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

Saturday, July 24, 2021

The 2021 Legends of Western Cinema Week This or That Tag!

Howdy, y'all!

I hope you're all wearing your cowboys hats because it is currently Legends of Western Cinema Week! It has returned and is once again hosted by Olivia, Heidi, and Hamlette

The party has been going wild with fun the last few days! There have been games, giveaways, and reviews a plenty! I'm jumping on here quickly with my tag answers that the lovely ladies have created the questions for. I had hoped to review a movie for this, too, but time rolls away like drifting tumbleweeds.

The 2021 Legends of Western Cinema Week Tag:
1. Western movies or western TV shows?

I love TV shows because they give more character growth. That's what we all think, right? Well, so far with the western TV shows I've seen, that's not been the case. All I know is that everybody's gettin' out of Dodge.

I prefer Western movies because they give you all the good feels of a western and you can enjoy it for two hours then be done. Plus they get creative with how to wrap up the plot. Sure, "creative" usually means a shoot out, but that's expected, I guess?

2. Funny westerns or dramatic westerns? 

Considering that one of my top ten movies of all time is a western that happens to be the funniest movie I know, you would think that I would chose that one. Well, Support Your Local Sheriff (1969) is in a league of its own.

There is something about the word "western" that just demands to be dramatic, right? You picture towns on the brink of disaster and people riding off into the sunset, right? For the sake of today, I'm feeling more like a dramatic western, but I wouldn't be opposed if it was funny at the same time.

3. Westerns that focus on loners or westerns that focus on families?

This is the hardest question! I feel that a western heightens the mystery of a loner. I think most of the westerns I've seen have been with either that or found families instead of birth families. Usually other families involve too much feuding. But, sometimes that's just what I'm looking for! One movie that I saw long ago, where I think it was Night Passage (1957), was about brothers who were on different sides of the train tracks, so to speak, and I LOVED IT. I'm feeling too vague today to make a definite decision.

4. Male-centric westerns or female-centric westerns?

Well, if I had seen a female-centric western than it might be my new favorite thing, but as of now I can only truthfully say that I've only seen male-centric westerns. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to change this?

5. 1930s to 1960s westerns or 1970s to 2020s westerns?

Some westerns from the 1930s to 1960s have Jimmy Stewart, so that's the obvious answer.

6. Westerns that take place in America or westerns that take place internationally?

I've only seen one international western which was The Man From Snowy River (1962). I really loved it so I wouldn't be opposed to seeing more! As far as quantity go, westerns that take place in America win.

7. Family-friendly Westerns or edgier Westerns? 

My instinct is always to go with more family-friendly westerns. Most of the edgier westerns that I've seen are that way for no reason, you know? Now if we were dealing with a serious topic then I would love to see a western about it, but handled well. 

8. Straightforward good guy or conflicted hero? 

Usually I want all the conflict in the world. Which is a bizarre statement, I know. But in Westerns it is so comforting to have someone who is steady and secure in a terrain that is prone to treachery. Now I'm just trying to sound poetic. But really Thomas Jefferson Destry Jr. and Jim Craig are such good and lovable characters! Then there is also Ransom Stoddard, who is so deeply good and just yet has conflict aplenty. So, why not both?

9. Historically accurate Westerns or Westerns that aren't afraid to take some creative liberties? 

I am probably wouldn't know the difference, actually, so give me all you've got!

10. Bittersweet or happily-ever-after endings?

Bittersweet! But only when it comes to this genre. I like Westerns to show me that there was a toll paid for what happened. If the "bad guys" are just terrible shots and everyone gets what they wanted, it feels like a cop-out. There are some times that I definitely wanted a happy ending and just get too sad about what happens (like a certain Alan Ladd movie from 1948), but usually my heart is aching in a satisfied way.

There you have it! This party is going to be ending soon, so check it out! Thank you again to all of the wonderful hosts! There are so many stunning posts entered here, I recommend checking them all out!

What do you think of my answers? Any western recommendations? As of now, that I can count off the top of my head, I've seen 37 films and 2 tv shows that fall into that genre. I'm someone who usually loves happy endings, so does anyone know why I prefer bittersweet endings in this genre? Has anyone seen Night Passage and can help confirm if that's the movie I have seen?

See you around, partner!

Chloe the MovieCritic

Monday, July 19, 2021

Five Years Ago: Movies Meet Their Match + If I Was A Fictional Character

Hello, lovers of stories!

Well, another year of this blog has passed by, and my mind is reeling. Five years ago, on July 19th 2016, it all started. How is this possible? How have I been so blessed to have so many people who encourage me with all of their thoughts and comments? Thank you so much for being a part of my life! Lately I've felt especially free to express my thoughts through blogging and I really needed that. Thank you for listening to me!

How I feel when it is my blog's birthday! I'm so happy!

