What’s Up 2020: Week 17

Another week has gone by! I’ve been swamped in work and will remain this way for the next weeks of recaps (or so). Who knows, right? Either way, I’m still trying my best to work hard on different things.

READING

Undead Ultra

Currently reading: Undead Ultra

Reading is still suffering the most out of this whole working from home and change in work situation where my workload has increased immensely. I haven’t been able to find time or energy to get around to reading. Hopefully it will change in the coming week as I set some reading into my actual schedule.

PLAYING

concrete genie

  • Concrete Genie
  • Bounce that Bird (mobile)

Currently playing: Happy Color, Faraway: Galactic Escape, Color Spots

Wrapped up Concrete Genie for Game Warp recording so you can look for that. Concrete Genie was an anticipated game for 2019 and snuck under the radar and honestly, it lived up to most of my expectations. It was something dark and colorful and hopeful all at the same time and was a ton of fun just making funky genies and painting walls.

I’m still working through mobile games that were part of the Google Play Indie Game Festival Finalists for some quick mobile game roundups.

As I renewed the Xbox Game Pass for PC for three more months, the next game to tackle will FINALLY be Ori and the Will of the Wisps once things settle down soon!

WATCHING

the willoughbys

  • Rambo: Last Blood (2019)
  • The Changeling (1980)
  • Deadly Detention (2017)
  • The Willoughbys (2020 Review)

A little bit more movie watching this week and surprisingly, we even managed to catch a new Netflix movie, which is honestly a rarity and I’m not sure why since I don’t even go to theatres anymore (even when they were open or when they reopen). The list here is one rental, one Shudder movie, one random choice for upcoming double feature setup and the new Netflix movie. It was honestly a battle between The Willoughbys and The Changeling for the recommended movie this week and the Willoughbys won out because it was what I needed and I just had a ton of fun watching it. You can check out the review, which I have already done (I know, I’m surprised also), linked above.

BINGING

theuntamed

  • The Untamed (2019)
  • The Singer 2020 (2020)

Currently binging: J-Style Trip, Love Equations, Me To Us, Youth With You 2, Welcome Back to Sound

Everything that I’m watching, I absolutely love. Last week, I finished up The Untamed. While I have to say that The Singer 2020 was pretty fun to watch, The Untamed was really great. Its been probably about a week as I type this up and man, I’m still thinking about it a lot. The little subtleties, the story, the character: so much thought and care has been put into the detail because of the source materials direction adapted for the strong censorship in China. I didn’t care too much about Yibo Wang before but I’m starting to see something with him but more than that, I absolutely love Sean Xiao even more. So amazingly talented.

As for currently watching, Love Equations reached its halfway point and its still very enjoyable and really nice to watch just like its sister series before. Me To Us and Youth With You 2 are two really great reality shows to create a band and girl group respectively and so far, its been pretty fun especially when it comes to discussing what each of these things mean and especially the former, talking about the challenges of finding a balance of bringing something new and still being accepted by the market. Very grounded in its concept when creating these bands and performances, in the making for its final band. The new addition here is Welcome Back to Sound on Mango TV. Its rehashing the radio broadcast concept onto an online live podcast where people can call in with their personal questions and send in traditional mail that will be replied by QR code message reply or read out loud. It has three hosts and two to three guests, so its pretty fun as well as some of the stories that are shared is pretty touching.

That’s it for Week 17!
Thinking back, I did manage to put some effort in catching up on certain things!
Now to schedule in reading time! Should be better in the next recap *fingers crossed*!
What have you been reading/watching/binging/playing?

What’s Up 2020: Week 16

Welcome to Week 16 of 2020! Self-isolation has been going on for a month or so. Its been quite an experience. I can’t say that I’ve been able to do a whole lot of things different from usual since work has been quite busy and its all about getting through April. Week 16 was a lot of wanting to do something but not being able to because of work overtime or home things.

