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What if they labelled movie posters more accurately?

I’m a firm believer in truth-in-advertising. So, I really enjoyed this imaginative romp from Iveta Pete and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda.

“Movie posters don’t always tell it like it is. And that’s probably a good thing, at least for the people who make them. After all, would you pay to watch a film called ‘Young Woman Needlessly Degrades Herself To Be With Complete Arsehole’? How about ‘Liam Neeson Punches People’, or ‘Channing Tatum Takes His Shirt Off Again Or Something’? Ok, so maybe some of you would still pay to watch that last one.”

#1 Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road

#2 101 Dalmatians

101 Dalmatians

#3 The Lion King

The Lion King

#4 Lord Of The Rings

Lord Of The Rings

#5 Beauty And The Beast

Beauty And The Beast

 #6 Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman

#7 Les Miserables

Les Miserables 

#8 Breaking Dawn Part Two

Breaking Dawn Part Two

#9 The Revenant

The Revenant

#10 Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows


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The Epic Fantasy Movie Legacy of Orlando Bloom

This one goes out to all the ladies out there. Orlando Bloom has been in some pretty epic fantasy and historical fiction movies. Here’s a sampling:

blackhawk

Black Hawk Down (Blackburn)

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The Hobbit trilogy (Legolas)

kingdom-of-heaven

Kingdom of Heaven (Balian de Ibelin)

LOTR

The Lord of the Rings trilogy (Legolas)

pirates

Pirates of the Caribbean series (Will Turner)

romeo

Romeo and Juliet (Romeo)

THE THREE MUSKETEERS

The Three Musketeers (Duke of Buckingham) – love the costume and the facial hair

troy

Troy (Paris)

commercial

Orlando Bloom has two other claims to fame in my book. Here he is in a Gap commercial with Kate Beckingsale.

"Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet" Broadway Opening Night - After Party

And, of course, he was married to Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr. Good news, ladies! They are no longer together.

Click to Tweet: The Epic Fantasy Movie Legacy of Orlando Bloom at http://wp.me/p31Xf4-Dx via @Nimpentoad


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11 Monsters Who Could Totally Take On Godzilla

With the recent Godzilla movie remake in theatres, this is a timely and fun non-scientific analysis is by Janelle Myers from MTV at http://www.mtv.com/news/1825804/11-monsters-who-could-totally-take-on-godzilla/

As Gareth Edwards’ “Godzilla” reboot roars into theaters Friday (May 16), we’re excited for epic action, over-the-top explosions, and of course, the ultimate movie monster in all its magnificent CG glory.For over five decades, Godzilla has terrorized cities and inspired awe in the hearts of movie-goers, but new monsters have been introduced that are stronger, smarter, and faster… making us wonder, does the 60-year-old radioactive giant lizard stand a chance against these newer creatures?We think these monsters could serve up some swift competition against the legendary reptile:
Optimus Prime
The strongest and smartest of the Autobots, Prime also has the advantage of weapons like his energon axe that could do some major damage to the lizard king.


The Incredible Hulk
With unlimited power and strength, a resistance to any weapon and rapid healing powers, it’s clear the president should have Bruce Banner on speed dial in case Godzilla ever attacks.


Basilisk
One look at the giant snake from “Harry Potter” and the lizard king would be turned into an incredibly detailed stone statue you can go see at the Met.


Smaug
The arrogant dragon from “The Hobbit” pitted up against the King of Monsters would result in one ego-filled battle. However, Smaug is also known for being quite indifferent, more likely to taunt Godzilla about his tiny arms and go back to his hoard of gold, calling it a day.


James P. Sullivan
Sulley may look like a giant teddy bear, but don’t forget, he was top scarer at Monster’s Inc for a reason.



Reptar
Two bad-ass mutant reptiles against each other?!… But there’s one thing Godzilla is missing and that’s a chocolate bar that turns your tongue green.


Clover
A fellow Kaiju, the deep-sea monster from “Cloverfield” would put up a good fight (destroying New York City’s famous landmarks in their wake), but probably would easily succumb to Godzilla’s atomic breath.


Big Ass Spider
The super gross looking spider from SyFy channel’s “Big Ass Spider” would have any creature running in the other direction.


Stay Puft
The marshmallow man from “Ghostbusters” was summoned by a Sumerian god of destruction, making him a lot more terrifying than he appears. Ultimately though, one blast of fire breath and we could all make s’mores!


Balrogs
The demons of terror and darkness from “The Lord of The Rings” basically just consume everything with fire and hate- so if Godzilla tried to eat one he’d have some serious indigestion.


Daleks
Don’t let their pepper-shaker shape fool you, these aliens are vicious. The main enemies of “Doctor Who” have been known to wipe out entire planets and civilizations throughout time and space.

