Friday, October 31, 2014

Watch a pumpkin be carved into a R2-D2 influenced pumpkin/candy droid named OCT-3.1 for Halloween! [Video]

To celebrate Halloween, Greg Aronowitz from BarnyardFX took an ordinary pumpkin and carved it out and added some candy fixtures to make it look like R2-D2. Even better is that he added some motors to it so that it would have moving parts! Check out the creation of this newest droid, named OCT-3.1, below! Enjoy!

Source: YouTube - barnyardFX

Watch the launch trailer for the mobile game Star Wars: Galactic Defense! [video]

A new launch trailer has been released for the mobile game Star Wars: Galactic Defense and the game looks like a lot of fun! Essentially it is a tower defense game set in the Star Wars universe.

The game is free to download and play and is available on Android, iOS, and Amazon devices.

Source: YouTube - DeNA Games

J.K. Rowling releases a Harry Potter mini-story for Dolores Umbridge's backstory!

As promised, it is Halloween and J.K. Rowling has released a new "story" about one of the iconic characters from her Harry Potter book franchise! (She recently did the same thing for the character Celestina Warbeck which is definitely worth reading.)

This new story focuses on Dolores Umbridge, Slytherin, Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic, Professor of Defense Against The Dark Arts, High Inquisitor of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and Head Mistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (the latter three only for a short time). 
"The story of Dolores Jane Umbridge 
Dolores Jane Umbridge was the eldest child and only daughter of Orford Umbridge, a wizard, and Ellen Cracknell, a Muggle, who also had a Squib son. Dolores’ parents were unhappily married, and Dolores secretly despised both of them: Orford for his lack of ambition (he had never been promoted, and worked in the Department of Magical Maintenance at the Ministry of Magic), and her mother, Ellen, for her flightiness, untidiness, and Muggle lineage. Both Orford and his daughter blamed Ellen for Dolores's brother's lack of magical ability, with the result that when Dolores was fifteen, the family split down the middle, Orford and Dolores remaining together, and Ellen vanishing back into the Muggle world with her son. Dolores never saw her mother or brother again, never spoke of either of them, and henceforth pretended to all she met that she was a pure-blood. 
An accomplished witch, Dolores joined the Ministry of Magic directly after she left Hogwarts, taking a job as a lowly intern in the Improper Use of Magic Office. Even at seventeen, Dolores was judgemental, prejudiced and sadistic, although her conscientious attitude, her saccharine manner towards her superiors, and the ruthlessness and stealth with which she took credit for other people's work soon gained her advancement. Before she was thirty, Dolores had been promoted to Head of the office, and it was but a short step from there to ever more senior positions in the management of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. By this time, she had persuaded her father to take early retirement, and by making him a small financial allowance, she ensured that he dropped quietly out of sight. Whenever she was asked (usually by workmates who did not like her) 'are you related to that Umbridge who used to mop the floors here?' she would smile her sweetest, laugh, and deny any connection whatsoever, claiming that her deceased father had been a distinguished member of the Wizengamot. Nasty things tended to happen to people who asked about Orford, or anything that Dolores did not like talking about, and people who wanted to remain on her good side pretended to believe her version of her ancestry. 
In spite of her best efforts to secure the affections of one of her superiors (she never cared particularly which of them it was, but knew that her own status and security would be advanced with a powerful husband), Dolores never succeeded in marrying. While they valued her hard work and ambition, those who got to know her best found it difficult to like her very much. After a glass of sweet sherry, Dolores was always prone to spout very uncharitable views, and even those who were anti-Muggle found themselves shocked by some of Dolores's suggestions, behind closed doors, of the treatment that the non-magical community deserved. 
As she grew older and harder, and rose higher within the Ministry, Dolores's taste in little girlish accessories grew more and more pronounced; her office became a place of frills and furbelows, and she liked anything decorated with kittens (though found the real thing inconveniently messy). As the Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge became increasingly anxious and paranoid that Albus Dumbledore had ambitions to supersede him, Dolores managed to claw her way to the very heart of power, by stoking both Fudge's vanity and his fears, and presenting herself as one of the few he could trust.  
Dolores's appointment as Inquisitor at Hogwarts gave full scope, for the first time in her life, for her prejudices and her cruelty. She had not enjoyed her time at school, where she had been overlooked for all positions of responsibility, and she relished the chance to return and wield power over those who had not (as she saw it) given her her due.
Dolores has what amounts to a phobia of beings that are not quite, or wholly, human. Her distaste for the half-giant Hagrid, and her terror of centaurs, reveal a terror of the unknown and the wild. She is an immensely controlling person, and all who challenge her authority and world-view must, in her opinion, be punished. She actively enjoys subjugating and humiliating others, and except in their declared allegiances, there is little to choose between her and Bellatrix Lestrange. 
Dolores's time at Hogwarts ended disastrously, because she overreached the remit Fudge had given her, stepping outside the bounds of her own authority, carried away with a fanatical sense of self-purpose. Shaken but unrepentant after a catastrophic end to her Hogwarts career, she returned to a Ministry, which had been plunged into turmoil due to the return of Lord Voldemort.  
