Friday, 24 August 2012

Once Upon A Theory: Jefferson's magic hat

Late last season we were introduced to Jefferson's hat and it's role as a gateway between different worlds. As of this point in time we only know two worlds it can definitely access and one implied world:

  1. Enchanted Forest/Fairytale Land - The world where most of Storybrooke's residents come from. We definitely know it can be reached via the hat as Regina managed to reach back to grab her apple.
  2. Wonderland - Traditionally home of Alice, the Queen of Hearts and the Hatter himself. Obviously the first world we saw anyone travel to through the hat.
  3. Storybrooke/Our world - We haven't definitely seen anyone travel here through the hat but as Regina was able to reach back to the Enchanted Forest, it's a safe bet to assume Jefferson's hat is linked to our world.
The Flying Monkeys in Henry's book
During 'An Apple Red As Blood' it was even implied that the hat could be used to travel back (or forward) in time. But what other worlds might we see characters travel to this season? Based on some of the doors and clues there are certain worlds which I think are likely to show up.

The first world I'm sure we'll see is the wonderful world of 'Oz'. In the gateway between worlds in Jefferson's hat we've seen a doorway distinctly resembling the emerald curtain The Wizard hides behind in the story. We've even seen subtle hints at Oz in Henry's book. A page, shown briefly early into the show, featured a group of the Wicked Witch of The West's (Elphaba?) flying monkeys. It wouldn't be hard for Oz and it's colourful cast to appear in the show as Disney currently hold the rights to the Oz franchise (other than Wicked).

Mulan, Oz, Wonderland, a corridor and a front door?
I think we'll also see a separate world for the     character of Mulan. After hearing of the casting of Jamie Chung I wondered about how the character would fit into the existing Fairytale world and couldn't really see any obvious ties to existing characters and locations (then again who would have thought the Genie would also be the Queen's mirror?). However when re-watching Hat Trick, during the same shot showing the emerald curtain, I spotted a door with an oriental theme which looks incredibly similar to the emperors palace in Disney's Mulan. 

Now is where things become less easy to predict. I'll begin with some ideas for worlds which, although there aren't any obvious doors leading to them, would suit the direction the show is taking in season two. Firstly Neverland. Neverland has always been treated as a world separate from our own and I don't see any reason why Once would change that. I'm guessing a door would feature a star motif linking to the 'Second star to the right' quote. Another world I think likely is a world of giants. We know that Magic Beans can open a gateway between worlds so maybe Jack used a gateway to reach the giants world. It would therefore make sense that Jefferson's hat was linked to this world. Lastly there's a world of Camelot. We know Sir Lancelot will be appearing next season, so Camelot will probably appear or at least be referenced. Although, it may be a doorway in Jefferson's hat, but I think it will probably just be another kingdom in the Enchanted Forest.

Some more of Jefferson's doors including the brick wall
 (hopefully leading to Hogwarts)
The next two ideas are based on doors which reminded me of different stories but seem unlikely based on the shows direction and their access to stories. Before I get to my crazy fan crossover theory, I'll discuss Narnia. While Regina and Jefferson were between worlds several doors seemed like quite plain wooden doors, but one stood out as reminding me of the wardrobe in Disney's adaptation of 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'. However, as amazing, as a Narnia-centric episode would be I doubt it will happen. If I'm right Disney (and ergo ABC) sold the Narnia franchise to Walden media and it's not generally seen as a fairy-tale or legend (a theme the show seems to be focussing more on with Camelot and Mulan). 

My last idea for a world for the show is pretty big. In fact it's my favourite. It's the magical world of... Hogwarts! Okay, okay. This won't happen, but there is a door which would be perfect. One of the doorways is simply a brick wall and any Potter fan knows that Harry walks through walls many times throughout the series, such as when he visits Diagon Alley and Platform 9 3/4. I know this won't happen, Warner Bros would never allow it and it's not really a fairy-tale but for me this would be the ultimate crossover.

These are just a few of my ideas for worlds in the show. What other worlds can you see appearing?

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Catching Fire Casting

One of the best fan-posters I've seen
As of yet I haven't commented on any of the announced cast for 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' and I probably won't until after the films release (or possibly a trailer). This is for one very simple reason. I haven't seen many of the new cast in anything yet. Therefore it would be impossible to make an informed opinion on their acting ability and whether they suit the character.

Sure I could talk about how 'this actress doesn't look like such and such' of how they have the wrong eye or hair could but this would be wrong. We shouldn't judge an actor simply on whether they look the part. For one thing, it's incredible how much an actor can change physically before starting filming. Just take a look at how much weight Anne Hathaway lost before Les Miserables or the difference between Tom Hardy before and after Bane. An actor you thought looked wrong for a part could surprise you and end up as the perfect embodiment of how you imagined a character.

