Nicholas Cage: His 5 Best Movies (And 5 Worst)

No matter what anyone tries to say, Nicolas Cage is a great actor. He played an alcoholic trying to kill himself in a heartbreaking drama that won him an Academy Award and he also successfully satirized Batman alongside a 13-year-old girl saying the C-word, so it’s safe to say that this is an actor with some serious range. There may be a handful of duds on his résumé, but that seems to be more to do with his difficulty saying “no” than his acting ability.

RELATED: Nicolas Cage Surprises Fans At Nic Cage Movie Marathon

He’s worked with Michael Bay, but he’s also worked with Ridley Scott and the Coen brothers. So, here are his five best movies… and five worst.

10 Best: Leaving Las Vegas

As the movie that won Nic Cage his Academy Award, this one is an obvious entry on the list. Still, it’s a fantastic movie, anchored entirely by its two lead performances: Elisabeth Shue playing a struggling prostitute and Cage playing an alcoholic writer determined to commit suicide. As his life comes to an end, he suddenly finds meaning in it as he falls in love with Shue’s character. When it’s too late, he realizes he has something to live for. The story is tragic, and it could’ve easily failed if Cage didn’t commit, but thankfully, he did and it resulted in a terrific film.

9 Worst: Ghost Rider

Nicolas Cage is a lifelong comic book fan, and he was even cast to play Superman in a Tim Burton movie that got cancelled for enough reasons that there was a whole documentary made about it. But sadly, when he finally did get to play an iconic superhero from the pages of comic books, it was as a demonic character whose dark themes were criminally watered down by a studio looking for a more commercially viable PG-13 rating.

RELATED: Nicolas Cage Thinks Ghost Rider Should Get R-Rated Movie Reboot

Now that movies like Deadpool and Logan have been successful, Cage should get another crack at the character with R-rated freedom – if the fans will allow it.

8 Best: Kick-Ass

While Nicolas Cage’s attempt at starring in a serious superhero movie might have failed, his attempt at playing a supporting role in a satirical one was much more successful. Based on the Mark Millar comic of the same name, Kick-Ass is an action-packed comedy about what would happen if a nerdy high school kid actually decided to become a superhero. Cage plays Big Daddy, a spoof of Batman, and his pitch-perfect delivery of his lines evokes a few different Batmen. When he’s in the costume, playing the character of Big Daddy, he comes off as full Christian Bale badass. But when he’s the mild-mannered alter ego Damon Macready, he channels Adam West. It’s hilarious.

7 Worst: 8MM

This thriller about a private eye who stumbles into a dark case involving snuff films has a lot of promise from its themes and plot, but there’s no suspense attached to the brutally violent sequences. So, it’s pretty much just violence for violence’s sake. Plus, the flickering film projectors hide Nic Cage for most of the movie, so even if there is a nuanced performance, we can’t really see it. Fun side-note: My film stock-obsessed film school lecturer was hired as a consultant on this movie, and since it was his only claim to fame, he never stopped talking about it.

6 Best: Matchstick Men

Matchstick Men is one of the most underrated movies in recent years and it also ends with one of the most jaw-dropping and shockingly plausible plot twists ever conceived on film. Nicolas Cage stars alongside Sam Rockwell and Alison Lohman in a darkly comic thriller about con men and betrayals and family and double crosses and deceit. Most dark comedies tend to throw emotion out the window – that’s part of what makes it a dark comedy in the first place – but that always feels as though something’s missing. Matchstick Men manages to have a cynical edge and still feel emotionally resonant.

5 Worst: Knowing

Knowing is an interesting, engaging apocalyptic thriller until its final moments. There are thrills in the plane crash sequence, which was shot inventively in a Steadicam long take, and the central mystery is involving – until it’s resolved. The movie’s key problem is that the ending ruins it. An alien force shows up and Nic Cage just tells his son to go with them, and allows Earth to be destroyed in the process. Nothing is really explained and a lot of the movie’s elements don’t add up. Rose Byrne does her best to bring some artistic merit to this movie, but it’s flawed from the ground up.

4 Best: Adaptation

There are a few reasons why Adaptation succeeds. It’s directed by the visionary Spike Jonze, it has an inventive script by Charlie Kaufman that toys with the fabric of what it even means to be a movie, and it balances the story of a guy adapting a book into a movie and the story of the book itself deftly.

RELATED: Captain Marvel’s Brie Larson to Star in Charlie Kaufman’s Netflix Movie

But the movie’s greatest asset is its lead actor, Nicolas Cage, who plays twin brothers. One is a chubby, insecure loser and the other is a happy, thin, optimistic go-getter. Few actors could pull off two characters in the same movie like Cage does in this one. It’s mesmerizing.

3 Worst: G-Force

The worst kids’ movies tend to be the ones that underestimate their audience. If you’re making a movie for kids and assume that all kids are dumb with a juvenile sense of humor and little expectations from their trips to the movies, then you’ll end up with something as mind-numbingly dull and insubstantial as G-Force. This CGI-laden spy ‘comedy’ about an elite team of secret agents who happen to be guinea pigs and are determined to save the world from a maniacal billionaire isn’t an original idea – it’s a rip-off of Cats and Dogs, and it’s not even as good.

2 Best: Raising Arizona

A lot of Nicolas Cage’s best movies are comedies. It seems that his most sincere acting is inherently comical, so when he tries to give a dramatic performance, it comes off as laughable, and when he tries to give a comedic performance, every line is delivered perfectly and he fits seamlessly into the tone of the movie. The finest display of this is in the Coen brothers’ Raising Arizona, the story of an ex-convict and his infertile police officer wife who decide to kidnap one of a rich guy’s newborn quintuplets when they realize they can’t have kids of their own. The movie makes hysterical use of slapstick humor and Cage carries it brilliantly.

1 Worst: Next

Some Nic Cage movies are so unabashedly bad that they fall into the so-bad-it’s-good category that was created by such famously terrible cult classics as The Room and Battlefield Earth (a.k.a. Scientology: The Movie). An example of a movie that takes itself seriously and wants to be a sci-fi classic and is terrible, yet doesn’t fall into the so-bad-it’s-good category due to how lazy and mundane it is, is Next starring none other than Nicolas Cage. Supposedly adapted from the seminal works of Philip K. Dick, this sci-fi actioner is a far cry from the likes of Blade Runner and Minority Report. Next seems confused by itself, which is a rare feat, but not an impressive one.

NEXT: Top 10 Nicolas Cage Movie Hairstyles

2019-04-26 03:04:10

Ben Sherlock

SHAZAM! 9 Electrifying Shazam Cosplayers

Shazam! starring Zachary Levi became highly anticipated in DC’s lineup of comic book-based films when it debuted last week. Fans were admittedly cautious, with former DC adaptations (see: Justice League, Suicide Squad) were less than the ideal recreations they’d imagined.

However, the Warner Brothers film must have done a decent job with their previews and promo because Shazam! grossed $53 million USD when it hit theaters opening day, and has since climbed to a worldwide box office threat at almost $100 million. And you can bet that at at least one of your local theaters, there was an enthusiastic cosplayer showing their support.

Cosplayers have become a staple at not only theater showings, but at film premieres as well. These costume-making aficionados take center stage at most of these events and only add on to the level of excitement that fans of Shazam had for the action film.

Take a look at these ten electrifying Shazam! Cosplayers

9 Levi Lookalike

Shazam tells the story of a young teenaged boy, Billy Batson, who dreams himself into a superhero using one word: Shazam! The adolescent and quirky attitude that actor Zachary Levi portrays so well created the charming Shazam! we expected from the DC film.

Cosplayer Jai is an Australian costume enthusiast who caught on to this lovable trait as well. Besides expertly nailing Billy’s attitude through his pictures, Jai is a dead ringer for Zachary Levi! The hair, the muscles, the smolder— he’s got this cosplay down pact!

Jai’s other notable work includes Link from Zelda, Star-Lord, and impressive Iron Man builds.

8 Freddy Shazam

Adam Brody, who plays adult Freddy Freeman in the 2019 film, acted the part of Freddy Shazam pleasantly well. In the comics, Freddy is bestowed with the powers of the God which includes the wisdom of solomon, the strength of Hercules, and healing of Apollo, and even the power of Zeus. Who better to hold such incredible power than Freddy, Billy’s right-hand man, and best friend.

RELATED: Every Superhero Name Freddy Calls Shazam

Cosplayer, Robert Valko, did an incredible job impersonating this blue-suited hero. Robert is a well-known cosplayer that dubs himself a photo magician, workout nerd, and digital designer. Robert said that this Freddy Shazam suit was challenging as he had to make the entire suit mostly from scratch. This included sewing the printed suit together and attaching all of Freddy’s necessary gadgets and belts. For quick work, this is a truly stunning cosplay!

7 Black Adam

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was cast to be a part of the initial film back in 2014, his role as Black Adam was scraped in 2017. And while we can hopefully still anticipate The Rock as this titular villain in the next installment of Shazam, it didn’t dissuade any cosplayers from bringing this character to life.

Eric, who’s Instagram origins are unknown, wears an incredible Black Adam cosplay to the Shazam! premiere. The ears, the eyes, and the daunting comparison of him next to Levi’s poster give us the treacherous vibe we hope to see from this character in the film. Mike (known to his Instagram fans as @m.b_aquatic_hero) commissioned this suit with incredible attention to detail. Definitely movie-quality costume making material!

6 Mary Shazam

Dani, aka @missdanicosplay, is a geek from Sydney that took on the role of Mary Shazam beautifully! Mary Batson (also known as Mary Shazam and Mary Marvel) is played by both Grace Fulton and Michelle Borth in the recent adaptation. Mary is the long-lost sister of Billy Batson and is given her incredible powers by her brother.

RELATED: Shazam! Actress Signed A Five Movie Deal

Dani sport’s Mary Shazam’s original attire, from the white cape to the red skirt, and she does it flawlessly. Dani even stood on the red carpet as Mary Shazam at the Shazam! premiere in Sydney. When speaking on the film, Dani says,

“just WOW, what a great feel good fun family movie, perfect amount of humour, the importance of family portrayed was truly heart warming and the story line was great!”

Dani also does a fantastic Mera and Wonder Woman cosplay.

5 The Real Captain Marvel

Fun fact: Shazam was originally named Captain Marvel. When this powerful superhero first hit comic book shelves, he was published under Fawcett Comics in 1940. Because of his direct competition with Superman, DC Comics bought the rights to the character in 1972. And because of further confusion with Marvel’s Captain Marvel character, DC decided to rebrand the character and the whole Marvel family under the title Shazam that same year.

Cosplayer, Erwin (also known as not being Brad Pitt) encompasses the power of this prominent character incredibly well. After seeing the film, Erwin said,

Saw #shazammovie this weekend. It was very entertaining! I enjoyed the tone, humor and action.”

Erwin also does some great Black Panther, Venom, and Batman cosplays.

4 Darla Shazam

Darla Dudley is a friend of Billy Batson and is given the power of the speed of Mercury. Besides her superhero speed, Darla Shazam has the ability to possess flight. Her character is in the new film, played by Meagan Good. While the rest of the Shazam team make transformations into adults, Darla still remains a bit younger than the rest of the crowd.

