"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Thursday, February 29, 2024

The Fandom Favorites Tag // You've Heard it Before But This is Why I Blog


Today I was frantically trying to come up with an idea for a post because you don’t always have an opportunity to post on leap day so you mustn’t waste it. So I was digging through my drafts and found this post I wrote most of in 2022 and never published it, whoops. 

This is all to say HAPPY LEAP DAY!

It's time for another tag, and today's was provided by Hamlette. Thanks for including me! It is the Fandom Favorites Tag, created by Eva at The Caffeinated Fangirl. This is such a cool concept for a tag, and I don't pass up opportunities to talk about my favorite things! The day I learned the term "fandom" seems ages ago now, but it was quite the life changer. I realized other people are as obsessed with things as I am! If you want to see even more thoughts on fandoms, check out this post that I did a couple of years ago, but for now, read on!


The Fandom Favorites Tag:

The rules:

  • Compile a list of up to ten of your favorite fandoms. Books, movies, TV shows—you name it! 
  • Tell us about your favorite character in each of those fandoms, along with an explanation of why that character is your favorite. (Your reasoning can be however long or short you’d like it to be.) 
  • Tag however many (or few) friends you’d like to participate. 
  • Feel free to use the tag graphic (but you don’t have to). 
  • That’s it. Short and sweet!

I have a few additional guidelines that I'm following for myself. For one thing, I decided Disney and Pixar are too broad. How in the world am I supposed to pick a favorite character from those huge universes?Disney has over. 120. movies. How am I supposed to sort that out? They are just too huge. Next, I'm counting the fandom if it is something I dive deep into all the theories, memes, and headcannons. For example, I would count myself thoroughly in the fandom of Anne of Green Gables and Kate DiCamillo, but for the former I don't want to hear what anyone else has to say (I'm resistant when it comes to the movies.) and for the latter I'm too busy reading to deal with anything else.

These are listed in alphabetical order by fandom, not character name or any other preference.

Fandom: Carmen Sandiego

Is there ANYONE out there who has seen it, too? I don't know of anyone. My younger sister scoffs when I go on about animated tv shows, but I love them, okay? Sure, there are educational aspects aimed towards younger viewers, but it is about GEOGRAPHY and the WORLD and I hardly knew any of their facts. It has taught me so much. But, on top of that, THE CHARACTERS. The growth in this show is phenomenal. I've been a fan of the Carmen Sandiego video games for as long as I can remember so at first it was weird to be completely flipped, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Favorite Character: Carmen 

Anyway, I love so many characters from the show, but without a doubt, Carmen is my favorite. She's brave, spunky, kind, passionate, persistent, clever, and adopts strays. She's also the most gorgeous animated lady there is, so what's that all about? She believes in second chances and making the world a better place. My second favorite character does not appear enough--I think he's only in...8 episodes? But we're not here to talk about second favorites.

Fandom: The Chronicles of Narnia


This series has been my favorite book series ever since I read them for the first time, and I'm not changing my mind any time soon. I could devote posts and posts to these, so I'll spare you from my reasoning for now.

Favorite Character: Puddleglum, and others.

The pain of choosing nearly destroyed me (I can't pick between the Pevensies. One time I did, but never again), but our favorite wet blanket is the perfect choice. Well not perfect choice because I've agonized over it. Anyway, I love that Puddleglum himself never changes, but Scrubb and Pole's perception of him does. He's still seeing the glum part of life, but they realize that he's seeing life even in the darkest of times. I feel like my optimism can sometimes turn into this and I love seeing the value that it has. It's a turn away from nihilism and I love it.

Also, who am I kidding, this would be a whole post because the question isn't favorite Narnia character overall, it should be more like favorite from each book. So quick recap:

  • The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe: Mr. Tumnus
  • Prince Caspian: Edmund+DLF
  • Voyage of the Dawn Treader: Lucy+Reepicheep
  • The Silver Chair: Puddleglum
  • The Horse and His Boy: Avaris
  • The Magician's Nephew: Digory
  • The Last Battle: Jill

And that is literally just the first person who came to my head. If I were to ponder this more I would have different answers and probably cry, so we're moving on.