READING

Undead Ultra

Currently reading: Undead Ultra

Still reading Undead Ultra and I can tell you that I’ve moved forward very very little. The time to read wasn’t quite as much as I’d like but I am aiming to finish the book soon. Its not a particularly long novel but I just need to sit down to do it.

PLAYING

doors awakening

  • Doors: Awakening

Currently playing: Concrete Genie, Happy Color, Bounce That Bird, Color Spots

I’ve been working on a lot of Game Warp stuff lately. Concrete Genie is our upcoming game of the month so its one that I’ve been playing through in preparation for the next recording. As for the other games, Doors: Awakening is a game very similar to other puzzle games published from Snapbreak and its part of the Google Play Indie Games Festival Finalists along with Bounce That Bird and Color Spots and a whole bunch of free games that I’ve been playing through for a little capsule reviews, something like a Mobile Game Roundup.

WATCHING

The Farewell

  • The Game (1997)
  • The Farewell (2019)
  • Black Mountain Side (2014)
  • Berlin Syndrome (2017)

I have a ton of movie reviews lined up to write so all of these are currently in line to be written. This week’s highlight goes to The Farewell which I finally got around to seeing thanks to a cheap rental. Its a great film. The story and characters and whatnot all make for a great watch. Other movies in here are for Movies and Tea recording (you can guess which one yourself). Black Mountain Side is a movie on Shudder which I personally don’t recommend but apparently some people on Letterboxd seem to like it more than I did. While on the other hand, Berlin Syndrome ended up being surprisingly decent and Teresa Palmer acts in her own Australian accent instead of playing an American so that was quite a surprise as well.

BINGING

breakfast lunch and dinner

  • Find Yourself (rewatch 2020)
  • Too Hot to Handle (Season 1, 2020) Review
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner (Season 1, 2019)

Currently binging: Me to Us, The Singer 2020, The Love Equations, J-Style Trip, Youth With You 2, The Untamed

As usual, with a lot of work, TV is the most abundant thing since I like binge-watching on my spare time the most. Plus, TV means a lot of times that I can multitask and that was exactly what I needed. After some though, I decided to watch Too Hot to Handle and it was something that fit into my current mindset so I even finished up a review so you can read my thoughts there. I did a rewatch for Find Yourself which I’m working on a review right now and then wrapped up Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner which was a decent structure as a documentary series. While I like the Ugly Delicious style of docuseries, I like this one a lot too.

Currently binging is really not that different. The Singer 2020 is about to end as they wrap up the semi-finals and head into the finals in the coming week. J-Style Trip is my filler show since it only has one episode a week and it blends well with Me To Us that updates one episode a week on the weekend. I’m enjoying everything that I’m binging right now actually and its just a matter of choosing which I want to watch and which to watch over the course of the following week although my weekend mornings are watching the premieres on Youtube for The Love Equations so I binge those 4 episodes released over the weekend a lot. That series is so fun. On the other hand, I finally started The Untamed which was a HUGE deal last year and I can see why as I binged 10 episodes in one day and if I kept this pace, it’ll be done in no time, even at 50 episodes total. Lots of great TV to watch and catch up with!

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

What’s Up 2020: Week 13

Moving right along now into Week 13 of 2020! This week’s recap was the first official week of self-isolation. While life didn’t change much except for moving work to my home office and its been a whole more of deliberately staying at home, the good thing is that writing is definitely more on track and I’ve found more time to do other things in these different categories. On the positive side of things, we’re progressing!

READING

Blackthorn

Currently reading: Blackthorn

Blackthorn is moving forward FINALLY! I’m finding time to read again, although not quite as much as before. However, I’m definitely hitting the meat of the story as I hit almost halfway. I do plan on finishing it soon as I have another book to start reading very soon in preparation for the next blog tour.

