Book Review: A Series of Unfortunate Events 4-6 by Lemony Snicket

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Last Halloween we took a look at the first three books in Lemony Snickets: A Series of Unfortunate Events, the book series was written by Daniel Handler under the pen name Lemony Snicket, the series follows the terrible lives of the Baudelaire orphans who are pushed between relatives after the death of their parents and throughout the series they must deal with an evil man called Count Olaf who wants to steal their family’s fortune.

The Miserable Mill (Book 4)

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In the fourth book the Baudelaire orphans are sent too the Lucky Smells Lumber mill in the town of Paltryville, the children are placed under the care of Sir a man who to be honest doesn’t have much of a personality other than he’s a bit of dick and smokes so much that a cloud of smoke is constantly covering his face, he forces the children to work in his mill where he only pays his employees in coupons for discounts at the other businesses in town and only feeds them a stick of gum and a small casserole a day, I was surprised with the absence of Count Olaf for the majority of the book but this was handled very well as there is so much happening in the novel that he really isn’t needed straight away, in fact this book has three villains sure two of them are characters we already know but one person is actually a brand new person brought into the series, I think its very clever how Lemony Snicket is able to describe deaths and horrific injuries without making them too grizzly for kids because this happens a lot here due to the book taking place in a Lumber mill which is one of the most dangerous jobs available, apart from this there isn’t much else to say about the Miserable Mill but it was a very good read, so good in fact that I got through the entire novel in just two days.

The Austere Academy (Book 5)

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After leaving the Lucky Smells Lumbermill the Baudelaire orphans are sent to Prufrock Preparatory School, I have to admit that the first chapter of this book failed to draw me in, it was boring and I found it difficult to follow, but from the second chapter onward’s the Austere Academy ended up becoming my favourite book so far, this book follows a similar structure to the predecessor stories however there a few new elements that I really appreciated, the introduction of the Quagmire Triplets was interesting, for the first time in the series Sunny, Klaus and Violet finally make friends who want to help them defeat Count Olaf, I wont give away any spoilers about the book but I will say that I feel that the Quagmire triplets will be in a few more books to come, the characters in this book are very over top and genuinely very silly which makes them perfect for younger children, they make the book a little less scary than it actually is, over imaginative characters are nothing new for the series but I feel that this book shows the characters at there most likeable so far.

The Ersatz Elevator (Book 6)

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After the not so cheerful ending of the last book the Baudelaire orphans travel back to their home town with Mr Poe, this time they are placed under the care of Jerome and Esme Squalor of number 667 Dark Avenue, the new guardians are very well written, Esme is a bossy, spoilt rich woman who enjoys showing off her wealth while at the same time being obsessed with making sure that she doesn’t fall behind whats currently popular or in fashion, Jerome is a very kind man who genuinely wants the best for Violet, Klaus and Sunny but he is too afraid of Esme to ever argue with her, this of course becomes an issue throughout the book especially went Count Olaf inevitably shows up, one thing I really enjoyed about this book is how realistic it was compared to its predecessors, now I am not saying that the book doesn’t have its non believable moments but the majority of Violets inventions here can be made in real life, to be honest I did prefer the Austere Academy but this is still an important part of the series that will only leave you wanting more.

These books are absolutely brilliant for children, when I reviewed the first three books in the series I talked about how I found it annoying that Lemony Snicket had to keep explaining the meaning of big words as I found it slightly mocked me as a reader but thankfully this writing style is toned down a bit in these three books, my favourite has to be the Austere Academy not only did it give us a completely new setting but it even introduced us to some new and very important characters, both of the other books I also really enjoyed and I am struggling to choose which one I enjoyed the least as all three of them kept me hooked on the story,  I will eventually get around to reviewing  the next three instalments but in mean time I think I would like to read something a bit different to what I usually decide to shove my nose in.

Thank you for reading this review of A series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

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The top 5 unannounced games I want for Nintendo Switch

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The Nintendo Switch is officially less than 10 days away from release and while there are a lot of games which have been announced I am only genuinely excited for three of them, those being Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2 and of course the long awaited Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but what about the games that haven’t been announced?