Because I love tradition, we're going to have an overview of what changed this year along with all the other fun activities that I do around that, but afterwards you'll get a treat that I've been planning for a long time!

This is completely unnecessary because I'm going to recap very quickly in a minute, but if you're interested, here is what I've done for past blogoversaries: Hello book and movie fans (Original first post)One Year Ago (2017), Two Years Ago (2018),  Three Years Ago (2019), & Four Years Ago (2020).

Followers: 72 (thank you, you magnificent human beings!)
All time page views: 84,023
This blows my mind! I'm not sure which face represents me better.
Posts: 458 (this is the 459th!)
Top 3 most popular posts:
My 5 favorite posts:
(Most of these have been in the last year, so that's a good sign for the future!)

Don't worry, I'm thinking up more magical things.


Each year I become a better blogger, so let's see what I've improved! I know that the colors create a garish combination so one year I will change that...but not this year.

All in bold, the original will be in black, 2016-17's changes are in green2017-18's changes are in blue2018-19's changes are in maroon/purple2019-20's changes will be in orange, and this year's (2020-21) will be in red.

MOVIE EXAMPLE: Everything is either 1-10. 10 is the best.
Disclaimer My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning.

Some kind of movie. (The title? Is that what I mean by that?)
Based on:
(I also might have some history on the movie or book.) The movie plot. (History? What do I mean by history? If I were to put any facts about the movie it would be in the "Notes" section)
Script: 4
Crew: Directed by: Produced by: (I added this in 2017, but took it out in 2018) Written by: (This year I condensed this. Going for simpler, ya know?)
Actors: (Starring:) 9
(Costumes: 6
Costumes by: (Only if I can find who designed them).
My favorite:) (I moved this whole section down lower to be more concise. I hope it's working...)
Cinematography by:
Music by:
(If I think there could be better actors I will put them here.) (*laughing* This never happens! I completely forgot about it)
Good Quotes: Quotability: "And I keyn't stan' 'em." (Sorry, I couldn't find any other way to get the accent right.)
Oscars won:
Storyline: Content: 2 ( I really like it to be original or if they are doing something based on a book, I will rate it on how close to the book it is.) (I gave up on that a long time ago. Did I even ever do it? If it is an adaptation of a book I will allow things to happen. This section is only for things that the rating system is based on)
Originality: (I split these categories in two do it was easier to understand).
Good For:
Age Range: (I added this because of Kara's post).
Overall Score:
Worth watching?:
Will I watch again?:
Bonus thoughts: (This is my favorite that I added in 2018, because I actually get to tell you my [spoiler free] thoughts! Can you believe that I didn't do that for so long?)

And for books pretty much the same but with:
BOOK EXAMPLE: 1-10. 10 is the best.
Disclaimer My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning.
Book name. (See, I had the title here!)
Characters: 7
(I will probably list my favorites)
Words/Writing Style: 3
(I like authors who use lots of words.) (*chokes on laughter* Since when has that been true? It's about the quality, not the quantity!)
World building/Setting:
Quotes: Quotability:
Storyline: Content: 9
(This is completely based on how I liked it. Tell me your opinion too!)
Good For:
Age Range:
Overall Score:
Worth reading?:
Will I read again?:
Bonus thoughts:
Pretty much the same.

I feel so content I can sip my tea in peace, but I'll get back to work in a minute.

Currently about me:

I am reading: The Count of Monte Cristo - by Alexandre Dumas.
I am (re)watching: WandaVision. Soon I will only be watching the Olympics!

My Top 5 Favorite Books:
Anne of Green Gables - by L. M. Montgomery
Holes - by Louis Sachar
North & South - by Elisabeth Gaskell
Anna Karenina - by Leo Tolstoy

My Top 5 Favorite Movies:
(Both of these lists tend to change, so keep an eye on the My Favorites  page for all the recent updates)

Now it is time for the moment you have all been waiting for: the big surprise!

These last five years have meant more to me than I can say. I love interacting with the blogging community and have discovered so many new stories that are near and dear to my heart through all of you.

I only have one problem, I feel like my identity here isn't quite right. I remember when I came up with the idea for this blog I was so proud of the title, Movies Meet Their Match, and my own name, MovieCritic. Looking back, that is such a naive thing to call myself. Was I assuming that I was the only movie critic in the universe? It is so stiff and formal, too. As I've gotten to know you all so much better, I want to change this into something easier for everyone.

Today I'm introducing my pen name for this blog! This isn't my real name, but I'm often called this because apparently my own name is too hard to remember. If you know me by a different name, then feel free to keep using it! I love being called MC, so I hesitated on changing this for so long because of that, but I'm sure about this decision.

Call me Chloe the MovieCritic.

I'm getting ready for my close up.

