Tag: Harry Potter

Week of Geek: First impressions of Fantastic Beasts sequel

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Happy March Break Geeklings!  Hope you’re having a ton of fun, but if not I’ve got something fun for you today; our first trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

At barely 2 minutes, there is certainly a lot to unpack here.  But first… AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

OK, fangirling over, let’s discuss.

One of my favorite sites, Nerdist, does a great deep dive on this, but there’s a few things I’d like to point out.  First, how awesomely amazing was it to see Hogwarts again?  It’s like coming home!

Second, Newt as a sort of secret agent?  Certainly seems that way, as he’s working with Jude Law’s Dumbledore.  What could they be working on?

Third, a Wizarding World divided.  Again.  Or… before.  This was several decades before the whole mess with Voldemort divided the wizarding community, so this thing with Grindelwald came first.

Fourth, favorite characters are back.  Newt of course, and Tina (love Tina’s new look), Goldie and Jacob (LOVE Jacob <3).  Even Credence is back, and he’s apparently run off with the circus (it was the 1920s, you could do that back then).

Fifth, new characters.  Credence has a friend at the circus named Maledictus.  We got a look at Leta Lestrange, who with that last name and her complicated relationship with both Newt and his brother, you know is probably going to be trouble.  And the final scenes of the trailer feature Newt and his brother Theseus battling side by side (that last shot of them creating the fire wall together… beautiful.)

Sixth, beasts aplenty, including Thestrals and maybe a Hippocampus.

Seventh, two words: WIZARDING CIRCUS!  What is that even?  How amazing is that going to be?  They even have cotton candy!  And I bet it’s somehow magic!

Finally though, we’ve got to address the Erumphant in the room.  Two of them actually.

First, Johnny Depp, who plays our lead villain Gellert Grindelwald.  Many fans are not happy he’s still in this movie, considering how he’s been accused of domestic violence by his ex wife Amber Heard.  Though he hasn’t been officially charged or convicted of a crime there is still quite a bit of discomfort with this.  What makes this such a touchy subject for fans is that many, many people have seen the Wizarding World as a haven from abuse, considering how that was one of the big themes of Harry’s saga; an abused kid who finds his home at Hogwarts.  And the idea that the creators of these films would rally behind a potential abuser is not sitting well with people.  And as Nerdist pointed out, the fact that we only see Grindelwald twice in the first trailer of the film that bears his name, could be telling.  It could mean they’re saving it for later, or it could mean that the studio, though still on board with Depp being there, has heard the outcry and are trying to downplay it.

The other issue is that apparently we are not getting one solitary hint about Dumbledore’s sexuality in this new film, even though the entire story centers around him and Grindelwald, which Rowling has confirmed Dumbledore was in love with.  It’s a huge plot point, but we’re not going to get any mention of it.  This is a common problem for mainstream movies.  They cost so much to make that the studio wants to make a profit on them, and since in many places homosexuality is still very much taboo, a studio runs the risk of scaring off international markets if they show their characters as gay.

The thing is fans are getting tired of not having any representation in their favorite franchises.  They’re tired of everything being ‘implied’ and not outright stated.  One of the big plot points in the first Fantastic Beasts film was how destructive and awful it can be when you have to hide and suppress who you truly are.  The studios are undermining the messages of their own source materials by casting potentially abusive people and making sure a main character stays ambiguous.  Fans are not happy.

Anyway, there’s a lot of time between now and when the film comes out this December.  We’ll see what happens.  But what do you guys think?  Post away in the comments section below or write your thoughts over on WriteIt.

In the meantime, watch the first Fantastic Beasts film, or read the book, or check out the Harry Potter series if you haven’t yet.  Or again.  Have a great rest of the week Geeklings, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek Breaking News: The title of the next Fantastic Beasts movie revealed!

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Rejoice Wizarding World fans!  The next film in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series has a title and release date!  AND a cast photo!

