Noticeboard: August 2016

There’s magic in the air around The Pop Culture Studio this month. That’s because the Studio’s Review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – the review I’ve sat on since seeing the play in previews several weeks ago – has now gone live for your reading pleasure.

Looking farther afield, the release of Suicide Squad last week brings with it my latest Soapbox rant (which might surprise people) and I’ve been beavering away at the drawing board the last few months, so an Easel Update might finally materialise as well.

All this – plus the usual other features – makes this August as a good a time as ever to follow The Pop Culture Studio!

Noticeboard: August 2016

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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SPOILERS: Those expecting to see a scene with a child inside a giant snitch will leave sorely disappointed

“Keep the secrets.”

That was the key takeaway imparted by Harry Potter creator JK Rowling to those of us lucky enough to attend the preview sessions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the new stage play that continues the story of everyone’s favourite boy wizard.

With that in mind, I’ve held off on posting an in-depth review of Cursed Child until after the official release of the play’s script this week, in order to give fans the chance to experience the story – and its many surprises – for themselves first.

But now I think it’s well and truly safe to deliver a verdict, and I’m happy to say that (overlooking a few quibbles) Cursed Child is, well, pure magic.

Continue reading “Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Five Minutes With…Guy Hendrix Dyas (Part 2)

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A huge amount of work goes into Guy’s production design work – from initial concepts through to the actual filming process and beyond

Welcome to Part 2 of this month’s Five Minutes With… Q&A, featuring production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas (you can check out Part 1 here).

In this second instalment, Guy discusses his work with Steven Spielberg on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, provides insight into the mind-bending world he helped create for Christopher Nolan’s Inception, discusses his recent work on Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs, and much, much more!

Continue reading “Five Minutes With…Guy Hendrix Dyas (Part 2)”

Five Minutes With…Guy Hendrix Dyas (Part 2)

Soapbox: Competition Terminated – Five reasons why Terminator 2: Judgment Day is the greatest blockbuster of all time

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What could be better than Arnie as the villain? Arnie as the good guy, of course…

Take a quick scan around the pop culture corner of the web and I think you’ll find there’s at least one thing everyone seems to agree on: this summer has been one of the worst for blockbuster movies.

For every success story like Captain America: Civil War, we’ve seen at least one misfire like Independence Day: Resurgence, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice or Warcraft: The Beginning to bring the mood crashing back down to earth.

This got me thinking about what makes a great blockbuster film, a line of thought which quickly had me reminiscing about one of my all-time favourite popcorn flicks, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and what makes it arguably the greatest blockbuster ever made.

Continue reading “Soapbox: Competition Terminated – Five reasons why Terminator 2: Judgment Day is the greatest blockbuster of all time”

Soapbox: Competition Terminated – Five reasons why Terminator 2: Judgment Day is the greatest blockbuster of all time

Noticeboard: July 2016

It’s looking like a blockbuster month here at The Pop Culture Studio, with several huge posts about to touch down or already landed.

First of all, there’s the whopping two part Five Minutes With… Q&A with Guy Hendrix Dyas, production designer for X2, Superman Returns, Inception and other cinematic juggernauts.

Then, there’s the latest Soapbox feature, which gives five reasons why Terminator 2: Judgment Day is the greatest blockbuster movie of all time.

After that, there’s plenty more planned, including a Review of a little stage show called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (you might have heard of it).

Like I said: it’s going to be a big month…

Noticeboard: July 2016

Review: Captain America: The First Avenger

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Don’t let this promo poster fool you: this isn’t another grim ‘n’ gritty superhero flick

Regardless of whether you’re a proud American or enthusiastic outsider (like me), it’s hard not to get excited by the patriotic spirit of Independence Day brought to life so vividly in films like The Patriot and, well… Independence Day.

Whilst both of those films – and many others – would make more than suitable subjects for review on this special occasion, I’d like to celebrate the 4 of July this year by taking a look back at a movie that practically oozes red, white and blue: Joe Johnston’s Captain America: The First Avenger, released in cinemas five years ago this month.

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Review: Captain America: The First Avenger

Five Minutes With…Guy Hendrix Dyas (Part 1)

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Guy collaborating with director Terry Gilliam on the set of The Brothers Grimm

Ever watched a movie or TV show and thought to yourself: “Damn, this sure looks pretty”?

I’m willing to bet that you have, and the person you should be thanking for those stunning visuals is the production designer (or PD, for short).

PDs look after the overall look of a film or TV show, working alongside the director and producer to choose the settings and develop the style needed to tell the story visually.

Needless to say, they are a major creative force on any production, as the work of this month’s Five Minutes With… Q&A participant, Guy Hendrix Dyas, makes abundantly clear.

Continue reading “Five Minutes With…Guy Hendrix Dyas (Part 1)”

Five Minutes With…Guy Hendrix Dyas (Part 1)