The Making of The Hobbit

Watch the video below to see behind the scenes footage of the making of The Hobbit.

Return of the Ark of the Covenant... Or something like that!



Indiana Jones, Mutt and Marion are in Shanghai trying to recover the diamond and the  ashes of Nurhachi, the first emperor of the Manchu Dynasty. They do so with the help of Short Round (still played by Jonathan Ke Quan), but something goes wrong when KGB agents show up and try to grab Indiana Jones and the group's attempt to get the diamond/ Nurhachi ashes is botched. Lao Che laughs as they leave and moves his valuables to an even more secure location.

The defeated group go to Hong Kong to re-strategize and are contacted by the CIA, who want to know why the KGB just made a 2nd attempt to raid Area 51, and despite increased security managed to secure the Ark. They accuse Indy of selling information to the Russians, but slowly lead into wanting to know who else knows about the Ark of the Covenant being in the possession of the Americans.

(Following the incident at Area 51 in Indiana Jones IV photographs reached the KGB showing what was inside the warehouse. The Ark of the Covenant is spotted amongst the photographs and the KGB contact someone (Primary Villain) in an effort to get their hands on the Ark. The Primary Villain now has the Ark, but where are they taking it?)

Indy tells them what he knows, but isn't sure how he can help them further. The group decide to travel to Egypt to visit Sallah. Short Round decides to tag along. The CIA tell Jones they will have a field agent meet him in Egypt.

Indy and the group arrive in Egypt to meet Sallah, but tempers flare when the CIA field agent turns out to be Willie Scott (who gave up singing and now works as a spy, part time). Sallah is equally confused about how the KGB managed to find the Ark and where they might be taking it. Everything is going fine until KGB agents show up and nab Indy. During the fighting Willie notices they aren't speaking Russian, they're speaking German.

Fortunately when they search the bodies of several Germans they find each of them is carrying a plane ticket to Brazil. The group disguises themselves and short on funds, takes the same plane to Brazil. Resulting in a fight on the plane, capturing several Germans and accidentally hijacking the plane to Cuba, no wait to Brazil! Near the end of the flight the Germans try to retake the plane and in the confusion the pilot and co-pilot both get shot, Marion and Willie have to work together to land the plane.

And unlike Indy, they manage to land it perfectly.

Meanwhile Indy arrives in Brazil and is trekked into the wilderness to a mansion belonging to Germans... and lots of Hitler clones running around, still children, but growing. The place belongs to the Primary Villain, who turns out to be Elsa Schneider (who survived the fall into the chasm, is now working for the KGB [and her own interests] and remembered hearing about the Ark when Indy mentioned it briefly in Venice).

But Elsa reveals she doesn't want the Ark. She says it is useless now that the Russians have nuclear weapons. Instead she offers him a deal wherein he can take the Ark back to the USA if he can lead her to a great treasure which lies deep inside the Brazilian jungle using an ancient map she has found. She believes the treasure belongs to the people of Atlantis, who hid their treasure in Brazil. (This time X does NOT mark the spot.) Elsa even tries to seduce Indy in her efforts to get him to help her, but he turns her down.

Marion, Sallah, etc follow the Germans back to the compound and try to rescue Indy, but the Nazis are better armed than they expected. Willie Scott sends a message to the CIA for reinforcements before she and others get captured. Mutt and Sallah are the only two who don't get captured. (They will later lead the CIA on a rescue mission.)

Using the captive people as a guarantee, Elsa demands Indy's help and he complies. The way to the treasure is guarded by booby traps both in the jungle surrounding it, but also within the strange structure itself.

Once in however it is revealed that Elsa wasn't after a treasure at all, but a weapon. An ancient weapon from Atlantis so powerful it makes H-bombs seem small. Indy attempts to translate it and he describes it as an "anti-matter bomb" designed to destroy the planet.

Yada yada yada, the CIA sends in the military, big fight scene, a stand off between Marion, Willie and Elsa, Indiana Jones eventually saves the day (and the planet). Elsa gets killed (this time for real) by mutating into some horrible creature before exploding.

The survivors travel back to the USA. The film ends with Willie introducing her daughter... Henrietta. Mutt is simultaneously attracted and confused.

Arathorn, Father of Aragorn: Born of Hope

Born of Hope is a fan-made short film about Arathorn, the father of Aragorn, the main hero in The Lord of the Rings. It is actually very well made for a fan-made film.

So if you're waiting anxiously for The Hobbit, here's something else you might enjoy.

Robert E. Howard's Solomon Kane

Solomon Kane 16th-century killing machine who finds his spirituality after an encounter with the Devil's own Reaper and later embarks on a mission to save the damsel in distress from an army of demonic minions.

