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

Saturday, January 15, 2022

My Top Ten Fictional Characters Who Need to be Protected at All Costs aka My Children, My Sons, My "Babies"

Hello, friends!

(sorry, that title is crazy. I'll explain soon). I've decided that I want to do a "Top Ten" list of some kind every month because it's something that I can get out fairly quickly with school and I really enjoy putting together. Plus, it's a great conversation starter for learning about what you guys think of the topic at hand.

I'm starting out with something that is very confusing to define, because I think this category exists only for my older sister and I. I'll do the best I can to explain, though.

You know those characters who seem to be trying so hard to accomplish a goal, sure that it will come out alright despite the odds?

They have the sweetest smiles ever and you know they are just going to end up dead if you don't protect them with every fiber of your being?

At the same time they are a little oblivious to the problems and biases in the world that may try to stop them.

They don't think they are, of course, but it's obvious to everyone else. They never know what you've saved them from.

"Thank you? You're supposed to say thank you."
"For what?"'
These characters are what I call "babies". Basically, these characters are my helpless children. It's a little bit of a loose term sometimes, as I tend to call any character I love a "baby" (or an "idiot" depending on what they are doing...), but I'm trying to define it as closely as I can here. These characters are my children. I don't know if it is vital that these characters are guys, but I have a hard time thinking of female characters who fits my definition. I would love to hear if any of you can help me come up with any female characters! When I come up with ten I'll do a post specially for them. For example, Luna Lovegood maybe is on the brink of being a "baby". And Marianne Dashwood is a baby who needs so much protection. Or Margaret Dashwood.

These characters are my fictional sons. If you watch Enola Holmes (2020), I think of these characters exactly as she talks about a sheep on a cliff.

"He'll be fine."
(and then they never are)
Another thing that isn't necessary, but certainly enhances the "baby" qualities is when the character is helplessly in love. It is so often a factor that there are only two characters on this list who you can arguably say haven't been.

Exactly. But, also lovable, and Peter Quill is not both so he doesn't quite fit.
You may have heard the term "cinnamon roll" used for characters, and I like to think of "babies" as inept cinnamon rolls. Does that help with the explanation? They are precious. Too precious for their own good, so much so that I just think about how I can take care of them all the time.

This all started with a character (who is in this list...keep reading to find out who!) who I one day started calling "sweet baby -------" and now I can't even say his name without adding the "sweet baby" on. The most important thing is that being a "baby" is not a bad thing. I LOVE these characters so much!

All in all, this list probably makes no sense, but let's have at it.

Note: There are no spoilers in this post for any of the things. I'll just be talking about what makes these characters the way they are and might hint at things, but I won't say any direct spoilers. Not that a personality is ever the big secret. I am mostly talking about movies here but there are book characters who are babies. Several of my favorites are unpublished or else they would be on this list....

Honorable mentions: William Turner from Pirates of the Caribbean (he's a little too capable to be a baby. He's more of a toddler), Peter Parker from the MCU (also more of a toddler. And I'm also more of his twin sister instead of mother), Bucky from the MCU, Much from the BBC Robin Hood, and Jay (+all my Ninjas. Especially Lloyd) from LEGO Ninjago.

10. Merlin from the BBC show Merlin.

I'm kind of mad at Merlin right now in the middle of season 5, because he is such a dollophead, but I'll talk about him anyway. He isn't my favorite character in the show (see my list of top ten favorite fictional male characters), but he is arguably the one who fits the definition "baby" the most. I mean, Arthur definitely is close to dying way more than Merlin, and Merlin has to be the one who saves him. Merlin is in this category instead of Arthur because while he is a powerful wizard and definitely capable of defending himself, he often forgets to. Why? Because he has to take care of Arthur.

He is so sweet and trusting (until he is SUPPOSED to be. That would be helpful). He's terrible at keeping secrets so it's a wonder he's alive. Good thing he has Gaius to tell them all to. He makes up the worst excuses ever. He's picked on a lot by Arthur, but he never leaves Arthur's side. He's a little mischievous, but he can't do any real harm because he is the worst assassin ever. Even when he is trying his hardest.

MERLIN. What ARE you even doing??

9. Prince Caspian X from The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008) (MOVIE ONLY).

This is talking about the movie only because let's face it, the book and movie are very different. This is also the biggest thing I have a hate/love relationship with, because some days I LOVE all the ways it is different from the book and I think it fits perfectly, and other times I HATE it. You've caught me in a good mood, today.