Click to Tweet: 11 Monsters Who Could Totally Take On Godzilla at http://wp.me/p31Xf4-Eo via @Nimpentoad


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Eight Diverse Movie & TV Roles by Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch’s (that’s a mouthful!) career is skyrocketing. And with good reason. Here are some diverse roles he’s played in movies and on TV.

12years

12 Years a Slave (Ford)

FifthEstate

The Fifth Estate (Julian Assange)

khan

Star Trek Into Darkness (Khan)

sherlock

Sherlock (Sherlock Holmes)

smaug

The Hobbit (voice of Smaug & Necromancer)

SnapeSimpsons

The Simpsons (voice of Alan Rickman –> art imitating life imitating art)

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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Peter Guillam)

WarHorse

War Horse (Maj. Jamie Stewart)

Click to Tweet: Eight Diverse Movie & TV Roles by Benedict Cumberbatch at http://wp.me/p31Xf4-Dl via @Nimpentoad


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Interview with the creators of Six Degrees of Sauron

With the impending release of the movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, we thought it would be fun to interview Emil Johansson about his fansite LOTRproject and his recent collaboration with me to create Six Degrees of Sauron.

SixDegreesHomeSmall    emilsmall

Henry: It is no exaggeration to characterize you as a Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fanatic. What is it about those books that so appeals to you?

Emil: I think The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were the first books I read that really stimulated my imagination. There is such a vast world in Tolkien’s book, it almost seems real, but there’s still enough left out to make it mysterious. I also guess I was somewhat a daydreamer when I was a child, and I always imagined being part of some adventure.

Henry: I started reading The Lord of the Rings in fifth grade, and never looked back. You host the LOTRproject Tolkien fansite. Please tell us about that.

EmilLOTRproject is a personal project that allows me to design interactive projects for exploring Middle-earth. I could say it is what I have always wanted to do. The site started out as only a family tree of characters from Tolkien’s work. Since then it has grown to become something much larger. The main mission of the project is to encourage people to explore Middle-earth.

Henry: As Elrond tells Aragorn, “Be who you were born to be!” Emil is being modest when he says “ONLY a family tree of characters from Tolkien’s work.”

Your latest LOTRproject effort is called Six Degrees of Sauron. How did that come about and what is it?

Emil: Trick question: it was you who first suggested the idea. I had just been working on analyzing networks between characters in The Lord of the Rings, and it seemed like a nice challenge to make it work. Six Degrees of Sauron is like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon meets Middle-earth.  You can enter any two characters from The Lord of the RingsThe Hobbit, or The Silmarillion, and the application displays the string of connections showing how they are connected.

It has been a very rewarding collaboration between the two of us and the result is far better than I imagined. I think collaborative projects are something I will do a lot more of in the future.

Henry: Emil’s right – I am awesome. Seriously though, aside from Six Degrees of Sauron, what are some other features of LOTRproject?

Emil: There is the core of the site, the family tree. There is also a interactive map of Middle-earth, geospatial timelines of the history of Middle-earth, and some statistics. The statistics were derived from the family tree and gave some fascinating numbers on average lifespan of Hobbits, Dwarves and Men. Average lifespan of a Hobbit is 96.8 士 2.4 years with a confidence level of 95% and a standard deviation of 10.6 years. I also created a page which allows you to see the frequency of character mentions in The HobbitThe Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.

Henry: LOTRproject also features fun infographics, such as a flowchart for figuring out which dwarf in The Hobbit you are viewing based on his facial hair.

By movie-making necessity, the cinematic versions of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit differ in some ways from the written works. How do you feel about that?

Emil: My opinion is that they have the freedom to make an adaption the way he wants, to a certain extent. I should say there are a lot of things I really like about the movies, and I certainly enjoy watching them. However, the rearranged timeline in The Hobbit movies compared to the book is something I am not too happy about. Also, I can’t understand why they came up with the idea that the Witch-king had been buried. After the fall of Angmar, he fled, and when Eärnur wanted to pursue him, Glorfindel made his famous prophecy, “He will not return to this land. Far off yet is his doom, and not by the hand of man will he fall.” That prophecy is quite important, even in the movies.

Henry: “I am no man!” Lady Eowyn declares as she kicks Witch-king butt.

By virtue of your LOTRproject activities, you’ve met like-minded people from all over the world. Can you tell us about some of them?

Emil: I have been very fortunate to meet a lot excellent people from the Tolkien community. There really are all kinds of people and that is the beauty of it. Henry is one great example, of course, and getting to know him opened the door to the Six Degrees of Sauron project. I’ve also been able to meet the wonderful artist Ted Naismith, who I have been a huge fan of for many years.

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to present my project at HobbitCon in Germany where I also got to meet some of the actors from The Hobbit movie. LOTRproject has in many ways opened a whole new world to me.

