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

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Soapbox: 15 MCU Plotlines That Were Completely Abandoned

Soapbox: 15 Things Wrong With The Matrix We All Choose To Ignore

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Don’t worry: the first one is STILL awesome (the sequels? Not so much)

When The Matrix arrived in cinemas back in 1999, it blew audiences away with its unique blend of martial arts spectacle, high-brow philosophizing, and dazzling visual effects. Indeed, the film influenced the action genre for years to come, with subsequent filmmakers trying (and failing) to emulate the Hong Kong cinema/Japanese anime vibe of its stylized fight choreography.

Admittedly, series creators The Wachowskis themselves struggled to deliver a satisfying follow-up to their initial outing, with both The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions receiving a tepid response from viewers and critics alike. Nonetheless, the story of digital messiah Neo and fellow freedom fighters Trinity and Morpheus remains popular with fans who still admire the franchise’s pioneering “bullet time” aesthetic and rich, underlying subtext.

Yet even The Matrix’s devoted followers – those who consider the first Matrix a masterpiece and its sequels underrated gems – probably realize that there’s plenty wrong with all three flicks. That’s right, even the original movie has quite a few things that either don’t quite stack up or flat-out make no sense. So what doesn’t add up?

Here are 15 Things Wrong With The Matrix Trilogy We All Choose To Ignore.

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

Soapbox: 15 Things Wrong With The Matrix We All Choose To Ignore

6 Terrible CGI Costumes That Ruined Movies (And 9 That Are Amazing)

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It’s a weird state of affairs when an “octopus-man” costume looks more convincing than a superhero spandex…

When it comes to costume design in movies, it used to be the case that filmmakers were limited by what could be achieved using real-world fabrics and prosthetics. Basically, if a design couldn’t be made using existing materials – and even if it could be made, if it was too unwieldy to actually wear – it was back to the drawing board!

Following the advent of computer generated imagery, however, all of that changed. Now, whatever costume designers can dream up can theoretically be made a reality, thanks to the magic of visual effects. Indeed, in a post-CGI world, actors regularly find themselves attired in the most otherworldly clothing imaginable, especially those starring in fantasy and sci-fi outings.

However, while the current trend towards CGI costumes has yielded some truly breathtaking results – bringing to life characters we never expected to see in a live-action film – more than a few have fallen flat.

Typically, this is because either the digital “tailoring” and “make-up” involved failed to convincingly portray whatever it was intended to mimic, or it’s because the end product wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. Either way, this usually suggests that the filmmakers might have been better off going down a more traditional route!

Here are 6 Terrible CGI Costumes That Ruined Movies (And 9 That Are Amazing).

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

6 Terrible CGI Costumes That Ruined Movies (And 9 That Are Amazing)

Soapbox: Remember, Remember The Fifth Of November – Five Things You Didn’t Know About V For Vendetta

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Do pop culture icons come any more unlikely than this guy?

When V for Vendetta first arrived in cinemas back in 2006, it seemed unlikely to trouble the box office. After all, it was based on a 1980s comic book by Alan Moore and David Lloyd that was practically unknown to non-comics fans, giving it very little brand recognition to trade on.

And yet director James McTeigue’s take on the material – which follows the efforts of Guy Fawkes-clad V (Hugo Weaving) and his protégé Evey (Natalie Portman) to topple a totalitarian UK government – nonetheless wound up being a huge critical and commercial success.

With Bonfire Night upon us, now seems like the perfect time to revisit the film, so here’s a list of five things you didn’t know about V for Vendetta!

Continue reading “Soapbox: Remember, Remember The Fifth Of November – Five Things You Didn’t Know About V For Vendetta”

Soapbox: Remember, Remember The Fifth Of November – Five Things You Didn’t Know About V For Vendetta

Crystal Ball: The Upside Of The Dark Side – Why The Last Jedi Trailer Should Leave You Feeling Upbeat

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Don’t let the frowny faces fool you: there’s a LOT to be positive about when it comes to The Last Jedi trailer!

By now, we’ve all had time to digest the latest trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi (unless you’re one of the strong-willed souls who resisted the urge to watch it!). General consensus among fans and critics seems to be that – adorable porgs aside – Episode VIII of cinema’s greatest sci-fi/fantasy saga looks like a far darker outing than its predecessor, The Force Awakens.

After all, this most recent look at the film provided new glimpses of a grumpy, grizzled version of Luke Skywalker, good guys the Resistance on the run, and Jedi-in-training Rey being tortured by big bad Supreme Leader Snoke – at last taking a break from his giant hologram Wizard Of Oz-schtick. Heck, there’s even the suggestion that a bit of matricide might be on the cards, with tormented wannabe Darth Vader Kylo Ren seemingly poised to murder his mother, the former Princess Leia!

Ratcheting up the gloom factor has only served to further fuel comparisons between The Last Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back – the latter of which is widely considered not only the best Star Wars episode of all time, but a perfect example of the “darker sequel” done right. And whilst it’s hard not to see tonal similarities between these two sombre films – just as it was impossible not to draw parallels between The Force Awakens and series opener A New Hope – the trailer has left me feeling surprisingly upbeat.

That’s because – despite its surface-level imitation of The Empire Strikes Back – this tantalising peek at The Last Jedi seems to have rewarded the faith of fans like me who hoped that incoming director Rian Johnson would finally taking the franchise in a fresh new direction. “This is not going to go the way you think,” promises Luke at one point – and thank the Force for that!

Continue reading “Crystal Ball: The Upside Of The Dark Side – Why The Last Jedi Trailer Should Leave You Feeling Upbeat”

Crystal Ball: The Upside Of The Dark Side – Why The Last Jedi Trailer Should Leave You Feeling Upbeat

Soapbox: 15 ‘Tough’ Movie Characters Who Always Get Defeated

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Turns out Logan might not be the best there is at what he does after all…

Everybody loves a movie tough guy or gal – powerful characters with a reputation for being able to win virtually any fight. Yet a surprising number of these iconic fighters have actually lost almost as many battles as they’ve won (at least based on what we see on screen).

Of course, a large part of this is down to the way that films work. In order for a story to be compelling, our heroes need to struggle – and even occasionally lose! – despite their incredible martial prowess. Similarly, in most instances, villains need to be defeated before the credits roll – which means that they are predestined to be second best, no matter how many times they’ve beaten the hero throughout the story.

That’s why most movie powerhouses earn their street cred by mowing down unfortunate redshirts, only to end up on the wrong end of a brutal beatdown when faced by an opponent at least as skilled as they are: because they’re really only as good at fighting as the story needs them to be at any given moment.

But even taking into account the mechanics of storytelling, you’d be amazed by just how patchy the win-loss record for some of cinema’s most well-known heavy hitters really is.

Don’t believe us? Then check out this list of 15 ‘Tough’ Movie Characters Who Always Get Defeated – we promise you: you won’t believe who made the cut!

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

Soapbox: 15 ‘Tough’ Movie Characters Who Always Get Defeated

Review: Blade Runner 2049

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This vision of the future remains as bleakly beautiful as ever

So much has already been said about Blade Runner 2049 – director Denis Villeneuve’s follow up to Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult sci-fi classic – that it’s hard to know where to begin.

The film – which, like its predecessor, draws upon Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep – has received near universal acclaim from critics, which is nothing short of remarkable for a sequel weighed down by 35 years worth of expectations!

But amid reports of underwhelming box office returns, casual moviegoers might be left wondering if Blade Runner 2049 lives up the massive amount of hype cinema buffs have built up around it.

The honest answer is no, probably not. However if Villeneuve’s film isn’t quite the masterpiece it’s being hailed as, it’s always good and often brilliant, and most importantly, serves as a worthy continuation of the Blade Runner story.

Continue reading “Review: Blade Runner 2049”

Review: Blade Runner 2049