PLAYING

where the water tastes like wine

Currently playing: Demon’s Tilt, I Love Hue, I Love Hue 2, Happy Color, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine

Definitely moving forward with a lot more games this week. Still mostly focused on mobile for relaxation and then checking out other games on Xbox Game Pass for PC. I’m debating to keep it a little longer than the three months since I have a few other games to check out that might take some time to finish like Ori and the Will of the Wisps and Guacamelee 2! As for this week, I started up Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, an indie game that is really narrative and part choice-based to direct the story in a different way. I just realized that the game is fairly long (like 10 hours) and I’m only like an hour into it so I still have some gaming to give more thoughts on it. On another note, I’m trying to use this time to get more gaming posts up. First line of business is the revival of Mobile Games Roundup!

WATCHING

aliens

  • A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
  • The Guardian Brothers (2016)
  • Aliens (1986, rewatch)
  • Alien 3 (1992, rewatch)

A ton of rewatches this week and really only one new watch. I had postponed The Guardian Brothers so long that I felt like I wanted to rewatch it to get a review out. We’re really ahead for Movies and Tea recordings so you can kind of guess who we chose for Season 5 seeing as I went ahead to revisit some Alien movies. The husband actually did watch all the first 4 but I actually fell asleep (because of fatigue and not the movie’s problem) for Alien and then I’m not a fan of Alien Resurrection so, no surprise, I actually dozed off also. Either way, it helped to catch the little details. I’m actually surprised that I haven’t reviewed the Alien franchise yet. I had thought that I did so I might be doing a Sunday Lists posts to rank the movies thus far!

BINGING

The Circle Brazil

  • The Circle Brazil (Season 1, 2020)

Currently binging: Skate Into Love, Me To Us, Youth is You 2, The Singer 2020, J-Style Trip

Lots of TV back on the radar now. Three Week Event of The Circle Brazil wrapped up and its still such a great concept as a show. With different countries and different players, the game changes and its a refreshing way to see the outcome. Its great since The Circle France is around the corner and what’s even better is that now I can watch it with more ease as I understand French!

As for currently watching, J-Style Trip released its next episode with guest star JJ Lin exploring Singapore in a 2 part trip. The first part is whats available and pretty fun since I’ve liked JJ Lin as a musician as well and fits so well since he had just did a live online concert with friends for his birthday. I finally got started with Me to Us and I love it SO MUCH! Not hard to since I can’t help but fangirl over Nicholas Tse who in his late 30s is still AWESOME! So much style on stage! As for Skate Into Love, this series is one of my most anticipated this year since I like Janice Wu as an actress in TV series and she was pretty quiet in 2019 and so far, its been really fun! Its supposed to be the part 2 of a trilogy following Ashes of Love (review). Plus, its only 40 episodes, which is fairly modest for Chinese dramas.

That’s it for Week 13’s recap! 
What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?

What’s Up 2020: Week 10

We’re past 10 weeks into 2020! Its been a wild beginning of the year! So many things happening and incredibly busy and all that crazy stuff. A lot of it hopefully will calm down in March although I’ve been having something else on my mind the past little while. This week, things went fairly smoothly packed with some binge gaming.

READING

celestial assignment

  • The Celestial Assignment by Theresa Braun

Currently reading: Blackthorn by Terry Tyler

Finished reading The Celestial Assignment which is a short story/novella of sorts. The review for that is in the works so I’m not going to talk too much about it here. Currently, the reading has moved on to a longer book Blackthorn by Terry Tyler who I did read a book from in the past few months that I liked quite a bit called Hope (review). I’m literally only at 5% so its hard to really determine how I feel so far.

