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The New Star Wars

It recently came to my attention that in only a short 21 months (1 year, 9 months), there’s going to be a brand spanki’n new Star Wars Film. Ever since George Lucas sold all things Star Wars to Disney, I’ve been waiting with, I dare say bated breath to see what the outcome would be. In the past, Disney’s had a huge success with taking over Marvel Entertainment and putting out films like The Avengers and the films building up to The Avengers; Even their latest film, Thor: The Dark World. The point being… Disney apparently seems to know what it’s doing. The problem though is that unlike the Marvel films they’ve been putting out, there are already 6 Star Wars films out there that any new films are going to always be compared to. The new films are going to either as good as the first 6 or better in order to be any good. “Almost as good” just won’t cut it.

So, here are a few things about the up and coming film you may or may not care to know:
The film is slated to take place around 30 years after the events in Return of the Jedi and is said to star three new young leads…as well as a few very familiar faces. Disney also plans on releasing a new Star Wars film every year, beginning in 2015.

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Now, to go from what’s known, to what’s suspected/rumored… :
Adam Driver and is a great possibility to play the role of the film’s main villain, though how he or whoever is chosen for the role’s character will compare to the epic epicness of Lord Vader, only time can tell.

 

 

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Jesse Plemons, Ed Speleers, John Boyega, Matthew James Thomas, & Ray Fisher are rumored as possibles for the male lead in the film, and Lupita Nyong’o is a rumored possibility for the female lead role. it’s even been said that her (or whoever plays the role) will possibly be playing as a descendent of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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Both Gary Oldman and BenedictCumberbatch were both said to have been interested in the same role and both may have possibly been cast.

If those last two names got your interest then you’ll love the fact that Harrison Ford and Mark Hamil are coming back to the world of Star Wars. It’s even said that Carrie Fisher will be coming back as well, though sadly who knows if she’s likely able to appear or not. Also, there’s a possibility; however slight it may be, that Billy Dee Williams  might make a return as well.  And just to show that the Sith isn’t an all boys club, there’re talks of there being a female Sith villain in the film as well. Here’s hoping if that turns out to be true, the character is as interesting as the character of Asajj Ventress.

 

Last, but not least, (This may be a spoiler of sorts for anyone who’s not familiar with the Expanded Universe or the Star Wars fiction written to take place after Return of the Jedi.) it’s been said that the film may focus on twins; one possibly taking a turn to the darkside and another following in their fathers footsteps. This could reference Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa-Solo or Jacen and Jaina Solo (the later of the two being  the kids of Han Solo and Leia Organa-Solo in the Star Wars Expanded Universe and or Star Wars fiction.)

One thing I know without a shadow of a doubt… if this film doesn’t live up to the fans expectations story/script-wise, acting-wise, and of course.. effects-wise, a great disturbance will be felt in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. 

 

 

 

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Movies This Year

Well…it’s a new year, and that means of course… new movies. If you’re anything like me, there’s nothing like a good movie to distract you from whatever’s going on in your life(or not going on)… at least for a few hours.

So, here’re a few flicks to look for this year(keep in mind, I wrote the list, so I’m a bit biased) Oh, and I do apologize if there are any spoilers hereabouts.(There likely are.)

A Fantastic Fear Of Everything: Directed by Crispian Mills and Chris Hopewell and Starring the constantly brilliant Simon Pegg(How To Lose Friends And Alienate People, Star Trek); this little gem is about a crime novelist, whose research into Victorian serial killers has turned him into an extremely paranoid man, in fear of being murdered.

Date and Switch: Directed by Chris, this movie is about two High School seniors: Michael and Matty that have been best friends since 3rd grade. Still virgins, they make a pact to help each other “get lucky” before their senior prom – their mission however takes an unexpected turn when one of them announces an unexpected secret.

Pompeii: Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, this film stars Kit Harington(Game of Thrones, Silent Hill: Revelation3D) and is set in the year 79 A.D., Pompeii tells the epic story of Milo, a slave turned invincible gladiator who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love Cassia, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant who has been unwillingly betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. As Mount Vesuvius begins to erupt in all its fury, Milo must fight his way out of the arena in order to save his love as crumbles all around him.