Henry: I’ve attended several San Diego Comic-Con’s, so I’ve been lucky enough to see Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee), Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel), and Sir Richard Taylor (head of Weta) in person. Goblin art from my book Nimpentoad was a finalist in a Warner Bros. online art contest judged by Sir Richard Taylor, Alan Lee, and John Howe.

What are some of your favorite quotes from the books and scenes from the movie?

Emil: I have one I quite like, which is present in both The Lord of the Rings films and, of course, the books. It is of Gandalf and Frodo talking about Sméagol:

“Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. I have not much hope that Gollum can be cured before he dies, but there is a chance of it. And he is bound up with the fate of the Ring. My heart tells me that he has some part to play yet, for good or ill, before the end; and when that comes, the pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many – yours not least.” ― Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring


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Six Degrees of Sauron – applying Six Degrees of Separation to The Lord of the Rings

It is with great pleasure that Emil Johansson and I announce the release of the Six Degrees of Sauron web application.

SixDegreesHomeSmall

WHAT IS SIX DEGREES OF SAURON?

Many people are familiar with the theory Six Degrees of Separation or the related game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. The theory is that each person is separated from any other person in the world by no more than 6 hops*. Sauron is the main villain in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. He also appears in The Hobbit and The Silmarillion. Since we are Tolkien fanatics, and since his writings feature an enormous cast of characters, we thought it would be fun to apply Six Degrees to Middle Earth. The Six Degrees of Sauron database includes characters from The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion. The Dark Lord is closer than you think!

*Here’s a real-life example. We know Cliff Broadway, who knows Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie director Peter Jackson, who knows his movie cast. So we are both only three hops from Ian McKellan, Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood, Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch, and all the other talented actors from those movies! Another example of Six Degrees of Separation showing how many of the most popular fantasy, sci-fi, and horror movies are connected by a relatively small number of actors can be seen on this amusing infographic.

HOW DO I USE SIX DEGREES OF SAURON?

Six Degrees of Sauron  was designed to be very easy to use. Simply enter the names of Tolkien characters in the “FROM” and “TO” fields, and click “SUBMIT”. Some of Tolkien’s character names are hard to spell. So, you only have to type a few letters, and then a drop-down menu of matching names appears. The results show the corresponding chain(s) of characters and how they know each other. The relationship types listed are:

Fellowship – the two characters were members of the fellowship to destroy Sauron’s ring

Erebor Quest – the two characters participated in the quest to defeat Smaug and reclaim Erebor

Spouse – the two characters were married

Kin – the two characters met and were related

Ally – the two characters met and were friendly, countrymen, or otherwise favorably disposed

Foe – the two characters met on a battlefield or were otherwise antagonistic

Master of/Servant of – one character was the servant of the other

Palantir – the two characters communicated with each other via a Palantir (a magical scrying sphere)

Great Music – the two characters were divine beings who participated in the Great Music via which Middle Earth was formed. Read more about The Ainulindalë, Tolkien’s moving creation myth, in The Silmarillion.

WHO CREATED SIX DEGREES OF SAURON?

emilsmall

Emil Johansson lives in Gothenburg, Sweden, and is a Chemical Engineering student. He is passionate about photography, the web, chemistry, and of course, the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. He maintains the popular Tolkien fan site lotrproject.com. Emil is @LOTRproject on Twitter.

henrysmall

Henry Herz lives in San Diego, and writes (with the help of his two sons) fantasy and science fiction (SFF) books for kids. He also interviews SFF & children’s book authors on his  blog. Henry is @Nimpentoad on Twitter.

ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?

Six Degrees of Sauron  is not associated with Middle-earth Enterprises, the Tolkien Estates, or Warner Bros. It is driven by love of Tolkien’s works.

Six Degrees of Sauron is based on the characters and plots of Tolkien’s writings. Characters and relationships that only appear in the movie versions are not included.

The Six Degrees of Sauron database is not claimed to be exhaustive, although creating it was exhausting. We don’t doubt that there may be mistakes or omissions. Six Degrees of Sauron is free to use, and therefore comes with a double-your-money-back guarantee.

If you enjoy Six Degrees of Sauron, kindly share the site with friends who’d appreciate it (or send it to foes who would not, but who you wish to annoy).


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Six Actors Who Decided Against Insanely Popular Movie Roles

This fun article courtesy of ZergNet at http://www.zergnet.com/news/107882/6-actors-who-decided-against-insanely-popular-roles. They’re right – Sean Connery wins the prize for worst career choices of all time.

