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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

20 Actors They Completely Changed With CGI

In terms of special effects and designs, the world of film has certainly come a long way since the days of Pepper’s Ghost and Harryhausen monsters. With today’s technology, we can board a strange vessel,  visit other planets, encounter strange and fantastical creatures, and all with a green screen and some imaginative computer wizardry. This doesn’t diminish our love for practical effects, but it does take a special set of skills to bring these incredible things to life, but it also takes a special set of skills to perform against a green screen and make it look believable. Though the effects artists make it seem easy, it can be hard to be taken seriously in a tight green suit.

That all being said, we applaud actors and actresses who can perform under unconventional circumstances, including being covered in CGI effects. This happens a great deal particularly in our beloved sci-fi genre, but it’s not limited to any one type of film or any one type of actor for that matter. Everyone from Cate Blanchet to Kurt Russel has had to tango with the green-screened monster, and they’ve worn it exceptionally well. These actors and performers have worked so well with CGI, that we just had to show our love. From spacemen to superheroes, these performances shine even brighter than the effects that bring them to the screen. Here’s our list of 20 great performances under CGI.

20 BRUCE BOXLEITNER (TRON)

Honestly, anyone who entered the Game-Grid deserves this spot, but we gotta give it to the man himself. Tron was a Disney flick ahead of its time in both story and effects. It was a look into the future, but at the same time, it’s absolutely saturated with ’80s cheese. Though the effects are dated by today’s standards, the performance from its lead and its cast still shines.

Bruce Boxleitner plays the programmed hero, Tron, and he doesn’t disappoint. The CGI of the film was revolutionary for its time, and Boxleitner and the rest of the cast made us believe in the world they inhabited. It was a starting point for CGI with a stellar performance, what better way to start our list?

19 MICHALE JAI WHITE (SPAWN)

Now we move from classically cheesy to shamelessly cheesy with Spawn. Despite the effects resembling early PS2 cutscenes, we can’t deny the performance of the film’s titular lead. Though the story is insane, Michale Jai White still gives us a more than convincing performance as Spawn, even with that ridiculous cape effect.

As hard as it is to believe, this film won awards for its visual effects. Yes, the demons are bland and stupid, the armor gets cartoony, but despite its obvious shortcomings, White still delivers the dark superhero we want to see. He’s intimidating, strong, and most of all, believable as Todd Mcfarlane’s most famous character. If not for the laughable effects, watch it for him… Or John Leguizamo in clown makeup, your call.

18 ANDY SERKIS (KLAUE)

Surprisingly, Andy Serkis does not make this list for his motion-capture performances, but for our favorite smuggler of the MCU. Serkis’s performance as Klaue gives us someone who really loves his job and does it joyously, especially if that job involves a cybernetic laser arm.

With an insatiable hunger for cash and Wakandan technology, who better to play this guy than the scene-stealing Andy Serkis? It’s not a lot of CGI, but with Serkis’s acting chops, we believe every second of it, even though his arm opens up into a freaking laser cannon, we can’t think of many who could pull off that look better. We just wish he could’ve stuck around for Endgame.

17 DOUG JONES AND JAVIER BODET (SPIRITS OF CRIMSON PEAK)

Guillermo del Toro is the absolute king when it comes to monster movies and practical effects. Though most of the vengeful spirits of this gothic masterpiece are magnificent makeup jobs and incredible costumes, a little CGI goes a long way when making some monsters. And nobody helps bring them to life better than Doug Jones and Javier Bodet.

Everything about these ghosts has a freaky factor cranked up to twelve. From the moth-eaten body of Edith’s mother to the broken Lady Sharpe, the performers not only deliver under massive amounts of makeup and prosthetics but also some eerie CGI effects.

16 TOM HARDY (VENOM)

No matter where you stand on Venom’s solo film, Tom Hardy still impressed more than a few audiences. Hardy’s performance as Eddie Brock and the titular sinister symbiote were both possessed eerie excellence that drove home the movie. His portrayal as Brock is sympathetic and likable where his Venom is ravenous and haunting. Mix it with some seriously scary CGI, and you’ve got a symbiotic relationship.

Seeing Hardy morph into this mass of tendrils and teeth is enough to give even us the shivers. Though the CGI effects are brilliant, it’s Hardy’s portrayal of the character that really sells it. Hearing that gravelly voice come out of that maw of fangs is what really gives the character his bite.

15 CATE BLANCHETT (GALADRIEL)

No matter what role she’s in, be it Cinderella’s wicked stepmother, Kathrine Hepburn, or Asgard’s queen of death, Cate Blanchett absolutely drips with elegance and grace with every performance. With a description like that, it’s no wonder she was picked to play Galadriel in the Lord of the Rings. She makes the list not because her CGI was for enhancement, but for intimidation.

All shall love her and despair when we see the elven mystic tempted by the power of the One Ring. The effects placed upon her make her as beautiful and terrible as the dawn, more treacherous than the sea, and stronger than the foundations of the earth. Though the transformation is brief, it’s Blanchett’s ethereal performance and chilling delivery that leaves us trembling.

14 PAUL RUDD (ANT-MAN)

Though it’s one of the more purely comedic entries in the MCU, the Ant-Man films have some spectacular performances. Next to Michael Douglas, Paul Rudd’s portrayal as Ant-Man is surprisingly huge in and out of the suit. Let’s get real, it takes a lot of CGI to pull off this kind of superhero, but Rudd does not disappoint in the slightest.

Though most of his skill is shown when he’s not on superhero duty, Rudd still manages to make the world he visits as Ant-Man believable and real. The way he moves and behaves in the CGI world helps us give in to the illusion. The performance helps us suspend our belief in a way that the effects become the world, but not the star attraction.

13 CHRIS EVANS (CAPTAIN AMERICA)

We’re pretty sure you can figure out why Chris Evans makes our list. Anyone familiar with the first Captain America film in the MCU knows about the CGI sorcery that turned the ripped and ready Evans into the slim and shrimpy Steve Rogers. We’re colored impressed due to two factors: the CGI is believable, and Evans’s performance.

Before Rogers undergoes the super-soldier treatment, we’re shown a slimmed-down version of our patriotic protagonist. It could have been so easy to just see this as Evans’s head stuck on an animated body, but like Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man, we’re too pulled in to the story and the performance to notice. No doubt a great performance, but we still find the effects deserving of a chuckle or two.

12 HUGO WEAVING (RED SKULL)

While we’re on the subject of Captain America: The First Avenger, let’s not forget HYDRA’s most notorious leader, Red Skull. Portrayed by the always brilliant Hugo Weaving, Red Skull is one of the Marvel canon’s biggest threats, and certainly bears one of the most intimidating designs.

We’ve seen before already how much CGI can effect costumes and makeup, but the devil’s in the details when it comes to this HYDRA commander. The use of CGI to create more skull-like features on Weaving’s already impressive makeup is easily worth noting, but it works in harmony with the actor’s performance of this insidious character, not unlike another member on this list. Stay tuned, readers.

11 ROBERT DOWNEY JR. (IRON MAN)

How can you talk about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and not think of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man? One of the biggest names on the laundry list of actors in the series, RDJ is so invested and attached to the character, it’s easy to forget he’s not really wearing a suit of power armor. His performance is so infectiously engaging, he’s one of the many beloved characters that make us forget we’re watching a movie.

A seamless performance paired with more than impressive visuals makes RDJ practically ideal for a superhero role. Even when we see him under the helmet with the blue-lined sensors and radars, we still buy the performance as genuine. He blends with everything so well, it’s no wonder he made this list.

10 KURT RUSSELL (EGO)

Kurt Russel is a huge name in the Sci-Fi genre, so it’s no surprise that he found a home in the MCU alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy. For those unfamiliar with the series, Russell portrays Ego the Living Planet, Star-Lords estranged father. Since cosmic beings are so hard to get into showbiz, the CGI wizards at Marvel do their best to turn Russell into character.

Despite his star power, Russell perfectly outshines the visuals that give him his celestial status. Even when he goes freaking supernova on the Guardians, we still see the incredible acting skills of this veteran performer. Some stars just shine brighter than others it seems.

9 PAUL BETTANY (VISION)

For our last foray into the MCU, we take a look at our favorite AI Avenger, Vision. The mix of makeup and visual magic that brings him to life is absolutely astounding. Not only does he greatly resemble his comic book counterpart, but Paul Bettany’s cool and calculated delivery make him more than just JARVIS with a humanoid shell.

Bettany’s performance shines brighter than his scarlet silicon skin as he breathes soul into the machine. His emotional plot and compelling nature continue to keep us enraptured. Easily one of the heavier CGI characters in the Avengers series, it takes a lot to bring a character like Vision to the screen, but Bettany is just the guy for the job.

8 JOHN CAROL LYNCH (TWISTY THE CLOWN)

Easily the creepiest icon out of American Horror Story, Twisty the Clown is every Stephen King-fueled night terror made real. John Carol Lynch is responsible for the nightmare that is Twisty, and we can’t help but think he’d be just as intense without the effects.

