Tag Archives: A Babysitter's Guide to Hunting Monsters

Whose Vote Counts, Explained: A Review

Whose Vote Counts, Explained produced by Vox on Netflix
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since tomorrow is Election Day, this limited series on Netflix would be appropriate to watch and review. The series is produced by Vox and Netflix. And they really tried to maintain a nonpartisan perspective while answering a lot of questions heard on social media and straight from voters, themselves.

The series is divided into three parts. The first episode covers a lot of the history of voting, how at first voting was a privilege of the wealthy, white, male landowners (though, surprisingly, there were instances in some states that included black and women landowners before they were shut down in favor of the majority), and the ways voting has evolved and devolved throughout the years.

The second episode was about money. Whether elections can be bought (they can’t but advertising, social media, and politicians can influence you, and there is a lot of money in that). They talk about the nonprofit political groups, the Super PACs, and ideas on how to get smaller donors more involved as well as the average voter.

The third episode was about how votes can matter differently? They cover gerrymandering that specifically affects the House districts and can make the minority have a majority of representation. This also happens because of where we decide to live as well. And why swing states are swing states, and how other states could become swing states. This was a fascinating episode.

Basically, voting can be a really complicated process. There are a lot of ways it can go wrong, and there are other countries who are also democratic that do some things better than we do (or at least have found policies that help their particular problems better than our policies help us, if that makes sense). But there is always hope for reforms or adjustments to the current rules and regulations on the horizon, which is why it is so important to participate in the current process.

Registering to vote in most states have met their deadlines (except in North Dakota where there is no registration), but if you are registered, don’t forget to vote tomorrow! It is an important process, not just for the federal government, but your local one as well.

There is no profanity in the film. No sexual content, either. There are mentions of school shootings and violence against protestors as covered by news media outlets.

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting: A Review

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting directed by Rachel Talalay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wanted to review a Halloween movie for this week, but I don’t really like scary movies. However, when I saw the trailer for this movie, I figured it was pretty safe since it was directed towards a younger crowd. I was also curious to see how scary kids movies were, since the ones I watched growing up petrified me (particularly Witches which I saw got a reboot on HBO Max, and I will in no way be seeking out that new release).

The story follows a girl names Kelly Ferguson who is really smart, to almost a superpower capability, particularly in seeing patterns in mathematical formulas, able to do them in her head. She is also teased because when she was five, she claims a monster in her closet attacked her. So, she has the nickname Monster Girl. There is also a typical school crush and a mean girl and a silly best friend, who are all pretty one-dimensional and are more props than characters.

But the adventure begins when she babysits for her mom’s boss. And the little boy, Jacob, gets taken by the monsters set on releasing nightmares into the world. We are then introduced to the secret society of The Babysitters whose sole purpose is to protect those left in their charge. These characters have a lot more depth to them, but overall everything is pretty light.

The movie is based on a three book series by Joe Ballarini. Knowing that it was based on a book series gave a little grace to some of the awkward emphasis on how smart Kelley is or some of the pacing of the movie at times. There are some moments I feel were missed opportunities to make the film just a little deeper in meaning, but overall, it is a fun movie about bravery and believing in yourself and standing up for your unique qualities.

This was pretty mild for a scary, Halloween movie. Not that I would want my toddler in the room for this particular film, but it is easily meant for the elementary/preteen crowd. The main scariness of this movie are the monsters hiding in your closet or under your bed. But there are some silly moments interwoven in those scenes to cut the scary aspect down a bit. Definitely a fun family movie night!

There is no profanity in the film. (They even referred to a week of initiation into the Society as “heck week”. No sexual content, not even a chaste kiss between the main character and her crush. Violence is a slight factor, but nothing gruesome. Some kicking and attacking with weapons, but even when a monster is vanquished, they dissipate into light, nothing remotely graphic.