These are the 5 games I want to be announced for the Nintendo Switch…..hopefully at E3

HD Remakes

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Lets get the boring one out of the way first, Nintendo are great at making new games and expanding the universes of their video game characters but I still want to see more of their old games getting remade with modern graphics and controls, we all want Mario Sunshine and Luigi’s Mansion HD and so do I but I think some of Nintendo’s older titles would benefit from HD remakes, imagine being able to play Mario 64 in 1080p and without the dodgy controls and what about a HD remake of Donkey Kong 64 or Pilot Wings, there are a lot of titles that would be great as HD remakes but for me personally I would like to see a HD Metroid Prime Trilogy or HD Pikmin and Pikmin 2.

Animal Crossing

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This November will mark the fifth anniversary of Animal Crossing New Leaf for the Nintendo 3DS, I think its time for a brand new Animal Crossing game and what better system to do this on than the Nintendo Switch, honestly I have never enjoyed the handheld Animal Crossing games as much as the ones released on stay at home systems and if released on the switch an Animal Crossing game would suit what I want and it could also be played as a handheld game for those who prefer playing on the go, so everyone wins however there are some major changes I want made to the series, first of all I want more creativity when it comes to building your town and by this I mean that players are able to build the islands themselves from the ground up also I think at this point we should be able to play as an animal if we want too, how about a character building mode where we can create our own characters in very unique and creative ways, I wont go into too many details on this as it may become an article of its own at some point.

Pikmin 4 

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Ok so Pikmin 4 has technically been announced for years but it hasn’t been announced for the Nintendo Switch so I still think this counts, I love cute things and the Pikmin games are no exception I like how Nintendo have taken a subject as dark as the extinction of the human race and made an adorable game series where you play as space captains who run around earth and control strange plant creatures to collect fruits and relics that have been left behind by humans, I haven’t gotten around to playing the third game yet but its on my to do list but in the mean time I hope Nintendo hurry’s up with Pikmin 4.

F-Zero 

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I think Mario Kart is a great game series but we get one or two of those every year, but we havent had an F-Zero game  since 2003, for those who don’t know F-Zero is a fast paced racing game that takes place in space, the games went on to spawn an amazing anime series and F-Zero was one of the biggest inspirations for the Hovercraft’s in Mario Kart 8, I don’t know why this series stopped but many would agree that it needs to return in big ways.

Luigi’s mansion 3 plus a Dark Moon Port

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I loved both of the Luigi’s Mansion games and I would really like to see a Luigi’s mansion 3, the changes I want to make in these games may surprise you but I think they could work, first of all I want Mario out of the game completely I think Luigi’s brother gets enough of the spotlight already, I want multiple playable characters which all have unique abilities and must be switched constantly to solve puzzles, some ideas of characters could be a toad, Luigi (obviously), Professor E-Gadd and Princess Daisy, also a new and more menacing villain and a scarier premise, that is my dream Luigi’s Mansion game and although I cant imagine this will ever happen I will still want a Luigi’s Mansion 3 and I know a lot of you guys do too.

Those are the top 5 games I want announced for the Nintendo Switch

Which games are on your list

I hope you enjoyed this article

Next week will be an article of my opinions of Nintendo DLC and how it could either succeed or fail

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

 

The Pros and Cons of the Nintendo Switch Live Presentation

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We are officially only three weeks away from the release of the Nintendo Switch and in celebration every week up until the release I will be releasing articles expressing my excitement for the system.

On the 12th of January 2017 Nintendo released an hour long presentation discussing important information about their new system, I have watched the presentation multiple times and although I am very excited about the new console I do feel that Nintendo have made some rather critical mistakes.

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Lets start by going over what I consider to be the most disappointing parts of the presentation

Here are the Cons of the Nintendo Switch

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  • Apart from a couple of games the launch line up is not very exciting
  • At the moment games are very expensive, you wont likely be paying less than £50 for a game and some games cost even more
  • Accessories are also ridiculously over priced but to be honest Nintendo have never had great deals on their accessories.
  • There is only 32GB of internal storage but you are able to expand the storage by inserting a micro SD card
  • The battery life while you are out and about is between 2-6 hours which isn’t great but could be much worse
  • Only 1080p resolution on the TV and 720p on the tablet, may not seem like a huge deal but when compared the competition this is fairly low
  • No pack in game comes with the system
  • You need to pay to play online now
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    With the worst out of the way, I can finally talk about the Pros of the Nintendo Switch