At times, Twisty makes Pennywise look like Ronald McDonald, and it’s all thanks to Lynch’s deranged performance. Even when he’s unmasked and relating his tragic backstory, he still makes us all more than a bit uneasy. You can truly measure a horror actor’s prowess by the amount of terror created by his presence alone. Color us creeped out.

7 BILL NIGHY (DAVY JONES)

No matter what they’re working with, Disney always tends to go the extra mile, especially with their effects. One of the most prominent of these examples happens to be the captain of the Flying Dutchman, Davy Jones. Brought to life by a mix of motion-capture, CGI, and a full-bodied performance from Bill Nighy, Davy Jones becomes one of the creepiest characters to ever set sail.

The CGI plays a bigger part in bringing this guy to life, but it’d be just a hollow animation without Nighy’s performance and gift for dialogue. The slithery motions of the cursed pirate’s tentacles never fail to skeeve us out, but it’s Nighy’s commanding voice and cruel nature that puts him at the helm. He always shivers our timbers.

6 RALPH FIENNES (VOLDEMORT)

The evilest wizard in all of literature definitely needs an effect driven adaptation to bring him from the page to the screen. Ralph Fiennes portrayal of Lord Voldemort absolutely oozes with insidious charm. We’re so invested in his performance, in fact, we forget that nearly all of his face is covered by CGI.

The wraithish robes, the pale, sickly flesh, and the snakelike facial features are all created by a combination of makeup, wardrobe, and green screen, but it’s Fiennes who creates the biggest effect. His performance is something straight out of the shadowy depths of the Wizarding World, the CGI is just there to spice it up. We’re sure he could be just as perfect with a black robe and a wand alone.

5 AARON ECKHART (TWO FACE)

Christopher Nolan’s adaptation of the Batman mythos definitely deserves the praise it earned, even if it tried to be a more realistic take on the comic book genre. That being said, it did give us a more reality-based depiction of one of Batman’s most tragic villains. Aaron Eckhart plays the White Knight of Gotham in The Dark Knight, and his twisted performance matches the effects that turn him into Two-Face.

The effects are used to both convey the identity of the character and display the corruption of the man who was supposed to be Gotham’s savior. The facial effects are more than enough to steal the show, but Eckhart manages to match the caliber, giving us a performance that leaves us torn in two.

4 JOHNNY DEPP (TARRANT HIGHTOP/THE MAD HATTER)

Johnny Depp might be the most dynamic and unpredictable take on the Mad Hatter we’ve ever seen, and we love him for it. Love it or hate it, Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland definitely had a creepy and colorful look all its own. Nowhere is that idea better expressed than in the characters that dwell in Underland.

Mad just barely scratches the surface of Depp’s performance. The erratic mood swings and the wild attire perfectly capture his mental instability, but a little CGI goes a long way. The effects are used mainly in his eyes to further drive home that unhinged look. His irises change color with his moods, and one eye is larger than the other, resulting in perfect visual insanity.

3 HELENA BONHAM CARTER (THE RED QUEEN)

While we’re in Underland, let’s pay a visit to another popular resident. The Red Queen, brought to life by the magnificent Helena Bonham Carter, is Burton’s take on the Queen of Hearts. With her Elizabethan attire, tantrums, and enormous head, the artists and animators certainly went the extra mile with her creation.

Carter’s performance is as big and firey as her character’s head. She plays the queen as a spoiled brat in an adult body with a cruel amount of power, and it works. Even without the giant head, we’re certain that she could still wear the crown.

2 BILL SKARSGARD (PENNYWISE)

Show of hands, who else got goosebumps from Bill Skarsgard’s portrayal of Pennywise? Tim Curry might still hold the crown for the most enjoyable performance, but Skarsgard creepy even without the CGI monster effects. Despite a few aesthetic changes, he’s a near perfect adaptation of the novel’s horrific antagonist.

Though certain CGI sequences are a bit too over-the-top, when done correctly they definitely get a scream or two out of us. Skarsgard’s performance absolutely smashes every level of creepy, just building onto what horrors It might change into next. Whether he’s just lurking with some balloons or gnawing on a severed hand, we’re definitely wary of this painted creep.

1 DOUG JONES (AMPHIBIAN MAN)

We’ve already mentioned him once before, but we figured an Oscar-winning performance definitely deserves first place on our list. The Shape of Water is possibly the magnum opus of Guillermo del Toro, and the leading monster was played by none other than Doug Jones. Though the performance was mainly created through Jones’s acting skills and some incredible creature effects, some CGI did help give the monster life.

The effects were used sparingly but the little touches here and there helped create a magnificent monsterpiece. The true talent, however, comes from the actor. Doug Jones is famous for his creature performances and it truly shines this film. He not only struts his stuff, but he also wears the gills gloriously.


2019-04-16 05:04:12

Zach Gass

20 Hidden Things Fans Completely Missed In The Lost Boys

Joel Schumacher’s 1987 film inspired many bands and even had influences on iconic vampire shows, such as Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. Now the CW is putting together a new series re-telling the story of the Frog Brothers, Michael and Star, and the leather-clad vampires. With the Lost Boys remake on the way, it’s time to reminisce about one of the most memorable vampire movies of the eighties.

Lost Boys came from the Peter Pan legend, but when Schumacher joined the project he aged up the characters to their teen years. It’s hard to believe that Michael and the other Lost Boys are eighteen years old in this movie. The film was the first of its kind; the network “sincerely believed the two genres [horror and comedy] couldn’t work together.”

Ironically, Schumacher says “Gotta’ have the beautiful blonde with the great [form] screaming in horror movie. Tradition.” Once again sparking Whedon’s revolt against said tradition with Buffy. Now a “tradition” that will hopefully never appear in the Lost Boys remake, especially given the rumor that the Frog Brothers will instead be the Frog Sisters.

Whether your part of the cult following or interested to see what the modern adaptation will do with a story that fits squarely into eighties tradition, the Lost Boys is a reboot to watch.

“Sleep all day. Party all night. It’s fun to be a vampire.”

Here are 20 Hidden Things Fans Completely Missed In Lost Boys.

20 A DREAM WITHIN A DREAM

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”

Horror has its legends throughout history that have championed the genre in the literary and now into the media of today. Among such names as Mary Shelley and H.P. Lovecraft is the legendary poet and storyteller Edgar Allen Poe. With the groundbreaking Lost Boys come the two junior hunters: the Frog brothers, Edgar and Allen. Their names pay homage to the legendary horror writer and poet Edgar Allen Poe. He is also accredited to being a part of, if not the creator of the detective genre, which is the brother’s primary function in the movie.

19 EASTER EGGS AND BUNNYMEN

The movie leaves Easter eggs of the soundtrack throughout the movie: there’s a poster of Jim Morrison who recorded the original People are Strange with The Doors. And when Star and Laddie are being carried to Sam’s room there’s a poster of Echo and the Bunnymen who recorded the version used in the movie. Schumacher says he “felt that the Lost Boys would be big Doors fans… To me, had the perfect combination of nihilism – and poetry.” One of the reasons the movie became such a success is because of its soundtrack, many high profile bands, such as INXS, contributed to the music for a movie that the studio wasn’t sure would work at all.

18 A MERRY GO ROUND OF FORESHADOWING

Like many movies of the era, Lost Boys loves foreshadowing. It is used constantly throughout the film, the most significant instance being the merry-go-round. The merry-go-round scene is a foreshadowing of the Lost Boy’s ends: first Marko, then Paul, Dwayne, and David. However, David was not destroyed in any vampire-specific way and likely survived his supposed ‘demise,’ meant to reprise his role in the never-made sequel, The Lost Girls. It was also suggested in the comic mini-series that he made the vampire Shane from Lost Boys: The Tribe. This is also the most subtle of all foreshadowing used in the film, which is usually so direct it’s a little on the nose.

17 NOT MUCH TO EAT IN THE DESERT

The merry-go-round sequence, aside from being extremely spooky, is the most pivotal of all foreshadowing that occurs throughout the movie. All the characters with the Lost Boys on the merry-go-round are the ones the vampires picked off throughout the film. First, the security guard that broke up the fight, then the blonde and her boyfriend in the car and finally the rest of gang that tussled with the vampires (not the smartest move). The last scene, set to a dusty, desert backdrop and an orange haze (the same as their eyes), involved the iconic biting of person and it was the first time we actually see the Lost Boys as vampires.

16 THE SOUNDS OF THE END

Edgar also foreshadows the particulars of the downfalls of the vampires. “No two vamps [perish] the same way, some yell and scream, some go quietly, some explode, some implode.” Marko is staked while sleeping and screams, and Paul dissolves in a holy water bathtub causing the plumbing to implode. Both Dwayne and Max blow up, one in an electric “demise by stereo,” the other after a sizeable stake to the heart straight into the fireplace. David is quiet. He lies, skewered by antlers, seemingly deceased. It never occurs to our young hunters that antlers are never mentioned to be a method of vampire destruction.