Armor does not detract from being a baby. I'm so proud you put safety first, hun.
He's trying so hard to be a leader and we're cheering for him even though he is such a "baby". He wants to bring magic and respect to all back to Narnia, which is a noble activity. He's grown more in character by the time of later books/movies, so we don't see as much of him, but he's still wonderful. If you doubt me calling him a baby, then think about this line:
Reepicheep : '"Choose your last words carefully, Telmarine!"
Caspian: "You are a mouse."
Reepicheep : "I was hoping for something a little more original."'
(Caspian goes on to show a lot of sense when it comes to fighting, and I'm so proud)

8. Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series.

Neville's character arc is one of my favorites in the entire series and is a character I look up to and want to be like. Is it common for parents to wish to be more like their children? He gets the reputation for being a "baby" because in the first few books/movies he gets hurt almost all the time. If someone gets injured, it's sure to be him. Broken arm? Check. Fainting? Check. I want to be his proper parent, okay?

<3 I use this gif a lot, but I LOVE IT BECAUSE HE IS SO WONDERFUL.
He is the definition of a true Gryffindor because he has a strong moral compass about what he thinks is right. He's brave even when he is afraid, which shows courage. He's dependable even when you forget about him. Which I never do, because I am his mother. Though it was a strange choice for the filmmakers to take a lot of another character's lines/elements and give them to Neville, I'm glad they did because it means I got to see more of him.

7. Klaus Baudelaire from A Series of Unfortunate Events.

(Sunny would be an actual baby for me to put on this list, but remember, we are talking about it in my terms). 
I'm talking about the Netflix show because I'm always annoyed with Klaus in the books (except in number 8! And I haven't reread past that yet) and I haven't seen the 2004 movie yet. Klaus struck me as whiny in the books but with Louis Hines playing him, my heart aches for him constantly. He's so upset and I wish I could go back to that day on the beach an erase all that happens to him.

This gif is subtle, but I love it because he's SMILING! Which is rare, but it shouldn't be. Poor guy.
Of his siblings, he is the one who most often sees the misery in their situation. This sounds pessimistic when I say it, but in his case it is actually very rational. He wants to keep his sisters safe and is always looking out for them. That includes looking for danger, which is a hard job. He gets picked on in many circumstances whether its because he's an orphan or because he is smart. Knowledge is one thing that never leaves you and he carries it with him everywhere, ready to use it to save the day.

He's so intense here it's kind of creeping me out...and we all know why.
If anyone ever slaps him, hurts him, or messes with him in any way again they will have to deal with me.

6. Marius Pontmercy from Les Miserables (2012).

If there has ever been a lovestruck character, it is Marius. I can't think of any other as helpless as he is (it's okay, because others are helplessly in love with him, too). I'm thinking specifically of the 2012 movie, as in the Masterpiece mini series he annoyed me. Here, he is an adorable human being who needs a hug. I haven't read the book yet so I can't speak for that.

Marius has to be reminded by Enjorlas that "he is no longer a child", but to me he is. Marius forgets this when he is struck by a breathless delight. How many times is in necessary for people to take care of him? A lot. If I were there I would do the same thing, because he is incapable of doing it himself. I have another hate/love relationship with this movie, but Marius ALWAYS puts a smile on my face, no matter what. Unless he's in trouble. Then I'm very angry and concerned. He feels deeply for his friends and is loyal. He works for change and is brave. We don't let him be selfless because then he would end up in more trouble, but I know he has the capability to be. Just don't tell him I told you that.

I present to you all, the face of a "baby".
(If you doubt him being a baby then listen to "ABC Café/Red & Black". I'm totally right, aren't I?) 
(Great, now I have the Les Mis soundtrack stuck in my head...)

5. Viscount Tewkesbury, Marquess of Basilwether from Enola Holmes (2020) (MOVIE ONLY).

I read the book, and in it Tewkesbury is a spoiled kid (yes, kid, as he's like 10 or something) who is bratty and stubborn and all around I couldn't wait to get rid of him. Here, the opposite couldn't be truer.
I know I used so many examples from this movie above when I explained "babies", but Tewkesbury fits the definition perfectly so he has to be in the list, too. I'm not supposed to have favorites, but Tewkesbury is so much like me that he might be a favorite. My sister often says Enola's line to me of: "You make an awful lot of noise, don't you." Like mother, like son.

