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

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.

Movie Review: The Woman In Black

Well.. I just saw the movie “The Woman In Black” last night with some friends and I decided I might as well blog about it. I should warn you that this is probably gonna be a a ton of spoilage going on in this blog, so be warned. The Woman In Black is the latest film starring Daniel Radcliffe(From Harry Potter). Essentially, the film is a British ghost story about the vengeful spirit of a woman haunting an English town. The film itself is an adaptation of the book of the same name, written by Susan Hill.

In the film which takes place in England’s Edwardian era, Radcliffe plays the role of one Arthur Kipps; a young, widdowed lawyer who’s down on his luck financially. He lives with his young 4 year old son Joseph, and his son’s nanny (Jessica Raine) (Who I don’t believe is ever named in the movie.) Kipps’ wife Stella (Sophie Stuckey) apparently died in the midst of giving birth to their son. In the beginning of the film, Arthur has occasional visions of her and is facing stress from his employers at the law firm. You get the feeling that he wants to end it all in a manor reminiscent of Sweeny Todd.  He is given an assignment (His last and final one if he fails.) to handle the estate of a deceased woman namd Alice Drablow who owned Eel Marsh, where she lived with her husband, son Nathaniel, and sister, Jennet Humfrye (Liz White). This is basically to prove to his employers that he isn’t too crippled with grief to do what’s expected of him.

Eventually Kipps arrives in Crythin Gifford, and to a less than warm welcome from the locals as they all warn him to turn and go home.  Having been repeatedly told to leave, he of course ignores the protests of his presence. At the march he starts working on the stacks of paperwork left there, but he repeatedly hears footsteps and and eventually sees a woman dressed all in black. Kipps reports the sighting at the local police station. From the time he arrives in the station, things go from mysterious to downright bad when two boys bring in their sister who drank lye and she dies in Arthur’s arms, coughing blood. She is not the first child in town to commit suicide, and the townspeople believe the “Woman in Black” comes for their children as revenge for her child being taken from her in life. This however is not a fact known by Kipps.

As he continues to dig deeper and deeper into the mystery of this mysterious figure in black and the connection with the people of the town, his cool demeanor melts (For lack of a better word.) when faced with the mountain of proof that there is indeed something dark, sinister, and truly unholy taking up residence within the walls of Eel Marsh House.

At first, being the huge Harry Potter fan I claim to be, I thought it would be difficult to view Radcliffe as anything other than Harry Potter; given the sheer success and lengthy run of the films. I couldn’t have been farther from wrong. Of course there were elements of the film that had a certain… Harry Potter-esque feel, such as Crythin Gifford giving off a somewhat Godrics Hollow/Hogsmeade Village vibe. Then there was the fact that the feel of the film was as dark as, if not darker than the last few Potter films. I couldn’t help but occasionally get the feeling that this was once again Harry Potter facing off against some dark force or another. Throughout the film, I found myself wanting to yell out “Use your wand harry.” Somehow I managed to look past all that and ended up thoroughly enjoying the film. For a horror film, it was certainly less gruesome than your typical horror movie; even your typical ghost story horror. It was a chance for Daniel Radcliffe to show that he’s more than just “the boy who lived” and the guy who defeated the most powerful dark lord of all times.I’d say he more than showed that.

The cast of the film did an amazing job. I can’t find anything wrong with their acting, no matter how hard I might try. Ciarán Hinds did a fantastic job as Sam Daily. What else could be expected from the man who portrayed Aberforth Dumbledore in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2.?. Janet McTeer did a splendid job in the role of Mrs. Daily. Seeing her as her son is spoken about in conversation made the film for me as much as the acting in the film in general did. Liz White, although not the biggest name in the film, had the key role as The Woman In Black herself. Her portrayal of The Woman was different than what I’d expected, due to most female horror movie antagonists being more…gruesome; like the female character in “The Grudge” or in “Dead Silence”. That being said, She did a fantastic job. The last thing I’d want to walk into in the middle of the night would be The Woman In Black. The other cast members did an equally fantastic job in their roles.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I’d advise going to see it.

Last Year In Geek

It’s official, the year 2011 is done and over with. It’s been a year of ups and downs, and more downs, and slight inclines that lead to steep declines. It’s been a relatively crazy 365 days, that’s for sure. So much has happened this year. Far too much to compile into a simple list, but that’s not going to stop me from trying anyway. So, here’s a brief list of some of the major moments in geekdom this past year.

1. Carrie Fisher & William Shatner Argue About Star Wars vs. Star Trek:
Geeks have been debating about which is better for decades, but William Shatner and Carrie Fisher took to YouTube to settle things once and for all. It turned into a fairly ugly war of words, with insults flying. Neither won, but in a style only he could manage, George Takei once again became the welcome voice of reason. Asking the fans of both Star Wars and Star Trek to put aside their differences and focus on a common enemy; namely Twilight. You go George Takei, you go.