A Haunted House 2: Directed by Mike Tiddes and starring Marlon Wayans, this is the sequel to A Haunted House with Wayans as Malcolm who, after exorcising the demons of his ex, is starting fresh with his new girlfriend and her two children. After moving into their dream home, Malcolm is once more plagued by bizarre paranormal events.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Directed by Anthony & Joe Russo and starring Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, and Scarlet Johansson; this film takes place after the events of The Avengers. Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, is trying to live a quiet life in Washington, D.C. while trying to adjust to things in the modern world, but when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Captain America becomes enmeshed in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world once again at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the conspiracy plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow must enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and dangerous new enemy—the Winter Soldier.

Transcendence: Directed by Wally Pfister and starring Johnny Depp, this film stars Depp as Dr. Will Caster, the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will stop him at all costs. In their attempt to destroy him however, they set into motion the culmination of their worst fears.

The Quiet Ones: Directed by John Pogue and starring Jared Harris( Sherlock Holmes: A game Of Shadows, Pompeii, and The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones). The Quiet Ones Tells the story of an unorthodox professor (Jared Harris) who uses highly controversial methods, leading his best students off the grid to take part in a dangerous experiment: creating a poltergeist. Based on the theory that paranormal activity is caused by the negative energy humans sometimes put out, the rogue scientists perform a series of tests on a young patient, pushing her to the edge of sanity and starting something more frightening and terrifying than they could have possibly imagined.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Directed by Marc Webb(no pun intended) and starring Andrew Garfield(The Amazing Spider-Man, The Social Network), Emma Stone(The Amazing Spider-Man, The Help) and Jamie Foxx(White House Down, Django Unchained). After the events of The Amazing Spider-Man, life for Peter Parker is busy. Between taking care of the bad guys as Spider-Man and spending time with the girl he loves, things seem the same as ever, but things always have a way of changing; especially when you’re a superhero with a new villain emerging, an old friend returning, and you start finding clues about your mysterious past.

Godzilla: Directed by Gareth Edwards and starring Aaron Johnson(Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2) and Bryan Cranston(Argo, Breaking Bad, and Malcolm in the Middle). This film is the retelling/re-imagining of Godzilla’s origin in a more contemporary time.

X-Men: Days Of Future Past: Directed by Bryan Singer and starring Jennifer Lawrence(The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games), James McAvoy(X-Men: First Class, Arthur Christmas), Patrick Stewart(X-Men – X-Men 3, The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Star Trek), Ian McKellen(The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug, LOTR Trilogy, X-Men – X-Men 3), and Peter Dinklage(Game Of Thrones, Death at a Funeral). The film’s story is set partially in an alternate future where surviving mutants have been penned in concentration camps, giant robots called Sentinels patrol America, and the majority of the X-Men have been hunted down and killed.

Maleficent: Directed by Robert Stromberg and starring Angelina Jolie(Kung Fu Panda 2, Salt, Beowulf). This is the untold story of one of Disney’s most iconic, classic villains(Sleeping Beauty as told by Maleficent).A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until the day an invading army threatened the peace of the land. Rising to be the land’s fiercest protector, she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal—turning her pure heart to stone and setting into motion a revenge of classic proportions.

How To Train Your Dragon 2: Directed by Dean DeBlois and starring Jay Baruchel(The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, This Is The End, How To Train Your Dragon)and  Craig Ferguson(Brave, Winnie the Pooh, How To Train Your Dragon). The heroic dragon-riding Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless must protect the peace — and save the future for men and dragons from a power-hungry enemy named Drago.

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction: Directed by Michael Bay and starring Mark Wahlberg(Ted, The Fighter, The Happening), Stanley Tucci(The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games, Jack the Giant Slayer) and Kelsey Grammer(Monsters University, Toy Story 2,  X-Men 3).   As humanity picks up the pieces, following the conclusion of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Autobots and Decepticons have all but vanished from the face of the planet. However, a group of powerful, ingenious businessman and scientists attempt to learn from past Transformer incursions and push the boundaries of technology beyond their ability to control – all while an ancient, powerful Transformer menace sets its sights on Earth. The epic adventure and battle between good and evil, freedom and enslavement ensues.