Cosplayer Law wears her Darla Shazam cosplay with poise and attitude that be, no doubt, applauded by Good herself. This a complete handmade cosplay, from the purple gown to the lightning gold bracers. Lai Cosplay can also be seen cosplaying as a remarkable Symmetra from Overwatch and a stunning Wonder Woman.

3 Shazam!

Cosplay knows no bounds, as proven by this Shazam cosplayer. Zach Kats is a formidable costume-wearer, videographer, and photo editor. It’s these skills that help shine a light on the most stunning attributes of his cosplay. The rugged details and fascinating accessories give off the illusion of a real-life superhero, and Zach definitely does Billy Batson justice. The suit even lights up!

Zach’s other cosplays include Captain America and Ron Stoppable from Disney’s animated show Kim Possible.

2 Shazam Dance

One of the most talked-about features of the 2019 Shazam! film is the natural comedic timing that the cast pulls off. Through waves of #shazamcosplays on Instagram, it’s not surprising to see cosplayers mimic what is now becoming known as the Shazam dance.

Adriel Jones is a young cosplayer who copies Levi’s charismatic and hilarious dance with perfect rhythm and temperament. It truly reflects the whimsical and entertaining feel we get from watching Shazam!

Ariel does many other notable cosplays including, Indian Jones and Gaston. He even makes his own props!

1 Superman, Batman, or Shazam?

Nick Toussaint is a prop builder and costumer that looks like he can pull off just about any character. His Shazam cosplay is clearly top-notch, but his resemblance to Tyler Hoechin (who plays Superman in the CW series Supergirl) is uncanny! Regardless, Nick worked his fingers to the bone to prep this suit in time to see the premiere of Shazam in cosplay. The work on his arm bracers and the central emblem are the work of a true professional.

Nick’s other spectacular cosplays consist of Captain America and Red Hood!

NEXT: Shazam! Is The Best Film In The DCEE (And It’s Not Even Close)

2019-04-26 01:04:33

Tiffani Daniel

Avengers Endgame: 30 Things You Completely Missed

Warning: SPOILERS for Avengers: Endgame

It’s finally upon us. The launch of Avengers: Endgame brings the first age of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a close – and a brand new batch of Easter eggs and franchise callbacks and comic references. The world’s love for Marvel’s heroes only continues to grow, which means the cast and crew of Endgame now have the chance to bury not only comic book secrets into their films, but layer after layer of MCU connections, too. That means twice as many moments of fan service with Marvel Comic nods, character cameos, shared universe connections and references even the biggest of fans might miss.

The Russo Brothers made sure to make the Avengers’ ultimate mission and ‘last hurrah’ an all-out celebration of Marvel’s Cosmic history for fans. The Infinity War may have crushed the Avengers’ hopes of saving the day, but their mission to ‘avenge the fallen’ is fantastic news for the audience. We’ve collected the very best Endgame Easter eggs, secret backstories, inside jokes, and huge Marvel Cinematic Universe hints that fans could have overlooked – and are breaking them all down here.

So with one final SPOILER warning, let’s get started. Here are the 30 Things You  Missed in Avengers: Endgame.

30 Hawkeye’s Daughter

There’s no question that the opening scene of Endgame will give Hawkeye fans a special treat. Until the pre-snap sequence breaks their heart, Clint is helping his daughter Lila Barton train up in her archery skills (and she shows some talent, hitting a bullseye before being turned to dust along with her brother and mother). While passing on the “Hawkeye” name will give fans a taste of the upcoming TV series, in which Clint passes on the Hawkeye name and hero moniker to Kate Bishop (his successor in the comics), the actress playing the part is also a bit of an inside joke.

The part of Lila Barton is played by Ava Russo, daughter to director Joe Russo, whose other daughter Sophia previously played a teenage girl in Captain America: Civil War.

29 Director Joe Russo’s Cameo

Sticking with director Joe Russo for a moment, the support group scene which introduces audiences to the world post-snap should be watched closely for a few reasons, as well. On the one hand, fans can have their hearts warmed when they realize that with Sam vanished in Infinity War, Steve Rogers has apparently taken over his job of helping others (as Sam suggested might be helpful when the pair spoke about combat overseas in Captain America: The Winter Soldier).

But one of the attendees will stand out from the others, since he’s director Joe Russo in a cameo. Russo had previously appeared as Nick Fury’s surgeon in Winter Soldier as well, so fans can decide whether they are intended to be the same character, or merely another chance for the director to get in front of the camera.

28 The Creator of Thanos Finally Gets a Cameo

While most of the attendees of Steve Rogers’ support group (struggling to deal with the task of moving on despite half of the world having turned to dust) all blend together, except of course director Joe Russo’s extended dialogue, one character does stand out. While cutting between the members responding to Cap’s input, one older man in the group is held in frame for longer than the others. He may look familiar to some, but his creations are now known to the entire world.

The man is Jim Starlin, writer of the original Infinity Gauntlet comic book, and the man largely responsible for turning Thanos into the cosmic Titan that the movie version is based on. His influence is felt throughout the cosmic side of the MCU, so it’s only right he should officially join it himself.

27 Ant-Man Lives in The ‘616’

After being stranded in the Quantum Realm since the post-credits scene of Ant-Man and The Wasp, fans didn’t know how long Scott Lang would truly be lost. Thankfully, Endgame reveals that what felt like years was actually just a matter of hours. The passage of time is a mystery, just like the possible intervention of a heroic rat bringing Scott back into the normal world. But that’s not what fans should be watching for.

The abandoned van in long term storage will need to be searched in future viewings, but one thing audiences can spot is that it’s stored in the lock-up labeled “616” – an impossible to miss reference to Earth-616, the version of our planet that the heroes of Marvel Comics occupy in the larger Multiverse.

26 Yes, That’s Ken Jeong in a Cameo

The directors Anthony and Joe Russo have made plenty of room for cameo roles, calling on cast members from Community to round out the background characters of the MCU (a TV series which had the brothers behind the camera for many acclaimed episodes). And when Scott Lang returns to his van in a basically abandoned storage locker, they drop one of their most well-known collaborators… but fans probably won’t recognize him.

Even if they think that the security officer hidden behind a crude disguise actually is Ken Jeong, the fact that he never speaks may make it seem like a long shot, since he is arguably the most recognizable Community cast member to claim an MCU role. But his appearance is all viewers will have to go on, making it one of the best such Easter Eggs for Russo fans.

25 Another Type of ‘End Game’

There’s one other secret detail worth noting when the camera cuts to Ken Jeong’s security guard character, but it’s a bit of a deeper cut than even devoted Marvel fans will care to research. Yet every MCU fans knows that when a character is shown reading a book, the question of which book is the first one they should be asking. In this case, it’s The Terminal Beach, a collection of short stories by British author J. G. Ballard.

While most well-known for his novel Empire of the Sun, along with Crash and High-Rise – all of which have been adapted into films or TV series – Ballard is acclaimed for his variety of short stories. And, no surprise, The Terminal Beach includes one in which a condemned man lies out his life comfortably, completely unaware of when his execution will arrive. The title? “End-Game.”

24 Pepper & Tony’s Daughter Morgan

Despite running into some relationship troubles thanks to Tony’s PTSD in Iron Man 3, both Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War showed that Tony and Pepper Potts were well on their way towards a happy ending. A happy ending that included a child (a biological one, not a surrogate son like Peter Parker). When Tony and Pepper enter the story of Infinity War, Tony shares a dream in which Pepper and he already had a son. Not only that, but the child was named after Pepper’s eccentric uncle, ‘Morgan’ – a name officially bestowed upon the pair’s daughter in Endgame.

The name holds special meaning for fans of Iron Man comics. Morgan Stark wasn’t Tony’s son, but his cousin, at least in the classic comics. Originally introduced as the scheming son of Howard Stark’s brother, later comics would see Morgan’s jealousy towards Tony transform him into the supervillain Ultimo, operating a massive mechanical monster. Hopefully this female version of Morgan will, ironically, face a brighter future (even if it’s one in which half the universe died and was brought back five years later).

23 Pepper’s RESCUE Armor

When Tony Stark first introduces his daughter Morgan into the MCU, the bombshell idea of seeing his and Pepper’s child may distract some fans from the setup of another armored warrior in the MCU. The helmet that Morgan appears doesn’t belong to her, but a special present that Tony is working on for Pepper. A suit of armor that Marvel fans know will turn her into RESCUE, her own superhero alter ego from the comics (a surprise somewhat spoiled when Gwyneth Paltrow took a photo of herself in the armor).

Fans had hoped to see Pepper Potts don her own suit and identity for years, and came close when Pepper wielded part of the Iron Man suit in Iron Man 3. But in the final battle she makes her debut, fittingly, coming to the rescue of the Avengers. The color scheme is a perfect match for the version made popular in Marvel’s Iron Man Armored Adventures animated series.

22 Tonsberg, The New Asgard

The Norwegian city of Tønsberg truly owes the Marvel cinematic Universe some tourism money at this point, now that Avengers: Endgame reveals the seaside town to be not only Thor’s new home on Earth, but what remains of Asgard. The sign welcoming Banner and Rocket Raccoon into the town proclaims it has also been designated “New Asgard.” Which is fitting, if fans remember the movie history of the location.

Not only was Tønsberg the site where Odin led his war against the Frost Giants on Earth in the prologue of the first Thor movie, it was also the place where Johann Schmidt a.k.a. Red Skull discovered the Tesseract. Fans didn’t know that the ‘Cosmic Cube’ was actually an Infinity Stone back then, but at this point we’re just assuming the residents of Tønsberg (in reality a city of over 40,000) know every bit of the MCU’s history.

21 Hulk-A-Hulk-A-Burning-Fudge Ice Cream

After missing two full years of Earth time fighting in the gladiator pits of Sakaar, Dr. Bruce Banner had plenty to catch up on when he returned to the planet at the beginning of The Avengers: Infinity War. Aside from the breakup of the Avengers, Banner also discovered that he had a new flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream named after him. Well, technically, named after his green half.

We can’t begin to imagine what Hulk-A-Hulk-A-Burning-Fudge would taste like, although it’s apparently better than Tony Stark’s “Raving” tribute. Thankfully the scene of the remaining Avengers sharing meals includes a shot of Hulk diving into a massive tub of the dessert, meaning he too is a fan of the Hulk-inspired creation. We hope… otherwise that’s just a bit tacky.

20 ‘Professor Hulk’ Joins The MCU… With a Twist

Marvel fans have guessed for some time that the movies were building Bruce Banner and the Hulk towards some form of a shared identity. In the comics, the two managed to find common ground in the formation of a new, third form, dubbed ‘Professor Hulk.’ As Bruce explains in Avengers: Endgame, it’s a version of themselves that combines Hulk’s brute strength and invulnerability with Bruce Banner’s intellect and self-control.

In the comics that Professor Hulk was actually a distinct character, while the movie casts aside most of the idea of Banner and Hulk as separate beings. Instead, Bruce found a way to sort of… half-transform into Hulk. Possessing more of his natural appearance, voice, and mind. While still being green and almost impossible to kill, obviously.

