Week of Geek: The Holidays in Fandoms!

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Hello all!

With the holidays now just a week away, I’ve been gobbling all up the festive goodness while the gettin’s good.  And I’m not just talking about gingerbread, though that stuff is delicious.

In case you’ve ever wondered, the holiday season as a fangirl usually involves festive-themed movies, festive-themed fanfic, festive-themed TV episodes, festive-themed books…well, you get the idea.  Also fall/winter finales of shows before we wait for them to come back in January, and movies released in December that can be holiday-related or just prestige pictures (Battle of the Five Armies, I’m looking at you!).  And, of course, the annual Doctor Who special on Christmas Day.  Can’t forget that!

So, in the spirit of the season, let me post some of my favorite videos just for you geeklings that help capture the life of a fan this time of year.

Firstly, last year’s A Very Fangirl Christmas, as done by one of my favorite artists on YouTube, OnlyLeigh (thank heaven Season 3 of Sherlock has aired since then, we were all going nuts waiting for that).

Next up is the Avengers singing carols in an epic bit of movie editing.  It’s not exactly musical but it is impressive.

And staying with Marvel, here’s a stop-motion take on A Christmas Carol with Iron Man as Scrooge.

And a trailer for this year’s DW special, Last Christmas.  IT’S SANTA!  AND MONSTERS!  RUN!

Another popular YouTube channel, How It Should Have Ended, wants to do it’s own take on all our favorite holiday movies.

And the cast of web series, The Guild (featuring Geek Queen Felicia Day), have The Night Before Christmas for online gamers.

Enjoy all the festivities you guys, no matter what your favorite parts are!

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Week of Geek: Jokers Past, Jokers Present and Jokers Future

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Happy December all!  We kick off the first official WOG post this holiday season with an announcement over at DC and Warner Bros Pictures on casting for their 2016 super-villain filled motion picture, Suicide Squad.  Will Smith is on board as Deadshot, Tom Hardy as Rick Flag, Jai Courtenay as Boomerang, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress and *drumroll* Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, one of my favorite villains and one of the best things to come out of Batman: The Animated Series, and that is not small praise.

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But, where Harley goes, Mistah J is sure to be around.  And that was the biggest news to come out of that announcement.  We have a new Joker…and it’s Jared Leto.

For anybody born in the 90s or afterward, you probably wouldn’t know who the heck he is.  He was pretty big in the 90s, most notably for shows like My So Called Life and movies like Requiem for a Dream.

So why’s this guy playing the Joker?  Seriously, it’s THE JOKER!

One of the most iconic villains ever!  The twisted-yet-comical yang to the Dark Knight’s dark-yet-noble yin.  As recognizable as the hero he goes toe-to-toe with on a regular basis.  The casting of such a villain is nothing to be taken lightly.

Many have taken him on over the years, and we’ve had some great ones.  From Cesar Romero in the campy 60s Batman series to Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s Batman to Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, portrayals of the Clown Prince of Crime have been varied but have always had the same undertones of mirth, mayhem and plain old insanity.

My personal favorite?  Mark Hamill.  Yes, that Mark Hamill, the guy who played Luke Skywalker in Star Wars.  Some of you may have heard that he voiced the Joker in the Animated Series I mentioned above, or you may have heard his Joker in the video game Batman: Arkham City, but he’s had a long and storied career as a voice actor.  Plus, if you watch The Flash in the new year, Mr. Hamill will be returning to television to reprise his role as The Trickster, another DC villain.  But his Joker…that’s the voice I hear in my head whenever I read the Joker’s dialogue in comic books.

Here’s a video of Hamill recording for Arkham City along with Kevin Conroy, who has voiced Batman in both the Animated Series and in almost every single animated incarnation of Batman since (he has become the Batman I hear in my head when I read comics; I was very affected by the Animated Series).

So what will Mr. Leto bring to the mix?  How much of a role will he actually have, considering this is about the Suicide Squad and the Joker isn’t in the squad?  Will he just be there to introduce Harley?  Who knows?  We have two years to speculate.  And people weren’t completely on board with Heath Ledger when he was chosen to play the Joker a few years ago, and he ended up winning an Oscar for the role, so time will tell.

In the mean time, if you’re looking for something festive and batty to read, try Batman Noel, a loose take on A Christmas Carol.  And who do you think will stand in as the scary-as-heck Ghost of Christmas Future?  Our favorite cackling maniac, natch!

Or, as if I haven’t spoken about the Animated Series enough, there’s the episodes “Christmas with the Joker” or “Holiday Knights”.

Spend the Holiday Season in Gotham.  You certainly won’t be bored.