(A trailer for the film seems to be unavailable as of yet.)

There are of course more movies coming out this year, but take it upon yourself to go look for’m, and… happy movie watching.

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The Wonder Woman We… I Want.

Hey there to whomever’s reading this latest post of mine. I’ve noticed that my postings have been few and far in-between, but I aim to fix that…eventually. In the mean the mean time, I was talking with a co-worker of mine about things from our childhood; cartoons, movies and such.. and we came to the topic of Wonder Woman… or to be more specific, who should play Wonder Woman should they decide to make a film for her(with the obvious fact that a Justice League film is obviously looming overhead in the distance.)

So, here’s yet another geek-fueled post by yours truly. Here’s my top 5 list of the most capable female actresses who also happen to have the required looks to play the role of probably the most powerful female character in the entire DC Universe.

 

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1) Jaimie Alexander: It may seem obvious to claim that Jaimie Alexander(the only female Asgardian on Marvel’s side)would be a more than perfect pick for Wonder Woman. As Sif,(In the film Thor)the female Asgardian warrior, she more than combined beauty with brawn. Believe it or not, Alexander’s been brought up in the past as a possible/potential Diana, but for one reason or another, her interest decreased. None the less, she would do a more than splendid job in the role.

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2) Michelle Rodriguez: Being no stranger to the genre of action, Rodriguez has more than shown she can hold her own, whether it’s taking down the infected undead, fighting off an alien attack, driving really fast, or flying/firing from a gunship while kicking butt and taking names…like a boss. Aside from that, she..like every actress mentioned or to be mentioned in this list more than physically fits the bill. And while some may question her as a pick, due to her not being Caucasian, keep in mind…that Wonder Woman herself is not Caucasian… She’s Greek.

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3) Jennifer Lawrence: Star of The Hunger Games, Lawrence showed us that she can do action, and quite well at that. As Katniss Everdeen, she’s shown she can hold her own in a lethal fight to the death, while inspiring that most important of things.. hope. And as good as she is as an archer(In character at least), the world would be a far more interesting place, and we would get a near-perfect representation of the Amazonian  princess.

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4) Sarah Michelle Gellar: There’s no question that Gellar would be more than suited for the role of Amazonian princess. Her stint as Buffy Summers in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer from 1997-2003 more than qualifies her as capable. As the titled character, she’s faced vampire lords, eldritch deities, the apocalypse(on a few occasions) and even the very first evil to ever exist. We’re talking the embodiment of all evil here. If that’s not good enough reason, then there’s also the fact that she is an actually good actor. Her roles in The Grudge, the 2 Scooby Doo films, Cruel Intentions have proven that. And she’s even got geek cred having voiced April O’Neil in the TMNT film.

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5) Lucy Lawless: Just like the 4 mentioned actresses above, Lawless has earned her action chops. In her case, it was in her role as TV’s Xena, Warrior Princess. The ancient Greek equivalent of Wonder Woman, she was basically everything Wonder Woman stood for and then some. She’s taken on monsters, warlords, demi-gods and the god of war himself, Aries. She’s even taken on angels and demons. She may be a little older now than when she played the title character, but I have no doubt that Lucy Lawless could more than handle the role and do it some major justice.

 

I should note that none of the images used in this blog post are by any means my property.

Harry Potter and the Corruption of Everyone?

Now, my numbers may be a bit off here, but I’d say most folk the world around have heard the name Harry Potter. I mean, he’s one of the most famous people to have never existed. Ya.?.  Some would even say he’s bigger than Paul Bunyan. Ok, I’ve never heard anyone actually say that, but let’s assume for the sake of this post that tons of HP fans have said as much. For those reading this who aren’t familiar with the magical world of HP, I’ll sum it up for ya as briefly as possibly possible. Awkward UK lad fights against creepy, noseless UK adult and tons and tons of amazingness inbetween. Not the greatest summary, I’ll grant you, but it’ll have to do for now.

