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Results 1 - 25 of 3,043
1. Could We See Familiar Harry Potter Characters in Fantastic Beasts?

Since the release of the newest, full-length Fantastic Beasts trailer, the Fantastic Beasts cast and Warner Bros have started their journey on the promotional trail for the film. Recently, WB attended CinemaCon in Las Vegas, accompanied by actors and actresses from the various films they presented and intend on releasing in the next year or two.

Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Alyson Sudol, and Dan Fogler took the stage to present Fantastic Beasts with WB. Though the event is closed, and the behind the scenes material shown has not been released to the public, red carpet interviews with the cast are giving fans a little more insight. This recent interview of Dan Fogler (towards the end of the video) is more intriguing than most:

 

Dan Fogler seems to be implying that we will see (and possibly meet?) the younger versions of familiar Harry Potter characters. As most know, Fogler can be a bit of a jokester. Is he messing with Harry Potter fans or is his excitement real? His co-star, Alyson Sudol seem reassured that the world of Fantastic Beasts was pretty independent of that of Harry’s time at Hogwarts. But Dan Fogler’s excitement just seems too real! He pleads the 5th! Why?

We can’t wait to find out. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters November 18, 2016.

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2. ‘Criminal’ Featuring Gary Oldman in Theaters Now

Gary Oldman (Harry Potter‘s Sirius Black) features in the new action film, Criminal, showing in theaters now.

Criminal is a spy thriller about a mission gone wrong.  Oldman plays a CIA bureau chief named Quaker Wells.  When one of his agents dies trying to reach a young hacker (Michael Pitt), Wells finds a neurosurgeon (Tommy Lee Jones) who is experimenting with memory transfer to input the memories from his agent into the mind of a death-row inmate named Jericho (Kevin Costner).  Jericho must then find where the hacker is hidden before the bad guys do.

Criminal opened April 15, and reviews have been mixed. Of Oldman’s performance, The Daily Mail Online says that he “looks like he’s having fun as the CIA chief trying to prevent mass destruction.”  But The Hollywood Reporter says that “from such a good actor, this performance seems entirely misdirected and inauthentic for a figure requiring maximum shrewdness and smarts.”

The consensus is that while the action scenes can be exciting, the stellar cast, with Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot filling out the lead roles, are not used to their potential.  Reviewers agreed that the main actors (Oldman, Costner, and Jones) were obviously having a great time on the film, probably enjoying their reunion after working together on JFK (1991).

If Gary Oldman wants to make a movie just to get paid to hang out with his friends, then we won’t fault him for it.

To read the full reviews, see the Mail Online and The Hollywood Reporter.

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3. More on ‘Fantastic Beasts’ at CinemaCon: Interviews with Eddie Redmayne, Dan Fogler and Colin Farrell!

The Warner Bros. presentation on April 12th at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas gave a ‘big picture’ on what to expect in Summer 2016, and of course the biggest thing attendees wanted to hear about was Fantastic Beasts. Therefore, it was only fitting that Eddie Redmayne, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol and Colin Farrell hit the stage to rile up the crowd and promote the film:

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More images from the event can be found over at Getty Images here.

Access Hollywood caught up with Eddie Redmayne at the event, for a short interview about the Potter franchise. He ‘opens up’ about whether or not he was a fan of the original series (obviously he was!). Catch the video below:

Associated Press released a similar interview of Eddie and Collin Farrell talking about the magic of the series, and Colin raves about having a personalised wand.

Eddie’s so engrossed in the series already – we can’t wait to see how he does as Newt (judging by Pottermore’s interview, we’d say he’s definitely doing great).

Collider also met with Dan Fogler, to talk about his role as muggle (no-maj) ‘Jacob’ in Fanatic Beasts. They graced us with a video of their interview (below), and even gave us a handy time index:

    • 0:17 – What it means to him to be part of the Harry Potter universe.
    • 1:15 – His “surreal” and lengthy audition process.
    • 3:36 – The experience of making the movie.
    • 4:22 – How the story will surprise people.

Comic Vine also released a video with Dan (below), on finding out about the role and more on his character’s 1920’s New York / Brooklyn accent:

You can read a transcript of the interview over at Snitch Seeker here.

Just incase you haven’t seen the trailer already (or want to see it again) catch our frame-by-frame analysis here, and the trailer itself below:

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4. Happy Birthday Emma^2!

It is impossible to celebrate too much, and the Harry Potter world is celebrating two of its most brilliant actresses today.

Making headlines and trending on many social media, many recognize as Harry Potter’s brilliant real-life Hermione celebrates her 26th birthday! Emma Watson, who is quite an accomplished young woman, was born in Paris, France and raised in Oxfordshire, England. She was eleven years old when she landed the role of Hermione Granger.

After spending ten years on the Harry Potter series, Emma has gone on to work on a variety of films as well as lead the modern wave of feminism in her role as Women’s Ambassador to the United Nations.

While on the Harry Potter set, Emma Watson worked with Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney). Emma Thompson is an incredibly talented actress, who has been recognized for her role in many films. Having been nominated over twenty-five times for acting awards, Emma Thompson has two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, two BAFTAs, and an Emmy under her belt. Emma Thompson turns 57 today.

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5. Super-short, No-spoiler review: CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

civil war review stillLast night, we took in one of the public fan-screenings of Captain America: Civil War that were held in select cities. While we expect to have a more thorough, thoughtful review closer to release, here are some general, non-specific thoughts: Everywhere that Age of Ultron failed, Captain America: Civil War succeeds. Second entries for Marvel […]

6 Comments on Super-short, No-spoiler review: CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, last added: 4/18/2016
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6. Helen Mirren: Alan Rickman “Would Be Proud” of Last Movie

Earlier this week, Alan Rickman’s last film, Eye in the Sky, had its UK red carpet premiere. While attending the event, Dame Helen Mirren talked about her beloved co-star, who unexpectedly past away earlier this year from a short battle with late stages of pancreatic cancer.

