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

Friday, April 30, 2021

The Narnia Tag!

 Good tidings my people!

Today is the last day of April, so May is almost upon us! Is it just me, or does May scream NARNIA? The snow is melting, flowers are starting to bloom, creation and adventure is everywhere, overall Aslan is on the move. Sure, I know that most people think of March or April in what I just described, but where I live the snow doesn’t usually melt until May and flowers definitely don’t come out before Mother’s Day. It can be like this in the earlier months, but we all know that it is an illusion and it is going to snow again.

(Which I am the cause of because I am Jadis the White Witch and proud of it.)

Since I am in such a nostalgic mood for Narnia, it is the perfect time to fill out a tag! This tag was bestowed upon me by two of my favorite peeps: Olivia @ Meanwhile in Rivendell and Sarah Seele @ Sixty Something Trees. Thanks, you two! You both know my love for Narnia so I appreciate it greatly.

I’m taking a small moment to mention that there are SPOILERS AHEAD. If you haven’t read ALL SEVEN BOOKS of the Chronicles of Narnia, then read no further! The Chronicles of Narnia is my favorite book series of all time, so I really don’t want the marvelous surprises taken away from you.

1. Thank the person who nominated you
2. Rate your degree of “Narnia fanatic” (nostalgic, serious, maniacal)
3. Answer the questions below
4. Tag 5+ bloggers
5. Have fun!

Scale of Fanaticism:
1. Nostalgic Fanatic: You read the book and/or watched the movies as a child and the word Narnia gives you a warm feeling.

2. Serious Fanatic: You rediscovered the wonder of Narnia after you were older and have read the books and watched the movies.

3. Maniacal Fanatic: You have lived Narnia from childhood, hid in closets on more occasions than is healthy, have read and watched all the movies including the BBC version.

I protest! This isn’t fair! Anyone who knows me would tell you right away that I am a Maniacal Fanatic, but according to this I wouldn’t be because I haven’t seen the BBC version. Trust me, it’s not for lack of trying! I want to see it so badly but I haven’t had a chance.

I basically live and breathe Narnia. It fills me with an unimaginable joy every time I think of it. So I am breaking the rules and am calling myself a Queen Fanatic. You can surmise what that means.

(Note, at first I was disappointed that there were only seven questions, but then I realized that’s because there are seven books so I highly approve)

1. Who’s your favorite Pevensie sibling?

I feel a wee bit called out as Olivia said that we in the Narnia fandom tend to not pick favorites, saying that all of them are the best and wonderful in their own way. Which is so try, man! They are the best! But, Olivia chose a favorite so I must too. I’m admitting something that I have never admitted before (besides to my sister a few weeks ago). I actually do have a favorite Pevensie.

Any guesses?

I feel like this Pevensie is the least appreciated of all of them.

I have seen people specially take time to mention all three of the others, but people say that this person is just kind of there.

That isn’t true. This character is one of the most amazing characters of all time and I relate to this person in a million ways.

They are all precious, but I have to admit this one is my favorite.


People talk about how Edmund the Just has a heart-wrenching redemption arc. People talk about how Susan the Gentle was mistreated and deserved a better ending. People talk about how Lucy the Valiant is so pure and has a goodness and faith that exceeds all things.

I agree with all of those statements 100% and don’t want to down any of them because I love them all and wouldn’t change them for the world.

I just have a special place in my heart for Peter the Magnificent and it’s probably the fault of movies and William Mosley because they were my introduction to the world and I’ve been loving it ever since.

‘At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in its inside.....Peter felt suddenly brace and adventurous.’

Just read or watch The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Everyone is always looking up to Peter and asking him what he thinks. He has to plan an army for crying out loud! He just wants to take care of his siblings and do the best for them. He is so humble, too! He was never cruel to Lucy when they all thought that she was making Narnia up, then as soon as he found out it was real he was sorry and asked for her forgiveness.

In Prince Caspian I feel so much for him as he has the responsibility of guiding them all to where Caspian is. He is the leader and has to make big decisions which are usually having to split a vote. My favorite part of the whole series is the glorious scene where he apologizes to Aslan for having lead the group wrong and Aslan says to him, “My dear son.”

My heart can’t get any fuller.

Peter is my precious son and I will love him a bit more than the others for my whole life.

(I am also super bitter that in the movie they made him and Caspian hate each other because in the book both are so respectful of the other and it is the best dynamic. But other than that the movies are my favorites)

(I wrote this all before I learned that Megan Chappie feels the same way yet she beat me to publishing her post. You should check out hers HERE)

2. What is the most underrated Narnia book?

The Last Battle.

The first time I read it I hated it like so many others do. What?? This is how it all ends?

When I reread it in May of 2018 I went in without remembering a single thing that happened. I had read it so quickly and didn’t like it that I completely forgot what happened. I love that because it gave me a new chance to see it a different way.

I do protest what happens to Susan, but that is my only problem with the book. It is profoundly beautiful and majestic and a perfect ending to a brilliant series.

Shift is so horribly manipulative yet REAL. I hardcore relate to Puzzle which probably isn’t good. C. S. Lewis gave us A UNICORN. Allllllllllllllll of it is fantastic and makes me weep with joy and sadness.

3. Who is your favorite Narnian king?

Frank the cabby! His reverence at Aslan and awe of the newly created world sparks wonder in me. He makes me cry. I mean, all of the books make me cry in someway, but it doesn’t make it any less special. I know that he and his wife, Helen, were the best first king and queen of Narnia that anyone could ask for.


4. Who is your favorite Narnian queen?

I can’t pick between Susan and Lucy so I will stubbornly say both of them.


5. Which non-human Narnian do you like best?

Like best? Who came up with this painful question??

Aslan is the given so we aren’t even going to include him. Of all the others, I have to say...Mr. Tumnus.

Once again, the deep nostalgia for the movies is coming through. I remember watching this movie about a war and not knowing what was going to come then suddenly Lucy was in a new world with a new friend. Mr. Tumnus brings a whole new level of happiness to my life.

AND (I can’t possibly narrow it down to a single creature) Puddleglum. He is my favorite wet blanket in the whole universe. I can’t hope to say anything original about him, but I’ll say this: His loyalty never fails to make me doubt less.

6. Which book deserves a movie?

I know that a lot of people don’t want to see them as movies but it was my introduction to the world so I really, really, really do. I have been wanting to see a movie of The Silver Chair ever since The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010) came out. If they make that one (even though the actors are too old now) then they have to continue with the rest of the series!

What is the one thing you did as a Narnia fan that you do not regret?

No regrets! My birthday theme was Narnia a few years ago, I’ve hidden in closets millions of times and don’t think any of it is a waste of time.

Especially for all of the times that I’ve started at a painting of the ocean in my grandma’s basement hoping that it would move. I swore that it did once, just ever so slightly.