15 SANTA WHERE?

Santa Carla doesn’t actually exist. For Americans it’s probably easier to tell the “[crime] capital of the world” in the movie is actually Santa Cruz, but for others who might not recognize the landmarks, it’s a bit of a surprise. At the time the town, being a family tourist location wanted to avoid being associated with the crime, already reeling from the history of a few serial criminals in the seventies. Specifically, given the “interesting and unusual people” that were part of “Boardwalk life,” Santa Cruz “Didn’t want to be known for teenage [crime].” These days they embrace their vampiric horror history and are proud to be the location of the new horror flick, Us.

14 MICHAEL MICHAEL MICHAEL!

There are certain things that only happen in eighties movies and one of them is a constant, almost nauseating bout of name repetition. Egging someone on by repeating their name occasionally occurs in modern movies during drinking games, but is never found in the same frequency as Lost Boys. “Michael” or “Mike” is said over one hundred times in the movie. Most of these occur in the cave scene where Michael begins his transition into being a vampire. He is roused by his name being chanted after being told to drink “som,e,” which turned out to be David’s blood. Somehow he didn’t notice and shortly after he dropped from a cliff in a strange slow-motion moment, waking up disheveled in his bed.

13 I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE

Schumacher pays tribute to his 1985 success in the movie St. Elmo’s Fire with a “shameless” poster of Rob Lowe. The movie was a coming of age film about some recent graduates of Georgetown University (Washington D.C.). Lowe starred next to other actors, such as Demi Moore, Andrew McCarthy and Judd Nelson. He included the poster in Sam’s room, who was meant to be someone a little too into the current fads; a “fashion reject.” Schumacher enjoyed leaving Easter eggs in Lost Boys from his other movies. The poster was another provocative teenage male symbol.

12 AHHH… BUDGETING AT ITS FINEST

The film was small so they “didn’t have a lot of time and money to make the movie so one of the choices made was to really not show the vampires as vampires or that they could fly till the very end of the film.” The budget meant they “couldn’t afford those visual effects.” To save finances they “did everything in the film in camera so it’s really happening as you see it…” This worked out to be quite effective, making the vampire reveal later in the film and with eighties visual effects, using just the camera made it far more believable and effective. “Many times what you don’t see is scarier than what you do see and we were banking on that to sort of get you through this and create a mystery.”

11 JUST A COUPLE GREEN SCREENS

There are only two green screen shots in the movie. With the budget so low these only last a couple seconds each and both occur in the climactic final fight scene. The first is when Sam is pulled into the air by vampire Dwayne. This only occurs for a moment and the reveal after constant camera-only flight shots would have played well for the audience in theatres. The second is the long-awaited moment when David and Michael fly at each other to do battle. The green screen is only used briefly, but it’s a moment fans have been waiting for since the beach bike race. In a modern context, these effects look silly but were quite the accomplishment at the time. It’ll be worth seeing how the CW’s reboot handles the flight scenes.

10 WAIT, IS THAT ME?!

After the drive-in scene with Michael, his mother (Lucy) and brother (Sam), we move to the Boardwalk. This is filmed in Santa Cruz and features many shots showing the people who live there, especially the teenagers. Instead of actors or extras, Lost Boys features real, average kids on the street. Movies now rarely feature shots like these, usually blocking off entire city blocks to fill with their extras so they get the shots they want. It’s hard to imagine walking into a cinema in Santa Cruz and watching the opening shots on the supposed “Santa Carla” Boardwalk, only to see yourself clad in punk boots and black lipstick, taking a stroll in the sun.

9 CHAINS AND SAWS

A subtle case of foreshadowing to the final vampire battle is when the two boys arrive at their grandfather’s home. Michael says, “This is a pretty cool place.” To which Sam replies, “For the Chain Saw Massacre.” They mention the film again upon finding their grandfather’s taxidermy room. The inspiration for the referenced movie has a similar feel to the Lost Boys. The villains taking young men and digging up bodies, the deceased ‘rising up.’

This 1974 movie was inspired by two criminals: Elmer Wayne Henley, and “the Butcher of Plainfield,” Ed Gein. In Lost Boys, it turns out that the entire plot only happened because the head vampire was ‘crushing’ on the mother, Lucy.

8 POPULATION PROBLEMS

It isn’t until the final scene where the audience realizes that all along the Grandfather knew about Santa Carla’s vampires. In fact, at the time of the film’s initial release, many audience members had the grandfather pegged for the “head vamp.” He suggests, “If all the [bodies] buried around here were to stand up all at once we’d have one [heck] of a population problem.” At the time, vampires (in an era not crazed with the vampire mythology) hadn’t been revealed as the monsters, but this gives the audience a little clue. Some vampire mythology suggests that humans need to have vampire blood in their system, be buried and resurrected, then drink human blood, to complete the transition.

7 JUST LIKE PETER PAN

Sam and Michael’s mother, Lucy, turned out to be the pivotal point of the entire story. The head vampire, Max, takes an interest in her and seeks to establish a romantic relationship, creating a happy little vampire family. The audience gets a small clue as to this plot point when Lucy meets Max. Right beforehand she finds a little boy calling for his “mom” right before the vampire David and Max appear on screen at the video store. She asks the boy, “Are you lost?” Right afterward she meets Max, the ‘father’ of the Lost Boys. He begins courting her, much like Michael’s attempt to woo Star. The leader (Pan) loses his mortal love (Wendy), who favors her human family over the “Lost Boys.”

6 THANK YOU MTV!

A lot of the images in Lost Boys were combined and are very hallucinogenic and substance-induced in their effect, particularly in the ‘Michael drinking blood’ scene in the lair. According to Schumacher, MTV “music videos educated a whole new generation to surreal images and non-sequitur storytelling. A lot of things we did in this movie would have seemed too odd to people before MTV… and that gave us a lot of license to play with things.” The effects of Michael’s transition from human to “half-vampire” play out as if he’d taken something or had a rather rowdy night out with the boys, instead of a transformation into one of the children of the night.

5 HUNTERS ON FOUR LEGS

Sam and Michael’s dog is named “Nanook.” Nanook of the North is a feature-length documentary from 1922 about a family living in harsh environments. They have husky puppies and are “always seen with smiles on their faces, even when they’re eating raw meat and their cheeks are caked in blood.” The smiles and bloodied cheeks act as another allusion to vampirism, similar to the gang-feeding scene.

Nanook is also in Inuit mythology as “the master of bears,” deciding if “hunters deserved success in finding and hunting bears and punished violations of taboos.” The dog Nanook is the first of his family to realize Michael is a vampire and is particularly close to Sam, who later joins the Frog Brothers as a vampire hunter.

4 EVERY ROSE HAS ITS THORN

Max is meant to be a surprise bad-guy at the end; he is presented as seemingly at risk and in danger as the normal guy before that. Like Sam, he also has a dog, named Thorn. Max appears to be the ‘rose.’ He’s a nice guy, potential love interest and, likely, a delicate, red-blooded victim. However, he has fangs of his own (the ‘thorn’). The dog’s name acts as a clue to his identity. He’s also revealed to be a “Hound of [The Underworld]” that protects its vampire master during the daytime. This was the last puzzle piece for Sam, who figured out the entire plot halfway through the movie.

3 THOSE OCEAN EYES

In the same scene, Michael shows his new vampire presence for the first time, almost attacking Sam, his eyes are glazed over. He looks like a man possessed. His irises, usually a famous piercing blue, have dulled to a stormy grey and his pupils have faded to mimicking that same effect. Whether this was a costume decision or an effect achieved through lighting, the end result works to show Michael’s change, even without the full vampire make-up. It isn’t until he is taken to a hunt with the Lost Boys that he actually has real vampire eyes, which appear orange.

2 THE NEW STOKER

A bat-styled kite is aimed at Max, further framing him to be a victim, which acts as a little kudos to the fact that the myth of vampires flying originally came from bats. The myth is associated with the legend Vlad (Dracula) The Impaler (ruler of Walachia who would impale his victims) who would become the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s most famous work (Dracula, 1897). Vampirism and bats actually became associated around the European settlement of the Americas when explorers discovered Desmodus Rotundus, a bat that actually drank blood and was given the official term ‘Vampire Bat’ in 1810. It’s a traditional vampire trait, but one that’s fading out in the era of the vampire craze.

1 I DIDN’T FILM WHAT?

Small budgets are hard. It’s one thing to film with fewer resources than you’d like, it’s another to realize you forgot to film an entire scene. The vampires leaving their lair to attack Michael, Sam, and the Frog brothers in the film was never shot; it’s re-used footage.

Schumacher took a shot of some prosthetic feet that he came up with during editing. Then he re-used footage from the sleeping vampire scene, the Boardwalk and then rewound the fly-in scene. While it doesn’t make any sense that the vampires would fly out in reverse, along with the tides and waves, it strangely works and fans were none the wiser.