100% Adorkable
Yes, so, he's a "baby". He protests this, saying, "I'm not entirely an idiot.". He is such a dork. All the time. He has a very carefree air about him, and loves plants, which makes him so much more lovable. He cares about the planet and people even when the world seems to be against him. He has brilliant ideas but sometimes goes about them the wrong way. He is extremely loyal which makes us all want to be loyal to him.

He has a deeper side, too. He says things that cut you right to the core, like, "People don't seem to want us, do they?". That makes me scream, "Of course I want you, you are my child!"

4. Albert Mondego from The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) (MOVIE ONLY).

It's important to note only the movie here, because I just finished the book of The Count of Monte Cristo and Albert is not nearly as precious. He's kind of full of himself in my opinion. But here in the movie he is a darling. He loves his parents and only wants their approval. He wants justice to be done. He is sweet and brave, causing him to utter the famous words, "Do your worst.". He's a little bit of a spy in the movie, but he doesn't realize he's doing it, only trying to show how amazing his friend is.

Oh, and yes, that's a very young Henry Cavil. My sister and I love his expressions when he says "Rome!". And the look on his face when he was kissed is hysterical. (Out of context that doesn't make any sense, sorry.) He's quite a gentleman. I should stop before I start saying nonsense.

3. Ben from the Descendants movies.

Ben is a dear one and I love him so much. He's so kind and wants to be a good king to all of his people (though he is SO YOUNG. PLEASE, give the guy some more time! He's perfectly capable, but I want him to have his childhood in its entirety. Here they want him to grow up so fast!). 

He remembers people who are otherwise forgotten, seeing the potential for good in all of them, to the dismay of his parents (real parents, not me, just to be clear). He believes in people when they don't believe in themselves. He can't be bad if he wants to, and is also not good at being subtle. He believes love and patience are the strongest magic. Only a "baby" would sing such a "ridiculous" song after playing a game of Tourney. Whenever he's sad it breaks my heart. He is never mad at people, and listens to their problems.

Aww, cutie! That's my boy!
While I don't like the third Descendants movie, Ben is still a baby. And probably my favorite part of that film (though. he. is. so. young. what. even.)

2. Drake Carne from Poldark.

That smile will melt anyone's heart like butter.
Ah, Drake, Drake, Drake. He is one of the reasons I started watching the show. He came from a rough childhood to live with his sister, and proceeds to get into the most trouble ever. Why? Because he is a "baby". He is patient and loving in addition to wanting the make people happy. He loves making people laugh, which involves him being a bit of a trickster which leads him to GET INTO TROUBLE. Ugh, why do you put me through so much pain?

I didn't love what they tried to do to his character in a later season, but I keep my own sweet memories of him. He is the most polite person I have ever seen on this planet. I find myself talking like him, saying, "Thank ye" all the time. He's the kind of person who has such a big heart that just watching him makes me want to do good in the world.

Drake, baby, it's you who are special, not the flowers.

(Also, if any of you go read the Comic Space Opera on Miss Megan's blog HERE, know that Dick also vies for spot #2.)

And #1 is...

1.  Cameron James from 10 Things I Hate About You (1999).

"Sweet Baby" Cameron is the one who started this whole thing off. I don't know why. We don't see a lot of him before we learn that he is in love and it is his whole world. That's what happens when you move to a new school, I guess. He's a darling. So compassionate, and willing to go to any lengths to be with the girl he loves. Learn French? Check. Come up with an absolute crazy plan to get her to go out with you based on her dad's rules? Check. He takes care of people even when he is disappointed and feels that his heart is broken.

He's just the sweetest, okay? Nobody pick on him, or you are going to get punched in the face. Not just by me.

When he's happy, I'm happy. He's one of my favorite parts of this movie (Kat's sarcasm is another favorite part), and the ultimate baby.


There you have it. You all now know what I mean when I talk about my "babies", so you can refer back to this in future posts when I mention "babies". What do you guys think? Do any of you know these characters? Are you their parent, too, or do you have a different relationship with them? What are some of your fictional "children", where you feel obliged to take care of them at all costs? Man, I just wish I could jump into these stories and do just that. Much grief would be spared.

Thank you so much for reading!

Chloe the MovieCritic

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Movies I watched in 2021

Happy 2022, my friends!!

Sifting through all my past drama (i. e. daily journal) to find the movies I watched takes a lot longer than I estimated! In addition to that, in my free time I found a splendid book and show that I can't stop binging, so this took longer because of that. So far, my 2022 has been good! What about all of you?

This is probably the biggest post I publish every year as it is not too hard to read, but has so many photos, so prepare yourself! All the same, I have a lot of fun with it. What do you think of my format?