That’s it! A lot of people have done this tag already so I won’t nominate anyone new, but if you want to fill it out then please do! Thanks again to the ladies who tagged me!

Thanks to all of you for reading! Anyone shocked by my favorite Pevensie? Does anyone else love the movies like I do? How did you get into the Chronicles of Narnia?


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Oscars Results 2021

 Hello, everyone!

As many of you may know, Sunday was the 93rd Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars. For some wild reason it is tradition on this blog for me to talk about the results, so that’s what we’re going to do today! I started this because when I first wanted to know about the Oscars I could never find who the winners were and I wanted others to have it easier, but now it’s easy to find the answers anywhere. Because of that I’ll try to make this short and snappy and not take up too much of your time. All the same I might as well type it up because I spent 3 hours the other day watching this.

Sometimes I get all crazy excited about the Oscars and other times I think “meh”. (This may be because they, for whatever insane reason, didn’t give the greatest movie of all time enough praise in 1946, but I digress). You know in the movie Ratatouille (2007) where they are told to make a recipe involving “sweet bread, cuddlefish tentacles, dried white fungus, anchovy liquorish sauce, etc.” and everyone (Colette) is like “I don’t know this recipe”? That’s how I’ve felt about the movies lately. I’m not downing them in any way! I am now very interested in a lot of these. I’m sure that they deserve the credit given to them, it just feels like there is a certain feel a movie has to have to even be considered and those aren’t the kinds of movies that I watch. I’m probably just spoiled from last year where I knew a lot about all of the nominees and had even watched one of them that was a big contender so I was eager to see what would happen! This had never happened before and it probably won’t for another few years so I should get used to it. 

Interested in the past years that I have talked about? Here are the results from 2017, 2018, 2019, & 2020.

Disclaimer: Even though I am putting these here, it does not mean that I support or want to watch these movies. I am just here to tell you who won.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
The nominees:
Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm...
Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman, The Father
Amanda Seyfried, Mank
Winner: Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari (as Soon-ja)

Best Costume Design:
The nominees:
Emma. (Alexandra Byrne)
Mank (Trish Summerville)
Mulan (Bina Daigeler)
Pinocchio (Massimo Cantini Parrini)
Winner: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Ann Roth)

Best Sound:
The nominees:
Greyhound (Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Beau Borders, & David Wyman)
Mank (Ren Klyce, Jeremy Molod, David Parker, Nathan Nance, & Drew Kunin)
News of the World (Oliver Tarney, Mike Prestwood Smith, William Miller, & John Pritchett)
Soul (Ren Klyce, Coya Elliot, & David Parker)
Winner: Sound of Metal (Nicolas Becher, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés, & Philip Bladh)

Best Original Score:
The nominees:
Da 5 Bloods (Terence Blanchard)
Mank (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross)
Minari (Emile Mosseri)
News of the World (James Newton Howard
Winner: Soul (Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, & Jon Batiste)

Best Animated Short Film:
The nominees:
Burrow (Madeline Sharafian & Michael Capbarat)
Genius Loci (Adrien Mérigeau & Amaury Ovise)
Opera (Erick Oh)
Yes-People (Gísli Darri Halldórsson & Arnar Gunnarsson)
Winner: If Anything Happens I Love You (Will McCormack & Micheal Govier)

Best Live-Action Short Film:
The nominees:
Feeling Through (Doug Roland & Susan Ruzenski)
The Letter Room (Elvira Lina & Sofia Sandervan)
The Present (Farah Nabulsi & Ossama Bawardi)
White Eye (Tomer Shushan & Shira Hochman)
Winner: Two Distant Strangers (Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:
The nominees:
Sacha Baron Cohen, Trial of the Chicago 7
Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami...
Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah
Winner: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (as Fred Hampton)

Best Documentary Feature:
The nominees:
Collective (Alexander Nanau & Bianca Oana)
Crip Camp (Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht, & Sara Bolder)
The Mole Agent (Maite Alberdi & Marcela Santibáñez)
Time (Garrett Bradley, Lauren Domino, & Kellen Quinn)
Winner: My Octopus Teacher (Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed, & Craig Foster)

Best Documentary Short Subject:
The nominees:
A Concerto is a Conversation (Ben Proudfoot & Kris Bowers)
Do Not Split (Anders Hammer & Charlotte Cook)
Hanger Ward (Skye Fitzgerald & Michael Scheuerman)
A Love Son for Latasha (Sophia Nahali Allison & Janice Duncan)
Winner: Colette (Anthony Giacchino & Alice Doyard)

Best International Feature Film:
The nominees:
Better Days (Hong Kong)
Collective (Romania)
The Man Who Sold His Skin (Tunisia)
Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Winner: Another Round (Denmark)

Best Production Design: (Production Design [PD] and Set Decoration [SD])
The nominees:
The Father (PD: Peter Francis. SD: Cathy Featherstone)
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PD: Mark Ricker. SD: Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton)
News of the World (PD: David Crank. SD: Elizabeth Keenan)
Tenet (PD: Nathan Crowley. SD: Kathy Lucas )
Winner: Mank (PD: Donald Graham Burt. SD: Jan Pascale)

Best Film Editing:
The nominees:
The Father (Yorgos Lamprinos)
Nomadland (Chloé Zhao)
Promising Young Woman (Frédéric Thoraval)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Alan Baumgarten)
Winner: Sound of Metal (Mikkel E. G. Nielsen)

Best Cinematography:
The nominees:
Judas and the Black Messiah (Sean Bobbitt)
News of the World (Dariusz Wolski)
Nomadland (Joshua James Richards)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Phedon Papamichael)
Winner: Mank (Erik Messerschmidt)

Best Visual Effects:
The nominees:
Love and Monsters (Matt Sloan, Genevieve Camailleri, Matt Everitt, & Brian Cox)
The Midnight Sky (Matthew Kasmir, Chris Lawrence, Max Solomon, & David Watkins)
Mulan (Sean Andrew Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury, & Steve Ingram)
The One and Only Ivan (Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones, & Santiago Colomo Martinez)
Winner: Tenet (Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley, & Scott R. Fisher)

Makeup and Hairstyling:
The nominees:
Emma. (Marese Langan, Laura Allen, & Claudia Stolze)
Hillbilly Elegy (Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew W. Mungle, & Patricia Dehaney)
Mank (Gigi Williams, Kimberley Spiteri, & Colleen LaBaff)
Pinocchio (Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli, & Francesco Pegoretti)
Winner: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, & Jamika Wilson)

Best Animated Feature Film:
The nominees:
Onward (Dan Scalan & Kori Rae)
Over the Moon (Glen Keane, Gennie Rim, & Peilin Chou)
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmagedon (Richard Phelan, Will Becher, & Paul Kewley)
Wolfwalkers (Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, Paul Young, & Stéphan Roelants)
Winner: Soul (Pete Doctor & Dana Murray)