2. Marvel Reigns, in The Box Office:
2011 brought us two action packed movies based on Marvel Comics superheroes. Thor (with a stunning cast line-up.) and Captain America: The First Avenger completed the series leading the way to The Avengers opening some time next year. X-Men: First Class  managed to not only reboot the franchise but, make a prequel as well. No matter how far it may have strayed from cannon.

3. We Lose a Technological Icon:
The death of Steve Jobs rocked the tech industry as well as the world itself. Regardless of what anyone may have thought of the man, he did much to help build and improve upon the technology we currently use. Jobs died peacefully, surrounded by family members, his family said in a statement. In recent years Jobs had fought a form of pancreatic cancer and had a liver transplant.”Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives.”

4. Thundercats Gets a Revamp:
Reintroducing the 80’s franchise to a generation of kids, tweens and beyond that had never heard of them before; mixing sci-fi action with a fantasy backdrop familiar to early fans. Despite its obvious difference from the original, from the very beginning, the Thundercats spawned in 2011 seem to be doing something right. I’m still watching it.

5. Star Wars: The Clone Wars Does it Right:                                                                                                                                            The Clone wars has been hailed as the most vital take on the franchise since Empire. Bringing a weekly dose of actual war, it’s got all of the action and adventure that you grew up loving about Star Wars with new plots and intrigue to keep you on your toes. Add to that, the stylized CG art used on the show. “Now matter how many new cuts, edits, and additions to the trilogy and prequels Lucasfilm puts out there, for all intents and purposes, The Clone Wars is keeping the spirit of the original trilogy alive.”

6. Transformers Does Better than Expected:                                                                                                                                            Despite what many may have thought about the films and or the franchise based on the films(including Megan Fox), the franchise has managed to thrive. With the absence of Megan Fox in the latest installment of Transformers entitled Transformers: Dark of the Moon, people can focus on what the movie’s really about.: Giant robots fighting one another and blowing stuff up. What’s more is that whatever the film franchise may have lacked in geek-cred prior to Dark of the Moon, with the help of Mr. Leonard Nimoy in his role as Sentinel Prime it has most certainly made up for.

7. Shouting at Dragons:                                                                                                                                                                                           The latest game to be developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks was The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This game gave players another look into the wonderfully fascinating world of the Elder Scrolls. In this followup to Oblivion, we see numerous improvements. From the design of the non playable characters down to the physics of the game, things are noticeably different, and I’m not complaining at all. Unlike many of the other installments of the Elder Scrolls, Skyrim gave us dragons. Not just dragons, but talking dragons. And if talking dragons weren’t enough.. it gave us giants, with clubs, and mammoths(all of which will attack the hell out of you.) There’s more than enough in this game to keep you entertained for… well.. for quite a while. (assuming you actually sleep at some point in time and have other things to do than just play the game all day every day.)

8. Harry Potter and the Kicking of Butt:                                                                                                                                                  2011 saw the second half of the final chapter of the exploits of (lots of of’s) Harry James Potter (and friends) take place. Death Eaters were left starving, Dementors were left more demented than when they began, the Freddy Kruger/Avon lady known as the former Professor Umbridge more than gets her just deserts, and an epic battle between good and evil finally goes down. Best of all is Molly Weasley. Throughout the films, her character shows little growth, though growth none the less, but not until the this 2nd half of the final film does she truly blossom; and when she does.. it’s that blossoming, not Harry’s defeat of the dark lord that takes center stage. You go Molly Weasley.

9. Death of The I T Crowd:                                                                                                                                                                                   The hilariously funny UK based show didn’t make it to a fifth season. Despite that sad news, there is the promise of a final episode that will unfortunately not air in the US. The I T Crowd… you will be missed. If you haven’t managed to check out this show, I strongly urge you to. Especially if you’re a fan of British comedy.

10. The Doctor is In:                                                                                                                                                                                                      One of the best things to come on to TV in the year 2011 was the sixth season of Doctor Who. From the beginning, things got off to an amazing start. We got to see those wonderful Weeping Angels once again, we get introduced to the creepiness of Silence, the constant foreshadowing of the Doctor’s death, and lastly but not least, there’s the episode “The Doctor’s Wife wherein the Doctor’s TARDIS comes to life and we realize that through everything, she is his only constant companion. Though I myself have yet to see this episode, I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, and given the direction the current incarnation of the Doctor has been headed in, I’m inclined to believe what I’ve heard.

 

May the new year bring far more moments in geekdom and may they be as pleasant as possibly possible.
Happy Geek New Year.