PLAYING

thimbleweed park

  • Thimbleweed Park (2017)

Currently playing: I Love Hue, Demon’s Tilt

Gaming really got a big increase as I completed the entire Thimbleweek Park game as it looked it was going to leave Xbox Game Pass and I wasn’t sure when so I just found more time to get it finished. It was pretty fun. Written or podcast review is coming up. We haven’t quite decided on which yet. However, I’ve been back to playing I Love Hue on mobile which is a fantastic game about putting colors in order. I reviewed it before for a Mobile Games Roundup before HERE. I come back to this game every once in a while but I’ve been really into it as its very good for destressing. I also mass downloaded a bunch of little indie games on Game Pass as well and started up a pinball game called Demon’s Tilt. Pinball games are always quite entertaining although I’m still trying to get back into the speed of things.

WATCHING

pitch perfect3

  • Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)
  • Dog Soldiers (2002)
  • First Love (2019 rewatch, Review)
  • Hell House LLC (2015)
  • What A Girl Wants (2003)

I had a hard time picking a movie that stood out this week mostly because other than my rewatch of First Love, everything else was pretty average. I caught up with Dog Soldiers which was one that people had told me was good when I reviewed The Descent (review) which was okay. The husband chose Hell House LLC which was a found footage horror and was alright with some decent scares (which apparently has 2 more sequels) and I chose to watch a 2000s coming of age teen film with Amanda Bynes called What A Girl Wants which was entertaining in Amanda Bynes way but rather predictable. With that said, I guess I have to pick Pitch Perfect 3 out of the batch because I’m a fan of the franchise and it delivered pretty much what I expected and was a decent farewell.

BINGING

our song

  • Love is Blind (Season 1, Review)
  • Our Song (Season 1, 2019)

Currently binging: The Singer 2020, Ugly Delicious (Season 2), Unrequited Love

I know that I put Love is Blind last week but then I realized they came out with the reunion episode so I officially finished it. That’s not a huge deal because the other variety show I watched was much more fun which I watched on Youtube via the SMG Shanghai TV Channel called Our Song. The concept of our song is renowned singers pair up with younger singers to recreate certain songs as duets in a competition format against each other. Its a ton of fun to watch and they all have some nice songs come out. Plus, it had a lot of singers that I loved (mostly from the older singers group).

That’s it for Week 10!
What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?

What’s Up 2020: Week 9

Week 9 is already behind us! This past week has been crazy busy. Hopefully, a little break happens following this week and things start picking up again. Still, a few things did wrap up today so that’s always good. I do apologize for movies being rather inactive this week, not really sure what happened there.

READING

to dream is to die

  • To Dream Is To Die (Dead Dreamer #1) by Sarah Lampkin

Currently reading: The Celestial Assignment

As I work hard on getting things back to normal, I managed to wrap up To Dream Is To Die which actually turned out to be quite a fun read. I have a few little issues with it but the world and the story itself is pretty decent. I’m working on the review right now which should be out soon. In the meantime, I’ve started a short story (which I don’t think even counts as novella) and I’m pretty much like 60% done as I’m writing this. Lots of book reviews coming up as I have a few other commitments to work on before the end of March.

PLAYING

snake pass

  • Snake Pass (incomplete)

Currently playing: Reigns: Game of Thrones, Thimbleweed Park

I’m pretty much completely focused on Xbox Game Pass for PC subscription at the moment. I had downloaded Snake Pass to realize that it was leaving the Game Pass so tried to get in a little time which resulted in one gaming session before it left at the end of the week. However, I have the general idea of how it feels. With that said, I’m still working through Reigns: Game of Thrones and have started Thimbleweed Park as the latter is going to leave Game Pass soon as well so scrambling to try and finish that one.

WATCHING

Your Name movie poster

  • Your Name. (2016, Review)
  • Black Panther (2018)

I already apologized above for the lack of movie viewing. Its really mystifying how quickly the week passed and no movies happened. It could have to do with other busy things and just deadlines and work taking over and zapping my energy. Either way, both of these were decent viewings with Your Name strucking a chord more for myself, which was great because it was my choice for the concluding review for Ultimate 2010s Blogathon.  I’m having a hard time committing to watching superhero movies and that is why Black Panther took me a while to get back to however, its a nice change in pace for Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’ll keep other thoughts for when I do the double feature which I should pair with Avengers: Infinity War when I get around to watching it (hopefully soon).