Way back in January MK had this great post where she filled out questions usually asked when creating a fictional character, but answered them with what would apply to her! Since then it became a bit of a tag with other bloggers (Samantha, McKayla, and Violette) doing the same thing. I'm here to fill you in on what I'm really like now that I have a pen name!

Whenever I write characters I have to have a playlist for them. I have one with songs that I relate to that is over two hours long, so that's a little excessive to put here. Just know that it is every Twenty One Pilots song ever.

I will be answering all of this in third person because it is way more fun.

1. Share a snippet that involves description of her appearance
A quiet and still room is broken by one strange girl with her constant motion. We shouldn't be surprised, as this is a common occurrence. She is bopping to an unheard melody because she has headphones on whenever possible, wearing them over her blonde slightly long hair. This hair has grown darker through the years, but she is still a typical blonde---both in appearance and aptitude. Though it isn't noticeable to anyone except her and her sisters, there is a streak that is lighter than any of the others in the front. It depends on the day, but she likes to refer to it like she is either Anna from Frozen or Narsissa Malfoy.

While she types at her computer she is wearing blue light glasses. She doesn't need a pescription, but she is almost always wearing those or sunglasses. She is notorious for always having extremely dirty glasses, but when questioned she just replies like Peter Parker does in Captain America: Civil War (2016); sometimes everything is too much and she needs to block it out. Behind those crooked glasses and under almost invisible eyebrows rest blue eyes, which go with her outfit that is almost without a doubt including the same color. She has ripped jeans from working with her dad. Currently it all goes together, but it is rare that she wears something this cohesive.

She has a hard time figuring out how to describe her other features, so she wouldn't want you bored with that. Her face is constantly peppered with acne of some kind, with a face including cheeks that always makes people think she is younger than she really is. She has the dictionary definition of a baby face. That is contrasted by her favorite part about her physical description: her height. At about 5 ft. 10 inches, she has been making people think she was in college since she was a freshman in high school. She never puts on makeup simply because it would mean she had to get up earlier, which is to be avoided at all costs. As you can see, she has a touch of laziness, but admires anyone who wants to go that extra length.

2.  5 Ways To Win Her Friendship 

1. Talk to her and roll with her weird questions. She is very used to her funky questions being answered with one word, so if you elaborate and ask your own, she'll stick by you.
2. Talk about your favorite fandoms: books, movies, music, whatever! So many of her friendships start in a connection here. Different opinions are welcome as long as you don't say that her favorites are the worst things in the world.
3. Be sincere. If you are stuck with her she will probably start telling you her life story and feelings on everything, and she wants everything to be honest from you, too.
4. Show kindness to little kids or pets. She will start making up stories of how you are the sweetest person in the planet.
5. It's not that hard. Just being alive is enough.

Give her food and she'll be the Wicket to your Leia.

(It is fun to note, that she feels like Elinor Dashwood to Lucy Steele very often. She meets someone and they immediately want to tell her their deepest secrets of their life in a relationship. Then ask her advice, and she is incapable of saying anything because she has no knowledge in this area. She doesn't mind at all, she just is amused with the regularity that it happens)

3.  Favorite Type of Weather 

An absolute snow storm. Any kind of snow is greatly loved. She gets positively frisky while dancing through the flakes, but she especially loves wandering her yard, pretending she's exploring the arctic, while you can barely see more than a few feet in front of you. Yes, she knows that she is a grown person, but she doesn't care.

4. Food Quirks

She will eat anything because one of her mottos is, "It's food, man". She tends to stay away from foods that are normally well loved (like pizza and chocolate). She loves putting mustard and peanut butter together or using Nutella if peanut butter isn't available.

5. How often does she smile? Would she smile at a stranger?

One time there was some debate in her dance class. During every dance they had done they had been told to smile, but some people wanted this to be a fierce dance and have no smiles at all. One girl was saying right before the show how they had to all be agreed on this because there was always one person who was smiling and threw the whole thing off...then that girl stopped in front of Chloe the MovieCritic.

"It's you! You're always smiling! You're always so happy!"

To which Chloe replied:

And everyone else is always like this:

She obsessively smiles and waves at everyone she ever sees. It's a good thing she lives in a small town because if she were in a city she would probably wear herself out within five minutes of walking out the door.

6. If she could travel anywhere in the world, where would she go? 

She is a strange one and doesn't love to travel. All the same, she wants to go to Spain, Italy, Jerusalem, South Korea, and Rio de Janero.

7. What’s her favorite food? 

She loves chili (the soup/stew, not just the straight powder), limes, corn, carrots, and sloppy joes, but not all together. She would also get along with Lemony Snicket because she thinks the best drink is root beer.

8. What is the most humiliating event of her life?
She has a good memory for the weirdest things, but has repressed any information regarding this.

9. What habits, speech patterns, etc. are unique to her?

(If I'm being completely honest, I wanted to do this tag solely for this question.)