2019-04-14 04:04:20

Annabelle Eirth

Vikings: 7 Characters That Were Based On Real People (And 3 That Are Completely Fictional)

Vikings was a phenomenal breath of fresh air for historical fiction fans all around the world. It’s packed with action, adventure, and drama. The storylines are compelling, the characters are strong and beautifully developed, the sceneries are breathtaking, and everything’s nicely wrapped around the overall awesomeness that is the Viking world.

Since 2013 we excitingly devoured every episode, waiting for our weekly fix of inspiring women warriors, tales of conquerors and defeated souls, marriages, children, and, quite honestly, pretty fantastic outfits that made us wish we got to be transported back in time. The tale of Ragnar Lothbrok, and later, of his children, will surely stay with many of us for years to come.

Related: Vikings: 25 Things Wrong With Ivar The Boneless We All Choose To Ignore

With the last season fast approaching, we can’t help but wonder just how much of the real-life events that inspired Vikings were transported into the screen. More specifically, how real were the characters that we grew to love and hate? How many of them actually existed, and which ones are pure TV-elaborated fantasy?

In honor of five incredible seasons, and before we dive into the finale, here are 5 characters from Vikings that were based on real people, and 5 that were pure fiction.

10 Based On Real People: Rollo

We know Rollo as Ragnar’s brother in the show. Rollo was, indeed, a historical figure, and the character we see on the show is based on him. However, there’s no chance he was actually Ragnar’s brother (more on Ragnar later) because they would have lived decades apart.

The real-life Rollo is pretty similar to the one we see on-screen, apart from the sibling thing. He’s credited with founding the House of Normandy, and his bloodline went on to become the first Norman monarchs of England. They also conquered Sicily and a part of what we know today as Sicily.

Rollo is probably the one character on the show depicted with greatest historical accuracy, considering tales of him and his descendants are very much alive still today.

9 Based On Real People: Floki

Floki probably strikes a chord amongst Marvel fans, who clearly see a resemblance between Floki’s mischievous personality and quirky ways and Norse God Loki. In truth, the character of Floki is based on the real-life historical figure of Floki Vilgerson, none other than the founder of Ireland himself.

While in earlier seasons of the show we see him depicted as the warrior who helped Ragnar reach new lands, at first the story doesn’t follow the one from his real-life counterpart very closely. However, during season 5, Floki’s storyline starts following more closely the events that shaped the life of fierce and intelligent warrior Floki Vilgerson.

8 Based On Real People: Lagertha

Lagertha is a fierce, strong, beautiful, and overall fantastic character that inspired every single fan of Vikings. It’s a joy for viewers to be allowed to see such a complex female character on screen, who is allowed to be both fragile and determined, fighting alongside Ragnar himself.

Related: 10 Things The Last Kingdom Does Better Than Vikings

Lagertha’s story is told in the ninth book of the Gesta Danonum, and she’s described as a fierce warrior and skilled Amazon. Truth is, whether we’re talking about the real or the fictionalized version of Lagertha, knowing such a badass lady was once out there, slaying some metaphorical dragons and actual enemies, gives us a nice, warm feeling inside.

7 Based On Real People: Ivan The Boneless

We saw a slight departure from the original storyline of Vikings starting with season 5. The show gave the spotlight to Ragnar’s sons, allowing fans to rejoice in accompanying the adventures, fights and conquests of his bloodline. And even though Ragnar isn’t considered by specialists as an actual historical figure, his sons are (weird, yes).

One of his children is Ivan The Boneless, a nickname derived either from a curse cast upon him by the gods or from brittle bone disease. The latter seems a bit more believable, but the ruthless character from the show was very much a thing in real life, and his depiction in the show is actually incredibly accurate.

6 Based On Real People: Aslaug

Ragnar’s second wife, the mother of five of his sons, is also loosely based on her historical counterpart. Perhaps one of the most interesting moments both depicted in fiction and history is the riddle Ragnar presents Aslaug with upon their meeting, providing insight to Aslaug’s wits and powers.

Related: Vikings: 5 Things That Are Historically Accurate (And 5 Things That Are Completely Fabricated)

Aslaug was of noble lineage, born from Sigurd and Brynhild, who died when she was just a child. Raised by peasants, Aslaug has the gift of second-sight, that allows her to predict key elements and events of the future. One of these events just so happens to be the condition that her son Ivar would fall victim to.

5 Based On Real People: Aethelwulf

Son of King Ecbert and leader of his army, with a less than joyful love life, Aethelwulf was a great character that brought a lot to the show. His demise didn’t quite make justice to the great warrior’s life (being stung by a bee and dropping dead because it turns out you’re allergic doesn’t quite make it to the top of the list on heroic ways to die).

In Vikings, he is portrayed as not being the smart type, being used as a pawn quite frequently, and hurting greatly for it (emotionally more than anything else). However, there’s no evidence the real Aethelwulf was the same, and he was very well known for his composure and willingness to endure – a fantastic example for his son, Alfred The Great.

4 Based On Real People: Judith

Yes, you read that right. Alfred The Great wasn’t the illegitimate son of Judith and her lover. He was very much the legitimate child of Aethelwulf with his first wife, Osburh of Wessex. Judith as a real-life, historical figure is quite different from the one we see on the show, mostly due to her age.

Related: 10 Character Additions That Hurt Vikings (And 10 That Saved It)

During the time period during which the show takes place, Judith, the daughter of Charles the Bald of West Francia, was only a teen when her hand was given in marriage to Aethelwulf, several years her senior. The pair never had any children, and much of what we see on the show, including the affairs, were very improbable at that time.

3 Fictional: Athelstan

Witnessing Athelstan’s struggle after being taken as a slave by Ragnar was, for many, one of the most interesting journeys in Vikings. The former Christian monk starts to seriously doubt his faith once he is confronted with a reality completely different from the one that he knew. His friendship with Ragnar is also an important plot point of the show, and kept many fans engaged.

However, there is no actual recollection of a monk turned Viking that just so happened to be Ragnar’s best friend. On the contrary, the most famous Athelstan of that time was related to Alfred The Great, first ruler of the English. While the show would not be the same without Athelstan and his struggles, such a character never actually existed.

2 Fictional: Ragnar

Yes, believe it or not, it’s true. While it’s almost impossible to picture Vikings as we know and love without the central part of Ragnar for the first four seasons, historians aren’t even sure Ragnar was a real person. There are many legends about the great Ragnar, and they are very much in accordance with what we see in the show.

However, the general consensus among historians is that Ragnar is most likely an amalgamation of several people. Tales of Ragnar, the king, and conqueror, actually come from Old Norse poetry, and not actual historical documents or artifacts.

What’s a bit odd, however, is that his sons, who are also presented in the show, are considered historical figures, while Ragnar is considered more myth than reality. Either way, real or nor, Ragnar was the first real heart of the show and we couldn’t be happier we got to see the legend play out on-screen.

1 Fictional: Kwenthrith of Mercia

The character of Kwenthrith of Mercia is pretty much fictionalized in its entirety. The traits that make the character very much dislikable by anyone who knows and watches the show are, indeed, based in some historical figures.

Kwenthrith of Mercia is actually an amalgamation of three historical figures, Princess Cwenthryth, Queen Cynethryth, and her daughter Eadburh. Her manipulative and conniving aspects are based on very unflattering tales of the latter two. While the single character of Kwenthrith didn’t actually exist, the showrunners did a great job introducing her to the show. Who doesn’t love a great villain, after all?

NEXT: What To Expect From Vikings Season 6


2019-04-11 01:04:25

Mariana Fernandes

25 Hidden Things Fans Completely Missed In Fight Club

It’s hard to believe that it was twenty years that director David Fincher’s all-out attack on Generation X, Fight Club, debuted. Thanks to studios not knowing how exactly to market the black comedy, it quickly became a big cult movie. Had they known to market it as such, it might have gone down in the public eye as the best movie of the nineties, even with all of the bleak undertones.

For those that haven’t seen the movie, first – where have you been for twenty years?! Secondly, it’s the story of two friends who start a secret club as one of them descends into madness, attempting to use the club to introduce a little anarchy into the population. That doesn’t sound like a dark comedy, but after watching the movie, you’ll be able to see how absurd the whole situation is.

Starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham-Carter, Fight Club finds its way to stick with you, even years after seeing it. Like a chemical burn. On subsequent rewatches, you’re going to find all sorts of fun things that you might not have caught the first go around. There’s something unique and oddly “off” in just about every frame of the movie. Here are just a few of those instances. Here are 25 Hidden Things Fans Completely Missed In Fight Club.

25 The Opening Warning

There are hidden breadcrumbs for the movie even before the opening credits pump through. If you have a really quick eye, you’ll be able to catch a warning pop up on-screen right before the movie starts.

But unless you’re a speed-reader, there’s no way in any world you’d be able to read this zany disclaimer pictured here, right before the DVD version plays. But upon reading it now, it’s apparent that the film you’re about to see has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek.

24 Tyler, Tyler Everywhere

When we meet the Narrator, played by Edward Norton, he’s a mundane office drone. The guy can’t sleep and isn’t too fond of his job. He’s a just a guy who fills the bottomless void of young adulthood with whatever he feels like buying from an Ikea catalog. Until he meets Tyler for the first time.