Dame Mirren said that Alan Rickman would be proud of his last film, and that the film was a “lovely” way to say good bye to the director and actor we love so much. The actress spoke to Female First on the red carpet, saying:

“It’s incredibly sad to have to say goodbye to Alan, not least because he was far too young and he had such great work in him, ahead of him, as you’ll see from his performance in this film, which is fantastic.

“The great thing is, it’s very much Alan on the screen. It’s not him playing one of his amazing characters – it’s Alan as we all knew him and remembered him – so it’s a lovely way to say goodbye.”

“The Alan we see on the screen in ‘Eye In The Sky’ is Alan. It’s Alan as I remember him. His wit, his humanity, his intelligence.

“I think Alan would have been really, really proud for this to have been his last film.”

“Alan was a genius character actor and he could play all these amazing baddies.”

“I’m still in a state of shock about it. I looked at a picture of him just today and thought, ‘I can’t believe that I’m not going to see him again.'”

More of Female First’s reports can be read here and here.

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7. Podcorn Podcast 4/13/16 — The Dawn of Sadfleck

Batman-v-SupermanthinThe co-writers of MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR and creative team behind ROCKET GIRL weigh in on the first big blockbuster of the year!

0 Comments on Podcorn Podcast 4/13/16 — The Dawn of Sadfleck as of 1/1/1900
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8. Spider-Man Solo Film Gets a Title…Baby He’s Coming Home

SpidermanHomecoming"Hey guys."

6 Comments on Spider-Man Solo Film Gets a Title…Baby He’s Coming Home, last added: 4/15/2016
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9. Here’s the teaser trailer for DOCTOR STRANGE in all its twisty, magical glory

doctor-strange (2)Debuting on Jimmy Kimmel Live, as all these superhero movie trailers tend to be doing lately, here’s the first teaser trailer for Doctor Strange. Get a gander a Benedict Cumberbatch as the Sorcerer Supreme and Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, along with a few appearances from Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mads Mikkelsen. It looks to […]

1 Comments on Here’s the teaser trailer for DOCTOR STRANGE in all its twisty, magical glory, last added: 4/14/2016
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10. It’s official! Ben Affleck will be the first director/star of a Batman film

batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice-ben-affleckTo dig into Heidi’s interests a little bit, they have these things in baseball called Player-managers, where one of the stars of the team ends up running the dugout at the same time. Guys like Ty Cobb, Joe Torre, and Frank Robinson had all held this all too uncommon role. I’m not sure why that […]

0 Comments on It’s official! Ben Affleck will be the first director/star of a Batman film as of 4/13/2016 3:53:00 AM
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11. Marvel makes some moves: adds Tessa Thompson to RAGNAROK, bumps INHUMANS

uncanny.inhumansMarvel is in full Civil War promotional mode right now (if you’re on twitter, pick #teamcap or #teamironman to get a nice video response from one of the cast!), but that hasn’t stopped them from making a little news regarding their future films. First up, thanks to the acquisition of Spider-Man and all of the […]

1 Comments on Marvel makes some moves: adds Tessa Thompson to RAGNAROK, bumps INHUMANS, last added: 4/11/2016
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12. Suicide Squad debuts new trailer and Harley Quinn has a hammer in it

This is everything. I’ve never read a Suicide Squad comic that I can recall (although I love Copra) but I will see this film. Whether they had to do any reshoots to add “fun” and “laughs” or not, this is a lively fun, looking trailer. I esp. love the violently colored as campaign for the […]

1 Comments on Suicide Squad debuts new trailer and Harley Quinn has a hammer in it, last added: 4/11/2016
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13. Frame-by-Frame Analysis of the New “Fantastic Beast” Trailer

Yesterday, Eddie Redmayne gave us the biggest present at the MTV Movie Awards. Who was not jumping and squealing with excitement and joy after watching the first full-length theatrical trailer of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? All of us at Leaky were gushing, and we could hardly contain ourselves.

After reviewing everything we know about the Fantastic Beast films so far a couple months ago with the release of a Fantastic Beast’s clip (see the Leaky analysis article here), we see the new trailer reveals so much more information! It’s a bucket full of whole new content–more than just 16 new facts, sorry Pottermore. (See Pottermore’s article on 16 new things we learned about the trailer here.)

The music was magical. Our skin tingled hearing the familiar Hedwig’s theme, and familiar Harry Potter scores with a new twist.

The trailer (undoubtedly, as will the movie) opens with the familiar Warner Bros logo, freshly polished since it’s rusty Harry Potter days. From this first frame, we can already tell we are in for one magical ride. (Click to enlarge all photos)

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We first see Eddie Redmayne as New Scamander, sitting alone on a bench in New York city. He hasn’t found his core group of friends yet, don’t worry Newt, we’ve all been there. Over this frame, Colin Farrell, as Graves, narrates his opinion of Newt.

Graves’s voice is rather scary, almost sinister, as if he’s interrogating Mr. Scamander (we do know that Newt is in some deep, serious trouble with MACUSA, and Graves is chief of Wizarding Police, aka Head Auror). “You’re an interesting man, Mr. Scamander,” Graves says. We agree.

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As Newt enters 1920’s America, aboard a ship like the thousands of immigrants coming in from Europe at the time, we get our first beautiful glimpse at the Wizarding World’s 1920’s New York skyline.

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Graves makes a jab at Newt and his troublesome suite case, saying “You’re an interesting man, Mr. Scamander. Just like your suit case. I think there’s much more to you than meets the eye.” And with that, ladies and gentlemen, we get our first look at a beast as it peaks out of Newt’s case…peaking out? That’s slightly problematic…though, those cute little beasty hands don’t look threatening at all!

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Then things get real serious, real quick. Newt was kicked out of Hogwarts for endangering a human life with a beast…sounds like he and Hagrid would get along very well.

While Graves’s tells us this grievous fact, we see that Newt probably did well in Herbology during his time at Hogwarts. Not unlike his fellow Hufflepuff, Professor Sprout. Newt is seen brewing up something magical.

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Newt is at a table overflowing with plants, and what looks like a large slab of meat. He isn’t being very secretive about what he’s doing, as Jacob is sitting off in the corner. This means, at this point, No-Maj Jacob has already been introduced to the world of magic.

