Blog Posts by Ben Arnold

  • Website Promises 'Education' From Harry Potter School Hogwarts

    Hogwarts Is Here offering courses to fans.

    Fancy freeing yourself from the shackles of your tedious muggledom?

    Of course you do.

    A new website called Hogwarts Is Here is now offering courses from the fictional school from the Harry Potter books, allowing fans to enrol, join any of the school's famous houses (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin), gain qualifications, learn spells and be trained in wizardry.

    Reads the page detailing the academic offerings: “You are now able to enrol at Hogwarts, collect your textbooks and begin taking our 9-week courses online. You can now progress through all seven years of schooling and be assigned a professor, homework assignments, quizzes and more.

    [Hermione should have married Harry Potter, Rowling admits]

    “Meet other students online by joining a House dormitory, chat with others in the Common Room, browse and contribute to the Hogwarts Library, collect chocolate frog cards, earn galleons & house points and so much more.

    Course details... nine-week courses are being offered (Credit: Hogwarts Is Here)

    “Thanks to the efforts and resources (plus a little magic) from

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  • Mel Smith Left Huge £6.5 Million Will

    Comedian died from a heart attack last year.

    Mel Smith left a huge estate worth £6.5 million, it has emerged, the bulk of it going to his wife Pam.

    The comedian and actor, best known for his pairing with Griff Rhys Jones, died following a heart attack last year. He was 60.

    Smith's will stipulated that the remainder of the estate should be split between a number of other trustees after the death of his wife.

    [Mel Smith dies at 60]

    Among the extensive assets are houses in London, one in St John's Wood backing onto Lord's Cricket Ground, and an £800,000 home in Barbados.

    As well as being a successful performer, notably as part of 'Not The Nine O'Clock News', he was also a prolific producer.

    Smith... with the Not The Nine O'Clock News crew (Copyright: PA)

    With Jones, he founded the hugely influential production company Talkback in 1981.

    It was responsible for making comedy shows including 'The Day Today', 'Da Ali G Show', 'I'm Alan Partridge', 'Green Wing' and 'Big Train', as well as the likes of 'Never Mind The Buzzcocks' and 'The Apprentice'.

    Following an accidental overdose of painkillers in 1999,

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  • Johnny Depp to testify in murder trial

    The actor is strangely embroiled in car killing incident.

    Johnny Depp is likely to have to testify in a murder trial, it has emerged.

    He was said to have been served with court papers while attending the premiere of his latest movie 'Transcendence' in Los Angeles last week.

    Though the actor isn't directly involved, he may be summoned before a court in the case of a woman accused of killing a pedestrian in her car.

    [Johnny Depp in talks to play Doctor Strange]

    Nancy Lekon is to go on trial later this month for murder, after running a women over in 2009 in a Cadillac limousine and dragging her for nearly a mile under the car.

    After being arrested, she told police she had been in the area visiting Depp, who she claimed was her boyfriend.

    Lekon's plea is one of not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity, which is where the 50-year-old, recently-engaged star comes into the picture.

    [Johnny Depp courts apocalypse in new Transcendence trailer]

    Depp would have to appear in the dock at the request of Lekon's lawyer to refute that he has ever met the woman before,

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  • Ben Affleck In Creepy Gone Girl Trailer

    Affleck is accused of killing his wife in new thriller.

    The first trailer for Ben Affleck and director David Fincher's new thriller 'Gone Girl' has arrived online... and it's creepy.

    Well, actually, not to start with.

    In fact, for much of the clip, it looks to be a domestic drama, before scenes of the police starting to close in make it all a bit claustrophobic.

    [Affleck's Gone Girl movie has different ending to the book]

    Then the music, a cover of Elvis Costello's classic 'She' (recorded originally by Charles Aznavour), starts to get a bit sinister.

    Affleck, and wife Amy, played by Rosamund Pike, start rowing, and then we see Affleck appealing for his missing wife to be found, and being hounded by the media.

    The final shot is the kicker... and we won't spoil it here, but it sends a shiver down the spine.

    [First look: Ben Affleck in Gone Girl]

    The ever-meticulous Fincher rarely puts his name to anything sub-par when it comes to adaptations, though according to reports, those who have read the best-selling novel it's based on by Gillian Flynn,

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  • Ice Cube Angry He Lost Out On MTV Movie Award To Paul Walker

    While Vin Diesel cracks making touching acceptance speech.

    Ice Cube is about to feel the wrath of Paul Walker fans, after he slated the MTV Movie Awards for giving the Best On Screen Duo award to the late actor and screen partner Vin Diesel.

    The former NWA star said that he had been robbed of the award, that he thought should have gone to him and Kevin Hart for the movie 'Ride Along'.

    Instead, Walker and Diesel were given the award for 'Fast & Furious 6'.

    [Fast & Furious 7 filming set to resume after Paul Walker death]

    “We was robbed. Shame on you, MTV,” Cube told US newspaper USA Today.

    “We had the best chemistry of everybody nominated, for us not to win was crazy. We were the best onscreen duo, period.”

    Cube... with co-star Kevin Hart from Ride Along (Copyright: PA)

    He'd already tweeted earlier in the day to express his suitability for the award.

    “On my way to the MTV movie awards. If me and Kevin Hart don't win. The fix is in,” he wrote.

    To temper a possible backlash against the comment, he added that his complaints weren't aimed at the 40-year-old actor not being good enough to have won the award.

    [Paul Walker

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  • Grumpy Harrison Ford gives Star Wars fans curt answers on Reddit AMA

    Han Solo questions seems to be of less interest to the star.

