Warwick Davis

Warwick Davis in Leprechaun Movie 1993

We all know that “Based on a true story” is simply a suggestion in Hollywood, otherwise, we’d believe Jack and Rose rode the Titanic, Maximus Decimus Meridius defeated Commodus in the coliseum, and the Charles Xavier and his mutants stopped the Cuban Missile Crisis from erupting into war. Amid all the green beer drinking and corn beef noshing, a St. Patrick’s Day tradition for me is watching the 1993 classic Leprechaun starring Warwick Davis. Prior to this film, leprechauns had almost solely been represented in popular culture by jolly yet mischievous creatures helping Darby O’Gill or protecting his Lucky Charms. Now they had a murderously irritated representative. However, as enjoyable as the cheesy horror classic of Leprechaun is, the movie always gets me thinking: How accurate is Warwick Davis’ leprechaun?

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Drinking Games

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up this weekend, and we know everyone is looking for any excuse to drink some green beer or slam a few shots of Irish whiskey. Sure, we could enjoy a few drinks to Darby O’Gill and the Little People, but why not celebrate with a true cinematic classic like 1993’s Leprechaun? There have been six Leprechaun films to date, and honestly, this game could work for almost all of them to a degree. However, it’s Warwick Davis’ original turn as the offensive Irish stereotype that is most enjoyable. Cheers, and Éirinn go Brách!

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Once you’ve already taken a film franchise both to space and to the hood, there aren’t really any other ways left that you can keep it going other than to bite the bullet and opt for a full reboot. So that’s what Lionsgate is doing with their Leprechaun films. Because heaven forbid we live in a world without more Leprechaun. Lionsgate isn’t just going to be attacking this project alone, however. In order to give us a new take on a little green Irish demon who is murderous in the protection of his gold they’re teaming up with Vince McMahon and his World Wrestling Entertainment. WWE Films started out as a division of the pro wrestling company meant to produce wide release features for its wrestling talent, but after the luke warm responses for films like The Marine and See No Evil, they’re regrouping and changing up their game plan a bit.

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Channel Guide - Large

Last Sunday, an important TV milestone was reached. The Simpsons, the longest running American series, aired its 500th episode, but that wasn’t the only major achievement. Last Sunday, erstwhile Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais appeared on two TV shows on the same night, voicing a dolphin on Fox’s Family Guy and portraying himself on the premiere of HBO’s Life’s Too Short. He certainly isn’t the first actor to star in two shows airing almost simultaneously but here in America, there was a time, not so incredibly long ago, when Gervais’s brand of cringe humor (or humour) was only celebrated by a niche group of anglophiles. I don’t want to call the sincerity of 2004 era Gervais fans into question (because I was one) but, at that time, it was kind of cool to like the UK version of The Office in the same way that it’s cool to like indie things–it was something that pseuds could get all pretentious about. But now Gervais is on our TV screens often. Twice-in-the-same-night often. Three-times-in-a-24-hour-period often, if you take The Science Channel’s Gervais-produced An Idiot Abroad into account. So, are we inching closer to the “all Gervais, all the time” programming utopia of our dreams? Or is Gervais becoming annoyingly ubiquitous? These are the questions that I struggle with, while watching Life’s Too Short.

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Did you not already get your fill of the Jack and the Beanstalk myth from this year’s Puss in Boots? Good, because Bryan Singer has his own (live-action) take on the tale, and the results look to be similarly cartoonish. Listen, you try to make magic beans look menacing while also crafting a giant goddamn beanstalk that pops up out of the ground without it looking totally bizarre and silly, okay? Oh, you did already? Oh. Oh, that looks nice! While there was a fair bit of buzz around Singer’s Jack the Giant Killer before the film blossomed into existence (see what I did there?) mainly regarding Singer talking about the project for over two years, casting rumors as to who would be starring as the titular Jack (Aaron Johnson and Andrew Garfield were both talked about before the role went to another superhero kiddo, X-Men: First Class‘s Nicholas Hoult), and a delay that pushed the film back almost a year, news on the project has been surprisingly scarce since it started filming earlier this year. So what’s the finished result of the classic tale reimagined going to look like? Well, if you believe this trailer, a bit like a cross between Puss and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Check out the first trailer for Jack the Giant Killer, complete with its own big-eyed orange kitty (seriously), after the break.

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Why Watch? Because once you’ve seen an Ewok rocking out to the Mos Eisley Cantina Band, you can never un-see it. I wish this short film were somewhere in better quality, but someone has clearly taken the time to blend the usable parts together here (along with what, sadly, looks like bootleg footage from a theater showing). This mockumentary features Warwick Davis on his quest to find meaningful work, and after turning down the idea of playing football for Chelsea, he discovers the universe of Star Wars, where he thinks he’ll fit in nicely. It features the entire main cast of the films both as themselves and as their characters as well as some behind-the-scenes footage from the set. Funny, sweet, and a blast of nostalgia, this is definitely a cool little ride back through the universe. What does it cost? Just 25 minutes of your time. Check out Return of the Ewok for yourself:

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Here’s a fun fact: Prior to 2001′s releases of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone, fantasy movies were frequently silly, low-budget shlockfests that actors only wanted to make so they could eat something other than whatever they scraped from under their fridge for another month. (For the record, I am told that this lifestyle — I like to call it Underfridging — is good for bolstering your immune system. On the other hand, high potential for scurvy. Your call.) And since the Harry Potter series has spanned eight films and employed every single actor in Britain at least once (twice in the case of Warwick Davis), you know there’s a treasure trove of painfully cheesy fantasy movies lurking in their collective resumes. Let’s take a look at some of them!

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