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Friday Favorites – Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
Posted by Megs

[click any of the thumbnails for larger photos]

If you’re looking for a gift for a Harry Potter film lover this holiday season, look no further than The Creature Vault: The Creatures and Plants of the Harry Potter Films from Harper Collins. While the Collectors Edition of Harry Potter From Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey includes a book on the creatures of Harry Potter, titled “The Creature Shop Compendium,” this new book from Harper Collins will be a great addition to any Potter fan’s collection.

For one thing, many people simply do not have $600 to spend on a collection of books and The Creature Vault is only $27 at Barnes & Noble or Amazon. The book, out October 28th, also has 208 pages while the other edition only has 127. This new publication contains a LOT more material. The earlier book is mostly comprised of photos while this combines imagery with all the information you could want on the creatures in the films.  Harper Collins sent us a copy to review, and here are our thoughts!

We went over the basics, now let’s dig in a little deeper. The quality is beautiful, just picking up the book stimulates the senses with it’s textured cover (creatures are debossed in a dark purple.) The attention to detail in the creation of this book is apparent, the cover was designed to look worn out, almost as if it is part of the Potter universe. The book also contains a poster depicting some of the world’s favorite magical creates. It is concealed in an envelope on the back cover of the book.


Inside find gorgeous full color photographs in the form of film stills, concept art and behind the scenes photos as well as detailed sketches of creatures we saw in the films and some we never got to see due to cuts. Perhaps we’ll have the chance in the upcoming Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them films?


What about the content, you’re thinking?  Well, you won’t be left wanting.  There are 208 pages full of little tidbits, fast facts and even film quotes to go along with the descriptions of each creature.  The Creature Vault is a great companion for fans of the movies because within the book you will find details on how certain creatures were made for the films. Also, in the “fast facts” sections you get to see the first film appearance of the creature, additional appearances if any, and other details you may want to know. For example, from Mrs Norris’ section:

First Film Appearance: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Additional Film Appearances: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
Location: Hogwarts Castle
Owner: Argus Filch
Description from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Book, Chapter Eight: “Filch owned a cat called Mrs. Norris, a scrawny, dust-colored creature with bulging, lamplike eyes just like Filch’s.”


[flat interior shots thanks to Behance; all others by Magical-Menagerie]

Filed Under: Books, Fantastic Beasts Films, Friday Favorites, Products, Review
J.K. Rowling Releases Dolores Umbridge Back Story on Pottermore
Posted by Megs

As many news outlets posted last week, J.K. Rowling has released some new information on Pottermore today.  Along with that, the first  chapters of Order of the Phoenix are now ready to explore! You can also visit the Great Hall to witness the spectacular annual Hallowe’en feast, and don’t forget to take a peek at the Hallowe’en map on your pottermore.com homepage. A preview of Dolores Umbridge’s back story may be read below.

“…Dolores…is one of the characters for whom I feel the purest dislike…” writes J.K. Rowling in a note at the entry’s conclusion. “Her desire to control, to punish, and to inflict pain, all in the name of law and order, are, I think, every bit as reprehensible as Lord Voldemort’s unvarnished espousal of evil.”

Among the new details about Umbridge that have never before been disclosed:

  • A real person was the inspiration for the character of Dolores Umbridge (J.K. Rowling is deliberately vague on her identity).  She describes her as a person “whom I disliked intensely on sight. The woman in question returned my antipathy with interest.  Why we took against each other so instantly, heartily and (on my side, at least) irrationally, I honestly cannot say.”
  • During detention, Umbridge forced Harry to cut the words “I must not tell lies” on the back of his hand, thus becoming the only person other than Lord Voldemort to leave a permanent physical scar on Harry.
  • She is revealed to be a half blood – the daughter of a wizard and a Muggle (non-magical person).  This is especially noteworthy because in the books Umbridge lies to bolster her own pure-blood credentials.

According to the press release:

The essay about Dolores Umbridge is just one entry in over 5,500 words of new writing by J.K. Rowling posted on Pottermore at Halloween, to mark the launch of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix onto the website.  Other entries include a look at the magical and mysterious creatures Thestrals, the dark history of the wizarding prison Azkaban, thoughts on the character Sybil Trelawney, details of all who have held the position of Minister for Magic, and an introduction to the ancient wizarding practice of Naming Seers.

Filed Under: Books, Pottermore
Rupert Grint Talks ‘It’s Only a Play,’ ‘Charlie Countryman,’ Harry Potter & More
Posted by Megs

In a new interview with The Guardian, Rupert Grint talks about his various projects since Harry Potter (as well as his new pet tortoise).  First, and foremost, he talks about It’s Only a Play, which is currently running in New York City:

Your first play was Mojo with Ben Whishaw and Daniel Mays. Now you’re in a show with Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick and Stockard Channing. Didn’t you ever think about starting off small? Maybe a bit of am-dram?

Ha! I know, it’s pretty amazing working with all these geniuses. After Mojo ended, I didn’t want to do another play for a long time. It was fun but so exhausting. Then this came up and it was such an incredible cast, I had to do it.

So you’re playing a theatre director?

Yeah, he’s a real nightmare, a completely ridiculous lord who is celebrated for his work but hates all the acclaim. He’s desperate for a bad review. On top of that, he’s a kleptomaniac and in therapy. An absolute mess.