Click here to learn more details about each character, and here for more about the movie.  And while The Crimes of Grindelwald won’t be out until next November, go ahead and sign out Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to catch up (find the textbook here and the screenplay here).  Stay tuned for more, until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek: VFC Fandom Countdown Part 2, Always There To Welcome You Home…

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Image result for hogwarts gif

Hello again Geeklings!  It’s week 2 of our 6 part series on fandoms, gearing up for Vaughan Fan Con, so let’s dive right in, shall we?  And in this particular fandom, there is a massive lake to dive into, so we’re set.

So there is a fandom that, in my experience, nearly every librarian is a member of, or at the very least an appreciator of.  Or at the very, very least aware of.  It’s a franchise that started as a solitary book published 20 years ago, and it has since grown not only into a full fledged series, but a series of films, 2 amusement parks, a stage play, an awesome main website, spin-off books, spin-off films and more die hard fans world-wide than you can shake a Nimbus at.  Not only is it beloved by young and old, but has been credited with re-establishing a love of reading for millions of people.

Yeah, I’m talking about Harry Potter, but you already knew that.  No legilimency required.

First published in 1997, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone took the world by storm.  6 more books followed, covering all 7 years of young wizard Harry Potter’s time at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, handling things such as growing up, first crushes, the demands of school work and an influx of very evil wizards.  Covering big themes such as good and evil, friendship, family, courage, doing what is right instead of what is easy, and so many other deep thoughts mixed with humor, great characters and a few laughs, it was almost impossible not to love Harry and friends.

And this last June, on the 20th anniversary of The Philosopher’s Stone‘s publication, the world celebrated in a variety of ways, sounding off on the books impact on their lives whether it be 20 years ago or this very day.

And with more movies from the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series coming up, there’s no end in sight.

But how to really convey all of this?  How to really explain what this means to the people who love it?  How important is this?  Well, one of the best ways that I’ve come across is the following video, which was released a few months ago for the 20th anniversary.  Take a look.

Honestly, there are stories like this everywhere.  Of these books being a port in the storms of the lives of the people who read them.  Of readers finding themselves in the characters, in the houses, in so much of what they were reading.  That’s the true staying power of these stories.  The fantastical elements are amazing, but what touches your heart and your mind… that’s what makes it so pivotal.

So whether you’re a Gryffindor (yo!), a Ravenclaw, a Hufflepuff, a Slytherin or something else entirely wear those colors proud and show the love.  Any memories you have that you’d like to share?  Post in the comments or write it on WriteIt.

Stay tuned for more news and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek: Hogwarts, UA and other favorite fictional schools

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Hiya Geeklings!  Did you miss me?  I was up to my eyebrows in fandom pandemonium this last weekend *happy sigh*  Good times.

So, back to school.  Yay?  It is September, and along with the obligatory Pumpkin Spice shenanigans and pretty leaves, many people head back for a new school year this week.  And while school IRL can be a little… unexciting at times, there are many fictional, fantastical high schools in our favorite fandoms that many of us would genuinely look forward to going back to each September.  Here are few that come to mind…

Hogwarts: Of course this is on the list!  Harry Potter and friends spend several years over 7 books (and 8 films) in England’s seminal school for witches and wizards, learning all the spells and potions they need to take down dark lords.  Filled with ghosts, moving staircases and too many secrets to count, Hogwarts is ancient, mysterious and a true home to our heroes.

Starfleet Academy: The galaxy can be a dangerous place, what with unexplored locations, possibly hostile new species and many moral quandaries.  The men, women and everyone else who attend Starfleet Academy in San Francisco become as prepared as possible to face the final frontier head on.

UA High School: The #1 school for teens with superpowers, or ‘quirks’, to learn to become heroes.

Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters: The other #1 school for teens with superpowers, specifically mutations that grant them said powers.  Where mutants are feared, hated and persecuted, the Xavier mansion proves not only a school to launch the next generations of X-Men but a safe-haven where different, outcast kids can be themselves.

Mystic Falls High School and Sunnydale High School: If you like your high school experiences with a side dish of vampires, try these two fine institutions.

Riverdale High School:  No matter which incarnation of Archie Andrews you like, there’s no question that Riverdale High is just as much a character in the story as any of its students.

Alola Pokemon School: For a library system with it’s own Pokemon League, I would be remiss to leave this fine school off the list.

Any schools you really love to visit in your imaginations?  Post away in the comments section!