Only, is it the first time? If you have an eagle eye and are paying attention you’ve seen Brad Pitt’s Tyler Durden several times before these two ever meet. He’s a blip in four different frames. There is also an advertisement for Bridgeworth Suites that the Narrator is watching, and Tyler is right there in front of him.

23 How To Get Your Line In

One of the key aspects of the second part of the film is the love triangle, or lack thereof between Tyler, Marla, and the Narrator. The Narrator meets Marla Singer first and then Tyler. Here is where the fun begins – after these two end up together, Marla is spent and says “I want to have your [removal].”

The producer of the movie, Laura Ziskin, begged for the line to be taken out. Fincher agreed but, on the condition that the new line cannot be changed. Hence the reason we have the even funnier and more offensive “grade school” line.

22 Meat Loaf Had Lost The Weight

One of the many cameos in the movie is from rock god, Meat Loaf Aday. He played Club member, Robert Paulson. He meets the Narrator at a support group meeting and the two strike up a little bit of a friendship.

The mammoth of a man was very overweight for a time in his career and actually had lost a lot of the weight before being cast as Bob. The crew fit him with a suit that was filled with bird seed. One was anatomically correct, one was not.

21 30 Seconds To Mars

Jared Leto is another cameo character in the film. As Angel Face, the kid not only appears to be 100% devoted to Tyler’s message, but Tyler also appears to be taking a liking to him. The beautiful boy eventually has his face roughed up by the Narrator because he “wanted to destroy something beautiful.”

A year prior to the film, Leto had started the experimental rock band, 30 Seconds To Mars. There’s an in-joke to this during one of Tyler’s speeches. He speaks about how we all grew up dreaming to be rock stars and we won’t be. When he says this, he’s staring right at the newly-minted rock star, Leto.

20 Watch Closely

The film’s big twist, like many twist endings, relies on someone having never seen the movie before. Once you’ve experienced the mind attack that Fight Club has laid on you, go back and watch the movie. There is seldom a scene between Tyler and the Narrator that doesn’t give the twist away.

When the pair board the bus, Tyler walks by and the Narrator dumps the change in. When they’re bumped into, the stranger walks past Tyler and bumps into the Narrator. Those bits can be construed as the Narrator paying for both or the guy just not bumping into Tyler. But then explain why the Narrator, even when the passenger is always getting out of the driver side of the car.

19 Starbucks, Starbucks Everywhere

One of the big themes of the film is the downfall of Generation X and the values of nonstop advertising. To showcase this, director David Fincher had put a Starbucks cup into just about every scene in the movie.

Like playing Where’s Waldo, you can play a game of find the cup using this handy-dandy website. Strangely enough, the company had no trouble with their cup everywhere but didn’t want their name attached to the coffee shop that Tyler blows up.

18 Pitt’s Jacked – Norton, Not So Much

From the moment we meet both Tyler and the Narrator, it’s as clear as the driven snow that their two very different people with very different physiques. While Brad Pitt and Edward Norton were gearing up their roles, they made the conscious decision for Tyler to look chiseled out of granite.

Norton had to drop a bunch of weight and muscle to play the humdrum Narrator. He had just finished filming the drama, American History X; where the actor was as big as a house.

17 Crime, Mischief, Soap

The strange tag line was on all of the posters for Fight Club – [Crime]. Mischief. Soap. Until you’ve seen the movie, you have little to no idea what that means or how it plays into the movie’s various satires.

There are only a handful, if that much, scenes of Pitt and Norton making soap in the movie. But that didn’t stop them from taking soap-making classes to get in the mood for their roles. They learned from a California Boutique, Auntie Godmother.

16 DiCaprio Cameo

Did you know that three of the biggest heart-throbs of the nineties are in Fight Club? Two of the three are easy to spot. Obviously, Brad Pitt and then known only for My So Called Life, Jared Leto. But there’s one more and he’s about to co-star with Pitt again in the new Quentin Tarantino movie.

Leonardo DiCaprio is in the movie too. Or at least his frozen breath is. During one of the “go into your cave” bits, the editing team used the actor’s frozen breath from Titanic.

15 Bob Breaks The No Shirts Rule

Besides every member of this secret society breaking the Club’s first two rules; Bob doesn’t adhere to the sixth rule either. “Sixth Rule: No shirts, no shoes,” Tyler says. Bob is never seen without his shirt on. Meat Loaf’s always breaking the rules, that rock rebel.

Considering he had a chest, according to the Narrator, there was no way the MPAA would have allowed Bob to fight without it. It would have, however, made for one more twisted joke the movie threw at us.

14 Narrator Never Named

For those who didn’t know, the movie is based on a book of the same name by author Chuck Palahniuk. The main character who tells the story of both he and Tyler does not have a name. The character reads old Reader’s Digest articles ending referring to himself as “Joe”.

For the movie, the “name” of the Narrator is Jack instead. But despite the name, he is actually never given a name in the film at all, until the climactic third chapter when Marla finally refers to him by his name.

13 The Narrator Moves When Tyler’s Being Attacked

In one of the movie’s great scenes, Tyler gets the tar beat out of him by Lou, the owner of the bar. He doesn’t fight back, he lets Lou take out all of his aggression and frustration. By the end, Tyler leaps at the guy with a bruised face begging to be able to continue using the parking lot.

Pitt’s performance is so good, and the camera rarely pans away to anyone else. But when it does pan towards Norton, take a quick peek at him, he’s bobbing his head the same way Tyler’s head or stomach is getting knocked.

12 Norton Hits As Hard As He Can

As the Narrator and Tyler enjoy a night of drinks getting to know one another, he and Tyler head outside and Tyler demands that his new friend hits him as hard as he can. Besides hitting him in the ear, Edward Norton did in fact really lay into Brad Pitt.

In order to get the scene right and the actor’s reactions what he wanted them to be, Director David Fincher pulled Norton aside without telling Pitt. He told Norton to do exactly what Tyler asked for.

11 DeNiro, DeNiro Everywhere

For any fan of cinema, including the actors themselves, have such an affinity for Robert DeNiro. He’s been in some of the greatest films ever made for the past forty years or so, so it’s easy to see why. Fight Club pays homage to the man in another blink and you’ll miss it sort of way.

When the Narrator is going from support meeting to meeting, he uses a bunch of fake names. Depending on how well you know your DeNiro movies, you’ll realize that all of his aliases are the names of DeNiro characters.

10 Rosie O’Donnell Spoilers

In the late nineties, Rosie O’Donnell had a tremendous following. She even had a morning talk show that was a mix of the usual morning shows with a twinge of some night time talk shows as well. Usually safe, occasionally edgy.

She did a huge no-no the morning that Fight Club was released. She told her audience how she already saw the movie and couldn’t sleep for a week because of it. Rather than stop there, she proceeded to tell viewers the ending to the movie and suggested not seeing it. The equivalent of telling someone you’ll understand The Sixth Sense a lot better if you know Bruce Willis is deceased!

9 Elaine As Marla?!?!

Like a lot of movies, casting choices get switched up several times before filming. Fight Club was no different. Before cameras started rolling, Julie Louis-Dreyfus was in consideration for Marla. When she came in to read, she had no idea who Fincher was, which made the director feel like a loser.

Other casting options that the studio wanted was Russell Crowe as Tyler Durden and Sean Penn or Matt Damon as the Narrator. Other Marlas considered were Janeane Garafalo, Reese Witherspoon, Winona Ryder, or Courtney Love.

8 3/4 Mil For A Minute-Thirty

When scripting the film, David Fincher had conceived of a credit sequence very similar to the one in the movie. The viewer would be taken on a tour of the brain and all of its synapses straight to the Narrator’s forehead to the gun in his mouth.

Put together by Digital Domain VFX House, the minute and a half of footage was put together by a team of storyboard and digital artists. For all that effort, Fox spent almost a million bucks on the sequence.

7 Members, Members Everywhere

As Fight Club progresses, more and more disenfranchised young to middle-aged males join Tyler’s little revolution. What’s cool about many of the members of Fight Club were in prior scenes either interacting with Tyler or watching him.

It’s subtle at first, but once you notice scenes where someone picks a fight with a priest and then a few scenes later, you see the same guy with some extra bruises, participating in the antics of Project Mayhem, it’s completely absurd, and hilarious.

6 That Intense Insomnia

One of the reasons Tyler Durden was allowed to come to exist was because the Narrator suffers from insomnia. The author of the original novel, Chuck Palahniuk had also suffered from the disease and wrote it into the story.

Several aspects of how he really tried combat insomnia made its way into the book and the movie. Most notably, locating your cave and power animal to induce a cooling, sleepy chill. Tyler’s iconic shades are used to protect melatonin production, which helps sleep cycles.

5 A Real Fight

With each subsequent viewing, Fight Club continues to be a cult classic. It’s a post-apocalyptic tale of a generation lost, and while that is bleak, there are a huge amount of people that identify with this movie.