19 Hawkeye Becomes Ronin

As the only true ‘family man’ of the Avengers film franchise, Clint Barton’s wife and children were revealed as part of Avengers: Age of Ultron, helping to raise the stakes for his character, in particular. That makes it all the more heartbreaking to consider what he lost in the snap of Thanos’ fingers. When the first whispers of Hawkeye becoming an avenging angel began to surface, fans knew exactly what would cause his fall…

In the opening scene of Avengers: Endgame the worst comes true, as fans watch while Clint’s family is erased. He responds by donning a black and yellow costume, a mask and hood, and a samurai sword to kill killers around the globe. A not so subtle transformation into Ronin, the masked moniker he took on following the comic book Civil War, but a faithful adaptation all the same.

18 Captain Marvel’s Modern Haircut

For a regular movie, the fan base coming out of the theater wanting to talk about the height of characters’ hair might be a bad thing. For Captain Marvel Carol Danvers, it’s actually called out on screen by Rocket Raccoon. But for fan of Marvel Comics, the change from Carol’s ‘90s hair to a short up-do is perfectly in keeping with her modern character re-design.

While neither her origin movie nor Endgame explain why she’s able to breathe in space, it’s obvious that she no longer needs a full face mask or partial helmet to pull off space flight. As a result, she no longer needs to worry about a hairstyle that would be beaten down by a helmet. The answer? A short, seriously coiffed cut that might deserve a supporting cast nod all on its own.

17 There Might Be a Hint of Namor & Atlantis

With the world more broken than ever before and only half of the heroes left alive to keep the pieces together, Black Widow has taken it upon herself to organize what’s left into an overseeing task force. But in the scene where her teammates communicate via holographic projection (first seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier) the movie may also drop a hint of another, aquatic superhero in the MCU’s future.

When it’s revealed that a massive seismic incident has occurred along the ocean floor, the action plan offered by Okoye is… well, to do nothing. As it stands, the Avengers aren’t really built to handle “earthquakes at the bottom of the ocean.” But it seems odd to mention the home of Marvel’s Atlantis in potential crisis, and a disaster that only Namor the Sub-Mariner could address. It might be a stretch, but so was the Wakanda Easter Egg in Iron Man 2, and look where that ended up.

16 “Hail Hydra”

The Avengers traveling back to the events of their previous movies is a premise filled with small gags and callbacks (like audiences first enjoyed in Back to the Future). For Steve Rogers, it means the opportunity to fight himself during the events of The Avengers. But it also means the chance to homage one of Cap’s greatest fight scenes to date: the elevator ambush in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Only this time around, it’s to give Steve the upper hand. Since he knows everyone present in Agent Sitwell’s team are Hydra sleeper agents, he whispers “Hail Hydra” to fool them into thinking he’s on their side. While it serves the movie’s plot first, it’s worth mentioning the comic book version that stirred up controversy when Captain America revealed he was Hydra all along by uttering the same phrase (the Hydra mantra).

15 The Shawarma Scene is Avengers Canon

What began as an offhand joke by Ton Stark in the first Avengers movie eventually became a delight to fans after the movie’s credits. We’re referring, of course, to the Avengers’ group meal of shawarma, after they managed to defeat Loki and the invading Chitauri army in New York City. The audience was treated to a short clip of the Avengers cast silently enjoying shawarma… and now Avengers: Endgame has worked the scene into the MCU timeline. When the Avengers descend their tower, fans may be too focused on Tony’s attempts to hijack the Tesseract to listen to the past version.

If they do, they will hear Tony and Thor explain to S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Pierce that “where they’re headed” is to take in some lunch, and then on to Asgard. This puts the shawarma scene into the timeline between Loki’s defeat and their gathering to send him home in shackles. Which begs the question… where was Loki while they were filling their stomachs?

14 The Stan Lee Cameo

The Marvel movies have ranged from obvious to subtle and poetic when it comes to Stan Lee cameos, and Endgame’s means of paying tribute to the comic icon definitely falls into the ‘fans will notice it’ variety. As the first Avengers film to include a glimpse of Lee after his passing, audiences may be pleased to see one of the most outrageous cameos yet. After Doctor Strange got trippy, and Ant-Man and The Wasp basically alluded to acid flashbacks for the elderly Lee, Avengers: Endgame once again waves the ‘hippie’ flag proudly.

Lee appears driving past Camp Lehigh with a female friend, proclaiming to the military base that they should “make love, not war” with a bumper sticker shouting his ‘Nuff Said!’ slogan. The license plate also includes the number “420” because… well, it was 1970.

13 The Last Community Cameo?

Tony and Steve’s plan to travel back to 1970 and steal the Tesseract from government custody (before accidentally allowing Loki to steal it just after The Avengers) is a solid one, as plans go. Unfortunately they don’t realize until they are actually on site that to the employees of the Strategic Scientific Reserve, the face of Captain America might be a little familiar. However, it ends up being Tony Stark’s facial hair that is the real tipoff for one suspicious woman.

The woman is perhaps better known to audiences as ‘Shirley,’ yet another cameo from a Community alum. This time being played by actress Yvette Nicole Brown, in what might end up being the last of its kind now that Anthony and Joe Russo have decided to step away from Marvel Studios.

12 Cap’s Secret Identity: ‘Roscoe (Simons?)’

Fans can debate the effectiveness of any disguise worn by Captain America, but in army uniform, it’s not impossible to believe that another soldier could have the body or looks of Steve Rogers. But make no mistake, Marvel fans: Steve’s choice of disguise is no coincidence. According to the name on his dress shirt as he’s picking his way through camp Lehigh with Tony, he’s undercover as “Roscoe” – which is a key name in the Captain America legacy.

It refers back to Steve’s time out of the Captain America identity. While Infinity War paid homage to Steve’ Nomad persona, the name her refers to the man who stepped up to replace Steve as Cap (one of them, anyway). The man was Roscoe Simons… who is perhaps best known for being tortured, killed, and put on display by Red Skull. Not a happy story for Roscoe, but a fitting tribute all the same.

11 Ant-Man’s Vintage Helmet

As part of the Ant-Man movie’s story, it was required that Hank Pym’s original Ant-Man suit and technology be more or less identical to the one that Scott Lang stumbles across. The version of Scott in Endgame has the newer model, but because the film never dove into Hank’s prototype phase in the 1960s, there was never a chance to see how his designs actually began. Until now.

Well, fans at least get a good look at his first attempt at a helmet. The shiny chrome helmet can be seen on Hank’s workbench before Steve Rogers calls him to get him out of his laboratory. It’s a dead ringer for his first comic book version of the Ant-Man helmet (and a seriously far cry from where he eventually took the technology).

10 Tony Stark Gets His Last Words With His Father

While the movie is a team-up film in every sense of the word, the story, like the entire Marvel movie universe, begins with Tony Stark. And thankfully, his visit to Camp Lehigh in 1970 ends up letting him meet his father before he ever came into his life as a son. Fans are sure to have their favorite moments of their entire scenes together, but one key detail shouldn’t be missed. Back in Captain America: Civil War, fans got to see Tony’s last conversation with his mother and father, before leaving young Tony for what would be their deaths at the hands of the Winter Soldier.

As they leave, Tony’s mother tells him to say something nice to his father, and he does. But the sentiment, “I love you Dad. And I know you did the best you could,” is revealed to be a fantasy. As the real Tony says, “that’s how I wish it happened.” When saying goodbye to his father this time around, Tony gets to tell him in person.

9 Thanos Breaks Captain America’s Shield

The image of Captain America’s shield broken into pieces first appeared in Avengers: Age of Ultron, as part of a nightmare vision shown to Tony Stark by Scarlet Witch. It was used as a symbol for total defeat, but in Avengers: Endgame, it becomes something more. For Cap, even a shattered shield can’t stop him from fighting. The real Easter Egg is how it gets broken. We won’t dive into the feasibility of Thanos hacking his way through a vibranium shield with his own weapon, and simply point to the comics.

It’s a rare moment from Infinity Gauntlet recreated almost perfectly, where Thanos also reduced the shield to splinters just by slashing away at Steve. The movie version still ends up with a cool half-shield, but the imagery is as powerful as ever.

8 Captain America is Worthy of Mjolnir

Back in Avengers: Age of Ultron, it seemed downright impossible that anybody but Thor would ever be able to lift the hammer Mjolnir. In fact, that assumption was used for a laugh when Vision passed it to the god of thunder, beginning the debate of whether or not the idea of “being worthy” extended to artificial beings. But nobody, least of all Thor, forgot how the hammer slightly shifted when Steve Rogers tried to lift it after a cocktail party in Avengers Tower.

In Avengers: Endgame that tease is made good on, with Steve Rogers lifting it overhead and wielding the powers of lightning. Captain America has used the hammer a number of times over Marvel history, but rarely in as pure a fashion as in Endgame. Nobody should be surprised… Thor sure isn’t.

7 Captain America Stands Against Thanos Alone

Every single member of the audience will remember the first moment that the deceased heroes realized Cap was in need of their help, and began to filter into the New York battlefield from Wakanda and Titan. But the moment leading up to that assembly is one of the most long awaited reference to the original Infinity Gauntlet comic. When all the heroes have fallen… and only Captain America remains to stand on his feet.

The image of Cap confidently striding up to Thanos, and telling him that so long as one man stands opposing him, Thanos can never claim he has won. The movie cuts the dialogue and puts an army behind Thanos, but the power and meaning of Cap marching to the front line all by himself remains completely intact.

6 You Got It, Cap

The Wasp may only play a small role in Avengers: Endgame, but a small moment between her, Scott, and Steve Rogers should be enough to delight fans of Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly’s MCU franchise. After Wasp and Ant-Man have been pulled in for a mission of their own – to get the van-sized quantum tunnel back online and send the Infinity Stones back to their original times – Steve sends the team into action. It’s then that Wasp shoots out a supportive, determined, “We’re on it, Cap.” She and Scott share a meaningful look followed by a smile.

It’s a moment that will be lost on fans who don’t remember the pair’s exchange in Ant-Man and The Wasp, when Scott apologized for not inviting Hope along to fight in Captain America: Civil War. Referring to him as “Cap,” Hope points it out with a smirk. Scott tells her (flustered) that “Cap” is what is what his friends call him.

5 Iron Man 3’s Kid Sidekick Harley

Given how iconic a hero and leader Tony Stark turned out to be among the Marvel community (whether he ever intended to be or not) it’s no surprise that so many of the MCU’s heroes turn out for his funeral. The Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, S.H.I.E.L.D., and even General “Thunderbolt” Ross. But one teenager standing by himself is sure to puzzle a few viewers.

It’s a reminder that a long time has passed between Endgame and Iron Man 3, but the then-young Harley Keener clearly never forgot the generosity of Tony Stark. Played by actor Ty Simpkins, Harley remains one of the best characters to ever deflect Tony’s trademark snark and sarcasm right back at him.

4 The Asgardians of The Galaxy

After Thor leaves the remainder of Asgard under the protection of their new Queen… well, whatever name Valkyrie chooses to take, we suppose, he finds a new home aboard the Benatar with Rocket, Star-Lord, and the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy crew. At least, until he finds a new mission of his own. Slapping Star-Lord on the shoulder and noting they have now become the “Asgardians of the Galaxy,” their slow wrestle for control of the team begins almost immediately.