While perusing the vast vastness of media information and cat memes that is the internet, I stumbled upon this little gem of news…  Ok, it was posted on Yahoo news, but I still stumbled upon it.   “Teenage exorcists who say Harry Potter has corrupted the world head to Britain armed with Bibles and Holy Water to tackle hotbed of occult activity”

I read the title and of course my first response was to chuckle a bit. Once I was done with that, it became a wtf moment for me. Harry Potter and corruption? I mean… c’mon.. it’s Harry Potter for crying out loud. I mean look at that face. Is that the face of evil???

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None the less, I decided to give the video attached to the news posting a look-see.  To summarize it, three holier than thou fame-seekers from Arizona (Brynne Larson,  Tess and Savannah Scherkenback) have come to the conclusion that Harry Potter is the source of an occult outbreak across the UK. (Because the works of JK Rowling obviously predate the existence of the occult in Europe… [he said sarcastically]) The last time I checked though, England didn’t have a Ministry of Magic..  Not even a Ministry of Cheap Tricks. They claim that “The spells you are reading about are not made up. They are real and come from witchcraft.” If I had a dollar for every time I pointed a twig at someone and shouted “Avada Kedavra!” and they died from it, I’d not have a single dollar. Forget the little blue pill… who needs that when whipping out your wand and chanting “Engorgio!” does the trick? What’s next? Will they be on a crusade to purge the world of the evil of fairy tale characters like the Fairy Godmother? Is she some harbinger of Satan wrapped in a winged old lady’s clothing?

As I write this, it dawns on me that the three girls may be confusing this: 3176173-1748009911-hp.jpFor this: voldemort
I mean, they both seem so identical, don’t they?  Take away the facts that one is the hero and one is the villain, one has friends who loyally follow him and the other leads by fear, one has never killed anyone to get what he wants and the other does it just because… take away those and other things and they’re oh so identical.

I don’t mean any of this to be a slam against Christians or Christianity in its wide spread uniform diversity, but with individuals like this in the spotlight, it’s no wonder some people can’t take the religion too seriously.

I hope that anyone who reads this post is far more enlightened and open minded than those who have inspired it. Just remember, because you don’t understand something does not make it inherently evil. And if you haven’t already, pick up a copy of Harry Potter. I promise you, it’s an amazing read.

For your viewing enjoyment, here’s the video in question. I’ll let it speak for itself… :

 

The full article inspiring this post can be found here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2415387/Teenage-exorcists-say-Harry-Potter-corrupted-world-head-Britain-armed-Bibles-Holy-Water-tackle-hotbed-occult-activity.html

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Great Wizards Who Aren’t So Great…

There’s no doubt that with the successes of books and films like Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings, wizards, witches and magical users in general are more familiar to readers of fantasy books than ever before. Being the geek that I am, now and again, the question of who might be the best, most powerful or prominent in these expansive worlds of fantasy tends to arise. That being the case, I have taken it upon myself to lay to rest that very question(In a manor that is as unbiased as is possible of me.), the question of who is the best wizard, witch, or all around magical user in general in all of the world of fantasy literature and film. I have combed through film, literature, and comic books to compile a list of individuals (In no particular order.) whose skill with the arcane arts exceeds the realms of awesome.

 

Merlin the Magician (TV’s Merlin)

This incarnation of Merlin has him as a young man who is the best friend/servant of prince-turned-king Arthur of  magic hating Camelot. Along with being a servant, he assists the court physician, Gaius in some of his duties. Merlin’s role is to along side Arthur, reunite all of the five kingdoms under the rule of Arthur and bring peace between the old religion and the new religion.

The case against him:

Though an actual historical figure.. of some sort, I’m choosing to stick to legend here. According to legend, Merlin was half human half demon, granting him the ability to wield magic and to a great extent. He’s even seen as one of the most powerful, if not thee most powerful sorcerer/wizard to have ever lived(Or not lived as the case may have it.) It is said that he had the power of prophecy, to peer into the past and future, shape-shift, the ability to speak to wild animals, to fly, the ability to conjure realistic and terrifying illusions and much much more

For being such a vastly powerful individual with knowledge of things past and things yet to come, you would think it would be a cinch to help a guy who’s already a king to unite 5 measly countries/kingdoms under one banner. Of course, in this case, you would be wrong. Most of his time is spent saving either Camelot or Arthur from facing one horrid end after another; whether it’s from an army of undieing soldiers, the usurped and tyrannical reign of Arthur’s illegitimate half-sister Morgana, or all the other people shunned, persecuted or worse due to their practice of the old religion(magic). Doing that’s a full time job in of itself, especially when the great and powerful Merlin the sorcerer is really the not soo great and not soo powerful Merlin the servant boy.