    Harrison Ford's 'Ask Me Anything' session on Reddit over the weekend turned up a few interesting tidbits of information – notably that he's not that interested in talking about 'Star Wars'.

    Han Solo himself answered many of the 'Star Wars'-related queries with short shrift, notably the very last question.

    SuperC142 asked said: “Hi Mr, Ford. I think we would all like to know: Who shot first? Han Solo or Greedo?”

    To which Ford replied: “I don't know and I don't care.”

    Ouch. They were only asking.

    [Harrison Ford reacts badly to Star Wars question]

    IamaAMAfan asked: “Hello Harrison! Who would win in a celebrity boxing match: Han Solo or Indiana Jones?”

    “The promoter would win,” Ford shot back.

    “Are you still mad at Lando?” another asked, to which he replied: “Lando who?”

    He did expand a little on the famous 'Empire Strikes Back' line 'I know', delivered after Princess Leia tells him she loves him.

    On whether it was ad-libbed, as is rumoured, he said: “It's not really an ad lib, it was a suggestion,

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  • New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles clip features glimpse of Splinter

    Turtles' rat sensei appears briefly.

    The new TV spot for 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' features the first blink-and-you'll-miss-it glimpse of Splinter.

    The rat sensei, who moulds the talents of the turtles, appears to be narrating the clip too.

    [Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reveal weapons in new posters]

    “You live, you die, you fight as brothers,” he says. “Remember, nothing is as strong as family.”

    Splinter... first look in the new clip for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Copyright: Paramount)

    Wise words, Master Splinter...

    Being voiced by 'Monk' and 'Pain & Gain' star Tony Shabloub – Danny Woodburn played the rat on-screen – it's the latest snippet from the all-action reboot.

    [Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan 'fixes' character design]

    Sure, the glimpse is a bit limited, but we can see him brandishing a sword, wearing a smart yellow jerkin type thing, and we get a look at his long, droopy martial arts moustache.
    Original... Splinter from the 1990 incarnation (Copyright: New Line)
    Elsewhere, the Michael Bay-produced movie stars Megan Fox as April O'Neil, Will Arnett as wise-cracking cameraman Vernon Fenwick and William Fichtner as The Shredder.

    Meanwhile, Johnny Knoxville is voicing Leonardo.

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  • Thandie Newton reveals racist abuse growing up in Cornwall

    Actress moved to Penzance from Zambia as a child.

    Thandie Newton has revealed that she suffered racial abuse while growing up in Cornwall.

    The 41-year-old star of films like 'Crash' has said that the area was 'beautiful but backward' when it came to race issues.

    Newton was born in London to a white father and a Zimbabwean mother, but moved to Zambia as a child.

    [Steve Martin accused of racist tweet]

    But on moving back to the UK with father Nick, mother Nyasha and younger brother Jamie, she found that it was hard to fit in, and was told to avoid attracting attention to herself.

    “It was a beautiful environment, but very backward when it came to racial politics,” she told The Times.

    “I was getting good grades, I was a really happy, sparkly child and she [Thandie’s mother] was aware that the more I was achieving, the more resentment there was from other people. But I didn’t understand, I was only little.

    Newton... in her breakthrough role in Crash (Copyright: Lionsgate)

    “Just walking through the town was drawing attention to ourselves – so of course that has an effect on how you want your kids to be.”

    On

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  • Andrew Garfield's A-level Show Is Really Rather Dramatic

    Future Spider-Man gives his all as Narcissus in Tales from Ovid.

    No one emotes quite like an A-level drama student.

    And Andrew Garfield's A-level performance, now unearthed thanks to the wonder of the internet, is quite clearly no exception.

    [Emma Stone is stunning as ever at Amazing Spider-Man 2 premiere]

    The role of Spider-Man just a dream at this stage, a baby-faced Garfield really goes for it, all eye make-up and spikey hair.

    Telling the story of Narcissus, from Ted Hughes' 'Tales from Ovid', the young Peter Parker is not half bad, taking on the lengthy speech with vim and vigour.

    The student camera skills could do with a bit of work, though...

    [Amazing Spider-Man 2 final trailer shows Green Goblin]

    As a youngster, Garfield had a pretty prolific acting career too, winning many high profile awards for his stage work while still in his teens.

    Now, of course, he's one of the biggest stars in the world, so it's nice of the internet to remind him of where it all started. So he doesn't get a big head...

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  • Mickey Rourke rants about Mickey Rooney

    Actor shames press over lack of coverage.

    Another day, another odd appearance on the streets of Beverly Hills by Mickey Rourke... and this time he's chastising the press for their lack of interest in Mickey Rooney's death.

    The 61-year-old actor was knocking about his locale, when he was confronted, as he so often is, by the paparazzi.

    Mickey Rourke seems to be in good spirit as he arrives at his car in Beverly Hills (Credit: WENN.com)

    Giving them something to think about, he decided to grill them on why the death of legendary actor Mickey Rooney seemed less important than other celebrity stories of the day.

    [Mickey Rourke reveals new look for ever-changing face]

    In a video clip caught by gossip site TMZ, he set off on an expletive-filled rant.

    “How come Mickey Rooney ended up on page twenty-f******-two and they put all these reality f***heads... hey man, what a f****** shame,” he said.

    Rooney died at the age of 93 on Sunday.

    Before climbing into his Bentley, the actor of Irish lineage shook hands with a fan from Dublin.

    [The family fued that means Mickey Rooney's body is still unclaimed]

    The reporter then attempted to ask Rourke a

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