Best Original Song:
The nominees:
“Hear My Voice” (by Daniel Pemberton & Celeste Wite from The Trial of the Chicago 7)
“Husavik” (by Savan Kotecha, Fat Max Gsus, & Rickard Göransson from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga)
“Io Sì (Seen)”(by Diane Warren & Laura Pausini from The Life Ahead [La Vita Davanti a Se])
“Speak Now” (by Leslie Odom, Jr. & Sam Ashworth from One Night In Miami...)
Winner: “Fight For You” (by H.E.R., Dernst Emile II, & Tiara Thomas from Judas and the Black Messiah)

Best Adapted Screenplay:
The nominees:
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm..., written by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Don Mazer, Jena Friedman & Lee Kern, based on the story by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, & Nina Pedrada.
Nomadland, written by Chloé Zhao based on the book by Jessica Bruder
One Night in Miami..., written by Kemp Powers based on his play
The White Tiger, written by Ramin Bahrani based on the novel by Aravind Adiga
Winner: The Father, written by Christopher Hampton & Floian Zeller, based on the play by Florian Zeller

Best Original Screenplay:
The nominees:
Judas and the Black Messiah, written by Will Berson, Shaka King, Kenny Lucas, & Keith Lucas
Minari, written by Lee Isaac Chung
Sound of Metal, written by Darius Marder, Abraham Marder, & Derek Cianfrance
The Trial of the Chicago 7, written by Aaron Sorkin
Winner: Promising Young Woman, written by Emerald Fennell

Best Actor in a Leading Role:
The nominees:
Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Gary Oldman, Mank
Steven Yeun, Minari
Winner: Anthony Hopkins, The Father (as Anthony)

Best Actress in a Leading Role:
The nominees:
Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Vanesa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman
Winner: Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Best Director:
The nominees:
Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round
David Fincher, Mank
Lee Isaac Chung, Minari
Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
Winner: Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

(Comment: This was only the second time in history where a woman won!)

Best Picture:
The nominees:
The Father (David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi, & Phillppe Carcassonne)
Judas and the Black Messiah (Shaka King, Charles D. King, & Ryan Coogler)
Mank (Céan Chaffin, Eric Roth, & Douglas Urbanski)
Minari (Christina Oh)
Promising Young Woman (Ben Browning, Ashley Fox, Emerald Fennell, & Josey McNamara)
Sound of Metal (Bert Hamelinck & Sacha Ben Harroche)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Marc Platt & Stuart Besser)
Winner: Nomadland (Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, & Chloé Zhao)

Oscar win tally:
Nomadland: 3
The Father: 2
Judas and the Black Messiah: 2
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom: 2
Mank: 2
Soul: 2 (The only movie of all of these that I've seen!)
Sound of Metal: 2
Another Round: 1
Colette: 1
If Anything Happens I Love You: 1
Minari: 1
My Octopus Teacher: 1
Promising Young Woman: 1
Tenet: 1
Two Distant Strangers: 1

There you have it! Another year, another round of movies! Has anyone seen any of these? Any that you want to see? Thanks for reading!


Sunday, April 25, 2021

Movie Review: Willow (1988)

Hello, everyone!

We all have films that we were introduced to when we were very young and have stuck with us ever since. Today I’m going to be talking about just such a movie so I’m very excited! Are you looking for a movie where someone goes on a journey to keep people safe in a dangerous world? All you have to do is read on!

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning. This is spoiler free in its entirety!

Willow (1988):
Queen Bavmorda is searching everywhere for the child who, according to a prophecy, is going to bring about her doom. This baby is Princess Elora Danan and she ends up in the Aldwin village. The villagers are scared she will only bring them trouble and give one of the Aldwins who found her, Willow Ufgood, the task of taking her to the border where the Daikinis live. He meets some who are willing to help like Rool and Franjean, some with questionable motivations like Madmartigan, and some out to kill the baby, like Queen Bavmorda’s daughter, Sorsha. He needs to find the enchantress Fin Raziel as his magic isn’t strong enough to grant any protection. What lengths will Willow have to go through to make Elora safe?
“All creatures of good heart need your help, Willow. The choice is yours.”
Adventure, Drama, Fantasy.
Length: approx. 125 minutes.
Script: 10. I am very sure that there are no bad words.
Crew: Directed by: Ron Howard. Written by: George Lucas & Bob Dolman.
Warwick Davis as Willow Ufgood.
Val Kilmer as Madmartigan.
Joanne Whalley as Sorsha.
Not gonna lie, this sword might be the most terrifying weapon ever.
Jean Marsh as Queen Bavmorda.
Patricia Hayes as Fin Raziel.
Kevin Pollak as Rool.
Rick Overton as Franjean.
Pat Roach as Gen. Kael.
Gavan O'Herlihy as Airk Thaughbaer.
David Steinberg as Meegosh.
Julie Peters as Kiaya Ufgood.
Mark Vande Brake as Ranon Ufgood.
Dawn Downing as Mims Ufgood.
Ruth Greenfield & Kate Greenfield as Elora Danan.
I'd been searching for photos to use for a few minutes then I looked at the photos that I downloaded and they were almost all of Elora. She is so stinking cute! I can't handle it!
Billy Barty as High Aldwin.
Phil Fondacaro as Vohnkar.
Tony Cox as Vohnkar Warrior.
Robert Gillibrand as Vohnkar Warrior.
Mark Northover as Burglekutt.
Maria Holvöe as Cherlindrea.
Michael Cotterill as Druid.
Sallyanne Law as Mother.

7. There are a few times when someone isn’t wearing a shirt or much clothing besides that, but that’s all.
Cinematography: 8. There is nothing too special. You can tell the special effects are a very much what were happening in the 80s and some are terribly cringy, but I like how minimal they are compared to nowadays. Here I’m also counting how much I love the overall aesthetic and vibe of the movie.
Cinematography by: Adrian Biddle.
Music: 10. I can’t scream enough about how much I love this score! I always forget how good it is, yet every time I hear it swell, I’m swelled up with happiness! It is the epitome of adventure music.
Music by: James Horner.
Quotability: 10. My sisters and I have been quoting this line, and many others, for years (you really need to hear how it is said to get how hilarious it is, but I did my best with typing what it sounds like):
‘“We go that way!”
“No, we go that way!”
“That’s what I saidah!”
: 6. There is one rather suggestive line, but other than that this score is because of the violence. There is a war going on so battles, fighting, and death are to be expected. In addition to that, it’s scary. There are some gruesome and terrifying creatures (dogs, trolls, other monsters) as well as some frighting dark magic. Both Willow and Fin Raziel have good magic which is a great contrast to Queen Bavmorda’s horrid ways so I’ve never minded it.
: 10! Everything about this plot is so good and creative. Quests are iconic and this one is fully unique! The use of magic is well done and the world is teeming with possibilities!
Good For: anyone who wants an epic adventure!
Age Range: I don’t remember the first time that I watched this. It has always been a movie that I’ve seen! Granted, I remember being freaked out a few times and hugging a friend’s dog for comfort while watching this, but at the same time I knew how everything turned out. It is rated PG and that’s fine, but I think this depends on the personal tolerance level of the person watching it. It almost always depends on that, but this is an extra special case. I would say unless it was someone like my sisters and me who were raised on it, maybe 10 and up. It might even be more PG-13 by today’s standards.
Overall Score: 9!
Worth watching?:
Yes! I feel like I’ve been saying this with everything I’ve reviewed recently, but it has so much HEART. It’s about courage and doing the right thing and those are lessons well worth remembering.
Will I watch again?: Count on it! I last saw this in October, but I feel like seeing it again already! Maybe the next time I see my older sister.
“Oh, she’s so cute!”
(Do you know who’s cute? Mims and Ranon! They are the most adorable kids EVER!)