 

Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter)

Dumbledore is the headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and among the most powerful and gifted wizards in the Potterverse. He’s a kindly old man who brings to mind Santa.. if he wore long robes.  Behind those caring eyes lurks a man who can turn invisible, create objects out of thin air, read minds, shoot fire, disappearte, encase you in a sphere of water, use magic without a wand or without speech (Something not everyone in the Potterverse is capable of), and to read minds (To say the very least.) He’s pretty much the Potterverse’s equivalent of Merlin.

The case against him:
I’m sure that fans of the Harry Potter series have uttered the phrase “Where the hell is Dumbledore?”  during all the action. He seems to  conveniently find himself being away on business whenever Harry and friends are in imminent danger, have riddles with steaks of life and death to figure out, or single-handedly fight a basilisk, a giant troll, an army of spiders (Ranging from small to damn that’s big!!).

Consider if you will, Prisoner of Azkaban, where in order to save a dear friend he casually advises Hermione to use the “Time Turner” device, which lets you effortlessly go back in time and change any thing you want. The question of course is why the hell didn’t Dumbledore himself go back in time and just kill Voldemort when he was killing Harry’s parents??? He could have stopped it all from happening.. the rise to power of the wizarding world’s equivalent of the anti-christ, the death of Harry’s mother and father. So much death and bloodshed could have been avoided. Most of all, that mix of Freddy Krueger and the Avon lady who calls herself the Undersecretary of the Minister of Magic would never have had to set foot in Hogwarts. For a man who’s packing soo much power, Dumbledore surely left his A-game back at home. Hell, he couldn’t even stop himself from dieing. The kicker of course being that he knew it would happen.

 

Gandalf the White (Lord of the Rings)

Batting for the good guys of Middle-earth, Gandalf the White, formerly known as Gandalf the Grey. One of the few non-mortal sorcerers/wizards on this list, Gandalf is Maiar; a lower and less powerful form of Valar. Basically they’re all spirits, ascended beings… if you will. Gandalf is among the wisest of his people. In the Lord of the Rings series, he takes mortal form to better aid in his helping the people of Middle-earth stand against the evils of Sauron, the dark lord of Mordor. He’s an individual of great magical skill and prowess. He has the ability to create a concussive blast strong enough to knock back a whole host of enemies and kill them by simply stamping his staff to the ground. On one occasion he’s been known to go toe to toe with a Balrog.. an ancient, evil, and huge being of fire. As well as create concussive blasts, Gandalf is able to shield himself from all manor of attack, be it magical or physical. If Dumbledore is the Potterverse’s equivalent of Merlin, then surely Gandalf is such for Lord of the Rings.

The case against him:

According to the books, Gandalf is a being of extraordinary magical prowess and if that’s not enough, he’s immortal.  He also has the ability to  disappear at will, is impervious to permanent injury, can conjure and control fire, can make lightning strike down on you, has limitless knowledge of spells, potions, and sorcery. It’s almost fair to say that he has no equal.

In the films, however, we see him mostly speaking ominously whenever a Hobbit does something they know they shouldn’t be doing, and shooting light from his staff to drive back Orcs and Ring Wraiths alike. As if out of nowhere, warning, he’ll do something amazing, like fight a Balrog all on his own. The Balrog being something out of the league of all the other groups members combined.

Being that the fate of all of Middle-earth is in the balance, it seems confusing that he would limit himself to a few light shows and sword play.. no matter how much butt he may kick with a sword. In all fairness, I actually know the reason behind that, but it doesn’t stop me from being miffed when I see the film. Pick up your staff and shoot some fireballs once in a while, let some lightning hit a few Orcs or Wraiths and see if they don’t leave you alone for a bit.