Because guessing games are my favorite thing, I challenge you guys to try to figure out which were my favorites before I put the answers at the bottom! It was really hard for me to decide on ten, so any guesses as to what my honorable mentions would have been?

I will NOT be listing movies that I rewatched, because that would take too long (and I don't even remember them), but I will be talking about any shows I watched more than once. I don't know why I feel the need to tell you every. single. movie. I watch in a year, but it's tradition!

Ones with a ~ means I saw it in a theater. (Spoiler alert, there aren't any on here for obvious reasons)
Ones with an asterisk (*) means I saw it more than once.
If I have reviewed it I will put the link to my review (which only happened a few times)
To be on this list I must have seen more than half of it, the ending, and cannot have missed more than half an hour of it.

Please note that just because I watched these movies/shows DOES NOT mean that I liked them. Some of them I really didn't but I had reasons to keep going. If you have questions please feel free to ask and I'll be happy to explain the details!

New to me movies:

Soul (2020)
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)
The Great Escape (1961)
Captain Blood (1935)
 (This was all I could ask for)
Work It (2020)
 (I was not what you would call a fan. I felt disappointed by the message given to the main character)
Enola Holmes (2020)*
 (actually watched it a total of three times)
Whispering Smith (1948)
 (Loved Alan Ladd, loathed everyone else)
To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018)
 (My sister and I decided to binge these movies around Valentine's Day)
To All the Boys: P. S. I Still Love You (2020)*
 (watched part of it again because it is my favorite of these three)
To All the Boys: Always and Forever (2021)
 (I kind of loved it, mostly hated it, and cried way too much)
Feel the Beat (2020)
 (Actually SUPER adorable)
Albuquerque (1948)
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
(I have MANY thoughts. Too many to even think about, but one day I'll get them typed up for you. I LOVE Sidney Poitier)
Lemonade Mouth (2011)
Stardust (2007)
Unicorn Store (2019)
Shaggy Dog (1959)
50 First Dates (2004)
(I'm not putting a picture because I was just so tired of it in a hundred ways but am happy to now know what this means)
Yes Day (2021)
Fatima (2020)
A Cinderella Story (2004)
A Week Away (2021)*
The Perfect Date (2019)
The Sleepover (2020)
Riptide (2016)
Radium Girls (2018)
(This sent me on to quite an obsession with the subject and time period in history)
War Horse (2011)
The Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
(This was so funny! I died of laughter so many times.)
Coin Heist (2017)
All Together Now (2020)
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
Onward (2020)
The Slipper and the Rose (1976)
 (This was a HOOT! My dad didn't think so and was very annoyed with my sister and I laughing non stop, but we couldn't help it)
Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)
Newsies (1992)
Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)
Luca (2021)
Mulan (2020)
 (I was trying so hard to like this despite everything I'd heard, but I have to say that I didn't)
In the Heights (2021)
Cinderella (2021)*
(In fact, I watched this four times in the first month that it came out. Thoughts will be forthcoming on this film soon. I've heard a lot of opinions and I am surprised to find that I think the opposite than everyone. Maybe this shouldn't be surprising.)
Words on Bathroom Walls (2021)
Gladiator (2000)
Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
 (BLELAKDHKGHAKGDKF. I've never had such big regrets in my life as watching this. I'm not going to talk about it a lot because I am actively trying to forget about it, just know that I only watched it because I went to a live showing and stopped paying attention halfway through to scribble how mad I was in a notebook)
The Mission (1986) (Theology class + movie = a favorite experience from the fall)
While You Were Sleeping (1995)
Red Notice (2021)
(Had way too much fun with this)
Frenemies (2012)
Anonymously Yours (2021)
 (I was really happy to watch a movie in Spanish, but got tired of the plot halfway through)
Tall Girl (2019)

Total: 51

Series I watched in 2021: 
(Listed alphabetically for ease of organization. And yes, rewatches are listed here because it requires a bigger time commitment than a movie.)