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Ooohhh, sparkly! What’cha making there, Newt? A remedy?

 

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If endangering a human life with a beast didn’t sound bad enough in Graves’s deep voice, add in the dramatic orchestra music (we cannot wait for this sound track) and rushing down a dark 1920’s street, with cars headed straight at you. Look at that outdoor set! It’s fantastic.

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Newt, in this next frame, we see the way you’re looking at Tina. We agree–your future wife is very beautiful, and she cleans up well. Tina Goldstein looks like she’s ready for a good night out on the town…except wait. It’s the 1920’s and Prohibition is roaring as strong as the speak easies…that guy over her right shoulder looks like he’s had a rough night.

 

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We quickly change from Newt staring lovingly at his gorgeous future wife, to a good look at a 1920s bank. Something bad happens at this bank–and it’s not a market crash, Black Thursday is still a few years away. While Newt is in line, he suddenly feels the need to glance over his shoulder. Something magical and fishy is happening…

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Honestly, the glance over the shoulder is a look of pure terror.

 

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During this scene, and while we get a good look at the 1920’s American immigration system (which is still a hot topic in American politics today), Graves tells us that one of Newt’s professors fought for him to stay at Hogwarts. Albus Dumbledore.

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In the 1920’s Albus Dumbledore would be a strapping young wizard at the age of 40. However, he would already be well-known around the world for his brilliance. At this time, Dumbledore would be a Transfiguation professor. He would hold this teaching position for at least another 17 years. (It is 1926, the same year Tom Riddle was born, and Dumbledore would still be teaching Transfiguration during young Voldy’s school days).

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While Newt steps hesitantly towards the United States’ Customs (don’t worry, we understand your hesitation), Graves narrates, “What makes Albus Dumbledore so found of you, Mr. Scamander?” We have to admit, being recognized by a genius like Dumbledore is pretty impressive. But look at that face! Eddie, Newt, what’s not to love?

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As Newt gets questioned by a customs officer, we learn some pretty valuable information. It is Newt’s first trip to America! …And then we hear his case click open. That’s not good.

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Newt calmly (a little too calmly) looks down and says oops, he must get that fixed. Oops? OOPS!? That’s a big oops. Newt, we can see how some little beasties escaped, and we can definitely see how you found yourself in a bucket load of trouble!

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As the USA customs officer continues to ask Eddie a few questions, Eddie sneakily changes his case to Muggle Mode. That’s awesome. Don’t deny it all of us have found ourselves in a situation where we could use a Muggle mode on our bags.

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Let’s see…Newt has a Hufflepuff scarf (awe!), a city map of New York, another map with places circled in red, a very nice camera, and some muggle/no-maj clothing.

 

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The USA customs officer asks Eddie if he has anything edible in his case, or any live stock (Note: though this process shares some similarities with current American customs, the process is pretty much nothing like this). Eddie looks in the custom officer’s face and lies.

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That, above, is the “you hesitated” face. Newt, you hesitated. We know what’s really in that case. Though, it’s not the sort of live stock the officer had in mind. But “Welcome to New York”! Let the chaos begin!

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As soon as Newt is allowed into New York, the trailer moves into an action frame. With dramatic orchestra music, we see a group of uniformly dressed men running through MACUSA and down the stairs. Dispatch the aurors! Trouble is here!

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Take a minute to take in the MACUSA atrium, as we get another look at it. There is a 1920’s lift next to the stairs (how considerate), and a large central clock. Along the far end of the room, we see employees working at their desks. A white marble statue, possibly of a former MACUSA President, stands above their desks. A rather large banner of the current MACUSA Madam President, Seraphina, hangs above them as well–looking down and watching over everyone in the MACUSA atrium…

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The Harry Potter films were incredibly detailed, and it looks like the Fantastic Beasts films will not disappoint in this area. Newspapers often give away many clues about what is going on in the wizarding world. This one second frame is no different (click to enlarge the pictures).

The New York G– is what the picture shows. It must be the wizarding version of the New York Gazette, which was New York’s first newspaper in real life. If you feel like a brief History of Muggles lesson, see more information on the New York Gazette here.

The Second Salemers are at large, as one headline on the back page reads, “International Wizard Hunt Intensifies.” On the same page, we see there are some wizards that might be contributing to this distress. Alberto Macellarus is wanted for 3,500 Dragots (American Wizarding money), for counterfeiting wands and murder–he is “bearing a wand and extremely dangerous!” Newt and his troubles is a jar of butterflies compared to that guy.

On the same page, an article tracks the “Threat Levels of Magical Exposure” from 1913-1926, and “Federal Bureau of Covert Vigilance and No-Maj obliviation” records a record number of penalties issued.

The biggest headline is “Magical Disturbances Risk Wizarding Exposure,” with a supporting article stating that President Seraphina Picquery is to “address fearful American Wizarding Community.”

As we learned in the History of North America stories from J.K. Rowling, MACUSA has a much more strict statute of secrecy than the rest of the world. They try to completely isolate themselves from the No-Maj world.

On a lighter note, the newspaper also reports “Sports,” “Wizbiz,” “Celestial Updates” and a “Wizards Checkers” newspaper puzzle game like the New York Time’s crossword puzzle.

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We then see Newt and Tina, walking somberly up the steps of MACUSA that aurors were rushing down a few frames before. With all of the political no-maj unrest, and Newt’s ultimate rule breaking habits, we can see why a visit to MACUSA might be no laughing matter. They are probably not there for a cup of tea and biscuits.

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In the next few frames, we return to what looks like a secret night out. In this frame, Newt looks more weary of magic than Jacob–Jacob is so used to it by now. Wizards, of course, don’t have to abide by no-maj prohibition. As J.K. Rowling wrote in her North American history of magic lessons:

“Unlike the No-Maj community of the 1920s, MACUSA allowed witches and wizards to drink alcohol. Many critics of this policy pointed out that it made witches and wizards rather conspicuous in cities full of sober No-Majs. However, in one of her rare light-hearted moments, President Picquery was heard to say that being a wizard in America was already hard enough. ‘The Gigglewater’, as she famously told her Chief of Staff, ‘is non-negotiable.’”

