Soapbox: Harry Potter – 15 Wizards More Powerful Than Dumbledore

Dumbledore-casting-spell
Dumbledore was a magical Jack of All Trades – but was he a master of all of them?

In the Harry Potter universe, Albus Dumbledore is widely regarded as the greatest wizard of the modern era – and rightly so. The Hogwarts headmaster was an exceptionally intelligent and extraordinarily talented sorcerer who mastered virtually every field of magic there is.

Dumbledore’s magical skills were so great he was able to defeat legendary Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald, despite the latter possessing the supposedly unbeatable Elder Wand. Even Lord Voldemort – history’s all-time greatest Dark Wizard – was rumored to fear going wand-to-wand with Albus, which indicates just how impressive his spellcasting prowess truly was.

But was Dumbledore the most powerful wizard who ever lived? Or were there witches and wizards whose magical abilities eclipsed his own? Certainly, there are a couple of candidates from across the centuries who could have given the old professor a run for his money!

Then there are those who – while not necessarily in Dumbledore’s league overall – far surpass his gifts in a particular magical discipline. After all, just because you’re a generally an expert when it comes to any kind of magic, that doesn’t mean you’re quite as good as an actual specialist.

Read on, as we shine the spotlight on 15 Wizards More Powerful Than Dumbledore.

This post was written exclusively for Screen Rant – click here to read the full article

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Soapbox: Harry Potter – 15 Wizards More Powerful Than Dumbledore

Soapbox: 20 Things That Make No Sense About The Hobbit Trilogy

TheHobbit_Bilbo
All of these plot inconsistencies really weighed Bilbo down…

Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings films arguably constitute the finest fantasy trilogy ever made. Accessible to newcomers while remaining largely faithful to J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels, The Lord of the Rings movies married incredible spectacle and stunning visuals with genuine, heartfelt emotion.

When it was announced that Jackson would return to Middle-earth to helm a prequel trilogy based around The Hobbit, fan expectations were understandably high. Unfortunately, although the The Hobbitfilms were wildly successful commercially, the reaction from audiences was far more lukewarm this time around.

The more charitable verdict is that – although the films have their moments – they’re a misguided attempt to transform a brief children’s tale into a sweeping saga for adults.

To be fair, Jackson had his work cut out for him, as the The Hobbit is a deceptively difficult book to adapt. In addition to its lighter, more juvenile tone, it also has 15 core cast members, 13 of whom are near-identical dwarves!

Nevertheless, other issues with the films seem avoidable – and chief among these is just how often they flat-out fail the logic test.

With this in mind, here are 20 Things That Make No Sense About The Hobbit Trilogy.

This post was written exclusively for Screen Rant – click here to read the full article

Soapbox: 20 Things That Make No Sense About The Hobbit Trilogy

Review: IT: Chapter One

It-2017
Seriously: Clowns really are the worst

It’s no secret that clowns creep me out. It’s also a well-established fact that I’m a pretty huge fan of the works of Stephen King – despite being a total scaredy cat when it comes to horror!

So it’s fair to say that It: Chapter Onedirector Andy Muschietti’s big screen adaptation of King’s seminal novel about a demonic clown who preys on children – presented something of a challenge for me.

On the one hand, I’ve been terrified of It – otherwise known as “Pennywise the Dancing Clown” – since I first encountered the 1990 TV adaptation of the book at the too-young age of six.

And yet on the other hand, not only is the book is a favourite of mine, but the remake has also received largely glowing reviews and is currently raking in some serious cash at the box office.

What to do, what to do?

In the end, my curiosity outweighed my fear. I plucked up my courage and went to see It, entering the theatre with a level of trepidation matched only by my high expectations for the film.

I’m happy to report that not only did I survive the screening, but my expectations were also largely met – although interestingly, It is strongest when it plays as a “coming of age” story, and far weaker when it tries to be an actual horror film.

Continue reading “Review: IT: Chapter One”

Review: IT: Chapter One

Soapbox: Harry Potter –15 Things You Never Knew About The Sorting Hat

Neville-Voldemort-header
Neville may have a cracked noggin, but at least he has a nose!

The Sorting Hat is one of the most well-known and important magical objects in the Harry Potter franchise.

Created by the four founders of Hogwarts, this enchanted headwear has been allocating novice witches and wizards to school houses GryffindorRavenclawHufflepuff, and Slytherin for centuries.

What this essentially means is that – despite being a tatty old cap designed to handle a matter of school administration – the Sorting Hat has (at least partly) decided the destiny of the wizarding world for generations!

Indeed, despite its ragged appearance and seemingly limited (if vital) purpose, the Hat actually boasts a rich history full of surprises.

Some of its secrets – such as its ability to summon the Sword of Gryffindor – have long since become common knowledge to even casual fans of the Harry Potter books and films.