Fandom: Harry Potter 


I know there are controversies about J.K.Rowling so I'm talking about her, just her books. Yes, the books that are hyped up. They've been part of my life for so long that they deserve a spot in my favorites. I went through periods of being annoyed by them, but I've come to really appreciate them and one of my favorite things to think about is imagining the school years of all the adults.

Favorite Character: Luna Lovegood 

My favorite character is my kindred sprit, darling Luna Lovegood. Closely followed by Neville Longbottom and Ron Weasley. Luna is ethereal. She's shunned for being different but she never lets that bother her and is always her adorable self, even if people think she's quirky. She has the kindest heart to anyone and everyone. I say this to everyone when I talk about Harry Potter, but my goal in life is to be like Luna.

Fandom: Jane Austen


I wrote this whole post out up to this point and was feeling proud of myself when I remembered I hadn't actually chosen a favorite character. Oh the horror. We'll talk about why I love it first. This is my comfort fandom for sure. Any time I get sick, my first reaction is to watch a Jane Austen. The witty dialogue, the character development, the simplicity, everything.

Favorite Character: Elizabeth Bennet

I always like to pick the favorites that no one else has. And this is making this hard because I feel like everyone is fairly equally loved, but I don't want to pick anyone who I relate to. Almost by process of elimination then, my favorite is Lizzy Bennet. And because I just rewatched P&P 1995 so it's on my mind at the moment. She is sparkling in how clever she is. She says the most amazing things and people rarely get it. It makes me so sad. She loves walks and the outdoors and shines anywhere she goes. She also has to put up with the most outrageous proposals, so props to her for handling those with so much grace. I couldn't find the pin, but once on Pinterest I found something along the lines of "I think we all thought we'd grow up to be the charming and clever Elizabeth Bennet and instead became the introverted and stressed out Fitzwilliam Darcy" and I FEEL THAT.

Fandom: Marvel


One of these fandoms could be "archery" in and of itself, but we'll settle with how in any fandom my favorite character is the archer. I joined the MCU late (aka right before Endgame), but I love it. Yes, they can sometimes drift into being pure action movies, but I love the internal conflict that is always as strong as the external action. Every action that these characters take, every decision that they make, I always believe it 100%. That's how well these characters are. That's why one of my favorite movies is Civil War, because just looking at the plot I would usually hate it. But the dynamics between every single character make the whole movie so thrilling to me and I'm always fascinated by their interactions with each other.

Favorite Character: Clint Barton

Clint is such a strong presence. He's never in a fight with anyone else, he's funny, he's patient, he's quick to analyze a situation. He has had some hard missions, but he will give people second chances more than anyone else. I am most upset at Infinity War not because of what happens but because Clint isn't in it. I love his place in the team as a brother and father figure. And he's so skilled, it's fantastic.

Fandom: Robin Hood


Specifically The BBC version. This show has been watched by me so many times and I never get tired of it. The question "Will you tolerate this injustice?" gives me chills. This show makes me laugh, makes me cry, makes me want to be a better person. And that's what storytelling is about. The connections between the characters always makes the ending hard. I want this show to go on and on; you can't make me abandon the family I have found in all of them.

Favorite Character: Marian of Knighton 

Marian is such a breath of fresh air. Robin, though I love him to death, can get full of himself and his ego can make him make choices for the wrong reason. Marian always reminds him why he's doing this. She is strong in a time period I would have crumbled in. She loves her father and will speak up when needed. She is full of reason and cares for people who are hurting. She is unendingly brave. She will always be my favorite character in this series and one of my favorite characters of all time. Though of the gang, Much and Djaq and close to my heart, too. And Allan. And you get the point.

Fandom: A Series of Unfortunate Events/All the Wrong Question/ Lemony Snicket


I started typing A Series of Unfortunate Events, but then I realized I love All the Wrong Questions more, but I am still a part of both fandoms. Therefore, it's the generic "Lemony Snicket" fandom. It works because a lot of his books are connected to each other. And I literally just wrote a whole post about this, so I won't repeat myself.

Favorite Character: Lemony Snicket


Poor Lemony is so melancholy but won't tell us why except for "Dearest, darling, dead". But even as a child in ATWQ, he's very quiet in his ways. I mean, he's fairly snarky, but he's subtle about it. He's just trying to find is place in the world and work hard for his organization. And he ponders books and truths about the world. And I want to give him a hug and a root beer.