Marvel Comic fans know that the Asgardians of the Galaxy are actually another standalone team of heroes. The name is likely just a nod for comic fans, since that team’s roster includes Thor’s sister Angela, another Valkyrie, the Frog Thor, Skurge (killed in Ragnarok) and more. But don’t count on seeing them in the MCU just yet.

3 Old Captain America Passes The Torch

It’s a fitting end to Steve Rogers’ role in the MCU, and Chris Evans’ time as Captain America that the closing scenes of the movie should focus on the love of his life Peggy Carter, and the life that they finally got to share together. The technology is jaw-dropping to turn the youthful Evans into a century-old man, but the means of making a comic book story so much more emotional is the real wonder. In the comics, natural aging eventually came for Steve Rogers as well.

In that version of the story Steve had the super soldier serum removed from his blood by a villain, allowing time to wither away his strength into the age he actually should be. It was then that he passed on the shield to his replacement, Sam Wilson. The movie manages the same, while giving Steve the happy ending he always deserved.

2 Steve & Peggy’s Song

After Captain America: The First Avenger ended with Steve waking up in the modern world and lamenting that he “had a date,” it only seems right to conclude the story of these Avengers by making sure that he made it after all. But if the scene of Steve and Peggy slow dancing and sharing a kiss in their home isn’t heartwarming enough, the song they’re dancing too is too perfect for words. “It’s Been a Long Long Time” may mean more to Steve than Peggy, but the lyrics alone are practically written for these reunited lovers.

Kiss me once, then kiss me twice/Then kiss me once again/It’s been a long, long time/Haven’t felt like this, my dear/Since I can’t remember when/It’s been a long, long time/You’ll never know how many dreams/I’ve dreamed about you/ Or just how empty they all seemed without you…

1 The Iron Man Clang in The Credits

There may be no better way to tell fans that the Marvel Universe they watched develop has truly come to its conclusion than to have a post-credits scene teasing… nothing at all. There is no Avengers: Endgame post-credits scene awaiting fans, but there is a small Easter Egg. As the music fades and the last credits roll, the audio fades in of a hammer clanking against an anvil. That’s the sound effect of Tony Stark hammering together his first suit of armor and the arc reactor to keep him alive, as a reminder of how this all began. One man, in a cave, with nothing but a box of scraps.

Those are all the Easter Eggs, Marvel Comic references, inside jokes, and secret details that we could find in Avengers: Endgame, but there are sure to be more as the days, weeks, and months ahead reveal more and more. If we’ve missed any, be sure to let us know in the comments!

MORE: Every Marvel Movie Confirmed For After Avengers: Endgame

2019-04-26 01:04:12

Andrew Dyce

8 Most Important Iron Man Moments In The MCU (That Will Affect Him In Endgame)

As the grandfather of the MCU, Iron Man holds a special spot in the hearts of most Marvel fans. Since 2008, we’ve watched as he invented new suits, conquered villains and battled alien armies— all while sporting a perfectly-sculpted goatee. But on April 26, Phase 3 of the MCU will come to a close and it will be time for the original Avengers to step aside, allowing a new generation of heroes to take the spotlight.

There are several key moments from Tony Stark’s MCU journey that have been particularly important in shaping who he is today, and they will surely be on his mind during Avengers: Endgame, influencing the final chapter of his story. Here are Iron Man’s eight most important moments in the MCU.

RELATED: The 10 Most Important Scenes In Captain America’s MCU Journey

8 Escaping the cave and starting afresh in Iron Man

Iron Man’s journey as a superhero didn’t begin with a test tube or a magic stone, but in a dark cave in the Middle East. Captured by terrorists, Tony Stark was coerced into building a weapon— or at least, that’s what he wanted the terrorists to think. In reality, Tony was building the very first iteration of the Iron Man suit, which he would later use to blast his way out of captivity.

The Iron Man suit wasn’t the only thing Tony Stark took out of that cave with him, though. Having witnessed American soldiers die because of the very weapons he created to defend them, Tony was forced to reckon with the dark legacy of Stark Industries. He also became close friends with a fellow captor named Yinsen, who helped Tony to realize the importance of family and the hollowness of his playboy lifestyle. Forced into three months of self-reflection, Tony came back to America a different man, shutting down the weapons arm of his company, focusing on his close relationships and building a new prototype of the Iron Man suit. Tony will begin his Endgame journey isolated in the darkness of space with Nebula, so we have a feeling his time in that shadowy cave will be heavy on his mind.

7 Getting together with Pepper Potts in Iron Man 2

When we first meet Tony Stark, he’s the billionaire equivalent of a frat boy, flirting with anything that moves and eschewing serious relationships like they’re trying to hand him things. But over the course of his MCU journey, Tony comes to realize the importance of close relationships and starts to build something real with Pepper Potts. In Iron Man 2, the two finally get together in the final act of the film, and ever since, Pepper has played a central role in Tony’s story arc.

RELATED: 10 Best Thor Quotes from the MCU

For fear of losing his loved ones to the superior firepower of extraterrestrials, Tony has obsessed over building bigger and better Iron Man suits for the most part of the past seven years. But even his most advanced suit couldn’t defeat Thanos, and half of his friends faded to dust before his very eyes. Luckily, Pepper Potts survived the Snap, and she’ll likely play a central role in Tony’s Endgame journey.

6 Flying the nuke into the wormhole in The Avengers

One of the appeals of Tony Stark is that he isn’t your typical hero. Unlike Captain America, he’s not a walking, talking ethics textbook, preferring sassy one-liners to inspirational speeches. But despite his narcissistic nature, Tony still puts others first, showing the world that you don’t need to have a perfect moral compass to be a hero. In The Avengers, even if the first thought on Tony’s mind when that missile was heading for Manhattan was, “Screw this, I’m getting shawarma,” that’s not the thought he acted on, and it’s the action that defines the hero. Putting his life on the line, he directed the missile into the wormhole and saved millions of people in New York City.

This moment was a turning point in Tony’s story arc, showing that it wasn’t just the Iron Man suit that made him a hero, but also the man beneath the metal. In Avengers: Infinity War, Tony made a similar decision, flying off into the deep recesses of space to defend the Earth from Thanos. It’s because of this selfless decision that Tony is now stranded on the opposite side of the galaxy, but we know he’ll eventually find his way back to his fellow Avengers on Earth.

5 Reckoning with the constant threat of alien invasion in Iron Man 3

In Iron Man 3, we see Tony struggling to come to terms with his experience during the alien invasion of Manhattan. Having witnessed the might of alien forces, Tony fears the possibility of another attack from space and becomes obsessed with preparing for the next invasion, experiencing panic attacks whenever anyone mentions New York.

RELATED: 10 Most Important Scenes For Thor’s MCU Journey

Although he eventually overcomes his anxiety about the battle in Manhattan, Tony’s fear of an extraterrestrial war becomes a recurrent theme in his story arc, driving him to continuously work at his suits in preparation for future alien attacks. All of his fears came to fruition in Avengers: Infinity War, but despite seven years of preparations, he still couldn’t stop Thanos from getting his way. In Avengers: Endgame, it seems that Tony will start to realize that the key to defeating Thanos isn’t fancy technology, but the unity of the Avengers.

4 Seeing a vision of his fellow Avengers dead in Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Although Scarlet Witch eventually sided with the Avengers, she began her MCU journey by planting a vision in Tony Stark’s head that would go on to haunt him for years. Playing on all of his greatest fears, she showed him a version of the future in which aliens return to Earth and kill all of the Avengers. As Tony recounts to Nick Fury later in the film, the worst part of the vision wasn’t that everyone else was dead— it was that he was the sole survivor. Seeing this version of the future leaves Tony feeling as if he hasn’t done enough to prepare for the possibility of extraterrestrial attacks, and as a result, he creates Ultron, which… well, we all know how that turns out.

RELATED: 8 Times The MCU Addressed Real-World Social Problems

Even after the failure of Ultron, the image of his fellow Avengers dead at his feet influences Tony’s decision-making for years, leading to the creation of Vision and the reinstallation of the Arc Reactor in his chest. In Avengers: Infinity War, Scarlet Witch’s version of the future becomes a reality despite all of Tony’s preparations, and although the original Avengers are still alive, Tony will almost certainly struggle with survivor’s guilt in Endgame. 

3 Falling out with Steve Rogers in Captain America: Civil War

Although Tony clashed with Steve Rogers from the beginning, the two managed to maintain a close friendship despite their differences. But this all came to an end in Captain America: Civil War, when it was revealed that Steve had kept the truth about the death of Tony Stark’s parents a secret.

This led to an intense battle between Steve and Tony and a rift in the Avengers that persisted right up until Avengers: Infinity War. Even in the face of alien invasion, Tony still hesitated to contact Steve Rogers for help. But the Snap changed everything, and in Endgame, the two will be forced to resolve their differences and fight together one last time.

2 Becoming a mentor to Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming

Things were a lot different during the early days of the MCU. Few people discussed ants and superheroes in the same sentence. Talking raccoons had not yet taken over pop culture. And Tony Stark was about as far from a father figure as you can get.

But over the course of the past 11 years, Tony has slowly embraced a more family-centered lifestyle, and in Spider-Man: Homecoming, he became a mentor to Peter Parker, taking him under his wing and helping him adjust to his new heroic lifestyle. This made it particularly hard to watch as Peter faded to dust in Tony’s arms during the third act of Infinity War. Tony’s relationship with Spider-Man has changed him, and Peter’s death will certainly have a significant impact on Tony’s Endgame journey.

1 Watching his friends fade to dust in Avengers: Infinity War

It wasn’t just the death of Peter Parker that Tony bore witness to in Avengers: Infinity War. Every new ally he made during his time in space faded into nothingness before his very eyes.

Although losing Peter Parker will no doubt affect him the most in Endgame, the deaths of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Strange will also weigh heavy on his conscience, pushing him to get back to Earth and do whatever it takes to bring back the fallen.

NEXT: 8 Ways The MCU Has Forever Changed Cinema

2019-04-26 01:04:10

Leanne Louie

Harry Potter: 6 Times Hermione Was A Good Friend (& 4 Times She Wasn’t)

Hermione Granger is one of the most important characters in Harry Potter. She’s known for her fierce intelligence and deep-rooted friendship with Harry and Ron. However, making friends didn’t always come easily to Hermione. At the beginning of her Hogwarts career, Hermione is a lone wolf. Nobody makes an effort to be friends with her, but on the flip side, Hermione doesn’t put herself out there either. It’s not until a near-death experience with a troll that unites her with Harry and Ron.

Having Hermione as a friend is definitely a plus. The girl goes to great lengths to protect and defend those she holds dear. But there are times when old know-it-all Hermione can rear her head, smug sneer and dismissive comment at the ready. Hey, nobody’s perfect though. At the end of the day, Hermione is a caring person and a swell friend. Most of the time. Here is Harry Potter: 6 Times Hermione Was A Good Friend (And 4 Times She Wasn’t).

10 Good friend: Took the rap for Harry and Ron

This was really the moment the golden trio was formed. When a dangerous troll was loose in the castle, Harry and Ron were able to use magic—with Hermione’s help—to knock it unconscious. However successful they were, the boys still broke the rules by going after the troll. Hermione protects Harry and Ron by telling the professors she went looking for the troll instead.

