Matt Guion plays both Regular Matt and Matt Hatter, two sides of the same coin, who compare and contrast which version of a story is better, books or movies. They are aided in this by several other of Matt's personas (such as "The Scottish Reviewer," who looks at theatre and stage productions), each one with his own gimmick or personality. Also appearing frequently is Matt's sister Cassie, who sometimes takes a third side in the argument or just messes things up for the hell of it. Matt's brother Jeffrey and girlfriend Alicia make recurring appearances as well, as do a few of his friends — several of them with YouTube accounts and personas of their own.
So far, they have tackled the following books/movies:
Can be seen here.
Books Vs Movies contains examples of:
- Attention Whore: Cassie shows definite traits of this, often butting in on reviews without being asked to and being more than willing to be contrary or make unnecessary points just to be part of the review. Takes it Up to Eleven in the Harry Potter review, where she's basically trolling Matt throughout the entire review, showing up at regular intervals to compare the books/movies to distinctly non-canon material such as A Very Potter Musical and Potter Puppet Pals, or complain that Neville Longbottom isn't getting enough attention in the review.
- Captain Obvious: One of Matt's personas, named exactly that. As of the Lord of the Rings review, however, it seems that there might be more to Captain Obvious than just stating the obvious.
- Character Development: Regular Matt goes through a bit of this. He starts out as completely unwilling to consider that movies might have some merit compared to books, but over time grows more open-minded and less biased.
- Crossover: Matt does a few with Jesse of Coded Lock Films; they teamed up to review V for Vendetta, and Jesse has made notable cameos in other books vs Movies reviews as well. Matt in his turn has appeared in several Coded Lock Films videos.
- Curse Cut Short: Regular Matt, when he realised the next review would be... TwilightRegular Matt: Oh, f— (cutaway to the scoreboards)
- Deadpan Snarker: Everyone on the show to a certain degree, even the supporting characters.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Frankenstein, and Psycho reviews.
- Double Vision: Regular Matt and Matt Hatter are never shown in the same shot until the end of the Animal Farm review, where the sudden use of Split Screen is heavily lampshaded by the characters. Split-screen editing becomes commonplace after that review and it's done pretty well for the most part, except for the scene of multiple Matt personas walking through a forest in the Lord of the Rings review where the outside lighting and swaying leaves make the edits obvious (which is also lampshaded by the characters).
- Early Installment Weirdness: For starters the reviews only lasted for 5 rounds instead of 7, Regular Matt and Matt Hatter were pretty much the only characters in show, instead of having the clip of a particular movie digitally inserted on a TV, the TV actually had the movie playing on it, the episodes were even less plot based, and they weren't in the same frame together...at all. In many ways, it was more like At the Movies with Siskel and Ebert and in turn, an actual review show.
- You could say that the first season of the show (the first fourteen episodes) is where Books VS Movies is trying to establish its formula; there are a few trial-and-error moves, Matt and Hatter argue and interrupt one another much more frequently, there are fewer guest appearances, fewer characters and no sign of any sort of overarching plot. It's in the second season when the show finds its form; it becomes more "gimmicky" and creative with its locations and interactions, with many more characters, frequent use of split-screen and a clear (if sometimes confusing) ongoing plot.
- Evil Laugh: Cassie displays one on several occasions. Evil Twin, surprisingly, uses it much more sparingly; for the most part he's more low-key and deadpan.
- Evil Twin: He's even named Evil Twin, though he generally goes by his nickname, E.T.
- Grumpy Bear: Jeffrey, especially in the Musical Episode where keeps complaining about all the singing.
- Large Ham: For the most part, Matt's acting is fairly understated and laid-back compared to many other Internet reviewers... though as Captain Obvious he really takes the opportunity to Chew Some Scenery.
- Cassie has been known to ham it up a little as well.
- Lemony Narrator: In the Roger Rabbit review, Hatter narrates the review like an over-the-top Film Noir detective.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Mostly in the newer episodes.
- Manchild: Discussed in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory redux; Wonka from the book is child-like, in that he exhibits some of the more positive traits associated with being a kid, like imagination and endless energy, but is still capable of functioning as an independent adult, whereas Johnny Depp's Wonka is childish, exhibiting many of the negative traits associated with the trope, like rudeness and social awkwardness.
- Musical Episode: Faerie Tales Vs. Disney
- No Fourth Wall: Pretty much. At one point Matt and Hatter even comment upon how they switched to HD in the middle of a review.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Most of the personas by now; Nominally they're all named "Matt," but they have started being referred to solely by their nicknames. Even Regular Matt usually goes by "Reg" in later reviews.
- The Scottish Reviewer is a triple case. His actual nickname is "Mattbeth," but since naming that play is considered bad luck he goes by "The Scottish Reviewer." This has in later videos been further shortened to "Scotty."
- Those Two Guys: Background Singers #1 and #2 take on this role occasionally. Especially noticable in the Lord of the Rings review, where they are the analogues of Merry and Pippin.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Matt's initial reaction to having to review Twilight.