She has quite a bizarre lingo that she uses everyday but never types, so it is never seen on this blog. It's also for the best that you can't hear her speaking because you are saved from her constant stuttering and slurring of words. When she gets excited she talks really quickly and no one can understand what she is saying.

She calls people: Dude, dudette, peeps, honey, and hun. This doesn't just apply to people, though. It was quite amusing when once she said, "Work with me, hun!" when she realized that she was talking to a ladder that she was trying to put in her dad's truck.

She also frequently says: yo, man, wowza, totally, nifty, neat, and sweet (that last one is a point of contention. She says "sweet" about a million times a day. Even if it's like, "Hey, MC, I'm going on a walk." "Sweet!" Anything really.)

When she feels things strongly she will start talking in Spanish because the way she learned to speak it was very rooted in emotions. Whenever she feels those emotions her mind automatically switches over. There is a lot of "¡Me encanta!" "¡Me gusta!" "¡No me gusta!" and sometimes even "Odio...".

She never noticed it until her sister pointed it out, but if she's talking to you she will probably say, "yeah?" a lot. She uses it like Canadians say "eh?".

10. Is she a night owl or morning person?

She is naturally a night owl and always has been. Right now, though, she's a bit of both, which really isn't copacetic. She gets up early for work or writing and she forgot how awesome mornings are! People are so friendly! They will return (or sometimes even initiate!) her waving and smiling. She should probably pick one, though, and stop trying to do both.

11. Describe your character’s personality first in one word, and then elaborate with a few sentences.
(I thought of way too many TOP songs that are a one word title and describe me perfectly, but decided to try to be creative)

Clear-as-mud (yes, it is one word.). She has a great memory for the smallest details yet doesn't remember anything important and will forget to do something that you told her to do three seconds ago. She loves music but doesn't want anything to do with creating it. She is completely wacky and silly on the outside and just tries to be blind to all problems on the inside. Completely chill because she is disconnected from reality, but is very sensitive to everything. As a typical Hufflepuff she doesn't care what others think too much, but will fiercely defend others besides herself.

12. What sights, sounds, and smells are reminders of this character?

Snow. Work gloves. Books. Piles of DVDs. Headphones. Laughter for no reason.

She needs a dictionary, because she needs to find more words. Because she is incapable of thinking of anything else.

13. If she was an element (fire, water, earth, air), which one would she be?

Water. For no other reason than the fact that she really loves it. Maybe because it is just about the weirdest substance in existence? It is usually cool and refreshing, a pretty blue, and cold. Very cold. She is delirious now and should drink some water...

14. Quirks:

She likes/doesn't mind a lot of things that bother other people: doing the dishes, heights, getting shots, or doing math.
If she wasn't listening to a song properly and fully appreciating it, she will restart it. Then almost immediately zone out and have to do it again.
She always has to be doing something with her hands. She can't wear bracelets in public because she will take them off and leave them places. While sitting at her computer she will squeeze anything she can see. Whether it is wax, plush hearts, rocks, paper clips, you name it!
From my perspective, she is absolutely loony. Some may dispute that, but they don't have to live with her. When she told her sister that she was "positively loony" her sister replied, "At least you're positive about it."

Ta na!
Sure, some say it's "ta-da", but I've always said it this way.

There you have it! If you want to know more about the new me, then you can check out my page "The Critic".

Thank you for supporting me all these years! Thank you to those who have been around since the beginning and thank you to those who just started following me recently. Every comment that you make improves my day so much. While I might not be on my computer all the time in the next few months, I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. 

I hope you didn't fall asleep through this huge post like I did...

Here's to five more years!

Chloe the MovieCritic

Friday, July 16, 2021

The Julie and the Phantoms Book Tag!

Hello, friends!

Itʼs the time of the month where I drag you along while I talk about my favorite show of all time, Julie and the Phantoms! I've already reviewed all of Season 1, but I have more up my sleeve. Last month I was tagged by Rachel (who helped introduce me to the series!) with a Julie and the Phantoms book tag that she created! Iʼve been so excited ever since, so Iʼm thrilled to finally be free and fill out my answers!

It is nice after my post full of spoilers last week to have one that is free of that so I can just try to convince more people to watch it!

The Rules:

1. Link back the original creator (Rachel at R's Loft)
2. Use the graphic if you'd like.
3. Answer the questions below.
4. And tag some friends!

The Questions:
Now or Never: a recent favorite read

Wild Bird - by Wendelin Van Draanen. I knew it was going to be good because it is by the same author as Flipped and the Sammy Keyes series, and it lived up to it. I read it in April and it was absolutely incredible! It involves a lot of nature and made me want to go outside in the wilderness even though Wren wasn't having the best time at it.

Wake Up: a book that surprised you

Artemis Fowl - by Eoin Colfer. I didnʼt have any expectations going it, but if I did it certainly wouldnʼt have been that the title character has a streak of evil genius. This book had a surprise on every page that I never wouldʼve seen coming.