Below is the movie trailer for Robert E. Howard's "Solomon Kane". (And in case you didn't already know, Robert E. Howard is the guy who created Conan the Barbarian.)

Legend of the Bone Knapper Dragon

If you liked the animated film "How To Train Your Dragon" then you will probably also enjoy the short film "Legend of the Bone Knapper Dragon".

The Holy Sword

The Magic Sword is an older movie from 1962. Also known as St. George and the Dragon, or St. George and the Seven Curses, the film isn't particularly well written and the actors are sorta barely above par by today's standards.

And the different accents by the various knights are hilariously bad.

However if you love clichés in old films, this one will be of interest.

Especially the sword itself if you are into Dungeons and Dragons, because the sword is essentially a "Holy Avenger" from D&D. Except that this predates D&D, which makes one wonder if this film is actually the inspiration for the Holy Avenger sword found in Dungeons and Dragons. I think it quite possibly is the inspiration, unless of course this film is based off a different sword of a holy sword which dispels evil magic.

Anyway, below is the whole film available for free from YouTube. Huzzah!

Bushido - The Warriors Way

The Code of the Samurai - Sometimes called "The Seven Virtues of the Samurai", "The Bushido Code", or "The Samurai Code of Chivalry".

In Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja it translates as "The Way of the Warrior", "The Warrior's Way", or "The Warrior's Code". (The Korean word is pronounced "Moosado" (무사도).

Bushido is a set of virtues that warriors/samurai from Japan, China and Korea had to live and die by. It is not solely a Japanese belief system, but common to much of Asia (but referred to by different names).

In many ways Bushido is similar to the Seven Virtues (from Christianity). It incorporates a variety of virtues like courage, sense of justice, benevolence, respectfulness, honesty, honour, loyalty, piety, fidelity, and wisdom. Many of the virtues are also found in the belief system of Confucianism, which was certainly an influence on the creation of the Bushido code.

Between the 9th and 12th centuries in Japan the warrior class was known as bushi or samurai, thus bushido basically means "way of the warrior" or "warrior's way". It was during this time period that the bushi became the ruling class of Japan until their decline and later total abolition in 1876 during the Meiji Era.

Not all warriors lived by the Bushido code, but many did and saw it as a way of life to guide all actions they did - not just in combat. The Bushido code incorporated many concepts followed by Zen Buddhism. The elite of the bushi warrior class was typically known as samurai.

Not all samurai used swords. Indeed in the early days of the samurai their preferred weapon was the Japanese bow. As the quality of Japanese swords improved however, and the art of swordplay in Japan also rose dramatically, the samurai changed their focus to use swords more often. (Due to pop culture the use of swords by samurai has since become over-emphasized.)

A samurai's loyalty to the emperor and his overlord / daimyo were unsurpassed. They were trained to be trustworthy and honest. They lived frugal lives with no interest in riches and material things, but believed in honor and pride. They were men of true valor, having no fear of death and believed that to die in battle would only bring honor to one's family and one's lord.

The actual Bushido code was passed on verbally to each new generation of samurai, but over time, seven chief virtues emerged, and became the written form of Bushido. Please note that variations of this list exist, as some people use different Kanji or have 8 or 9 tenets.

The Seven Virtues of the Bushido Code

(Korean and Chinese pronunciation in brackets)

Note: I have included all 10 from various versions of the Bushido Code.

Gi - Justice / Rectitude / Right Decision (의, yi)

Isamu - Bravery / Courage (용, yong)

Jin - Benevolence (인, ren)

Rei - Respect / Gratitude (례 or 예, li)

Makoto - Honesty / Confidence (성, cheng)

Meiyo - Honour / Respectful (명예, ming yu)

Chuujitsu - Loyalty / Devotion (none)

Kou - Filial Piety / Respect for Elders (효, xiao)

Shin - Honesty / Fidelity (신, xin)

Chi/Tomo - Wisdom / Resourcefulness (지, zhi)

Japanese Romaji
(Romanized Japanese)
Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Bushido / The Way of the Samurai武士道
bushidowǔ shì dào
wu shi dao
wu shih tao
wu3 shi4 dao4
Justice / Rectitude / Right Decision
Bravery / Courage
isamu / yu-
Honour 名誉
meiyomíng yù
ming yu
ming yü
ming2 yu4
Loyalty / Faithful / Devoted忠実
Filial Piety
Honesty / Fidelity
chi / tomo

Publishing a fantasy book? Make sure you get a professional fantasy book editor.

Study Archery in Toronto

So you want to study archery, but you are having difficulty finding an archery instructor who is local. However there is a solution. If you are willing to travel you can take a crash course in archery in Toronto, Canada. 10 lessons over a two week period will take you from archery novice to an experienced and capable archer.

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