  • The price of the system is only £279.99
  • The release date (March 3rd 2017) is earlier than we expected
  • Lots of third party developers are creating titles for the system
  • For the first time ever Bethesda Game Studios are developing for the switch,The Elder Scrolls Skyrim is being released on the system

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  • Two brand new IP’s were announced, out of the two IP’s that were announced the most exciting for me was ARMS, ARMS is a non traditional boxing game that uses extendable arms to fight, it looks really cool and I am really looking forward to playing it
  • A sequel to Splatoon was announced
  • A brand new 3D sandbox Mario game was announced, Super Mario Odyssey has not had too much information released about the new game but we do know that it has a release date of Holiday 2017
  • A direct sequel to the ever so popular Xenoblade Chronicles was announced, Xenoblade 2 will be released sometime this year
  • Hyrule Warriors fans will be pleased to know that a Fire Emblem Warriors game is coming to the Switch
  • A HD port of Mario Kart 8 is coming in April, it includes all previous DLC, A brand new Battle Mode and new characters and tracks
  • Breath of the wild has a brand new trailer complete with voice acting and a release date of March 3rd was announced meaning that Zelda will be there for the launch of the system

So that was a basic breakdown of what I consider to be the best and worst parts of the Nintendo Switch Live Presentation, Next week I will be discussing the top 5 games I want for the switch which have yet to be announced.

I hope you enjoyed my look at the Nintendo Switch Live Presentation

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

Pete’s Dragon 2016 Review

petes_dragon_2016_posterOut of every Disney movie that could possibly be remade Pete’s Dragon was one that I never expected Disney to touch again, the original movie was a 1977 musical about a young boy and his pet dragon who are on the run from his abusive adoptive family, the movie is a lot of fun and the songs will be stuck in your head for years after you see it, unfortunately the movie didn’t make a lot of money at the box office and Pete’s Dragon was eventually kicked under the rug by Disney and it was never mentioned again until this year when it got remade.

petes-dragonFor the remake they didn’t take the musical route, they instead tried to make Pete’s Dragon into a Drama which is fine if its still entertaining but the problem is that it isn’t, the film is so boring that I honestly just wanted to walk out of the cinema, the CGI is amazing and Elliot the Dragon looks awesome but the tone of movie really makes the film too slow for you too really care that much about how good the CGI is, I believe that if the film wasn’t about a dragon then it would have been a half decent Drama about a family trying to adopt a little boy who they find in the woods but because its a Disney movie and it really tries to reach that younger audience it just ended up being a film that wanted to be taken seriously but ultimately ended up being trapped inside of a kids film.

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I have to admit that I really liked Elliot in this movie, he wasn’t quite as charming as the quirky cartoon dragon I’m used too but this new version of Elliot more closely resembled an actual animal which was really cool to see, I notice a lot of people complaining that they didn’t like the directors choice to make Elliot act like a big green dog at times but I personally found it gave him a more playful and cuddly personality, I just wanna give him a big old hug.

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The casting is great, I love the cast from the original film but I never really liked the actor who played Pete (Sean Marshall) and in the remake the actor who played Pete (Oakes Fegleywas surprisingly really good at acting,I felt his emotions throughout this movie and I hope that this role pays off for him and he gets to be in a lot more films in the future, the rest of the cast was also very good but honestly the 1977 version had Mickey Rooney and you just cant top that.

Am I saying that the movie is terrible? no but I would be surprised if you don’t end up falling asleep or giving up half way through.

What did you think of Pete’s Dragon?

Do you agree with my opinion of the film?

Thanks for reading

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

Book Review: A Series of Unfortunate Events 1-3 by Lemony Snicket

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It’s finally Halloween and I  think this would be a good time to start a series of reviews of one your most requested book series, I  have decided to tackle these books in five separate reviews, four of the reviews will each cover three books in the series and the fifth review will be of the final book in the series, each review will have a brief summary of each book and small section discussing my final thoughts.