BTW, did you know VPL is hosting it’s own sci fi/comic con next month?  Just gonna leave this link here and tell you to stay tuned for more news to come! *wink*  Also gotta give a shout out to the Teen Writer’s Club!  More details will be posted right here soon but for anyone who loves to write, or wants to get into writing, it’s a spot for you.  Check out my previous post on the subject of writing and sharpen those pencils!  (Or, you know, open your laptop and launch Microsoft Office or whatever.  21st century!)

Have a great start to the school year, stay tuned for more news, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek: Food, glorious food!

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Hi again Geeklings!  How’s the summer going?  Reading those books for TSRC?  Make sure to register and log in to keep those pages coming and increase your chances to win that GoPro.  We believe in you!  And check out the WriteIt site while you’re at it.

So, you know what I like?  Food.  You know what a lot of people like?  Food.  You know what a lot of people also like?  Fandoms.  So a lot of fandoms feature food.  Specific food.  Special food.  Food that may not ever be completely and perfectly replicated in real life but that hasn’t stopped many fans from trying.

Let us count the ways…

Cookie Cat – He’s a pet for your tummy!  He’s super duper yummy!  *sad voice from out of nowhere* He left his family behind!  Now available at Gurgens off Route 109.  So the jingle goes in one of the first episodes of Steven Universe about the title character’s favorite treat; an ice cream sandwich shaped like a cat.  It’s one of those treats that give you that warm, happy feeling.  We could all of use a Cookie Cat every now and then.

Pork Cutlet Bowls – Known in Japan as Katsudon, this is Yuri Katsuki’s favorite dish on Yuri!!! on Ice, and the inspiration for his Eros skating routine.  Yes, really.  It even inspires the grandfather of fellow skater Yuri Plisentsky to create a katsudon-inspired pirozhki, which is a Russian staple.  Yay for fusion cuisine!

ALL THE FOOD featured in Miyazaki films – The movies of Studio Ghibli are famous for the various delicious edibles you see animated on the big screen.  Too many to list here, but here’s a helpful article from Buzzfeed that you can peruse, with links to recipes so you can try to cook them yourself.  Eat up!

Pie – Supernatural‘s Dean Winchester loves many things.  His family.  His friends.  His car.  But one true love that will never die is his love of pie.  A love we can all share.

Fish Fingers and Custard – Combining fish sticks with a dessert sauce.  A weird one, admittedly, but a big part of the 11th Doctor’s persona, as it was the first food he discovered after his regeneration that he liked (getting used to new taste buds is hard you guys).

Butterbeer and various pumpkin foods – Butterbeer is awesome, no matter what recipe you use, and it’s no surprise the wizards of Harry Potter all enjoy it.  But, a personal favorite of mine from the books is the pumpkin treats.  I LOVE using pumpkin in baking!  All-year-round but especially in the fall!  Pumpkin cookies are my favorite!  So kudos to wizardkind for apparently agreeing with me.

Lembas Bread – Hobbits from The Lord of the Rings all love their comfort foods.  But for the adventurer, Lembas bread is the way to go, as one bite can keep you full for a whole day, so you don’t need to bring much of it.  Travel light.

Turkish Delight – How often do YOU betray your family for something sweet?  Hopefully not often, but this sugary treat (which is a little obscure in our neck of the woods, and a bit more common in Europe) had Edmund Pevensie siding with the vicious White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeConfections have rarely been so devious.

Spiced Warm Milk – If you’re not lucky enough to live in one of the wealthier parts of the Hunger Games‘ Panem, your food options are scarce and simple.  Little milk, little spice, heat it up, surprisingly satisfying.  Gotta enjoy the little things.

So there’s a few examples.  What are some of your favorites?  Post away below!

And if you’re looking to try your hand at a few recipes I’ve got a list of nerdy-themed cookbooks.

But there’s more!  Here’s another list from our friend Sarah.

And one from our friend Michel for some good, old-fashioned comfort food.  It’s hard not to love comfort food.  It’s so comforting!

So eat up Geeklings!  (But don’t overdo it.  Too much of anything is never good.)  Keep having fun this summer and until next time, End of Line.