It looks like a pretty dark and sketchy place to be…however, Queenie looks like she’s enjoying their little adventure.

 

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Let’s take a break and just admire this outdoor set for a couple frames:

 

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Ahhhh…okay moving on.

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As we know from Liverpool set reports last November, a rally of Second Salemers makes quite the ruckus outside a no-maj American political event. They apparently support a presidential candidate named “Shaw.”

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It’s not hard to see why…his political dinner looks a wee bit fascist (just a little). He doesn’t look like he’d be too friendly with the MACUSA or the United States wizarding community.

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It looks like someone with a super strong Diluminator interrupted Shaw’s event and started taking out the lights and chandeliers.  That can’t be good. That’s going to hurt the American wizarding community.

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Definitely not a Diluminator. Whatever blew out the lights is throwing people across rooms a few frames later. This really can’t be good.

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Hello, Graves. Try smiling sometime; you’re wearing this wonderful coat. The coat is totally worth all the trouble going down in your world right now.

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Remember back when a young girl named Faith was cast as a character named Modesty? If you don’t, here is a refresher. As the Harry Potter Wikia reminds us, “she was a haunted young girl with inner strength and stillness. She also possessed an ability to see deep into people and understand them. Modesty met Newton Scamander during his travels in New York, at which time she was between the age of eight and twelve.

That’s her.

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Meanwhile, Newt and Tina find themselves in a sticky situation in what looks like underground tunnels. They are hiding and trying to run from those scary looking dudes on the right.

Then Newt has this brilliant idea.

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He’s just going to through this blue and green ball of beast at their pursuers. Honestly, where did you pull that from, Newt? Your pocket?

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It’s half-butterfly half-bat with a skull for a face. It’s a “Swooping Evil.” At least that is what the coding and title tag on the Pottermore official picture (picture number 14) calls it. It is not in the little Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them textbook written by J.K. Rowling. This must be a new invention…sadly, that means we don’t know what it does. It’s name suggests something sinister, and it’s face doesn’t look nice.

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Seriously, it doesn’t. It’s the type of face that haunts you in your dreams.

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That’s the face you’d make after seeing a Swooping Evil in your dreams.

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When an auror bursts into a speak easy by apparating, it must be a magical speak easy or that would be breaking a lot of laws. He’s definitely not there to confiscate that alcohol…so maybe he’s after Newt and the gang?

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Graves is definitely after them, and he’s giving it his all in this scene. The situation must be dire if he, head auror, is casting that much magic in a no-maj subway.

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A second fantastic beast! Hello, little guy! You are much cuter than that Swooping Evil thing. It looks like it was your tiny claws peaking out of the suitcase in the beginning frames. Ladies and gentlemen, meet a Niffler.

In the Fantastic Beasts textbook by J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter author describes a Niffler as such:

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A little trouble maker, but an adorable one. Looks like he’s got a hold on Queenie’s purse.

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Can we laugh at the 1920’s NYPD? They have no idea what they’re up against. I highly doubt those guns are a match for magic.

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Queenie definitely looks suspicious. And it looks like she’s coming out of the MACUSA elevator…hmmm.

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Mean while, Tina and Newt, back in the underground tunnels, are making a run for it.

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I don’t think that Swooping Evil creature did its job…

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…it’s hard to tell if they make it out of this situation.

Newt resorts to jumping off a building and apparating before he can fall. Don’t try this at home unless you are a very skilled wizard. Even then, we don’t recommend it.

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Graves starts narrating again. We learn that “no human can do what this thing is capable of.” Sounds like something really nasty escaped from Newt’s case, because President Seriphina and Graves do not look happy. They’re stylish, but not happy.

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The Fantastic Beast logo flies onto the screen, but the trailer doesn’t end there. The Harry Potter music, though! Hedwig’s theme just sinks right down to the soul!

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In fact, the funniest, most adorable Newt-Jacob bro moment is saved for last. We now understand what David Heyman meant when he said, “[Beasts] is very funny, it’s got a big heart, and there’s darkness too.” 

Newt’s face as he struggles to get to sleep. That moment, when you’re lying in bed and you have an idea that just pushes you out of bed and you startle your roommate, who is drinking some bed-time hot coco and reading “Cassandra and Her Cat Gustavus.”

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Of course, that brilliant idea that pushes Newt out of bed is stepping into his case. Don’t think Hermione ever went inside her beaded bag…is that a good idea?

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Of course, good idea or not, then Newt whistles to his no-maj roomie and motions him to follow. Jacob’s “who, me?” look is priceless. Maybe he’d rather stay in bed with that cup of hot coco and read about Cassandra and her cat Gustav…eh, who are we kidding?

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The entire Fantastic Beasts trailer [HD] can be seen below. We’ve watched it a million times, and we’re sure you have too–never enough! Let us know if we missed anything. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters November 18.

 

 

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14. New “Fantastic Beasts” Trailer to be released at MTV Movie Awards

Last week, Leaky reported that Eddie Redmayne will be appearing at the MTV Movie Awards to make a special Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them announcement that included a clip showing new material. Warner Bros has confirmed that the announcement will include a world premiere of a new theatrical teaser trailer for the film. Perhaps the movie’s first full-length trailer.

Stay tuned to Leaky tonight when the trailer is released. More news to come. The MTV Movie Awards are at 9:00 PM EST tonight.

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15. Wondercon’16: IDW Plans to Publish a Plethora of Books and Make a Mint on Movies

Left to right: Dirk Wood, Vice Present of Marketing,  David Hedgecock, Managing Editor, Scott Dunbier, Special Projects Editor, and Greg Goldstein, President and COOBy Nicholas Eskey San Diego publisher IDW have grown steadily beyond their beginnings of comics. Though comics are still their main focus, the company in recent years has expanded beyond that and into other forms of entertainment. At this year’s Wondercon, IDW Entertainment represented by Dirk Wood, Vice Present of Marketing,  David Hedgecock, Managing Editor, […]

1 Comments on Wondercon’16: IDW Plans to Publish a Plethora of Books and Make a Mint on Movies, last added: 4/10/2016
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16. Exclusive Clip of Emma Watson in ‘Colonia’!