The inspiration Palahniuk had for the novel was what happened to him after a real fight that he gotten into. Palahniuk once said about the incident – “People didn’t ask me what happened. I think they were afraid of the answer. I realized that if you looked bad enough, people would not want to know what you did in your spare time.”

4 Smokey, Smokey Everywhere

Much has been said about the dedication that Pitt and Norton put into their roles. But there is a ton of praise that needs to be given to Helena Bonham Carter and her dedication to creating Marla. One thing she did was ask the makeup artist to use her left hand, so that it would be a little messy – something that Marla wouldn’t care about.

It was her dedication to be the person that Marla was supposed to be. But it also made her very ill. She wound up with bronchitis during the six-month shoot.

3 Support Groups

In the beginning of the movie, both the Narrator and Marla find solace going to various support groups. They both comically decide which ones that they’d like to attend. The Narrator comes to the conclusion that for the most part, when people think that you’re going to be dying soon, they listen pretty intently on what you’re going to say.

At the end of the film, the Narrator says to Tyler “I want you to listen to me very carefully, Tyler.” It’s more or less the first time, Tyler shuts up and pays attention to the lesser half of his personality.

2 This Scene

Around the midway part of the movie, Tyler allows himself to get the heck knocked out of him. He gives all of his devotees a homework assignment – start a fight with a stranger and lose.

That proves to be a little harder than it looks for one of the Space Monkeys, played by Holt McCallany. The guy tries to pick a fight with a priest by dousing him with a hose. If you think this scene is funny, you don’t think it’s as funny as the cameraman. He’s laughing so much that you can see the camera shake during the scene.

1 Bashing Baby Boomer Beetle

In one scene, Tyler and the Narrator beat the heck out of the new VW Beetle. Both actors shared a disdain for it. But it also became a symbol that fits right into all of themes of the movie.

According to Norton, “We smash it…because it seemed like the classic example of the Baby Boomer generation marketing plan that sold culture back to us.” The entire crux of the movie is rebelling against the parents of Generation X, which be the yuppies and hippies that birthed the Beetle.


2019-04-08 05:04:37

Eric Rhodes

Hanna Review: Not Enough New Ideas To Completely Warrant A Television Series

When Amazon announced plans to turn Joe Wright’s 2011 film Hanna into a television series, there were many reasons to be skeptical. Though it amassed a terrific cast, reuniting The Killing stars Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman — in the roles originally played by Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana — and relative newcomer Esme Creed-Miles as the title character Hanna (who was originally played by future Academy Award winner Saoirse Ronan), it was unclear what, exactly, series creator David Farr (co-writer on the original film) had in mind when it came to porting the property from stylized action-thriller blockbuster to high-end streaming Peak TV entry. First, and perhaps most importantly, would it be a continuation of the original film or would viewers be treated to a rehash of that story, stretched out over eight hour-long episodes?

That question was more or less answered when Amazon offered the series premiere early to Prime Video subscribers (for 24 hours only, mind you) following Super Bowl LIII. The premiere hewed extremely close to the original film, switching up a few details here and there, mostly to afford the series a chance to explore more of the connection between Kinnaman’s Erik and Creed-Miles’s Hanna, a father-daughter relationship that’s tested by the latter’s increasing curiosity about the world beyond the forrest in which she lives and her burgeoning sense of teenage rebellion. 

More: What We Do In The Shadows Review: Maybe The Funniest Show On TV Right Now

Although the decision to stick close to the original film is understandable in terms of establishing the characters and the stakes of the story, turning the initial episodes into a retelling of the first half of the film ultimately does the series a disservice, forcing an unfair comparison between film and television show, while not offering enough immediate differences to make the series stand out, much less stand on its own.

There are some highlights, to be sure. Kinnaman continues to be the best thing in a television series that doesn’t quite do enough to deserve him. Like Altered Carbon or even The Killing before this, Kinnaman shows an impressive emotional range, switching from hardened mentor and cold-hearted instructor to caring and concerned father in the blink of an eye. He’s also one of the best unsung action heroes on television today, using his impressive and intimidating stature as a weapon unto itself. About midway through the first season, Hanna aims to take advantage of Kinnaman’s action-hero bona fides, giving him (and the series) an opportunity to shine in the action arena by delivering a few gripping set pieces. Enos, meanwhile, is entrusted with imbuing Marissa with enough venom to be a threat to both Erik and Hanna, but to also show a glimmer of humanity — one hinted at through a mysterious past she shares with her adversary — that places her more firmly in the same moral gray area as the characters she’s pursuing. 

As compelling as both Kinnaman and Enos are, this is ultimately Creed-Miles’s show. Unfortunately, Hanna is a complete (and deliberate) blank slate, a killing machine who’s loaded with factual information but no real personality or sense of self-awareness. She has no immediate wants other than to react to the situation in which she finds herself, which is to kill anyone standing in her way until she can rendezvous with her father. The character’s naiveté played well into the dreamlike storybook component Wright built into the film’s narrative. But Hanna the series doesn’t incorporate the same visual aesthetic or thematic element to its main character’s journey, and the result finds the teenaged living weapon at an even greater emotional distance from the more fleshed out characters who surround her. 

Farr takes steps to counter this, but mostly with familiar scenarios from the film. Case in point, after escaping from the desert compound she was taken to in the aftermath of the raid on her and Erik’s home, Hanna meets up with a British family vacationing in Morocco. Hanna makes the acquaintance of Sophie (Rhianne Barreto) and her parents and younger brother. Perhaps inadvertently, the family’s problems (Sophie’s parents are on the verge of a divorce) almost completely overshadow Hanna’s plight, largely because the characters, even though they were just introduced, feel more like real people — actual lived-in characters — especially when compared to the young woman experiencing the world for the first time. 

While the crux of Hanna’s journey is that the audience gets to accompany her as she steps free from the isolation of her childhood, learns to make her own decisions (and mistakes), and, naturally, puts all those ass-kicking skills to good use, an eight-hour television series isn’t able to sustain interest in a character like that in the same way a two-hour film can. As a result, Hanna must fall back on its supporting characters at a certain point, focusing more of its attention on Erik and Marissa, as they work to protect or apprehend the exceptional young woman. This works in the show’s favor, as Hanna’s origins and unique DNA are part of a larger mystery and growing conspiracy that will reshape the way the audience sees both Erik and Marissa, and, perhaps, even Hanna herself. 

Where the show most frequently runs into trouble, though, is in figuring out how to balance the drama, character development, action, and mystery in a way that will not only keep audiences watching, but also distinguish the show in a memorable way. At the end of season 1, the series never quite manages to infuse itself with the sort of new ideas that would more readily warrant its transition from feature film to (potentially) ongoing television series. 

Next: Happy! Season 2 Review: SYFY’s Over-The-Top Series Starts Off Slow But Steady

Hanna season 1 premieres Friday, March 29 on Amazon Prime Video.


2019-03-28 02:03:21

Kevin Yeoman

Vikings: 5 Things That Are Historically Accurate (And 5 Things That Are Completely Fabricated)

For a long time, when people thought of the History Channel, they thought about endless memes involving ancient aliens and certain experts with unique ways of expressing himself. However, in recent years, focus has shifted to their hit show: Vikings. In Vikings, fans followed Ragnar Lothbrok and his children through the most influential Viking adventures.

However, since the show is on the History Channel and tries to be historically accurate, its accuracy has come into question more than once. After all, it’s hard to walk the line between objective history and interesting, well-flowing narrative. The facts always seem to tweak a little whenever the two mix.

RELATED: 10 Things The Last Kingdom Does Better Than Vikings

How does Vikings fare, between fiction and accurate realism?

10 ROLLO’S PERSONALITY (REAL)

Though a fierce warrior, Rollo was known by history to be an impulsive, jealous man. As the first Duke of Normandy, he left behind some of his previous life to meld better with other Anglo-Saxon cultures. However, it is historically unconfirmed if he was a Viking in origin. The man did a good job of covering up his past. A conqueror and leader, he led Normandy his own, brutish way.

His legacy survived many generations in power only because of their fiercely militaristic and ruthless nature.

As far as comparing history and Vikings goes, the story seems to have his personality, even if they altered some serious facts about his heritage.

9 RAGNAR AND ROLLO’S BROTHERHOOD (FAKE)

In Vikings, Rollo and Ragnar are brothers. One is driven by his belief in his own greatness, while the other is driven by his jealousy and desire to find his own greatness. It’s not easy to be the great Ragnar’s brother. Ultimately, that leads to a love-hate relationship with a lot of clashing and conflict.

RELATED: What To Expect From Vikings Season 6

Unfortunately, though, this key relationship is completely fabricated. Rollo and Ragnar never were brothers. Rollo was the Duke of Normandy, but can’t even be truly confirmed a Viking. And Ragnar? It’s uncertain the legendary man was ever real. At the very least, the pair never were warring brothers. Kind of bursts that bubble of fascinating drama.

