Soapbox: 20 Things That Make No Sense About The Hobbit Trilogy

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All of these plot inconsistencies really weighed Bilbo down…

Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings films arguably constitute the finest fantasy trilogy ever made. Accessible to newcomers while remaining largely faithful to J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels, The Lord of the Rings movies married incredible spectacle and stunning visuals with genuine, heartfelt emotion.

When it was announced that Jackson would return to Middle-earth to helm a prequel trilogy based around The Hobbit, fan expectations were understandably high. Unfortunately, although the The Hobbitfilms were wildly successful commercially, the reaction from audiences was far more lukewarm this time around.

The more charitable verdict is that – although the films have their moments – they’re a misguided attempt to transform a brief children’s tale into a sweeping saga for adults.

To be fair, Jackson had his work cut out for him, as the The Hobbit is a deceptively difficult book to adapt. In addition to its lighter, more juvenile tone, it also has 15 core cast members, 13 of whom are near-identical dwarves!

Nevertheless, other issues with the films seem avoidable – and chief among these is just how often they flat-out fail the logic test.

With this in mind, here are 20 Things That Make No Sense About The Hobbit Trilogy.

This post was written exclusively for Screen Rant – click here to read the full article

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Soapbox: 20 Things That Make No Sense About The Hobbit Trilogy

Soapbox: Black Panther – 15 Things You Didn’t Know Vibranium Could Do

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T’Challa could ignore it no longer: it was time to get his nails done

Comic books have a proud tradition of inventing incredible substances that possess unique properties real-world manufacturers can only dream about. Of these, one of the most amazing is vibranium, one of the rarest and most precious metals found in the Marvel Universe.

Used in the fabrication of such iconic items as Captain America’s shield and Black Panther’s suit of mesh armor, vibranium is quite literally an out of this world material. Crashing to Earth as a meteorite millennia ago, this extraterrestrial metal comes in several varieties, each with its own remarkable attributes.

Of these, the most well-known (and highly coveted) is that found in the African nation Wakanda, the home of Black Panther and his people. Other types include Antarctic vibranium (also known as “Anti-Metal”) and artificial vibranium – man-made substitutes like NuForm and Reverbium, both of which are far less stable than the real deal.

With Black Panther pouncing into cinemas – and vibranium playing a key part in proceedings – we thought now was as good a time as ever to pull together a handy primer on the properties of this fantastic metal.

To that end, here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know Vibranium Could Do.

This post was written exclusively for Screen Rant – click here to read the full article

Soapbox: Black Panther – 15 Things You Didn’t Know Vibranium Could Do

Noticeboard: February 2018

February is a short month – so it makes sense to keep this update short and sweet! So far this month, there’s been the usual steady stream of Soapbox updatesthe latest of which is a tie-in with the release of Marvel Studio’s latest blockbuster, Black Panther.

Looking ahead, there’s a good chance that there will be another Easel Update arriving before the month is done, so even though February is almost over, there’s still plenty more to get excited about!

Noticeboard: February 2018

Soapbox: 17 Ways Batman V Superman Was Almost Completely Different

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No matter what else changed, these guys still ended up at each other’s throats!

When Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice arrived in cinemas back in 2016, it represented a landmark moment. Sure, both the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel had already appeared in films previously, but never before had DC’s two biggest icons – undeniably the two most famous and influential superheroes of all time – shared the big screen together.

Unsurprisingly, given the pair’s history of comic book team-ups, Warner Bros. had previously attempted to feature both Superman and Batman in the same live-action movie. Of these failed efforts, the most significant – which is to say, “bigger than a cameo” – was Superman vs. Batman, which was in development between 2001-2002.

Written by Se7en screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker (with rewrites by A Beautiful Mind scribe Akiva Goldsman) and with Troy’s Wolfgang Peterson set to direct, Superman vs. Batman is at once similar and wildly different to Batman v Superman.

Although the plots of both films call for a showdown between the two legends and count Lex Luthor among the main villains, that’s pretty much where the similarities end.

Here are 17 Ways Batman V Superman Was Almost Completely Different.

This post was written exclusively for Screen Rant – click here to read the full article

Soapbox: 17 Ways Batman V Superman Was Almost Completely Different

Soapbox: 8 Canceled Spinoff Movies That Would’ve Been Bad (And 7 That Would’ve Been Great)

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It’s a real shame one of these movies never happened (and a huge blessing that the other was likewise scrapped)

Given the seemingly endless stream of comic book movies released in recent years, it’s hard to imagine that any film projects like these ever get canceled. Yet plenty are, with spinoffs the most commonly scrapped.

There are several reasons why these cinematic offshoots wind up on the chopping block so often. The most common motivation for a studio axing a spin-off is that the film which spawned it has underperformed financially.

Then there is the disappointing scenario where a character who was expected to be a break-out hit with audiences fails to impress, with their ability to carry their own solo outing appearing a lot less feasible.

And finally, there are those instances where the overall plans for a superhero film franchise change. Suddenly, a spinoff that once made perfect sense fails to align with the broader slate of scheduled films, and is either re-worked into another movie, or dropped entirely.

Whatever the reason, this means that we sometimes miss out on some potentially amazing superhero side projects – even as we dodge a few that look pretty awful! With this in mind, here are 8 Canceled Comic Book Spinoffs That Would’ve Been Bad (And 7 That Would’ve Been Great).

This post was written exclusively for Screen Rant – click here to read the full article

Soapbox: 8 Canceled Spinoff Movies That Would’ve Been Bad (And 7 That Would’ve Been Great)

Soapbox: 15 Major Movie Villains That Didn’t Live Up To The Hype

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There were more than a few cranky faces, when these rankings were announced…

The prevailing wisdom among movie fans is that a big-screen blockbuster lives or dies based off the quality of its main villain. It’s not hard to see why – after all, if the baddie in question isn’t a memorable or credible threat, watching our heroes triumph over them isn’t particularly satisfying.

There are exceptions to this rule, of course. With the exception of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, the rogues gallery of the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe have largely proven a disappointing bunch. But even so, the marketing machines behind virtually every blockbuster film – including those released by Marvel Studios – put a significant amount of effort into generating pre-release excitement around the supposed awesomeness of their villains.

Sometimes, these big bads really do live up to the promotional buzz. Brilliantly twisted creations like Heath Ledger’s Joker have since gone on to become iconic examples of what a cinematic antagonist should be, far exceeding audience expectations along the way. But more often than not, the hoopla surrounding these nefarious characters turns out to be grossly exaggerated.

Check out our list of 15 Major Movie Villains That Didn’t Live Up To The Hype.

This post was written exclusively for Screen Rant – click here to read the full article

Soapbox: 15 Major Movie Villains That Didn’t Live Up To The Hype

Noticeboard: January 2018

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Happy New Year, y’all!

January might almost be over, but it’s still not too late for me to wish you all a Happy New Year!

As hinted at previously, there’s a lot planned for The Pop Culture Studio in 2018 – beyond even the usual posts covering movies, comics, TV and more – and hopefully this year should bring with it more than few exciting announcements.

But until then, let me just thank you in advance for your continued support over the next 12 months, and I hope you enjoy everything the Studio has to offer over the year ahead.

Noticeboard: January 2018