Peculiarities, Monsters, and Time Travel.: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

A while back my sister asked me if I ever saw the film or read the book, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I told her I hadn’t, but I knew of it and it was on my to-read list. She had recently watched it and couldn’t follow all the time loops, which was why she was asking me about it. I told her we had a copy at the library which I then decided to check out and read.

I read it and loved it! In fact I want to add it to Catherine Morland’s Reading List, but just haven’t had a chance yet. You know, so many books to review, so little time.

I really, really loved book one; book two I wasn’t as into, and book three I felt was a perfect conclusion. After I had finished the original trilogy (as he decided to write more) I was excited to watch the Tim Burton movie. Yep, this is our Tim Burton annual pick.

I watched it, and I did not like it.

The visuals were amazing, that is one thing that Tim Burton really captured well, but they changed so much, cut out so much, and packed three plots into one movie-it really disappointed me. In fact what I think he should have done was two films. I would have combined book one and two together, leaving off at the big twist of book two. Then have the second film just be book three.

So Jake is heir to a CVS type empire, and lives in Florida. He’s never felt any connection to the people around him, having only one friend. He also doesn’t have the best family life as his parents do not get along. He is really close to his grandpa, Abe Portman.

Jake had spent a lot of time with his grandpa, Abe taught him to shoot and tells him all these stories of peculiar people he met in Wales, the orphanage he was sent to during WWII.

However, Jake’s life takes a dismal turn when he discovers his grandfather dead with his eyes missing. This severely traumatizes him and he starts seeing a therapist, who quickly encourages him up go to Wales were his grandpa had lived and met the “peculiars”. Now I thought this aspect of the book was really interesting, him going to therapy, trying to figure out what really happened, finding his birthday gift from grandpa and it containing a clue he must follow. I know it doesn’t translate as well to film, but I wish they had shown the time it took, and the time spend with his therapist instead of it being like session two-go to Wales. I really did not like that.

Jake goes to Wales with his father and discovers his grandfather’s stories weren’t stories, but all true. He immediately meets Miss Peregrine, an ymbryne (one who watches over peculiars and can create time loops) and the peculiars, the people from his grandpa’s stories, who are real and still the same age as when Abe was a boy. It turns out that they are in a time loop of it always being September 3, 1943. As long as they return to their time loop everyday they will remain the same age, but if they were to step out of it that time loop, they would immediately start aging, catching up to whatever age they would be in 2016. They also tell Jake of his ability to see Hollowgasts, an ability shared with his grandfather. Hollowgasts are people who wanted to be peculiar/live forever and a botched experiment created them. They hunt the peculiars and eat their eyes, and in the book were lead by Miss Peregrine’s brother.

Now this was another thing I don’t like. In the book Jake doesn’t find out right away and his reveal of being the only one who can see/sense the Hollowgasts; along with some other cool abilities is done in such an awesome way. I much rather prefer the way the book did it, a surprise to all (although Miss Peregrine suspected), than this savior/choosen one storyline we were given. It’s like they took out all the things that made the book interesting and instead went with what is always done.

So Jake meets the different kids falling for Emma, his grandpa’s ex girlfriend (it was weird in the book and it is weird in the film) But they change her from having hands that lit on fire to floating. I really didn’t like that change as Emma had a fiery temper and was really emotional, her powers flaring up when she was charged (or flooding her when she is flushed)-in this her character isn’t very well developed and she is just basically a manic pixie dream girl.

Ugh…of course no character development.

In this the Hollowgasts are not lead by Miss Perevrine’s brother but a man called Mr. Barron, played by Samuel L. Jackson.

A wounded Ymbryne, Miss Avocet, comes to Miss Peregrine and the peculiars to ask for their help as she and those in her time loop were attacked by Mr. Barron who wants to try and redo the experiment. Jake is sent back as Miss Peregrine and the peculiars will need to create a new time loop. When Jake goes back to modern day, he discovers the signs of a Hollowgasts and goes back to warn his friends, but the Hollowgasts follow them as it turns out that Mr. Barron not only killed his grandpa but also became his Thera for the sole plan to get Jake to the island to find Miss Peregrine. It’s not as good as the book as there was a whole lot more emotional impact and betrayal.