But more importantly we should base whether an actor is appropriate on their acting ability. An actor could look exactly how you see a certain character, but ultimately if they can't act the role they won't work in the film. It's incredibly superficial to say that you don't like a character just because of their looks and doesn't make sense. Sure, you may want Finnick to be an Adonis but if you dig deeper into his character he is so much more than 'just a pretty face'.

I'm not saying how a character looks isn't important, simply that wait until you've seen the actor in action before judging. Or at the very least a photo of them in character.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Once Upon A Theory: Maleficent's ties to Rumple

Nearly every back story in Once Upon A Time has a link to either Regina, Rumple or Snow. However based on some information we were given in Season 1 (specifics later), I'm guessing Rumple has quite a big role in the tale of Sleeping Beauty coming up in Season 2 of the show. So in this installment of Once Upon A Theory I explore just how everyone's favourite deal-maker ties into the classic story of Aurora and Maleficent.

My only real evidence that the two have a connection is the knowledge Maleficent appears to have of the curse and Rumples knowledge of Maleficent. In 'The Thing You Love Most' Maleficent seems to know a lot about the curse and how it works, warning Regina against it. How does she know so much? My guess is she learnt it from the curses creator (Rumple). Then in 'A Land Without Magic' Rumple clearly knows a lot about Maleficent and her dragon form. Admittedly, both are tenuous links, but I'm going to venture a guess that the two have a shared past.

So how are they linked and why does Maleficent know so much about the curse? I'm betting we'll see Maleficent visit Rumple seeking help for her problems with Aurora. In response Rumple will offer the curse in the hopes that someone else will enact it, saving him from paying the price and also because there is nothing he loves apart from Bae and Belle, neither of whom he can reach. However Maleficent will refuse when she realises what the curse would do. Instead she'll take an item very precious to Rumple. His spinning wheel, which we've seen in 'Skin Deep' and 'The Return'. This will be the wheel she uses to curse Aurora.

I don't know if we'll see much more of a link between Rumple and Maleficent, but I'm hoping the show explores her history with Regina. I'd love to see how Regina treats a "friend".

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

LeakyCon London

Although I've loved Harry Potter practically my whole life, I only really became active in the fandom about three years ago. This means, living in the U.K, I've never really had the chance to experience a fan convention. So, I've been ardently following any news regarding the planned 'Alohomora 2013' and 'LeakyCon 2013' (just in case it came to London).I wasn't sure which I'd go to. Alohomora, Leaky or both.

When Leaky released their riddles last week and announced that they'd be heading to Portland, I thought the decision was made for me and I was all set, ready and excited for Alohomora's announcement on Sunday. But then Twitter completely took me by surprise with a tweet from Leaky announcing their first con in London.

 Between squeals of excitement I thought to myself "Wow, conventions are just like buses. Wait years for one and two come at once" and decided to watch Alohomora's announcement before making any decisions. My reaction was something along the lines of this: "OH MY GOD! Alohomora is also Leaky so I can go to both! I'm so excited! I can't wait until next August!" etc. My family were not impressed.

I've even managed to find someone to go with. Now I just need to make sure I have enough money when registration opens in a few weeks. Shouldn't be a problem.

On a completely related note, I'm really hoping there's a fan trip to the Studio Tour. I would love to explore the sets and props with fellow fans (and I haven't been yet). Oh, and Starkid. Always Starkid.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Once Upon A Theory: Henry's really Peter Pan

I have a confession to make. I am in love with Once Upon A Time! Somewhere between the 'Pilot' and 'Snow Falls' it became my favourite show. Since the series finale, like most fans, I've been trying to work out what's going to happen in the next series. So this is the first many theories for the show focusing on who Peter Pan is in Storybrooke.

At Comic-Con we received confirmation that Captain Hook would be coming to Storybrooke and last week casting was announced. But surely if Hook's being cast we should have heard about Peter by now. How can we explore what makes Hook tick (sorry about the pun) without his adversary? Where is all the casting for the boy from Neverland? My theory is we don't need a new cast member. In fact, if I'm right, Peter has been in the show from day one and is one of the first characters we're introduced to. He's actually, arguably, the most important character. Henry.

This is a theory I've had for a while now, which dates back to when I first saw 'That Still Small Voice' During one of Henry's counselling sessions, where Archie tells him he needs to stop believing in the fairytales, I realised that Henry doesn't want to. Not just stop believing. Henry doesn't want to grow up. Throughout the entire first season he holds on to his faith in the book, in the same way any child holds onto their belief in fairies, Santa and magic.