But just as many fascinating tidbits related to the Hat – including those surrounding its origins and abilities – remain a mystery to less ardent Potterheads.

We’ve sifted through all the available information – including books, films, interviews, plays and web content! – about the Hat, in search of the most interesting trivia.

Here, we present the fruits of these labors: a list of 15 Things You Never Knew About The Sorting Hat.

This post was written exclusively for Screen Rant – click here to read the full article

Soapbox: Harry Potter –15 Things You Never Knew About The Sorting Hat

Soapbox: More Than Just “The Rest” – Learning To Embrace Your Inner Hufflepuff

Cedric_Diggory
I mean the guy from Twilight was a Hufflepuff – they’ve gotta have something going for them!

Ask any Harry Potter fan which Hogwarts house they think they’d belong to, and there’s a pretty good chance that their response will be “Gryffindor”.

This is hardly a surprise. After all, not only is it the house that Harry – along with Ron, Hermione and most of the other major supporting characters – was sorted into, but it’s also the house “where dwell the brave at heart”.

Toss in Gryffindor’s reputation for good-natured mischief, and you’re pretty much looking at the coolest student fraternity ever, magical or otherwise.

But whilst Gryffindor is undeniably awesome, the adoration that is lavished upon it by so many fans often comes at the expense of discounting the positive qualities of other houses – most notably Huffepuff.

The Sorting Hat – that magical headgear responsible for deciding which students are placed where – even claims that house founder Helga Hufflepuff “took the rest” when selecting her charges, and that’s a view that seems shared by the general fandom.

However, this is selling short everyone who has ever worn a black-and-yellow scarf – including Newt Scamander, Cedric Diggory and Tonks – many of whom have proven themselves highly talented witches and wizards.

Here, I’m going to take a look at why we can’t all be Gryffindors, why there’s nothing wrong with being a Hufflepuff, and why we need to accept (and embrace) that we all possess traits representative of every house.

Continue reading “Soapbox: More Than Just “The Rest” – Learning To Embrace Your Inner Hufflepuff”

Soapbox: More Than Just “The Rest” – Learning To Embrace Your Inner Hufflepuff

Soapbox: Game Of Thrones – 15 Worst Decisions Jon Snow Has Ever Made

Jon-Snow
In his defense, at least one of these decisions has since proven to be a good one!

The world of Game of Thrones has very few true heroes, but of the possible contenders, Jon Snow surely comes closest to fitting the bill.

The bastard of Winterfell – who is probably neither a Stark nor a bastard! – certainly possesses several traditional heroic traits. Jon is a brave and capable warrior, a loyal and compassionate friend and ally, and self-sacrificing.

Valiant or not, Jon doesn’t exactly have the greatest track record when it comes to decision-making. While his former flame Ygritte may have been overstating things when she said “You know nothing, Jon Snow”, it is fair to say that our guy doesn’t exactly have a great grasp of cause and effect.

Admittedly, many of the choices Jon has made were a case of making the best of a terrible situation outside his control. Others represent instances where the King in the North was prepared to accept negative consequences in the short term and banking on this paying dividends in the long term.

On the other hand, on more than a few occasions, the thought processes of the former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch have been borderline bonkers, even resulting in his (quickly reversed) death!

With all of this in mind, here’s a round-up of the 15 Worst Decisions Jon Snow Has Made over the past 7 seasons of Game of Thrones!

This post was written exclusively for Screen Rant – click here to read the full article

Soapbox: Game Of Thrones – 15 Worst Decisions Jon Snow Has Ever Made

Soapbox: Lord Of The Rings – 15 Things You Never Knew About Middle-Earth

Middle-Earth Map
Otherwise known as “the mythical kingdom of New Zealand”…

From the moment J.R.R. Tolkien first introduced readers to Middle-earth with The Hobbit, fans have been blown away by the scope of his fantasy world. With its detailed history, constructed languages and well-established geography, Middle-earth is arguably the most fully-realized imaginary environment in all of literature.

Indeed, the unmatched immersive quality of Tolkien’s life’s work has had such a profound effect on the genre that it’s spawned countless imitators over the years. Although some of these – like A Song of Ice and Fire – have made a worthwhile attempt at capturing a similar sense of reality to the one Tolkien was able to infuse into his own magical realm, none have so far surpassed the bar set by Middle-earth.

In recent years, more people than ever have become familiar with Tolkien’s world of Hobbits, Wizards and Orcs, thanks to the huge success of Peter Jackson’s blockbuster film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, more casual fans – particularly those who haven’t read Tolkien’s wider body of work – probably don’t know as much about Middle-earth as they might think.

That’s why we’ve pulled together this list highlighting 15 Things You Never Knew About Middle-Earth, in order to bring you fully up to speed on the greatest place that never was!

This post was written exclusively for Screen Rant – click here to read the full article

Soapbox: Lord Of The Rings – 15 Things You Never Knew About Middle-Earth