RELATED: Harry Potter: 20 Creatures Ranked From Weakest To Strongest, Officially Ranked

She didn’t have to do this. Really, this whole fiasco started because Hermione overheard Ron making fun of her and she ran to the bathroom in tears. But she recognized Harry and Ron’s bravery for risking their lives to make sure she was okay and she wanted to return the favor. In hindsight, this would go down as one of the friends’ tamest adventures.

9 Wasn’t: Ratted Harry out to McGonagall

Hermione has an unfortunate habit of thinking she knows what’s best for people better than they do. This is perfectly demonstrated when Harry receives a Firebolt—a top-of-the-line broomstick—for Christmas from an anonymous donor. Hermione believed the mystery Santa to be escaped convict Sirius Black, then thought to be extremely dangerous.

RELATED: Harry Potter: 20 Things Wrong With Sirius Black We All Choose To Ignore

As always, it’s sound logic—and Hermione would be delighted to learn she was right. When Harry disagrees with her hypothesis, Hermione goes behind his back to Professor McGonagall who confiscates the broom. While Hermione’s only trying to be a good friend, this should’ve been Harry’s judgment call to make. As painful as it is—and as much as we want to be proven right—sometimes it’s best to let friends make mistakes for themselves.

8 Good friend: Used her Time-Turner to save Sirius and Buckbeak

Hermione could have gotten in major trouble for this one. As in Azkaban trouble. Using a Time-Turner is not to be taken lightly. You need approval from the Ministry of Magic and must swear to only use it for its intended purpose. However, to Hermione, saving two lives is worth the risk. When Buckbeak the Hippogriff is unjustly executed and Sirius is given the Dementor’s Kiss, all hope is lost for the gang. Harry is especially distraught.

RELATED: Harry Potter: 10 Times Hermione Should Have Definitely Been Expelled (Or Imprisoned In Azkaban)

That’s when Hermione has one of her many strokes of genius. She uses her Time-Turner, given to her to accommodate her ludicrously packed class schedule, to go back in time with Harry in order to save both Sirius and Buckbeak’s lives. Hermione has certainly come a long way from the persnickety first-year who declared she would rather be killed than expelled.

7 Wasn’t: Belittled the death of Lavender’s pet rabbit

Some people will never be friends. From the get-go, Hermione thinks that Lavender is a frivolous ninny and Lavender thinks Hermione is a stuck-up snob. That being said, the two did share a dormitory for seven years. When Lavender is distraught over the death of her beloved rabbit Binky, Hermione could have shown much more compassion than she did. Instead, she used it as an opportunity to make a case why Divination—Lavender’s favorite subject—is hooey.

RELATED: Ranked: All The Hogwarts Classes

Public service announcement: when someone is inconsolable because their pet just died…console them. As logical as she was, Hermione came across as a real jerk. Being right is all well and good, but not when it comes at the cost of basic human kindness.

6 Good friend: Helped Harry get the golden egg

While Hermione is definitely guilty of being an intellectual show-off, she has been known to use her smarts to help other people. As an unwitting contestant in the Triwizard Tournament, Harry is tasked with retrieving a golden egg from a Hungarian Horntail, a particularly vicious dragon. As a strong flyer, Harry knows his best bet is to use a Summoning Charm to retrieve his broom. The problem is, Harry is lousy at Summoning Charms.

RELATED: Harry Potter: 20 Crazy Revelations About Harry And Hermione’s Relationship

Enter straight-A student Hermione. She helps Harry with the charm, staying up with him until two o’clock in the morning. Not only does that take being a study-buddy to the next level, it takes their friendship to one as well.

5 Wasn’t: Dismissive of Luna

Of all people, Hermione should know what it’s like to feel lonely and alienated. As Hogwarts’ resident eccentric, Luna Lovegood is constantly made fun of for her outlandish wardrobe and off-the-wall beliefs. While Hermione isn’t leading the charge in bullying Luna, she’s certainly dismissive of her.

RELATED: Harry Potter: 15 Times Hermione Granger Was The Worst

The thing is, it’s fine for Hermione and Luna to have different viewpoints and values, but Hermione legitimately thinks less of Luna because she doesn’t share Hermione’s rationalism. If Hermione would put her superiority complex aside, she would notice that strange as she may be, Luna is an incredibly astute social observer. If Hermione gave their friendship a chance, she might learn to take a page out of Luna’s Quibbler and have an open mind.

4 Good friend: Fooled Dolores Umbridge

Dolores Umbridge’s brief stint as Headmistress of Hogwarts was dark and disturbing. She was a medieval disciplinarian of students, as Harry finds out when forced to write lines in his own blood. But that’s positively passive compared to what happens when Umbridge catches Harry and Hermione in her office. Umbridge is about to use the Cruciatus Curse—the torture curse—on Harry, but Hermione is able to think on her feet and prevent this from happening.

RELATED: Harry Potter: 15 Most WTF Things Dolores Umbridge Has Ever Done

She invents a cockamamie story about a secret weapon Dumbledore has been hiding in the Forbidden Forest. Umbridge is all ears and insists on being led to the “weapon” immediately. Once in the forest, they are approached by a group of centaurs. Umbridge can’t resist hurling speciesist insults at them, to which the centaurs don’t take too kindly. In a fit of rage, they carry Umbridge off, releasing Harry and Hermione from her tyrannical clutches. Hermione doesn’t just have book-smarts; she’s got street-smarts too and is always willing to use them for her friends.

3 Wasn’t: Asked Cormac McLaggen out to make Ron jealous

Oh, love, you fickle-minded beast. Young people will become bitter enemies before daring to admit romantic feelings to each other. Hermione and Ron have had crushes on each other for years, but it takes a boatload of hurt feelings and petty schemes before they actually get together.

RELATED: Harry Potter: 25 Wild Revelations About Hermione and Ron’s Relationship

In sixth year, Ron’s insecurity reaches a boiling point. Really, he’s petrified that he’s not good enough for Hermione. However, his hormonal mind tells him the best course of action is to date Lavender Brown to make Hermione jealous. It works. One might think Hermione would be the mature one, but no. She gets her revenge by inviting Ron’s rival, Cormac McLaggen, to an exclusive Christmas party Ron isn’t invited to. It just goes to show, as brilliant as Hermione is, she doesn’t have a clue about dating.

2 Good friend: Realized the power of friendship

While Hermione becomes friends with Harry and Ron after the troll incident, there’s still a bit of a disconnect between her and the boys. Their friendship isn’t fully crystallized until they go after the Philosopher’s Stone. This is the trio’s first battle and each individual proves their incredible heroism.

RELATED: 8 Empowering Quotes From Hermione Granger To Muggle Women

When Harry has to complete the last leg of the journey alone, he and Hermione have a heart-to-heart where Hermione shares that Harry and Ron have taught her the real value of friendship. It’s a rare moment where she lets herself be vulnerable and as a result, solidifies two lifelong friendships.

1 Good friend: Risked her life to join Harry in the final battle

Everyone who joined Harry in the final fight against Voldemort is a brave soul. But Hermione, as a Muggle-born, had more to risk than anyone. Under Voldemort’s regime, he decreed that all Muggle-borns are to be exterminated. Nobody would blame Hermione for sitting this one out. But instead, she makes remarkable sacrifices. In a heartbreaking moment, she Obliviates her parents, making them forget they have a daughter in case she were to die in battle. Later on, Hermione is subjected to unspeakable torture at the hands of Bellatrix Lestrange. Not even Harry suffers as much as Hermione. But her presence at Harry’s side isn’t even a question. That’s just the kind of friend she is.

NEXT: 20 Things Hermione Can Do (That Harry Potter Can’t)

2019-04-26 01:04:02

Liz Hersey

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 6 Times Buffy Was A Good Friend (& 4 She Wasn’t)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer broke the mold. Not just in terms of cult TV status, but in terms of the titular character herself. Buffy comes from a long line of Slayers. She is the Chosen One, meaning she and she alone is meant to protect the world against vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness. Well, Buffy Summers gives a big fat middle finger to tradition and ritual by involving her friends, the Scoobie Gang, in her never-ending fight against evil.

Buffy’s rebellious approach to her calling paid off. She has lived longer than most Slayers, her two deaths notwithstanding, because she has aligned herself with invaluable comrades who have her back no matter what. Buffy loves her pals and over the course of seven seasons, has proven she’ll do anything for them.

That being said, Buffy isn’t perfect. Like any human, she has her flaws. She can be incredibly selfish. Her Slayer status can give her an inflated sense of superiority. She has a tendency to ditch her true-blue friends when she meets someone shiny and new. Yes, Buffy Summers is a both a multi-layered individual and friend.

10 Good friend – Chose sweet Willow over popular Cordelia

When Buffy arrives at Sunnydale High, she has it made in the shade. Queen Bee Cordelia Chase is drawn to Buffy like a moth to a cool girl flame. She invites Buffy to be one of the beautiful people, the popular kids. For Buffy this is a dream come true. All she wants is to leave her Slayer past behind and live a normal life, complete with cheerleading, boys, and trendy but tasty Frappucinos.

RELATED: Buffy The Vampire Slayer Characters Sorted Into Their Hogwarts Houses

But all this comes at a price far too high for Buffy: the price of human decency. Within minutes, Cordelia mocks wallflower Willow’s unfortunate outfit. Buffy realizes she’d much rather have a friendship rooted in kindness than sell her soul for a few golden years of popularity. That very day, she approaches Willow and asks to be her study-buddy. Buffy shows her true character, her valor as a friend, and one of TV’s best female friendships ever is formed.

9 Wasn’t – Treated her friends like garbage after she died

Coming back from death would be harrowing for anyone, especially a sixteen-year-old who carries the weight of the world on her slender shoulders. It’s understandable Buffy would be traumatized. But you know what doesn’t make sense, Buffy? Turning against all your friends, especially Xander, the person who brought you back to life.

RELATED: Sarah Michelle Gellar Says She Won’t Be In The Buffy Reboot

After summer break, Buffy is strangely aloof to everyone. One night she shows up at the Bronze, dressed to kill…her friendships. She grabs Xander and pulls him in for an intimate dance in front of everyone. During this “sexy dance”, Buffy taunts Xander, asking if he wishes she would thank him for saving her. Not only does she prey on Xander’s romantic feelings for her, she also upsets Willow and Angel, witnesses to the dance, in the process. Her behavior is baffling.

8 Good friend – Acknowledged Xander as a gentleman

Xander’s treatment of women, especially Buffy, has been beyond problematic. At the beginning of the series, Xander put Buffy on a pedestal, objectified her, and got rather salty when Buffy maturely told him she didn’t return his feelings. But in “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”, Xander accidentally casts a love spell that makes Sunnydale’s entire female population, including Buffy, fall head over heels in love with him. This results in Buffy surprising Xander in the library, wearing a sexy raincoat and nothing else. Xander turns her down.