Mr. Barron forces Miss Peregrine into becoming a bird and leaves the children in 1943, no longer a time loop-nothing as in real history the house was destroyed by a bomb, and they have to try and hunt them down and save Miss Peregrine. The book is better as they think they saved Miss Peregrine, but she’s stuck in bird form as she waited too long and can’t change back-they trek through 1943 England trying to find another ymbryne-only to discover they been betrayed all along. It is a much interesting storyline and there is more drama and fear then then going to Blackpool and having an ordinary film ending. I mean the fight scene was cool, I loved the callback to Jason and the Argonauts and James and the Giant Peach.

but the film was just so ordinary which makes me sad as peculiar is in the title.

The book was very different and interesting and I wish they had gone that avenue instead of making it every teen fantasy where they find out they have powers and have to fight the bad guy. Like they copied Harry Potter instead of going the The Chronicles of Prydain route, which would have been a better avenue.

So the film was only okay, but in comparison to the book? A disaster. I definitely don’t feel the desire to rewatch this film-but I would reread the books.

For more Tim Burton films, go to A Man Dressed as a Giant Bat, Psychotic Deformed Man Wrecking Havoc, and a Zombie Cat Woman…A Batman Christmas: Batman Returns (1992)

She’s Still Preoccupied With 1985

So I love the ’80s!

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I’m not even from that decade but love it as much as one who is.

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And one song that describes my feelings is 1985.

Come on kids, I can think of worse things then to be stuck in 1985. The ’80s rule!

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And as this year marks the 30th anniversary of 1985, let’s review just how awesome a year it was.

And I truly mean it

80s rule!

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On January 8th, Journey rereleased Only the Young which bounced to the top of the charts.

For more Journey, go to Any Way You Want It

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On February 4th, Bug Hall was born. Bug Hall became a huge star for us girls living in the ’90s. He was extremely cute, and still looks good today. He starred in The Little Rascals as Alfalfa, as Adam Szalinski in Honey We Shrunk Ourselves. Where he really became famous to tweens was in the show Bug Juice, then going on to be Jack Downey in Disney’s DCOM Get a Clue. From there I kind of lost track of him, but no doubt he was very influential to my childhood.

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On February 9th,  David Gallagher was born. He was in Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish and tons of TV shows from CSI: Miami, Criminal Minds, to even Bones. But what he is most famous for and in where he most affected my childhood? As Simon Camden in 7th Heaven. When I was growing up watching this show I had the hugest crush on him and just loved him. I have yet to review it for my Life as a Fangirl posts, but it is definitely coming soon.

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On February 15th, The Breakfast Club was released into theaters and finds a place in our hearts. I already wrote a long post on it in Don’t You Forget About Me.

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For even more on The Breakfast Club, go to I Can See Your Beauty: The Breakfast Club (1985)

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On February 20th, Simple Minds released Don’t You Forget About Me. 

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On February 25th, Tears for Fears releases Shout.

For more on Tears for Fears, go to In Love With the ’80s (Pink Tux to the Prom)

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In April, Take on Me by a-ha was released in the U.S. It became one of their most famous songs.

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On April 12th, Girls Just Want to Have Fun starring Sarah Jessica Parker, was released. Parker plays an army brat who loves to dance and competes for a spot on TV as part of a Chicago dance crew. In this fun film she has to work with a partner that is her total opposite, and against a wealthy manipulative girl.

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On May 30th, Huey Lewis & the News recorded The Power of Love, the song they wrote for the film Back to the Future.

For more on Huey Lewis & the News, go to But It’s Alright

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In June, Guns ‘N Roses debuted as a band. I love, love, love them. My favorite songs from this group are Sweet Child o’ Mine, Welcome to the Jungle, and Paradise City.