BINGING

love is blind

  • Love is Blind (Season 1, 2020)

Currently binging: The Singer 2020, Eternal Love of Dream, Our Song

Love is Blind wrapped up with a finale episode giving the conclusion of the 5 couples and whether they went through with their marriage and at the same time, answering to whether the experiment worked for them. I’ll talk more about this show when I do the TV binge, which is in the works. I just lost a bit of interest once the blind love experiment section ended which pretty much the results of this deemed the experiment inconclusive. Either way, I’m mostly watching Our Song right now as its the only TV show that has finished and catching up weekly with the other two shows. I’m trying to start another series on Netflix but haven’t quite decided which yet.

Week 9 ends with a lot of writing plans in the horizon. 
What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?

What’s Up 2020: Week 8

Welcome to the continuous hectic weeks of February! We’re heading towards the end of February and this obviously recaps the week prior so its just still a bit nuts. I’m trying to keep up with everything as much as I can. Some things popped up as well while wrapping up other little things.

READING

to dream is to die

Currently reading: To Dream Is To Die

Reading is still pretty good. I’m managing to keep up with the whole reading on the bus in the morning routine. It gives me a good lead on a lot of the reading and with sufficient time and not too long books, which is mostly the ones I have coming up, most of it is on track. Plus, reading in the morning is always a great way to start the day. I’m still reading To Dream Is To Die. Its definitely picking up and the story is panning out better. I have some little issues right now with dialogue but I’m not even halfway so I wonder if its deliberate. We will see whether its a character thing or just something less to my liking.

PLAYING

reigns game of thrones

  • ClusterTruck

Currently playing: Reigns Game of Thrones

Like I said last week, I’m going to try this week to make the most of the Xbox Game Pass for PC that I have up until April. Before any big games, which I just don’t have time to commit to right now, I’m playing games in little doses. The first that I installed and then removed within less than half an hour was the desire to try out ClusterTruck which is a fairly simple control type of game but also a tad frustrating to get through levels at a certain point. I figured that I’d seen most of what it had to offer so uninstalled it. If I was in the right mindset, I would probably have played it longer but unfortunately, I’m just not. So, I moved onto something newly added which is Reigns: Game of Thrones.

I’ve reviewed the previous two Reigns games and go back to play them on my phone every once in a while. Playing Reigns on PC is a pretty neat experience as it feels more cinematic, which makes me wonder if its just the Game of Thrones angle that adds to it. I’m still unlocking characters and figuring out how to do it so probably will be working on this for the next week or so. It feels more objective oriented so its pretty fun.

WATCHING

FIRST-LOVE-Poster-1382x2048

  • Life of Pi (2012)
  • The Swan Princess (rewatch 1994)
  • Battle of Jangsari (2019, Review)
  • Bait (2012)
  • First Love (2019)

Between Movies and Tea which brought viewings, rewatching The Swan Princess as its great to pair as background viewing and the fantastic two screeners that I got over the past week, its been really good on the viewing front. Everything has been a nice surprise overall. I won’t talk too much about Life of Pi as that’s a Movies and Tea recording and then I got to catch up with Bait which has been on my watch list for a while and it didn’t disappoint. My movie of the week has to go to one of my screeners, although both are pretty good, First Love is awesome! Its full of a good balance of fast-paced action, crime fights between yakuza and triad, clueless pairing getting caught up and some incredibly funny and quirky characters. Its fun and exciting to watch.

BINGING

Find Yourself

  • Dad Where Are We Going (Season 5, 2017)
  • Find Yourself (2020)

Currently watching: The Singer 2020, Love Is Blind, Eternal Love of Dream

TV binge definitely is what I wanted to have accomplish.  I ended up wrapping Dad Where Are We Going 5 and Find Yourself, both were pretty decent watches. If anything, Find Yourself was overall just a fun little watch with a lot of pink hearts floating around a lot of the scenes. It was a bit frustrating in the middle but still managed to pull itself through in the end.