Fandom: Shakespeare


Because I'm a nerd. And a gleeful nerd, at that. I wasn't a part of this fandom when I was younger, just a casual observer. But now I love to discuss Shakespeare any chance I get. I love to talk about the connecting themes and possible contemporary interpretations. The way that my sister and I go off about Shakespeare is unreal. One of the highlights of my year is watching his plays, and I'm so glad that where I live it's a yearly occurrence. 

Favorite Character: Feste from Twelfth Night


This changes on a daily basis. But I'm still partial to the version that happened last year and Feste was amazing and I can't get her voice out of my head to this day. Anyway, I love the idea of the "fool" being the one in the room who is really the wisest in the room.

Because theatre is so cool and so versatile then we don't have pictures, so that's why I've got something that mentions Horatio. Because he's my favorite from Hamlet, though I have a soft spot for Laertes and Ophelia, too. Though my current favorite plays are Cymbeline and Much Ado About Nothing which WAIT A MINUTE reminds me about Benedick and Beatrice, who are totally my favorites, too, so they totally deserve a photo.

I dare you to find a sicker burn that that.

Fandom: Star Wars


Ah, the fandom that reverberates through my soul with John Williams's score blaring. Yes, it's war in space, but at the same time with a resounding "NO" it isn't war in space. It's relationships and rebellion and the darkness that is within the galaxy and balance and hope. Y'all know the rest.

Favorite Character: Luke Skywalker

Followed by Rey, Leia Organa, Rose Tico, and Han Solo. At this point, why am I even doing this tag if it gives me so much pain trying to pick one favorite? Because talking about the characters is worth it. I've talked about my love of Luke many times (briefly HERE and at length HERE).

Fandom: Studio Ghibli


The fandom that is notorious for being chill and honoring the ideal lifestyle. The magnificent animation here is renowned and I will never get enough of it. Though I think I've only seen 6 out of the 20+ movies, I call myself a fan. And the fan art is some of my favorite.

Favorite Character: Chihiro, from Spirited Away (2001)

She goes through horrors that we can't even imagine. And yet she is so brave and so kind. She develops a kindness in this movie that goes beyond friendliness but a full embodiment of kindness. She's not plowed down in her respect of other people, though. She thanks people for what they do for her and then continues on her journey, not falling prey to temptation. 

No tagging anyone because I am BARELY going to make the 29th of February, but thank you so much for reading! Please tell me all about your favorite characters from these fandoms!

Chloe the MovieCritic

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Various Family Dynamics // Lemony Snicket’s centrality of siblings in stories

Hello readers! 


It is the month of talking about what we love. That's what I do every month on this blog, but this has a special focus for talking about the people we love, not just stories. Therefore I'm going to talk about siblings.

As someone with siblings (note, plural), stories that represent that bond are important to me. And often it feels like character either don't have siblings or act around them in a way that is foreign to me. 

There is, however, a storyteller who absolutely nails talking about various family dynamics, especially siblings: Lemony Snicket.

His most famous work is A Series of Unfortunate Events, which doesn't sound promising for families. In fact, "It will wreck your evening, your whole life, and your day." On the surface it is a series about three orphans who are plagued by terrible events. But at its core, it is a series about trials and triumphs of three siblings trying to figure out the world.

I've come to view Lemony Snicket as writing some of the most realistic siblings I've ever read and related to. And I'm going to tell you why.

Note: This is about two series in the same universe for Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events and All the Wrong Questions. I'm going to talk about the relationships between the characters, but will avoid the plot details, so this is spoiler-free. I've written reviews for the first two books in A Series of Unfortunate Events, so you can read book 1 HERE and book 2 HERE.

Let's get started!


First, I'm going to say that I didn't always think the best of Lemony Snicket's works. In fact, at first I thought "no siblings act like that". That was before I realized that he was portraying some ideal siblings and didn't recognize the special traits he gave each. But not all of this is joy (hello, none of it is joy. It's Lemony Snicket we're talking about). Snicket has a range that I'll talk about today and how that only strengthens the contrasting siblings. I'll give a few examples though I had to cut myself off from talking about EVERY sibling group because or else we'd be here all day.