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On June 6th, Good Enough by Cyndi Lauper is released as a marketing tool for the film The Goonies, of which Lauper was musical director and head of the soundtrack.

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On June 7th, The Goonies was released in theaters. This film follows a ragtag group, “the Goonies” as they hope to find hidden treasure in order to save their families’ homes.

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On June 28th, Pale Rider directed by and starring Clint Eastwood premiered in theaters. Aw Clint! He’s so dreamy!

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On July 3rd; Back to the Future opens in theaters and ends up being the highest grossing film of 1985 in the United States and the first film in the successful franchise. Of course I had to write a post on it, Back in Time: Happy 30th Anniversary Back to the Future.

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For even more on Back to the Future, go to Fanning All Over the Place

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On July 20th, John Francis Daly was born. He has starred in quite a few things, but to me will always be Dr. Sweets from Bones.

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On July 24th, The Black Cauldron, the film based on Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain series, makes its theatrical debut.

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For more on The Black Cauldron, go to A Hidden Wonder 

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On August 1st, Jefferson Starship changes their name to Starship and releases their hit We Built This City.

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On August 9th, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure is released and is easily one of the funniest movies of my childhood.

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On September 3rd, the wreck of the RMS Titanic is located by a joint American-French expedition.

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On September 7th, St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion) by John Parr is released.

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On September 24th Growing Pains premiered. I’ve already written about my love for it in a previous post, Fandom Love, but this was one of my all-time favorite shows growing up.

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On October 19th the first Blockbuster opened. I don’t care if this is the age of Netflix and streaming. I miss going to the store and picking out films from the really old to new releases.

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In November of 1985, for the first time Big Bird’s thought to be imaginary friend, Aloysius Snuffleupagus was shown. Snuffleupagus was always one of my favs.

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On November 13th, one of Foreigner’s greatest songs was released, I Want to Know What Love Is. This is my song.

For more on Foreigner, go to Old Fandoms and New Fancies

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On November 18th, the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes debuts in 35 newspapers in the United States.

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On December 1st, Anne of Green Gables film, based on the beloved children’s book, was released. I love the book and this film as it was a perfect adaption. Miss you Jonathan Crombie and your perfect depiction of Gilbert Blythe.

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For more on Anne of Green Gables, go to Imagination

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On December 13th, Clue was released in theaters, with its three different endings. I haven’t reviewed as of yet for Horrorfest, but it is definitely on my list.

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Let’s take it away with 1985!

Debbie just hit the wall
She never had it all
One Prozac a day
Husband’s a CPA
Her dreams went out the door
When she turned twenty four
Only been with one man
What happened to her plan?

She was gonna be an actress
She was gonna be a star
She was gonna shake her ass
On the hood of Whitesnake’s car
Her yellow SUV is now the enemy
Looks at her average life
And nothing has been alright since

Bruce Springsteen, Madonna
Way before Nirvana
There was U2 and Blondie
And music still on MTV
Her two kids in high school
They tell her that she’s uncool
Cause she’s still preoccupied
With 19, 19, 1985

Woohoohoo
(1985)
Woohoohoo

She’s seen all the classics
She knows every line
Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink
Even Saint Elmo’s Fire
She rocked out to Wham
Not a big Limp Bizkit fan
Thought she’d get a hand
On a member of Duran Duran

Where’s the mini-skirt made of snake skin
And who’s the other guy that’s singing in Van Halen
When did reality become T.V.
Whatever happened to sitcoms, game shows
(on the radio was)

Springsteen, Madonna
Way before Nirvana
There was U2 and Blondie
And music still on MTV
Her two kids in high school
They tell her that she’s uncool
Cause she’s still preoccupied
With 19, 19, 1985

Woohoohoo

She hates time make it stop
When did Mötley Crüe become classic rock?
And when did Ozzy become an actor?
Please make this stop, stop
Stop!
And bring back