RELATED: 10 Boyfriends On Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Ranked Worst To Best

Should Xander be commended for not taking advantage of Buffy in a vulnerable situation? No, that would be called being a decent human being. But what is truly character-revealing is that he wasn’t even tempted. While he may have responded physically to the situation, mentally it was out of the question. Buffy isn’t in her right mind, therefore no tryst can happen. When the spell is reversed and everyone is back to normal, Buffy makes a special point to acknowledge Xander’s chivalrous behavior. It’s a small moment, but it really speaks to the level of respect and love these two friends have for each other.

7 Wasn’t – Sunk to Cordelia’s level

Buffy and Cordelia have been rivals almost throughout their entire time together at Sunnydale High. Cordelia is seen as the mean one where Buffy is the noble defender of the underdog. But there were times when Buffy gave Cordelia a run for her money as the reigning “Queen of Mean”. The best example is when they ran against each other for Homecoming Queen.

RELATED: MBTI Of Buffy The Vampire Slayer Characters

At this point they were sort-of friends. While they weren’t exactly besties, they were both members of the Scoobie Gang. But when Cordy doesn’t tell Buffy about yearbook photos, this unleashes Buffy’s inner mean girl hell beast and she declares war for the Homecoming throne. There’s no question that Cordelia started it, but Buffy got right down in the mud with her. Neither pulled any punches with the negative campaigning, hurling mean names and body-shaming insults at each other. They both got their just desserts as neither Buffy nor Cordelia won the crown. Hopefully they learned a lesson about friendship too.

6 Good friend – Asked Giles to be her Watcher again

As people get older, it’s natural that some friendships are outgrown. Buffy’s first year of college finds her gradually drifting away from Giles, her father figure, as she learns to find her place in the world. However, sometimes a coming-of-age journey can lead us right back home. After the first Slayer haunts Buffy in her dreams, Buffy has all sorts of questions about what it truly means to be the Slayer. She wants Giles to help her answer them and to be her Watcher again.

RELATED: Buffy The Vampire Slayer: 15 Things You Never Knew About Giles

Even though Buffy and Giles love each other like family, much of their emotional connection goes unspoken. Buffy verbally recognizing the value Giles adds to her life is truly touching and wholly shows her gratitude for their friendship.

5 Wasn’t – Ditched Willow for Faith

Buffy and Faith didn’t get along at first. Faith thought Buffy was an uptight goody-two-shoes and Buffy thought Faith was an obnoxious wannabe tough girl. However over time, Buffy became seduced by Faith’s devil-may-care approach to slaying, and life itself. Sadly, part of that meant leaving the Scoobies in the dust, especially Willow. Buffy commits the BFF’s unforgivable sin by ditching a study date with Willow to go “live large” with Faith.

RELATED: 7 New Character Additions That Hurt Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And 13 That Saved It)

But livin’ large was more than Buffy bargained for when Faith accidentally kills Allan Finch, the Deputy Mayor. While Faith appears to show no remorse, Buffy is a nervous wreck. She realizes that she’s in way over her head and goes to the one person she can trust more than anyone, Willow. Because killing civilians is so not “five by five”.

4 Good friend – Forgave Willow for her magic bender

Season 6 sees Willow’s magic addiction reach dangerous heights. Buffy and the Scoobies notice the warning signs and casually voice concernsm but this is uncharted waters. Is magic addiction even a thing? It turns out, yes. Willow gets absolutely out of control, driving while high on sketchy magic. Oh yeah, Buffy’s little sis Dawn is in the car. Willow crashes, breaking Dawn’s arm in the process.

RELATED: 10 Most Heartbreaking Buffy Episodes

Buffy is livid with her friend, but is able to recognize that Willow really has a problem. To forgive a friend for putting her sister in danger really speaks to Buffy’s love for Willow. The episode ends with Buffy tucking a shaken Willow into bed and giving her a cup of tea. Willow vows to get clean and makes good on that promise—for awhile. Having a real friend like Buffy definitely helps.

3 Wasn’t – Told the Scoobies she didn’t need them

Spike totally put the “Yoko” to the Scoobies during the days of the Initiative. He expertly observed cracks in the gang and exploited them to the best of his ability. His handiwork paid off and instead of discussing strategies for defeating Adam, the Scoobies devolved into multiple rounds of petty bickering. Everyone is guilty of taking cheap shots, but Buffy is by far the worst. She tells her friends that she doesn’t need them to fight Adam and they would only get in the way. Before leaving, she delivers the verbal knockout punch saying she now sees “why there’s no ancient prophecy about a Chosen One and her friends.”

RELATED: 10 Hidden Powers Buffy The Vampire Slayer Has (And 10 Weaknesses)

Ouch. That’s ice cold. And Buffy’s dead wrong. The group ends up reconciling and together they cast an enjoining spell to combine all their strengths into Buffy’s body so she could kill Adam good and proper. It’s a good thing the Chosen One could count on her friends.

2 Good friend – Integrated Dawn into the Scoobie Gang

If the Dawn haters of the world—and there are oh-so many—would set aside their prejudice, they might find that Dawn isn’t really as annoying as they might think and actually has some very sympathetic qualities. Sure, she was the Key and almost used as a human sacrifice but even worse, she’s forever left out of Scooby business. As Buffy’s sister, Dawn is always on the outside looking in. She’s just close enough to see the magical friendship the Scoobies have but too far removed from feeling like a member herself.

RELATED: 10 Last Minute Changes That Hurt Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And 10 That Saved It)

Much of this stems from big sister Buffy wanting to protect her. This is completely fair, but when Buffy finally sees Dawn on the battlefield, she realizes that her little sister has some serious fighting moves and that maybe sheltering Dawn from every bad guy is worse than teaching Dawn to be a strong woman. Buffy says, “I don’t want to protect you from the world. I want to show it to you.” This is the moment when Buffy allows Dawn into the Scooby Gang and the two go from being just sisters to best friends.

1 Good friend – Empowered her friends to save the world

The show saved the biggest battle for last. Buffy and co. spent the entire final season preparing to fight the First Evil. This tested the group like nothing before and the Scoobies risked complete implosion before they were able to band together to kick some undead butt. Perhaps Buffy’s most noteworthy stroke of genius was the idea of having mega-witch Willow cast a spell to give Slayer strength to all the Potentials. Willow is successful and this spell is instrumental in vanquishing the First and closing the Hellmouth.

What it all boiled down to is Buffy having faith in her friends, especially Willow. It may sound cheesy, but their friendship is what saved the world.

NEXT: 5 Times Willow Saved The Buffyverse (And 5 Times She Put Everyone In Danger)

2019-04-25 11:04:55

Liz Hersey

10 Most Memorable Quotes From The Toy Story Movies

The Toy Story franchise will be continuing this summer with the release of Toy Story 4. Some fans are wary of the new sequel, since Toy Story 3 wrapped up the trilogy and concluded the story in the greatest possible way. However, Toy Story 4 is reportedly not trying to undo that conclusion or progress the story.

RELATED: 15 Adult Jokes Hidden In Toy Story Movies

Instead, it will stand on its own as a side story about the characters. It’s been described as a romantic comedy focusing on Woody and Bo Peep’s relationship. The fourth movie will likely bring us a bunch of new iconic quotes in a franchise already chock full of them. So, here are the 10 Most Memorable Quotes From The Toy Story Movies.

10 “You are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity.”

Right after Woody has knocked Buzz out the window of Andy’s bedroom, Andy can’t find Buzz and instead takes Woody to Pizza Planet. This was Woody’s plan, but what he didn’t plan on was Buzz hopping on the back of the car – or getting knocked out the window at all, actually. So, he’s surprised – and kind of relieved – when Buzz turns out to be okay.

But of course, he’s not pleased. When Woody becomes “a lost toy” and is stranded at the gas station with Buzz, he panics. Buzz still thinks he’s a Space Ranger at this point, so he’s not too bothered, and he tells a terrified Woody, “You are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity.”

9 “He ain’t the sharpest knife in the place where they keep the knives.”

In Toy Story 3, when Buzz goes to investigate the bad guys on the toys’ first night as Sunnyside Daycare Center, he overhears Chunk saying this about him. The rest of the toys are called “toddler fodder,” but Buzz – referred to as “that space guy” by Michael Keaton’s Ken – is deemed potentially “useful.”

And then Chunk, being a hypocrite, says, “He ain’t the sharpest knife in the place where they keep the knives.” To be fair to him, he is a toy. He doesn’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen, taking knives in and out of drawers, so how can he be expected to know where knives are kept?

8 “This isn’t flying. This is falling with style!”

We now know Woody and Buzz as the best of friends, but at the beginning of the first movie, they were adversaries. Woody was jealous of all the attention Buzz was getting. When Buzz managed to fly around Andy’s bedroom, Woody shrugged it off as “falling with style.” Later, when they’re best friends and they’re desperately pursuing the moving van, Buzz owns the “falling with style” thing.

RELATED: Keanu Reeves’ Toy Story 4 Character Duke Caboom Explained

He’s realized he’s just a toy and he can’t really fly, but the fact that he can glide through the air after being shot into the sky strapped to a rocket brings back some of his sense of wonder – and gives Woody his own sense of wonder – which helps to set the stage for the rest of the series.

7 “Excuse me, I think the word you’re searching for is ‘Space Ranger.’”

In the first Toy Story movie, when all the other toys are gushing over Buzz, and Woody is starting to feel the jealousy that will drive him to almost kill him, the sheriff says, “All right, that’s enough! Look, we’re all very impressed with Andy’s new toy.” Confused, Buzz says, “Toy?” Woody explains, “T-O-Y. Toy!”

Offended, Buzz says, “Excuse me, I think the word you’re searching for is ‘Space Ranger.’” And then Woody, with Tom Hanks’ perfect comic timing, says, “The word I’m searching for, I can’t say, because there’s pre-school toys present.” The tensions are already starting to show.

6 “The thing that makes Woody special is that he’ll never give up on you.”

At the end of Toy Story 3, Andy gives all his toys to Bonnie, passing the colorful cast of characters on from one generation to the next. First, he shows her Woody and, in a few short words, sums up everything’s that’s great about the character.

“Now, Woody…he’s been my pal as long as I can remember. He’s brave, like a cowboy should be, and kind and smart. But the thing that makes Woody special is that he’ll never give up on you – ever. He’ll be there for you, no matter what. You think you can take care of him for me?”

5 “There’s a snake in my boot!”

Of all the lines that Woody utters when his pull-string is given a tug, this one is the most memorable. Lines like “Reach for the sky!” are just as memorable, but that’s something you’d expect a cowboy to say. “There’s a snake in my boot!” is something new.

It’s unique to Woody. In Toy Story 2, he would discover that this line was followed up with the kind of tacky merchandise that gets produced from successful franchises like Woody’s Roundup – a cowboy boot where the stirrup acts as a trigger that, if pulled, launches a snake out of the boot.

4 “You are a child’s plaything!”

Ostensibly, Toy Story is a movie about one toy who is deluded into thinking he is actually the Space Ranger that he has been designed to look like having his eyes opened by another, more cynical toy who is aware that he’s made of plastic and was put together in a factory to be enjoyed by a human kid.

RELATED: 25 Toy Story Movie Mistakes That Slipped By Editors

However, it’s also a movie about the optimistic toy opening the eyes of the pessimistic toy and giving him a sense of adventure. Over the course of the plot, Woody doesn’t just change Buzz; Buzz changes Woody, too. And in the process, they become best friends.