8 THE VIKING AESTHETIC (REAL)

Though the show definitely dolls up its characters to look as attractive and interesting as possible, the Viking look they give them isn’t fake. Vikings truly gave themselves black-eye paint and favored matted, pleated hair styles. They reveled in looking fierce and wild, even if their tactics could be much more organized. Or, in some cases, just as wild as they looked.

Vikings believed in looser social rules and heat-of-the-moment battle. They may have had few tradition fights and traditional looks, but they remained strong and attractive in their own ways. They could intimidate any foe with eye makeup like that. And how fiercely awesome that hair is? Anglo-Saxons and Russians must have been terrified.

7 VIKING BATTLE STYLE (FAKE)

While Vikings were stronger fighters dedicated to raids, they hardly fought the traditional pitch-battle way fans are accustomed to. The show sets up quite a few wars like this, one enemy standing across the field form another. However, it’s very unlikely Vikings would ever participate in these kinds of battles. After all, they preferred raids. Not only does that mean fierce combat but also an element of surprise. Their battle tactics are closer to guerrilla style that classical pitch-battles.

On TV, though, pitch-battles are the standard. It’s no surprise Vikings decided to favor a grander style that can really amp up a crowd. Armies clashing feels much more grand and epic than tons of surprise tactics and raids.

6 RAGNAR’S SONS (REAL)

Though Ragnar is near mythic, none of his sons are. All of his sons are taken from real warriors and leaders of history. Though none of them can be confirmed as his real sons, they made great impacts during their time. Bjorn Ironside was a real, Swedish Viking chief who spearheaded a Swedish royal dynasty. Ivar The Boneless and Ubbe invaded England. Sigurd became King of Denmark.

RELATED: Vikings: Every Major Character Marked By Strength

All of these men’s names were included in certain tales of Ragnar’s sons, though, so while it’s unconfirmed, it’s not impossible. Regardless of their parentage, though, most all of these sons were real Vikings that helped shape and change Europe.

5 THE TIMELINE (FAKE)

Unfortunately for Vikings, the most exciting Viking events aren’t exactly close together. However, for the show and fan benefit, time has been crunched to connect the greatest moments together. However, that does mean that the Vikings getting to “the west” and invading England are not close at all in the timeline. There are dozens, and at times hundreds, of years between big raids. Lagertha definitely should not have been able to be a Viking wife pre-west AND at the raid of Paris.

Though to makes for great televisions to see fan-favorite characters at all of these places, it does mean that the general plot-line of Vikings is definitely fake.

4 WOMEN WARRIORS (REAL)

This one is a bit complicated, because the general answer is yes, strong, warrior women were real in Viking culture. However, they still weren’t as involved to the extent Vikings portrays it. Fitting to modern standards, of course Lagertha is an intimidating warrior and leader. The truth, though, is that any real shield-maidens were very few and far between. Moreover, they rarely were given much power in the military. At best, they were just extra forces.

More commonly, women were trained with a sword and shield to defend their homes or join the men in war only for dire situations.

RELATED: 20 Things Wrong With Lagertha We All Choose To Ignore

Overall, women had more freedoms and could fight in wars, but it’s doubtful any of them were as powerful, free, or adept in battle as Lagertha.

3 CHRISTIAN CRUCIFIXIONS (FAKE)

During a particularly dark and terrible moment, Christians crucified Athelstan for his consortium with Vikings and abandoning the faith. Though he didn’t abandon Christianity, not really, they didn’t see it that way.

Despite being a poignant, heartbreaking scene, it’s completely false.

A big part of Christian faith is lamenting the crucifixion of Christ. They believe sacrifice is holy. If they truly though Athelstan to be a heathen, they wouldn’t do something so meaningful to them. Furthermore, Christians weren’t known for arbitrary crucifixions.

RELATED: 25 Little Details Only True Fans Know About Vikings

As far as narrative goes, it was a powerful moment for Athelstan. But for realism? It really missed the mark.

2 NO HORNED HELMETS (REAL)

Skyrim really skewed a lot of people’s ideas of Norsemen, thinking they all wore horned helmets and yelled things. While it seems they did yell a lot, Vikings put the record straight by keeping their characters bare of helmets.

Vikings did have certain helmets they wore, but they weren’t the iconic horned ones. Between keeping characters recognizable and brushing off those myths, no helmets is just much easier.

Many people picture Vikings a certain way, and it’s impressive that Vikings does its best to at least preserve the true aesthetic, even though they play around with character backstories and timelines a lot.

1 RAGNAR’S EXISTENCE (FAKE)

Unlike his children and many other characters in the show, Ragnar Lothbrok’s existence cannot be confirmed. There are well-known Norse legends of him being a powerful, influential Viking, but actual accounts of his real life are non-existent. For such a pinnacle of Viking mythos, the fact he probably never was real is disappointing.

However, as he is so important, of course a show about Vikings included him. As far as Vikings go, he’s like the forefather of their most-revered adventures and heroes. Though it can’t be confirmed, legends do name leaders like Bjorn Ironside and Ivar the Boneless as his “sons”.

Ragnar may or may not be real, but he’s been an influential, beloved character in the series. The story will never be the same without him.

NEXT: 5 Characters Whose Departure Hurt The Series (And 5 We Could Care Less About)


2019-03-23 01:03:19

Stephanie Marceau

Captain Marvel’s Trolls Completely Missed What The Movie’s Actually About

With Captain Marvel opening higher, further and faster than any female-led film in history, it seems safe to say that the efforts of various trolls to sabotage the movie’s success have failed miserably. Yet there is an irony in that failure, both in how they managed to showcase their ignorance of Carol Danvers’ character and what she represents in general and in how they attempted to promote Alita: Battle Angel – a movie even more antithetical to their stated values – over Captain Marvel.

The stated reasons behind the trolls’ efforts to wreck Captain Marvel’s opening weekend are as wide and varied as the tactics utilized in accomplishing that end. Angry YouTube videos complaining of Brie Larson being a man-hater and Tweets of alleged insider sources claiming that Larson had been fired from Avengers: Endgame ran wild in the weeks leading up to Captain Marvel‘s release. The effort to “review-bomb” aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes resulted in the site removing users’ ability to rate or comment on movies before their official release date. YouTube took similar steps to change their search metrics, so as to stop trolls from dominating the searches for videos relating to Captain Marvel.

Related: Captain Marvel’s Box Office Is Bigger Than Anybody Predicted

Perhaps the most prominent of these efforts was spearheaded by Jack Posobiec, a self-described “political operative” most famous for his role in the efforts to see James Gunn fired from Disney. Posobiec posted a video to his Twitter account, encouraging his followers to take part in the #AlitaChallenge and see Alita: Battle Angel during Captain Marvel’s opening weekend, declaring“we’re gonna stop giving money to people who hate us.” (Curiously, Posobeic had previously complained of Alita: Battle Angel putting him to sleep, in a deleted tweet).

Presumably the intent behind promoting Alita: Battle Angel over Captain Marvel was to pit two science-fiction themed movies with female leads and feminist themes against one another as proof that their hatred wasn’t of women specifically, just of Brie Larson. There is, however, a deep irony, however, in a right-wing movement promoting Alita, given that the film’s core ideals are far more progressive in tone and diametrically opposed to the beliefs of American conservatives like Posobiec than those presented in Captain Marvel. The original manga that inspired Alita: Battle Angel is famed for its environmental and populist themes, as Alita fights against a corrupt elite of wealth-hoarding plutocrats, who live in luxury above the Earth they have all but destroyed with the waste from their city in the sky. By contrast, Captain Marvel offers perhaps the most idealized view of American military pilots since Top Gun, featuring two pilots and a secret agent with a military background single-handedly stopping an alien invasion of Earth.

Before the weekend was halfway over, it became clear that the boycotts and the review bombs were a bust, with Captain Marvel having scored the second-highest March movie premiere on a Thursday night in history. Despite this, Posobiec doubled-down and somehow managed to further embarrass himself and his movement. In a desperate attempt to appeal to older comic book fans, Posobeic sent out another tweet, suggesting that Stan Lee would not approve of Captain Marvel and the latest batch of MCU movies.

This effort was rightly roasted by Stan Lee’s friends and followers, who pointed out the deep irony making such a claim about Lee, who’s known for his outspoken liberalism. Posobiec was also mocked for his apparent ignorance that Stan Lee’s death was not so long ago that he was ignorant as to what Marvel Films was doing with his creations in their most recent movies. Indeed, Lee had visited the set of Captain Marvel to film one of his famous cameo appearances and was reportedly pleased by the efforts to bring Carol Danvers to life.

While the intentions of these trolls can be debated, one thing seems clear in the wake of their failure – there is no profit to be found in studios lending an ear to online trolls. The record-setting crowds lining up to see Captain Marvel compared to the more modest gains made by Alita: Battle Angel over the past weekend are proof of that. With any luck, these individuals will find some more wholesome and profitable way to spend their time.