Vulture have released an exclusive clip from Academy Award-winner Florian Gallenberger’s Colonia starring Emma Watson.

The clip shows Lena (Emma Watson) and Daniel (Daniel Brühl) get caught up in a Chilean military coup, leading to the events of the film, with Daniel – and his camera – receiving a brutal beating.

Yahoo wrote a short summary of the film, saying:

It’s been nearly five years since Emma Watson last appeared as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series, and the 25-year-old actress continues move far beyond the magical adventures of her childhood. In her new movie Colonia, Watson plays Lena, a young woman desperate to find her missing boyfriend Daniel (Daniel Brühl) amid the political tumult of early 1970s Chile.

Based loosely on true events, the film takes place just after the violent 1973 military coup that put General Augusto Pinochet into power in Chile. A real-life settlement, Colonia Dignidad was an ominous, pseudo-religious community that was later revealed to have Nazi ties, to employ torture, and to engage in an array of other criminal activities, including child abuse.

See the exclusive clip from Vulture below, read more about the film here and watch the trailer below!

Colonia will be hitting the U.S. on April 15, in cinemas and Video on Demand.

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17. The first teaser for ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY brings you back to the original trilogy

Star Wars Rogue OneRogue One: A Star Wars Story, directed by Gareth Edwards, is the first of the Star Wars spin-off stories that will be released between “proper” episodes of the series. This first one, as you surely already know, centers on the Rebel attempt to steal the plans for the Death Star. Felicity Jones looks to be […]

3 Comments on The first teaser for ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY brings you back to the original trilogy, last added: 4/9/2016
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18. Round Up: Dan’s New Movies

Daniel Radcliffe has been keeping pretty busy in the film industry. He has released quite a few films since wrapping up Harry Potter–some of them more…odd…than others. Dan’s two latest movies cap the ends of that spectrum.

The Now You See Me sequel follows it’s successful predecessor in the main stream, generally well-accepted action-thriller genre. Dan’s role in the independent film, Swiss Army Man, which had many walk-outs at it’s Sundance Film Fest premiere, draws an entirely different crowds–a smaller, more select group of people who may appreciate the film.

Last week a new trailer and movie poster surfaced for Swiss Army Man. Around the same time, Entertainment Weekly to talked to the makers of Now You See Me 2 about Dan’s squib-worthy magic in the film.

swiss_army_man-poster-630-thumb-630xauto-60540

 

E.W. calls Dan’s character in Now You See Me 2 the “anti-Harry Potter.” The creators agree. Though, they were thoroughly impressed with Dan’s work ethic–which must have rubbed off on him from all those years of working with Emma Watson as Hermione. Entertainment Weekly reports:

 

Radcliffe certainly seems to be having some fun with his public persona. His character, a mysterious tech-mogul named Walter, wears his lackluster magic talent as a core feature on his personality.

“Walter definitely plays the anti-magician, who maybe used to love magic, but he’s horrible at it,” director Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) says. “He’s been burnt by it, so he’s turned to science. Science is the real magic to him. He basically takes these Horsemen [Eisenberg, Harrelson, Franco, Caplan] on a ride. He now owns the Horsemen in a way that they have to escape his magic trick.”

Though his card work might be laughable, when it came time to show up to set as Walter, Radcliffe wasn’t messing around. Typically a table read is a very literally named rehearsal — the cast sits around a table and reads the script aloud — but Radcliffe showed up with his lines already memorized.

“That’s how precise and how far ahead he works on all of this stuff,” Chu says. “He owned it.”

 

To read the entire article, please visit EW here.

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19. David Yates talks to EW about his “Legend of Tarzan”

This week, as a part of Entertainment Weekly’s 20 scoops on summer movies in 20 days, David Yates sat down with the magazine for an interview about his new film, The Legend of Tarzan. The Harry Potter director talks of why he chose his leading lady, Margot Robbie.

Margot Robbie’s Jane is not going to be a damsel in distress. No, she will be strong and fiesty. E.W. reports:

“If you enter the jungle with anybody, you want to go with Margot Robbie,” Yates says. “She’s practical, and she’s smart, and she’s resourceful. And she can take care of herself.”

In fact, Skarsgård got a firsthand look at that strength in one particularly steamy scene.

“They’re doing this love scene together, and I said [to Robbie], ‘Just slap Alex while you’re making love, just kind of give him a punch,’” Yates explains. “It was sort of an earthy, sensual moment of her enjoying sex with Alex, and the only bruise he picked up during the entire shoot was probably that punch from Margot. Which says a lot about her feistiness.”

 

The original article can be read here, on E.W. Yates is one of several Harry Potter alums on board with the film. The Legend of Tarzan hits theaters this summer, July 1.

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20. Report: SUICIDE SQUAD undergoing reshoots to lighten tone

SuicideSquadPosterThe most recent trailer for Suicide Squad, scored to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” was very well-received, and probably the one piece of marketing for Warner Bros’ recent deluge of filmmaking that’s ended up more or less universally praised. But, as it turns out, according to Devin Faraci at Birth.Movies.Death., that trailer wasn’t terribly indicative of the […]

11 Comments on Report: SUICIDE SQUAD undergoing reshoots to lighten tone, last added: 4/3/2016
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21. April -- Alternate Reality, Books, Kids, Movies, and Dogs

 

      HogwartsJimKay
    

Alternate Reality

Harry Potter isn’t real? Oh no! Wait, wait, what do you mean by real? Is this video blog real? Am I real if you can see me and hear me, but only through the internet? Are you real if I can read your comment but I don’t know who you are or what your name is or where you’re from or what you look like or how old you are? I know all of those things about Harry Potter. Maybe Harry Potter’s real and you’re not.” 
― 
John Green

The illustration of Hogwarts is by Jim Kay

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Opening the Doors to Wonder

Töölö Buds2015-april 097Wonder comes in many forms.

Harry Potter swept the reading world and opened the doors to a greater audience. The success of the Harry Potter series renewed broad-based respect for fairy tales. 