For the blogathon:
This is my entry in Heidi at Along the Brandywine’s Of High Stakes & Daring Deeds Epic Story Month! This has been going since April 5th and will continue to May 14th, so there’s plenty of time to join in on the fun!

You know how so many people love The Lord of the Rings? I’ve read the books and watched the movies and I enjoyed it a lot, it’s just not my favorite story in the universe. But I completely understand that feeling of adventure and awe in a fantastic and epic story! That exact same feeling is what happens in me every time I watch this movie. I love it so much! I have been watching it for as long as I can remember and it never fails to fill me with joy and expectation! I know that it sounds pretty absurd, but it's awesome. It was written by George Lucas, guys!

The characters carry the story which is the best! Willow is an absolute sweetheart. I love him and his family so much. He doubts his potential and feels like an impostor but he is trying to find bravery as he just wants to protect the ones he loves. And speaking of people he loves, the way he cares for Elora is so precious! I love them. Even the short time we see his best friend Meegosh shows how much he cares.
Madmartigan. What to say about him? I think he might have been my first experience with a morally grey character! He tries to be all tough and be the “greatest warrior”, but he really is soft and cares. One of my favorite parts is the whole “blackroot” scene.

(I won’t talk about Arik because too much because he and Madmartigan don’t get along, but long story short, I love him, too.)

I’m going to pause and talk about these names for one quick second. They are so cool! My sisters and I love to randomly say, “Meegosh”! Hearing “Queen Bavmorda” sends a chill down my spine every single time! Her fierce daughter Sorsha is always trying to prove herself and it works so well with the competition between her and General Kael. Sorsha also just has the best lines.
Rool and Franjean add in some perfectly timed comic relief. These two best friends are hilarious and get into so much trouble. What else can you expect from Brownies?

This is an epic if you are ever looking for one, and it is my favorite.

(Did I go overboard on the photos? Maybe I tiny bit. Sorry, but I love this movie!)

Thanks to Heidi for hosting this! Check out the rest of the party (including a giveaway!) HERE.

Thanks for reading, dear friends! Has anyone else seen this? I would love to chat about it. What were the first examples of morally grey characters that you ever saw? What is a movie that you know by heart and can’t imagine a time without it? Talk to you soon!


Monday, April 19, 2021

Book Reviews Featuring a Colorful Castle, Fairy Tale Crocodiles, & a Lionhearted Math Genius, oh my!

 Hello book lovers!

I hope that you are all having a nice Monday! I’m continuing my goal of reviewing books as well as movies each month with bringing you three more reviews. Here’s what I did in January, February, and March. Since my last review post was such a hit, I’m following the same format! I’m still terrible at coming up with titles so you’ll have to tell me how well I did on this one.

While it’s been a while since I read two of these books, the third is fresh in my mind. Never fear, I took notes and remember enough to supply you with anything you would need to know.

Without further ago, onto the reviews!

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning. All three of these reviews are absolutely spoiler free!

Review #1:

The Blue Castle - by L. M. Montgomery:
Valancy Sterling has lived 29 years in a grey world when she gets a shock in the form. She’s not been feeling well which turns out to be a heart condition and the chances for her living out a year are unlikely. With determination she decides that she’s going to stop bowing to everyone else’s needs and make her own way in the world. Goodbye to her family who are always using her, goodbye to a colorless existence, and hello to life and experiences while she can have them. It might be hard, but she’s willing to make it work. What surprises away for her to take advantage of will she is living in this radiant new life?
“I’m sick of the fragrance of dead things.”
Genres: Classic, Fiction, Drama, Historical Fiction.
Characters: 8. We have quite an assortment! I love the little obsessive quirks of Valancy’s family that make them so laughable.
My favorites:
Cissy: Oh my goodness, I loved her. She was just a sweetheart who had gone through some dark times yet has such an air of goodness about her.
Abel: He was so well depicted that I just really liked him! I loved his relationships with people and how he processes his feelings is very realistic.
Barney: There is so much mystery around him that I’m going to keep it that way and not say anything.
Valancy: I’m talking about her last because I have a lot to say. I’m sure she was quite a breakthrough when this book came out! Valancy knows what she wants and goes to get it without ducking to anyone. She is very determined, adventurous, and brave. Quite admirable! On the other hand, something rubs me wrong about her behavior at times. I support her in so many ways, but in others she seems a little mean. Independence and spite are not the same thing. I fully support her going out into the world and living, but she just seems unnecessarily rude occasionally. I feel like there could be a better balance between what she claims to have been her whole life and her new attitude. I don’t deny that her family are all horrible and condescending! It was about time that someone told them off for that because that is not how you treat a human being! Her nickname they gave her is horrid. Who would change a glorious name like Valancy?? Telling Valancy that she isn’t good and is weak when they are all TERRIFIC examples. NOT.  I get all of that! Like in this occasion:
‘“I think,” said Mrs. Frederick, “that if a person makes up her mind NOT to have colds she will not HAVE colds.”
So that was the trouble. It was all Valancy’s own fault.’
Poor Valancy! I have been in a situation like this and it is awful to have someone tell you that.
The thing is, I really related to Valancy in the beginning. My family is great, but all of her feelings are so similar to mine, and while I like her character, I don’t want to be like her. If that makes any sense (if it doesn’t then know that it doesn’t make sense to me either). I absolutely 100% get the attitude (I understand it WAY too deeply) that if people are only going to understand you in that way you might as well do that. Like this:
‘People who wanted to be alone, so Mrs. Frederick Sterling and Cousin Stickler believed, could only want to be alone for some sinister purpose.’
Those two are obviously not introverts. They assume that Valancy is thinking mean things about them so she finally breaks one day and goes ahead and says anything that comes into her head. This part hit me really deeply:
‘She had always been told, ever since she could remember, that she must hide her feelings. “It is not ladylike to have feelings,” Cousin Stickles had once told her disapprovingly. Well, she would hide them with a vengeance.’
Do you see how terrible Cousin Stickles is? Why would you tell that to someone! I relate to her repressing her feelings for so long that all at once they come out and are all over the place. While it was right in her case, I don’t encourage other people to lash out at their families.
Overall, I think that she is a very fascinating character I don’t understand yet. I want to read this again and again to understand more what’s going on in her head.
Words/Writing style: 10. I have two examples for this. There is some mild swearing but it is made fun of. I thought it was really funny where in exasperation Valancy suggesed to Uncle Benjamin that he might say a swear word to feel better and he replied, “I can express my feelings without blasphemy.” He is the one who was usually saying the d word which is why it is hilarious.
But, MC, if there are a few words then why did you give it a 10 instead of a 9? Well, this book has THE MOST GORGEOUS WRITING I’VE SEEN IN MY LIFE. I’m not kidding. Before reading this book I would always say that I don’t care about the writing style and just wanted a story, but this proved that writing can be amazing. Read this:
‘The garden was lying in the magic of the warm, odorous July twilight. A few stars were out and the robins were calling through the velvety silences of the barrens.’
Quotability: 8. I haven’t had the chance to quote them to anybody, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t thought about them a lot.
Content: 9. There are some scandalous things that happen! Oh dear! Not really! Valancy’s family thinks they are outrageous but it’s really nothing. Actually, the only things here are some drinking, a story of a girl having a baby without being married, talking about death, and someone being a little too friendly to a lady before he is stopped. I thought all of those things were handled really well so I don’t have a problem with any of it.
‘The only fault he found with her was that she did not sing at her word.
“Folks should always sing at their work,” he insisted. “Sounds cheerful-like.”
“Not always,” retorted Valancy. “Fancy a butcher singing at his work. Or an undertaker.”
Abel burst into his great brood laugh.’
Originality: 9. It is such a creative and cute story! I was just rereading one part of it now while looking for a line to put here and I couldn’t stop smiling. It follows one trope that is not my favorite, but other than that it is stellar.
Good For: Anyone looking for a new beginning in life, anyone looking for amazing writing, anyone who wants a pretty little story.
‘After the meal was over they would sit there and talk for hours---or sit and say nothing, in all the languages of the world...’
Age Range: One factor that I really love about this is Valancy’s age. She’s 29 so that gives it such a fresh and new take for a book! It’s not about your standard teenager, but at the same time anyone can enjoy this story. It would be fine for any and all ages.
Overall Score: 8.
Worth reading?: Yes! The writing makes me feel like I’m drinking sunshine. Totally worth it for that!
Will I read again?: This is a yes because I need to sort out my feelings on it. I go back and forth on what I think of it so I look forward to reading it again and again!
Bonus thoughts:
Basically everyone I know who has read this book loves it. If you came here expecting the same from me then I don’t know what to say to you: I don’t feel the same adoration that everyone else does. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it while reading it and the writing style is my go to example for spectacular writing, but thinking about it almost a year later I have some problems with it. It is super cute and lovely, but there is just one trope that I can’t stand. It had potential to be really inspiring, and while there are elements of that, it fell stale for me in a few places. A few things that were supposed to be surprising just felt thrown together. If you loved this then I am happy for you! I recommend it, but I’m still a little conflicted on my feelings in a few places.
“October—with a gorgeous pageant of color around Mistawis into which Valancy plunged her soul. Never had she imagined anything so splendid. A great, tinted peace. Blue, wind-winnowed skies. Sunlight sleeping in the glades of that fairyland. Long dreamy purple days paddling idly in their canoe along shores and up the rivers of crimson and gold. A sleepy, red hunter’s moon. Enchanted tempests that stripped the leaves from the trees and heaped them along the shores. Flying shadows of clouds. What had all the smug, opulent lands out front to compare with this?”

Review #2:

I, Coriander - by Sally Gardner:
Coriander has seven candles, just enough to last the night and tell her story. She had a happy and magical childhood with her parents. That was before objects came into her life: a stuffed crocodile, a pair of shoes, a set of pearls, and a mysterious raven. She didn’t know the significance of these objects at the time but now she does. Who is she truly and what was her story?
‘I wish I could unpick the stitches of time that have become all tangled and twisted together...”
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction.
Characters: 6. There were some that were monsters but they were the villains and not shown as good in any way. There were a few that I could get behind, but they didn’t really have memorable personalities that were cutting edge, you know?
My favorites:
Esther (at least, I think that was her name...): I love how she broke so many common tropes for people in her circumstances! The poor dear was so nice.
Gabriel: He was adorable! He was so caring and his relationship with Master Thankless was the best.
Master Thankless: From the beginning of when we meet him with the irony of his name I knew I would love him. His loyalty to his friends is so honorable and he is great all around.
Daines: It was good to see a solid character! She was so reasonable when no one else was.
Coriander’s father: While he makes a lot of mistakes he didn’t surprise me with being unpredictable.
‘A silent man can seem many things until he opens his mouth.’
Coriander: She is way more likable than a lot, but I still didn’t love her. It could be that the narrator of the audiobook (Juliet Stevenson) wasn’t my favorite, making Coriander really annoying. But, maybe that was the point because she matured a lot! There were some parts near the end where she really stepped into herself and I got a little misty-eyed.
Words/Writing style: 7. There were a few bad words and some that were just poorly chosen. I liked the first person present tense, but I was so frustrated by the whole “candle” thing because I wasn’t paying attention at the start of the book and missed that. I finally had to ask my sister what it meant because she had read the book before. Besides that it was a unique writing style.
‘I have learned that there is a great power in words, no matter how long or short they be.’
World building/Setting: 7. Part of the beginning is in England in 1643, so the era of Cromwell and Puritans and Charlatans. Combined with that is a magical world. That magical world was really cool! I just wanted to know more about that I didn’t like any of the times that we were in the real world, which was so grey and didn’t compare to the colorful masterpiece. Was that they point, to show such a contrast? I think so, but I didn’t appreciate it. Just give me my happy fairy land!
Quotability: 5. Not terribly quotable, but I there were lines worth writing down. This was my favorite:
“We are but shadows that have a short time dancing in the light.”
Awards: 2: British Book Award (2006) & Nestlé Smarties Book Prize for 9–11 years (2005).
Content: 6. Yikes. Where to start? There is murder, disgusting things, suggestive things (including names), and abuse. So much abuse. Involving starvation and physical and mental beatings for children and elderly. It’s shown as bad and evil, but it’s still horrible to read about! I had to stop a few times because I couldn’t stomach it. I’m not saying that Sally Gardener should’ve glossed it over. I don’t know what I’m saying, okay? It gets graphic. I was not expecting that, so maybe if I was more prepared I could’ve handled it better. I wasn’t in a good headspace to deal with that at the time, but I forced my way through which might have made matters worse.
Learning about the things that happened with the times of the Puritans always makes me really sad but grateful that I didn’t live back then. There are evil preachers and while I realize that was accurate to the time, I wish there were some religious characters to contrast that. Not everyone who loved God was bad! The best example was probably Esther. My sister says I’m being too picky and I probably am.
Originality: 9. This gets this high of a score because of one element that came back around and made me extremely happy. From the first chapter it was worked in and it seemed random but it was involved at just the right times.
Good For: People who like history and fantasy combined.
Age Range: If you can’t tell from my content section, I was very triggered at certain points. This is probably PG-13 but it really depends on the person. I wouldn’t have been fine with it until I am as old as I am (Am I fine actually? *nervous laughter*) but my sister was fine when she was younger and she read it. I would tentatively set 15.
Overall Score: 6.
Worth reading?: Yes, it was. I really liked the glimpses of the magically world that we got  to see and will now imagine my own stories using all of the amazing factors.
Will I read again?: Nope. I can spare my time for something better. I listened to an audiobook version while doing the dishes which was nice, but I don’t need to do again.
Bonus thoughts:
‘When I was small I used to hide under my mother’s petticoats and listen to friends and neighbors as they brought their ailments to her like posies of sorrows, to be made better by one of her remedies.’
I was intrigued by this because my sister told me it had lots of fairy tale elements. Awesome, right? Basically, this book took everything that I don’t like in a fairy tale and put it together. It was dark, random things happened because “MAGIC. It makes everything better”, romantic relationships that had no basis for being there, gruesome deaths. There was a lot of potential! People being turned into animals? Mysterious fairy court dynamics? Medler (can we get a whole story about him??)? Instead the whole story hung on some weak and poorly explained plot points. Things were thrown in there to be convenient and for surprises that made no sense. As Abbie Emmons always says, “A confused mind always says ‘no’.” I was confused for the whole time and I just wanted to yell, “Why? WHY? WHHHHHHHHY?”. I did more that want to do it, I actually did yell. If my sister wasn’t the one who recommended it and I knew she would have answers I wouldn’t have kept reading it. My first reaction when I finished it was to call her and ask, “Are you kidding me?”
Now, she liked it a lot, so some of you may, too! I don’t discourage reading this, I only want to let you know how I feel about it, too. I didn’t get the point of it, but I would love to talk about it to see if anyone else got something out of it.