Bright: a book that lights you up

I asked my older sister for help with this one by making a list and asking her which one I get the most excited about. She said Flipped - by Wendelin Van Draanen, Anna Karenina - by Leo Tolstoy, and Anne of Green Gables - by L. M. Montgomery. I tend to use all of those books a lot when answering book tags, so Iʼm going to bring in a new one that my sister agreed on, but said that since Iʼve read it so recently she hasnʼt heard me talk about it as much of the years of loving the above. Lately even thinking about The Metropolitans - by Carol Goodman has made me giddy with happiness! This books is marvelous!

This Band is Back: a short read

Wonderstruck - by Brian Selznick. Anyone who has seen a copy of this book is very confused by this answer because it has to be at least 3 inches thick. Well, most of that is detailed drawings! The story itself is very short and you can read the whole book in one day.

Wow: a book that blew your mind

My first Agatha Christie book, Death on the Nile, was so complex that Iʼve never been the same. Here I was thinking it was going to be some easy mystery, but it was FAR FROM IT. To this day it is rare that a mystery grabs me in quite the same way!

Flying Solo: a book with a great female friendship

The Lions of Little Rock - by Kristine Levine. Liz and Marlee have to go through a lot to stay friends, but the book is about their bravery to do it anyway.

I Got the Music: a book set in high school

I get this type of question a lot and my mom came up with a brilliant answer a few years ago that I have used ever since. Books 4-7 of the Harry Potter series are technically when the characters would be in high school, and it IS a school of a kind.


The Other Side of Hollywood: a book with ghosts

Liesl & Po - by Lauren Oliver. I didnʼt like this book, per say, because it went in some very weird directions that kind of creeped me out. But I guess I shouldʼve expected it.

All Eyes on Me: a popular book you havenʼt read

Iʼve heard people talk about The Hunger Games - by Suzanne Collins more times than I can count, but I never have read it. I think it has something to do with archery, which, if you didnʼt know, is one of my favorite things, so I should try it! Soon I want to branch out and try more dystopian novels so that could be in there.

Finally Free: a book about music

This was the hardest question and I had to refresh my memory on almost every book Iʼve ever read, but it paid off and I came up with one!

The Trumpet of the Swan - by E. B. White is exactly how it sounds. Itʼs about a musical swan who can play the trumpet!

Perfect Harmony: a book couple thatʼs perfect together

You can tell I watch more movies with perfect couples because this question was harder than it shouldʼve been.

When I read Persuasion - by Jane Austen I got absolutely obsessed with Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth, so they are my answer!

Edge of Great: a flawless book

This is my absolute favorite song of the whole show, so I love that Rachel has this paired with a flawless book, because the song is so flawless!

It also puts a lot of pressure that I answer this question perfectly.

Iʼm going to say The Girl Who Drank the Moon - by Kelly Barnhill. It was a mystical and magical ride full of lessons about being loved and finding your place in life that is going to stick with me for the rest of my life.

Unsaid Emily: a book that destroyed your heart

I knew what was going to happen in Bridge to Terabithia - by Katherine Patterson before I read it, but my heart was still absolutely demolished. A lot of people I know hate this book because of what it does, but while it is a horrible thing, I still adore this book.

(This especially fits because the authorʼs last name is Patterson like someone else...)

You Got Nothing to Lose: a book you were forced to read

(Technically I wasnʼt forced to read it because I chose this, but Iʼd had it recommended to me more times than I can count so it was only a matter of time before it WAS forced to read it.)

(Plus, it is set in the roaring 20s therefore it reminds me of Caleb Covington so it fits pretty well)

The Great Gatsby - by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I thought that I was going to hate it, and the people who know me thought so too, but we were all proved wrong. I totally see why itʼs a classic!

Stand Tall: a fabulous final book

I was stumped for a minute because most final books in a series are a bit of a disappointment. McKayla had a really good answer which I was going to use, but I decided to think of something else.

Rilla of Ingleside - by L. M. Montgomery. I was so scared to read this book. I LOVE the Anne of Green Gables books (the first one has remained my all time favorite book ever since I read it) and I didnʼt want to learn about her kids in case something messed it up. From Anne of Ingleside and Rainbow Valley I thought that Rilla was the most annoying little girl in the universe.

Folks, I shouldnʼt have worried.

Rilla of Ingleside remains one of the most beautiful books Iʼve ever read. And the cover is purple, too!

I tag:
Katie Hanna (because I know sheʼs seen the show)
Emily Grant (because I have a feeling she would LOVE the show)
& anyone else who has seen it
& all of you readers who havenʼt seen it! Please watch this show! You won't be disappointed!

Thanks for reading! Have you read any of these books? How well do they fit with the prompts? Does anyone else ship people more when they are in a movie than in a book? Tell me some of your favorite fictional couples! Any new Julie and the Phantoms fans out there since my last post?