A boy who won't grow up. Sound familar? That's because it's a trait Henry shares perfectly with Peter. Peter Pan, in both J.M Barrie's original and Disney's adaption, is a young boy who refuses to grow up just like our friend Henry. This childlike faith and resilience is held onto by Henry throughout the first season, even when Emma tells him to stop believing.

So what else links the two characters? I'd say both's search for a mother. Whilst Peter Pan recruits Wendy to be his 'mother', Henry is desperate to reconnect with his real mother Emma. Both also suffer from abandonment from their parents. A tenuous link, but a link nonetheless. They're also parallels of each other. Peter escapes our world into a land of magic, just as Henry does, but there's one key difference. Henry brings magic from the Enchanted Forest (It sounds better than Fairytale-land) to the real world effectively doing the opposite of Peter.

Faith, Trust and an Evil Queen's magic?
Obviously none of this proves anything, but news regarding series two has given some more evidence for this theory. Our first glimpse of the new series (seen here) shows Captain Hook entering Mr Gold's shop and stealing his famed hook back, so we know Hook is coming, likely with other inhabitants of Neverland; but also shows Henry seeming scared about something happening in Storybrooke. Could it be that Henry's come to clash with Peter Pan's old foe?

Then these pictures surfaced. Henry flying. Just like Peter Pan. Albeit with the help of a spell or two of Regina's but maybe Henry keeps the flight. If he can fly he's a lot closer to becoming Peter.

I'm probably completely wrong and shouldn't try second-guessing the Once writers. I mean, who saw Ruby actually being the Wolf? However I'd love to see this happen. It would be a great twist and the town of Storybrooke probably doesn't have much space left for new character (more of that in a future theory) and I love Peter Pan.

Next time in Once Upon A Theory: Two villains, a curse and a spinning wheel.



Monday, 6 August 2012

How 'The Dark Knight Rises' surprised me

When I saw 'The Dark Knight Rises' I was blown away. The film completely took me by surprise, however not in the way you'd expect. I'd pretty much guessed all the major plot twists in advance, especially John Blake being Robin and inheriting the Batcave. No, the film surprised me due to how much I enjoyed it!

As someone who reads comic-books and loves superheroes I've, surprisingly, never really found Batman that interesting. Not that I don't think he's a good character, I've just never connected with the character and his stories. He's fine with the JLA and I enjoy his supporting characters but not solo Bruce Wayne. I'm probably one of the few people left in the world who haven't seen 'Batman Begins' and 'The Dark Knight' so I wasn't particularly excited to see 'The Dark Knight Rises'. However I went along anyway and have to say I'm glad I did.

Christopher Nolan crafted a truly great film which didn't dumb itself down to appeal to the usual summer film audience. The film tackled it's themes well and did really make you think. As I've said above I'd pretty much guessed the ending (other than Talia Al Ghul showing up) but the plot was amazing in scope and well-written. Generally the pacing was perfect, although I did wish some scenes were slightly shorter, but that's a small complaint. The effects and cinematography were also done incredibly well helping to create a truly great film.

Even better, unlike many superhero films, all of the actors put in solid performances. Christian Bale was great as Bruce Wayne, as I've heard he is in the other films, although what's up with the Batman voice? I couldn't help but laugh at some scenes ("WHERE IS THE TRIGGER!?"). All of the supporting cast were great, but especially Anne Hathaway. Her performance as Catwoman was brilliant. In fact I don't think I've ever seen a film with Anne Hathaway I haven't liked (this bodes well for Les Miserables).

Although I hate to seem negative, I do have some slight complaints. As I've said above, I didn't particularly enjoy the Batman voice. It was quite distracting in some scenes and I found it hard to understand at times. Also I'd have loved to John Blake wear one of Robin's outfits. Sure the original costume wouldn't have suited the film but a variation on the Nightwing costume would have worked fine. This last complaints has nothing to do with the film and is simply to do with me but all I could see everytime Alfred was on screen was 'A Muppets Christmas Carol'. I left the cinema with 'One More Sleep 'Til Christmas' in my head.

Despite not feeling the same level of anticipation I felt for 'The Avengers' or 'The Amazing Spider-Man',  I loved this film! Although I'm not 100% behind the gritty approach to superheroes it allowed the film to tackle it themes in a much stronger way than this years other comic book adaptions, and created an amazing adaption and stand-alone film.

Four and a half stars

On a slightly different note if Warner Brothers don't use John Blake in the 'Justice League' movie they are insane. The 'Man of Steel' teaser looks like it could easily exist in the Nolanverse and they'd already have two characters established before the film (rumoured for 2015). They'd only need to make a Wonder Woman film and the main trio are complete.