More: Rotten Tomatoes’ New Audience Rating System Is Even Worse


2019-03-16 02:03:07

Matt Morrison

Resident Evil 2 Mod Completely Removes Mr. X

A new Resident Evil 2 mod has completely removed the controversial Mr. X from the game, addressing one of the more divisive inclusions in the recent remake. While many community members felt the addition of Mr. X was consistent with the intention of the original game, others believed the encounters with him to be superficial, which led many to express a desire for a version that didn’t have him in it.

Resident Evil 2 is one of the more pleasant surprises in gaming recently. It’s the rare case of a remake managing to improve on a classic, one that was held to such a high standard that a misstep would have been a disaster. Capcom handled the property with care, though, and the result was a critical and financial success that resurrected discussion about other entries in the publisher’s catalogue that deserve a remake of their own. Alongside Devil May Cry 5Resident Evil 2 also helped buoy Capcom to an incredibly strong start to 2019.

Related: It’s Time To Start Trusting Capcom Again

If there is a major flaw in Resident Evil 2, a fairly sizeable portion of the game’s community seems to believe it’s embodied in the presence of Mr. X. The mod, uploaded by a NexusMods user named maverickheart and called “X No More,” is a relatively simple one that simply removes Mr. X entirely. Naturally, as Mr. X is a part of the game’s plot at certain points, the mod also helpfully replaces him during these cutscenes with a harmless ghost instead. Here’s a YouTube video of the mod in action:

The biggest draw to “X No More” is the fact that it doesn’t break any scripted events, which is a huge boon for mods like these which can often mess with the experience a little too much to enjoy. The second best part, though, is that the removal of Mr. X makes Resident Evil 2 a bit more of a relaxed game. Players will still find their fair share of jumpscares and unsettling environments, but they’ll be able to do it at their own pace, free from the fear of Mr. X suddenly making an appearance and causing things to spiral out of control unexpectedly.

Obviously, a lot of people like Mr. X as well, with other mods transforming him into Thomas the Tank Engine or replacing his musical score with DMX’s “X Gon’ Give It To Ya.” The point is, if there’s something players want, the Resident Evil 2 modding community is typically more than happy to deliver. Is the game better with or without Mr. X? That’s probably a question no one can answer. Luckily, regardless of how you feel, the dedicated fans of Capcom’s great remake are here to make sure there are options available.

Source: NexusMods


2019-03-11 01:03:18

Cody Gravelle

10 Things You Completely Missed In The First Lego Movie

Now that The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is in theaters, many fans need a refresher regarding the original LEGO Movie that was released in 2014. While 2017s The LEGO Batman Movie is still fresh in our minds, it’s been a while since we’ve met up with Emmet, Lucy, and the rest of the gang; unless you’ve been keeping up with all of the many shorts in the series, from 2014s Chinese New Year to 2018s Emmet’s Holiday Party.

RELATED: Every LEGO Movie Ranked, Including Batman & Sequels

Even if you watched the original film again, there’s still a good chance you missed some cool hidden moments, LEGO Movie trivia, and Easter eggs.

10 It’s Morgan Freeman’s First Animated Feature

When Morgan Freeman remarked, “Ah, we gotta write all that down ’cause I’m not gonna remember any of it, but here we go,” the words were his own, spoken in regards to being anxious about so many lines the film directors tossed his way. Funny enough, those lines weren’t an actual piece of the dialogue, but directors loved it so much they just added it to the movie! It ended up being one of Vitruvius’s funniest lines in the movie.

Since he’d never worked on an animated movie before, Freeman also had no idea he’d have to speak his lines alone without interacting with other actors.

9 It Has A Lot Of Parallels To The Matrix

While it’s difficult to create a completely unique idea and flesh it out into a film, The LEGO Movie definitely seems to have parallels to several different previously released films. One of the most obvious examples is The Matrix.

RELATED: 15 Lego Movie Secrets You Totally Missed

Not only is Emmett chosen by a wise old man and accompanied by a woman who believed that she was supposed to be the Chosen One, but it’s also an example of a completely different version of reality. Emmett also finds himself in many of the same situations as Neo, such as when fighting many police officers during his adventure.

8 Each Lego Movie Redeems A Villain

Too many children’s films feature the destruction of a bad guy in the end, often at the hands of the hero, which only makes the hero as bad as the villain he took out. The LEGO Movie and its successors opted for a more Studio Ghibli approach where the villains learn from their mistakes and grow from that knowledge instead of just being jailed or knocked off.

Lord Business frees the LEGO people, complicit in the failure of his own dastardly plan. And in The LEGO Batman Movie, Joker and many other rogues help to save the city. Even The LEGO Ninjago Movie includes a cathartic moment for Lloyd’s father, Lord Garmadon.

7 Lord Business Has A Necktie For A Cape

It’s not obvious unless you know what to look for, but Lord Business, who wears a pretty complicated costume as it is, sports a small necktie as his cape. This is an obvious play on his name as well as his parallel personality to The Man Upstairs.

RELATED: The LEGO Movie 2’s Big Twist Doesn’t Make Any Sense – Or Does It?

The tie has to be from the wardrobe of Finn, the 8-year-old boy in The LEGO Movie who models the personality of Lord Business after his strict father. This only adds to the feels, enabling us to picture Finn not enjoying this stuffy accessory and re-purposing it, as builders do, into something else.

6 Nods To Actual LEGO Sets

Blink and you’ll miss one of the many cameos in The LEGO Movie. These nods to the various LEGO sets were appreciated by fans who’ve constructed the LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Theme Shredder’s Lair Rescue, or the 7,541-piece LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Millennium Falcon Building Kit.

RELATED: The LEGO Movie 2: Every Easter Egg & Reference You Missed

Everyone’s favorite nod to an actual LEGO set, of course, has to be Benny’s spaceship, which isn’t only an homage to the classic LEGOs but is also reminiscent of what just about every builder makes at some point. Who doesn’t know a kid who snapped a couple of bricks together only to call it a spaceship?

5 Cameos Galore

What made The LEGO Movie cameos even more enjoyable were the various celebrities who played them, like Channing Tatum as Superman, Jonah Hill as Green Lantern, and Cobie Smulders as Wonder Woman. Did you also catch the real Lando Calrissian, Billy Dee Williams, or the real Shaquille O’Neal as themselves? Most people know that Lucy was voiced by Elizabeth Banks and Will Arnett as Batman, but did you know that Nick Offerman was the voice of Metal Beard?

Some other cameos you might have missed include Will Forte as Abraham Lincoln, Jake Johnson as Barry, Dave Franco as Wally, and Keegan-Michael Key as Foreman Jim. One of the film’s directors, Christopher Miller, also made a cameo appearance as the TV presenter.

4 President Business’s Workers Are Playing Solitaire

One of the funniest little nuggets about The LEGO Movie is that President Business’s workers aren’t very industrious. As we see them type in rows and rows of minifigs, it brings to mind the banality of working in an office. It’s the perfect embodiment of the experience through the eyes of 8-year-old Finn.

If you look more closely, however, you’ll see that the robotic workers are not actually accomplishing anything while on the clock. Instead, they mostly appear to be playing solitaire on their computers, which makes the image even more realistic and representative of real office workers in jobs they don’t love.

3 Chris Pratt Isn’t Always Emmet

For the fans who’ve followed every incarnation of The LEGO Movie along its journey, including its various games like The LEGO Movie Videogame, finding out that it’s not always Chris Pratt’s voice you hear might be surprising. Pratt doesn’t even voice Emmet in The LEGO Movie: 4D — A New Adventure theme park ride. That honor goes to voice actor A.J. LoCascio.

RELATED: Watch: Chris Pratt Sings “Everything is Awesome” as Parks & Rec’s Andy Dwyer

LoCascio also voices Emmet in shorts like The LEGO Movie Characters present: Safety Video and The LEGO Movie: Masters of Flight. He mimics Chris Pratt so well that he even voices his character Owen Grady in the Jurassic World games.

2 There Are Lego Ninjago Easter Eggs

2017s The LEGO Ninjago Movie certainly didn’t come out of left field, as the TV show had aired several years prior to the film. There are also tiny Easter eggs in The LEGO Movie universe that allude to it. LEGO Ninjago characters are briefly seen via cut-away during the original film, but owners of The LEGO Movie Blu-ray also know that there’s an entire special feature including Lloyd from The LEGO Ninjago Movie.

The funniest inclusion of an Easter egg of The LEGO Ninjago Movie had to have been in The LEGO Batman Movie, since there were billboards promoting the film within the film. LEGOception, anyone?

1 There Are Real Lego Pieces In The Films

One of the coolest facts about The LEGO Movie and its successors is the fact that real LEGO pieces were used during the making of each movie. Anytime you catch a glimpse of bubbles in the movies, you’re actually seeing ice cream scoop pieces.

NEXT: LEGO Movie 2 Comic-Con 2018 Footage Included LEGO Harley Quinn

Not only does this really highlight the LEGOs as the central element of the film, but it also furthers the entire message about being a builder and creativity. LEGO builders know that pieces can be used for just about anything, from making almost unsolvable puzzle boxes to robots that actually move. Using real LEGOs in the films illustrates just how aware filmmakers were of this fact.



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2019-02-23 01:02:06