Harry Potter Mania: Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

IlvermornyI would call myself a Harry Potter enthusiast, others call me Harry Potter obsessed. I have never been beaten in a “Harry Potter Trivia-off,” and yes, this is a real thing my brother and I do. He still talks about the time that he ALMOST got me with a question (it took me a minute longer than usual).
With so much happening in the magical world that J.K. Rowling created, I would be remiss not to talk about what is going on. Continue reading Harry Potter Mania: Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Stories from behind the scenes of Hollywoods Biggest Blockbusters

Spielberg-Slate.jpgThis post is for nerdy movie knowledge junkies to get their fix of travia-tastic information. This week I am going to look at several behind the scenes stories from the biggest Hollywood Blockbusters.
1. The Empire Strikes Back
Did you know that it was a secret on the set of The Empire Strikes Back that Darth Vader would say “I am your father.” In the script his line read “Obi-Wan killed your father.” And only the director and the producers of the film knew the real line. Mark Hamill was told seconds before he filmed his close up for the scene.
2. Return of the King
When Shelob (a giant spider) stabs Frodo in FrodoThe Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Elijah Wood had Alka-Seltzer tablets in his mouth so it would foam.
3. Star Trek
Another low budget special affect takes place in the 2009 reboot Star Trek film. Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock, cannot do the Vulcan salute (live long and prosper) so the crew glued his fingers that way.
4. The Silence of the Lambs

Continue reading Stories from behind the scenes of Hollywoods Biggest Blockbusters

Photos of Actors Behind The Scenes That will Change Your Perspective Forever

It is when the cameras stop shooting that these movie stars really finally get to unwind and enjoy their break time resulting in some pretty great pictures. These behind the scenes photos of actors on set my just change your mind forever on the characters they play…. then again, some really are not surprising.

 MGM Lions1600_MGM-LionThis just seems like a whole bunch of bad ideas done at once.

Star Warss1600_Muppets-Star-warsWho knew the land of the Muppets was so close to the Dagobah system?Empire-Strikes-BackPrincess Leia and Chewbacca are actually BFF’ss1600_Star-Wars
Even R2D2 needs a snack break from time to time.
Titanics1600_Sunck-Titanic=RaftThis settles it… they both can fit on the piece drift woods1600_The-Titanic
Apparently a sinking ship can be surprisingly relaxing…
The Shinings1600_The-ShiningLisa Burns and Louise Burns look far less creepy between their hallway haunting

Silence of the Lambss1600_Silence-of-the-lambsNo one can say no to French Fries!
Fantastic Mr. Foxs1600_Fantastic-Mr-FoxNaps are vital, regardless where you are sleeping
 Frankenstein s1600_Frankenstien
Who says monsters cant be refined?
Harry Potters1600_Harry-snape
Who says Harry and Snape can’t get along?s1600_Maggie-Smith
Maggie Smith relaxing between scenes. Amazingly, she participated in this filming while going through chemotherapy.Harry-potter
Apparently you can make friends with anyone. Voldemort and Dumbledore laughing between takes.
Ben-Hurs1600_Ben-HurApparently the ancient Romans had Vespa’s. They were way ahead of their time.
Final Thoughts
     It is pretty cool to see how the magic happens, and how believable movies manage to be despite the reality of their production.

It’s Harder Than It Sounds: Movie Magic

   It really blows having a job because apart from the whole, me being able to survive, aspect of working it really cuts into my movie watching time and general hoodlum activities. Because I again remember what it is like to have a busy schedule, I have decided to be a good Samaritan to you movie goers out there and drop some quality knowledge on you without you having to move a muscle to learn it. Please…. hold your applause!