Sunday, July 11, 2021

Book vs. TV Show Review: A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room

Hello, readers!

It is time to continue reviewing a tale of misery and woe! Lemony Snicketʼs series of unfortunate events is going to go on for many more reviews. Confused at what Iʼm talking about? Check out my review for the first book and first episodes of the series, The Bad Beginning.

Because this is such a big series, Iʼm going to get more and more vague when it comes to the descriptions for each book/episode. In whatever format you chose, this is a fun series and I want you to enjoy it as it comes without knowing what happens!

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

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room - by Lemony Snicket:
The Baudelaires are ready for a new chapter in their life, but they are tentative when they are going to be living with another relative that they have never heard of. Could it be as bad as last time? Uncle Monty seems really nice and treats the children to cake, movies, and soon a trip! His profession as a herpetologist is strange at first, but Violet, Klaus, and Sunny can get used to it. When Uncle Montyʼs new assistant, Stephano, arrives, the quiet world the children were starting to build again shatters. What kind of danger lies in wait in the Reptile Room?
ʻ“Dewk!” Sunny shrieked in a generic cry of frustration and pounded her little fist on the floor. The word “generic” here means when one is unable to think of anything else to say, and Sunny was not alone in this. Violet and Klaus were, of course, too old to say things like, “dewk”, but they wished they werenʼt.ʼ
Genres: Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction, Mystery.
Characters: 8. The characters have most certainly grown on me with each time I read it. 
My favorites:
Violet: She is so resourceful! I love how she is respectful and optimistic and knows when the time is to act.
ʻ“Nice girls shouldnʼt know how to do those kinds of things.”
“My sister is a nice girl and can do many things.”ʼ
Klaus: If you read my last review you know that I sometimes have a hard time liking Klaus because he gets on my nerves. It was all because of something that I didnʼt understand: whenever someone says a fancy word they try to explain what it means and Klaus, the know-it-all, says he already knows. When I was little I thought it was the most infuriating thing! Well, this book explains it:
ʻOccasionally, people thought that because they were orphans they were also dim- witted.ʼ
Klaus reads a ton of books and of course he knows lots of words so I understand how he can get frustrated when people are constantly thinking that he doesnʼt know anything, especially when half the time they incorrectly define the words.
 ʻKlaus sighed. He felt sometimes as if he had spent half his life explaining things to Mr. Poe.ʼ
Sunny: Poor Sunny goes through a lot in this book and I just want to cuddle her.
Uncle Monty: I never realized it, but when it comes to books and movies I get VERY suspicious. And because of that I tend to dislike characters when it isnʼt their fault. I didnʼt trust Monty for the longest time when I first read this book. Poor guy! Now I like him even in his oblivion.
ʻ“How many time must I remind you, itʼs not polite to interrupt!” Uncle Monty interrupted.ʼ
Words/Writing style: 7. This rating is bumped down because there are some poorly used words. Lemony Snicket tells us that people sometime yell out names when they are surprised or scared, but I donʼt approve. We didnʼt need to hear it Mr. Poe, so I donʼt appreciate it.
There is one other bad word, but it is pointed out:
ʻIt is, as you know, very, very, rude and usually unnecessary to use profanity...ʼ
Exactly! I wouldnʼt want to copy anything that the person who said it does, but I still donʼt approve. Even when Lemony Snicket made me laugh.
Besides that, the writing style continues to be so much fun. All of the rule breaking and straightening out are a hoot. My favorite is when the word “ever” is used over 200 times. Just read the book and youʼll find out what that means.
World building/Setting: 8. When I first listened to the whole series this book struck me as having one of the most unique settings. While I now appreciate how each of the books have a different creative setting, I still really like this one. Imagine starting a peaceful life on “Lousy Lane”!
Quotability: 9. Lemony Snicketʼs writing sticks with you and is worth of repeating! I think my sister and I both think of this book whenever we think of eavesdropping and we think of some lines about it.
Content: 8. There are some violent threats and fear that goes with it. There is a death and the after affects are vividly described. All of this though is shown as bad!
I like how Lemony Snicket makes fun of things that are usually thought of as dangerous, as shown in this line:
“There is a pair of snakes whoʼve learned to drive a car so recklessly that they would run you over in the street and never stop to apologize.”
Notes: My sister and I feel like Lemony Snicket is well versed in Monty Python, and took some inspiration from that. Does anyone else see that? Doesn't just the name say a lot?
Originality: 9. I donʼt think Iʼve ever read another book that feature snake in this way! The ending is particularly complex which is something that pleases me.
Good For: This is such a hard thing to pin down because it really depends on the person! Either you will love the writing and root for the children to come out on top in all of their woe, or you will find the misery too disturbing. Do you like droll writing that is hilarious in the midst of trouble while having poignagt moments? This might be for you! 
Age Range: The range this spans is quite large. Itʼs written as Middle Grade Fiction so kids can look up to the Baudelaires who carry on in spite of troubles, and are relatable as Violet and Klaus are fourteen and twelve. On the flip side my sister and I are two adults who are WAY too into these books.
Overall Score: 8.
Worth reading?: Certainly! The themes that are explored in here hit quite deep, in particular, regret. We all wish that we could correct something in our lives by doing something different, but we canʼt. This book made me think about it a lot and appreciate that weʼll have more choices and chances to do right in the future.
ʻOne of the most difficult things to think about in life is ones regrets. Something will happen to you and would will do the wrong thing and for years afterward you will wish you had done something different. For instance, sometimes when Iʼm walking along the seashore or visiting the grave of a friend, I will remember a day a long time ago when I didnʼt bring a flashlight with me to a place where I shouldʼve brought a flashlight and the results were disastrous. “Why didnʼt I bring a flashlight?” I think to myself even though it is too late to do anything about it, “I shouldʼve brought a flashlight.”ʼ
Will I read again?: Iʼm not afraid of a lot of things, but one thing that I just canʼt stand is snakes. When I first read this book I was so relieved when it was over and never wanted to read it again. But you know what? I donʼt mind any more. This book is a little dry in places but still important to the series and I will read it many more times in my life Iʼm sure.
'Klaus sighed, and opened a book, and as at so many other times when the middle Baudelaire child did not want to think about his circumstances, he began to read.' 
Audiobook: Length: approx. 191 minutes.
I used to abhor it, but now my favorite part of this audiobook is the song “In the Reptile Room”. It is so horridly funny I canʼt even explain it. I highly recommend reading it this way, though Iʼm not fond of Tim Curryʼs narration of Monty. Besides that the narration is perfect!
Bonus thoughts:
This time around the ending struck a chord with me. It is soft in the middle of a hard world and I might be obsessed with it now. The accompanying music from the audiobook nearly made me cry.