Due to the coronavirus in China, The Singer 2020 actually has changed its structure to an online format with its designated audience watching live as the singers perform in their respective cities and studios/homes. Its an interesting way to do it but still manages to keep it interesting. Other than that, Love is Blind should be wrapping up in the finale this week. I’m still uncertain how I feel about it as its more of something I’ve been watching in the background. While Eternal Love of Dream is at the phase where I’m saving up episodes so skipped a week to pile up more to watch in a binge when I have more time.

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

What’s Up 2020: Week 5

Week 5 of 2020! Man, time sure flies by. Probably because January was so immensely busy that I didn’t really have time to think about anything other than deadlines. It was kind of a mess. Because of that, its all kind of a mess and not a whole lot of stuff done but we’re slowing moving forward and I’m still relatively motivated as these little escapes have actually been helping with the de-stressing process.

READING

buried in my past

  • Buried in My Past by  Eva Mackenzie

Currently reading: When Stars Are Bright

Wrapped up the little bit I had left from the week before for Buried In My Past. Its a fairly decent novel. I’ll be posting up the review as part of a blog tour soon so I won’t go too much into it as to leave it for the actual write-up. However, it did hit a lot of things that I like about novel structure and narrative and it was well-paced. I had some little issues of figuring a part of the end-game but then I watch a lot of thrillers and overthink a lot scenarios so I usually catch those little details.

PLAYING

life is strange 2

  • Glass Masquerade DLC: Halloween, Heritage & Inception

Currently playing: Life is Strange 2, Overcooked 2

I had to get Glass Masquerade out of my system after picking up all the DLCs so I ended up finishing that one up as it matched the pace of what I needed to relax in gaming. After that, I had to start working on Life is Strange 2 as due to my work, recording has already been pushed back so needed to jump right into it expecting a short game but the episodes are fairly long, running at 3 to 4 hours each, so its a little harder to do them in a speedy way. Plus, the story is definitely heavier this time around, bringing up a lot of issues. Currently done with Episode 2 and its been a decent ride especially as it managed to link itself back to the world of Life is Strange and The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit.

WATCHING

Always Be My Maybe

  • Always Be My Maybe (2019)
  • Dog Days (2018)

Movie watching at a low this week. I needed to get some Valentine’s marathon viewings out of the way and ended up choosing these two films. Both are actually quite fun to watch but Always Be My Maybe is really hard to beat as it has Ali Wong who I truly love her humor and then a great performance from Keanu Reeves appearing in the most random way and having the most random rule as a fairly spontaneous character. There’s just so much to love about it.

BINGING

Next in Fashion

  • Master in the House (2019)
  • Next in Fashion (Season 1, 2020)

Currently binging: Eternal Love of Dream, Who’s The Murderer 5

As I try to keep on track with getting out TV binges, I decided to catch up on some more relaxing shows in the form of variety shows mostly. Both the currently binging are still currently airing so they only have limited episodes per week making Eternal Love of Dream and Who’s The Murderer 5 sitting in the background for a while as weekend binges.

I finally took the time to finish up Master in the House that I had started when it first aired last year in April or something but Mango TV decided to get back to uploading to Youtube but just one week later than when its watched on the app. Its a fun one since I’m a fan of the group NEXT and the masters are pretty good and happen to partially be singers that I love also.

And Netflix takes on the fashion competition world as they have Tan France and Alexa Chung host (and judge) the Next in Fashion competition, which seeks to find the Next in Fashion fashion designer who can win $250,000. That show is incredibly bingeworthy. I’m also working on a TV binge for this as I’m a big supporter of Netflix holding these international competitions using their platform for its potential to reach an international audience in various sectors.

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