     Movies, I love them, probably too much. For me, movie magic is real and I love to enter a place that makes me forget that what I am seeing is fake and done by professionals. So, I am kinda one of those weirdo’s that likes to know the behind the scenes stuff. I think it is fun to dig up the random details from the movie process, to know the lengths that movie makers go to ensure that in the end, the film serves its purpose of giving you a whole new experience. So, without further ado, I will ruin some of that magic for you.
1. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

     Some movies take more of that special movie magic than others because they take place in a make-believe world. This is the case with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. The first impression for such a magical place is important. In order to get the right reaction from its child actor Georgie Henley (the youngest sibling who played Lucy) they brought her to the first Narnia set by the lamp post in a blindfold. Her look of shock and wonder in the film is real because it really was the first time she had ever seen it.
2. The Matrix
     I never really understood these films, it has something to do with how the world and life isn’t how they seem, there is a whole alternate reality.. only the movie goes about this with a whole lot more confusing plot sequence. Anyway, all the scenes in the film are heavily colored green so that it makes the film look like it’s taking place in a computer screen.
3. The Goonies
Again, when dealing with child actors, you are never quite sure what performance you are going to get. Lots of them end up not so great. So in order to ensure a good performance the cast of The Goonies was not allowed to see the pirate ship before that scene was shot. When they did see it, some of the kids shouted “Holy Shit.” The scene had to be re-shot without them cursing.
4. The Departed
       During filming Jack Nicholson felt that he was not intimidating his co-star Leonardo DiCaprio enough. So in order to fix this, the next day Nicholson did something out of the blue that shocked everyone on set including director Martin Scorsese and scene mate Leonardo DiCaprio. Nicholson departed from the script and pulled out a real, loaded weapon, during the middle of his scene with DiCaprio in order to frighten him and provoke a genuine reaction. Apparently it worked, according to DiCaprio “It was one of the most memorable moments in my acting career.”
5. Meet the Fockers

The MPAA (The “Big Brother” of the movie industry) would not allow ‘Meet The Fockers’ to use the word ‘Fockers’ in the title unless they could prove there was a family in America actually named “Fockers.” And apparently they did just that. Take that MPAA!
6. Jurassic Park
     This movie is terrifying. I am a full grown adult and I am willing to admit that, but apparently the terror includes the movies own cast as well. When the T-Rex breaks through the plastic roof of the Explorer to try and eat the children towards the beginning of the film, the children’s screams and terror are real because the animatronic dinosaur was not supposed to break through the glass roof… oops!
7. Independence Day
The scene where Will Smith drags an unconscious alien across the desert was filmed on the salt flats near the Great Salt Lake in Utah. In this scene he spends most of his time yelling at the alien and at one point says “And what the hell is that smell.” This was unscripted and he was not referring to the alien but actually to the horrific smell coming from the lake. –As someone who has lived in Utah and been to the salt flats, I can attest to the fact that the god awful smell of death and butt is enough to make anyone pass out.
8. Silence of the Lambs
     Throughout this film its lead actor, Anthony Hopkins who plays Hannibal Lecter, never blinks. And I for one can attest to how freaky that is in this movie…. blink dammit!  
9. Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets
 The oldest actor portraying a student in the film was the then 37 year old Shirley Henderson who was supposed to be playing a 14 year old. — Nicely done genetics!

—Final Thoughts—
So the biggest moral I learned from this was that in order to get genuine reactions on a movie set, do unscripted and dangerous things to freak people out. 

Oh No He Didn’t! Everything That Shouldn’t Be Said Out Loud

In his directorial debut Jason Bateman (Arrested Development, Horrible Bosses) took a huge risk in starring and directing a film that is amoral, irreverent, crude and twisted- this movie is terrible, but hilariously so, i’m almost afraid to admit that I thought it was funny because of how un-politically (is that a legit word) correct it is. The first thing I have to say about this, before I get into the review is that if you are at all socially sensitive, easily offended or have a delicate sensitivity then this movie WILL offend you because the humor is off color in the extreme and crosses lines that perhaps shouldn’t be crossed.

        This film starts off strong with a breathtakingly wicked set up but becomes more sporadically funny in the middle. As is often the case with these comedies the wrap up of the film is predictably “feel good” and has a stereotypically (and very unrealistic) happy ending.

        “Bad Words” has everything you’ve ever thought about or imagined saying to another human being, but have never had the guts, or have known better than to say. Bateman makes it work by throwing himself into this role without shame or ego. Do not take the kiddos to see this movie!!

                                                           Listen Up!
Attention Harry Potter fans, listen up! J.K. Rowling’s charity novel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is going to be made into three mega-movies. Months ago, Rowling revealed, “Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 years, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the ‘Harry Potter’ series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The law and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the ‘Harry Potter’ books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, 70 years before the ‘Harry Potter’ stories get underway. Who’s excited?!