From the first book and beyond, J.K. Rowling created an alternate world that readers could relate to. People young and old are drawn in to these robust stories and their engaging, fully developed characters. As with the classic stories from the past, the characters, imaginative twists and turns of the stories, and the fully realized details, combined to enable readers to believe in the magic of an alternate reality. The seven Harry Potter books created an enormous worldwide audience. And provided the substance for wonderful films. 

Adults have also become fans of the books and movies, creating a record breaking "crossover" market. And the phenomenon continues to grow...

Click the photo for spring wonder.

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Contact With The Lives Of Others

HarryHermioneHogwartsOminous"Rowling's books, by arousing curiousity and establishing contact with the lives of others, even if they exist solely within the confines of a literary work, enable children to develop capacities that readily translate into real-life experience. JkRowling never shies away from the great existential mysteries: death and loss, cruelty and compassion, desire and depression. Harry is anything but sheltered from the evils of Voldermort...he is destined for greatness even though he also posseses the weaknesses, failings, and vulnerabilities of all humans."

Maria Tatar -- Enchanted Hunters -- The Power of Stories in Childhood

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Harry Began On A Train

HarryPotterPhilosophersStoneBarryMoserJK Rowling: I was going on a train from Manchester to London and I was looking out of the window at some cows, I believe and I just thought: "Boy doesn't know he's a wizard - goes off to wizard school." I have no idea where it came from. I think the idea was floating along the train and looking for someone and my mind was vacant enough so it decided to zoom in there.

Stephen Fry: And you played with the idea in your head…

JK Rowling: Exactly! From that moment I thought: "Well why doesn't he realise he's a wizard?" It was as though the story was just there for me to discover and I thought: "Well his parents are dead and he needs to find out they're wizards" and on we went from there. 

From a Stephen Fry Interview with JK Rowling

The illustration, from the Philosophers Stone, is by Jim Kay.

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Hermione...an empowered young woman

HermioneSoulful"Throughout the Harry Potter Tales, Hermione emerges as the beneficiary of three centuries of girls' book identity. At times the plucky youth, at times the serious student, at times the foolish lover, at times the tomboy, at times the blossoming maiden -- taken together, all these aspects of her personality make her the heir to everyone from Jenny Peace in Sarah Fielding's The Governess, to Jo in Alcott's Little Women, to Alice in Carroll's Wonderland, to all the girl guides, or "new Women" or adventuresome or studious females who fill the range of popular writing well into the twentieth century."

From Seth Lerer writing about Theaters of Girlhood, Domesticity, Desire, and Performance in Female Fiction in his book, Children's Literature, A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter 

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“I wrote a strong female character with brains”

- J.K. Rowling commenting on Hermione in a video conversation with Daniel Radcliff

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Finding the Right Wand -- an adventure in an alternate reality

First, you go to Diagon Alley where Ollivanders is located..."Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C...

A single wand lays on a faded purple cushion in the dusty window."

You will be helped by Mr. Ollivander, a very old man, who remembers every wand he has sold -- and to whom he sold it.

NewHarryPYou will be measured in many ways by a tape measure that works on its on while Mr Ollvander explains that, "Every Ollvander wand has a core of powerful magical substance...We use unicorn hairs, phoenix tale feathers, and the heartstrings of dragons. No two Ollivander wands are the same..."

You may have to try many wands before you have the right one.

It seems you don't choose the wand, the wand chooses you...

The fully imagined detail in the Harry Potter books plays a major role in their appeal. The fascinating story of Harry finding the right magic wand takes place in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone when Hagrid takes Harry shopping on Diagon Alley, and introduces him to the the world of wizards.

The illustration of Harry and Hagrid in Diagon Alley is by Jim Kay

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An Alternate Universe

 

Forbidden ForestCentaurs..."J. K. Rowling has created a world as fully detailed as L. Frank Baum’s Oz or J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, a world so minutely imagined in terms of its history and rituals and rules that it qualifies as an alternate universe, which may be one reason the “Potter” books have spawned such a passionate following and such fervent exegesis...."

From the book review by Michiko Kakatani  of Harry potter and the Deathly Hallows in the New York Times

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Stories That Opened My Mind

HarryOwl"There are hundreds upon hundreds of reasons for one to fall in love with the world and characters J.K. Rowling created in the Harry Potter series, the aforementioned being among them. For me, these are the stories that opened my mind to the wonderful world of books, novels and novellas, making them very near and dear to my heart..."

From the BookNerd on her Wonderful World of Writing blog

 
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An Older Harry Potter 

...Harry is called back into active duty when evil powers return in force... a new book and a play (opening in London) based on the book - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child -- are on their way, arriving in late July. They are based on a story  by J.K. Rowling. Here are two links for more information: Pottermore and NPR

FantasticBeastsWhereToFindThemCoverWizardry Before Harry

The Wizard World in 1920's USA is the setting for a new movie,starring Eddie Redmayne... 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in the UK in November 2016... The book about Fantastic Beasts was used as part of the curriculum for young wizards in the Hogwarts classroom. There will be two sequels...all written by J.K. Rowling. 


Support For Children
 
LogoBetterJ.K. Rowling spends time and money on helping people...In 2004 she founded Lumos...'No child should be denied a family life because they are poor, disabled or from an ethnic minority. Lumos works to support the 8 million children in institutions worldwide to regain their right to a family life and to end the institutionalisation of children."

Among the many other charities she supports are:Book Aid InternationalCatie Hoch FoundationChildren with AIDSDyslexia ActionGingerbread...

JKRowling2Who Is J.K. Rowling ?

For the real J.K. Rowling, or as close as we will probably get, I suggest the Oprah Interview... Engaging, interesting,  and with some excellent documentary scenes woven in...Also, her candid, heartfelt, Harvard speech.


Alternate Reality 

"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  

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Nyt-logo

The N.R.A. Reimagines Classic Fairy Tales, With Guns

Liam Stack wrote this disturbing article. Here are excerpts...

"The world of make-believe can be a scary place, but never fear: Thanks to a series of reimagined fairy tales published online by the National Rifle Association, classic characters like Hansel and Gretel are now packing heat.