A Favorite:

The Baudelaires: A Series of Unfortunate Events 

Key characteristic(s):
Defense of each other and using each other's strengths.

The three marvelous and brave children are Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. Each of the children is very defined by their skills (inventing, reading, or biting respectively) and the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of them is how they make the most of their bad situations by using their strengths. Klaus is always suggesting materials that Violet can use to invent things, Violet is always asking Klaus about subjects he might have researched, and the two of them are always making sure Sunny is comfortable and has something to bite. And not just, oh, amuse the baby. They truly include her. This support of each other speaks volumes because they don't look down at each other's interests, but rejoice in them being different and able to lend themselves to the situation from different perspectives.

'[Talking about a picked lock]  "Nice girls shouldn't know how to do that sort of thing"

"My sister is a nice girl and she knows how to do all sorts of things."'

- The Reptile Room 

Secondly, even though the whole world is against them, they have each other's backs. Besides already suffering from so many misfortunes, people always judge the Baudelaires for being orphans, for being intelligent, for anything. In the midst of condescension they always celebrate each other's victories and don't let each person be too hard on themselves.

They are also realistic and always make me laugh when one of the adults say "when I was your age" and they say, "but we're all different ages". That's how I always feel, too.

Even though there is such a big age gap, going back to Sunny, the way that Violet and Klaus understand her is so remarkable to me. They go to lengths to listen to her, even though she doesn't speak in real words. They always convey her feelings to the adults with "what my sister is trying to say...". These are brilliant children and part of that is that they treat each other like they are capable to do what needs to happen.

It's been awhile since I read the books ( I mean, 2021 wasn't THAT long ago. But still. My mind is full with too many things) so this might be wrong but I remember the end of The Reptile Room being all about the Baudelaires saying at least we've got each other in the middle of this miserable time. And that's the best things about siblings. So don't fight each other, support each other, and don't let go.

“I think we'll always miss our parents. But I think we can miss them without being miserable all the time. After all, they wouldn't want us to be miserable.” 

- The Reptile Room 

And in The Wide Window?? How they are rearranging their gifts to make everyone happy even though that leaves Klaus the least happy. They are selfless when it comes to each other. And I've written about how Klaus is my darling, but the other two equally are! Which is why, in The Miserable Mill, they knew something was wrong. Other siblings who didn't know each other so thoroughly would be thrown off, but they stepped outside of their comfort zones to help each other. They know their strengths and when to imitate each other.

Fan art is my FAVORITE.

As Opposed to:

The Poes: A Series of Unfortunate Events 

Key characteristic: Selfishness.

Edgar and Albert are characters who only get a fraction of a chapter in the first ASoUE book, as opposed to siblings who get more "screen time", but I'm going to talk about them because they set an important standard to help us get to know the Baudelaires better.

In the midst of grief, the Baudelaires have to stay with the Poes. And Edgar and Albert are quite horrible. They complain about having to share with three children who lost everything in the world. I don't remember everything they say because it is not worth remembering, but it shows us a place of sneering and selfishness that contrasts the comfort the Baudelaires give each other.


A Favorite:

The Quagmires: A Series of Unfortunate Events 

Everything I said about fan art still holds up because this is glorious.

Key characteristic: Unbreakable bonds. 

I've seen things before that says there's a word for orphan, but no word for losing a child because there isn't a way to express that pain. Same for losing a sibling. The word that adults try to use is "twin", but that's completely wrong. Duncan and Isadora refuse to be called twins, and instead always refer to themselves as "triplets", because that's what they are, whether or not Quigley is there he won't be forgotten. This is a dark introduction to the Quagmires, but shows that they are not their name: they do not "give way underfoot" (the definition I looked up for "quagmire" in the New Oxford American Dictionary. I've lauded Lemony Snicket before about his naming skills.). Isadora and Duncan stand in Quigley's memory.

I love that Duncan and Isadora's strengths are so similar and yet so different. They both like to write, but Duncan is the journalist and Isadora is the poet. 

As rare as it is to see siblings in fiction, I feel like it is rarer still to see groups of siblings who are completely friends with each other. The Quagmires and Baudelaires carry how they interact with their own brother and sisters into their friendship with each other. It's beautiful in such an austere place.