Bad Bitches: Female Villains

Recently I was talking to some friends about our favorite movie villains, yes, this is the kind of geeky things I talk about with my friends, and some were listing things like Darth Vader and The Joker– the typical male villains that are widely known and appreciated. Though these villains are fantastic and made it onto my “Villains we can’t forget” list (if you haven’t read it and want to click here), there is just something about a really well done female baddie that I absolutely love. I think on some level, we kind of expect the evil person in most movies to be a man and when we get a really well acted crazy ass evil women it is somewhat unexpected and even more jarring. So without further ado- some of my favorite women baddies.

Bellatrix Lestrange 

     – Helena Bonham Carter has played an array of colorful villainesses on screen, but her Bellatrix Lestrange character even rivals Mrs. Lovett of “Sweeney Todd” as Lestrange she delightfully tortures Harry Potter and his friends in the “Harry Potter” series. By joyfully taunting, torturing and killing any witch or wizard who stands in her way, all in the name of the dark lord, Bellatrix Lestrange becomes a frightfully deranged villain to reckon with.
Annie Wilkes

     – Kathy Bates channeled the ultimate crazed fan-girl to a terrifying degree when she played Annie Wilkes in “Misery.” At first she seems to be a Godsend to the handsome but injured writer whom she rescued from the snowstorm. No one anticipated that the soft-spoken and unassuming woman would maim him when he tried to leave her. The quiet menace and frenzy hidden under Annie Wilkes was such a feat that it earned Kathy Bates an award and much praise for her performance, no doubt causing all celebrities to think twice before taking assistance from strangers.
Wicked Witch of the West

     – This villain is literally the witch and baddie of our nightmares, she was the original scary monster that was going to get us in the dark while we slept if we didn’t have a nightlight to protect us as children. The Wicked Witch of the West was as terrifying as they come with her hunched back and evil glare as she sent her animal minions to taunt Dorothy and Toto. Her fearful cackle remains unrivaled. Thankfully, water was a handy and convenient weapon to defeat her and end her reign in Oz. But don’t pretend like you didn’t keep a little by your bed… just in case.
Miranda Priestly 

     – If you have ever seen “The Devil Wears Prada” then you surely know why Miranda Priestly makes the list of best female villains. Meryl Streep plays this fashonista in a way that I do not think anyone else could have done. She is called the “dragon lady” boss, so naturally I thought she would be loud and bitchy. But instead, Streep takes this powerful woman and never speaks above a soft tone, but somehow, this makes her character absolutely terrifying. Her soft tone, withering looks and the slight inflection in her voice, makes this immaculate woman terrifying, a force that cannot be challenged and even made me feel uncomfortable watching it.

Alex Forrest
     – Alex Forrest seemed like the perfect woman: sexy, brilliant, carefree, and open-minded. She didn’t even mind having an affair with a married man, Dan Gallagher, in the 1987 film “Fatal Attraction.” Because of this, Dan had no qualms about cheating on his wife, for he was sure the affair with Alex would not last. And that was his big mistake because Alex refused to let him go. She began to stalk him and threatened to kill both him and his family. Alex Forrest is a stark reality to men who might consider doing something stupid like this.
Nurse Mildred Ratched

     – Watching nurse Mildred Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” will make you think twice about believing the old adage about nurses “the angels of mercy.” She not only humiliates and controls her patients, but she also drugs them into submission. Even when Randle McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) defied and physically attacked her, she still comes out victorious and exacted her revenge by subjecting him to a lobotomy.

     – Mystique constantly reinvents herself… literally. This mutant can take on any appearance without anyone noticing the transformation. She is cunning, manipulative and vengeful. Her character hardly speaks, but is fueled by hate and is determined to use all of her stealth and considerable strength to bring about the end of the human race.

Obligatory Valentines Day Post

Initially I was not going to do a blog post related to this holiday but I was informed by a blogger friend that I would be remiss if I did not. Most people have pretty strong feelings about Valentines day; they either love it or they hate it. I do not fit into either one of these camps, I think it can be nice but I also do not care about it much. For this, my required blogpost about Valentines day, I saw a couple internet cards (dealing with entertainment) I thought would be worth sharing.