When I reviewed The Princess and the Pirate last year, that article became my 300th movie review! Then, earlier this year, my review of Sea Change became my 325th movie review! As March is National Reading Month and since I haven’t written a reading related tag in three years, I’m commemorating these milestones with a book tag! While searching for a tag on Booktube (the book/reading community on Youtube), I stumbled upon the Spring Cleaning Book Tag video from the channel, OwlCrate. I realized I had an answer to every question the hosts shared in the video. I also remembered how spring is on the horizon. If any of my readers are interested in participating in the Spring Cleaning Book Tag, they are welcome to write their own tag posts!
1. The Struggle of Getting Started – A book or book series you struggle to begin because of its size
In the past, I’ve read the first book and the short story collection in The Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series. While I have enjoyed reading those books, I’ve struggled to continue past the first novel. This is because I haven’t found the time to read the rest of the series. At one point, I did start the second book, only to not finish it. I do want to read more of the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children books. I just need to make a stronger effort to continue.
2. Cleaning Out the Closet – A book or book series you want to unhaul
For last month’s Buzzwordathon, I reviewed The Kidnapping of Christina Lattimore by Joan Lowery Nixon. Because of Joan’s creative decisions, I found the book disappointing. The protagonist, Christina, makes several contradictions that could make a reader frustrated. Joan prioritizing Christina’s “coming of age” story caused the novel’s suspense to be far and few between, as well as provide a lack of urgency. So, if I had the opportunity to unhaul a book, I’d select The Kidnapping of Christina Lattimore.
3. Opening Windows and Letting Fresh Air In – A book that was refreshing
Since I’ve read some books in the Murder, She Wrote series, I’ll choose these stories for this prompt! What I like about the series is how the books aren’t novelizations of episodes the show’s fans have already seen. Instead, these stories are new, unique tales featuring characters and settings fans of Murder, She Wrote have come to know and adore. Creating a new story takes creativity and effort. So, the fact this series contains different stories from the show is, in my opinion, refreshing!
4. Washing Out the Sheets’ Stains – A book you wish you could re-write a certain scene in
As I mentioned in my tag post, The “Flaming Hot…5 Reasons Why” Tag, Kili is my favorite character from The Hobbit trilogy. With that said, I would re-write the conclusion of The Battle of the Five Armies, so Kili and the rest of The Company could receive a more victorious outcome. If this had happened, that victorious outcome might have been translated to The Hobbit trilogy.
5. Throwing Out Unnecessary Knick-Knacks – A book in a series you didn’t feel was necessary
Off the top of my head, I couldn’t think of an unnecessary book in a series. But when I first heard the prompt, I thought of an unnecessary subplot in a book, so I’ll talk about that instead. In Private L.A., by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan, I was not a fan of Justine’s subplot, specifically the part where she develops romantic feelings for a man named Paul. Not only did I not sense chemistry between Paul and Justine, this part of the story wasn’t resolved. Personally, I wish James and Mark had solely focused on Justine coming to terms with her PTSD symptoms.
6. Polishing the Door Knobs – A book that had a clean finish
Not every book is meant to start a series or a literary universe. Sometimes, a story only needs to be told in one book. That leads me to bring up Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton! Without spoiling the book or its film adaptation, I will say the story had a definitive ending, with everything wrapping up as nicely as possible. While I wouldn’t oppose a sequel to Adam’s story, I don’t think it’s necessary.
7. Reaching to Dust the Fan – A book that tried too hard to relay a certain message
Definitely California Angel by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg. It seems like Nancy tried to capitalize on programs like Touched by an Angel and Miracle on 34th Street without presenting or attempting to present a complete understanding for what made those programs work. Also, it seems like Nancy used faith as an excuse to avoid explaining why certain events were taking place in the story.
8. The Tiring, Yet Satisfying Finish of Spring Cleaning – A book series that was tiring, yet satisfying, to get through
For this last prompt, I’ll be selecting All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr instead. Reading the novel for 2022’s Buzzwordathon, I completed this 500+ page story in less than six month’s time. Though it took me longer to read than I expected, I’m glad I finally read the book! Because I finished All the Light We Cannot See, I can now have an honest opinion about it.
With 18 Cinema Lane’s 5th anniversary in February, the annual Gold Sally Awards is here to mark this occasion! As I mentioned last month, this year’s awards will be presented differently. Each category was created by me, based on topics I’ve brought up on my blog. The award recipients relate to movies I saw in 2022, with some of those movies covered on 18 Cinema Lane. For each category, I will explain the significance of them and why I chose that recipient. So, without any delay, let the Gold Sally Awards begin!