A Series of Unfortunate Events: Season 1, Episodes 3 & 4: The Reptile Room Parts 1 & 2 (2017):
Based on:
A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room - by Lemony Snicket 
“Itʼs a brand new episode in your lives, Baudalaires!” 
Lousy Lane seems like an unfortunate place for the Baudelairesʼs to start their new lives, but they donʼt have a choice, as it is up to Mr. Poe. Despite their fears, Uncle Monty seems to be a good guardian. He is friendly and teaches them about reptiles as he is a herpetologist. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny each get to do what they like and are taken care of. But Lemony Snicket informs us that this happiness wonʼt last. What with a new assistant, secret messages, movies, and snakes, someone is bound to get hurt...
“Iʼm giving you the verified film discount.”
Comedy, Drama, Family, Mystery. 
Length: Episode 3: approx. 48 minutes. Episode 4: approx. 43 minutes. Total time: 91 minutes.
Script: 7. It took out one bad word that was in the book, but there is an instance where one person screams some names which annoys me. Not cool, dude.
“Iʼm terribly sorry if I was rude to him, children, but frankly, that man ruffles my scales.” 
Directed by:
Mark Palansky. Produced by: Daniel Handler, Neil Patrick Harris, Emily Fox, & Barry Sonnenfeld. Written by: Daniel Handler, Emily Fox, & Joe Tracz.
Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket.
Malina Weissman as Violet Baudelaire.
Louis Hynes as Klaus Baudelaire.
Presley Smith as Sunny Baudelaire.
Aasif Mandvi as Uncle Monty.
K. Todd Freeman as Arthur Poe.
Neil Patrick Harris as Stephano.
Matthew Walker as the Ticket Seller.
Also featuring: Usman Ally, Matty Cardarople, John DeSantis, Jacqueline Robbins, Joyce Robbins, Cobie Smulders, Will Arnett, Sara Canning, & Luke Camilleri.
Costumes: 9. I still don't know what time period this is supposed to be, but the costumes are so well designed! There is one person who looks so different that I would never have recognized him if it hadn't been pointed out to me. Yes, I am as bad as all of the adults. Once I noticed I can see it, but that initial look wasn't obvious to me.
10. I wouldn't have noticed this until my sister pointed it out, but now I am shocked by how good it is: when the children meet Monty the dialogue and cinematography mirror that of when they met Count Olaf in the first episode. It is a brilliantly played move! It shows how the same words and actions can have the opposite meanings and intents when said in a different way. The set design for Monty's house is also fabulous and I now want to live there. The CGI for animals isn't the best as it looks fake, but I'm so impressed that I'm not going to take off a point for that.
Cinematography by:
 Bernard Couture.
Music: 9. The theme song is still as splendid as always. For each book the verse in the middle is changed to fit the story and the lyrics are so clever with their rhymes. I also noticed the score in the background more than in the first episode which almost made me cry at one point, but that was just me being overly emotional.
Music by: James Newton Howard & Sven Faulconer.
Notes: All of the references had my sister and I really excited! There was one Easter egg that appeared in the background while Lemony Snicket was talking and we couldn't stop screaming because it confirms something later in the series that is never talked about directly. It also subtly incorporates things that will be used later on which pleases me tremendously. I am now interested in seeing the movie The Dawn Patrol (1938) which is said to be Violet's favorite movie! Lemony Snicket's other series, All the Wrong Questions, is also mentioned!
ʻ“Howʼd he find us?”
“Thatʼs the wrong question. What do we do?”ʼ
Quotability: 10. The quotes are so repeatable! Even words that aren't said but just appear teach me things! Even Em (who seems to know every word) had to look up what vitiated means.
“Life is a conundrum of esoterica.”
My sister claims that Klaus defined "esoterica" incorrectly. His description better fits ephemera, as he mentions documents instead just generic facts. Em is very proud to have corrected the bookworm, but I'm still dubious. What do you guys think?
Content: 8. There are threats, kidnapping, death, and some scary things if you don't like snakes. Or just make you sad. It did both for me.