FairytaleGunsNYTThe group has published two of the updated tales on its N.R.A. Family website in recent months, entitled Little Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun) and Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns). The stories have outraged advocates of gun control, but their author, Amelia Hamilton, a conservative blogger, has called them lessons in gun safety...

In the N.R.A. version, Little Red Riding Hood sets off through the forest to visit her grandmother, just like in the original. But the Big Bad Wolf did not scare her this time, because she “felt the reassuring weight of the rifle on her shoulder.”

When the wolf approached her, “she shifted her rifle so that it was in her hands and at the ready.” He fled in fear...

Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, agreed, calling the stories “a disgusting, morally depraved marketing campaign.” He said in a statement that the stories were in poor taste in part because nearly 50 children and teenagers are shot each day in the United States, and suicide by gun is a leading cause of death among children over the age of 9..." 

Here is a link to read all of this disturbing article:FairyTaleGuns

The photo of a boy with a Barrett rifle at a meeting of the National Rifle Association in St. Louis in 2012. is by Daniel Acker for The New York Times

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Syrian_refugeesJordan

 Save The Children

Save the Children works in 120 countries, including the United States, and has helped more than 166 million children — including more than 55 million children directly. Here are excerpts from the story of one child...

Omar said, 'We have to be here very early in the morning because the tankers arrive early, so I get here at six in the morning and leave late at night so I that I have time to collect as much fuel as possible'..."

Omar was a good student and loved school; he dreamed of becoming an architect. His life is now about survival.

Here is a link to read all of Omar's painful story: Omar

Top photo, courtesy IRF; bottom photo, courtesy Save The Children.

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Hobbit2BookCoverImportance of Children's Books for Most Adults

"But children's books are extremely important. Most adults don't read many books and if they do it will probably be some form of popular fiction. So a children's classic may be the last, or in some cases, the only, piece of serious literature they have read. As such these books are very influential and so I think it is our responsibility to consider them as seriously and carefully as any other great literature." 

From a Guardian article by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Alison Lurie ,  professor emeritus of literature and writing at Cornell University, and author and editor of a multitude of children's books.

 
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HarveyTheDog
A Classic Video....Harvey the Dog

 

 

 


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The Planet Of The Dogs....An Alternate Reality

Here are excerpts from Chapter One of the book...the story of how dogs came down to Planet Earth to help people...

"Far out in the sky, on the other side of the sun, is the Planet of the Dogs. Dogs have always lived there in peace and happiness.

PlanetOfTheDogs-frontcover-jpg-388x600There are country dogs and city dogs. They live in places like Shepherd Hills, Poodletown, Retriever Meadows, Muttville, Hound Dog Hamlet, Biscuit Town, and Shaggy Corners... 

Dogs talk to each other in many ways. They woof, bark, and howl. They use body movement, face licking, smiling, and tail wagging. Dogs can hear what other dogs are thinking. And they always tell the truth...Dogs are very good at sleeping, taking naps, and waiting for someone they love...

Dogs have no worries on their planet because there are no dangers there. There are no bad dogs, no hungry animals, and no mean people. There is plenty to eat, lots of time to play, and all kinds of schools for the puppies to learn interesting things about their planet and each other. It’s a wonderful place to live.

Here is a link to read Sample Chapters of the Planet Of The Dogs series. 

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 This is the world of Yelodoggie, created by author and dog advocate, C.A. Wulff.

  All dogs, deep in their heart of hearts, are yellow. Because yellow is the color of light and joy and happiness, and these attributes are the true essence of dogs. Here is a link to Wulff's Etsy shop where you can see more of these delightful original watercolor paintings and prints celebrating dogs. They make a wonderful gift...

      YeloDoggieStrip

  

 

 

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Alternate Realities from Finland

Leena Krohn, a highly regarded writer in Europe, wrote one of my favorite books, Tainaron. I was gratified to see that LeenakrohnMikaelBookJoshua Rothman, in the New Yorker, wrote that her newly published book of collected fiction was among  " The Books We Loved in 2015". Here is an excerpt:  

"I also found myself hypnotized by Leena Krohn, a Finnish writer whose collected stories and novels, rendered into English by many different translators, have just been published as a single volume, Leena Krohn: Collected Fiction.” Broadly speaking, Krohn is a speculative writer; one of the novels in the collection, for example, consists of thirty letters written from an insect city. (“It is summer and one can look at the flowers face to face.”) Krohn writes like a fantastical Lydia Davis, in short chapters the length of prose poems. Her characters often have a noirish toughness; one, explaining her approach to philosophy, says that when she asks an existential question, “life answers. It is generally a long and thorough answer...”

Here is the link to read all of Joshua Rothman's New Yorker review.

Photo by Mikael Böök. 

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Movies

Under The Sun...two realities

A compelling 5 minute report on DW tv news about a little girl in North Korea brought me a reminder of the power of film. Vitaly Mansky, the producer/director, has made a very poignant film about the life of Zin Mi (the little girl) in both the real world and the manufactured world of North Korea. 

Here are excerpts  from an informative article by Carmen Gray in the Guardian...

UnderTheSunZinMiVitalyMansky2"A new film on life in North Korea has caused a diplomatic row after the director used officially sanctioned shoots to demonstrate how the state manipulates its people.

Authorities are said to have tried to prevent screenings of Under the Sun, a film that follows a North Korean girl as she prepares to celebrate the Day of the Shining Star, the birthday of former supreme leader Kim Jong-il...The film reveals how government representatives seek to construct an image of an “ideal” family, capturing the hectoring of officials as they tell the Koreans what to say, how to sit and when to smile.

“I wanted to make a film about the real Korea, but there’s no real life in the way that we consider,” said Mansky, who spent a year in the country filming. “There is just the creation of an image of the myth of a real life. So we made a film about fake reality.” 

Here is the link to the trailer for Under The Sun

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ZootopiaZootopia: 

"Credit the Disney folks with making what could have been a lecture on stereotypes into one of the more amusing animated kidflicks of recent vintage. When you consider that this is the same zip-ah-dee-doo-dah studio that once made Song of the South ... well, let's just say Zootopia suggests we've all come a long way"...Bob Mondello, NPR

Here is a link to the trailer: Zootopia

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WitchTheFamilyDinnerThe Witch, a low budget (one million dollars), independent production, continues to find an ever-growing audience (over 30 million dollars)...