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Week of Geek Breaking News! We have our Doctor Strange!

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For more than a month…one very long month…it was just rumor.

Back in October we heard that actor Benedict Cumberbatch, a staple amongst fangirls everywhere (including yours truly), was in final talks to play Doctor Strange in Marvel Studio’s upcoming movie.  Then for weeks…nothing.  Believe me, I looked.  Every chance I had I was checking out my favorite entertainment sites to see if they had made it official yet.  Weeks went by with no word.  Even though it sounded like it was all over but the signing, I refused to get my hopes up prematurely.  After all, Joaquin Phoenix had almost signed as well, and he backed out, so until Marvel came out and said it, nothing was set.

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Well, just tonight, Marvel came out and said it.

And I can now shout it from every rooftop that one of my favorite actors will be joining one of my favorite film franchises!  CUMBERBATCH WILL BE DOCTOR STRANGE!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

How many fangirling gifs can I put down here to really say how I feel?

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Fans have already put up some art over the last few weeks to envision how this could look.

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I can totally see it, but then again I’m biased.  What do you think geeklings?  Good call?  Still wondering who the heck Doctor Strange is?  Anyone else you would have cast?  We still have two years before this hits theatres, so let’s throw the floor open to wild speculations.  And don’t forget to check out our books on the Sorcerer Supreme.

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And if that weren’t enough, it’s now being reported that Ryan Reynolds is close to possibly redeeming himself as Deadpool.  And the cycle begins again!

Music Minute: Time To Say Goodbye (A Farwell to Middle Earth)

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Bugs Bunny2 242x300 Photo“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.” – Tolkien

Well ladies and gentlemen, it comes down to this. After more than a decade our journeys through the wonderous lands of Middle Earth will finally be coming to an end. The yearly anticipated adventures of hobbits, dwarves, elves and men, of wars of rings and battles of immense armies will fade into that realm of storytelling and memory.

Recently the Powers The Be released the ending song for the last installment of the Hobbit Trilogy, The Battle of the Five Armies. Composed and preformed by Billy Boyd, the actor who brought that loveable rapscallion Pippin to life in the Rings films, this song was created to be the final farewell not just to the Hobbit but to all of the great Tolkien adventures.

Take a moment and let it all sink in. Excuse me for a moment. I need to grab another tissue.

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It is hard not to feel the urge to curl up into a tight ball and cry like the world is breaking every time this song is played. As previously mentioned in a past Music Minute the  influence of Middle Earth Pop Culturehood is astounding and wide-spread. So even though the final film will not be released until December 17th Tolkien fans have already started going into mourning. It will be a bittersweet moment when the houselights go up while the credits roll. After all the battles, the journeys, the losses and the victories it finally comes to journey’s end.

Unlike with the Potter, Star Wars, and Superhero franchises there are no more stories to tell. The author who brought the magic of a golden ring into our lives has been dead for a great many years and the source materials have run dry. Sure there are the short side-tales and the Silmarillion (The source of the entire history of Middle Earth) but the tales that revolve around the characters that have grown into dear and well-loved friends over the years have been told.

So this is it.

However nothing is ever truly over. Something as deeply loved and respected as Middle Earth will keep on in the hearts and minds of the fans. Books will be re-read and continuously discussed. The films will be marathoned with good company and good food. The music will be played from start to finish so that we can be transported back to strolling along the green rolling hillsides of the Hobbiton or galloping full-out across the plains of Rohan when Gondor calls for aid. Dwarven songs will be sung quietly on cold winter nights to remember those that fell defending their homes against terrible darkness. In coffee houses and pubs everywhere someone will take a moment and hum a tune about a cat and a fiddle or a Green Dragon.

The Soundtracks that Tell The Stories

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (not yet released)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings

Lord of the Rings: Two Towers

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Lord of the Rings Symphony: Six Movements for Orchestra and Chorus

Unfortunately the Lord of the Rings Musical soundtrack is not available in North America but its songs are just as tale-telling and inspiring as anything that came from Howard Shore’s pen. This one sums up the Baggins Legacy in the straightforward and true nature of the Shire Folk.

These songs are our continuing link to what will be part of our past. Like the ballads and oral epics of old Middle Earth and all who dwell in it will be remembered through song as well as the written word.

It truly has been one great shared adventure.

One that began as it ended. With a hobbit.
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Week of Geek Bonus Bonus: IT’S HERE!

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Behold!

That shot of the Millennium Falcon probably just made my year!

But the X-Wings!  And the three-pronged red saber!  And the droids!  And the Stormtroopers! And the hover crafts!  And the music!  Just… *falls off the chair twitching*

The force may be strong with this chapter…

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