A couple of weeks ago, Will Smith revealed that he turned down the part of Django in Quentin Tarantino’s blood-soaked revenge flick Django Unchained. His reason? “Django wasn’t the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead,” he said. Whether it was hubris that stopped Smith strapping on his six shooter and blowing holes in all who stood in his way, or because it simply “wasn’t for him” is irrelevant; Smith backed out, Jamie Foxx jumped in, and the rest is cinematic history. In fact, Smith is no stranger to passing on leading roles, having famously declined the role of Neo in the Wachowskis’ smash hit The Matrix. That film went on to gross almost half a billion dollars, spawn two undecipherable sequels, and makeKeanu Reeves a bona fide movie star, despite his line delivery being as hollow as balsa wood.

Smith is by no means the only actor to have passed up on fairly meaty film fodder recently. A Walk Among the Tombstones is currently being filmed on the streets of NYC with Liam Neeson bringing his own inimitable brand of muscularity to the lead role. He wasn’t the first choice to play lead character Matthew Scudder though, as Harrison Ford turned it down.

All this got me thinking about how different our cinematic landscape would look if actors had made different choices. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of actors who turned down famous roles and whether movie history is a better or worse place because of it. Some of these choices might be well known, others less so. All of them are intriguing if only to ask the question, what if?

Brad Pitt- The Spy Who Got Away

Back before Matt Damon was a roof-top jumping, bad guy-punching action star, Brad Pitt was the first choice to play Jason Bourne, but turned it down to star opposite Robert Redford in Spy Game. Pitt is arguably one of the finest actors of his generation, but Matt Damon’s muscular, yet vulnerable performance meant he was Jason Bourne. Plus, it’s questionable whether Pitt would have committed to two more movies.

Verdict– The Damon Legacy

Johnny Depp- Logan Adamantium Hands

In what would have probably been the biggest WTF casting in history,Johnny Depp turned down the role of beardy-badass Wolverine, with the gig going to Hugh Jackman instead. Although it might be difficult to imagine Depp bulking up and getting moody for Wolverine, it’s worth remembering that Jackman was known more for his jazz hands than his fighting skills before he landed the part.

Verdict– Hugh Jackman: First Class

Tom Selleck- Indiana Jones and the Last Moustache

It’s hard to believe that one of the most iconic characters in movie history was almost played by that dude from Magnum P.I. Tom Selleck was offered the role of the adventuring archaeologist after impressing in a screen test, but had to turn down the role due to a recently signed contract with Universal and his commitment to Magnum. It’s a decision that Selleck admitted has haunted him ever since, and the real kicker? Due to a writers strike in 1981 he would have actually have had plenty of time to film Raiders of the Lost Ark. As it turned out, Harrison Ford found fortune, glory and Tom Selleck found 3 Men and a Baby.

Verdict– Harrison Ford and the Case of the Dodged Bullet

Schindler’s Missed (Opportunity)

Harrison Ford is involved again, only this time it’s for a role he turned down. Spielberg had worked with Ford previously on the Indiana Jonestrilogy and offered him the role of Oskar Schindler. Ford declined the part, suggesting that people would be unable to look past his starring presence at the importance of the film’s subject matter. The gig went to Liam Neeson instead who delivered an Oscar-nominated performance, which set him on the path to Hollywood royalty and to eventually becoming a born-again action hero.

Verdict– When it came to playing Oskar Schindler, Neeson was the final solution

The Amazing Heath-Ledger

The late, great Aussie actor was the first choice to play Spider-Man in Sam Raimi‘s smash-hit superhero movie, but Ledger declined the role of Peter Parker because he thought he would be “taking away someone else’s dream.” Tobey Maguire landed the web-slinging gig instead and although I have no doubt that the incredibly talented Ledger would have killed it as Spider-Man, if he’d taken the role we would have never gotten his Oscar-winning performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight.

Verdict– Peter Parker Picked the Perfect Performer

The Lord of the Two Missed Opportunities

If at first you don’t succeed, give in and star in an absolute turkey instead. This is motto that has been said by nobody ever, but it could definitely be used to describe a couple of Connery’s past film choices. The legendary British actor turned down the role of Gandalf in Peter Jackson‘s Lord of the Rings because he didn’t understand the script. Connery was reportedly offered a 15% stake in the film franchise, meaning he lost out on nearly $450 million. Ouch. It gets worse though. So much worse. Connery also admitted that he turned down the chance to get all existential for the role of the Architect in Matrix Reloaded because he again didn’t understand the script. After it too smashed the box office to gold-plated pieces, Connery decided enough was enough and filled with regret and self-loathing (probably) he signed up for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, thus rounding off the worst career choices since Adolf Hitler decided there was no future in painting pictures.

Verdict– Sean Connery and the League of Extraordinarily Terrible Decisions

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it does offer an insight into how different (and much richer Sean Connery would have been) if fortune had favored the brave. Use the comment section below to let me know whether you think the right choices were made and if Sean Connery needs to fire his agent.