 

The Sorceress of Castle Grayskull (He-Man)

The Sorceress of Castle Grayskull is known as the most powerful magic-wielder in all of Eternia (The world in which she resides.).  She’s known to be able to look into both the past and the future, teleport herself and others across great distances, create life, project images, create magical shields, the ability to fly and shape-shift as well as other things. She is most noted for granting prince Adam the powers to become He-Man, the mightiest hero of Eternia and sworn enemy of Skeletor.

The case against her:

Despite being a being of tremendous mystical abilities and knowledge, the Sorceress of Castle Grayskull employs others to do what she could easily accomplish herself. The vast strength and power that He-Man possesses are basically given to him from her, through Castle Grayskull, which would mean that she has the strength and might to do what needs to be done. Somehow she allowed herself to be captured by Skeletor (In the film Masters of the Universe. ). I fail to see how such a thing could happen, being that she is as I have stated, the most magic-wielder in all of Eternia. Skeletor, though not originally from Eternia is still an inhabitant of the planet, technically making the Sorceress his superior.. magically speaking. I just fail to see how with the powers of Castle Grayskull and her own magical powers combined, she fails to do what He-Man who has only the powers of Grayskull can do and on a daily basis.

 

Skeletor (He-Man

Skeletor is the main rival and enemy of He-Man’s in the Masters of the Universe TV show, comics and films. Basically, Skeletor is a non Eternian native with aspirations of gaining power at any means necessary. Once a man with an actual face, he’s now devoid of all facial tissue, due to an incident involving  battle against “Captain Randor” and a deflected vile of acid in the face. He is a highly-skilled sorcerer who wields one half of the “Power Sword.” He-Man has the other half, and whoever unites the two would become.. the master of the universe. (See, I got the title of the show in there.)

The case against him:

Though he manages now and again to capture He-Man in one way or another, time and time again, He-Man manages to slip through his grasp. Most of their battles end in He-Man tricking Skeletor or just all together overpowering him. Even while dueling with their swords of power, He-Man would manage to cut a rope here or there that would drop a chandelier or something on top of Skeletor, leaving him cursing He-Man and vowing revenge. As accomplished and skilled a sorcerer as he’s supposed to be, one would think he would have managed to have finished He-Man off by now. With all of the wonderful evil at his disposal, he hasn’t even managed to put much of a dent in He-Man. What’s more is that though they do clash mano a mano or in this case mano a skullo from time to time, most of the fighting is done between his subordinates and He-Man & friends. Not only does he fail to bring home the bacon on his own, but with the help of his subordinates as well; one of which is a magic user like him. So, that’s two magic users. Not to mention the fact that He-Man is secretly the less than fearsome prince Adam of Eternia. For all his might and magic, Skeletor can’t defeat a little boy.

All of these sorcerers and the Sorceress are purely awesome, but their awesomeness can’t help but be overshadowed by their sheer lack thereof. For all of their great deeds and feats, their failures and inadequacies hang around their necks like an albatross; a big giant albatross.

Thanks to Google.com for all the pictures & images I use in my blog posts.
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Movie Review: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D

Moviegoers should prepare for a blast from the past as “Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace” opened not but a few hours ago here in Washington State. The May 22nd, 1999 release is back in theaters, and it’s in 3D; which should give fans more reason to check it out.

Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic  visual effects supervisor John Knoll says the new dimension makes the film more immersive. And he couldn’t be any more right, though this is coming from me as a fan of the overall Star Wars franchise.

“The extra dimension makes the audience feel like they are more present in the Star Wars universe. I wanted to make sure that we were not turning this into a gimmick. It’s something that should feel natural and not cause eye-strain or cheapen the product so I was not looking for places to poke stuff out of the camera. I went for naturalistic stereo as though the movie had actually been shot in stereo. I think the film looks better than it ever looked before,” he says in a press release.

“As someone who prefers watching movies without having to keep adjusting 3D glasses, I wasn’t too keen on 136 minutes in the theater. I also wasn’t too sure if the 3D would make that big a difference—as far as I could remember, there was a lot of talk in “Episode I.”

In George Lucas’ highly anticipated installment, Anakin Skywalker’s epic story begins when he is discovered on Tatooine, a desert planet where Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi make an emergency landing. They just rescued Queen Amidala from Naboo, which has been blockaded by the Trade Federation army after Naboo opposed the Galactic Republic’s taxation on trade routes.