Review #3:

The Lions of Little Rock - by Kristin Levine:
In Little Rock, Arkansas, Marlee goes to school like everyone else. She likes doing math, but there are things that she doesn’t enjoy like being social and trying to make friends with her crush J.T. between doing his homework. When she meets Liz everything changes. She’s always struggled with talking, but she finally can with Liz who is nice, understands her, and brings her math puzzles. But Liz is harboring an illegal secret. Marlee starts to see the injustice in her hometown and wonders, can she be as brave as the lions in the nearby zoo to stand up to it?
“Let’s start solving the world’s problems. One step at a time.”
Genre: Historical Fiction.
Characters: 9. We get a diverse group! Besides Sally who was your typical mean girl, everyone had such interesting motivations.
My favorites:
Marlee: I feel called out here, but I am basically Marlee in every single way possible. Like math? Check. Has trouble with talking to people? Double check. Seeing her journey was really motivating to me because if she could do something, than I can, too, right? I’m not scared of heights, but that’s the only difference between us.
‘He shook his head. “It’s always the quiet ones who are the craziest.” But he was grinning again, and I knew he was teasing.’
Liz: Marlee and Liz are such great friends because they are so different from her. Do I now want a friend like Liz? Yep, I do.
Little Jimmy: I don’t remember detail about him, but he was sweet!
J.T.: His character went somewhere I didn’t think it would go and it was a new take! I liked him a lot.
David: I want to hug Marlee’s big brother. He was great! Judy was nice, too, but I really liked David.
‘That night I lay in bed wondering how many other times David had grinned and fooled me, too, even though he’d felt awful inside. The idea that my big brother sometimes felt not good enough was strange, and a bit scary.’
Words/Writing style: 8. There is some name calling but it is shown as bad. It was super easy to read and I really liked the first person past tense. I am a sucker for first person. It puts you so nicely into the characters head!
Quotability: 8. I haven’t had the chance to quote it (seriously, MC, why is this such a big deal? I have no idea), but the lines are great.
‘Because all the words in the world won’t do much good if they’re just rattling around in your head.’
Awards: 3: Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award Nominee for Grades 6-8 (2014), Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award Nominee (2014), & New Mexico Land of Enchantment Award for Young Adult (2015).
Content: 9. This is talks about true stories of murder and the Ku Klux Klan. It all shows that racism is a terrible thing! It is handled so well. It also has vandalism and explosions which are both dealt with just as well.
Originality: 10. This is such a good setting for historical fiction! The characters are unique and have good fears and things to face. Between referencing true events and having experiences like riding in an airplane for the first time it makes you really believe that you are there in 1957.
Notes: It mentioned the book Heidi and I had just finished reading it the book before! It also briefly mentions the movies The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Dumbo (1941).
Good For: Everyone, anyone who loves math, anyone who wants a good book about racial justice, anyone who is afraid of using their voice.
Age Range: A great book for all ages! The main characters are in middle school so it is relatable to kids that age, but it also ties in important historical events that are good for anyone to know.
Overall Score: 9!
Worth reading?: Yes! It was perfect for me personally because of how much I relate to Marlee, but it was also valuable for an in depth look at the things that were going on at that time.
Will I read again?: I’m looking at my sister’s trusty copy (which I bought her, by the way) as I write this and am thinking it’s about time to read it again, so the answer is definitely yes.
Bonus thoughts:
“Maybe they’re tired of being seen as second best.”
Of all of the books that I’ve read today this is my favorite! I like it a lot and have no reason to write a long rant about it. Try it yourself!

Whew, I’m done! Another full day of writing reviews done. It looks like I’ll barely get this in on the 19th because of that. It’s better than what I did yesterday when I decided to ram my face into the sidewalk resulting in a swollen face (long story). How are all of you doing??

Thank you for reading! Have any of you read this books? Do any of them look interesting to you? What is your favorite writing style you’ve ever read? Has a book had potential but fallen short? Who are some book characters that you relate to? Good night!


Friday, April 16, 2021

TV Series Review: Julie and the Phantoms: Season 1, Episodes 7-9

Good day, everyone!

Today I’m finishing out reviewing my new favorite show Julie and the Phantoms! If you’ve been here the last few months then you know how crazy I am about this show from my reviews of episodes 1-3 HERE and episodes 4-6 HERE. Today is especially exciting because while I’m sad about not having an excuse to talk about it after this, I will be talking about my ultimate favorite episode! When I say this is my favorite I’m not kidding.