3 “Woody once risked his life to save me. I couldn’t call myself his friend if I weren’t willing to do the same. So, who’s with me?”

This is what Buzz says in Toy Story 2 when he’s rallying the troops to go and save Woody from the clutches of “the Chicken Man.” Toy Story 2 is the perfect sequel, because it continues the journey of its characters in the most natural and organic way. It also avoids being a rehash of the first one by flipping the stakes.

It went from being a story about Woody saving Buzz to being a story about Buzz saving Woody to further solidify their bond. But it didn’t just swap the characters – it was an entirely different plot, which helped it to stand on its own.

2 “You never forget kids like Emily, or Andy, but they forget you.”

It’s hard to join the cast of a TV show or film franchise in a later episode or movie and be accepted as much as the original characters. However, Joan Cusack’s cowgirl doll Jessie was welcomed into the fold almost immediately. She’s funny, energetic, lovable – and she told us her tragic backstory. This line sums up the tragedy of that backstory in one sentence.

Kids mean far more to their toys than their toys mean to them, because kids grow out of their toys and the toys never grow out of their kids. Trust Pixar to find the emotional core of inanimate (we think) objects.

1 “To infinity and beyond!”

This is just Buzz Lightyear’s catchphrase, but it was taken from the toy company that made him and turned into the motto of Andy’s group of toys. Buzz says it at the end of the first movie when he and Woody are soaring through the sky towards the moving van.

“To infinity and beyond!” is the Toy Story franchise’s version of Finding Nemo’s “Just keep swimming,” the quote that keeps its fans going through tough times. It doesn’t really mean anything, since by definition, there is nothing beyond infinity – it simply doesn’t exist – but Woody and Buzz have given it meaning.

NEXT: The Ultimate Pixar Gift Guide

2019-04-25 11:04:07

Ben Sherlock

Star Wars Celebration: 10 Out Of This World Cosplays

The Star Wars Celebration is known as the ultimate fan experience. Those in the community, whether they be cosplayers or closeted enthusiasts, look forward to this event almost every year. The convention takes place annually (with the exception of the sorely missed convention in 2018) and is held in different portals of the world each time. In 2017, the Star Wars Celebration was held in Orlando, Florida which brought in over 70,000 people. And this year Chicago, Illinois had the honor of playing host to this highly anticipated occasion.

For Star Wars fans, however, it doesn’t matter where in the world they are— they are willing to make the trek for this convention. Fans come from around the globe to be the first to hear the latest in Star Wars news, meet the actors, and to buy limitless Star Wars souvenirs. Cosplayers are also known to bring their A-game to this coveted event, meaning that there were cosmic ends of phenomenal cosplays crossing paths throughout the convention’s quarters.

It would be a futile task to bring attention to all of the out-of-this-world cosplays that were seen throughout the event. From a Rick and Morty Storm Trooper to a larger-than-life Chewbacca, the creativity put into these costumes were mind-blowing.

So here are 10 inspiring cosplays from the five-day event!

RELATED: Star Wars Celebration 2019

10 Shriv

Shriv Suurgav is a Duro; a humanoid from the planet of the same name. He faithfully served the Alliance to Restore the Republic and the Resistance. He helped create a new Inferno Squad for the Resistance and fought against the Imperial Forces. He is a friendly and loyal character, whose allegiance lines up with General Leia Organa. 

Shriv is voiced by Dan Donahue in the 2017 game Star Wars: Battlefront II. However, this cosplayer did a phenomenal job bringing Shriv to life. The special effects mask pairs well with his battle suit and makes the fictional alien look almost real!

9 Krennic and Vice Admiral Holdo

Orson Krennic was introduced into the Star Wars film franchise in 2016’s Rogue One. Australian actor, Ben Mendelsohn, plays the role of Director of the Advanced Weapons Research of the Empire‘s Imperial Military and turns out to be a prominent villain in Return of the Jedi.

Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, an officer in the Rebellion played a vital role in Return of the Jedi. Actress Laura Dern played the stoic lead with grace. And despite her demeanor, audiences couldn’t help feel for her character in those last pivotal moments.

These cosplayers did a phenomenal job recreating these two characters from the newest installments of the Star Wars series. Jen Markham, who is cosplaying as Amilyn Holdo here, shared this photo on her Instagram among a bevy of other cosplays from the Star Wars Celebration. She is described as a “Writer, producer, costumer, inline skater, New Yorker.”

8 The Real Kylo Ren

Kylo Ren is the estranged son of Hans Solo and Lei Organa. Viewers first learn of his history in the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and fans have been watching the continuing saga with anticipation to see how Kylo turns out. This tragic warrior of the First Order aspires to be powerful like his grandfather, Darth Vadar. Though, fans are eager to see if he will ever leave the dark side of the Force with the persuasion of Rey.

RELATED: Star Wars 7 / Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

This cosplayer looks startlingly similar to Adam Driver, the actor who portrays Kylo Ren. His costume has full-fledge details so there is no mistaking which character he is. From the rivets on his cloak to his discernible lightsaber scar, this Kylo Ren cosplayer absolutely nailed it.

7 Tamry Vora

Tamara Ryvora, also known as “Tam” is a character on the Disney Channel animated series Star Wars Resistance. Tam, voice by Suzie McGrath, was introduced to the show in 2018 when it first premiered. She is affiliated with the First Order and Team Fireball. Originally, she was meant to be a background character, but she was so well-received that she now plays a major role in the animated TV show.

RELATED: Rey Cosplayers Recreate Last Jedi Mirror Scene At Star Wars Celebration

This cosplayer brought out an absolutely perfect representation of Tam. People complimented her profusely at the Star Wars Celebration for her costume and she even had the chance to meet McGrath in her cosplay. In her photo with McGrath she says,

“…lastly a shoutout to the spirit of procrastination because I finished this project 20 minutes before I took this photo “

6 Zabrak Sith

Zabrak is a near-human species from the planet Iridoniam, according to Star Wars lore. Zabrak is independent, proud and was a fierce defier when the Empire tried to overthrow her planet. Instead, Zabrak fought back and joined the Alliance to restore the Republic. She made her first appearance in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace.

Laura Rose Xavier is a cosplayer and prop maker from Milwaukee, WI. Her special effects makeup work isn’t too shabby either! She created a seamless and convincing Zabrak cosplay, with particular praise going to the signature horns on her head.

5 Hologram Leia

Our first ever glimpse of Princess Leia (played by the late Carrie Fisher) came in the form of a hologram sent to Luke Skywalker in the initial Star Wars film. The hologram was meant to be delivered to Obi One Kenobi, who later takes on the role of Luke Skywalker’s mentor. It was during this scene that Leia delivered the now infamous lines, “Help me Obi One Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”

The cosplay scene is laden with a ridiculous amount of creativity, as proven by @mslunaflare. Who would have ever thought to cosplay Hologram Leia? She pulled off the color scheme and overall costume with finesse so that there is no questioning what Star Wars scene this Leia look is referring to.

Luna Flare is a Kansas City cosplayer, who can also be seen frequently dressing up as Disney princesses.

4 Battle Damaged Storm Trooper

This graphic cosplay is one you won’t see every day. It’s this level of imagination that you can expect from cosplayers at the Star Wars Celebration. This battle-damaged Storm Trooper displays a striking scene. Even the usual impeccably white armor is made to look weathered and rusted. There are bullet holes, blood, and a major slash (from a lightsaber, perhaps) in the center of the Storm Trooper helmet.

Storm Troopers are the pawn warriors for the Empire and have been a part of the Star Wars franchise since George Lucas created this mammoth of a story in 1977. Audiences aren’t given much of a first-hand point of view of these characters– well, unless you count Luke and Hans Solo disguising as Storm Troopers in A New Hope.

What other gory details do you notice?


Probably the talk of the convention was this epic gathering of handmaidens during the Star Wars Celebration. These cosplayers recreated an “Escape From Naboo” train in reference to the scene in Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace during the Fight of Naboo. In this scene, Obi-One and Qui-Gon rescue Queen Amidala and her handmaidens.

At the helm of the group is cosplayer, Jedi Manda posing as Queen Amidala. Behind her are sixteen nearly identical handmaidens. The group walked through the convention in unison, creating a terrific buzz and a memorable moment for many who attended the event.

Jedi Manda is known for creating screen accurate costumes from scratch. She recently debuted a nearly perfect Captain Marvel cosplay and is praised by her followers for her attention to detail. Whether she’s Doctor Strange or Queen Amidala, this cosplayer certainly knows how to turn heads.

2 General Leia

We finally saw the return of Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. After three decades, Fisher reprised her role, but this time returning as General Leia Organa for the New Alliance.

Fisher sadly passed away just a year before the release of The Last Jedi. Many were concerned at how Fisher’s character would return for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker as Princess Leia is one of the last characters seen at the end of the 2017 film. Fortunately, director JJ Abrams was able to reuse old footage of the late actress so that fans could rest assured that when they see Leia in the next film, it’s not CGI.

Thankfully, we also have cosplayers that are able to recreate the persona and look of these beloved characters. At first glance, this photo could be mistaken for Carrie Fisher herself. In fact, this is cosplayer, @lilypond81 who is a spitting image of General Leia from the recent films.

1 Force Ghost Luke Skywalker

In The Last Jedi, we see Luke Skywalker in his final moments (maybe– but who know with Star Wars). We seem him briefly alongside other late Jedi Masters as a “Force Ghost” and seemingly, the last we will see of this character after 42 years.

This Force Ghost Luke Skywalker cosplay is one of the more inventive cosplays recognized from the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago this year. Cosplayer John Brummet brought this unique idea to life and even caught the attention of Mark Hamill. Hamill, who has played the role of Luke Skywalker since Return of the Jedi, had this to say about the clever cosplay on Twitter,

“Holy Shimmering Skywalker!!! Now THAT’s some top-notch

NEXT: Next Star Wars Celebration Announced For 2020 In Anaheim

2019-04-25 11:04:04

Tiffani Daniel

10 Storylines Once Upon A Time Didn’t Resolve

Once Upon a Time began as an incredible new show depicting twists on our favorite fairy tales, first in a way that only adults could truly appreciate. While occasionally the show dipped into saccharine territory, borrowing from Disney and sagging beneath the weight of trite tone, it mostly gave us inventive and even ground-breaking stories with characters we loved immediately or grew to love later.

That’s why it’s such a bummer that the show is over with so many loose ends left hanging. We’re glad that it was put to rest before it got too stale, but we’d love to have witnessed some closure regarding a few key storylines that were left unresolved.

RELATED: Once Upon A Time: 30 Things That Make No Sense (And Fans Completely Ignore)

10 How Did Rumpelstiltskin Get Mjolnir?

A few episodes prior to the season 2 finale of Once Upon a Time, we saw Thor’s famous hammer, Mjolnir, in Rumpelstiltskin’s castle. How is this just left unaddressed every season since?

Perhaps while including the Disney princesses, the Once Upon a Time team thought it might be fun to later include some Marvel stories. Then again, we’ve had mythology featured on the show a few times, including a season featuring Hades as a villain, so maybe it was just a plot bunny that was never followed. Either way, we demand a Thor episode the way the God of Thunder demands coffee, and we don’t care that the show’s over. Another!