The way they even sit to leave room for Quigley? *cries*

I keep accidentally calling Duncan "Dylan" due to him being played by Dylan Kingwell. I just need to say their name in the opposite order, Isadora and Duncan...

A Favorite:

The Snickets: A Series of Unfortunate Events and All the Wrong Questions

Key characteristic: Fighting for justice.

"...Snicket?" those of you who are unfamiliar with this series might say. "As in Lemony Snicket? The author?" Absolutely.


This is what sets the tone for these books, Lemony's narration and hints at his life being connected to all of this.

If you read ASoUE and thought, "but I want to know more about Lemony!", then All the Wrong Questions is the series for you. He is literally the main character in addition to the narrator. Does this answer questions about his family and upbringing? Not really. But the hints make me scream and shriek and everything. One of my favorite parts is the code phrase: "Give my regards to Jacques." which Lemony explains to mean one thing...and then also what it says. 

I think there are only one or two times that we see two of the Snickets interact, there is still such a strong bond between these siblings. They all lead such busy lives in their fight for justice and truth and being well read. Being on the run does not give time for family, but they don't forget each other. One tells the tales of woe of the others. A moment in book 7 nearly made me cry the last time because it is one of those sibling connections where the two characters aren't on the page at the same time, but are unbreakably together all the same.

Even though AtWQ does its best to not answer questions, you get little glimpses into Lemony's life because he'll remember waiting at a bus stop and playing Beethoven with his brother. And yes, I agree with his sister, it's inane, but it's also SO STINKING FUN. I love the phone calls, that however short they are, it is Lemony reaching out for comfort. I just realized that I've always assumed that Lemony is the middle child for some reason, but now I'm starting to think that maybe he's the youngest? He might be too elusive to ever say.

“I looked out the window at the dark and racing scenery and I thought of the city, where the train would eventually arrive. I hadn’t seen the city since my apprenticeship began, and for a moment I felt so homesick I had to stop and lean my head against the glass. Dear Kit, I thought. And then I said it out loud.

'I wish you were here.'"

- Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights? 

As Opposed to:

The Denouements: A Series of Unfortunate Events 

Key characteristic: Conflicting causes.

I LOVE the juxtaposition of the Denouements against the Snickets. The Snickets are all for fighting for the same cause no matter what the price and bearing that heavy burden together, while the Denouements are on different sides and use being identical to keep up the facade. Here it's something that is accepted and fought against at the same time, but you don't really see Frank and Ernest interacting, besides supposedly (aka seen through a telescope) arguing.

And that's reality. Sometimes you aren't on the same side as your siblings. "The schism has turned many siblings into enemies." Sometimes siblings can do terrible things, things that aren't noble. That doesn't mean that you don't love them, but love looks different.

A different set of siblings looks at loyalty despite morals, so Snicket covers a wide range for how families interact.

The whole question of "Are you Frank or Ernest?" is quite poignant.

I'm 100% sure in the show that the "give my regards to" line was inspired by All the Wrong Questions. And even though I hadn't read AtWQ at that point, I flipped out for completely different reasons. It was fabulous.

A Favorite:

The Bellerophons: All the Wrong Questions

Key characteristic: Teamwork

Because I couldn't just mention All the Wrong Questions once because I'm still not sure which series I like better.

The Bellerophons are the sole transportation in Stain'd-by-the-Sea, though neither of them are old enough to be driving a taxi. Their dad, the official driver, is incapable at the moment, so they use what they have: each other. I believe Squeak operates the gas and breaks while Pip steers. They will give you a ride for free if you give them a tip on what to read next. It's not an ideal childhood, working, but they do it with each other. They are champions of the world.

“It's hard when you're missing your family," Pip said, and started the motor. " You wake up every morning like someone took one of your legs.” 

- Shouldn't You Be in School? 

There are more siblings in Lemony Snicket's works, but this list is four of my favorites with two to contrast. My huge theory is that Zada and Zora in All the Wrong Questions are the two White-Faecd Women, but that's a conversation for another day. All together, Lemony Snicket writes about mourning and grief, but also how we shouldn't let go of our siblings because with them we can get through anything.

This is my entry for Hameltte's We Love Siblings Week! There are games and a giveaway and all kinds of fun things, so go check all the other posts out!