*Minor Spoilers*

The Bad Beginning (Book 1)

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The Bad Beginning was the first book in the series and it was also the introduction to the Baudelaire orphans and the infamous Count Olaf , the Baudelaire children Violet (The Inventor) ,Klaus (The Bookworm) and Sunny (She likes to bite things) are stood on the beach when they receive terrible news from Mr Poe a banker who is charge of taking care of the Baudelaire family fortune and he becomes their legal guardian after a terrible fire burns down the family home and kills their parents, since Mr Poe doesn’t want to care for the children himself it is his responsibility to find them a new guardian to live with until the eldest child (Violet) turns 18, unfortunately they are placed with their third cousin four times removed Count Olaf, Count Olaf is a horrid man who only wants to look after the children until he can gain access to their fortune and once he has it he plans to have the children killed, while living in his home Olaf forces the children to do all of the chores while he and his theatre group relax and drink wine, he bullies them and even causes child abuse by causing physical harm to the children and by making them all share one bed, thankfully next door lives Justice Strauss a local Judge who is very kind and allows the children to come over and borrow books from her private library whenever they please, the children use this opportunity to borrow law books as well as any other books they can find to help them defeat Count Olaf and not allow him to go through with his master plan that is revealed later on the novel.

The Reptile Room (Book 2)

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The Reptile Room is the second book in series, the children live with Mr Poe for a few days while he is seeking out a new guardian for them, he eventually sends them to live with Montgomery Montgomery (Uncle Monty) who is their fathers cousins, wife’s, brother, Dr Montgomery is a herpetologist (study of amphibians) but his biggest fascination is snakes,every year he travels all over the world and collects rare breeds which he brings home to study in his lab,  Uncle Monty plans to take the children to Peru to help look for more snakes but his associate Gustav resigned the day before the trip and he is replaced by another member of the Herpetological Society called Stephano but the children are convinced that Stephano is Count Olaf in disguise.

The Wide Window (Book 3)

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In the third book the Baudelaire orphans are sent to Lake Lachrymose to live with Josephine Anwhistle (Aunt Josephine)  who is the the sister of their second cousins wife, Aunt Josephine is a mess, after her husband was eaten by leeches in the lake she has been terrified of everything including the cooker and the house phone, a mysterious stranger called Captain Sham appears in the town, he tells Josephine that he owns his own sail boat company but the children know that hes really Count Olaf in disguise, they try to tell their new guardian that Captain Sham cannot be trusted but Aunt Josephine is more concerned about the grammatical mistakes on his business card, can the children prove that they are right before its too late?

I really enjoyed all of these books, for me they were not scary but they were definitely intense enough for younger readers, Lemony Snicket is really good at writing  suspense and making people afraid of some of the more real horrors that go on in the world, Kidnapping, Murder, Child Abuse, Depression, Anxiety, Suicide, you would think that something like this would be too dark for children but the books have been written in a way so that these aspects while still there are not too scary, out of the three books my favourite was The Reptile Room as I found that it had the most interesting characters and the entire story kept me engaged and wanting more, my least favourite was the Wide Window I found it a little bit boring but it still had its moments that got me hooked, my biggest and only complaint is that too often Lemony Snicket kept having to explain the meaning of some of the words he used in his book and honestly while I’m sure this was useful for really young readers I don’t think the target audience needs so much guidance in the English language.

All in all these are great books for children and adults, some parents may be put off by the nature of the books but I don’t think they are too dark for anyone over the age of seven, I cant wait to review the rest of the series.

Thank you for reading this review of A series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

Happy Halloween 2016

Have a great Halloween and stay safe, I have seen all of this killer clown nonsense and nothing would upset me more than if one of those idiots hurt any of my readers.

Lets Take a Look at the Nintendo Switch Preview Trailer

Not a Halloween review, there will be another spooky review but regardless of the fact that its October I feel a need to discuss this, Its important for all nerd kind

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This is it, It’s finally happened Codename NX has been revealed and I am so excited I can hardly contain myself,

Link  to the Reveal Trailer

We still don’t know everything about Nintendo’s newest system but we have just been given a lot of important information, first of all the name is not going to be the Nintendo NX but it is instead called the Nintendo Switch.