Carmen Sandiego (which for some reason I can never spell correctly): Season 2, episodes 3-10. Season 3-4. REWATCH (some of them X2): Season 1 eps 3-9, seasons 2-4.
: Season 1, episode 7.
Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021) (Mini series): Episodes 1-3.
Gilmore Girls: Various episodes in season 2 and 3. Season 4-5. Season 6, episodes 1-17.
Girl Meets World: REWATCH: Season 1.
Glee: Season 1, episodes 1-3.
The Good Place: Seasons 1-4. (I thought I was going to hate this, but it was actually quite thought provoking and I would recommend it to many people, if not everyone! For a different viewpoint, you know.).
Heidi, Bienvenida a Casa: Season 1. (I get weirdly addicted to Spanish shows).
Jane the Virgin: Season 1, episodes 1-14.
Julie and the Phantoms: Season 1. REWATCH X5? I honestly lost count. I just know that I watched episode 7 way more times than that. (Recently the news came that Netflix discontinued this show, and I have no words as to how sad that makes me. BUT, there is a petition going to have the show keep going! If you are interested, you can learn more about it HERE)
LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu: Seasons 1-8. Season 9, episodes 1-7. (Before you judge me, know that I'm watching this in Spanish for practice. But yes, I also like it way more than I probably should).
Liv and Maddie: REWATCH: Season 1, episodes 1-11. (My sisters and I loved this show when it was coming out so it is very fun and nostalgic to be watching it again).
Loki: Season 1. 
Merlin: Season 3, eps 5-13. Season 4. Season 5, episodes 1-5.
Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir: Season 1, episodes 1-8.
Newhart: various.
North & South (2004) (Mini series).
Poldark: REWATCH: various episodes (I was skimming and skipping around just to watch my favorite characters. It's an acceptable excuse, right?)
Poirot: Season 1, episode 1. Season 3, episode 4.
Robin Hood: REWATCH: Season 1. Season 2, episodes 1-10. (I can't go a year without watching part of this show in some way because it is my second favorite show of all time. It was my number one until something else claimed that spot this year. If you've hung around my blog long enough you probably know what that is. Any guesses? In fact, I watched my top five favorite shows this year...)
A Series of Unfortunate Events: Season 3, episodes 4-7. REWATCH: Season 1, episodes 1-5.
STAR WARS: Clone Wars: Season 1, episodes 1-7.
WandaVision (2021) (Mini series).: New +REWATCH.
What If...?: Season 1, episodes 1-2.
The Wild Wild West: various seasons, 13 episodes I think in total.
Zoeyʼs Extraordinary Playlist: Season 2, episodes 1-2. REWATCH: Season 1.

My 10 New-To-Me Favorite Movies: 
(This year I'm changing it up by putting some comments for each one even though this post is too long already. Let me know what you think of this format!):

1. Enola Holmes (2020): GUYS. I love this movie so much! I have no words besides Tewksbery and I are kind of identical because we are not completely idiots.

2. Unicorn Store (2019): This reminds me of a sparkly Napoleon Dynamite and could wish for nothing more. It's all about growing up and magic and making a life.

3. Lemonade Mouth (2011): There is a song in here for any and every mood. I love the members of this band and I'm so happy to find a movie that focuses on ALL them and their issues and doesn't play favorites.

4. War Horse (2011): Thank you to Anna for recommending this to me! It was brilliant in every way. In fact, I wrote in my journal "just smash my heart and get done with it already". Ah, shows you what a truly great film does.

5. The Great Escape (1961): I didn't watch nearly enough older movies this year, but I'm so happy I finally saw this classic. Almost a year later and I still have a million thoughts that I want to share with you all, mostly about crying. Anyone interested in that?

6. Onward (2020): Siblings + Pixar = Perfection. I am mostly like Barley (i. e. obnoxious), but I also am similar to Ian in many ways.

7. Wonder Woman 1984 (2020): I was not a fan of the first one at all but this THIS is my Wonder Woman that I have grown up with in the comics. There were a few elements I wasn't a fan of, but the pros far outweighed the cons.

8. All Together Now (2020): The main character gets all my love because I relate to her personality so much.

9. Raya and the Last Dragon (2021): The world building is my favorite thing ever, thank you very much. I literally cried, not because it was sad, but because it was so cute. Not just a few tears, but full out. I don't think that has ever happened before...

10. Stardust (2007): Way too adorable, okay? Whimsical and adventurous, so that quotient is filled for the year.

New year, new header! My sister made this one for me to express my love of my favorite TV show, Julie and the Phantoms, and it fits perfectly! What do you all think?

You can really tell this is my favorite show, even according to Spotify, as all 15 songs from the soundtrack were in my top 100.
See, songs 1, 2, 4, and 5 are all from Julie and the Phantoms!

How close were you in your guesses for my favorites? What did you guess? How many of these movies have you seen? What were YOUR favorites from 2021? Do we like any of the same? What do you think of all of my scattered comments?

Thank you so much for reading! Here's to a grand new year!

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