Which aspects of that can you relate to?

Not too many, actually. I’m really the polar opposite. I can’t even relate to his look – the eye makeup and the mad hair. I dunno how ladies put up with makeup. I wear a lot of guyliner in the show. It’s really heavy duty and hard to get off.

He quickly mentioned Harry Potter and which film he would destroy if he had to pick one:

Actually, that’s quite easy: number four, Goblet of Fire. Nothing to do with the film, really. It’s a hair thing again – it’s just because of how my hair looks in it. It’s terrible. I’ve got no recollection of my hair ever looking like that.

When asked about the The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, which was filmed back in 2012 and will be released in the UK on 31 October and the US on 15 November, he said:

This is the craziest film I’ve ever seen or been a part of. It was just ridiculous. You’ll have to be patient with me ’cos it was two years ago and I’m still trying to erase it from my mind – no, I mean piece it all together. So James Buckley from The Inbetweeners is in it and we’re best friends living in Bucharest. Shia LaBeouf comes there after his mother … no, after the ghost of his mother appears to him and tells him to find himself in Bucharest. He gets in trouble with gangsters and someone dies on his flight over – literally on his lap! This isn’t making much sense, is it?

You’re making it up as you go along, aren’t you?

It does sounds like it, doesn’t it? So Shia meets me and James in this youth hostel. I’m a wannabe porn star called Boris Pecker. My main plot is I take too much Viagra and require medical assistance. So it’s me running around with a strap-on.

Did Shia LaBeouf do lots of mad things on set?

Er, yeah. Yeah, he did. I guess you’d call him a method actor. He kind of lived that part. It was … interesting. I think he’s talked about it a bit himself.  Things happened which I probably shouldn’t go into.

Filed Under: Rupert Grint
Friday Favorites: New Harry Potter Products for Holiday 2014
Posted by Megs

The Film Cell, an online store that sells film merchandise, have emailed to let us know they’ve received information about a few new Harry Potter items for this year!  The items will be available in December. Some of the images are a little slow, but you get the idea!

The Lost Diadem of Ravenclaw: The Diadem features the words “Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure” etched onto the crown. Made to a fantastically high standard from quality silver-plated brass and blue and white crystals. This can be worn and comes in a one size fits most size measuring approx. 14 inches in length 5inches wide and 2 inches high. This Rowena Ravenclaw Diadem replica can also be displayed and comes with fantastic display box.

Diagon Alley Map: mounted on a wooden plaque and features every wizards favourite shops. So you no longer need to guess where Ollivander’s is in relation to Madam Malkin’s robe shop as they are all pictured in this highly collectable wall sign.

Daily Prophet Sign: the logo of the most popular Wizards newspaper is now available to hang on your wall.

Basilisk Fang and Tom Riddle Diary statue: the fang can be removed from the diary which is essentially it’s display stand.

Triwizard Tournament Golden Egg: 9 inches tall. The egg doesn’t open when placed under water (haha) but this is hand painted reproduction of the task from the Triwizards tournament as featured in the Goblet of Fire

Filed Under: Friday Favorites, Other Potter Related, Products
Videos: Alfie Enoch on Jimmy Kimmel
Posted by Megs

Alfie Enoch, who is currently starring on How to Get Away with Murder on ABC, stopped by the Jimmy Kimmel Live show last night to have a chat.  Apparently Jimmy had no idea he was British, so watch out for some fun chatter. You can watch the full interview here (you will need to log in with your cable provider) and a couple snippets below. He talks about riding the bus in LA and Harry Potter.

“How to Get Away With Murder” airs Thursday nights at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. “Jimmy Kimmel Live” airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. ET on ABC.

Filed Under: Alfred Enoch
Special Q&A Screening of Extraterrestrial this Sunday
Posted by Megs

Last month we posted about Freddie Stroma’s new film, Extraterrestrial, out October 29th. Today we have some exciting news for Freddie/horror film fans. Signature Entertainment presents a very special Extraterrestrial Preview Screening + Q&A at the Rich Mix, E1 6LA this Sunday, 6pm start. The screening will feature a Q&A with directors The Vicious Brothers & UFO expert Robbie Graham (author of Silver Screen Saucers) Info and tickets can be found on the Rich Mix website and this Facebook Event Page.

5.30PM – 8PM (6PM sharp start)
£9.50 / £7

For those of you that missed the original post, here is a synopsis of the film:

A slick teen shocker with out-of-this-world scares and brutal surprises for Halloween!

Still reeling from her parents divorce, April (Brittany Allen, Defiance, Dead Before Dawn) is dragged back to the vacation cabin she spent fond summers at as a child accompanied by a group of friends. Her trip down memory lane takes a dramatic and terrifying turn when a fireball descends from the sky and explodes in the nearby woods.

Lead by her boyfriend (Freddie StromaHarry Potter & The Half Blood Prince, Pitch Perfect), the group venture out toward the crash site and discover the remnants of a ship from another planet along with footprints that suggest its alien occupants are still alive. The college friends soon find themselves caught in the middle of something bigger and more terrifying than they ever thought possible.

Filed Under: Freddie Stroma

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