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The reason for this name is because you are going to be able to play the system at home and on the go, sort of like a handheld/home console hybrid, included in the reveal trailer were a few unseen clips of the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and from what I have seen so far the game looks amazing.

cartridgeThe screen shot here confirms the use of cartridges over the more modern Blu-Ray Disks we use for most consoles today, for old school gamers like me who grew up playing cartridges this is very exciting news but for more modern gamer’s it may be a little bit too unusual but have no fear because not only can cartridges hold much more data than a Blu-Ray Disk but they are also incredibly cheap to make which may mean that Nintendo Switch games may be sold for a lot less than games were for the Wii U, however cartridges are no where near as fast to load up as a Blu-Ray Disk so speed may be an issue for the new system lets just hope that the Nintendo Switch has a good processor and a lot of Ram to make up for this, the use of cartridges does make it extremely unlikely for backwards compatibility with the Wii U but it is possible that maybe we will able to play our 3DS games on the Televisioncontroller-on-the-go

From this picture we can see that we will be able to detach the sides of the gamepad to use them as controllers when we are playing on the go, to me it looks as if it is going to be a similar set up to a Wiimote and Nunchuck but the entire thing will be wireless and of course the button layout will likely be different, also it is shown here that the Nintendo Switch gamepad will have a feature on the back which can help stand it up right so we can relax on the train/bus while we are playing.

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As you can see he is now playing on his TV and he is able to switch from TV to on the go mode whenever he wants, just so you are aware he is currently playing an Elder Scrolls game, I am not sure whether it is Skyrim Remastered or an upcoming game in the series but that is not important, what is important however is that this is a very good sign that we will see a lot of third party support.

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A new Mario Kart or a port of Mario Kart 8? who knows but still very exciting none the less

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Possibly a reveal that the more popular sports games are coming to the system? not my thing but I am aware that there is definitely a massive market for these titles.

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Is this a teaser for Super Mario run that is to be released on the smart phone market soon or is it a teaser for an upcoming Mario adventure? the Amiibos on the counter seem to indicate that Amiibo compatibility with the system will be available in the future.

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This is a screen shot taken of what I am assuming is to be the new Pro Controller, I personally do not like the design here, to me its looks ugly and boring so I am hoping that it will be more colourful and appealing to myself in the future.

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I’m not sure if this is the original Splatoon or not but it definitely looks cleaner and graphically improved so it could possibly be a sequel.

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The weirdest part of the Splatoon reveal was that it seems like it was played in a stadium and I don’t recall hearing anything about an event like this so I am certain that this part of the reveal was made using CGI but I could be wrong.

With a release date of March 2017 that is everything we know about the Nintendo Switch so far, it looks very promising but I do wish that Nintendo at least gave us an idea on the price since the system is only 5-6 months away from release it just seem like now would be a great time for this information to be released, to be honest we should able to pre-order the system by now but that is the only thing that’s really bugging me about the trailer.

I hope you enjoyed my look at the Nintendo Switch Reveal Trailer

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

 

 

The Munsters (1964-1966) Review

Does anyone recognize the goofiest and spookiest family of the mid 1960’s

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Created By Allan Burns (The Mary Tyler Moore Show) and Chris Hayward (The Dick Tracy Show) and both previously known for creating the popular sitcom Leave it to Beaver.

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The Munsters is an American sitcom about the life of an all American family of Monsters who live at 1313 Mockingbird Lane, The show is a parody of the classic monster horror films that came out in the 1930’s, they have a lot of famous faces of the day playing each of the family members but the most famous have to be Fred Gwynne who plays the Frankenstein father Herman Munster and Al Lewis who plays the vampire grandfather, other monsters in the house include Butch Patrick who plays Eddie the werewolf son, Yvonne De Carlo who Plays Herman’s vampire wife and Beverly Owen who plays Marilyn who is the only Munster who happens to be a regular human being, Beverly Owen was replaced by Pat Priest after the first 13 episodes of the show.markymunster247

The best thing about the show in my opinion is that its very similar to a lot of other sitcoms from back in the day, of course it does have a monster spin to it but that’s about the only difference, most of the comedy revolves around the Munster’s getting on with their everyday lives and everyone else freaking out when they see them, the shows longest running joke is that the Munster’s believe that they are the normal ones and they cant get their heads around why everyone else is terrified of them.

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The Munster’s ran for two seasons and it did very well financially until the live action television show Batman starring Adam West was put on air, Batman managed to attract a massive fan-base and unfortunately its popularity managed to allow it to take the Munster’s spot on CBS.

The Munster’s may have only lasted for two seasons but it was very popular when it was on TV, a lot re-runs were played after it was cancelled and sometimes around this time of year you may catch an episode or two being played on your local television network but until then the Munster’s will remain very important to its many fans including myself.

I hope you enjoyed this Review of the Munster’s

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com