In the change of regimes that followed Fudge's forced resignation, Dolores was able to slip back into her former position at the Ministry. The new Minister, Rufus Scrimgeour, had more immediate problems pressing in on him than Dolores Umbridge. Scrimgeour was later punished for this oversight, because the fact that the Ministry had never punished Dolores for her many abuses of power seemed to Harry Potter to reveal both its complacency and its carelessness. Harry considered Dolores's continuing employment, and the lack of any repercussions for her behaviour at Hogwarts, a sign of the Ministry's essential corruption, and refused to cooperate with the new Minister because of it (Dolores is the only person, other than Lord Voldemort, to leave a permanent physical scar on Harry, having forced him to cut the words 'I must not tell lies' on the back of his own hand during detention). 
Dolores was soon enjoying life at the Ministry more than ever. When the Ministry was taken over by the puppet Minister Pius Thicknesse, and infiltrated by the Dark Lord's followers, Dolores was in her true element at last. Correctly judged, by senior Death Eaters, to have much more in common with them than she ever had with Albus Dumbledore, she not only retained her post but was given extra authority, becoming Head of the Muggle-born Registration Commission, which was in effect a kangaroo court that imprisoned all Muggle-borns on the basis that they had ‘stolen’ their wands and their magic. 
It was as she sat in judgement of another innocent woman that Harry Potter finally attacked Dolores in the very heart of the Ministry, and stole from her the Horcrux she had unwittingly been wearing.  
With the fall of Lord Voldemort, Dolores Umbridge was put on trial for her enthusiastic co-operation with his regime, and convicted of the torture, imprisonment and deaths of several people (some of the innocent Muggle-borns she sentenced to Azkaban did not survive their ordeal).  
Birthday: 26th August 
Wand: Birch and dragon heartstring, eight inches long  
Hogwarts house: Slytherin 
Special abilities: Her punishment quill is of her own invention 
Parentage: Muggle mother, wizard father 
Family: Unmarried, no children 
Hobbies: Collecting the 'Frolicsome Feline' ornamental plate range, adding flounces to fabric and frills to stationary objects, inventing instruments of torture"
Whether or not Umbridge is your favorite character this backstory gives Harry Potter fans a really fascinating look into her life and why she acted the way she did! J.K. Rowling also revealed some of her personal thoughts on the character and where the influence for Umbridge came from.
"J.K. Rowling's thoughts on Dolores Jane Umbridge 
Once, long ago, I took instruction in a certain skill or subject (I am being vague as vague can be, for reasons that are about to become obvious), and in doing so, came into contact with a teacher or instructor whom I disliked intensely on sight.  
The woman in question returned my antipathy with interest. Why we took against each other so instantly, heartily and (on my side, at least) irrationally, I honestly cannot say. What sticks in my mind is her pronounced taste for twee accessories. I particularly recall a tiny little plastic bow slide, pale lemon in colour that she wore in her short curly hair. I used to stare at that little slide, which would have been appropriate to a girl of three, as though it was some kind of repellent physical growth. She was quite a stocky woman, and not in the first flush of youth, and her tendency to wear frills where (I felt) frills had no business to be, and to carry undersized handbags, again as though they had been borrowed from a child's dressing-up box, jarred, I felt, with a personality that I found the reverse of sweet, innocent and ingenuous.  
I am always a little wary when talking about these kinds of sources of inspiration, because it is infuriating to hear yourself misinterpreted in ways that can cause other people a great deal of hurt. This woman was NOT 'the real Dolores Umbridge'. She did not look like a toad, she was never sadistic or vicious to me or anyone else, and I never heard her express a single view in common with Umbridge (indeed, I never knew her well enough to know much about her views or preferences, which makes my dislike of her even less justifiable). However, it is true to say that I borrowed from her, then grossly exaggerated, a taste for the sickly sweet and girlish in dress, and it was that tiny little pale lemon plastic bow that I was remembering when I perched the fly-like ornament on Dolores Umbridge's head. 
I have noticed more than once in life that a taste for the ineffably twee can go hand-in-hand with a distinctly uncharitable outlook on the world. I once shared an office with a woman who had covered the wall space behind her desk with pictures of fluffy kitties; she was the most bigoted, spiteful champion of the death penalty with whom it has ever been my misfortune to share a kettle. A love of all things saccharine often seems present where there is a lack of real warmth or charity.  
So Dolores, who is one of the characters for whom I feel purest dislike, became an amalgam of traits taken from these, and a variety of sources. Her desire to control, to punish and to inflict pain, all in the name of law and order, are, I think, every bit as reprehensible as Lord Voldemort's unvarnished espousal of evil.  
Umbridge's names were carefully chosen. 'Dolores' means sorrow, something she undoubtedly inflicts on all around her. 'Umbridge' is a play on 'umbrage' from the British expression 'to take umbrage', meaning offence. Dolores is offended by any challenge to her limited world-view; I felt her surname conveyed the pettiness and rigidity of her character. It is harder to explain 'Jane'; it simply felt rather smug and neat between her other two names."