This show is only on Netflix and we are all hoping that it will get renewed for a second season. I’ve never seen a show with more potential for a second season so it rightly deserves it! I want more people to know about it because like Reggie always says, “Tell your friends!”

I’ve seen the whole show three times since January and my little sister and I are planning to watch it again soon. I’m grateful for the recommendation from both Lia and Rachel and now want all of you to have the same experience! I hope that I can convince you by the end of this post if you haven’t seen it before. Enjoy!

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning. These reviews are fully free of spoilers for these episodes as well as ALL other episodes in the show. Because of that I’m going to be vague in the descriptions for them (and not have spoiler free pictures) because they are the final episodes and I want you guys to have ALL of the surprises without any clues when you watch it. I’m just here to tell you any content and how much I love these episodes so you are convinced to watch it in the first place.

Julie and the Phantoms: Season 1, Episode 7: “Edge of Great” (2020):
Based on: the Brazilian show, Julie e os Fantasmas (2011-2012).
Julie is planning to perform at her house for her friends, but keeps drifting out of reality into daydreams. She and the other characters are trying to sort out their feelings for each other. Will they accept the circumstances or keep denying them?
‘“Do you have any idea of what you’ve done?”
“Yeah, I do. I’ve defended every kid who’s never been believed. Some could say that I’m a superhero.”’
: Family, Drama, Musical, and touches of Fantasy.
Length: approx. 27 minutes.
Script: 10. No bad words.
Crew: Directed by: Kabir Akhtar. Written by: Dan Cross, David Hoge, Nora Sullivan, & Leilani Downer, based on the series by Paula Knudsen, Tiago Mello, & Fabio Danesi.
“...But being seen really isn’t their thing.”
Starring (Listing the 10 most important characters in each episode):
1. Madison Reyes as Julie.
2. Charlie Gillespie as Luke.
Jeremy Shada as Reggie. 
4. Owen Patrick Joyner as Alex.
5. Jadah Marie as Flynn.
6. Booboo Stewart as Willie
7. Sacha Carlson as Nick.
8. Carlos Ponce as Ray Molina. (Best dad ever!)
9. Sonny Bustamante as Carlos Molina.
10. Savannah Lee May as Carrie Wilson.
Costumes: 10. Everyone’s style is so apparent here! I love it. It’s so unique to each character. There is this one part where I burst out laughing every time because of a hairstyle of Luke's, but it is pretty cool.
Cinematography: 10. Everything with the ghosts is just splendid. The scene with “Perfect Harmony” is gorgeous and throughout it is brilliant.
Cinematography by: Jon Joffin.
“Kill it on the dance floor!”
(I wish I could find a gif for the little dance move accompanying this because it is the best).
Music: 10!! I’m squealing while writing about this because I love it so much. I can’t stop listening to the soundtrack! This episode has two songs which are so awesome. “Perfect Harmony” was actually written by Madison Reyes and Charlie Gillespie! They wrote it while filming the show then showed it to Kenny Ortega and he loved it so much that he put it in! Not only can they sing and act, they can write!
The other song is “Edge of Great”. THIS SONG. Where to even begin? It is my favorite song in the entire show and one of my favorite songs of all time. It checks all the boxes by being inspiring with phenomenal lyrics as well as having a fantastic melody. In addition to that the scene where it happens is laced with amazing drama! That sounds really weird, but once you see it you’ll know what I mean. My sister and I love analyzing everything that happens in the scene! It shows why you shouldn’t skip the show and only listen to the soundtrack because it’s different! Like most things they recorded the songs beforehand for the soundtrack, but they actually full out performed during the show and didn’t merely lip sync. Oh, did I ever mention that all of the actors play their instruments? That never fails to astonish me! In this episode during “Edge of Great” there are some guitar riffs that Charlie Gillespie asked to throw in there during filming which are one element that makes the song how incredible it is. Since they had already recorded the song they didn’t update the soundtrack so if you just listen to it you don’t get it. I am a little bitter about this if you can’t tell.
Music by:
 David Lawrence, Madison Reyes, Charlie Gillespie, Alana DeFonseca, David Amber, & Andy Love.
Quotability: 10! This episode is hilarious and that is because of the amazing dialogue. Not a day goes by where I don’t quote or reference some part of this! The “oozing chemistry” part is genius! At this point I could probably tell you the whole dialogue without a problem because I love it so much.
‘“Why, he is just too cute!”
Content: 10! Where else can you get such quality content that is so clean? There is nothing to complain about here. Character go through some physical pain, but it is not violently graphic.
Originality: 10! These episodes are short but so much is packed in to every single one. I adore what they did with all of the characters and their relationships. It has such a creative punch!
Good For:
 Anyone who loves music, anyone who has lost someone, anyone looking for a good show.
Age Range: I know that my description made it sound like something only teenagers would be interested in, but nothing is farther from the truth! I can’t think of something more perfect for all ages! Please don’t be fooled by the fact that it is rated G by thinking that it can only be enjoyed by little kids. That is entirely false!
Overall Score: 10! Guys. GUYS. GUYS! It is perfect. There are no flaws with this episode, it is just wonderful.
Worth watching?: Anyone can answer this for me at this point. OF COURSE! In all ways!
Will I watch again?:
 Story time: The second time my sister and I saw this show we watched episode 6 and this one together on the same day. The very next day we went to continue watching the show and we watched this episode and episode 8. We watched it two days in a row and didn’t get tired of it. I’m not joking, I could watch this episode every day and not be bored of it.
Bonus thoughts:
You’ve probably all guessed it now, but this is my favorite episode. I keep staring at this screen trying to find a way to tell you how much I love it, but I can’t think of anything that conveys my feelings about it without screaming a million adjectives. This episode has so much heart! It is funny and comforting and brings me joy on so many levels. The dynamics between these characters are jaw dropping with their complexity and meaning. This is my favorite episode of my favorite show ever. What else can I say? I think it’s a “great” choice.