Do any of you have siblings? Does anyone else know Lemony Snicket? If you do, then I hope you enjoyed all the references I stuck in there because it was so fun to create! I haven't seen the movie version, only the series and read the books, so does anyone know if the movie represents siblings like this?

Which of the Baudelaires do you feel most like? Which Quagmire? In fact, which of any of these siblings are you most like? How do you act around your siblings?

Thanks for reading!

Chloe the MovieCritic

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Movies I watched in 2023

Hello, movie lovers!

A few days ago I talked about books from 2023, but now is my favorite part because Movies Meet Their Match! Whenever people ask me what I like to do, "watch movies" is definitely up there because I love exploring stories. And I love lists. Therefore, making list by summarizing the movies I watched is my ultimate jam. And I hope it is for you guys, too! Enjoy!

Want to see what I watched in previous years? Here are the previous lists for 2022, 2021, 2020201920182017, and 2016.

Because I rewatch too many movies, I don't count them here, these are only new-to-me movies.

Ones with a tilda (~) means I saw it in a theater.
It is underlined if I cried during. 
Ones with a caret (^) means I watched it for a class
Ones with an asterisk (*) means I watched it more than once this year

New-to-me movies:

The Hunt for Red October (1990)

She's the Man (2006)^ (Technically it wasn't for a class, but it was an optional assignment and I did get one credit for it...Shakespeare, you know)

Living (2022)~

Notting Hill (1999)

Cassanova Brown (1944)

Top Gun (1986)

Dungeons & Dragons: Honors Among Thieves (2023)~*

The Little Mermaid (2023)~

Romero (1989)^ (I would have cried during if it wasn't so late at night and I was falling asleep...)

Dune: Part One (2021)

The Third Man (1949)

Jackpot (1950)

Barbie (2023)~*

The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming (1966)

Uncharted (2022)

Yellowstone (1936) (There are no words to describe how insane this was. My family still talks about it)

Jurassic Park (1993)~

Super Mario Bros Movie (2023) (I didn't watch all of this, and even got distracted by doing the dishes during the climax so I don't really know what happens. But my roommates kept dragging me in.)

Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

Wonka (2023)~

Total: 20

I also did something this year that I hadn't really done before ("really" being the exception with STAR WARS IX): I saw a movie in theaters that I had previously seen outside of theaters! Like with Jurassic Park (1993), how they brought it back for an anniversary, they also brought back Howl's Moving Castle (2004), also known as my favorite Ghibli movie. So of course I went and saw it. Highly recommend the experience. I then dressed up as one of the characters for Halloween, as you do.


I didn't keep track as strictly with numbers of episodes like I usually do, but here's to the best of my memory!

Series with (currently) one season:

     Arcane: League of Legends
The last episode. It took me awhile to be prepared for it, okay?
     Cinderella and the Four Knights
Rewatched part.
    Crash Course in Romance:
I plead innocence because the title is is horrible and not even tied into the show. The show is about math and cooking. It's also one of the ways I got through last semester.
    Hotel Del Luna
This was my favorite show from 2023, so thoughts will be coming. In their own post.
    One Piece: 
Part of season 1. I still am not sure if I love it or hate it.
    Star Wars Droid Tales
With my roommate over Easter.
    XO Kitty

Series with multiple seasons:

     The Babysitter's Club
Season 1 and part of season 2
     Clone Wars:
I never know where I am, but I think I'm in season 4?
     Cielo Grande
Part of season 1.
     Doctor Who
Season 1, episodes 1-8. I am a full fan, now, because this is so much fun.
     The Flash
Parts of season 1.
     Fuller House
1 episode.
     Gilmore Girls + A Year in the Life
Season 7: episodes 19-22: Yes, I finally finished this series. The last few seasons are not my favorite, but the ending was decent. Meaning I cried. But are we surprised? No. Not as big a fan of A Year in the Life because it had way too much time with my least favorite guy.
     Greenhouse Academy
Part of season 1.
Part of season 2
Season 1: episode 10-13 and Season 2: episode 1-8. Rewatch: Season 1: eps 1-9.
1 episode
Rewatch season 1 and some of 2.
     Miraculous!: Tales of Ladybug and Chat Noir:
Part of Season 1. Season 2 and 3. I am obsessed.
Assorted episodes with my dad.
Season 3
     Shadow and Bone
Part of season 2, rewatched parts of season 1.
Rewatched season 1 and part of season 2.
     White Collar
Part of Season 1: WHY do I love Neal so much when I have only known him for barely any time?
     Wild Wild West
Some from season 3, but lots of rewatches from season 1 as well as new ones.

A lot of these were watched with other people outside of my sisters, which was new because usually I watch things with them or myself. There were the usual watching in a different language to try to learn it, so let me know if you can figure out what those were!

My 10 Favorite New-To-Me Movies:

1. Barbie (2023) and Dungeons & Dragons: Honors Among Thieves (2023): These two movies are tied. I cannot chose between them. I love them both for such different reasons: Barbie is so nostalgic and says things I never knew needed to be said while D&D is full of heart and world building and creativity to fill my writing dreams. If these being tied for first place doesn't say anything about my personality, I don't know what does.

2. Living (2022): This is so inspiring in simple ways. It feels like the last few years I've been watching a lot of action packed movies and I have fun with them, but movies like this cut so deep. 

3. Jurassic Park (1993): I saw this in 3D in the theater for the first time and I can't believe it took me so long. Just like with watching Star Wars for the first time and you learn it's not just about battles in space. This is not just a movie about dinosaurs: it's about a paleontologist who doesn't like kids being put in charge of kids. IT'S ADORABLE. And I also cried because I was so stressed.

4. Dune: Part One (2021): Do you guys remember when I read this 2019? And I hated it? Well, a case of liking the movie better has finally emerged. This is so epic and everything I want in a story. So I'm stoked for Part Two!

5. The Little Mermaid (2023): A trend with some of these movies is "I don't like the original". That's why remakes are still being made! Because I dig them! I thought Ariel and Eric's relationship was vastly improved with both of them being adorable. 

6. Wonka (2023): This and The Little Mermaid are about tied. I just had a jolly old time with both. Which is odd that I enjoyed it so because I do NOT like the 1971 movie, but here, any time they referenced it I got emotional and teary. I want to write a post about this because it felt like a love letter to creativity as opposed to economics. 

7. Uncharted (2022): Yes, MC, we get that you like the action movies. Especially heists. This one was super fun because even though it has uncountable backcrossing (is that the term?), I mean, double crossing moments, the whole movie is about being a decent human. As Nathan Drake is. I also thought it was quite funny.

8. Romero (1989): There is so much conflict in this movie. It is so wild that this was made while there were still so many shootings in El Salvador. It is a moment in time that should not be forgotten.

9. The Third Man (1949): This movie wins the award for one of the weirdest movies I've ever watched. I think it gives an important look into the aftermath of WWII that I wouldn't have thought of. The ending made me simultaneously mad and cheer. 

10. The Hunt for Red October (1990): This is one of my dad's favorite movies and he talks about it all the time. "One ping, Vassily!" I love that it has so much suspense even though the locations do not change all that much. So much of it is figuring out what the characters motivations are.

I had two goals for 2023 that I was really trying to achieve:

  • 20 is less than half of my usual 40+ new watches. That's because one of the goals was to only watch as many new movies as the books I read. Because these last few years I've slacked in the reading category. Well, I read 21 books, and watched 20 (new-to-me) movies, so I succeeded! Part of that was achieved through allocating more time to shows because I forgot to count those, but I still count this as a success!
  • The second goal was to watch more films from the 20th c. Last year only about 6.5% of the movies I watched were from the 20th c. and while I love new movies, I felt horrified and that I couldn't call myself a classic movie fan. This year, 50% were from the 20th c. and 50% from the 21st! So another success!

Now, goals for this next year, 2024. I proved to myself that I can cut back, so I'm not going to put limits. Especially because I am taking a film class this next semester, so watching movies will be the homework. However, maybe on series, as I should reverse roles with what I did this year.   

Have you guys seen any of these movies? What are your thoughts? Did you notice what is missing from my favorites? Have you ever been tied on two movies when you don't know which you like better? Do you want to hear my thoughts on any of these? I would love to hear thoughts from all of you!

What are some movies that you are looking forward to coming out in 2024? I'll love to be excited about it with you! Thanks for reading!

Chloe the MovieCritic
"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, where you stop your story." -Orson Welles