I am really liking these mini-stories that Rowling has been releasing and hope that we see more in the future. What did you think of Dolores Umbridge's backstory?

Source: Today

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How The Avengers: Age of Ultron teaser Should Have Ended! [video]

The team over at How It Should Have Ended have created a fantastic video for the Avengers: Age of Ultron teaser trailer.
"Ultron quotes movies, and it's super creepy. Enjoy our animated alternate parody ending to the hit teaser trailer Avengers: Age of Ultron."

To see the official trailer that this video is a parody of go here.

Source: YouTube - How It Should Have Ended

Star Wars Top 10 - Monsters! [video]

"In this installment of the 10, we’re picking the best creatures of Star Wars, from Tatooine terrors to Hoth horrors.

For this list, we're focusing on monsters from the Star Wars films and Star Wars: The Clone Wars only, ranking them on design, impact, and scare factor."

Top 10 Star Wars monsters:
"10. Nexu - Kicking off our list is the Nexu: a hideous mix of feline and rodent. This smaller, quicker, more animal-like creature brings an unnerving eye-level element to Star Wars monsters. Pro-tip: avoid close-encounters.

9. Dianoga - The first real creature seen in a Star Wars movie, the dianoga is a slimy, tentacled menace with a taste for Jedi trainees. The dianoga’s ability to stay hidden makes it even more frightening: You know it’s lurking, watching, and waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

8. Brain Worm - If you can’t tell by its name, the brain worm is the hands down winner in the creepy department. This slithering parasite enters a host through the nasal passage and then takes control of their mind and body. Think that’s bad? You don’t want to see how it leaves.

7. Sando Aqua Monster - The sando aqua monster is one of the biggest creatures in the galaxy, and a fierce predator. Featuring a massive tail, two strong arms, and a big, big mouth, it’s completely awe-inspiring.

6. Acklay - A huge, snarling, crab-like thing, the acklay has sharp claws, pointed fangs, and is rather…ill-tempered. If you’re ever battling one, it’s best to use a weapon other than a pike. You might make it angry.

5. Space Slug - The aptly-named Space Slug illustrates the danger-is-everywhere element of Star Wars, and how once you think you’re safe, you’ve probably just run into — literally, in this case -- a much bigger problem.

4. Sarlacc - From its hideous teeth-lined ridges to its sickening squeals to other…unsavory…qualities, there’s no creature in the galaxy like the Sarlacc. Located in the deserts of Tatooine, the Sarlacc waits for prey to cross its path -- or for someone to get on Jabba’s bad side.