As the first of a three-part prequel to the well-loved original trilogy, “Episode I” was regarded with  mixed reactions when it came out 16 years after the last of  the original series. Some “Star Wars” fans were disappointed by the film, perhaps due to the overwhelming expectations based on the success of the original three. Movie review website Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 60 percent rating, saying that plot and character development is lacking. On the other hand, it says there’s plenty of eye candy to behold.

When I prepared to don my not soo comfortable 3D specs, I couldn’t help but wonder what all I could expect from 3D for this film. Many films seem to bombard the viewers with 3D, regardless of whether the scene calls for it or not. That was however not the case here. I was surprised with how subtle some of the 3D seemed. It wasn’t smack dab in my face, but I couldn’t help but feel like a part of the experience none the less. As I watched on in enjoyment, three scenes in particular caught my attention in regards to the addition of 3D(And I’m aware that I say 3D an aweful lot in this blog post.. mostly in this paragraph.) The first was the podracer scene with young Anakin Skywalker. I couldn’t have enjoyed watching that part more if it had been my first time seeing it. Despite the fact that I knew otherwise, I felt like his podracer could just leap off the screen and into the very theatre.

Another scene worth mentioning was the duel between Darth Maul, Obi-Wan-Kenobi, and Qui-Gon-Jin. As soon as the doors in the Naboo fighter hanger open to reveal Maul, I couldn’t help but be excited. Thankfully, that excitement was justified. Whether due to the 3D effects or just cleaning things up, there was a far crisper feel to the look of the three as they fought.

The last was the scene of the space battle. I’ve seen some awesome films in 3D before, but this is officially one of my favorite 3D scenes now. If you’ve seen Episode I before then you know that the space battle scene is pretty good. 3D simply makes it…better, for lack of a better word.

There are also a few other things throughout the movie which left me pleasantly surprised, such as cleaning up an image of my favorite Sith Lord, Darth Sidious so that if you look close enough, you can tell what the true identity of the Sith Lord is. There’s also the addition of a few other characters in the pod race scene who are not in the original theatrical version, but who I’m told were in the dvd versions of the film. Also, for all the Yoda fans out there, the little green man looks amazing in the film. At least one of my friends was happy to see the CGI Jedi Master in the place of his Muppet counterpart.

Of course I loved almost everything about the movie in of itself.. apart from the character of Jar Jar Binks. In all honesty, I kind of feel that he detracts from the film as a whole. This post isn’t about that though, it’s about the film’s transition into 3D. So, sticking with that theme, the only problem I could think of was Jar Jar’s 3D look. For that matter, the look of the Gungans as a whole could be scrutinized, but I’ll settle for Jar Jar. There are moments in the film where due to his actions and the special effects he looks like he’s made of rubber, and not in a great or even funny way. You may also notice that some of the masks for aliens such as the Neimoidians(Trade Federation) look a bit less than convincing

That said; if you’re a fan of Star Wars (including Episodes I-III) then I’d say this is something worth going to see. Especially seeing as from what I hear, Episodes II-VI will also be undergoing 3Dification.  You should however be prepared to shell out 15 dollars or so for the tickets of the currently released film. If you’re lucky, you’ll get the 3D glasses designed especially for Episode I as seen below(Anakin Skywalker pod racer style design.), but if not, you’ll be stuck with the standard specs as my friends and I disappointingly were.

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In the Name of Sanity…

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale is a fantasy action film directed by Uwe Boll in 2006, apparently inspired by the Dungeon Siege video games.

Set in the fictional kingdom of Ehb, the story follows a man called Farmer (Jason Statham), an orphan who was adopted by a village…seemingly the only village in this fantasy land.  When Farmer’s wife, Solana (Claire Forlani), and his son leave to sell vegetables at the town of Stonebridge, his farm is attacked by creatures called Krug (If you don’t know what a Krug is.. think Uruk-hai from Lord of the rings, but far lamer looking and noticeably shorter/unimposing.).  With the help of his friend Norrick (Ron Perlman), he fights off the Krug and travels to Stonebridge. However, the Krug manage to kill his son and capture his wife. Accompanied by Norrick and Bastian (Will Sanderson), his brother-in-law, Farmer intends to find and rescue his wife.