"The Witch is a scary movie and a serious one, because it lure us into the minds and the earthly domains, of those who are themselves scared, night and day, that they have forfeited the mercies of God. It takes an original movie to remind us of original sin..."  Anthony Lane in his New Yorker review.

Stacy Schiffin wrote an excellent article, relevant to this movie, on The Witches of Salem, also in the New Yorker. Here is an excerpt..."In 1692, the Massachusetts Bay Colony executed fourteen women, five men, and two dogs for witchcraft. The sorcery materialized in January. The first hanging took place in June, the last in September; a stark, stunned silence followed. Although we will never know the exact number of those formally charged..."

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“Both Rowling and Meyer (Twilight series), they’re speaking directly to young people. … The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.”- Stephen King

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 Circling the Waggins by C.A. Wulff

Cover_ctw_vers2What happens when a group of the most irascible, insane, and ridiculously un-adoptable pets known to man end up being permanent residents in an animal rescuer's home? Challenges abound and chaos reigns! 

Here are excerpts from author Tim McHugh’s review…

"Circling the Waggins is a heart-felt and moving story of two women's quest to heal and nurture a wide variety of animals.  C.A. Wulff poignantly captures the complex personalities of the mice, dogs, and cats that inhabit her wilderness home as well as the humorous chaos that ensues as they all try to coexist.  It is by turns a roller-coaster  ride of animal rescue, as well as a keen reflection on the frailty of all life and the healing power of love and letting go."   

 Tim McHugh, is author of Ivan! A Pound Dog's Views on Life, Love, & Leashes 

  
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Dogs Open the Doors to Healing at Good Dog

Good Dog provides therapy dog services to people in health care, social service, educational and community GoodDogfacilities, and at disaster sites around the country. Its highly-trained and fully-certified volunteer teams each consist of a human handler and therapy dog.  Good Dog focuses on work in the four divisions of Education, Health Care and Wellness, Research, and Disaster Response. For more on the work of these divisions, click here.

As the largest certifying animal-assisted therapy organization on the East Coast of the United States, Good Dog currently operates in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey, and at disaster sites around the country. Good Dog focuses on work in the four divisions of Education, Health Care and Wellness, Research, and Disaster Response."

Here is a link to the Good Dog Foundation Video

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Turning Your Pet Into a Therapy Dog

by Jane E. Brody, Personal Health writer for the New York Times

Here is the link to read all of this fascinating and informative article by Jane Brody: Personal Health

The illustration is by Paul Rogers

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        BP Header

POD-The bear-blog sizeWe have free reader copies of the Planet Of The Dogs series  for therapy dog organizations, individual therapy dog owners, librarians and teachers...simply send us an email at planetofthedogs@gmail.com and we will send you the books

Our books are available through independent bookstores, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Powell's and many more.

The Planet Of The Dogs series is also available in digital format at

Barnes and NobleAmazon, Powell's, KoboInkteraScribd, and Tolino.

Librarians, teachers and bookstores ..You can order the Planet Of The Dogs  series, through Ingram with a full professional discount. 

To read sample chapters of the series, visit PlanetOfTheDogs 

 
The illustration from Planet Of The Dogs is by Stella Mustanoja-McCarty

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Meeting A Dog

Sunbearsquad-logoIf you see an injured dog or a dog in trouble , from puppy mills to poison, Sunbear Squad can help you. Sunbear Squad is a leading source for information and guidance in dog rescue and care. Here is an excerpt from their site about meeting a new dog(s)...

"In the western world, we are taught at an early age to greet new people by approaching them with upright posture, looking directly into their eyes and offering a hand to shake or squeeze. It becomes second nature to us, so as a result, many of us animal lovers greet every living thing–except bugs–using those same “good manners...

We must UNLEARN that set of social rules to avoid frightening dogs, cats, and other animals, who will perceive full-front posture, staring, and outstretched arm as rude and threatening (unless they were very well-socialized with humans during the crucial developmental period).

In other words, polite human greetings are bad manners for greeting dogs and cats! In fact the two greeting languages are almost all completely opposite...Here is a link to read all of this article: Meeting A Dog.

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“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” ― Will Rogers  

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22. Not an April Fool’s Day Rumor: NEW MUTANTS adds a few exciting cast members

new mutantsI woke up this morning to some news where I had to check the date on when it was reported, but it looks like Drew over at HitFix got this in a bit before the clock struck midnight on the east coast, so here we go… Earlier yesterday, Drew had already reported that Alexandra Shipp […]

3 Comments on Not an April Fool’s Day Rumor: NEW MUTANTS adds a few exciting cast members, last added: 4/4/2016
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23. Batman V Superman slides in second week but still wins the box office

Batman v Superman was the #1 film for the weekend but “plunged” 68% in its second frame, as the trades like to put it. This is not entirely out of line with some other films, Deadline helpfully points out — Furious 7 dropped 60%, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2  fell 72% — […]

10 Comments on Batman V Superman slides in second week but still wins the box office, last added: 4/4/2016
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24. Benedict Cumberbatch went to the JHU comics shop dressed as Doctor Strange

The Doctor Strange movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch has been filming around NYC, but the ‘Batch decided to kick it up a notch by heading to a comics shop in costume, in this case my local, JHU and 32nd Street. The shop may also have made it to the final movie, as they were shooting on […]

0 Comments on Benedict Cumberbatch went to the JHU comics shop dressed as Doctor Strange as of 4/4/2016 10:26:00 AM
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25. In the wake of BATMAN v SUPERMAN, WB is shifting some things

batman_v_superman_dawn_of_justice_still_3When Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opened nearly two weeks ago, it had a furiously big opening, particularly as it released both domestically and in China, and allowed the superhero clash an opening bow of $168 million domestically – just shy of WB’s record – and $254 million overseas. Huge numbers. As has been […]

5 Comments on In the wake of BATMAN v SUPERMAN, WB is shifting some things, last added: 4/7/2016
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