Originality: 10. Of the whole TV show, these are probably the episodes that differ the most from the books, but I don't mind at all because I absolutely love it! It takes some things that are only briefly mentioned in the book and expands them in an absolutely epic way! From awesome ticket sellers to spyglasses to danger, it is so gripping! It really highlights movies, which I love because movies are one of my favorite things. That's what this blog is all about! 
“Thereʼs more to a movie than just a movie just like a book can contain crucial secrets about the world of snakes or it can be used to prop open a refrigerator door when youʼre airing it out.”
I now wish that there was way more of this kind of content in the whole series. At the same time it really presses how much more comfortable streaming services are which was a hilarious promotion.
“Subtitles? This movie is boring already.”
Later, said by other characters:
 ʻ“If itʼs in English then why are their English subtitles?” 
“All the best movies have subtitles.”ʼ
(I actually said that to my sister today because we were watching a movie in English with English subtitles. Though I have to say that I usually don't like subtitles because they are so distracting and all I can do is read them. These episodes have made me change my mind.)
Good For: It's hard to say who would like it and who wouldn't! We watch it not because we like to see people in trouble. There is some warmth to this in the midst of darkness that is one of the reasons that I really like it. The other is that it is hilarious! It took me awhile to adjust to the humor, but it's worth a try! I feel like it's also good for siblings because the Baudelaires are so close through everything.
Age Range: It's rated PG I believe, and I think that's accurate. Just like the book, too!
Overall Score: 9!
Worth watching?: Absolutely for one reason in particular besides the fantastic additions with the movie. And that reason has a name: Montgomery Montgomery. As pointed out in my review of the book, I never liked Monty. I didn't trust him. But, watching this I just immediately loved Aasif Mandvi's portrayal! He is so welcoming, and wants the best for the Baudelaires. In the book he seems a little rude and full of himself (just a tiny bit) but here though he doesn't realize things, and as the intro says, makes a few mistakes, his heart is present through out. He is eccentric in all the best ways. I love him so much here!
So much of the dialogue has some double meanings and philosophy, too, which is so great to hear and interrupt.
“Now, I know the few dangerous reptiles can make you skeptical of the entire species, but, if you give them a chance, and you get to know them well enough to tell the dangerous from the good, I promise you: no harm will come to you in the reptile room.”
Will I watch again?:
Totally! These episodes are some of my favorite of the first season, if not the whole series.
Bonus thoughts:
“So, weʼre allowed to read all these books?”
“You are not only allowed, you are implored to read these books!”ʼ
I always have to throw a shoutout to Louis Hynes for making me actually like and relate to Klaus! I understand Klaus through this as he is heartbroken that his parents died and left him and his siblings, but heʼs also angry that they kept so many secrets from them. What were their lives truly like? Where they the people he knew or something else?

I can't decide which is better because it depends on the person! I personally like the tv show episodes, but others may like the book. I will say that the book is more mysterious. I remember the first time that I read it I was so shocked by a twist! It was one of the first times I remember being surprised like that. Rereading it I saw the foreshadowing, but it is still really cool. Here it takes that particular thing away and instead goes a route which would be more funny. I like both, but I'm glad that I got to experience the mystery first prior to seeing it obvious like that. If you have read the books but not seen this, I recommend it! It is really fun and quirky, staying true to books while branching out into new realms. It also hints more and more at things to come with tantalizing clues about the past!

That's it from me! Tell, am I the only one who gets really suspicious of new characters? Is there a show or movie based on a book that is different but you still really love it? Am I the only one who has a hard time liking Klaus? Is anyone else terrified by snakes? Thanks for reading!

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