The Krug are being controlled by the wizard Gallian (Ray Liotta) who is amassing an army to overthrow King Konreid (Burt Reynolds), with the assistance of the King’s nephew, Fallow (Matthew Lillard).

That’s basically the gist of the movie. This is what a budget of $60 million seems to get you in Hollywood.

This movie obviously boasts some well known actors, such as Ron Perlman (Hellboy), John Rhys-Davies (TV’s Sliders, Lord of the Rings), Burt Reynolds ( The Longest Yard, The Dukes of Hazard) and so on, so you would expect that this movie would be epic or at least nearly epic, right? Well you’d be mistaken; sadly mistaken.

From the beginning, this movie seems to have been pieced together out of weak plot and sad effects. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think this movie solely relied on the big names of its actors, not its script, effects, plot, and overall feel. I guess I don’t know any better because that’s just what I think. Don’t get me wrong though, this in no way is me badmouthing the actors in this film. Each and every one of them played their part perfectly, but even well trained and experienced actors can’t turn trash into gold. If that’s something you didn’t know before, take a look at “In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale” and you’ll find it out for yourself.

After watching the movie in its entirety, the only thing on my mind was how soo much money produced such a substandard film. I’ve seen movies with noticeably smaller budgets and less well-known actors in it that could run circles around this piece of fantasy garbage. There’ve even been Sci-Fi originals made by the Sci-fi(now Scy-fy) channel that were more enjoyable and well thought out than this film.

If this movie in of itself wasn’t bad enough…. there’s a sequel. That’s right.. a sequel. Now.. I’ve yet to see the sequel titled “In the Name of the King 2″(to the best of my knowledge that’s the title), but here’s what Wikipedia says about the film: “Uwe Boll has confirmed that the film will have a time travel story where Dolph Lundgren will play a former military officer who is attacked by ninjas and sent through a time vortex where he gets stuck in medieval times. Boll has also gone on to confirm that a dragon will be included in the film.” If the first movie wasn’t ludicrous  enough (and it was…. oh how it was.) then this must surely be more-so. I mean Ninjas, time vortexes, dragons, and Dolph Lundgren? How could this get any more ridiculous? Wait.. they could throw in trained bears that dance around whilst preforming acts of acrobatics on giant red rubber balls, but that’d be overdoing it just a bit, don’t you think?

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Of Hobbits and Dwarves

 

The much awaited trailer to The Hobbit (The cinematic version of the prequel to J R R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings) is finally among us; seeming to have aroused a great deal of online interest. One viewer of the film’s trailer from Badass Digest states ” You Can Go Straight To Mordor If You Don’t Like This THE HOBBIT Trailer.” Another viewer from /Film stated “Though I first saw The Hobbit trailer almost two weeks ago, the best part of watching it again is that new Shore score. Wowzers.” Yet another vewer from Hollywood.com had this to say: “Look, I’m just scared to revisit something I love. Blame Star Wars. Blame Crystal Skull. Blame Tron.”  And his sentiment is totally understandable in the wake of the films listed. As a fan of the The book of which this film is an adaptation, I would hate to see what looks to be a promising and entertaining film turn out to be the bastardization of something I care about. I too have seen this happen with films such as “The Last Airbender”, “Disturbia”, &  “Queen of the Damned”; to name a few.

After having seen the trailer for this film I can only say that I have high hopes and expectations of this film in its entirety. Given director Peter Jackson’s previous successes with the three Lord of the Rings films, one can only hope that he presents The Hobbit on a level equal to the aforementioned films or on a level surpassing them.

The one thing I’m left with is excitement. The trailer  its viewers with the familiar through means of Gandalf, Bilbo, the other hobbits, and the Shire. We’re also presented with the not soo familiar.. cinematically speaking in the form of the dwarves, Mirkwood, and the appearance of something of a relationship between the characters of Gandalf and Galadriel. One thing for me personally that got my attention in the trailer is the dwarves singing in Bilbo’s home. The song they sing is shortened din the trailer, but it still rings familiar to me none the less.

My opinions aside, I leave you with the trailer to the film located at the bottom of this blog post. Make your own opinions, and if you like to.. let me know what you think.