Springsteen, Madonna
Way before Nirvana
There was U2 and Blondie
And music still on MTV
Her two kids in high school
They tell her that she’s uncool
Cause she’s still preoccupied
With 1985

Woohoohoo

Bruce Springsteen, Madonna
Way before Nirvana
There was U2 and Blondie
And music still on MTV (woohoohoo)
Her two kids in high school
They tell her that she’s uncool
Cause she’s still preoccupied
With 19, 19, 1985

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For more ’80s music, go to Rock You Like a Hurricane 

For more ’80s films, go to I’m Going Down the Tubes: Making the Grade (1984)

For more on anniversaries, go to Year of the Anniversaries

A Hidden Wonder

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Day 5) An Underrated Movie

The Black Cauldron is highly underrated as it has a bunch of great characters and scenes. I know I talked about it during my first Horrorfest.

So I actually never saw this film as a kid. My mother thought it would scare me. It would come on TV and I remember it coming out of the vault and being on all kinds of commercials. I even had a toy Gurgi that I got in a McDonald’s happy meal.

So how did I finally stumble onto this work? Well, I really like the author Lloyd Alexander, as I have read his book Time Cat. Two years ago, I decided that I would read through the The Chronicles of Prydain series as it is his most famous work and what The Black Cauldron is a part of. The book series was really good except I wish the Horned King was in more of it and as the series wraps itself up, the last books are not as nearly good as the first ones. Anyways, so after I had read the series I checked out the film and of course did the I’m No Warrior, I’m an Assistant Pig-Keeper post. But in that post I compared the film and the book as I had just finished reading the series.

So the film The Black Cauldron is a compilation of the first two books in the series; The Book of Three and The Black Cauldron. And I thought it was pretty good. I mean some parts were film corny, but I really liked it. In fact, I am appalled that more people have never heard of it or seen it. It really deserves more love.

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Legend has it, in the mystic land of Prydain, there was once a king so cruel and so evil, that even the Gods feared him. Since no prison could hold him, he was thrown alive into a crucible of molten iron. There his demonic spirit was captured in the form of a great, black cauldron. For uncounted centuries, the black cauldron lay hidden, waiting, while evil men searched for it, knowing whoever possessed it would have the power to resurrect an army of deathless warriors… and with them, rule the world.”

So the film is about Taran, an assistant pig-keeper, who dreams of becoming a great warrior. He finds out that the pig her cares for, Hen Wen, is in danger as she is an oracular  pig and that the evil Horned King is after her. The Horned King needs her to find the Black Cauldron to bring to life the dead, creating a zombie army.

Much more creepy than this guy.

An actual army of the undead. That is much more creepy than this guy.

Taran accidentally allows Hen Wen to be captured and travels after her, saving and getting the creature Gurgi as a follower. He comes to the Horned King’s castle and there he finds a captured princess, Princess Eilonwy, a ministrel named Fflewddur Fflam, and a magic sword. The journey on to destroy the Black Cauldron, meeting up with fairies, witches, and battle the Horned King.

It’s funny, but now that I think about it, this film in a lot of ways reminds me of Star Wars.

Now it has a lot of great characters.

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First we have Taran, a young boy who dreams of achieving something greater. Think Luke Skywalker, eager to leave what he feels is an inadequate existence. He wants more, he wants to fight the Dark Sith Lo…I mean Horned King.  At times he is a bit silly, as every young boy who is trying to find his way is, but in all he’s a great character. You just love him.

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Then we have Eilonwy. Now people always forget this princess, but she rocks.

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She tooootally kicks butt. She is like the animated version of Princess Leia. She has been caught by the evil Horned King, but isn’t waiting around, she’s trying to get out of there. She never let’s anyone push her around because of her size or gender:

Taran: What does a girl know about swords, anyway?

Eilonwy: “Girl”? “Girl”? If it wasn’t for this *girl*, you would still be in the Horned King’s dungeon.”

