unboxing video.  Yeah, thats how I was reacting to this one 🙂 I like these retro arcade games: Tetris and Pacman being my fave.

6) Zelda T-shirt!

Arcade Block February 2015

Apparently these Zelda products are from different games.  I knew this looked familiar but I have to confess that I had to do a little research to figure out whether this was actually Zelda.  This shirt is totally cool.  Arcade Block shirts are for my boyfriend so I’m sure he’ll enjoy wearing this one.

And thats it, my lovelies! A recap of everything down below.

Arcade Block February 2015

I have to admit that these Arcade Blocks are rather fun.  From the videos of some other surprises boxes that I haven’t subscribed to, these are really hit and miss but so far, I’m relatively impressed.  The boyfriend read somewhere that next month has two T-shirts? Wonder if thats true because those shirts probably take up about 50% of the reason I’d renew my subscription, even if I don’t wear it.

What do you think? Are you a Zelda fan? Have you ever (or are you) subscribed to any of these mystery surprise box thingies? 

Happy Friday, my lovelies! 🙂