Julie and the Phantoms: Season 1, Episode 8: “Unsaid Emily” (2020):
Based on: the Brazilian show, Julie e os Fantasmas (2011-2012).
Julie wants to do something for the boys and ends up learning more about Luke’s past. What she doesn’t know is that they are all keeping a secret from her about something going on right now. How long before the truth gets out?
“You can’t get rid of me, I’m like the crazy glue of best friends.”
 Family, Drama, Musical, and touches of Fantasy.
Length: approx. 24 minutes.
Script: 10. Free of bad words!
“It looks like somebody fell asleep watching Ghost Hunters and Chopped.”
(This was funny because I can’t tell you guys how many times I’ve fallen asleep while watching Chopped!)
 Directed by:
 Kabir Akhtar. Written by: Leah Keith, Dan Cross, David Hoge, & Nora Sullivan  based on the series by Paula Knudsen, Tiago Mello, & Fabio Danesi.
Starring (Listing the 10 most important characters in each episode):
1. Madison Reyes as Julie.
2. Charlie Gillespie as Luke.
3. Owen Patrick Joyner as Alex.
4. Jeremy Shada as Reggie.
5. Jennifer Juniper Angeli as Emily.
6. Michael Ryan as Mitch.
7. Jadah Marie as Flynn.
8. Booboo Stewart as Willie
9. Sacha Carlson as Nick.
10. Carlos Ponce as Ray Molina.
 9. Subtle differences convey how characters are feeling and it is so well done.
Cinematography: 9. The cinematography of one scene in particular is outstanding. As usual, the characters being ghosts are really well done!
Cinematography by: Jon Joffin.
Music: 10. I need to take a deep breath before I can get any cohesive thoughts. “Unsaid Emily” is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard in my life. It will take you on a wild emotional ride!
Music by: David Lawrence, Michelle Lewis, & Dan Petty.
 9. The lines in here hit me deeply, even the ones that aren’t in song! This is a more serious episode, but there are still lines in here that lighten the mood when needed.
‘“What’re you doing?”
“I needed a pick-me-up and hanging with Ray always does the trick.”
“...Does it? Okay...”’
Content: 10. Heartbreaking, yes, but clean, too! A+ to all of the writers and crew.
As I mentioned in my other two posts (so I should mention it somewhere in this post, too), Alex is shown to be homosexual. It is represented very well. I couldn’t think of any better way! It is all clean and I really like his relationships with people because he is so sweet.
Originality: 10. I feel like everyone who watches this did not think it was going to go where it went. It was so unexpected in the best way! Love it!

Good For: Anyone who loves music, anyone who has lost someone, anyone looking for a good show.
Age Range: It’s rated G so it’s good for any and all ages. I feel like teens and adults are more hit with the significance of things in this episode than teeny tiny kids, but it is still great for them.
Overall Score: 9.5!
Worth watching?: Goodness gracious, yes. This episode has it all! 
Will I watch again?:
 Am I emotionally ready to see it again? Probably not any time soon. Is that going to stop me from watching it a million times? Nope. I love this episode and can’t wait to see it again. It’s the shortest one in the whole season so I only wish there was more!
“This is an interesting little relationship we have here.”
(Also known as the moment when all of our hearts stopped beating)
Bonus thoughts:
I’m not going to say a lot because I am wary of giving spoilers, but you all need to watch this. The whole season built up to it really well and everything happened at the right time. At the risk of sounding crazy, I have to say that I love the struggles that everyone goes through.

Julie and the Phantoms: Season 1, Episode 9: “Stand Tall” (2020):
Based on:
the Brazilian show, Julie e os Fantasmas (2011-2012).
Luke, Alex, and Reggie try to arrange to get a final chance to finish what they have to do. Together with Julie, what can stop them? One person may have something to say about that...
“Who you calling ‘boy band’?”
Genres: Family, Drama, Musical, and touches of Fantasy.
Length: approx. 35 minutes.
Script: 10. No bad words!
Crew: Directed by: Kenny Ortega. Written by: Dan Cross, David Hoge, & Nora Sullivan  based on the series by Paula Knudsen, Tiago Mello, & Fabio Danesi.
Starring (Listing the 10 most important characters in each episode.):
1. Madison Reyes as Julie.
2. Charlie Gillespie as Luke.
3. Owen Patrick Joyner as Alex.
4. Jeremy Shada as Reggie.
5. Jadah Marie as Flynn.
6. Sonny Bustamante as Carlos Molina.
7. Carlos Ponce as Ray Molina.
8. Booboo Stewart as Willie.
9. Steve Bacic as Trevor Wilson.
10. Savannah Lee May as Carrie Wilson.
Costumes: 10. There are some sweet threads here, not going to deny it. Everyone looks amazing in all of their outfits!
‘“How’d you know our sizes?”
“That’s your question!?”’
Cinematography: 10. The ghostly visual effects reach their peak here! Just everything about them are great. Talk about quality!
Cinematography by: Jon Joffin.
Music: 10. The last songs of the season do not disappoint in any way, shape, or form! All the plot threads coming together made for an excellent finale. I'm begging you at this point, watch it as soon as possible!
Music by: David Lawrence, Jakub Vanyo, Alana DeFonseca, & Vincent Alfieri.
Notes: The scene with “You Got Nothing to Lose” almost wasn’t filmed! It has such an important event that I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like without it. I’m glad they went through with it!
Quotability: 10. Guys, the lines here are i c o n i c. I am speechless.
“Stop saying the bus drove itself!”

10. Characters go through more physical pain which is terrible but not glorified. It is important for the plot but not overused. Ack, guys I can’t even stress how I love how clean these episodes are!
Originality: 10. Utterly marvelous, guys! It is new and inventive and powerful.
Good For: Anyone who loves music, anyone who has lost someone, anyone looking for a good show.
Age Range: This is ideal for any and all ages! It is enjoyable in all ways so anyone could relate to the characters.
Overall Score: 10! It is kind of unbelievable how good it is, I know, but trust me on this one!
Worth watching?: Too bad you can’t see the tears streaming down my face that say “DEFINITELY!”
Will I watch again?: Why do I have this question when the answer is so clear? Absolutely! I can’t wait. The last time my younger sister Fiona and I watched it impacted us more times than before so it gets better and better with each rewatch.
Bonus thoughts:
THE CHARACTERS ARE MASTERPIECES. I loved seeing each of them on their journeys! I love Julie, Luke, Reggie, and Alex all so much! They are my new fictional family. I don't want to mention specific side characters for the sake of spoilers, but I do want to say that Flynn is awesome. Also, Carlos is adorable! This episode speaks for itself. I can’t do any better, so you should just watch it and be prepared to be blown away. It wrapped up the whole season in the best way. We are all eager for more inspiration and another season!

Fiona and I have no other favorite story, so we can be a little biased. Our older sister probably likes it more reasonably, but what is the point of enjoying things halfway? We don’t demand that everyone feels the same way that we do about it, we just want you to have the opportunity to receive the blessing that watching this show has been for us! Best part of 2021 so far for us and it will continue!

There you have it! I’m a little tired as I had serum injected into me yesterday (I’m trying to make it sound like I’m Captain America but in reality I just got a vaccine) so I’m blaming any grammatical mistakes that I have on that. I have been at this all. day. long. since my brain is working that slowly and usually I would be really annoyed with that, but it's Julie and the Phantoms! I'm so happy to think about it so much!

Thank you so much for reading! Please tell me if you want to watch this show now (If you do it will make my day)! Has anyone new seen it? Let’s talk! What is your favorite episode? Does anyone love episode 7 as much as I do? Who else wants to see season 2?? Have a great rest of your day!

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