The Edwin P. Christy Award
(Most Annoying Character in Film)
Grandpa Marcus from Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Journey
When I saw I Dream of Jeanie two years ago, I was introduced to the character of Edwin P. Christy. In my review of the 1952 movie, I said I found Edwin annoying. This is because he used every opportunity to put the spotlight on himself. He does this so often, I said in my list of the top ten worst movies of 2021 that I Dream of Jeanie’s honest title would be “The Edwin P. Christy Show”. In 2022, I met another annoying character named Marcus, from Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Journey.
Having a hobby can be a good thing. But in Marcus’ case, his hobby for photography turns into an obsession. This obsession causes Marcus’ family to either hide their faces or run away from him whenever he wants to take their picture. Marcus also takes pictures of people without their permission. It even gets to the point where Marcus makes his grandson, who appears to be eight to ten years old, drive a car so Marcus can take photos. His grandchildren jokingly remark how their grandpa will photograph their car accident if something should happen to them, their remark not sitting well with me at all. In Journey, Marcus’ hobby is related to one of the movie’s themes; memories are irreplaceable. The delivery of this theme, though, was an annoying one.
The “She Won’t Give Me My Chocolate” Award
(Best Quote from a Movie)
“Someone who likes their cereal really hot” – Wanda, Point of Origin
The Valley of Light is a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie I like. I’ve mentioned in my tier rank list of every Hallmark Hall of Fame movie I saw that “She won’t give me my chocolate” is one of my favorite quotes from this collection of films. When I watched Point of Origin last June, I heard a quote that was so funny, it caught me off guard! In one scene, John’s daughter asks John, the film’s protagonist, what a serial arsonist is, after hearing the term on the news. Without missing a beat, Wanda, John’s wife, answers the young girl’s question by explaining it is “someone who likes their cereal really hot”. I was not expecting Wanda to provide this kind of answer, let alone any answer at all. Its unexpectedness is why I found this quote hilarious!
The Edward Boult Award
(Missed Opportunity in Cinema)
Not Having the Quote, “I have a need, a need for speed”, in Top Gun: Maverick
Back in 2019, I watched Edward, My Son for the first time. In my review of that film, I talked about how Edward’s lack of on-screen appearances was a missed opportunity. Not only did this creative decision prevent the audience from getting to know and connect with Edward as a character, it also denied an actor from receiving the “standing ovation” he deserved. Out of the films I saw in 2022, there were a few times where I felt an opportunity was missed. But not having the quote, “I have a need, a need for speed”, in Top Gun: Maverick was, in my opinion, the biggest missed opportunity of the year. The aforementioned quote is not only the most well-known quote from Top Gun: Maverick’s predecessor, it’s one of the most famous quotes in movie history. Like I said in my review of the 2022 blockbuster, the film did a good job respecting Top Gun. However, I still think “I have a need, a need for speed” should have been referenced somewhere in the movie.
The They Deserve an Award Award
(An Actor or Actress Who Deserves Recognition)
Melissa Joan Hart (for her performance in Dirty Little Secret)
A quote I have always tried to incorporate into 18 Cinema Lane is Auggie’s quote from Wonder: “Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life because we all overcometh the world.” This is why I go out of my way to talk about movies, people, or movie related topics that may be overlooked. Dirty Little Secret is a Lifetime movie that premiered last year. In this film, Melissa portrays Joanna, a woman who is secretly a hoarder. As I have said in the past, Lifetime has a history of creating PSA/ “after school special”/cautionary tale type of movies. Unlike the majority of those projects, Dirty Little Secret revolves around a story, which happens to address the serious issue of hoarding. Through her performance, Melissa was able to successfully bring forth the humanity of her character. With a strong sense of emotionality and an array of expressions and body language, Joanna became a character the audience could be empathetic towards. Personally, I think Melissa should have, at least, been nominated for an award, as her performance in Dirty Little Secret was one of the best from 2022!
The “Woman from the City Coming Back to Her Small Hometown” Award
(Most Extreme Use of a Cliché)
Lily from Lake Effects
If you’ve read my list of the top ten worst cliches from Hallmark movies, you’d know the “woman from the city coming back to her small hometown” cliché is my least favorite. It’s been used so many times, it makes a story more predictable. There are two cliches from Hallmark productions I’ve never talked about on 18 Cinema Lane: the “younger sibling is free-spirited” cliché and the “artist = free-spirit” cliché. While these cliches have made several appearances in Hallmark projects, including When Calls the Heart, their presence hasn’t been as frequent as other cliches. But these two cliches were fully embodied by Lily, one of the characters in the 2012 film, Lake Effects. From her colorful wardrobe to her dream of studying art in Paris, Lilly adopted every component of the two aforementioned cliches you can think of. The combination of these elements created a character I couldn’t take seriously. In fact, you could make a bingo game revolving around the various ways the “younger sibling is free-spirited” cliché and the “artist = free-spirit” cliché are incorporated into Lilly’s story.
The Standing Ovation Award
(Character Most Deserving of Receiving Their Full Potential)
Kili from The Hobbit trilogy
When I talked about The They Deserve an Award Award, I brought up Auggie’s quote from Wonder. Last November, I created a list of characters who didn’t receive their full potential. With both of that said, I decided to create an award category where I recognize a character that I feel should receive the full potential they deserve. In my tag post, My take on The “Flaming Hot…5 Reasons Why” Tag, I brought up Kili from The Hobbit trilogy. Since I saw all three movies for the first time last year, Kili would be eligible for this award. In that aforementioned tag post, I claimed how Kili was, in my opinion, the MVP of Middle-Earth. This is because there are several attributes that make him a likable character, such as his humbleness toward his royal title. Throughout the trilogy, I was rooting for Kili to achieve his full potential, which I feel could have been possible. But, without spoiling this story, his potential was ultimately denied. I do plan on writing at least one editorial about Kili, so stay tuned!
The Honorable and Dishonorable Mention Award
(Best and Worst Movie from the Honorable and Dishonorable Mention Category)
Best – Akeelah and the Bee, Worst – Hallmark Hall of Fame’s The Corsican Brothers
Whenever I publish my best and worst movies of the year lists, I receive few opportunities to talk about the movies in my Honorable and Dishonorable Mention categories. In fact, the only times I talk about these movies are when I get the opportunity to review them on my blog. Therefore, I created an award category to recognize these films. Akeelah and the Bee was such a pleasant surprise for me! It was a feel-good story that felt sincere in the messages and delivery. There were even interesting twists that I did not see coming. Without spoiling the movie, the script did a good job at avoiding a cliché when it comes to competitions in movies. I’m glad I checked out Akeelah and the Bee, as the film was time well spent!
Last October, I reviewed Hallmark Hall of Fame’s The Corsican Brothers for the Devilishly Delightful Donald Pleasence Blogathon. After seeing some adaptations of Alexandre Dumas’ stories, I thought I knew what to expect from the 1985 made-for-tv movie. But the longer I watched The Corsican Brothers, the more disappointed I became. This story was not the exciting tale with adventure and intrigue I was hoping for. Instead, it was a confusing film with little to no use of urgency. As of the publication of this award post, I still have not read this movie’s source material. Therefore, I don’t know which parts of the production are creative liberties.
The Nosferatu vs. Dracula Award
(Two Movies That Feel Like You’re Watching the Same One)
Harvey (1950) and Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Harvey (1972)
For a Blog Follower Dedication Review, I wrote about 1931’s Dracula. Because I had seen Nosferatu prior to watching Dracula, the 1931 film felt like a re-tread of its predecessor. I even told my readers if they had seen Nosferatu, they’d already seen Dracula. Last year, I reviewed two versions of Harvey; the 1950 movie and the Hallmark Hall of Fame adaptation from 1972. Though I liked the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie more than its predecessor, I didn’t like how it was a copy of the 1950 film. The movie’s sets even looked almost exactly like they did in the 1950 production. If you’ve never seen any version of this story, I’d recommend only seeing 1972’s adaptation of Harvey.
The Hallmark Hall of Fame Award
(Movie That Feels Like It Belongs in the Hallmark Hall of Fame Collection)
A Godwink Christmas: Miracle of Love
I have sometimes found a movie that feels like it should have been included in the Hallmark Hall of Fame collection. So, when I find out a story isn’t associated with this series, it surprises me, whether it’s because the movie is based on a true story or the story itself covers a topic found within Hallmark Hall of Fame. That leads me to bring up A Godwink Christmas: Miracle of Love! Like other films in the Godwink series, the 2021 film is also based on a true story. Subjects related to faith, which usually aren’t found in a typical Hallmark Channel or Hallmark Movies & Mysteries production, are included within this particular story as well. In my opinion, the overall quality of A Godwink Christmas: Miracle of Love felt reminiscent of Hallmark Hall of Fame movies I like, such as The Valley of Light and A Dog Named Christmas. I’m honestly surprised SQuire Rushnell’s stories weren’t included in the Hallmark Hall of Fame collection back when Hallmark utilized that banner.
The “Based on a Book I Haven’t Read Yet” Award
(Movie Based on Source Material I Have Not Yet Read)
The Pit and the Pendulum
I feel like, more often than not, I find myself saying that a movie I review is based on source material I haven’t read. This prevents me from judging the film as an adaptation. It’s been years since I’ve read anything by Edgar Allan Poe. I even mentioned this fact in my review of the 1961 adaptation. Fortunately, The Pit and the Pendulum is a book I plan on reading for the upcoming Eurovisionathon readathon. Because of that, I selected The Pit and the Pendulum for this specific award!
Last March, Jillian from The Classic Film Connection tagged me for The “Flaming Hot…5 Reasons Why” Tag! For this tag, participants must choose five characters from film and/or television they think is “swoon-worthy”. It has been a while since my last tag post, so I thought writing this article now would be a good way to start the new year! Thank you, Jillian, for your thoughtfulness. Before I start my list, I need to share the tag’s official rules, which are the following:
You must add the name of the blog that tagged you AND those of the Thoughts All Sorts and Realweegiemidget Reviews with links to ALL these sites.. and use the natty cat themed picture promoting this post. (*See below.*)
List 5 of your all-time swoon-worthy characters from TV or Film ie crushes/objects of your affection. And also do mention the actor or actress who plays them, as you might like James Bond as played by Timothy Dalton and no one else.. etc etc
Link to 5 other bloggers.
Add lovely pictures, gifs or videos of those you selected.
If you don’t have a blog (or don’t have time to write a post) join in with your choices on Twitter with this #5TheFlamingHot5ReasonsWhy Tag and tag @realweegiemidge and @Thoughtsallsort and the person who tagged you in your tweet.
Oh…and post these rules.
from The Hobbit trilogy
Portrayed by Aidan Turner
When I saw The Hobbit trilogy for the first time, Kili quickly became my favorite character! While being photogenic certainly helps his case, Kili has such a great personality as well. One of these attributes is his humbleness. Throughout The Hobbit trilogy, Kili never boasts about his royal status. In fact, I didn’t even know he was a prince until Thorin, in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, said Kili and his brother, Fili, were “his sister’s sons”. This choice is one reason why Kili is, in my opinion, the MVP of Middle-Earth!
from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)
Portrayed by Sebastian Stan
Anyone who has followed my blog would not be surprised by this selection. I’ve stated in the past that Bucky is my favorite superhero in the MCU. At 18 Cinema Lane, he has been brought up on more than one occasion; from being a main subject of one of my first editorials to wishing Bucky and his fans would stop getting treated like afterthoughts. In this film series, Bucky has been through a lot of heartbreak. Despite that, he has never used his heartbreak to treat others badly. If anything, Bucky has tried to make the world a better place than how it was given to him. I haven’t seen The Falcon & the Winter Soldier, so I don’t know how Bucky’s story continues after Avengers: Endgame. Out of the entries I’ve seen in the MCU, Bucky’s inclusion has been a highlight!
from Caesar and Cleopatra (1946)
Portrayed by Stewart Granger
Apollodorus is my favorite character from 1946’s Caesar and Cleopatra! Even though it’s been years since I’ve seen the film, I rememberApollodorus’ charisma and likable personality. He was such a stand-out, I, honestly, wish Cleopatra had formed a relationship with him instead of Caesar. As I said in my review of Caesar and Cleopatra back in 2019, Stewart’s performance was such a joy to watch!
from When Calls the Heart
Portrayed byMax Lloyd-Jones
Tom Thornton is another character I’ve brought up before on 18 Cinema Lane. However, I haven’t taken the time to explain why he is my favorite character from When Calls the Heart. Tom has been through a series of trials in his life. Similar to Bucky, hedoesn’t use those trials as a reason to treat others poorly. By the end of season two, Tom took the initiative to turn his life around. In the season five episode featuring Jack and Elizabeth’s wedding, it seems Tom’s initiative paid off, as he became a businessman. At the publication of this tag, I have no idea which characters from past seasons could make an appearance in When Calls the Heart’s tenth season. If any of them do show up in the upcoming season, I hope Tom is one of them!
from Murder, She Wrote
(Season 11, Episode 16 – “Film Flam”)
Portrayed by Jim Caviezel
To this day, “Film Flam” is still the best episode of Murder, She Wrote I’ve seen! Darryl’s inclusion is one reason why. While Jessica was attempting to solve the episode’s mystery, Darryl got to know a woman named Elaine. Their interactions were a highlight of the story, as Jim and Stacy had strong on-screen chemistry. I haven’t seen every episode of Murder, She Wrote. I have never even seen the four made-for-tv movies that were released after the show ended. But I hope Darryl, as well as Elaine, are acknowledged again.