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And this film has one of the all-time creepiest villains ever! The Horned King!

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Oh man, he is a creep. Horrifying and Incredibly Horrible.

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This is a great film, you should totally watch it!

Check out the trailer!

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So since this film reminded me of Star Wars so much I decided to give it something a little extra.

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Hope you liked it! Stay tuned for more Disney stuff.

For more on The Black Cauldron, go to I’m No Warrior, I’m an Assistant Pig-Keeper

And to see more posts on Star Wars, go to True Princess

For more on Disney Princesses, go to Belle of the Ball

For more on Disney Heros, go to Prince of a Man

For more on Disney, go to The Cat’s Meow

For more on Time Cat, go to Pot o’ Gold

For more films based on books, go to A Letter of Love

For more on Horrorfest check out Horrorfest and Horrorfest II

 

I’m No Warrior, I’m an Assistant Pig-Keeper: The Black Cauldron (1985)

I’m no warrior…I’m an assistant pig-keeper

So I was never allowed to watch this film as a kid. My mother thought it would scare me. I grew up liking the author Lloyd Alexander, as I have read his book Time Cat. This year I decided that I would finally read The Chronicles of Prydain series, of which The Black Cauldron is a part of. The book series was really good except I wish the Horned King was in more of it and as the series wraps itself up, the books don’t hold up to the beginning ones.

So the film The Black Cauldron is a compilation of the first two books in the series; The Book of Three and The Black Cauldron. I thought the film was okay. Some parts of the film were good; while others a tad corny. I do recommend it to everyone as the end was really good.

Taran was perfect! They made him in that awkward age of when a boy wants to be a man, but hasn’t quite reached the right age of maturity. They depicted his superior side, as he thinks he’s better than Eilonwy; along with showing him leaving behind his immature side and becoming a real man.

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As he makes the right decision of giving up his magic sword to get the black cauldron and destroy it.

Eilonwy was also fantastic. They captured her attitude of trying to do everything and being extremely brave; but at the same time not always listening to others or doing what needs to be done. She can be really impulsive and imagine slights that aren’t there. She is also kind; along with not only helping Taran, but leading him as well.

Fflewddur Fflam was also perfect. He was older than I imagined him; but captured the boasting, brave, singer. I loved him at the end. He was hilarious as he tries to bargain with the witches.
Gurgi was adorable, I actually had a toy figure of him that I got from McDonalds, but I never knew who he was until I watched the film. They captured his constant hunger and good heart; but he was unfortunately much more cowardly than he was ever in the book. When he sacrifices himself, it was so sad. It made you feel guilty for originally thinking him annoying. This was never how I saw Gurgi, as I always imagined him more like this pokemon:
For some reason he always brought the image of a monkey-like creature to my mind.
Sorry, this is the only pic I could find of Doli. I thought they captured his character so well. He was a grumpy, complaining, elf. The only thing I wish they had done was make him a bit bigger and have him turn invisible.
The witches were also good. I did notice that Orddu resembles Madame Medusa from The Rescuers. I wish I had a better pic of it, but I couldn’t find one. If you watch the film you will notice the resemblance.
Of course there was the pièce de résistance. the Horned King!
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He was extremely creepy! I loved it. He probably would have freaked me out as a kid. He is on par with the Headless Horseman. He was so creepy and scary!
Check out the trailer!
So that’s today’s frightful Friday. More posts to come.
Here’s a cover page/poster I made for my facebook as part of my countdown to Halloween
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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World
To go to the previous post, go to A Halloween Hello from the Austen Men
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For more on The Black Cauldron, go to A Hidden Wonder
For more Disney Animated Film, go to A Fright on Halloween Night
For more films based on books, go to I Bid You Welcome
For more ’80s film, go to Boom Box of Love
For more on Emma, go to Bad Penny
For more on Lloyd Alexander, go to Pot o’ Gold