3. Zillo Beast - With a name that recalls a very famous movie monster, the Zillo Beast is a huge creature accidentally unleashed during a Clone Wars battle. While there’s a tragic element to the Zillo Beast and its movements are graceful, it is still awesomely powerful and can do a lot of damage.

2. Wampa - Quiet. Strong. Deadly. The wampa, a hulking behemoth covered in white fur, stalks the snowy Hoth landscape looking for prey -- and eats multiple-course meals. If your tauntaun smells something, head in the other direction. Fast.

1. Rancor - It feasts on Twi’lek dancers and Gammorrean Guards. Its roar is deafening. And it’s Jabba the Hutt’s favorite pet. Ranking number one on our list is the rancor, the most famous of all Star Wars monsters, and a classic movie monster in its own right. The rancor’s design is a total triumph -- familiar yet uniquely Star Wars at the same time -- and simultaneously impressive and horrifying. If there’s one place in a galaxy far, far away that we don’t want to visit, it’s the rancor pit -- and that’s why we think the rancor is the best Star Wars monster."

Source: YouTube - Star Wars

Updated infographic shows fans the 39 comic films due to come out by 2020!

Recently, Comics Alliance created an amazing infographic that showed comic film fans the timeline of super hero films from now until 2020. With Marvel's recent announcement of their nine Phase 3 films, Comics Alliance has created an updated infographic that contains a whopping 39 films! That is a lot of comic film from now until 2020 and six of them still do not have dates set yet.

Whether you are a Marvel or DC, this is a must view timeline from 2014 to 2020. However, can there be too much of a good thing? 39 films in 6 1/2 years? Wow...thats a lot.

What films are you especially looking forward to?
*Open image in a new window for the largest view.

Actor Paul Reubens, aka Pee-wee Herman, does a voice over track for the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer. [video]

While on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, actor Paul Reubens, aka Pee-wee Herman, did a special voice over track for the recently released Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer and the result will surely make you laugh.

Source: YouTube - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Watch Benedict Cumberbatch's audition tape for Smaug the Dragon in The Hobbit! [video]

A new video has surfaced that allows fans to take a look at Benedict Cumberbatch's audition tape for the role of Smaug the Dragon! I may not be the biggest Benedict Cumberbatch fan but he did deserve this role and his voice is great for the part! Enjoy!

Source: YouTube - Benegod Cumberchrist

Fan raps a page from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and it comes out amazing! [video]

One dedicated fan has combined the rap song "93 'til Infinity" with the classic sci-fi book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the result is actually really impressive! Not only does the rap actually work it sounds pretty good as well! Check it out!

Source: YouTube - PalmSpringMusic

Leaked clip from Marvel event shows an argument from Avengers: Age of Ultron between Captain America and Iron Man that could lead to Civil War! [video]

It appears that a lot more was shown at the Marvel mystery event than we first initially thought. We know that Marvel released names and dates of all nine Phase 3 films, concept art and info on Black Panther, an official synopsis for the television series Agent Carter, and what Thanos wearing the Infinity Gauntlet looks like. Also, you can watch the announcement of the nine films as well as the Avengers: Infinity War promo trailer here.

An all new, never before seen clip was shown from Avengers: Age of Ultron that shows a discussion turned argument between Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, and Tony Stark, aka Iron Man!

I've posted the video below but please be warned that this is an unreleased clip and will contain spoilers for the film Avengers: Age of Ultron. If you do not want to be spoiled stop reading here.





We learn several important things from this clip.

  • Thor has gone AWOL (absent without official leave). 
  • Scarlet Witch shows each of the Avengers a vision that is meant to weaken their resolve by showing them something dark. However, it may not have worked on Captain America.
  • Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, aka Hulk, were working on something that would possibly end the need for the team. Could this have been Ultron? 
  • Iron Man does not trust Captain America and the feeling goes both ways. Cap even ripped a log in half with his bare hands out of frustration!
And most importantly:
  • Listen to the dialog at the end of the clip. The battle lines have officially been drawn that will lead to Captain America: Civil War!
What do you think about this clip? Is this the beginning of the Civil War tension? What do you think about this argument? How about Cap ripping that log in half?! I cannot wait for this film and to see how this argument plays out!

Source: YouTube - kjhcj

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Entertainment Weekly offers a first look at Terminator: Genisys with Game of Throne's Emilia Clark and Doctor Who's Matt Smith!

