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

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: 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

Crystal Ball: Superheroes, Senators And Smugglers – 10 Movies You Need To See In 2018

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Run (don’t walk) to your nearest cinema when these movies come out

2018 is now well underway, and that means it’s time to start getting excited about this year’s slate of big screen releases.

With several major blockbusters – including the latest instalments in several of your favourite franchises – and star-studded dramas scheduled for the year ahead, there’s a lot to look forward to.

Here, I’ve pulled together a rundown of the 10 movies I think you can’t afford to miss in 2018 – along with a few honourable mentions you should definitely try to squeeze in, as well!

Continue reading “Crystal Ball: Superheroes, Senators And Smugglers – 10 Movies You Need To See In 2018”

Crystal Ball: Superheroes, Senators And Smugglers – 10 Movies You Need To See In 2018

Soapbox: A Certain Point Of View (Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Last Jedi)

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Luke Skywalker wasn’t the only one a bit grouchy over the events of the latest Star Wars episode!

If you’re a long-time reader of The Pop Culture Studio, you probably noticed that I didn’t review The Last Jedi, unlike the other recent instalments in the Star Wars saga. There’s a reason for this: my initial reaction to Rian Johnson’s film was negative – really negative.

And despite the tone of some of my recent “work for hire” posts, being negative isn’t what The Studio is about. On the contrary, this site is supposed to be about being constructive – even when it comes to movies, TV shows or comics that I don’t like – and I genuinely wasn’t sure that I could do that when it came to The Last Jedi, that’s how unimpressed I was.

However, in the weeks since the movie was released, I’ve subsequently reconsidered my opinion of it – or looked at it from a different point of view, as Obi-Wan Kenobi might have put it – and I’ve come to the realisation that I do like it after all.

Don’t get me wrong: I still have issues with the film – major issues, in fact. But ultimately, I’ve decided that these imperfections are insignificant compared to The Last Jedi’s many good points, and what the film means for the future of the franchise and its fans.

Continue reading “Soapbox: A Certain Point Of View (Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Last Jedi)”

Soapbox: A Certain Point Of View (Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Last Jedi)

Soapbox: 15 MCU Plotlines That Were Completely Abandoned

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Forget plotlines: these guys abandoned good dress sense!

Over the course of nine years, 22 films (including shorts) and 10 TV shows, Marvel Studios has wowed fans by creating a shared cinematic universe to rival its comics counterpart. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is – much like its source material – built around telling interconnected, ongoing stories that branch across several franchise installments. Sure, some MCU entries fit into this bigger picture better than others, but broadly speaking, all of Marvel’s properties are tied together, and regularly introduce (or further develop) narrative threads designed to pay-off further down the line.

To its credit, Marvel has done a pretty good job of making everything fit together, considering how many different sub-franchises are in production at any given moment. Even so, cracks in this supposedly unified front have started to show as the MCU has expanded – heck, not even the in-universe timeline makes sense anymore!

That’s not the only thing that’s gone awry, either. While Marvel has done a great job of keeping its major, predominantly Avengersrelated narrative elements bubbling along nicely, the studio has also ditched several others along the way. The reasons for this vary – maybe the filmmakers involved convinced the studio to go in a different direction, or perhaps the actors required were no longer available.

Regardless, here are 15 MCU Plotlines That Were Completely Abandoned.

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

Soapbox: 15 MCU Plotlines That Were Completely Abandoned