9 What Happened To Several Characters

Once Upon a Time had a lengthy cast of characters that was nearly impossible to keep up with, so it’s no wonder that we ended up with several characters with loose ends, unresolved romances or even simply dropped storylines. There are plenty of characters whom we met for a brief moment only to forget about them later as well.

Whatever happened to Glinda the Good Witch and Oz, Ruby or Kathyrn, for example? Grumpy and Nova, also known as Leroy and Astrid, also never really resolved their story. Perhaps they’re simply not meant to be, but if so many other characters were deserving of their happy endings, why not them? While there is a DVD extra that wraps them up called “Good Morning Storybrooke,” it was never addressed on an aired episode.

8 Donna And Stephen Remain Puppets

Among the many residents of Storybrooke who miss out on the whole Happily Ever After thing are the parents of Geppetto, Donna and Stephen. The two are puppets in Rumpelstiltskin’s shop for years, appearing in multiple seasons. This seems like a clue alluding to a possible eventual rescue or transformation, but neither Geppetto nor Jiminy/Archie ever even notice that they exist in the shop.

Later Donna even turns up as a piece of evidence in the Hyperion Heights 42nd Precinct Police Station, yet again through unclear means that keep the fate of her and her poor husband a mystery. If anyone deserves a happy ending, it’s these two.

7 Zelena’s First Time Spell

A lot of emphasis was placed on Zelena’s first time traveling spell, and it seemed as if we might learn not only about what happened but maybe even witness it as another storyline in the show. Even the Scarecrow alluded to it significantly enough to make it become a major plot point. Whether that was intentional or meant to be just another rabbit trail that would eventually lead nowhere, we will never know, since it was never fully addressed on the show.

RELATED: Once Upon A Time: 20 Couples The Show Wants Us To Forget

Watching Zelena hunt for the means of the spell we witnessed, we realized that it took some dark deeds to fully bring the spell to fruition. So just what did she do before she did all of the terrible things we witnessed over the years?

6 What Does Regina Do With Everyone’s Hearts?

As the Evil Queen, Regina holds a lot of people’s hearts hostage. She even crushes a great many of them, prompting many fans to question whether or not she (or any of the other baddies on the show, really) truly deserves a happy ending. She’s robbed so many people not only of their happy endings but of their very lives, both before creating Storybrooke as well as afterward, so why on earth should she escape a lifetime of imprisonment?

Once she does join Team Good, what does Regina even do with all of those hearts that she keeps in her vault? Do their owners get them back?

5 Mulan’s Happy Ending

Why on Earth did poor Mulan not get a happy ending? Not only did her love for Aurora go unrequited, but when it seemed as if she and Ruby might be falling for one another (a pairing that fans even gave a name, dubbing it Mulan Rouge), bam, Ruby fell for Dorothy instead. And we haven’t really heard from Mulan ever since.

RELATED: Once Upon A Time: 20 Plot Holes Fans Can’t Get Over

Some actors didn’t want to return for a final episode to resolve their stories and receive happily ever afters, but even if Jamie Chung was one of them, she certainly deserved a larger arc than a quick wrap-up at the end anyway. Some fans have even theorized that she would make a cute couple with Marion.

4 What Happened To Emma’s Lie Detector Skills?

In the first season of Once Upon a Time, Emma’s insistence that her secret power is the ability to detect lies is a huge deal. She says this several times and even proves it over and over again… until she doesn’t anymore. Somewhere on the show, Emma either loses this ability or it’s just discarded as one of her characteristics, but it’s never explained why.

We also never learn whether or not this was truly some sort of supernatural power that Emma had based on her fairy tale heritage or if it’s just a helpful skill she was able to hone over the years of her troubled youth.

3 What Happened To Snow’s Darkened Heart?

In season two of the show, we witness Snow White’s heart darken after she helps ensure that Cora is taken out. It’s such a surprising moment that it should have been addressed later, especially when Snow and Charming do other acts in the name of their own selfishness, like condemn Maleficent’s daughter, Lily, in order to save Emma.

RELATED: 10 Disney Stars That Didn’t Sing Their Iconic Songs

But the issue is never even spoken of again. The True Love between Snow and Charming remains a central focus of the show and their own dark deeds go not only unpunished, as many of the characters’ terrible acts are, but completely ignored.

2 What Happened Between Will And Anastasia?

While Once Upon a Time in Wonderland had too many flaws to make it as addictive as a show as the original, it definitely still had some interesting plots and characters–namely Will Scarlet and his love, Anastasia, better known as both the Red Queen and the White Queen.

While these two technically get some resolution, becoming the White King and Queen and benevolently ruling over Wonderland together, there are too many holes regarding not only what happened between the end of the spin-off to the original series finale but Will’s time in Storybrooke. There are huge plot gaps between Alice’s wedding, season four of Once Upon a Time and the end of the series itself that were never explained.

1 What Happened To Lily?

While we can assume Lily and her mother, Maleficent, enjoyed their complicated reunion, doesn’t Lily deserve much more than the tiny arc she received? Showrunners also promised a big reveal regarding Lily’s mysterious father over the years but in the end, they tossed it in at the end as a casual line where it was mentioned that Zorro, of all people, was Lily’s dad. No.

Not only is this a stupid haphazard way to wrap these characters up, but it’s also a waste of excellent material. Lily should’ve not only had a more important father but her own arcs–the show has a terrible history of under-using its dragons–and happy ending as well. Instead, the last time we see her she’s morose and wondering who her dad is.

NEXT: 10 Once Upon A Time Characters That Were Completely Forgotten (And 10 That Should’ve Been)

2019-04-25 09:04:01

Sara Schmidt

10 Must-Play Board Games For Horror Fans

Whether you like navigating your way through haunted mansions, outsmarting serial murderers, matching wits with Count Dracula, or trying to prevent zombie outbreaks, horror board games offer a wide variety of ways to test your bravery and your smarts. Players can work alone or cooperatively to succeed in their goals, often with individual side objectives adding to the complexity of the gameplay.

Horror board games can take as long or as little time as you like, with interchangeable pieces that make the thrills and chills extend for hours. Every game is new when the board game can be shifted, the characters exchanged, and the difficulty level increased. Here are the must play horror board games that offer a chance to tackle your greatest fears without any danger to you or your friends!



Prepare for Lovecraftian horror and thrills with the Mansions of Madness game, which takes players on a labyrinthian quest through an extensive haunted mansion in search of a way to escape the horrors within its walls. With four separate campaigns, intermediate to advanced players will have hours of chilling gameplay.

With the help of the accompanying app, immerse yourself in a world come alive with 500 detailed components as well as over 32 high-quality figurines. Wander beyond the mansion to the ghostly town of Arkham, and several other maps complete with monsters around every corner!



Based on the action-packed horror blockbuster The Thing by acclaimed horror director John Carpenter, Infection at Outpost 31 brings all the frights of the 1982 classic horror film to chilling life in this multiplayer board game. Only by deducing who “The Thing” has infected can you make it out alive!

Follow the narrative of the film by completing missions, locating potentially infected hosts, and escape Outpost 31 without falling victim to one of the imitations. Playable by up to 12 people, take on the identities of iconic characters like Palmer and Blair, while uncovering the identity of the imitations and winning the game.



Horror movies have long managed to use the disarming innocence of children to frighten adults, and this board game is no exception! Children: The Horror Game has you play as a ghost hunter endeavoring to capture the most child ghosts (up to 13) by discovering their toys and confronting them.

To heighten the mood, play with the official “Children: The Horror Game” soundtrack in the background. With a variety of room cards, the Thornhill Mansion game board can be set up differently every time, offering new twists and turns each time you play.



Have you ever wanted to solve the mystery of the infamous killer Jack the Ripper? Stalk the streets of London’s Whitechapel district in this alluring game of intrigue and danger as either the historical slasher Jack the Ripper or one of four detectives assigned to his case. This game of mystery requires your expert skills in deduction, as well as your ability to bluff, depending on your part in the storyline.

With beautiful artwork, special engraved wooden pawns, and engrossing true facts about the Jack the Ripper killing spree, hunt the hunter or become the prey in this horror board game that perfectly replicates the fear that gripped 19th century London at the time of the murders.



Fans of classic survival strategy games like Clue and Dungeons and Dragons will relish the challenge of Betrayal at House on the Hill, a cooperative horror board game that lets you set up a new customized game board each time you play it. Use interchangeable floorplan pieces to expand the haunted house far beyond your wildest expectations, creating a new gaming experience with each set up.

Considered one of the best horror survival games available, work together in a group or as a lone survivor in the musty corridors of a haunted house. Discover treasures, weapons, or curses in each room, each of which will affect if you get out alive!



Can you survive in the dead of winter with limited supplies, in a frozen colony, with only a few members of your party you can trust? Play Dead of Winter and find out how long you make it. A multiplayer game of cooperative skill and strategy, your group will work towards its own goal of survival as well as their own individual side stories.

Of particular intrigue are the side objectives, which take the form of pursuing psychological traits that can plunge the colony into danger with their emergence. Each player leads a group of survivors in an apocalyptic world where these traits could mean life or death if they take over.



For fans of gothic horror and classic monster villains, look no further than Fury of Dracula, now in its fourth edition. Play as either the infamous vampire Count Dracula, or one of several vampire hunters looking to drive a silver stake through his undead heart.

As Dracula, you’ll be able to create an army of vampires, lay traps for your enemies, or utilize your supernatural powers to kill them off one by one. As the hunters, you will have to use your resourcefulness, cunning, and an array of vampire-killing weapons in this cat-and-mouse game to make sure the Count stays dead once and for all.



Fans of classic slasher films like Friday the Thirteenth and Halloween will get hours of enjoyment out of the survival horror strategy game Camp Grizzly. Taking inspiration from the slasher films of the ‘70s and ‘80s, immerse yourself in the darkly humorous environment at Camp Grizzly, a summer camp for teens that turns into a slaughterhouse when “Otis” goes on a killing spree.

Not for children under 14, up to 6 players will outsmart Otis amidst the tawdry backdrop of sex, drugs, and other common vices found when teens get together for the summer. The cheesy spirit of the game combined with its easy rules will make it a hit for any level of player.



Fans of zombie outbreaks and survival horror will embrace City of Horror, a horror board game that places them right in the middle of a chaotic zombie apocalypse. Work together to survive a zombie invasion, but be careful to concentrate on your own health, as you may find yourself becoming one of the horde if you don’t!

A strategic game, the challenge lies in working cooperatively with your fellow players, but ultimately having to betray them to survive against the undead. It’s survival of the fittest and most cunning with this game, as the player with the most antidote and rations triumphs.



Stop the world-ending outbreak of a zombie apocalypse by exploring the house of Doctor Mortimer, unlocking the security system to his laboratory, and locating the antidote somewhere in its innards to stop the sickness from spreading.

Work cooperatively with other players to locate the antidote, with the laboratory security system working against your team at every turn. Unlike some other horror games, players can “level up” and gain new abilities after each round. House tiles allow for different game board setups of the Doctor’s mansion, allowing for hours of tense replay.

NEXT: The 10 Best Board Games for Adults, Ranked

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2019-04-25 08:04:50

Kayleena Pierce-Bohen