Entertainment Weekly has just released the two covers for their next magazine issue and it features a first look at the upcoming film Terminator: Genisys. The covers feature Emilia Clark (Game of Thrones) as Sarah Connor, Jai Courtney (Spartacus) as Kyle Reese, Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) as John Connor, and Matt Smith (Doctor Who).

Film synopsis:
"The beginning of Terminator: Genisys, the first of three planned films that Paramount hopes will relaunch the beloved sci-fi franchise, is set in 2029, when the Future War is raging and a group of human rebels has the evil artificial-intelligence system Skynet on the ropes. John Connor (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Jason Clarke) is the leader of the resistance, and Kyle Reese (Divergent‘s Jai Courtney) is his loyal soldier, raised in the ruins of post apocalyptic California. As in the original film, Connor sends Reese back to 1984 to save Connor’s mother, Sarah (Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke), from a Terminator programmed to kill her so that she won’t ever give birth to John. But what Reese finds on the other side is nothing like he expected."
 Further plot points on the story. *Spoilers*
"Sarah Connor isn’t the innocent she was when Linda Hamilton first sported feathered hair and acid-washed jeans in the role. Nor is she Hamilton’s steely zero body-fat warrior in 1991’s T2. Rather, the mother of humanity’s messiah was orphaned by a Terminator at age 9. Since then, she’s been raised by (brace yourself) Schwarzenegger’s Terminator—an older T-800 she calls “Pops”—who is programmed to guard rather than to kill. As a result, Sarah is a highly trained antisocial recluse who’s great with a sniper rifle but not so skilled at the nuances of human emotion.
“Since she was 9 years old, she has been told everything that was supposed to happen,” says Ellison. “But Sarah fundamentally rejects that destiny. She says, ‘That’s not what I want to do.’ It’s her decision that drives the story in a very different direction.”"
Wow. That is a pretty interesting twist! Fans of the original series may be able to rest calmly however as former Doctor Who star Matt Smith says:
"“It’s like going on tour again if you’re Pink Floyd—the audience always wants to hear some of the old songs,” says Matt Smith, the former Doctor Who star who plays a close ally of John Connor. “There are enough nods to the past that people will feel satisfied.”"
I have to admit that I was not excited about this film but I may want to check it out. If only for curiosity's sake. How do you think the story sounds?
Check out the Entertainment Weekly covers below!
*Open images in a new window for the largest view.

Trailer for the new Star Wars book Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy will excite fans and cosplayers everywhere! [video]

An all new, and amazing, Star Wars book an been written by author Brandon Alinger titled Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy that is bound to get every Star Wars fan and Star Wars cosplayer excited!

Brandon Alinger was allowed to go to Skywalker Ranch to research and photograph the original film costumes in a way that has never been done before. Along with photos of the costumes there is concept art and some fantastic information on them. This is truly the most thorough look at the costumes to date.

Below you can watch a trailer for the book that shows some footage of the costumes being photographed and hear Brandon Alinger talk about what went into making the book.
"Get a behind-the-scenes look at Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy in this special trailer, as author Brandon Alinger visits the Lucasfilm Archives at Skywalker Ranch to research and photograph actual outfits and gear used in the classic films. 
The book features detailed histories and information on costumes for both major and minor characters, from Darth Vader to Tusken Raiders. Perhaps most significantly, however, are the photographs included. “They’re shooting things that have never been photographed in this way before,” Alinger says. As a result, the tome reveals exciting new visual details, and tells the story of how costume pieces were made and fit together to create the iconic costumes of a galaxy far, far away."

This is a book that I am definitely interested in picking up! How about you?

Source: YouTube - Star Wars

Daniel Radcliffe raps Blackalicious' "Alphabet Aerobics" and nails it! [video]

Actor Daniel Radcliffe, best known for his role as Harry Potter in the Harry Potter franchise, was a guest on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon and it came out that Radcliffe is a very big hip-hop and rap fan. With that knowledge out there Jimmy challenged Radcliffe to rap Blackalicious' tongue-twisting "Alphabet Aerobics" and Radcliffe nails it!

I'm seriously impressed and this video is amazing. 200 points to Gryffindor!

Source: YouTube - The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon